Results 1 to 46 of 46

Thread: Karma and Rebirth

  1. #1

    Karma and Rebirth

    My understanding is that karma, if negative, creates a new self in rebirth according to the karma. So if there is enlightenment and nirvana, if there is no self to be after these states are achieved, is the goal non-existence?

    Gassho,

    John

    SatTodayLAH
    Gassho

    John

    SATToday

  2. #2
    Ill provide a short academic answer (Im sure many others are better at presenting other answers).

    Traditionally Karma was good, bad and neutral. All led to rebirth in one of the 6 realms. Nirvana was escaping rebirth, and samsara. Many traditions changed and adapted this idea, but this was the basic one.



    Tony,
    The miracle is not to walk on water. The miracle is to walk on the green earth in the present moment, to appreciate the peace and beauty that are available now. - Thích Nhất Hạnh

  3. #3
    My confusion is who are you once you escape samsara. Do you cease to exist?
    Gassho

    John

    SATToday

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by johnsoriano View Post
    My understanding is that karma, if negative, creates a new self in rebirth according to the karma. So if there is enlightenment and nirvana, if there is no self to be after these states are achieved, is the goal non-existence?

    Gassho,

    John
    Hi John,

    Well, opinions on such questions vary from Buddhist to Buddhist, but I personally (speaking for myself, not an official statement for all Buddhists ) am agnostic on the question of rebirth. I tend to question and am skeptical of very detailed descriptions of a process of rebirth after the heart stops in this one. I often say this, live gently and be nice now, and let any future lives take care of themselves, and if there are no future lives, live gently and be nice now nonetheless:

    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.

    Thus I do not much care if, in the next life, that "gentle way, avoiding harm" will buy me a ticket to heaven and keep me out of hell ... but I know for a fact that it will go far to do so in this life, today, where I see people create all manner of "heavens and hells" for themselves and those around them by their harmful words, thoughts and acts in this life.

    And if there is a "heaven and hell" in the next life, or other effects of Karma now ... well, my actions now have effects then too, and might be the ticket to heaven or good rebirth.

    In other words, whatever the case ... today, now ... live in a gentle way, avoiding harm to self and others (not two, by the way) ... seeking to avoid harm now and in the future too.
    But as to "non-existence," that may have been the goal in some interpretations of South Asian traditional Buddhism, but Zen and the Mahayana tend to put another twist on this: Saying that there is "no self" means that our view of ourself as only a separate, individual self is incorrect, and that insight involves realizing something beyond the separate individual, and the "self/other" divide. One may speak of "emptiness" not as a lack, but as a flowing "Wholeness" that sweeps in all reality, you and me along with the whole enchilada. So, enlightenment involves realizing oneself as ALSO that, like a drop of river water realizing that it is also the flowing river. It is not losing oneself in oblivion, and quite the opposite.

    In this Wholeness, we lose our separate self, but still ... while we are alive here, we are ALSO these separate individuals, so it is possible to do bad things. So, don't do bad things.

    I have written some more on this here:

    Jundo Tackles the 'BIG' Questions - VI (Karma)
    https://www.treeleaf.org/forums/show...VI-%28Karma%29

    Jundo Tackles the 'BIG' Questions - VII (Life After Death?)
    https://www.treeleaf.org/forums/show...fter-Death-%29

    Let me know if those answer your questions.

    Gassho, Jundo

    STLah

    Sorry to have run long.
    Last edited by Jundo; 12-03-2021 at 08:49 PM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  5. #5
    yes those answers help a lot, thank you!

    Humble bow.....
    Gassho

    John

    SATToday

  6. #6
    yes those answers help a lot, thank you!

    Humble bow.....
    Gassho

    John

    SATToday

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by johnsoriano View Post
    My confusion is who are you once you escape samsara. Do you cease to exist?
    Some Buddhist say yes. This was a famous issue the Buddha didn't address.

    I hope I helped in some small way.



    Tony
    The miracle is not to walk on water. The miracle is to walk on the green earth in the present moment, to appreciate the peace and beauty that are available now. - Thích Nhất Hạnh

  8. #8


    Tony,
    The miracle is not to walk on water. The miracle is to walk on the green earth in the present moment, to appreciate the peace and beauty that are available now. - Thích Nhất Hạnh

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by bakera3312 View Post
    Some Buddhist say yes. This was a famous issue the Buddha didn't address.

