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Thread: Nembutsu, Juzu and Zen

  1. #1

    Nembutsu, Juzu and Zen

    Recently, my wife gave a really beautiful juzu made of açaí seeds that I’m trying to care around as a mindful reminder of Buddha, Dharma and Sangha. But I kind of want to give another use to it. So I thought about using it to recite the nembutsu 108 times once a day.

    For some time now I’ve being mentally reciting the nembutsu (Namu Amida Butsu) in my mind as a mindful reminder of the practice of being in the present moment and a way to show gratitude for my existence here and now. I don’t know if I believe in Amida Buddha and his vows or in the Pure Land apart from a metaphor for emptiness and the buddha-nature shared by all beings. If I’m not wrong, this is not the Pure Land way of using the nembutsu.

    I want to hear some Zen perspective on this practice of reciting the nembutsu and using the juzu. Or is this a case of asking on the wrong dojo?

    Sorry about the long post.
    Gassho
    Mateus
    Sat LAH

  2. #2
    I don't believe there is any particular mantra or dharani that we can't here at Treeleaf. Anything that you wish to chant which brings you peace of mind or mindfulness is enough.

    Personally with my juzu I usually chant Om mani padme hum.
    Once at a particularly low point I just changed the words "I am enough".
    Whatever works for you is enough.

    Gassho,
    Nengyoku
    Sat
    Thank you for being the warmth in my world.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Nengyoku View Post
    I don't believe there is any particular mantra or dharani that we can't here at Treeleaf. Anything that you wish to chant which brings you peace of mind or mindfulness is enough.

    Personally with my juzu I usually chant Om mani padme hum.
    Once at a particularly low point I just changed the words "I am enough".
    Whatever works for you is enough.

    Gassho,
    Nengyoku
    Sat
    Just to mention, we don’t do dharanis at Treeleaf as part of our ceremonies. Jundo can elaborate on that

    Sat Today
    Bion
    美音

    -------------------------
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  4. #4
    If I recall correctly, Nishijima focused quite a bit on reciting the Namu Amida Butsu mantra in the later part of his life (heard it from Brad Warner, not sure if the info is accurate, but I would presume it is). Aside from this, I have no idea on how to practice it or what impact it might have coupled with Shikantaza.

    Gassho, Tomás
    Sat&LaH

  5. #5
    Hey guys

    I only performed such practices while living as a Sikh many years ago, I went straight to shinkantaza zazen from there, so have never practised with mala or mantras. I seem to remember that Jundo says that our practice at Treeleaf does not mean we have to give up other practices if they are meaningful to us - there are/have been Christians at Treeleaf over the years, Jundo has not told them to stop reciting the Lord's Prayer (well I don't think he did???) Also, we have practice circles such as the Tonglen circle, which has its roots in Tibetan Buddhism, but it is welcome here because of it's own value as a practice. I shall stop here though, Jundo or the priest team will no doubt clarify this for us.

    Gassho, Tokan (satlah)

  6. #6
    Hi,

    No, we don't generally chant Dharanis here at Treeleaf, because traditionally they are very much "abracadabra" like incantations to bring good fortune, and I think that we do not need that in these modern times when the real "magic" of life is all around us. Also, we do not practice with the "Other Power" of Amida, who is very much like the Buddhist Jesus, a savior figure to help someone when they need saving or a miracle, leading the believer to a "heaven" after this life. It is not usual to mix Amida Buddhism with Zen in Japan, though many do on the Asian continent (with the sense that asking the universe for help, and reaching out, is also reaching in. As well, it is often with the sense, much as Mateus describes, that the prayer does not pray to Jesus or Amida asking for help or rescue ... but more in gratitude for whatever is, whatever life contains.)

    However, I do not mean to stop others from doing so in the personal practice. I just posted something on mixing practices, and the bottom line is ... if something works in you, and is helpful and has good results, then you might do so in your life ...

