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Thread: SPLIT THREAD: Zen & Catholicism

  1. #1

    SPLIT THREAD: Zen & Catholicism

    NOTE FROM JUNDO: I MOVED THIS TO ITS OWN THREAD.

    I am sorry to be the party pooper here, but IMHO Zen and Catholicism are not compatible – at all!
    In order to make them compatible, you’d have to modify them so much that you couldn’t call it Zen or Catholicism anymore…

    I used to be a Catholic, read the Bible completely and studied Christian Theology intensively for years. I talked with priests and other people in that system.
    Catholicism is based on dogmas – when you don’t believe in these dogmas then you are not a Catholic per definitionem.

    Catholicism is based on some dogmas that define it, e.g.:
    - The belief in a God who created the world and still actively intervenes in his creation – we are talking about a theistic belief (i.e. God who is still active) as opposed to a deistic belief (i.e. a God who does not intervene and is completely passive).
    - The belief in the original sin that is inherited by every new born child. Because of Adam’s and Eve’s original sin (you have to believe in them as well as a Catholic) every new born human is automatically a sinner as well (so much for fairness).
    - The belief that Jesus Christ was the actual son of God (and whose mother was a virgin) who died on the cross to reconcile God with humankind.
    - The belief in a real heaven/hell (as opposed to a mere metaphoric one) and the devil
    - The ethical basis of the Christian belief is completely different from Zen: as a Christian you follow the commandments because they come directly from God, the highest authority. This is a hierarchical structure – not just within the church.
    - And let’s not forget those little weird things like the belief that during the Holy Mass the wafer and wine are actually turned into the real flesh and blood of Jesus Christ (for Protestants this is only symbolic, but according to the Vatican, the head of the Catholic Church, this is not just symbolic, but real!)
    I could go on and on…

    You might be able to combine Zen with the belief in a deistic god and maybe with some types of theistic beliefs (but this already gets quite difficult if you don’t want to believe totally contradictory things), but Catholicism? No way, sorry folks, you can’t do that without twisting the Catholic tenets – and if you do that it’s not Catholicism anymore.

    Don't get me wrong, I don't want to do a "Catholic bashing" here, but the differences are vast and it is always easy to find a few common denominators with any philosophy.
    IMHO Zen is not something that can be combined indiscriminately with everything - there is no use to say otherwise just out of fear to get on the wrong side of somebody...

    Gassho,

    Timo
    Last edited by Jundo; 05-09-2013 at 03:09 PM.
    no thing needs to be added

  2. #2
    I don't have a problem mixing buddhism and catholicism and my interpretation of some of the bible sayings match my zen thinking. Have attended buddhist/catholic retreat workshops with zen masters and priests leading them together. I see the problem as many early catholic practices and teachings have faded and many of the priests are lost in ritual. Timo, had to speed read your post because I'm on my way out and will give it more time later, but the thing that pops is the difference between symbolic and literal interpretation. Practitioners of buddhism are very similar in this respect.
    _/_
    Rich
    MUHYO
    無 (MU, Emptiness) and 氷 (HYO, Ice) ... Emptiness Ice ...

  3. #3
    Hello Timo,

    revisiting this topic shows me how much my Zazen practise has changed my own experience (I wouldn't even call it a view anymore) of this topic in the last few years. I have some laundry stuff to do now, but will write a bit more later. This is just to say thank you for sharing your own current views with us so openly.


    Gassho and all the best,

    Hans Chudo Mongen
    Chudo Mongen, Ordained Novice Priest-in-Training

  4. #4
    Hi,

    I was not raised Catholic (not with a name like "Cohen" ), but allow me to offer some perspectives on how Zen Buddhism may be perfectly compatible. Mind you, it takes an open mind on all "sides" of the issue to find the "sideless" side. Zen, especially Shikantaza, is a radical allowing of "what is" whatever the "is" is. So ...

    - The belief in a God who created the world and still actively intervenes in his creation – we are talking about a theistic belief (i.e. God who is still active) as opposed to a deistic belief (i.e. a God who does not intervene and is completely passive).

    If God intervenes (assuming there is a "God") ... Just Sit, chop wood and fetch water. If God does not intervene (or there is no "God") ... ... Just Sit, chop wood and fetch water.

    - The belief in the original sin that is inherited by every new born child. Because of Adam’s and Eve’s original sin (you have to believe in them as well as a Catholic) every new born human is automatically a sinner as well (so much for fairness).

    Sinner or no, original or not ... ... Just Sit, chop wood and fetch water. Just do as one can to abide by the Precepts ... not to kill, not to steal, not to covet one's neighbors wife (misusing sexuality), and all the same.

    - The belief that Jesus Christ was the actual son of God (and whose mother was a virgin) who died on the cross to reconcile God with humankind.

    If Jesus died for our sins and his mother was a virgin ... Just Sit, chop wood and fetch water. If Jesus did not, and his mother was not ... Just Sit, chop wood and fetch water.

    - The belief in a real heaven/hell (as opposed to a mere metaphoric one) and the devil

    Buddhists have had very literal beliefs in "hells". Many Buddhists traditionally did (still do!) believe in rebirth in heavens or hells based on volitional actions (Karma) in this and past lives. Some of the descriptions of "Buddhist Hells" are as hellacious as anything in Western imagination (although the images seem to have developed independently) ... complete with pitchforks and brimstone ... look here. Not for the squeemish. I have seen similar images here and there at temples in China, Japan, Thailand and Korea ... images that would make any Fire & Brimstone preacher in the Bible Belt faint. Just like in the West, images of "hell" were often used by Buddhist preachers to get people to "be good". WARNING: 18 and OVER

    https://www.google.com/search?um=1&h....1.6kyHCwPWJ54

    I personally am a skeptical, but open minded, agnostic on literal, mechanical models of rebirth. It is not vital to my practice. But I do believe ... and see all the time ... people who make very terrible "hells" for themself and others in this life through their actions in this world. As I often say ...

    If there are future lives, heavens and hells ... live this life here and now, seek not to do harm, seek not to build "heavens" and "hells" in this world ... let what happens after "death" take care of itself.

    And if there are no future lives, no heavens or hells ... live this life here and now, seek not to do harm, seek not to build "heavens" and "hells" in this world ... let what happens after "death" take care of itself.
    Buddhism also has an image of "the Devil" ... the tempter "Mara" who, in the old Suttas, is often seen trying to lead Buddha off a good course. Does Mara exist literally? Well, like Kannon as a symbol of Compassion who exists through us and is "made real" when we choose our actions and whenever we do something caring and beneficial to others, Mara likewise exists through us when we do something harmful through the temptations of greed, anger and ignorance. In the sense, yes, they are real because compassion and generosity and selfishness and hate all exist as "real forces" in this universe as humans make them real through our words, thoughts and acts.