    I hope I helped in some small way.
    This is generally not our Zen way, which leaps beyond existence or non-existence, and thus finds something more and right at the heart of both those options. My joke is that, if Shakespeare had been a Zen fellow, Hamlet would not have to be limited to "be or not to be."

    Gassho, Jundo

    STLah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    This is generally not our Zen way, which leaps beyond existence or non-existence, and thus finds something more and right at the heart of both those options. My joke is that, if Shakespeare had been a Zen fellow, Hamlet would not have to be limited to "be or not to be."

    Gassho, Jundo

    STLah
    Very true, and more differcult to understand in Jr. High, or easier maybe ��.

    Tony
    The miracle is not to walk on water. The miracle is to walk on the green earth in the present moment, to appreciate the peace and beauty that are available now. - Thích Nhất Hạnh

  11. #11
    I was reading the Mulapariyaya Sutta today (it's long). However I took a lot out of it both spiritually and academically. Belows is an excerpt from access to wisdoms translation. It's both beautiful and it speaks to your point Jundo of disassociating our minds from simple dichotomies.

    he (the Buddha) has known that delight is the root of suffering & stress, that from coming-into-being there is birth, and that for what has come into being there is aging & death. Therefore, with the total ending, fading away, cessation, letting go, relinquishment of craving, the Tathagata has totally awakened to the unexcelled right self-awakening, I tell you."

    That is what the Blessed One said. Displeased, the monks did not delight in the Blessed One's words
    Last edited by bakera3312; 12-03-2021 at 10:27 PM.
    The miracle is not to walk on water. The miracle is to walk on the green earth in the present moment, to appreciate the peace and beauty that are available now. - Thích Nhất Hạnh

  12. #12
    The Buddha's path is the middle way between eternalism and annihilationism. Everything is in constant flux, everything is impermanent. There is no static, individual, separate self, nor is there anything static, individual or separate in reality itself. There isn't an eternal anything nor is anything destroyed permanently. That's my understanding.

    Gassho, Tomás
    Sat&LaH

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by bakera3312 View Post

    The (the Buddha) has known that delight is the root of suffering & stress, that from coming-into-being there is birth, and that for what has come into being there is aging & death. Therefore, with the total ending, fading away, cessation, letting go, relinquishment of craving, the Tathagata has totally awakened to the unexcelled right self-awakening, I tell you."

    That is what the Blessed One said. Displeased, the monks did not delight in the Blessed One's words
    Yes, the Zen folks took a further leap ... into that which neither comes nor goes, neither ends or begins ...

    ... yet is constant coming and going, endless ends and beginnings ...

    It is considered a less superficial teaching of the Buddha for those whose heart was ready to hear it.

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Tomás ESP View Post
    The Buddha's path is the middle way between eternalism and annihilationism. Everything is in constant flux, everything is impermanent. There is no static, individual, separate self, nor is there anything static, individual or separate in reality itself. There isn't an eternal anything nor is anything destroyed permanently. That's my understanding.

    Gassho, Tomás
    Sat&LaH
    And yet, and yet, it is still and quiet somehow.

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  15. #15
    Is there a treeleaf opinion/viewpoint on the Shushogi? It does mention rebirth, specifically how fortunate we are to have a human birth and ability to practice the Dharma.


    Personally I love it as something that encapsules the three vows, precepts, attonement for past mistakes and commitment to help others as part of our practice.

    Gassho,

    Gregor
    ST

    Sent from my SM-N981U using Tapatalk
    Jukai '09 Dharma Name: Shinko 慎重(Prudent Calm)

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Gregor View Post
    Is there a treeleaf opinion/viewpoint on the Shushogi? It does mention rebirth, specifically how fortunate we are to have a human birth and ability to practice the Dharma.


    Personally I love it as something that encapsules the three vows, precepts, attonement for past mistakes and commitment to help others as part of our practice.
    Oh, there sure is! That's a story ...

    The "Shushogi" (much more important in Japan than in the West) has been described as an attempt in the 19th century (when Christian missionaries were in Japan, and Buddhism was on the defensive) to make Soto shu and Dogen more approachable to lay folks, basically by taking out all the Zazen and "cutting and pasting" Dogen so he made some sense as an ethical teaching primarily. Jiryu, an American priest with experience in Japan, put it this funny way ...

