What ever was of the Caodong school back in China? Where are the long lost cousins? Did it spread to other places than Japan?
What ever was of the Caodong school back in China? Where are the long lost cousins? Did it spread to other places than Japan?
Hmm.. I have heard that the Dharma Drum Mountain Master Sheng Yen is also from the Caodong lineage. But He also get the Dharma transmission from Linji lineage. He got the Linji line age from MAster Lingyuan in China, and got the Caodong lineage from Master T'ungjiu in Taiwan.
A view days ago, there was a Buddhist Expo in my city. And there's a monk come from Singapore. He come from Dharma Drum Mountain. His name is Master Guojun, who got dharma transmission from Master Sheng yen 's Dharma heir.
He also teach about sitting meditation like what we do. Just Sitting, and ask to keep the posture. But there's a little bit different, he taught us to meditate with a closed eye. But overall, it's quite the same.
When master Guojun in my town, he didn't teach or talk anything about koan practice. And I don't know why.
Any information about Dharma Drum Mountain?
Gassho, Shui Di
Well, it's still operational in China. It hasn't died out just yet.What ever was of the Caodong school back in China?
Here's my basic understanding of it. In the Cao dong school there are 2 different schools of Zen Buddhism in the same school. One is Linji (Rinzai) and the other is Cao dong (Soto Zen). It is still the same today. However, the mother/father temple in which Dogen studied at in Ningbo is mostly Linji now, from what I've read.
When Dogen studied there was a Linji abbot which Dogen wasn't very fond of. That abbot died and was replaced by Rujing (of the Caodong school). Although Linji and Caodong are taught in the same shool, Dogen was mostly influenced by Cao dong and especially the teachings of Hakuin (I believe).
The chief temple (the one where Dogen studied) is called Tiantong temple.
Hi Josh. Yes. Thanks. It seems my memory is a little off. It was "Master Hongzhi".
There is a great article here:
Hongzhi, Dogen and the Background of Shikantaza
Taigen Dan Leighton
Preface to the book, The Art of Just Sitting, edited by Daido Loori, Wisdom Publications, 2002
This topic on Caodong in modern China came up on the forum just recently ...
http://www.treeleaf.org/forum/viewtopic ... ong#p10515
The best information I could find was by a very well informed Zen priest training for years in Hong Kong (a Westerner) who wrote this at E-Sangha ... although even he did not have too much information either.
http://www.lioncity.net/buddhism/index. ... opic=57231
Well, as you know, the state of Buddhism is not very good right now inside Mainland China because of the political system. Buddhism was almost completely lost during the Maoist years, Cultural Revolution (My first teacher ever of Buddhism, when I lived in Beijing about 23 years ago, had been forced to marry and become a pig farmer when his temple was seized by the government). As well, Chinese Ch'an (Zen) Buddhism largely merged with Pure Land Buddhism over the centuries and to evolve in other ways too. There may be some Lineages scattered about that claim, in whole or part, to be Caodong. As I talked about, although not Caodong, when I was in Vietnam I sat with a Lineage practicing "Silent Illumination", the root and branch of what we do here.The majority of Chinese temples, well, those that are surviving as Buddhist temples after you-know-what [the Revolution], are rather a synthesis of the Eight (Chinese) Schools. In particular, Pureland and Ch'an.
By the way, Hakuin is not only not "Caodong" ... he is the most Rinzai of all RInzai Patriarchs, other than RInzai himself!
Gassho, Jundo (Do Nothing Zen Teacher)Hakuin Ekaku (?? ?? Hakuin Ekaku, 1686-1769 or 1685-1768) was one of the most influential figures in Japanese Zen Buddhism. He revived the Rinzai school from a moribund period of stagnation, refocusing it on its traditionally rigorous training methods integrating meditation and koan practice. Hakuin's influence was such that all Rinzai Zen masters today trace their lineage through him, and all modern practitioners of Rinzai Zen use practices directly derived from his teachings.
The most important and influential teaching of Hakuin was his emphasis on, and systemization of, koan practice. Hakuin deeply believed that the most effective way for a student to achieve insight was through extensive meditation on a koan. The psychological pressure and doubt that comes when one struggles with a koan is meant to create tension that leads to awakening. Hakuin called this the "great doubt", writing, "At the bottom of great doubt lies great awakening. If you doubt fully, you will awaken fully". Only with incessant investigation of their koan will a student be able to become one with the koan, and attain enlightenment.