    Treeleaf is a Dojo where a particular style is taught. It is much like saying that one can play tennis, but also like football, and both may be great sports. It is just that one needs to be careful about playing football with a tennis racket, or tennis with goal posts. Some ways do not mix well.

    More here: https://www.treeleaf.org/forums/show...l=1#post309685
    Tomas, I never heard or experienced that Nishijima Roshi recited or practiced Namu Amida Butsu mantra later in his life. Are you sure that Brad did not mean Uchiyama Roshi (or even D.T. Suzuki) who had some interest in Pure Land?

    In any case, what about Juzu in Soto Zen? We have had some discussion of this from time to time, and it is interesting. I repost the entirety, but apologize for the length:

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    We have had a few threads in the past on this, so allow me to repost a few bit and pieces from those threads ... Much MUCH MUCH more info than probably anyone wants or needs on Juzu [Mala] beads ...

    ----------

    First. let me just touch on your question "is a Practice such as reciting Buddha's name (or even the Christian Rosary) compatible with Zen practice?"

    My view is that when one sits (and is sat and sittinging) Shikantaza Zazen, that is the ONLY Practice ... in that moment ... in all time and space. Nothing more need be done, nothing more can be done, nothing more in need of attaining as Zazen is Total Fulfillment. Whole and Complete. In that Timeless instant, nothing else, no other place to be or go. Only Zazen is Zazen. Period, end of story, case closed.

    However, rising from the Zafu cushion ... anything can be Zazen ... changing the baby diaper, working in the office or garden, praying to Jesus (if that speaks to one's heart), reciting Metta or the Heart Sutra or the Practice you describe (if that speaks to one's heart). So yes, please do so if that speaks to your heart, and it sounds like a wonderful undertaking.

    -------

    For much much MUCH more information that you --ever-- will need on the specific styles and use of Juzu for the Soto and other schools, at least in Japan ...

    ... this fellow seems to have done his research on the many styles of Juzu for various sects (follow the link) ...

    http://www.aetw.org/jsp_nenju_juzu.htm

    In Japanese Soto, we are not too much into Mala beads ("Juzu" in Japanese) as a central part of practice, although that depends on how much there has been an influence of "esoteric" or "Pure Land" or other traditions of Buddhism on the particular lineage of Soto Zen over the centuries. They do play a role in some esoteric ceremonies.

    Some folks use the Mala for counting repetitions in certain chants, much as they are used in Catholic prayer. Doing so is not a central practice of Soto Zen, unless the particular priest or practitioner has incorporated other traditions ... like the Jodo (Pure Land) practice of chanting to Amida Buddha (the Chinese Chan priests you might see from time to time often wear very large Mala ...



    ... as Chan has heavily mixed with Pure Land in China and Vietnam), or certain esoteric Buddhist rituals that folks picked up along the way. I once noticed, for example, that Ven. Anzan Hoshin in Canada sometimes uses Mala, but he seem to mix various Tibetan Practices in with his Zen.

    As Buddhism moved from country to country, and culture to culture, bits of Hindu and Tantric elements were mixed into the teachings. The Juzu is one such item. Traditionally, it is an aid in chanting, serving as a counter (so you can keep your place), although a whole mess of mystical 'meanings' and powers came to be associated with the Mala beads themselves and the usual number of beads: 108 (or a divisor thereof).

    Number of beads:
    The formal nenju has 108 koshu 'children'/main beads, plus either one or two larger boshu 'parent' beads.

    [The 108 koshu represent the 108 bonnou (earthly desires, worldly & or evil passions) which the follower of the Dharma seeks to overcome.]

    There are also 'informal' nenju. These are commonly 1/4-size, having 27 koshu and one boshu parent-bead. However there are also informal nenju with 18 koshu (1/6th-size), 36 koshu (1/3rd) 54 koshu (1/2)
    For just some of the many meanings of '108'. have a gander at this. It is wonderful:

    http://www.salagram.net/108meaning.html

    It is an item that traveled up and down the Silk Road, and is brother to the Catholic rosary (in my understanding).

