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Thread: Approaching the Lotus Sutra

  1. #1

    Approaching the Lotus Sutra

    Hello,

    waffling and rambling a la carte, courtesy of Mr. Mongen, International Man of Mystery and secret Wombat worshipper:




    Sorry about the smacking noises...I guess I should use a pop-shield next time.

    Gassho,

    Hans Chudo Mongen
    Last edited by Hans; 01-19-2013 at 08:01 PM.

  2. #2
    Thank you, Mongen. Time to take another look at the Lotus Sutra... never got far with it before.


    A bit disturbed to hear about wombat worship going on,... but who am I to judge? .


    Gassho, Daizan

  3. #3
    Hello Daizan,

    just to clarify, Wombats are being worshipped, but no Wombats are being sacrificed....I must not say more, else I am running the risk of breaking my sacred oaths of allegiance to a secret antediluvian mystery cult....

    Gassho,

    Hans Chudo Mongen

  4. #4
    Hi Mongen,

    First of all, thank you for this teaching.

    Second... I had to laugh at the Silmarillion reference. I am one of those guys. I bet I'll feel right at home when I read the Lotus Sutra.

    Gassho,

    Kyonin
    Hondō Kyōnin
    奔道 協忍

  5. #5
    Thank you for this. Interestingly enough, I just started attending a Lotus Sutra study last week with the priest of a local group which particularly reveres this sutra. I need all the tutelage in skillful means that I can get.
    Emmet

  6. #6
    Thanks Mongen. I'll have to revisit this Three-fold wonder in a time to come. Recently I've just been rubbing the cover, hoping to absorb its wisdom through osmosis. However, that just isn't working. Time to polish my reading glasses.

    Thanks again. Gassho,
    Myozan

  7. #7
    Mp
    Guest
    Thank Mongen ... I enjoyed that talk and I agree ... "As it is". Try with an open mind to truly see what is there, or not there.

    Gassho
    Shingen

  8. #8
    Thank you Hans...and you are right, there is something about Wombats

    Gassho
    Thank you for your practice

  9. #9
    Thank you Mogen, I trully enjoy your approach to things historical

    gassho, Shokai
    合掌 仁道 生開 - gassho, Jindo Shokai "Open to life in a benevolent way"
    日々是好日 【nichi nichi korego nichi】Every Day is a Good Day!!

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Myozan Kodo
    Recently I've just been rubbing the cover, hoping to absorb its wisdom through osmosis. However, that just isn't working. Time to polish my reading glasses.
    Like wise

    Awesome, Thank you Mongen!

    Gassho
    Shohei

  11. #11
    Thanks, Mongen. Besides being informative, your lecture style is entertaining. . I'm ready to order the book, read until I'm almost comatose and then be shocked awake by the drama that suddenly unfolds!!! Hope your next lecture is soon.
    Gassho,

    Daisho


    (Jack K.)

  12. #12
    OK. I went to my bookshelf and there they were still the Gene Reeves translation and the Taigen sensei's VISIONS OF AWAKENING...And a note dated 4/2011 when I last tried to read and study the Lotus Sutra.
    I will clear my night table and try again. I remember seeing the word 'hermeneutics' in VISIONS and thinking "What the h..?"
    Here I go again thanks to you Hans, will keep you informed.
    Thanks.
    "Know that the practice of zazen is the complete path of buddha-dharma and nothing can be compared to it....it is not the practice of one or two buddhas but all the buddha ancestors practice this way."
    Dogen zenji in Bendowa






  13. #13
    You're not supposed to talk about the wombats. I am not responsible for what happens to you in the next 2 weeks. I'll contact you in Brussels.
    Last edited by SyntaxJO; 01-24-2013 at 05:07 AM.
    My name is: Jordan.

  14. #14
    Thank you Mogen, a great lecture! Thanks to your inspiration (or my foolishness) I'd like to dive in to the sutra. Do you (or anyone else) have a recommendation for a good English translation?

  15. #15
    Dear Jefff,

    "sadly" I am used to a German translation of the full sutra, but from what I have heard so far it seems the Gene Reeves also translated the whole sutra a few years ago and apparently most native English speakers (whose comments I have read on the internet) seem to think that his translation is pretty good.