    The Shushogi authors and editors ended up resolving these debates through a Dogen text cut-and-paste job that would have made William Burroughs proud. The logic the text ended up expressing was roughly as follow:

    Dogen says the practice of zazen is itself the expression of enlightenment.

    BUT

    He isn’t really just talking about zazen, which anyway is too hard and boring. So let’s just say practice in general is enlightenment.

    AND

    Reciting repentance formulas is a practice, and haven’t the Catholics had good luck pushing that whole thing? They seem to be successful. Also precepts are good. No, no, not precepts – way too hard – but the precept ceremony is pretty nice, right?

    SO THEREFORE

    A repentance formula and the precept ceremony are enlightenment!

    TA-DA!

    Zazen removed, weirdly mystical repentance power affirmed, plenty of preceptors instantly employed, and the Way just got a TON easier. Now we won’t lose so many people to the Pure Land sects!
    Gassho, J

    STLah
    Last edited by Jundo; 12-04-2021 at 01:27 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  17. #17
    Ah I had a feeling. . . I still like it though despite the "interesting" history. It really hit me hard the 1st time I read it.

    Gassho, G



    ST

    Sent from my SM-N981U using Tapatalk
    Jukai '09 Dharma Name: Shinko 慎重(Prudent Calm)

  18. #18
    In moment world, each moment is a rebirth. So it’s natural that what you do now (cause) has an effect

    Sat/lah


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    _/_
    Rich
    MUHYO
    無 (MU, Emptiness) and 氷 (HYO, Ice) ... Emptiness Ice ...

    I may be wrong and not knowing is acceptable

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Rich View Post
    In moment world, each moment is a rebirth. So it’s natural that what you do now (cause) has an effect

    Sat/lah


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    This is a flavor of rebirth that I fully believe in: We are constantly born, pass away and are reborn in each moment, ever new.

    I also feel that every birth of every baby, human or ant, blade of grass pushing through the soil, star in a nebula, wave on the sea, on this planet or any other, in the past or future or today, is also "my birth" (yours too).



    Gassho, J

    STLah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    This is a flavor of rebirth that I fully believe in: We are constantly born, pass away and are reborn in each moment, ever new.

    I also feel that every birth of every baby, human or ant, blade of grass pushing through the soil, star in a nebula, wave on the sea, on this planet or any other, in the past or future or today, is also "my birth" (yours too).



    Gassho, J

    STLah
    We contain the whole universe in us!

    This is the Mahayana way of looking at rebirth? I feel like I've read that somewhere. Is this not related to dependent arising/dependent origination? Do you have any recommended reading on this Jundo? I feel like I know I contain the universe but only on a very superficial level, if I wanted to explain or talk about it further I wouldn't know what to say.

    Gassho
    Mark
    ST
    浪省 - RouSei - Wandering Introspection

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by WanderingIntrospection View Post
    We contain the whole universe in us!

    This is the Mahayana way of looking at rebirth? I feel like I've read that somewhere. Is this not related to dependent arising/dependent origination? Do you have any recommended reading on this Jundo? I feel like I know I contain the universe but only on a very superficial level, if I wanted to explain or talk about it further I wouldn't know what to say.
    Not particularly on the topic of "rebirth," but on the experience that all things are all things, and the wonderous vistas of Hua-yen Buddhism so influential on Zen and other corners of the Mahayana, I would very much recommend this book ...

    Hua-Yen Buddhism
    The Jewel Net of Indra
    By Francis H. Cook


    https://books.google.co.jp/books/abo...sC&redir_esc=y

    This other is very good too:

    The Buddhist Teaching of Totality
    The Philosophy of Hwa Yen Buddhism
    By Garma C C Chang


    https://www.google.co.jp/books/editi...C?hl=en&gbpv=0

    Beyond that, then go on to taste and experience such on the cushion.

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  22. #22
    Are past lives or rebirths just not another way of distracting ourselves from what is happening right now?

    Gassho,
    Guish.

    Sent from my PAR-LX1M using Tapatalk

  23. #23
    Likely it is a distraction. Also not a question we can awnser in this life. I prefer to focus on the fact that our time is short, time passes quickley, this life is a blessing and we must use the time we are given well.