    - The ethical basis of the Christian belief is completely different from Zen: as a Christian you follow the commandments because they come directly from God, the highest authority. This is a hierarchical structure – not just within the church.

    Yes. Now, whether from On High or not ... don't kill, don't steal.

    - And let’s not forget those little weird things like the belief that during the Holy Mass the wafer and wine are actually turned into the real flesh and blood of Jesus Christ (for Protestants this is only symbolic, but according to the Vatican, the head of the Catholic Church, this is not just symbolic, but real!)

    Take Communion ... don't take Communion ... in any case, Just Sit, chop wood and fetch water.

    By one interpretation, the Buddha never quite meant that there "was not a Creator" or "not not a Creator". It was more that it is not important to his Insight. Many of the images we encounter in Buddhism are not different really ... Vairocana Buddha is the Universal Buddha of All Reality, the Dharmaskaya ... and Amida Buddha (Pure Land and Zen co-exist and have merged in much of Asia) is a figure who, if one merely has faith in him, will take you to his heaven when you die.

    So, I must disagree.

    I sometimes say that one can practice Zen Buddhism while also a Republican, Democrat or apolitical, Catholic, Jewish or Muslim, Atheist or Agnostic. I would say that, so long as it is a belief system that avoids hate, violence, excess greed and such (e.g., a "Zen Buddhist Nazi" will go a dark way), all can mix.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rich View Post
    I see the problem as many early catholic practices and teachings have faded and many of the priests are lost in ritual.
    The same could be said of the vast majority of Zen Temples I have visited in Japan.

    Gassho, J
    Last edited by Jundo; 05-10-2013 at 02:48 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  5. #5
    Senior Member Juki's Avatar
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    My problem with the whole hybridization of Zen with other religions is more fundamental. Zen is a branch of Buddhism, and in Buddhism, we seem to have at least two elements of the Dharma that are incompatible with an omnipotent creator god. The first, to me anyway, is the element of interdependence or interbeing. If we are truly all connected, this seems to weigh against the god of the Abrahamic traditions. Because a god would be outside that circle of connectedness, intervening and managing his creation. We cannot say everything is connected, except for this supreme being. Which brings me to the second element, the element of impermanence.

    To rebut my argument regarding interbeing, one could say, "well, everything is connected through god." However, that would make god subject to the same laws of impermanence as everything else.

    Of course, this could all be due to me making huge fundamental misunderstandings of the Dharma.


    Gassho,
    William

  6. #6
    Senior Member Daijo's Avatar
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    I think I am less passionate about this because I have no background in ritual Catholicism. I think it becomes more of a problem for people who do, which I can understand. But I would suggest, "let it go".

    I do see your point, they are completely incompatible.

    But I also see Jundo's point, they are completely compatible. Chop wood and fetch water.

  7. #7
    Hi Jundo,

    Thanks for your perspective on this and your examples!

    You argument (naturally, as you are a Zen teacher) mostly from the Zen side.
    However, if someone is a Christian, they will have difficulties accepting Buddhist concepts like “illusion of self”, “interconnectedness of all things”, etc.
    IMHO Zen is totally embedded in Buddhism – I know there are people who think Zen can be somehow practiced without Buddhism (I used to be one of these people!), but with every month I practiced I saw that Zen and Buddhism go hand in hand together.

    IMHO in one’s Zen practice there comes the stage when we leave Zen behind, when we leave Buddhism behind, when we leave Buddha behind. Everyone here knows the saying “If you meet Buddha on the road, kill him”. Tell a Christian “If you meet Jesus on the road, kill him” – Christians are not meant to finally leave their belief behind.

    The main difference for me is that Christian belief is dualistic!
    Sõtetsu Yüzen Rõshi said:
    „The Christian teaching in all its concepts inherently leads to a dualism and absolutizes the opposites Creator – Creature. Nature – Man.”

    When we sit, we ARE the universe. We are one. In Zen there is no thing in the universe that is not us. In fact, there is not even an “us”. There is just is-ness, beingness, pure and raw existence.
    The Christian belief system on the other hand leads to all kinds of dualisms.

    The main Christian tenet is that we humans need an external savior who saves us, and that we must believe in him in order to be saved.
    At first there is the postulation: “You are a sinner!”
    Then follows the next: “If you believe in Jesus, you can be saved!”
    Except – there is nothing to be saved from!


    For me Buddhism is liberation from our self-created suffering, because our views of the world are not congruent with reality.
    On the other side, Christian belief tells us that we are all sinners who’ll burn in hell if we don’t believe in a savior.
    This does not sound like freedom to me, but more like dependence.
    A bit like giving a new born a crutch and make them believe they are not able to walk without it.

    I know people will say that my take on Catholicism it too literal. However, it should be considered that without some certain basic tenets everything would be interchangeable. You cannot immunize a belief against criticism by making it totally arbitrary.
    When we talk about Catholicism we have an authority for this who tells what dogmas are to believed in: the Vatican.
    As soon as you interpret too much, you don’t have Catholicism anymore, but a kind of patchwork belief made of personal opinions.

    Gassho,

    Timo
    no thing needs to be added

  8. #8
    I think, to quote Taigu, we need to put it all down, throw everything away ... all the "can'ts", and "this is incompatible with that" ... because you are yourself making this "dualistic".

    Inside, outside, permanent or impermanent ... you are making this.

    True "Non-Dualism" is beyond and right through-and-through so-called "dualism" or "non-dualism", monotheism or deism or atheism or ism-ism. It is so "Non-Dualistic" that it does not even care if there is one or two or both or something else!

    God, Gods or No God, Pope or Nope, Rain or Shine, Sickness or Health ... we don't care (even if they care and say "impossible"), we sit As What Is.

    If there is a God and Jesus, we Sit As So. Take Communion, Go to Confession if you feel so ... then pull up a Zafu.

    I will go so far (and I rarely say this) as to call it a complete misunderstanding of Zen Practice.

    Stop building walls. Just have a cup of tea.

    Gassho, J
    Last edited by Jundo; 05-09-2013 at 05:23 PM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  9. #9
    Senior Member Juki's Avatar
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    Accepted. Thank you.
    Gassho,
    William

  10. #10
    I will point out that, on the Asian continent (not so much in Japan for various historical reasons), Zen and "Pure Land" Practice ... which involves worship of a Messianic figure in the form of Amida Buddha who takes one to Heaven at death for having faith in Him ... have been completely mixed and merged together for 1000 years or more. The parallels to Christianity are often so uncanny that it makes me feel that such beliefs ... and the need for many to have a "Savior" and "Pie In The Sky When We Die" ... may be hardwired into the brain.