    One reason the beads are much loved is that there are more nerve endings on tips of the fingers than in any part of the body (if I recall), and thus the twirling of the beads is, well, sensual and most soothing. .Combined with the hypnotic rhythms of the chant, and you have an experience that one could lose oneself in ... literally.

    Oh, and at various times in ages past, it has been seen as kind of a magic charm against evil spirits.

    If you are in Japan today, you would see Juzu worn by many Soto priests, and used in ceremonies. Basically, over the centuries, many Tantric (esoteric) elements crept into the Zen schools too ... especially after the time of Dogen. However, some rather recent scholarship has shown that Dogen, while focused on Zazen, was not an opponent of some ritual and ceremony by any means ... he was, after all, just a Buddhist priest following many traditions ...

    Although Dogen clearly extolled zazen (both the seated posture and the samadhi it promotes) as the sine qua non of Buddhism, it would be mistaken to conclude from this that he rejected all other forms of Buddhist practice. The specific rituals that seem to be disavowed in the Bendowa passage are all prescribed for Zen monks, often in great detail, in Dogen's other writings. In Kuyo shobutsu, Dogen recommends the practice of offering incense and making worshipful prostrations before Buddha images and stupas, as prescribed in the sutras and Vinaya texts. In Raihai tokuzui he urges trainees to reverence enlightened teachers and to make offerings and prostrations to them, describing this as a practice which helps pave the way to one's own awakening. In Chiji shingi he stipulates that the vegetable garden manager in a monastery should participate together with the main body of monks in sutra chanting services (fugin), recitation services (nenju) in which buddhas' names are chanted (a form of nenbutsu practice), and other major ceremonies, and that he should burn incense and make prostrations (shoko raihai) and recite the buddhas' names in prayer morning and evening when at work in the garden. The practice of repentences (sange) is encouraged in Dogen's Kesa kudoku, in his Sanji go, and his Keisei sanshiki . Finally, in Kankin, Dogen gives detailed directions for sutra reading services (kankin) in which, as he explains, texts could be read either silently or aloud as a means of producing merit to be dedicated to any number of ends, including the satisfaction of wishes made by lay donors, or prayers on behalf of the emperor.

    History of the Soto Zen School
    by T. Griffith Foulk
    http://www.terebess.hu/english/zenschool.html
    (Although, if I may say, the beads probably remain less the focus of attention in Japanese Soto than in any of the other Japanese schools such as Jodo, Nichiren, Tendai and Shingon ... not sure about Rinzai practice. Soto priests may wear them but, as far as I know, they are not used very much for particular purpose outside of such ceremonies. Some Soto priests may develop a special feeling for the Juzu, but that is there own personal feeling and philosophy. Most lay followers in all traditions and all countries would have beads and wear them for funerals and such, but most would just do so as a custom without any particular idea why or what they stand for.

    So, why do I wear beads sometimes? Good question!

    Well, why do I wear a Grateful Dead t-shirt sometimes?

    In all seriousness, it may be more a symbol for being a Buddhist in my mind than anything else, much as a Star of David for Judaism or a Cross on a chain for Christians. I do not consider them much more than that in my mind. ... more a symbol of our tradition than anything. Others may have other views.

    Gassho, Jundo

    PS --- and if that is not enough here are a few other interesting Mala Facts from various schools and from a Mala manufacturer ... make sure you have it on the right hand, or is it the left?


    {Explanation from a Pure Land temple in California] The Nenjie is always held in the left hand since the left hand represents the world of Samsara with its 108 Bonno. The right hand represents the world of Nirvana. It is through the use of the Nenju that the two utterly different worlds of Samsara and Nirvana are seen in their essential Oneness - that is to say, the bringing together of the left hand of Samsara and the right hand of Nirvana into the Oneness of the Gassho. From a Jodoshinshu point of view, one can say that the left hand of Samsara, of the 108 passions of egotism is the world of Namo, of "I, myself; me." The right hand of Nirvana is the world of Amidabutsu, the real world of Amida Buddha. The Nenju brings together these two seemingly opposite worlds into the Oneness of Namoamidabutsu; not Namo, or Amidabutsu separately, but Namoamidabutsu.