    Gassho and thank you for your enthusiasm, but be warned, a lot of parts are also so dry that one would be mistaken for thinking the Sahara desert was moist in comparison

    Gassho,

    Hans Chudo Mongen

  16. #16
    Hans,

    Well done with the video! It was entertaining and made me curious: I'll have to follow your advice and read it sometime.

    Hey, it can't be any worse than some of the stuff I've HAD to read before!

    Gassho,
    Dennis

  17. #17
    Thank you Hans! I'll keep you posted on my attempt to cross the desert.

  18. #18
    Well, that's going on my Amazon wish list!

    Gassho

    Jen

  19. #19
    OK, going back for an hour or two to the Reeves translation. It is very clear but I would not know the difference.

  20. #20
    Thanks for bringing this thread up. Here's an upbeat version that takes away some of the dryness:
    合掌 仁道 生開 - gassho, Jindo Shokai "Open to life in a benevolent way"
    日々是好日 【nichi nichi korego nichi】Every Day is a Good Day!!

  21. #21
    Thanks Shokai
    "Know that the practice of zazen is the complete path of buddha-dharma and nothing can be compared to it....it is not the practice of one or two buddhas but all the buddha ancestors practice this way."
    Dogen zenji in Bendowa






  22. #22
    Enjoy
    合掌 仁道 生開 - gassho, Jindo Shokai "Open to life in a benevolent way"
    日々是好日 【nichi nichi korego nichi】Every Day is a Good Day!!

  23. #23
    I'm reading it. Also got THE STORIES...staying with Reeves, maybe the same voice will help me along.
    It is either the most fascinating UPAYA to help humans see this world as the fantastic, indescribable place it is or a great science fiction narrative.
    Just on the comparison between the Western, Platonic vision of reality reflecting the ideal vs the Buddhist absolute/relative not two sides view, has me locked to finish.
    Thanks again Hans. I will keep you inform with kind of book reports, if short ones.
    Gassho!
    ps no wombats yet though.
    "Know that the practice of zazen is the complete path of buddha-dharma and nothing can be compared to it....it is not the practice of one or two buddhas but all the buddha ancestors practice this way."
    Dogen zenji in Bendowa






  24. #24
    Thanks Hans - your entheusiasm is catching !

    When you first mentioned the Sutra - I bought a copy of Thich Nhat Hanh's commentry 'Peaceful Action, Open Heart - Lessons from the Lotus Sutra'. It's a bit of a cheat - but I'm not sure I'll get on with the actual Sutra (not a Tolkein fan!) - so I'm taking a bit of a short cut. I don't expect it will help with the Dogen references but I'm pretty slow on reading Shobogenzo as well.

    Are you planning to post some more videos - hope so

    Gassho

    Willow

  25. #25
    Treeleaf Unsui Shugen's Avatar
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    Nov 2007
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    Thank you Hans. I'll have to revisit it as well. I seem to remember attempting it at some point in the distant past....


    Shugen
    Meido Shugen
    明道 修眼

  26. #26
    Myoshin
    Guest
    Hello Willow, I see I'm not the only one to read slowly the Shobogenzo, first because the only entire translation is english (doesn't exist in french) and because I need time to understand what it is said.

    Gassho

    Myoshin

  27. #27
    Thank you Hans,
    enjoyed your talk and was motivated to give it a try ... well, ... ...
    Gassho
    Myoku

  28. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by Myoku View Post
    Thank you Hans,
    enjoyed your talk and was motivated to give it a try ... well, ... ...
    Gassho
    Myoku
    I just read in Shobogenzo that reading the Lotus sutra is not enough - we should inscribe the whole thing by hand at least once

  29. #29
    You scare me

    Quote Originally Posted by willow View Post
    I just read in Shobogenzo that reading the Lotus sutra is not enough - we should inscribe the whole thing by hand at least once
    In which chapter is that ?
    Gassho & Thank you Willow!
    Myoku

  30. #30
    ...enough for what??....
    Metta to all in gassho
    Ed b
    "Know that the practice of zazen is the complete path of buddha-dharma and nothing can be compared to it....it is not the practice of one or two buddhas but all the buddha ancestors practice this way."
    Dogen zenji in Bendowa






  31. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by Myoku View Post
    You scare me



    In which chapter is that ?
    Gassho & Thank you Willow!
    Myoku
    It's towards the end - I will look it up tomorrow and post.

    Willow

  32. #32
    Hi Myoku - it is referenced in 94, Doshin (On the Mind's Search for Truth)

    'Also, during your lifetime you should make a copy of The Lotus Scripture. You should reverently write it down and make a copy of it for you to retain.'

    Gassho

    Willow

  33. #33
    Thank you Willow,
    will read Doshin, maybe it motivates me to pick up the Lotus Sutra again,
    Gassho
    Myoku

    Quote Originally Posted by willow View Post
    Hi Myoku - it is referenced in 94, Doshin (On the Mind's Search for Truth)

    'Also, during your lifetime you should make a copy of The Lotus Scripture. You should reverently write it down and make a copy of it for you to retain.'

    Gassho

    Willow

  34. #34
    Hello everyone,

    first of all thank you for all your great feedback....even if one discovers that them ancient sutras is not one's cup of tea, I think it's good to have given it a try.

    As for copying the whole sutra as a practise, well, there are different angles to this approach. The most traditional reason for this would be to create "merit", which in a sense is a bit like a mystical currency helping us/everyone to practise the dharma and get through life with fewer obstacles. Now here at Treeleaf we are usually not too much in favour of activities where one has to believe in supernatural agencies for something to make conceptual sense.

    In the same way that sewing can be a deep expression of mindfulness and dedication, copying a Sutra can act in the same way. We have to remember that Sutras were/are seen as living entities in a sense and not just as pieces of paper. The sutras themselves are objects of worship in traditional Asian settings....and let's not forget that probably the first print-book ever was a copy of the Diamond sutra....I am just mentioning this to highlight the fact that for hundreds of years after the appearance of the major Mahayana sutras, copying by hand was one of the only readily available ways of making sure that the Sutras could be shared with others. Any way of "interfacing" with the sutras (learning them by heart, reciting them, copying them)seemed like a good way to boost one's practise.

    This is a very big topic in its own right, and I can't really do it justice here, but maybe you can get an idea of why this practise continues to be of importance to many Mahayana practitioners.


    Gassho,

    Hans Chudo Mongen

  35. #35
    Hi Hans - it occured to me that I was reading those lines from Shobogenzo with contemporary eyes. We take it for granted that one click on Amazon can bring to our door all of these wonderful texts. I guess the only way to own, share back in Dogen's time was to copy by hand.

    I do feel that copying/writing down can be a reverential/contemplative practice and keep a journal for this practice. So - no doubt a few lines from the Lotus Sutra - whatever strikes in the heart.

    Gassho

    Willow

  36. #36
    Great job Mongen.

    Gassho


    Taigu

  37. #37
    Thanks, Mongen. My first read through of the Lotus Sutra awhile back was indeed very painful! But you have inspired me to revisit it. Thank you for the pointers to additional commentaries as well.

    Gassho, Kaishin
    Thanks,
    Kaishin (開心, Open Heart)
    Please take this layman's words with a grain of salt.

  38. #38
    Hello everyone,

    thank you once more for your inspiring feedback. By inspiring I mean that I will now try to produce single short talks with a focus on the most important stories in the weeks and months to come....so that even if you folks are too lazy to pick up the good book , you should gain an overview of some of the core matter expressed and revealed in the Sacred Lotus Sutra. Just always keep in mind that we are not a book club around here that happens to deal with Buddhist texts by chance.....if your practise and life do not work on and express the teachings as a living entity, it's all a waste of time.

    All the best and gassho,

    Hans Chudo Mongen

  39. #39
    Hans,
    Bring on those Tutonic Tutorials!
    Gassho
    M

  40. #40
    Looking forward to that.
    will fllow along.
    Thanks!
    "Know that the practice of zazen is the complete path of buddha-dharma and nothing can be compared to it....it is not the practice of one or two buddhas but all the buddha ancestors practice this way."
    Dogen zenji in Bendowa






  41. #41
    Looking forward as well.

    Gassho
    Daizan

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