    All the doctrinal gaps and seeming inconsistencies between so-called "Inner Power" Zen and so called "Other Power" Buddhism as in Amida were worked out, basically by saying that inner is outer and outer is inner ... and anyway, what is "in" or "out"? Amida and his "Pure Land" Heaven "stand for something beyond words ... so we cannot say exactly what even if felt in the heart.

    A whole bunch of Catholic Priests ... mostly Jesuits ... have been also Ordained as Zen Roshi. So, seems it must be possible to somebody ... when the barriers are dropped away ...


    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Kennedy_(Jesuit)

    http://sweepingzen.com/fr-patrick-ha...desert-sangha/

    Me? I don't practice particularly with Jesus or Amida or Thor ... but neither do I push them away. If there is a Thor or Spaghetti Monster in the Sky, I will sit as them.

    Gassho, J

    PS - Haven't heard from Fr. Kryllos and Fr. James, who sometimes visit here. I should drop them a line.
    Last edited by Jundo; 05-10-2013 at 02:43 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  11. #11
    Senior Member Nengyo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    The parallels to Christianity are often so uncanny that it makes me feel that such beliefs ... and the need for many to have a "Savior" and "Pie In The Sky When We Die" ... may be hardwired into the brain.
    I agree. I think there is something hardwired and it is way stronger in some people versus others.


    A whole bunch of Catholic Priests ... mostly Jesuits ... have been also Ordained as Zen Roshi. So, seems it must be possible to somebody ... when the barriers are dropped away ...
    Those Jesuits are a crazy bunch. Knowing some of them practice Zen doesn't surprise me at all. I grew up in a catholic part of the country and while my exposure to priest was very limited, the Jesuits seemed to be the most adventurous of the bunch (academically at least)


    Me? I don't practice particularly with Jesus or Amida or Thor ... but neither do I push them away. If there is a Thor or Spaghetti Monster in the Sky, I will sit as them.
    Thor? I'm sure he appreciates you sitting with him. He was probably getting a little lonely! haha
    Try not to be a jerk-- one of the Buddhas

  12. #12
    Hi Jundo,

    I don't think that Zen is a kind of "anything goes" practice.
    I find it a bit strange that you have "dismissed" (that's not quite the verb I have been looking for, but I'm no native speaker) teachers/teachings in the past, that are in fact very close to Zen, but something that is much further away is supposed to be compatible...
    You say (for example) that while certain Rinzai practices are fine, they are not "our practice here", but then you say that a dualistic system like Christian belief can be practiced together with non-dualistic Zen Buddhism.
    You use to say something like "that is Aikido, but we practice Judo" when it comes to practices that are actually not that far away from Soto Zen, but on the other hand you claim that I take on a dualistic view just for pointing out some decisive differences between Zen and Christian belief. I could do likewise as soon as you say that Rinzai is different from Soto - according to your very own argumentation you would create walls and introduce dualism! But pointing out differences is not the same as building walls.

    The thing is, while Rinzai and Soto have overlappings, both practices are not possible at the same time, and while Catholicism and Zen have (very, very) few overlappings, they are not compatible either. You cannot say there is no self, and at the same time claim you have an immortal soul that will go to heaven (or hell) after death.

    Personally, I don't like to put people into drawers, but it just does not make sense to say a finger is the same as an ear.

    Gassho,

    Timo
    Last edited by Daitetsu; 05-09-2013 at 06:27 PM.
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  13. #13
    Treeleaf Unsui/Engineer Kyonin's Avatar
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    I used to be very aggressive on these kind of topics. I was a very active atheist for many years and had a great share of suffering for not being able to eradicate Christian religions from the face of the planet. Under that optic, Buddhism couldn't mix with any theist religion at all.

    Yes, I was young and dumb.

    What do I think now?

    I don't mind other religions. As a matter of fact I can see beauty in most of them.

    Can Buddhism and Catholicism be mixed? Sure. You can take what works for you and be a person of reason, tolerant and peaceful.

    Would I mix them? No. I'm happy being a plain Buddhist.

    At the end, for me it all comes down to sitting.

    That's all there is, really.

    Gassho,

    Kyonin
    Please remember I am only a priest in training. I could be wrong in everything I say. Slap me if needed.

    The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one. Mr. Spock

  14. #14
    Senior Member Daijo's Avatar
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    Those damn Zen teachers! Always appearing to contradict themselves.

    Which reminds me, I have sat in a secular zendo led by Sensei Ray Ruzan Cicetti a former Jesuit and dharma heir to Roshi Kennedy in the White Plum lineage who practice a sort of Soto/Renzai hybrid.

    Then there's the wonderful music of Leanard Cohen, fully ordained in the Renzai tradition from the now sort of infamous Mt. Baldy Center. He lists his religion as Jewish.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by LimoLama View Post
    Hi Jundo,

    I don't think that Zen is a kind of "anything goes" practice.
    I find it a bit strange that you have "dismissed" (that's not quite the verb I have been looking for, but I'm no native speaker) teachers/teachings in the past, that are in fact very close to Zen, but something that is much further away is supposed to be compatible...
    You say (for example) that while certain Rinzai practices are fine, they are not "our practice here", but then you say that a dualistic system like Christian belief can be practiced together with non-dualistic Zen Buddhism.
    You use to say something like "that is Aikido, but we practice Judo" when it comes to practices that are actually not that far away from Soto Zen, but on the other hand you claim that I take on a dualistic view just for pointing out some decisive differences between Zen and Christian belief. I could do likewise as soon as you say that Rinzai is different from Soto - according to your very own argumentation you would create walls and introduce dualism! But pointing out differences is not the same as building walls.

    The thing is, while Rinzai and Soto have overlappings, both practices are not possible at the same time, and while Catholicism and Zen have (very, very) few overlappings, they are not compatible either. You cannot say there is no self, and at the same time claim you have an immortal soul that will go to heaven (or hell) after death.

    Personally, I don't like to put people into drawers, but it just does not make sense to say a finger is the same as an ear.

    Gassho,

    Timo
    Hi Timo,

    That is a very good point.

    I don't think that I ever said that one cannot practice "Rinzai" and "Soto" Zen at the same time. Many do (including all the Sambo Kyodan/Harada-Yasutani derived Lineages that are so prevalent in the US ... Maezumi Roshi's line, Aitken Roshi ... including both those Priests I mentioned). You can. You can engage in Koan Introspection sometimes, sit Shikantaza sometimes.