    In the Nishi Hongwanji tradition of Jodoshinshu, the Nenju encircles the hands in Gassho with the tassel or strings hanging below the two palms and the two thumbs resting lightly on the beads. There are a number of ways of holding the Nenju depending upon the sect, school, or tradition of Buddhism. The Jodo Sect of Honen Shonin for example, places the Nenju around the thumbs of the hands in Gassho. The Higashi Honganji tradition of Jodoshinshu places the Nenju around the hands in Gassho with the string or tassel end held between the thumbs and base of the index fingers. Priests of the Shingon Sect (Koyasan) use several gestures depending upon the ceremony, one of them being to drape the Nenju around the index finger of the left hand and the

    middle finger of the right hand at the Oyadama and enclosing the strand of beads between the two palms. The beads are then rubbed together producing a raffling sound. When not in use, the Nenju is held in the left hand or placed around the left wrist.
    http://www.senshintemple.org/prajna/10_03.html
    From a big Juzu manufacturer in Japan ... and perhaps the mirror image of what was said above ...

    A rosary is rightly worn on your left wrist when you are sitting and is rightly held in your left hand when walking; the left hand represents the pure world of the Buddha, the right hand the religious world we walk in.
    http://www.echizenya.co.jp/english/juzu1.htm
    also ...

    The mala is traditionally worn by Buddhist monks, nuns and lay practitioners around the left wrist. It can be worn also around the neck, but take care not to make prayers while it is worn this way. The reason for this, as told to us by a Tibetan monk, is that the purpose, or intention of jewelry is as an adornment. A mala’s purpose is for making blessings. To use your mala, it’s recommended to always hold it in your left hand. This may be tradition, but there are probably Tantric reasons for it that are related to energy – channels and chakras.
    http://the12stepbuddhist.com/what-is...n-prayer-beads
    Hindu tradition holds that the correct way to use a mala is with the right hand, with the thumb flicking one bead to the next, and with the mala draped over the middle finger. The index finger was considered rude, and so was also considered bad to use it with a mala. Buddhism, however, explained that there was no sense in this, and so taught that it was perfectly acceptable to use the mala in the left hand with any fingers. In Tibetan Buddhism (tantra), depending on the practice, there may be preferred ways of holding the mala (left or right hand, rolling the beads over the index or any of the other fingers etc..
    http://www.experiencefestival.com/a/Japa_mala/id/505274
    Last edited by Jundo; 08-16-2022 at 10:27 PM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  7. #7


    Tokan (satlah)

  8. #8
    Thanks, Jundo and everybody.
    I will try chanting with the juzu around my hands in gassho and see if I can make a good sound.
    I will continue to use the nembutsu as I’ve been doing, but my big practice will certainly be Shikantaza Zazen.

    Mateus
    Sat LAH

  9. #9
    Tomas, I never heard or experienced that Nishijima Roshi recited or practiced Namu Amida Butsu mantra later in his life. Are you sure that Brad did not mean Uchiyama Roshi (or even D.T. Suzuki) who had some interest in Pure Land?
    Could be! I do not have the specific video were he mentions it, but I believe he was talking about Nishijima. I remember because it kind of struck me as interesting, but I might be wrong, of course.

    Gassho, Tomás
    Sat&LaH
    Last edited by Tomás ESP; 08-17-2022 at 06:32 AM.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Tomás ESP View Post
    Could be! I do not have the specific video were he mentions it, but I believe he was talking about Nishijima. I remember because it kind of struck me as interesting, but I might be wrong, of course.

    Gassho, Tomás
    Sat&LaH
    Would you message him and ask him about that ... because I would actually be rather shocked if that was the case. Nishijima just was never called that way, as far as I know.

    Gassho, Jundo

    STLah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    Would you message him and ask him about that ... because I would actually be rather shocked if that was the case. Nishijima just was never called that way, as far as I know.