Hakuin's systematization of koan practice brought about a major revolution in Zen teaching. In the system developed by Hakuin and his followers, students are assigned koans by their teacher and then meditate on them. Once they have broken through, they must demonstrate their insight in private interview with the teacher. If the teacher feels the student has indeed attained a satisfactory insight into the koan, then another is assigned. Hakuin's main role in the development of this koan system was most likely the selection and creation of koans to be used. In this he didn't limit himself to the classic koan collections inherited from China; he himself originated one of the best-known koans, "You know the sound of two hands clapping; tell me, what is the sound of one hand?". Hakuin preferred this new koan to the most commonly assigned first koan from he Chinese tradition, the Mu koan. He believed his "Sound of One Hand" to be more effective in generating the great doubt, and remarked that "its superiority to the former methods is like the difference between cloud and mud".
One of Hakuin's major concerns was the danger of what he called "Do-nothing Zen" teachers, who upon reaching some small experience of enlightenment devoted the rest of their life to, as he puts it, "passing day after day in a state of seated sleep". Quietist practices seeking simply to empty the mind, or teachers who taught that a tranquil "emptiness" was enlightenment, were Hakuin's constant targets. In this regard he was especially critical of followers of the maverick Zen master Bankei, and of certain trends within the Soto sect. He stressed a never-ending and severe training to deepen the insight of enlightenment and forge one's ability to manifest it in all activities. He urged his students to never be satisfied with shallow attainments, and truly believed that enlightenment was possible for anyone if they exerted themselves and approached their practice with real energy.
Much of Hakuin's practice focused, as his teachings did, on zazen and koan practice. His motto was "meditation in the midst of activity is a billion times superior to meditation in stillness". Hakuin's experiences of enlightenment seemed to come at unexpected moments, often when he was just walking or reading. One experience that he wrote about took place while he was walking through a torrential rain. As the water reached his knees, he suddenly realized the meaning of a particular verse that he had read earlier, and was seized by enlightenment. He had many such experiences, both large and small. Laughter was a large part of Hakuin's reaction to his enlightenments, and he was known to burst into spontaneous laughter upon realizing the essence of a particular koan, causing those around him to believe him to be a madman.
http://www.answers.com/topic/hakuin-eka ... ertainment
Finally found it. I read this a while ago.
Following Dogenís Footsteps,"October 8, 2001
Today at Tiantong, there are both a Rinzai teacher and a Soto teacher.
....There are about one hundred monks at Tiantong, the majority practicing in the Rinzai tradition
a Travel Diary of China
by Taitaku Pat Phelan
Thanks Will. For those who don't know, that is the monastery where Dogen trained with Master Ru-jung while in China ... The rest of the description by Rev. Pat is interesting too:Originally Posted by will
From Auyung we went about forteen miles to Tiantong where Dogen practiced with Ru-Jing for about two-and-a-half years and where he "dropped body and mind." There is a special altar for Dogen with a nice portrait provided by the Soto Shu (School) in Japan. A monk first built a hut at this site in the year 300. Master Hongzhi Zhengjue**, who is known for his teachings on "silent illumination" Zen and who compiled of the Book of Serenity, lived and taught here. Hongzhi had an important influence on Dogenís understanding and practice of shikan taza.
We had a guided tour by a young monk who had lived there for three years. When men want to be monks, they come to the monastery and let it be known. Their heads are shaved, and they then go to a Buddhist Academy to study for two, four, or six years before returning for monastic practice.
Today at Tiantong, there are both a Rinzai teacher and a Soto teacher. (Remember that when Dogen first visited Tiantong, there was a Rinzai abbot he didnít care for who died, and Ru-Jing, a Soto monk, became abbot next.) We were told that there is no difference between Rinzai and Soto as it is practiced here; the only difference being in the perspective or approach. The Soto perspective is that we are already enlightened and we practice because of our inherent enlightenment. The Rinzai perspective is to practice to become enlightened. Interestingly enough, if I understood the monk, he said that Soto is considered sudden practice and Rinzai is considered gradual practice. The monk said that the practice is the same in both approaches: when sitting investigate "who is it that meditates?" When chanting investigate "who is it that chants?" Rinzai monks are assigned one koan which they use on an ongoing basis, having dokusan only when some question about practice arises. The systematization of koan practice, where a koan is assigned for one to practice with as a way to break through, which is then followed by investigating another koan, eventually going through the forty-eight koans in the Mumonkan and the hundred koans in the Blue Cliff Record, developed in Japan. There are about one hundred monks at Tiantong, the majority practicing in the Rinzai tradition.