    It is just that we do not practice that here, in our Sangha ... and neither do I Practice Judaism or Catholicism or Atheism or Advaita or Football here, where we practice Shikantaza in Master Dogen's way. If someone wants to spend too much time discussing or advocating Christianity or Advaita here, I ask them to take it outside after awhile. However, one can practice Shikantaza and football (when not sitting), and so the others too.

    I think some "teachers" out there like Deepockets Chopra (and "Chuck Genkaku Johnzen Roshi") are phony or conmen. I am personally agnostic or quite skeptical (to the point of not believing) on many questions ... from a "personal God" to "literal rebirth" ... but I never say that I have the exclusive insight on those things, and always say that ... if there is a "personal God" or "rebirth as devas or spiders" ... I can sit with it all. Likewise, all my years of Zen Practice have not given me the power to know if it will rain or be sunny tomorrow ... but rain or sun, I can sit with/as such.

    I believe that certain Practices are incompatible with Zen Buddhism ... Nazism for one. One could actually be a kind of "Zen Nazi" (some have been), but the hate and violence takes one to a very dark place. That was not the Buddha's message of Peace ... a message shared by most religions (or, better said, by most people in most religions. We have a few hate filled Buddhists too).

    Gassho, Jundo
    Last edited by Jundo; 05-09-2013 at 07:06 PM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by LimoLama View Post
    You cannot say there is no self, and at the same time claim you have an immortal soul that will go to heaven (or hell) after death.
    By the way, those Buddhists who believe in "literal rebirth" found ways to explain away that conundrum about how there is no "soul" but "you" nonetheless go on. As I said, MOST Buddhists believe that "you" go to heavens or hells or some other destination when you die. It is not as clear cut a difference between traditional Buddhism (including Zen Buddhism) and Christianity as you believe.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  17. #17
    Hello,

    here are a few ramblings of mine...please take them with a pinch of salt

    Thank you all for your inspirational input:




    Gassho,

    Hans Chudo Mongen
    Chudo Mongen, Ordained Novice Priest-in-Training

  18. #18
    Hi everyone,

    A few months ago I joined Treeleaf and as a Christian of the orthodox protestant neck of the woods, felt very much the same as you Timo. But the fact is, Zen is not about that. It’s about life here, right now. Live life and live it well. Just this.

    I would like to contribute to this thread in answer to the points Timo stated.
    Cathilicism and Potestantism again differ greatly in oppinion. Lots of 'isms' so let's stick to the general term. Christianity has a great tradition of mediation and many practitioners of Zen. But there are also some great Zen minds who are also Christian. They must be doing something right?

    I for one believe in Jesus who teaches us to love others the way we (should) love ourselves. Loving is accepting the way it is. At least I think it is. So nothing to add, nothing to change, nothing to gain or lose because someon/ it already is/was perfect. Creation at one point is/was perfect. Loving/ accepting who you are is a huge task. Zen helps me to do this with the tool of shikantaza and a different formulation of the same rules to live by. One has 10 the other 8. Both say the same thing. Loving/ accepting others (and all things) in the same way as you love yourself and put this love to action without even the selfish need to still label it love. Zen is a tool, the Way in service of the Way.
    Even more so, you, me and all around us are all the same to Him ( Jesus), because they are not three.

    Surely there is hardly a better example of someone who had to deal with the dogmatic extremists of his time, than Jesus. Why? Because he was teaching something that did not sit well with people who drew power and authority from imposing a dualistic view of the world. The commandments became a tool for humans to suppress humans instead of a way to live life well.


    I have no problem at all in being an active Christian and seriously studying Zen. I go to Church and later happily sit on my Zafu to practice. Yes! You, me, everything ( not three) is all worth dying for and I find peace in the fact someone actually voluntarily did! But that is just me and for me a good way of looking at it. If someone else has another vieuw on things, that is just fine. Different flower, same beauty.
    Now let's go sit, chop wood, fetch water like Jundo said. Keeping it real is hard enough, but thats OK .

    In conclusion this:
    The early church had a strong meditation tradition ( not contemplation, meditation) that was dropped along the way for practical reasons.
    Early Christians called themselves students of ‘the Way’
    In Christianity today, meditation is coming back strongly. This because more and more Christians think faith is not just an intellectual thing.

    A question that already got me into debate several times is this: what was Jesus doing when he went to the garden in Getsemaneh or some other quiet places on a regular basis, for long periods of time? Modern translations says praying but the old texts are not so clear. Interesting no? Herretic? What do you guys think?

    Sorry for the lengthy post guys. I had to shorten it already and hope it still makes some sense.
    Sorry Jundo and Taigu for talking football at the tennis practice. I’ll shut up now.

    Gassho

    Enkyo

  19. #19
    This has been mentioned before, but there is a specific Catholic priest named Robert Kennedy who is also an ordained Zen Buddhist priest. I vaguely remember him stating that Zen Buddhism has helped him understand Christianity better and brought him closer to God. Both preach compassion and IMHO can co-exist to a point.

    http://www.beliefnet.com/Faiths/Budd...d-And-Zen.aspx
    Gassho,
    Onken

  20. #20
    Senior Member Daijo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Onken View Post
    This has been mentioned before, but there is a specific Catholic priest named Robert Kennedy who is also an ordained Zen Buddhist priest. I vaguely remember him stating that Zen Buddhism has helped him understand Christianity better and brought him closer to God. Both preach compassion and IMHO can co-exist to a point.

    http://www.beliefnet.com/Faiths/Budd...d-And-Zen.aspx
    Yep Roshi Kennedy who transmitted the dharma (is that the right way of saying that?) to Sensei Ray that I mentioned earlier.

  21. #21
    Treeleaf Unsui Daido's Avatar
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    Really cool post. A deep discussion on belief. A catholic believes this. A zen buddhist believes this. In my observation the conflict is with a person who has attached themselves to the belief. When you pick a side then another side can be chosen and naturally conflict arises. There can now be right and wrong and the war of conceptual ideas rages on. Should we believe in nothing? Can we believe in nothing and something at the same time? Beyond nothing and something. Catholicism and Zen they are compatible and they are not compatible. Therefore they are compatible. Throw the beliefs away and there is nothing to compare only harmony.

    Thank you for this thread.

    Gassho,

    Daido


  22. #22
    Hans, thanks for your informative and entertaining speech.

    Sitting morning and evening and relying on the precepts as a guidance is a good boat to travel in to the other shore.

    Whatever you practice or call yourself, I think its important to travel (act) with peace and compassion.
    _/_
    Rich
    MUHYO
    無 (MU, Emptiness) and 氷 (HYO, Ice) ... Emptiness Ice ...

