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Thread: Study Buddism?

  1. #51
    Blue Mountain White Clouds Hermitage Priest Taigu's Avatar
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    Re: Study Buddism?

    Who would mind you saying so?

    Off-topic?
    Or spot on?

    you ask: is it necessary to study as we already sit?
    some off the wall guys ( quite litteraly) say: study? Of course. And come back to the cushion.
    I tell you something like ...on n'etudie pas vraiment, mais tout simplement on se contente de laisser le Dharma nous etudier. (we don't actually study, we merely allow the Dharma to study us).

    Asking a question in Zen is asking a question.
    Expected answers and the likes are not the cup of tea of guys around.
    They are all interested in real life, direct, intimate, total, undivided.
    They answer with flesh and blood.
    And might not turn up with what you were looking for...

    Edward, every cell of your body is IT.
    you are IT.
    Off-topic?

    You are not.
    Not.
    Mu.

    They are not, too.


    Pardon my clumsy French and my f...... up English prose.

    Take great care



    Taigu

  2. #52

    Re: Study Buddism?

    Quote Originally Posted by edward
    I find the last several responses a bit off-topic, if you don't mind me saying so.

    Edward
    But is it truly?

    You're asking about what is more important - study Zen and Buddhism or experience Zen and Buddhism.
    Two sides of the same no sided coin. Can you have only one side of a sheet of paper? Can you find the exact spot where it stops being one side and starts being the other? Can you be "off topic" when every topic is all together part of the same Great Discussion? Study, absolutely important. Sitting Zazen, absolutely important. Things-as-they-are, absolutely important. The Great Matter of Life and Death, just as important as who tends to Treeleaf's lights long after Jundo's gone (though never really truly gone, but alive in every breath of every person he's ever taught, met, spoken to or stopped his car behind in traffic).

    Remember, duality - the separation between one thing and another, lives only in your mind. You cannot sit without study, you cannot study without sitting.

  3. #53

    Re: Study Buddism?


    You're asking about what is more important - study Zen and Buddhism or experience Zen and Buddhism.
    Well actually I was not asking what is more important, but more is it possible to get the insight into your true nature and in the true nature of reality or the insights that Buddhism teaches us, by just doing sitting practice maybe even without knowing of the existence of Buddhism at all. Of course in the hypothetical case that you figured out the technique of sitting by yourself or got taught on that by someone who didn't tell you anything more. (Well Buddha himself did this more or less)

    Gassho, Edward

  4. #54

    Re: Study Buddism?

    Quote Originally Posted by edward

    You're asking about what is more important - study Zen and Buddhism or experience Zen and Buddhism.
    Well actually I was not asking what is more important, but more is it possible to get the insight into your true nature and in the true nature of reality or the insights that Buddhism teaches us, by just doing sitting practice maybe even without knowing of the existence of Buddhism at all. Of course in the hypothetical case that you figured out the technique of sitting by yourself or got taught on that by someone who didn't tell you anything more. (Well Buddha himself did this more or less)

    Gassho, Edward
    There are examples in Buddhist history of people getting awakened without reading sutras or having teachers, although they are relatively few. A pratyekabuddha is one example of this. Gautama Buddha was not considered a pratyekabuddha since he was taught by teachers and met the dharma several lifetimes earlier.

  5. #55

    Re: Study Buddism?

    Quote Originally Posted by edward

    You're asking about what is more important - study Zen and Buddhism or experience Zen and Buddhism.
    Well actually I was not asking what is more important, but more is it possible to get the insight into your true nature and in the true nature of reality or the insights that Buddhism teaches us, by just doing sitting practice maybe even without knowing of the existence of Buddhism at all. Of course in the hypothetical case that you figured out the technique of sitting by yourself or got taught on that by someone who didn't tell you anything more. (Well Buddha himself did this more or less)

    Gassho, Edward
    Sure, it's possible. I don't know about probable, indeed how many people are born into each age until a Buddha is manifested? After all, true nature is true nature. It's true nature if a teacher teaches you, and it's true nature if you simply come to understand all on your own. Many people have this inate ability to be able to see through the attachments and delusions that we cultivate and imerse ourselves in without ever giving "Buddhism" a glance. It would seem to me to be more the exception then the rule, however. All ways up the mountain.