The monksí schedule is to wake up at 3:30 and to go to bed at 8:30. There seems to be an almost continuous schedule of zazen and chanting service and study hall throughout the day. Meals are eaten at tables and chairs in a dining room, except during sesshin when breakfast and lunch are eaten in the zendo. Dinner is not "dinner" but some kind of tea during sesshin. The sesshin day begins at 3:00 a.m. and ends at 11 p.m. Sesshin are something like eleven days, or three weeks, or seven weeks long. (I canít quite remember how long, but much longer than ours are.) The koan practice and the sesshin length both remind me of what I have heard about Zen practice in Korea.
The site for Tiantong is a green uninhabited mountain, and each hall, positioned right behind the previous hall, is a little higher than the hall in front of it, with about 750 halls and rooms. There are four zendos here, and before leaving we were able to visit and circumambulate the zendo believed to be the site of Dogenís enlightenment. Tomorrow morning we leave for two days in Shanghai before returning to San Francisco.
so the former abbot of tiantong temple was from rinzai
and the next abbot was master Rujing who was from Soto.
Hmmm... How can it be like that???
And how about the training method of the trainee monk there...?
I can't imagine that the rinzai method that were practiced by all the trainee monks should be changed into soto method, because the abbot also changed.
any more info?
Gassho, Shui Di
Well Shui di. The article says
So when Dogen studied there it just happened that Ru jing was the abbot. As well he was influenced by Master Hongzhi and perhaps others. Because of these circumstances his training and practice lead to the school which is known as Soto Zen. So what is taught at Tiantong (or the method or way it is taught) could be seen as the original school before a distinct seperation took place. There is clearly a difference in method between Soto and Rinzai. This is what Dogen discovered and brought back to Japan.We were told that there is no difference between Rinzai and Soto as it is practiced here; the only difference being in the perspective or approach. The Soto perspective is that we are already enlightened and we practice because of our inherent enlightenment. The Rinzai perspective is to practice to become enlightened. Interestingly enough, if I understood the monk, he said that Soto is considered sudden practice and Rinzai is considered gradual practice. The monk said that the practice is the same in both approaches: when sitting investigate "who is it that meditates?" When chanting investigate "who is it that chants?" Rinzai monks are assigned one koan which they use on an ongoing basis, having dokusan only when some question about practice arises. The systematization of koan practice, where a koan is assigned for one to practice with as a way to break through, which is then followed by investigating another koan, eventually going through the forty-eight koans in the Mumonkan and the hundred koans in the Blue Cliff Record, developed in Japan.
Gasshothe collected translations of Thomas Cleary, section Zen Essence, pages 188 - 191
Zen Master Hongzhi:
The Subtlety of Zen
To learn the subtlety of Zen, you must clarify your mind and immerse your spirit in silent exercise of inner gazing. When you see into the source of reality, with no obstruction whatsoever, it is open and formless, like water in autumn, clear and bright, like the moon taking away the darkness of night.
Finding Out for Oneself
The mind originally is detached from objects, reality basically has no explanation. This is why a classical Zen master said, "Our school has no slogans, and no doctrine to give people." Fundamentally it is a matter of people arriving on their own and finding out for themselves; only then can they talk about it.
Just wash away the dust and dirt of subjective thoughts immediately. When the dust and dirt are washed away, your mind is open, shining brightly, without boundaries, without center or extremes. Completely whole, radiant with light, it shines through the universe, cutting through past, present and future.
This is inherent in you, and does not come from outside. This is called the state of true reality. One who has experienced this can enter into all sorts of situations in response to all sorts of possibilities, with subtle function that is marvelously effective and naturally uninhibited.
Ever since the time of the Buddha and the founders of Zen, there has never been any distinction between ordained and lay people, in the sense that everyone who has accurate personal experience of true realization is said to have entered the school of the enlightened mind and penetrated the source of religion.