  23. #23
    Senior Member Nameless's Avatar
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    Compatible, incompatible; what does it matter really? As long as what someone believes allows them to feel at peace with themselves and the world around them, to be kind and open to others than it all amounts to the same thing the way I see it. I read the Buddha saying somewhere, "All is my Dharma." Every belief or practice that is liberating to you, is the Dharma, so it is "right" and pure.

    I was once a devout Roman Catholic. Went through most of the sacraments. I was even an altar boy for awhile and found a great sense of well-being when I was performing the rituals. Once, during communion, I had a vision in which I was sitting in a vast, beautiful and ancient temple. I have had similar experiences during zazen (never focusing on them, merely letting them go). I read the bible a few times, the New Testament many times, and found a lot of goodness within it. I no longer believe in Jesus, but I still do admire and respect the idea of the man.

    After Catholicism, I went on a tour of the religions of the world and found that the story of Jesus is in a way just a different slant on a man finding enlightenment and then trying to bring those who were suffering to the "other shore." I mean, not everything I've read in the bible is in sync with Buddhism, but it doesn't really matter. Form your own personal understanding and if it guides you well then, for lack of better words, it is good.

    Gassho,
    John

  24. #24
    I just had a couple of folks write to me that they are considering to leave Treeleaf because of my statements in this thread. So, I wrote them this ...


    I will add this, food for thought ... and non-thought.

    If I said Zen and Christianity were incompatible, I might get some people leaving Treeleaf in confusion.

    If I say they are compatible, I get people leaving Treeleaf in confusion.

    To me, there is no confusion or compatible or incompatible. All are welcome to Treeleaf, and here we sit Shikantaza.


    In Shikantaza, we are beyond and right through-and-through confusion, and small human judgments of "compatible vs. incompatible".

    Gassho, Jundo
    Last edited by Jundo; 05-10-2013 at 03:28 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  25. #25
    I think everyone on this thread talking about how rational Zen is traditionally compared to those "fire and brimstone" folks with their rules and their devils and such should read this other thread today ... on the Shurangama Sutra, very valued by many Zen folks ...

    http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showt...l=1#post100772
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  26. #26
    Treeleaf Unsui Yugen's Avatar
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    This is one of those times and threads where I wonder what the balance of time spent posting instead of looking folks up on G+ and saying "let's sit" is... We get caught up in disagreement and attachment to views and forget that we are here to sit. Zazen encompasses our experience on and off the cushion and right now the gap between the two is pretty wide. In the end it is all mind chatter, and that chatter causes our merry band to turn on itself!

    Instead of leaving, please consider this: if something needs changing or airing out, be the change you want to see... be a sangha citizen - in a sangha we practice together and our rough edges gradually smooth out as we work together. Progress is often made not when the sailing is smooth, but when the water gets rough.

    The further I go in my practice, it just seems far less important to be disputatious.

    Let's go sit.

    Deep bows to all,
    Yugen
    Last edited by Yugen; 05-10-2013 at 03:44 AM.
    Please take all my comments with a grain of salt - I am a novice priest and anything I say is to be taken with a good dose of skepticism - Shodo Yugen

  27. #27
    Senior Member Heion's Avatar
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    Wow, this is a very interesting thread and I can't help but think I helped motivate this topic. Anyways, since all of the other points have been covered (and points I didn't even know were points), I think I have learned a lot about the similarities of Zen and Catholicism. Zazen is in Catholicism. A topic I would like to bring up (rather a generalization) is that I see a lot more Catholics practicing for more of a social benefit while Buddhists practice for a more personal wrong. Don't get me wrong, I know some Buddhist do this, but it seems many Christians have started shifting to eradicate the world of sin. They do not seem very content with their beliefs and try pushing them upon the world through politics, preaching, and other means. In my opinion, most Buddhist practice for a more personal gain.

    Gassho,
    Alex


  28. #28
    This has been a interesting thread, thank you everyone for sharing.

    Gassho
    Shingen
    真 眼

    As a trainee priest, please take any commentary by me on matters of the Dharma with a pinch of salt.

  29. #29
    I believe that the following is so vital with regard to Shikantaza that I will say it endless times ...

    In Shikantaza, we are beyond and right through-and-through confusion, and small human judgments of "compatible vs. incompatible".

    In Shikantaza, we are beyond and right through-and-through confusion, and small human judgments of "compatible vs. incompatible".

    In Shikantaza, we are beyond and right through-and-through confusion, and small human judgments of "compatible vs. incompatible".

    In Shikantaza, we are beyond and right through-and-through confusion, and small human judgments of "compatible vs. incompatible".

    In Shikantaza, we are beyond and right through-and-through confusion, and small human judgments of "compatible vs. incompatible".

    In Shikantaza, we are beyond and right through-and-through confusion, and small human judgments of "compatible vs. incompatible".

    In Shikantaza, we are beyond and right through-and-through confusion, and small human judgments of "compatible vs. incompatible".

    In Shikantaza, we are beyond and right through-and-through confusion, and small human judgments of "compatible vs. incompatible".

    In Shikantaza, we are beyond and right through-and-through confusion, and small human judgments of "compatible vs. incompatible".

    In Shikantaza, we are beyond and right through-and-through confusion, and small human judgments of "compatible vs. incompatible".

    In Shikantaza, we are beyond and right through-and-through confusion, and small human judgments of "compatible vs. incompatible".

    In Shikantaza, we are beyond and right through-and-through confusion, and small human judgments of "compatible vs. incompatible".

    In Shikantaza, we are beyond and right through-and-through confusion, and small human judgments of "compatible vs. incompatible".

    In Shikantaza, we are beyond and right through-and-through confusion, and small human judgments of "compatible vs. incompatible".

    In Shikantaza, we are beyond and right through-and-through confusion, and small human judgments of "compatible vs. incompatible".

    In Shikantaza, we are beyond and right through-and-through confusion, and small human judgments of "compatible vs. incompatible".



    ... for all is ultimately empty, and thus any belief system** is ultimately Compatible (Big "C") with Shikantaza.

    If such point about sitting "beyond and through-and-through confusion, conflict and compatible (small "c")" is not clear, one is simply not Clear (Big "C") about Zazen.

    Gassho, J

    ** absent anger and violence, greed and other harms as previously indicated.
    Last edited by Jundo; 05-10-2013 at 08:15 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  30. #30
    Treeleaf Unsui Myozan Kodo's Avatar
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    Hi,
    Thank you for this.

    If we put on a different glove, do we feel the same elephant?

    I was brought up a strict Catholic. Now Zen is my way. Sometimes I'll go to mass with my father. It makes him very happy ... and I don't mind.