    Sent from my SM-N981U using Tapatalk
    Jukai '09 Dharma Name: Shinko 慎重(Prudent Calm)

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by Gregor View Post
    Likely it is a distraction. Also not a question we can awnser in this life. I prefer to focus on the fact that our time is short, time passes quickley, this life is a blessing and we must use the time we are given well.



    Sent from my SM-N981U using Tapatalk
    What other moment is there to answer a question but now? And when can we be distracted but now? What “real” moment is there but now?

    Sat Today


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Bion
    美音

    -------------------------
    Join me on Insight Timer
    Help me feed those in need by joining my Share The Meal team HERE

  25. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by WanderingIntrospection View Post
    We contain the whole universe in us!

    This is the Mahayana way of looking at rebirth?
    Just to clarify ... this is "a" Mahayana way of looking at rebirth, that all things are born as all things because all things are all things ... I am you over here, you are me over there.

    Another is that there is actually no rebirth (no "birth" or "death" in fact) because, at an ultimate sense, nothing actually comes or goes ... like waves that rise and fall on the sea, yet the sea is never anything but the sea.

    Another Mahayana view of rebirth, common in the Pure Land sects, is that even an instant of faith in Amida Buddha guarantees rebirth in the Pure Land upon death ... very much like the Christian belief regarding Heaven and faith in Jesus.

    But also in the Mahayana, is a pretty standard view of rebirth as found elsewhere in Buddhism ... that the heart stops in this life, one heads to the Bardo for some days, then one's "causal stream" finds a new mommy and daddy and is reborn in one of the "Six Realms" (hells, animals, hungry ghosts, fighting Asura, human, deva heavens) based on one's past good and bad Karmic bank account ... Master Dogen, in some of his later writings, professed such a belief very clearly:

    Dogen’s Shobogenzo Doshin, “Mind of the Way” (translated by Peter Levitt & Kazuaki Tanahashi):

    “When you leave this life, and before you enter the next life, there is a place called an intermediary realm. You
    stay there for seven days. You should resolve to keep chanting the names of the three treasures without ceasing
    while you are there. After seven days you die in the intermediary realm and remain there for no more than seven
    days. At this time you can see and hear without hindrance, like having a celestial eye. Resolve to encourage
    yourself to keep chanting the names of the three treasures without ceasing: ‘I take refuge in the Buddha. I take
    refuge in the Dharma. I take refuge in the Sangha.’ After passing through the intermediary realm, when you
    approach your parents to be conceived, resolve to maintain authentic wisdom. Keep chanting refuge in the three
    treasures in your mother’s womb. Do not neglect chanting while you are given birth. Resolve deeply to dedicate
    yourself to chant and take refuge in the three treasures through the six sense roots. When your life ends, your
    eye sight will suddenly become dark. Know that this is the end of your life and be determined to chant, ‘I take
    refuge in the buddha.’ Then, all buddhas in the ten directions will show compassion to you. Even if due to
    conditions you are bound to an unwholesome realm, you will be able to be born in the deva realm or in the
    presence of the Buddha. Bow and listen to the Buddha.”
    The traditional Soto Zen funeral is based on such traditional beliefs ...

    Zen Buddhist Ceremonies for the Dead (most of which originated in tenth-century China, before Dogen):

    Funeral ceremonies performed by the living can help the intermediate realm being (stream of consciousness) to
    realize complete awakening, birth in a pure land, or at least rebirth in the upper realms of gods or humans. In
    Soto Zen, the funeral for laypeople begins with ordaining the deceased as a Zen priest (shukke tokudo)—
    receiving the bodhisattva precepts (jukai), initiation into awakening (abhisheka/kancho), and the blood lineage
    document (kechimyaku) as a blessed talisman. Then there are words of guidance and encouragement (insho) for
    the deceased, recitation of the ten names of buddha (nenju), and dedication of merit to adorn the deceased’s
    place of destination (whatever it may be). Incense is offered as nourishment for the intermediate realm scenteater (gandharva).
    Since nobody can know the destination of the deceased person’s stream of consciousness, the
    living just encourage and assist it toward awakening. It is taught that the intermediate realm beings, and other
    non-physical beings such as hungry spirits, can “hear” speech, perceive thoughts and intentions, and meet the
    living in various ways imperceptible on the gross level, with their subtle immaterial bodies and sense faculties.