When you are empty and spontaneously aware, clean and spontaneously clear, you are capable of panoramic consciousness without making an effort to grasp perception, and you are capable of discerning understanding without the burden of conditioned thought. You go beyond being and nothingness, and transcend conceivable feelings.
This is only experienced by union with it - it is not gotten from another.
Zen Life, Zen Action
The worldly life of people who have mastered Zen is buoyant and unbridled, like clouds making rain, like the moon in a stream, like an orchid in a recondite spot, like spring in living beings. Their action is not self-conscious, yet their responses have order. This is what those who have mastered Zen do.
It is also necessary to turn back to the source, to set foot on the realm of peace, plunge into the realm of purity, and stand alone, without companions, going all the way through the road beyond the buddhas. Only then can you fully comprehend the center and the extremes, penetrate the very top and the very bottom, and freely kill and enliven, roll up and roll out.
Autumn and Spring
When Zen practice is completely developed, there is no center, no extremes; there are no edges or corners. It is perfectly round and frictionless.
It is also necessary to be empty, open, unpolluted, so "the clear autumn moon cold, its shining light washes the night. Brocade clouds flower prettily, the atmosphere turns into spring."
The Light of Mind
When material sense doesn't blind you, all things are seen to be the light of the mind. You transcend with every step, on the path of the bird, no tarrying anywhere. You respond to the world with clarity, open awareness unstrained.
All realms of phenomena arise from one mind. When the one mind is quiescent, all appearances end. Then which is other, which is self?
Because there are no differentiated appearances at such a time, nothing at all is defined, not a single thought is produced - you pass before birth and after death; the mind becomes a point of subtle light, round and frictionless, without location, without traces.
Then your mind cannot be obscured.
This point where there can be no obscuration is called spontaneous knowledge. Just this realm of spontaneous knowledge is called the original attainment. Nothing whatsoever is attained from outside.
The action and repose of those who have mastered Zen are like flowing clouds, without self-consciousness, like the full moon, reflected everywhere. People who have mastered Zen are not stopped by anything: though clearly in the midst of all things, still they are highly aloof; though they encounter experiences according to circumstances, they are not tainted or mixed up by them.
Aloof of the Tumult
When you understand and arrive at the emptiness of all things, then you are independent of every state of mind, and transcend every situation. The original light is everywhere, and you then adapt to the potential at hand; everything you meet is Zen.
While subtly aware of all circumstances, you are empty and have no subjective stance towards them. Like the breeze in the pines, the moon in the water, there is a clear and light harmony. You have no coming and going mind, and you do not linger over appearances.
The essence is in being inwardly open and accommodating while outwardly responsive without unrest. Be like spring causing the flowers to bloom, like a mirror reflecting images, and you will naturally emerge aloof of all tumult.
The time when you "see the sun in daytime and see the moon at night," when you are not deceived, is the normal behaviour of a Zen practitioner, naturally without edges or seams. If you want to attain this kind of normalcy, you have to put an end to the subtle pounding and weaving that goes on in your mind.
Buddhas and Zen masters do not have different realizations; they all teach the point of cessation, where past, present and future are cut off and all impulses stop, where there is not the slightest object. Enlightened awareness shines spontaneously, subtly penetrating the root source.
Shedding Your Skin
The experience described as shedding your skin, transcending reflections of subjective awareness, where no mental machinations can reach, is not transmitted by sages. It can only be attained inwardly, by profound experience of spontaneous illumination. The original light destroys the darkness, real illumination mirrors the infinite. Subjective assessments of what is or is not are all transcended.
Hongzhi is the author or compiler of several texts important to the development of ChŠn Buddhism. One of these is the k?an collection known in English as The Book of Equanimity, The Book of Serenity, or The Book of Composure (Chinese: ??? Ts'ung-jung lu; Japanese: ??? Sh?y?roku).
Thank you, Will, for these Gems by Master Hongzhi.Originally Posted by will
As to Shui Di's historical question, my understanding is that, in the past in China, there was actually much more interchange, and mixing & matching of lineages and teachers than you might think. DIfferent lineages and styles of teachers frequently shared the same monasteries, students floated around from teacher to teacher, teachers of very different styles were friends and learned from each other. It was true (and still is true) even in Japan, although the Japanese are much more culturally likely to stick with their own group and not go outside it.