    Gassho
    Myozan
    Last edited by Myozan Kodo; 05-10-2013 at 08:35 AM.
    Myozan Kodo
    Ordained Soto Zen Priest in Training
    Dublin, Ireland

    As a trainee priest, please take any commentary by me on matters of the Dharma with a pinch of salt.
    "Here the way unfolds."

  31. #31
    May I also respectfully remind you that Catholic, Protestant, Jew, Atheist, Agnostic, Hindu, monotheist, dualist, non-dualist, male, female, gay, straight, liberal, conservative, moderate, Nazi, Peacenik, Buddhist are all labels and ideas we assume in this world of Samsara.

    Our Way is a way beyond words, labels and ideas even while living in this world of words, labels and ideas. SO LONG AS LIVING GENTLY, IN KEEPING WITH THE PRECEPTS it is not really so important what labels or ideas we hold so long as simultaneously free of all labels and ideas. Some call that God, some Buddha, but what can one call the Uncallable?

    One can Practice Zen as a man or woman, gay or straight, baker or candle stick maker (butcher raises some issue), so same for Catholic or Atheist or whatnot so long as piercing all such labels, ideas, categories, conflicts and limitations.

    Gassho, Jundo
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  32. #32
    Let me first make some things clear, just to avoid misunderstandings:

    1) I was not one of those members that contacted Jundo telling him I considered leaving Treeleaf (although this could be an option, I must admit).
    2) I am not a “hardliner” or anything like that – far from it! In fact it took me a long time to finally commit myself to a path again. I still mix in stuff that I personally consider as “compatible” – some Mahayana practices like TNH’s pebble meditation now and then, Tai-Chi, some Qigong practices, Chinese Tea Ceremony, etc.
    3) It is not my intention to belittle, ridicule or reject other religions – I accept them as long as they are peaceful.


    Next I’d really like to thank Hans for his excellent video!
    I really agree with most things he said.



    Now to the BUT SECTION:

    Yes, during zazen we drop all thoughts/barriers/concepts.
    However, zazen is still a Zen practice and thus deeply embedded in Buddhism. And while Jundo mentioned how diverse Buddhism is, this thread was basically about the Zen flavor and Catholicism – not Buddhism in general and Christian Belief in general!


    So when Hans mentions correctly that some people like to keep their original background and pick and mix elements, and there is no absolute authority on what is right (what about the Bible though?), the matter is quite clear when it comes to Catholicism – they have an authority, namely the Pope/Vatican!
    And Catholic dogmas are mostly contradictory to Zen practice.
    Yes, yes, Zen seems to be contradictory in itself – however, there are still real contradictions in this world.
    There is no such thing like a “pork eating vegetarian”. As a vegetarian you can mix certain fruits and vegetables without problems, but as soon as you eat meat, well, you are not a vegetarian…


    Can a Catholic practice zazen? Sure, but (supposed he takes both paths seriously in an equal measure) eventually he will reach a point in his practice when he’ll feel an inner conflict and have to make a decision. Otherwise he’ll practice something like “bompu zen”, just scratching the surface of things.
    Zazen is not just some kind of gymnastics for body and mind, but it is deeply intertwined with Buddha, Dharma and Sangha!
    When you drop body/mind, there is no “Creator vs. Creation”, no “Nature vs. Man” – there is just oneness. Or in other words “You are god” (if you really can’t help using this term).
    This does not get along well with Catholic doctrine, i.e. as a Catholic you will get into trouble…

    Yes, the Jesuits – actually there were some that were muzzled by the Vatican in the past (e.g. Willigis Jäger in 2002, because the Pope at that time seemingly was not too amused by some of his views).

    Can there be awakening outside Zen? Sure! Zen is just one path of many!
    Can Zen be mixed with other traditions? Sure! As long as they are non-dualistic!
    However, as soon as you introduce a dualistic element (like Catholicism) in a non-dualistic path – you end up with dualism again!
    Like I said above, there is no such thing like a “pork eating vegetarian”.
    As a vegetarian you can mix certain fruits and vegetables without problems, but as soon as you eat meat, well, you are not a vegetarian…

    To get back to Hans’ excellent video:
    What do I trust? I trust zazen, I trust this practice.
    However, I am not that sure anymore about other things here.
    Do I completely misunderstand Zen Practice? I am pretty sure I don’t.
    Perhaps I should quote the Dude (The Big Lebowski): “That’s just your opinion, man”

    Gassho,

    Timo
    no thing needs to be added

  33. #33
    Treeleaf Unsui Myozan Kodo's Avatar
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    Hi,
    When someone eats vegetables, they are a vegetarian. When someone eats pork, they are not. They are one or the other in the present moment.

    My friend was a vegan for years. Now she eats meat. In one moment she is a vegetarian; in another moment she is a carnivore. If you take her life so far, as a whole, she is a pork eating vegetarian.

    Gassho
    Myozan
    Myozan Kodo
    Ordained Soto Zen Priest in Training
    Dublin, Ireland

    As a trainee priest, please take any commentary by me on matters of the Dharma with a pinch of salt.
    "Here the way unfolds."

  34. #34
    I feel more free of labels since practicing Zen - not totally free because we're forever trapped within language...... and yet - there are those fleeting moments in zazen when this seems not to be the case. Those rare moments of 'interbe' fly free of dogma, ritual, doctrine.Be free - don't stress about difference - lead a good life - everything follows naturally from following the precepts.

    Gassho


    Willow

  35. #35
    Hi Myozan,

    Quote Originally Posted by Myozan Kodo View Post
    Hi,
    When someone eats vegetables, they are a vegetarian. When someone eats pork, they are not. They are one or the other in the present moment.

    My friend was a vegan for years. Now she eats meat. In one moment she is a vegetarian; in another moment she is a carnivore. If you take her life so far, as a whole, she is a pork eating vegetarian.
    Of course I meant you cannot be both at the same time.
    I used to be Catholic many years ago. Does this make me a Zen Catholic?
    I know someone who was a Nazi when he was very young, but today he totally rejects this - he even fights vehemently against Nazism. Is he a Nazi forever for the rest of his life, just because he was it as a teenager?

    I have never claimed you cannot change paths in your life - it is just that some paths are mutually exclusive to be practiced at the same time IMHO.


    One thing I forgot to talk about:
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo
    In Shikantaza, we are beyond and right through-and-through confusion, and small human judgments of "compatible vs. incompatible".

    Exactly! But as soon as someone sees practice this way, they already have left a dualistic path like Catholicism behind!
    Dualistic paths are about differences - as soon as you drop these differences in shikantaza you have already left the dualistic path. And that's why Zen and Catholicism are mutually exclusive in the long run...
    A Catholic who drops all differences of God, Man, Nature, stops being a Catholic in that instant...