    Gassho, Jundo

    STLah
    You were right Jundo, my memory betrayed me Brad has confirmed that it was indeed Kosho Uchiyama Roshi. He literally says:
    Kosho Uchiyama Roshi practiced nembutsu later in life due to problems sitting zazen. Or so I have heard...
    In terms of the practice of Pure Land, I found this very informative video:
    It helps understand that it is not only a practice towards a Jesus Christ like figure. It is about recognizing the Amidha Buddha that we all already are:

    Gassho, Tomás
    Sat&LaH

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Tomás ESP View Post
    In terms of the practice of Pure Land, I found this very informative video: It helps understand that it is not only a practice towards a Jesus Christ like figure. It is about recognizing the Amidha Buddha that we all already are:

    Gassho, Tomás
    Sat&LaH
    I listened to the talk. I would still say that, for 98% of the people in Asia I have met who practice with faith in Amida and the Pure Land, it is basically much like faith in a Savior who will lead one to a "Good Place" when one dies, where the ice cream always flows and nobody has to work, get sick or suffer like in this world.

    It is possible for some to find the common ground (non-ground) with Zen where Amida is just some ultimate, and the "Pure Land" is not a "place" (the priest in the video waffles on that a bit in the video). However, one has to have a very sophisticated, symbolic understanding of "Amida" and the "Pure Land" to assert so. Most Pure Land folks I know would think more in the following terms, a little video from one of the larger Pure Land organizations:


    I do not think it a bad thing if such beliefs (like belief in Jesus) brings comfort to someone's heart.

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    Last edited by Jundo; 08-18-2022 at 08:43 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  13. #13
    When I was involved with Tibetan buddhism, the mala was an essential tool: I think you had to recite Om mani padme hum 108 trillion times to attain enlightenment.

    I always felt that it was a relaxing thing to do, to spin the beads; I can't find a link, but I'm sure I read something about how the nerve endings in the fingertips when moving the beads had some effect on relaxation. I guess this is similar to the Chinese baoding balls that you spin around in your hands.

    BTW, I have one of these Therabody Wave thingies, and you turn it on, it vibrates, and I find it immensely relaxing to close my hand around it. It stimulates all the nerves in the hands, probably in a similar way to shiatsu. I like to do a sort of kinhin in my office while holding this in one hand then the other.

    https://www.therabody.com/uk/en-gb/wave-solo.html

    Gassho,

    Ryūmon (Kirk)

    sat
    流文

    I know nothing.

  14. #14
    Thank you for the feedback Jundo. I wasn't aware the % was so high, though now that I read your post, I recall you mentioned it in Episode 1 of the new series in the podcast.

    That is some very interesting info Ryumon, thanks for sharing. I will check it out further, sign me up for stuff that regulates the nervous system

    Gassho, Tomás
    Sat&LaH

  15. #15
    Thank you Tomás and Jundo. I liked the approach of that monk in the interview -seems similar to mine. Any reading suggestions on Pure Land and Zen/Chan to read more about it?
    Gassho
    Mateus
    Sat

  16. #16
    It helps understand that it is not only a practice towards a Jesus Christ like figure. It is about recognizing the Amidha Buddha that we all already are
    There is a nice koan in The Hidden Lamp about this:

    In China and Japan many millions of Buddhists have been - and in Japan still are- devotees of the Pure Land doctrine. According to this doctrine a bodhisattva made a great vow, which in time fulfilled itself as the manifestation of the Buddha Amitabha (infinite light), who created a Pure Land paradise in the West for those who would take his name with faith. From this Pure Land it was easy to attain final nirvana.

    An old lady of this faith was walking along the road when she met a Zen master, who said to her, "On your way to the Pure Land, eh, Granny?"

    She nodded.

    "Holu Amitabha's there, waiting for you, I expect."

    She shook her head.

    "Not there? The Buddha's not in his Pure Land? Where is he then?"