    Memorial ceremonies are performed every 7 days after death, calling on different buddhas and bodhisattvas to
    help the deceased realize awakening or birth in a pure land, for each of the 7 weeks of the intermediate realm up
    to 49 days—when the intermediate being has either realized complete awakening, been born in a pure land,
    been born into one of the six realms as a bodhisattva, or been born into one of the (hopefully upper) six realms
    as an ordinary being. Annual memorials in Japan are traditionally performed up to 33 years, the maximum time
    (in human years) it takes for a bodhisattva in a pure land to realize complete awakening (buddha).
    https://kokyohenkel.weebly.com/uploa...th_-_kokyo.pdf
    In fact, ALL such views may be true in their own way, at once, depending at how one views things.

    In any case, just be good, live gently, in this life.

    Gassho, J

    STLah

    Sorry to run long.
    Last edited by Jundo; 12-07-2021 at 06:09 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  26. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    Just to clarify ... this is "a" Mahayana way of looking at rebirth
    Thank you for this, it was very helpful. On the cushion I never think about such things but when off the cushion such thoughts do sometimes peak my interest.

    Gassho
    Mark
    ST
    浪省 - RouSei - Wandering Introspection

  27. #27
    Jundo,

    I have always ignored discussions on rebirth/reincarnation in my readings of Buddhism (personal biases) but have listened to the discussions here. I was surprised by the perspective in Dogen’s Shobogenzo Doshin. Was this his restatement of buddhist views of the time that he accepted? Also has this been ignored as Sōtō Zen migrated West? Ignored out of a differing beliefs. Specifically I have not seen or heard those discussions on rebirth in my wandering around Zen.

    Thank you

    Doshin
    S

  28. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by Doshin View Post
    Jundo,

    I have always ignored discussions on rebirth/reincarnation in my readings of Buddhism (personal biases) but have listened to the discussions here. I was surprised by the perspective in Dogen’s Shobogenzo Doshin. Was this his restatement of buddhist views of the time that he accepted? Also has this been ignored as Sōtō Zen migrated West? Ignored out of a differing beliefs. Specifically I have not seen or heard those discussions on rebirth in my wandering around Zen.

    Thank you

    Doshin
    S
    Hi Doshin, asking about the other Doshin.

    Well, there is some debate about it. I can only surmise, but belief in traditional Rebirth can be found many places in Dogen's writing. I think it has been ignored by some folks who wish to say "Dogen did not believe in traditional rebirth," when he clearly did. The statement in Doshin is clearer than most of his comments, and may have been aimed at a lay audience or at his priests to try to encourage them to moral behavior. However, Dogen always said that we cannot ignore Karma in this life, and if we do bad things we will pay for it later, in this or a later life. I do believe that Dogen's belief in traditional rebirth is not surprising, and very common for a Buddhist of his time.

    I am still skeptical myself even if Dogen was not. However, I agree with Dogen that we should be good and gentle in this life.

    Sorry to run long.

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  29. #29
    Well, Dogen was a master of expedient means so what he said to his laypeople may be slightly different than what he might say to you or me
    Sat/lah

  30. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    And yet, and yet, it is still and quiet somehow.

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    Jundo, your replies hit the nail on the head, thank you for that

    Gassho, Tomás
    Sat&LaH

  31. #31
    I am not sold on literal rebirth simply because, maybe I'm missing something but, I see no evidence for it. One thing about zen practice that always appealed to me is that it is sort of "testable" without any supernatural elements. Most other traditions, have a lot of; believe this supernatural story because somebody said this thousands of years ago and it was written down and this is what we believe. Faith being the belief in something without evidence.

    Gassho
    ST-lah
    Shoki

  32. #32
    The Buddha taught that we are comprised of 5 aggregates. Matter, thoughts, feelings, sensations and consciousness. All five are without a permanent form and bound to the cycle of rebirth. The energy that fuels our physical bodies keeps changing after our death. On a subtler level so do the other four. These aggregates inform the intentions behind our actions (karma) which effects the material world and continue to change. When we self identify with the five aggregates we are bound to their karma. When we detach we loosen the bind. When we achieve Buddhahood the bind is permanently severed. Which of course, is extremely difficult to do.

    IMHO looking at it this way is not particularly superstitious or irrational. It can be dressed up in more mythic imagery to suit different audiences. But at its core itÂ’s a fairly direct view.