    Gassho,

    Timo
    Last edited by Daitetsu; 05-10-2013 at 10:19 AM.
    no thing needs to be added

  36. #36
    Quote Originally Posted by LimoLama View Post
    And Catholic dogmas are mostly contradictory to Zen practice.
    Yes, yes, Zen seems to be contradictory in itself – however, there are still real contradictions in this world.
    There is no such thing like a “pork eating vegetarian”. As a vegetarian you can mix certain fruits and vegetables without problems, but as soon as you eat meat, well, you are not a vegetarian…


    Can a Catholic practice zazen? Sure, but (supposed he takes both paths seriously in an equal measure) eventually he will reach a point in his practice when he’ll feel an inner conflict and have to make a decision. Otherwise he’ll practice something like “bompu zen”, just scratching the surface of things.
    Zazen is not just some kind of gymnastics for body and mind, but it is deeply intertwined with Buddha, Dharma and Sangha!
    When you drop body/mind, there is no “Creator vs. Creation”, no “Nature vs. Man” – there is just oneness.
    Hi Timo,

    Yes, the above is where we very much see not eye to eye. I do not find anything in Catholic Doctrine from the Zen side which presents a conflict (some Catholics, of course, may find a conflict from their side, but that is their problem). “Creator vs. Creation” or not, “Nature vs. Man” or not, or something else altogether – separation between man and god or no separation (or no "man" or "god" at all!) - no matter, all cool, what is just is, there is just oneness which holds all such options.

    Yes, a pork eater is not a vegetarian. Yes, the Buddhist Precepts sometimes (a subject for another day) may point to eating carrots over cows. However, this Zen Way truly surpasses and embodies both carnivores and vegans, Catholics and Atheists and Silly Billies and everything else. In fact, it even comfortably holds those folks who see conflict between "Zen and Catholicism" and those who see not conflict, Jundo and Timo and Jesus and Buddha ... all held within the True Oneness without the least Conflict!

    Uchiyama Roshi, who used to pepper his Zen Talks with reference to "God", wrote this as his Death Poem on his deathbed ...


    Just Bow

    Putting my right and left hands together as one, I just bow.
    Just bow to become one with Buddha and God.
    Just bow to become one with everything I encounter.
    Just bow to become one with all the myriad things.
    Just bow as life becomes life.


    Such is True Oneness ... Oneness that is "Oneness" whether with one, two, three or noneness.

    (That being said ... in this Sangha we practice Zen Buddhism in the Soto Way, and not Catholicism. Someone must go to a Catholic Church or a Jesuit Roshi for that.)


    Gassho, J
    Last edited by Jundo; 05-10-2013 at 10:53 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  37. #37
    Treeleaf Unsui Myozan Kodo's Avatar
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    Gassho
    _/||\_
    Myozan Kodo
    Ordained Soto Zen Priest in Training
    Dublin, Ireland

    As a trainee priest, please take any commentary by me on matters of the Dharma with a pinch of salt.
    "Here the way unfolds."

  38. #38
    Interesting thread. Too much for me, but interesting nonetheless. Thanks everyone.

    Gassho,

    Dokan

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I747 using Tapatalk 2
    We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are.
    ~Anaïs Nin

  39. #39
    Hi.

    Sry for the latecoming but i will try and make up for it.

    Dodging all the extra fluff you put in this thread, i wanted to adress things adressed in the beginning.
    Buddhism and christianity are compatible and at the same time not, depending on the base you stand on, in this case the base is your definition of the two, and all their parts.
    This has been an good base for all the feuds over this for quite some time, and as we've seen here, a lot of different approaches to the problem.

    That is all good practice, but the main question is not what/why you call yourself, the main question is what you do with it.

    Mtfbwy
    Fugen
    Treeleaf Unsui
    Blog: http://fugenblog.blogspot.com/

  40. #40
    Senior Member Nengyo's Avatar
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    I am so confused as to why people are so upset about this post. I was an evangelical christian for many years. I moved slowly to deist, then became a pure bred atheist and anti-theist. I even started my local atheist and agnostics organisation. For a while I combated theistic religions everywhere I found them. On forums, on facebook, but most of all in real life. I drove across states to debate people, to humiliate mobile creationist museums, and to support protest. Trust me when I say few people on earth hated religion more than I. And yet, I still found Zen Buddhism. I guess a couple years of Zazen has softened my stance. To me, any perceived problems are an illusion. If we think there is one inch of separation between us and the Christians or the Pure Land Buddhist we are still caught in the trap.

    Perhaps some of this issue is that Jundo regularly stops digressions into forms of Buddhism that are close to ours, but encourages people who are Christians to continue their practice. The way I see it, this is a Soto Zen forum and sangha. We practice, discuss, and support each other on a foundation of Dogen's teachings. Sure, if you want to practice secret mantras, chants, and koans you can. Jundo certainly won't jump through your computer monitor to stop you. However, he cannot let those practices take over the forum anymore than he could let hoards of Catholics start inundating us with sacramental rites and saints to worship, mainly because he is a Soto Zen teacher. There are other forums and sanghas for that other stuff.

    Of course I meant you cannot be both at the same time.
    With each bite you are what you are. One, the other, both, and neither. We die and are reborn a million times per meal.

    And that's why Zen and Catholicism are mutually exclusive in the long run...
    A Catholic who drops all differences of God, Man, Nature, stops being a Catholic in that instant...
    There are teachers in both traditions that think you are incorrect. That alone should give your certainty pause...

    <The standard disclaimer; If I have misunderstood the issue, please disregard all. Also, take everything I say with a grain of salt. It is certain that I am wrong about most things and the degree to which I'm wrong remains a mystery.>
    Last edited by Nengyo; 05-10-2013 at 12:31 PM.
    Try not to be a jerk-- one of the Buddhas

  41. #41
    Treeleaf Unsui Yugen's Avatar
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    Nengyo and Fugen,
    I really like your posts. Thank you.

    Gassho
    Yugen
    Please take all my comments with a grain of salt - I am a novice priest and anything I say is to be taken with a good dose of skepticism - Shodo Yugen

  42. #42
    Hi Nengyo,

    Thanks a lot for sharing your background and your view of things - I found both very interesting.
    Actually, I agree with most things you said about our practice, but about

    Quote Originally Posted by catfish View Post
    There are teachers in both traditions that think you are incorrect. That alone should give your certainty pause...
    I must say there are also people from both traditions that would agree with my opinion.
    And that's the keyword - it is an opinion.

    I agree with so many things Jundo and Taigu say and teach at Treeleaf that it would almost be scary if I would not disagree now and then.
    Nobody can always agree on everything, and that's fine. Wouldn't it be boring if it were just sunshine all the time?

    So all in all, my opinion (and I know I am not alone with it) on this matter differs from Jundo's, but I accept it and I hope he accepts it, too.
    And just to add a last disclaimer:
    I have nothing against Christians or people from other religious backgrounds. I am not saying they are not supposed to practice Zen. All I say is that practicing both will probably lead to an inner conflict when practice deepens.

    Thanks a lot for all people contributing to this thread, especially Hans and Jundo who put so much effort in it.

    Gassho,

    Timo
    no thing needs to be added

  43. #43
    Senior Member Daijo's Avatar
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    I think Timo is right.
    I think Jundo is right.
    And I do mean that. I completely agree that Zen and Catholicism are not peanut butter and chocolate. They are filled with clashing ideals about damned near everything. I also see clearly 100% that "in Shikantaza, we are beyond and right through-and-through confusion, and small human judgments of "compatible vs. incompatible".





    In the end though, in my ignorant view, what are zen and Catholicism if not just "ideals"? Doesn't this practice cut through all of that BS and go straight through and beyond the heart of those "ideals"? If there were to be some "reason" for all of this sitting on cushions. Isn't that it? To cut right through the illusion of not only Catholicism, Islam, Alchemy, Nazism, Nationalism, Communism, but also of our beloved Zen?

    And I hope people will not leave treeleaf because of this. If they do, it's OK, I will sit with that too. I just hope those contemplating it will stop to think "Go where?" To that place where it's better? There is no place to go.

  44. #44
    I think it just comes down to how one Practices: One can practice Catholicism and Zen with a harmonious interpretation finding common or transcending ground (some do), or find instead conflict (many do).

    Quote Originally Posted by catfish View Post
    Perhaps some of this issue is that Jundo regularly stops digressions into forms of Buddhism that are close to ours, but encourages people who are Christians to continue their practice. The way I see it, this is a Soto Zen forum and sangha. We practice, discuss, and support each other on a foundation of Dogen's teachings. Sure, if you want to practice secret mantras, chants, and koans you can. Jundo certainly won't jump through your computer monitor to stop you. However, he cannot let those practices take over the forum anymore than he could let hoards of Catholics start inundating us with sacramental rites and saints to worship, mainly because he is a Soto Zen teacher. There are other forums and sanghas for that other stuff.
    That is so. I may find Catholicism, Islam or Rinzai Practice (and many other ways) potentially harmonious with Soto Zen Practice ... but if someone takes up too much space around here talking about The Virgin Birth or Allah or MU'ing, I will point them to a church or mosque or Rinzai Roshi. As I often say ... Karate is a wonderful art, and Ai-ki-do is a wonderful art, and some folks may even combine the two (Kara-ki-do?). However, here in our Ai-ki-do Dojo we practice Ai-ki-do, not the others. Karate is great, but if someone comes on our mats and starts to practice Karate and not Ai-kido for too long, I point them to the Karate Dojo down the street and wish them well.


    Quote Originally Posted by LimoLama View Post

    I agree with so many things Jundo and Taigu say and teach at Treeleaf that it would almost be scary if I would not disagree now and then.
    Nobody can always agree on everything, and that's fine. Wouldn't it be boring if it were just sunshine all the time?
    Oh, didn't I mention that Taigu and I are Infallible on all pronouncements of Dharma, and anyone disagreeing is subject to a "Treeleaf Excommunication"?

    Beware the Buddhist Inquisition!



    Gassho, Pope Jundo I
    Last edited by Jundo; 05-10-2013 at 03:07 PM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  45. #45
    Senior Member Nengyo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LimoLama View Post


    I must say there are also people from both traditions that would agree with my opinion.
    And that's the keyword - it is an opinion.
    Timo, of course it is just an opinion! It is the certainty with which we hold our opinions that I was referring to. Once we admit that some portion of our understanding may be incorrect it much easier to reach common ground. I agree with you that practicing both Christianity and Zen may cause inner conflict at some point. I only practice one and occasionally have inner conflict. I believe the saying goes , "great doubt, great faith, great effort!"


    I enjoyed reading your point of view and my dismay was directed at those who would leave over this non-issue, not at you for having a differing opinion. To paraphrase what Jundo stated earlier; shikantaza is beyond opinion, dogma, compatibility, and any other concept.


    Quote Originally Posted by chuck13 View Post
    I think Timo is right.
    I think Jundo is right.
    And I do mean that. I completely agree that Zen and Catholicism are not peanut butter and chocolate. They are filled with clashing ideals about damned near everything. I also see clearly 100% that "in Shikantaza, we are beyond and right through-and-through confusion, and small human judgments of "compatible vs. incompatible".
    Exactly!

    And I hope people will not leave treeleaf because of this. If they do, it's OK, I will sit with that too. I just hope those contemplating it will stop to think "Go where?" To that place where it's better? There is no place to go.
    Isn't there a koan about this exact situation? Something like; A monk wants to leave the monastery. The master says OK, but keeps telling him, "not that door" until the student gives up and just sits.
    Try not to be a jerk-- one of the Buddhas

  46. #46
    Senior Member Nengyo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post

    Oh, didn't I mention that Taigu and I are Infallible on all pronouncements of Dharma, and anyone disagreeing is subject to a "Treeleaf Excommunication"?

    Beware the Buddhist Inquisition!



    Gassho, Pope Jundo I
    Poke him with the comfy pillow!
    Try not to be a jerk-- one of the Buddhas

  47. #47
    Senior Member Genshin's Avatar
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    Well, I'll carry on sitting tonight facing the wall as I do every night, free from labels, goals and isms.

    (although perhaps slightly more confused when I come off the cushion)

    Gassho
    Matt

  48. #48
    Doesn't chuck Genkaku Johnsen Roshi have a crashcourse for that? With robe and all? Yeah, pretty sure along with a free Wich Trial home liturgy set, if you are one of the first five to order.


  49. #49
    Jesus, the pope, and all the catholic followers are Buddhist. They just don't know it.

    Gassho, John

  50. #50
    "IMHO Zen is not something that can be combined indiscriminately with everything - there is no use to say otherwise just out of fear to get on the wrong side of somebody..."

    sorry, i just read this and had some questions, so its edited.

    im not into abrahamic stuff. never was, so this was never a problem for me. but id be more interested in learning about stuff like working with universal energy (chi?), raising vibrations, etc. is stuff like this found in the tao or any other eastern thought that would be compatable with zen practice?

    thank you..

    gassho,

    justin
    Last edited by jus; 05-10-2013 at 10:37 PM.

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