    She tapped twice over her heart and went on her way.

    The Zen master opened his eyes wide in appreciation and said, "You are a real Pure Lander."

    I use a mala and mantras myself at times when I am in pain or my mind is filled with negative thoughts as I find it can make the situation easier. Nothing magical, just a distraction I guess. And when my youngest daughter was in hospital earlier in the year, I said many many Jizo mantras, and made offerings to my Jizo statue. Do I believe that these things make a difference? Well, no, but when your child is sick I notice that I am happy to clutch at any straw that might help.

    Gassho
    Kokuu
    -sattoday-
    ------------------------------------
    Feel free to message me if you wish to talk about issues around practicing with physical limitations. This is something I have been sitting with for a fair while and am happy to help with suggestions or just offer a listening ear.

  17. #17
    Treeleaf Unsui Nengei's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kokuu View Post
    I said many many Jizo mantras, and made offerings to my Jizo statue. Do I believe that these things make a difference? Well, no, but when your child is sick I notice that I am happy to clutch at any straw that might help.


    Gassho,
    遜道念芸 Nengei
    Sat today. LAH.

  18. #18
    Thank you, Kokuu. Lovely story, lovely practice.
    gassho
    Mateus
    Sat LAH

  19. #19
    I sometimes feel a need to ring 108 bells; for example, in memory of my daughter. I find the juzu a handy tool for keeping track during these events (so it's really a bit like an abacus or quipu for me). Also there have been times when I seemed jumpy or distracted by my lower back during zazen and resorted to holding the juzu lightly, advancing one bead per breath until the need fades -- it really does seem to be helpful at such moments; crotchedy crutchy.

    gassho
    ds reclined and lah today
    Last edited by Shōnin Risa Bear; 08-21-2022 at 03:08 PM. Reason: Down to 3 sentences
    Visiting unsui, take w/salt.

  20. #20
    Oh, now I see Kokuu's response. Exactly so, and thank you. _()_ _()_ _()_

    gassho
    ds easy-chair 3 bows, stlah
    Visiting unsui, take w/salt.

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by Nengei View Post


    Gassho,
    遜道念芸 Nengei
    Sat today. LAH.
    Thank you all

    I am quite taken with the movie Thirteen Lives at the moment, and the corresponding documentary, The Rescue (trailers on 'the antidote' thread). For me, I do not see any magical powers lifting the mountain off of the boys so they can get out, and yet, the mountain lifted off the boys so they could get out.

    One thing with prayers I have often reflected, is that we assume the benefit is solely for the person that is the target of the prayer as in, "may Jizo (God, etc) take the cancer out of your body." But, much like metta or tonglen practice, the prayer tends to change the heart of the person reciting it.

    Gassho, Tokan (satlah)

  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by Shōnin Risa Bear View Post
    I sometimes feel a need to ring 108 bells; for example, in memory of my daughter. I find the juzu a handy tool for keeping track during these events (so it's really a bit like an abacus or quipu for me). Also there have been times when I seemed jumpy or distracted by my lower back during zazen and resorted to holding the juzu lightly, advancing one bead per breath until the need fades -- it really does seem to be helpful at such moments; crotchedy crutchy.

    gassho
    ds reclined and lah today
    Thank you, Shonin. A lovely practice.

    Mateus
    Sat LAH

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by leon View Post
    Thank you all

    I am quite taken with the movie Thirteen Lives at the moment, and the corresponding documentary, The Rescue (trailers on 'the antidote' thread). For me, I do not see any magical powers lifting the mountain off of the boys so they can get out, and yet, the mountain lifted off the boys so they could get out.

    One thing with prayers I have often reflected, is that we assume the benefit is solely for the person that is the target of the prayer as in, "may Jizo (God, etc) take the cancer out of your body." But, much like metta or tonglen practice, the prayer tends to change the heart of the person reciting it.

    Gassho, Tokan (satlah)
    Thank you, Tokan.

    Mateus
    Sat LAH

  24. #24
    From a friend's Facebook page on the similarity of Zen and Pureland (but, as Jundo points out, this is a sophisticated outlook that wouldn't be shared by most practitioners)

    "Although they can seem at odds, both schools within the Mahayana Sect are closely related in most countries (primarily in Northeast Asia) where they are majority religions. It’s important to remember that both schools are fundamentally non-dualistic in their outlook on reality. Essentially, Zen Buddhism considers non-duality from the perspective of “all is self” (and there is no self), and Pureland schools consider the same reality from the perspective of “all is other”. As the reality is the same (non-dual “thusness”) the perspective is essentially arbitrary. A Zen scholar might observe the Buddhist truth of emptiness and conclude “there is no independent origination of anything - all things are fundamentally connected and one. Therefore “I am” (which is also emptiness) is that one. I am the universe. There is no separation and no distinction”. A Pureland practitioner might consider the same reality but conclude that as the self is empty; “there is no separation or distinction between things, so all is other”. It could therefore be said that Zen practitioners look to themselves for ‘salvation’ and Pureland practitioners look to others for ‘salvation’. Looking into oneself requires regular meditation, and developing that practice to a high degree (which is called Ch'an or Zen), as there is nothing outside of self. Looking to others requires abandonment, or faith in something external, or Shin or Bhakti, as there is nothing but other."

    Stewart
    Sat

  25. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by Stewart View Post
    From a friend's Facebook page on the similarity of Zen and Pureland (but, as Jundo points out, this is a sophisticated outlook that wouldn't be shared by most practitioners)

    "Although they can seem at odds, both schools within the Mahayana Sect are closely related in most countries (primarily in Northeast Asia) where they are majority religions. It’s important to remember that both schools are fundamentally non-dualistic in their outlook on reality. Essentially, Zen Buddhism considers non-duality from the perspective of “all is self” (and there is no self), and Pureland schools consider the same reality from the perspective of “all is other”. As the reality is the same (non-dual “thusness”) the perspective is essentially arbitrary. A Zen scholar might observe the Buddhist truth of emptiness and conclude “there is no independent origination of anything - all things are fundamentally connected and one. Therefore “I am” (which is also emptiness) is that one. I am the universe. There is no separation and no distinction”. A Pureland practitioner might consider the same reality but conclude that as the self is empty; “there is no separation or distinction between things, so all is other”. It could therefore be said that Zen practitioners look to themselves for ‘salvation’ and Pureland practitioners look to others for ‘salvation’. Looking into oneself requires regular meditation, and developing that practice to a high degree (which is called Ch'an or Zen), as there is nothing outside of self. Looking to others requires abandonment, or faith in something external, or Shin or Bhakti, as there is nothing but other."

    Stewart
    Sat
    Two sides of the same sideless coin!

    Mateus
    Sat LAH

  26. #26
    From my daughter who is becoming a PhD, now completed her Fulbright and is becoming known I the US, having also just completed study try at Wasada, so completed gender studies in women Japanese women authors, gave me a small set of Male or Jusu beads and a dear friend in this Sangha who gave me a set made in Tenetan women for imprisoned Women by the Chinese, and a good person in this Shanghai telling he used them himself. I had used them before ever coming here and becoming lay member and consider them a dear possion and gifts from one person I care about, another I love with my heart!
    Oh
    Kind Ubasoku, calm poetry, I seek to support; to be supportive.

  27. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by Tai Shi View Post
    From my daughter who is becoming a PhD, now completed her Fulbright and is becoming known I the US, having also just completed study try at Wasada, so completed gender studies in women Japanese women authors, gave me a small set of Male or Jusu beads and a dear friend in this Sangha who gave me a set made in Tenetan women for imprisoned Women by the Chinese, and a good person in this Shanghai telling he used them himself. I had used them before ever coming here and becoming lay member and consider them a dear possion and gifts from one person I care about, another I love with my heart!
    Oh
    Lovely, Tai Shi.
    Gassho
    Mateus
    Sat

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