    Gassho

    Sat Today

  33. #33
    Quote Originally Posted by Byrne View Post
    The Buddha taught that we are comprised of 5 aggregates. Matter, thoughts, feelings, sensations and consciousness. All five are without a permanent form and bound to the cycle of rebirth. The energy that fuels our physical bodies keeps changing after our death. On a subtler level so do the other four. These aggregates inform the intentions behind our actions (karma) which effects the material world and continue to change. When we self identify with the five aggregates we are bound to their karma. When we detach we loosen the bind. When we achieve Buddhahood the bind is permanently severed. Which of course, is extremely difficult to do.

    IMHO looking at it this way is not particularly superstitious or irrational. It can be dressed up in more mythic imagery to suit different audiences. But at its core itÂ’s a fairly direct view.

    Gassho

    Sat Today
    No problem, our energy and atoms (and maybe more) keeps on in the universe after we die ... but, tell me Byrne, do we head to the Bardo for 49 days, then spot a womb and come back ... either as a dog, a god or a guy named "Doug" ... and then come back and pay the debts or reap the rewards of what we did in this life?

    I am skeptical, but in any case, be good in this life. Dog or Doug or no Dog or Doug, be good in this life.

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  34. #34
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    Yes, the Zen folks took a further leap ... into that which neither comes nor goes, neither ends or begins ...

    ... yet is constant coming and going, endless ends and beginnings ...

    It is considered a less superficial teaching of the Buddha for those whose heart was ready to hear it.

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    Is there a Taoist influence on the Zen perspective?

    Gassho

    John Soriano

    SATtoday
    Gassho

    John

    SATToday

  35. #35
    Quote Originally Posted by johnsoriano View Post
    Is there a Taoist influence on the Zen perspective?

    Gassho

    John Soriano
    I don't believe so, John. Not in any major way. In fact, Chinese Taoism came to have much more focus on life extension alchemy to become immortal.

    Rather, there is the Mahayana expressions of Emptiness, that all is "Empty" including our views of coming and going, life and death.

    Did some aspect strike you as somehow Taoist?

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  36. #36
    Quote Originally Posted by johnsoriano View Post
    Is there a Taoist influence on the Zen perspective?

    Gassho

    John Soriano

    SATtoday
    There is an interesting book about this called "China Root: Taoism, Ch'an, and Original Zen" by David Hinton.

    Gassho, Tomás
    Sat

  37. #37
    Quote Originally Posted by Tomás ESP View Post
    There is an interesting book about this called "China Root: Taoism, Ch'an, and Original Zen" by David Hinton.

    Gassho, Tomás
    Sat
    Oh, I am not a fan of that book. Yes, in a one sentence nutshell, there is no doubt at all that Chan developed as Indian Buddhism came to China and mixed with Chinese sensibilities (including certain aspects of Daoism and its perspectives on the absolute and such ... although not all aspects, such as not its alchemical search from immortality various other more fanciful beliefs), then later came to Japan and mixed with Japanese sensibilities to become "Zen."

    However, Mr. Hinton way, WAY overstates his case.. He also has a bad habit of reading Chinese/Japanese Kanji characters too literally.

    That said, I thought that Mr. Hinton's book way, way overstated his case by arguing that Zen is just Taoism in Buddhist skin, rather than traditional Buddhist Teachings (e.g., all the Suttas and Sutras from India, basic doctrines such as "non-self" and "Dukkha" and emptiness via Nagarjuna) expressed with a lot of Taoist flavoring and spice. It is just a matter of degree, but he overdoes it. I had the feeling that, to make his case, he cherry picked and left out a lot of Taoism beliefs that are quite distinct and that did not really become a part of Buddhism (if you read the essay about "Dark Learning," for example, you will see many differences as well as common ground). I thought that he was also a bit romantic in presentation, and saw or assumed things which he claimed without real evidence to back it up. Finally, his habit of translating by looking at the too literal meaning of the elements of some Chinese characters, and imposing English on Chinese and Japanese names, was a bit annoying to me as a translator. He seemed to have an anti-Japanese bias in the book too which mischaracterized some important aspects of Japanese, and especially Soto, Zen. So, I would take the book as a bit extreme, as someone bending over backwards to say that "Zen is just Taoism, with a little Buddhism." It is not.

    CONTINUED HERE: https://www.treeleaf.org/forums/show...l=1#post277212
    Sorry to have run long.