  6. #56

    Re: Study Buddism?

    Awesome that this thread is still alive and running!

    As Dogen said; To study the Buddha way is to study the self.

    When we sit, we are studying the self, when we study, we are studying the self.

    That's all we are doing, trying to come to understand what this bag of skin we call ourselves is. We can do it in many ways, reading books, sitting in stillness, watching T.V...
    sitting in meditation expecting insights can also be a distraction, because then we are sitting with too many extra things. Studying Buddhism thinking it is not as good as practice is a distraction because then too we are studying with too many extra things. Do not be concerned with which way is right or wrong, just be aware of the fact that you are moving forward.

    Gassho

    Seiryu

  7. #57
    Senior Member Heisoku's Avatar
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    Re: Study Buddism?

    I watched Seiryu's post ... Instruction Manual for Life...

    http://www.treeleaf.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=3602

    ...and it seems that people are still complaining about cupboard space!

    Zen is space for everything!

  8. #58
    Senior Member Hoyu's Avatar
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    Re: Study Buddism?

    Edward wrote:
    Well actually I was not asking what is more important, but more is it possible to get the insight into your true nature and in the true nature of reality or the insights that Buddhism teaches us, by just doing sitting practice maybe even without knowing of the existence of Buddhism at all. Of course in the hypothetical case that you figured out the technique of sitting by yourself or got taught on that by someone who didn't tell you anything more. (Well Buddha himself did this more or less)
    Hi Edward. Your question is an interesting one to which many have responded. I'm just curious what your thoughts on this are?

    Gassho,
    John

  9. #59

    Re: Study Buddism?

    For myself, sometimes I study and sometimes I sit. When I sit, I have to continually wake up because I go into dreamland: thinking about this, thinking about that breeze on my skin, and then I wake up to just sit. Then I study for a while; Hwa Yen sutra, the Diamond Sutra, the Platform sutra...and I realize I am dreaming again so I have to sit. Feel the book in my hand, feel the smell of the paper, the sound of a page turning.

    For my self, I need both. And to go to work and be at work...don't have to change diapers anymore except when I get old.

  10. #60

    Re: Study Buddism?

    Hi Edward. Your question is an interesting one to which many have responded. I'm just curious what your thoughts on this are?

    Gassho,
    John
    My background is the kagyu-school of Tibetan Buddhism, where there is a lot of emphasis on sitting practice, like in Zen. But it is expected from a student to study many of the scholastic works, and there are many. I often wondered if reading these voluminous works will really help you to get a better understanding. There is a lot of tradition in there and the style of writing is very different than in Zen. Lot's of the three kinds of... the five ways to... the three points... the forty-six... Of course they are all good reminders. But does it really help to release my suffering?
    I like the poetic style in Zen. I started reading about zen when I was sixteen, I liked all the books by Shunryu Suzuki Roshi and biographies of Ikkyu, Hakuin and Ryokan. Later on I stumbled upon the books by Trungpa Rinpoche (Myth of Freedom, Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism, Crazy Wisdom etc..) They appealed to me in great way and then I saw a poster with "Do Nothing" in tremendous capitals on it. This was an invitation by the local sangha in the town where I lived for the weekly sitting evenings. So I joined the club.
    Anyway so it is to late for me to become a praktikya-buddha or self-made man. I will never know from my own experience the answer to the question I asked here. I am not sure but belief that it is possible.

    Gassho,
    Edward

  11. #61

    Re: Study Buddism?

    English is not my native language, so it's not very good. Words I can look-up, but this is difficult with expressions and sayings (or does anybody know a website where this is possible?)

    I would like to ask what :

    "off the wall guys" means, in:

    "some off the wall guys ( quite litteraly) say: study? Of course. And come back to the cushion."

    and what:

    "complaining about cupboard space" means, in:

    "...and it seems that people are still complaining about cupboard space!"

    Thank you,

    Edward

  12. #62
    Senior Member Hoyu's Avatar
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    Re: Study Buddism?

    Edward wrote:
    But it is expected from a student to study many of the scholastic works, and there are many. I often wondered if reading these voluminous works will really help you to get a better understanding. There is a lot of tradition in there and the style of writing is very different than in Zen. Lot's of the three kinds of... the five ways to... the three points... the forty-six...
    From what you described it does seem like a lot of mandatory study.
    In my experience with Zen(not only here but at other Zendo as well) I have always felt that further study was more of an optional recommendation than a mandate. Jundo's book list is even titled "Suggested Book List for Treeleaf Sangha" not mandatory book list.. Though I'm sure that there is plenty for priests in training.

    Gassho,
    John

  13. #63

    Re: Study Buddism?

    Quote Originally Posted by edward
    My background is the kagyu-school of Tibetan Buddhism, where there is a lot of emphasis on sitting practice, like in Zen. But it is expected from a student to study many of the scholastic works, and there are many. I often wondered if reading these voluminous works will really help you to get a better understanding. There is a lot of tradition in there and the style of writing is very different than in Zen. Lot's of the three kinds of... the five ways to... the three points... the forty-six... Of course they are all good reminders. But does it really help to release my suffering?
    Please consider the Middle Way ... too much book study is binding of the mind, yet no study can render Zen practice into chaos. It becomes then much like trying to make a beautiful tea cup by throwing clay blindly at a wall and hoping that something good forms by chance.

    Even to understand what is the meaning of the words "Middle Way" as a philosophy takes study!

    The Buddha did not -just- teach to sit under a tree and nothing more ... but he got up from the tree and proceeded to teach for years and years on the meaning of tree sitting. Zazen is the one and only action that is needed. Zazen blindly sat is not Zazen (A Koan).

    Study is not "optional" ... but, rather, must be undertaken with moderation and a certain way of seeing. Reading must occur with the bones and marrow, not just with the eyes and thoughts. Zen reading is much like listening to music, feeling it deep within ... and is much more than merely music as taking in vibrations with the ears and writing notations on paper.

    It is very much like reading and studying how to "sail a boat, tie knots and work the rudder" ... and getting out on the open sea. If one just limits "sailing" to reading books ... that is not sailing. If one spends one's entire time on a boat consulting the manual ... that is not sailing. Sailing sailing sailing is sailing. However, if one simply pushes the boat into the raging and wild sea with no knowledge and direction ... good chance one's voyage will end up on the rocks or crashed onto the beach.

    On this voyage to no-where, with nothing to attain ... one still must know the difference between a rudder and an anchor, north and south (and the meaning of "no north or south" too).

    Gassho, Jundo

    PS - "Suggested Book List for Treeleaf Sangha"

    viewtopic.php?f=1&t=889

    Those are the books we suggest are good ones. The meaning is not that they should be neglected.

  14. #64
    Senior Member Hoyu's Avatar
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    Re: Study Buddism?

    Those are the books we suggest are good ones. The meaning is not that they should be neglected.
    Got it ops:

    It is very much like reading and studying how to "sail a boat, tie knots and work the rudder" ... and getting out on the open sea. If one just limits "sailing" to reading books ... that is not sailing. If one spends one's entire time on a boat consulting the manual ... that is not sailing. Sailing sailing sailing is sailing. However, if one simply pushes the boat into the raging and wild sea with no knowledge and direction ... good chance one's voyage will end up on the rocks or crashed onto the beach.
    This analogy really drives your point home!

    In Karate class if the kids get good grades they get an award of academic achievement. On it reads something that i feel relates to this topic.

    It says:

    A warrior without knowledge and intelligence is only half a man. A scholar without physical mastery and good conditioning is only half a man.

    Karate has always recognized that we are both mind and body. As such, it has always sought to elevate not only our physical but also our intellectual and mental sides, to create a more complete person.

    Gassho,
    John

  15. #65
    Senior Member Heisoku's Avatar
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    Re: Study Buddism?

    Hi Edward

    The cupboard space refers to Seiryu's posted video Instruction Manual for Life...I was weaving threads...have a look it..it's a nicely put story about how books can affect our perspectives and how we need to put books into perspective.

    All in a well-meaning way.


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