Treeleaf Founder and Priest
I have just finished going through the Genjo Koan on 'Sit-a-Long' with Jundo', and next I have something very special in store:
I think the subject is so very useful to anyone studying Buddhism, as it can be extremely confusing (both to newcomers and oldcomers), and so I really want to make this series of talks "mandatory listening" ... or, at least, super-highly suggested!
The topic is a very clear list of "Eight Types of Enlightenment" as typically found in various forms of Buddhism, meaning the very different and often totally inconsistent (although sometimes overlapping) visions that various schools of Buddhism propose as the ultimate "goal" at the end of the Buddha's rainbow. Different strands of Buddhism really do have very unique ideas on this whole "Enlightenment" thing, and anyone studying Buddhism can become tangled up in the many ways that teachers of various schools, in different books and teachings, often are proposing radically different goals and different ways to get there. Even within the Zen Schools, or even in the ideas of a single teacher, the ideas get mixed and matched and stuck together. Thus, it is important for students to be able to recognize what is going on.
I ask everyone to download and read the following [PDF], and I will move through it in a series of talks on the blog starting this week:
http://jundotreeleaf.googlepages.com/Ty ... enment.pdf
It is from a book called "The New Buddhism" by David Brazier. What is also interesting is that Mr Brazier seems --not-- to be a Zen Practitioner (I believe he is currently a Pure Land student), and thus offers some criticisms of what he sees as the "Zen" concept(s) of Enlightenment. This will give me a chance to talk about those, although (of course) I do not think many of his criticisms are accurate. Naturally, he seems to propose a "Pure Land" concept of Enlightenment as the best.
I really think you will find it informative, and helpful to your practice and understanding of Buddhist books and teachings. I will start these talks in a day or so.
After we finish these talks, I am then planning to move on to a series of "Sit-a-Longs" looking at the Heart Sutra. And after that ... who knows?!!
Oh, and don't forget our big 4 hour Zazenkai is tomorrow (Saturday 5/3) from 9pm Japan Time.