    Gassho, Jundo

    SatToday
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  38. #38
    Yes, your post had a sound of the Tao Te Ching to me, and I had read that Zen was influenced by Taoism, I was just wondering if that was just that author's opinion.

    Gassho

    John

    SatTodayLAH
    Gassho

    John

    SATToday

  39. #39
    Thank you for the clarification Jundo, I was not aware of the points you made

    Gassho, Tomás
    Sat

  40. #40
    Quote Originally Posted by johnsoriano View Post
    My confusion is who are you once you escape samsara. Do you cease to exist?
    Who are we now? Maybe after escape is the same.

    Kodo Tobiishi satlah
    Sometimes a Heron flies overhead, and Piranha eats the wave.

  41. #41
    I am just finishing a very interesting short book (about 120 pages), fairly easy to read, by the great South Asian Buddhism scholar Johannes Bronkhorst on the development of Karma ideas in India. Very interesting how they developed over time, becoming more detailed and intricate. Basically, he believes that the idea did not exist in Brahmanism originally (which developed in west India), but came to several groups such as the Buddhists and Jains of Magadha (to the east) about the same time. Brahmanism absorbed the idea of Karma and rebirth later, when it spread throughout the rest of India and South Asia.

    Among the Magadha groups, there were different versions: The Jains believe that ANY action of mind or body causes Karma, so would attempt to stop all physical and mental actions, and did various physical denials and punishments, to remove Karma. Another group, the Ajivikists, were total Karma fatalists: They believed in Karma and rebirth, but believed that we can do absolutely nothing to change ours, and could only ride it out for countless eons of time. The Buddhists developed their idea of "volitional acts" as the cause of Karma, but many of the details we now take for granted ... like 6 worlds of rebirth ... were not originally part of the story. Buddhists really had to wrestle with how Karma moves from life to life if there is no "self" (the Jains believed in a soul, for example.) In any case, the ideas of Karma and Rebirth developed slowly, and over time.

    The book is also interesting for indicating that several other beliefs of the Jains, Ajivikists and Brahmans "snuck back" into Buddhism later, even though early Buddhism specifically denied them. I may write about that in a separate post.

    I only recommend the Bronkhorst book to Buddhism history wonks like me.

    https://www.academia.edu/3288027/Karma

    Gassho, J

    STLah Sorry to run long
    Last edited by Jundo; 12-16-2021 at 02:29 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  42. #42
    Buddhists really had to wrestle with how Karma moves from life to life if there is no "self"

    ...and since we're encouraged to not worry so much about past & future lives, the old Buddhist adage "Just help people and don't be a dick" should cover karma decently, no wrestling necessary.


    Kodo Tobiishi sat
    Sometimes a Heron flies overhead, and Piranha eats the wave.

  43. #43
    Quote Originally Posted by Tobiishi View Post
    ... the old Buddhist adage "Just help people and don't be a dick" ...
    Yes, that is one way it translates from Sanskrit.

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  44. #44
    I dont think so. After all, since there really isnt any time, past, now, and future are all really now anyway.

    Gassho

    John

    SatToday
    Gassho

    John

    SATToday

  45. #45
    Quote Originally Posted by johnsoriano View Post
    I dont think so. After all, since there really isnt any time, past, now, and future are all really now anyway.

    Gassho

    John

    SatToday
    That makes perfect simple sense, I like it!
    Sometimes a Heron flies overhead, and Piranha eats the wave.

  46. #46
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    Not particularly on the topic of "rebirth," but on the experience that all things are all things, and the wonderous vistas of Hua-yen Buddhism so influential on Zen and other corners of the Mahayana, I would very much recommend this book ...

    Hua-Yen Buddhism
    The Jewel Net of Indra
    By Francis H. Cook


    https://books.google.co.jp/books/abo...sC&redir_esc=y

    This other is very good too:

    The Buddhist Teaching of Totality
    The Philosophy of Hwa Yen Buddhism
    By Garma C C Chang


    https://www.google.co.jp/books/editi...C?hl=en&gbpv=0

    Beyond that, then go on to taste and experience such on the cushion.

    Gassho, J

    STLah

    I have had the book by Francis H. Cook for Christmas - it is a really nice read so far. It is very well written in my view. Thank you for the recommendation!

    Gassho,
    Gareth

    Sat today, Lah

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •