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Thread: Special reading - eight types of enlightenment

  1. #1

    Special reading - eight types of enlightenment

    Hi Ho,

    Continuing this special series of "readings that will help in understanding Zen readings" ...

    This is something that I introduced here once before, but is well worth re-reading and understanding by all of us.

    The topic is a very clear list of "Eight Types of Enlightenment" as typically found in various forms of Buddhism over its history and currently, meaning the very different and often totally inconsistent (although sometimes overlapping) visions that various schools of Buddhism propose as the ultimate "goal" at the end of the Buddha's rainbow. Different strands of Buddhism really do have very unique ideas on this whole "Enlightenment" whatever, and anyone studying Buddhism can become tangled up in the many ways that teachers of various schools, in different books and teachings, often are proposing radically different goals and different ways to get there. Even within the Zen Schools, or even contained in the vision of a single teacher, the ideas often get mixed & matched and stuck together. Thus, it is important for students to be able to recognize where a teacher's teachings are coming from and pointing to (and neither/both coming & going), and some ability to see each of these separate, sometimes tangled threads.

    Please download and read the following [PDF]:

    http://jundotreeleaf.googlepages.com...ightenment.pdf

    The list is from a book called "The New Buddhism" by David Brazier (a book primarily on the theme of Buddhism as a model for engaged, socially conscious action ... but which also touches on other subjects such as this). What is also interesting is that Mr Brazier seems --not-- to be a Zen Practitioner (I believe he is currently a Pure Land student), and thus offers some criticisms of what he sees as the "Zen" concept(s) of Enlightenment. This will give us a chance to talk about those as well, although (of course, being from within the Zen tradition) I do not think many of his criticisms of "Zen enlightenment" are accurate. Naturally, he seems to propose a "Pure Land" concept of Enlightenment as the best.

    Despite that, I really think you will find it informative, and helpful to your practice and understanding of Buddhist books and teachings.

    As always, I emphasize ... different ways up the mountain for different mountaineers and, anyway, ultimately 'what mountain?' (though, as you may see, not everyone throughout Buddhist history might agree with that!)

    Gassho, Jundo
    Last edited by Jundo; 10-14-2014 at 02:06 AM.

  2. #2
    Over three years I questioned often, sometimes interjecting personal feelings and or histories, and now I am not an old timer but young and learning breath every time I sit, or to shift slightly, or to move my head to take pressure off while I sit. And I donít question so much acceptance is the answer. Sit and more sit to this 66 year old youngster. Thanks to all who have taught me to sit still and yet be comfortable, to maintain some brand of humility. I donít know everything and Usri and folks yes Lay members with years and years sitting have taught me to sit quietly and to sit.

    Tai Shi
    sat today
    Gassho


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    For the end is to know the beginning, to know the beginning is to know the end for the first time.

  3. #3
    Thanks Jundo. Let's go to work with this and see what it will bring.

    Gassho

    MyoHo
    stich by stich....

  4. #4

  5. #5
    Wow, a thread first started in 2009. Took a long time for the first response.

    Gassho, Shinshi

    #SaT #LaH

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Shinshi View Post
    Wow, a thread first started in 2009. Took a long time for the first response.

    Gassho, Shinshi

    #SaT #LaH
    I was thinking the same thing, Lol! Iím game, it looks like an interesting read!
    Gassho
    Jakuden
    SatToday/LAH


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    清 道 寂田
    SEIDO JAKUDEN
    I am a novice priest. Any resemblance my posts may have to actual teachings about the Dharma, living or dead, is purely coincidental (and just my attempt to be helpful).

  7. #7

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Jishin View Post
    http://instant-enlightenment.com

    Gasho, Jishin, _/st\_ , LAH
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  9. #9
    Thank you, the article was very informative. I was expected the Ox-Herding Pictures but got a conceptual history of the idea of enlightenment in Buddhism instead. The author sure had a lot of negative things to say about Zen social ethics. I suppose he was being thorough. Anyways, it was a good read and I have a clearer sense of what the different tradtiions mean by enlightenment.

    As for what I mean by enlightment... well, I will trust in my sitting.



    Matthew
    Sattoday

  10. #10
    Thank you Jundo and Sekishi, wonderful to sit with all of you, Have a great week.

    gassho, Shokai

    stlah
    仁道 生開 - Jindo Shokai "Open to life in a benevolent way"
    May we all grow together in our knowledge of the Dharma

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    Hi Ho,

    Continuing this special series of "readings that will help in understanding Zen readings" ...

    This is something that I introduced here once before, but is well worth re-reading and understanding by all of us.

    The topic is a very clear list of "Eight Types of Enlightenment" as typically found in various forms of Buddhism over its history and currently, meaning the very different and often totally inconsistent (although sometimes overlapping) visions that various schools of Buddhism propose as the ultimate "goal" at the end of the Buddha's rainbow. Different strands of Buddhism really do have very unique ideas on this whole "Enlightenment" whatever, and anyone studying Buddhism can become tangled up in the many ways that teachers of various schools, in different books and teachings, often are proposing radically different goals and different ways to get there. Even within the Zen Schools, or even contained in the vision of a single teacher, the ideas often get mixed & matched and stuck together. Thus, it is important for students to be able to recognize where a teacher's teachings are coming from and pointing to (and neither/both coming & going), and some ability to see each of these separate, sometimes tangled threads.

    Please download and read the following [PDF]:

    http://jundotreeleaf.googlepages.com...ightenment.pdf

    The list is from a book called "The New Buddhism" by David Brazier (a book primarily on the theme of Buddhism as a model for engaged, socially conscious action ... but which also touches on other subjects such as this). What is also interesting is that Mr Brazier seems --not-- to be a Zen Practitioner (I believe he is currently a Pure Land student), and thus offers some criticisms of what he sees as the "Zen" concept(s) of Enlightenment. This will give us a chance to talk about those as well, although (of course, being from within the Zen tradition) I do not think many of his criticisms of "Zen enlightenment" are accurate. Naturally, he seems to propose a "Pure Land" concept of Enlightenment as the best.

    Despite that, I really think you will find it informative, and helpful to your practice and understanding of Buddhist books and teachings.

    As always, I emphasize ... different ways up the mountain for different mountaineers and, anyway, ultimately 'what mountain?' (though, as you may see, not everyone throughout Buddhist history might agree with that!)

    Gassho, Jundo
    I am often curious as to the different Buddhas over time? I see that this article here talks about Shakyamuni Buddha. I am more familiar with Gautama "Sid" Buddha? What are some of the more profound differences?
    In Sincerity
    Shane

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by SNPII View Post
    I am often curious as to the different Buddhas over time? I see that this article here talks about Shakyamuni Buddha. I am more familiar with Gautama "Sid" Buddha? What are some of the more profound differences?
    Shakyamuni Buddha is Gautama Buddha and Gautama Buddha is Shakyamuni Buddha. =)

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gautama_Buddha

    Gassho
    Shingen

    Sat/LAH
    RINDO SHINGEN
    倫道 真現

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by SNPII View Post
    I see that this article here talks about Shakyamuni Buddha. I am more familiar with Gautama "Sid" Buddha? What are some of the more profound differences?
    That is the same person. Shakyamuni means "sage of the Shakya tribe." The historical Buddha, believed to have lived some 2500 years ago. The Buddha's name, before his renunciation, was Siddhartha Gautama. Siddhartha seems to mean something like "finding what is sought." Gautama means something like "dispelling darkness."

    Mahayana Buddhism also has countless other Buddhas, in every hair tip and grain of sand, as well as various bodies and emanations of Buddhas, and the Dharmakaya Buddha which is the Absolute beyond distinctions. These Buddhas stand for the deep interpenetration and sacredness of all things.

    In a nutshell.

    Gassho, J

    SatTodayLAH
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  14. #14
    Thanks All! I was talking to another monk I regularly converse with and he informed me the same thing. I missed the boat on that one for sure! So many names! I think I'll stick with Gautama and Sid. lol

    Sattodaytwice
    Shane
    In Sincerity
    Shane

  15. #15
    Hi all

    This was very interesting and asked a few questions I have myself about enlightenment as it was proposed in early Buddhism.

    One thing I disagree with David Brazier about (and I have commented about this on articles he has written for Buddhist journals) is the setting up of Zen as self-powered against the Pure Land faith in other power (specifically the power of Amida Buddha).

    Whereas we do have a self, this self is entirely contigent on the 10 000 things. As the body and self drop away in zazen, what self is their left to be self-powered? Rather we let the 10 000 things flow through us.

    Master Dogen is very clear about this point in Genjokoan:

    "To carry yourself forward and experience myriad things is delusion. That myriad things come forth and experience themselves is awakening."

    and:

    "To study the buddha way is to study the self. To study the self is to forget the self. To forget the self is to be actualized by myriad things. When actualized by myriad things, your body and mind as well as the bodies and minds of others drop away. No trace of realization remains, and this no-trace continues endlessly."

    To suggest that Zen is purely self-powered completely misrepresents and misunderstands the tradition in my opinion.

    When it comes to types of enlightenment, each of the eight theories seem to be one model of what is believed to be happening based on the notions of rebirth, karma and cosmology of the particular Buddhism in question. It is interesting to argue over them but in the end we can only find our way through practice, which is exactly what Dogen teaches. If you want to pray to Amida Buddha, go do that. If vipassana is your path, that is fine too. Our way is the practice enlightenment of shikantaza zazen and carrying forth the 10 000 things on and off the cushion.

    As always, my understanding is that of a novice and should not be taken as definitive or reliable.

    Gassho
    Kokuu
    -sattoday/lah-
    ------------------------------------
    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.

  16. #16
    Hi,

    You got enlightened. Now what?

    Gasho, Jishin, _/st\_

  17. #17
    You got enlightened. Now what?
    Chop wood, carry water.
    ------------------------------------
    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.

  18. #18
    Sounds good to me.

    Gasho, Jishin, _/st\_

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Kokuu View Post
    Chop wood, carry water.
    Yuppers ... Chop wood, carry water before enlightenment; chop wood, carry water after enlightenment. =)

    Gassho
    Shingen

    Sat/LAH
    RINDO SHINGEN
    倫道 真現

  20. #20
    Yuppers ... Chop wood, carry water before enlightenment; chop wood, carry water after enlightenment. =)
    This may be why we attract so many Canadians!
    ------------------------------------
    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.

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by Kokuu View Post
    This may be why we attract so many Canadians!
    You got that right ...eh!!! LOL=)

    Gassho
    Shingen

    Sat/LAH
    RINDO SHINGEN
    倫道 真現

  22. #22
    Although we do have a few spots where you look a little silly carrying your water bucket, eh

    gassho, shokai

    stlah
    仁道 生開 - Jindo Shokai "Open to life in a benevolent way"
    May we all grow together in our knowledge of the Dharma

  23. #23

  24. #24
    There is no "enlightenment." Nobody to be enlightened either.

    But if there was no realization and being enlightened, then what would be the point of Buddhist Practice and our being here? Turn of the lights, let's all go home. (A Koan)

    Master Dogen's vision is "Practice-Enlightenment." A sample from my new book, whose manuscript I am just finishing ...

    ----------

    It is said in the Soto tradition that Dogen [while still a young Tendai monk] became possessed of a great question regarding a core doctrine of the Tendai school: if, as it is taught there, all human beings are endowed with Buddha Nature and already possessed of enlightenment by birth, what need is there for any of us to nonetheless seek enlightenment by engaging in spiritual practice? This question arises in the Tendai concept of “Original Enlightenment,” which asserts that all sentient beings are already enlightened by original nature and, thus, any idea of working toward and achieving enlightenment by pursuing practices is flawed. It is this question which, it is said, caused Dogen to leave Mt. Hiei and seek other Teachers. From his later writings, we know that Dogen eventually came to the conclusion that, although we are originally “without flaw,” just as he had learned, we must nonetheless engage in ongoing Practice and polishing to constantly let that inherent flawlessness shine through. This became the cornerstone of Dogen’s emphasis on “Practice-Enlightenment” and “Continuous Practice.” ...



    Zazen is not only about when we are seated on the sitting cushion. Dogen spoke of “Practice-Enlightenment” or “Continuous Practice,” which manifests enlightenment again and again. The meaning is very simple: the jewel of our Buddha Nature is always shining and flawless, but we must constantly polish it through our present actions free of excess desire, anger, divided thinking, and like mental states that cloud the mind and manifest unwholesomeness, in order to manifest that shine. The world is always just the world, but if we choose to fill it and our life with dissatisfaction, anger, jealousy, resentments, and like pollutants, then this world and life take on those tints. On the other hand, if we bring gentleness and peace into our hearts, then our life is colored with those thoughts and the world becomes a bit nicer. It is up to us in each thought, word, and action we take in life in each moment. We bring Buddha to life, here and now, in the way we live here and now.


    Gassho, J

    SatTodayLAH
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  25. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    The world is always just the world, but if we choose to fill it and our life with dissatisfaction, anger, jealousy, resentments, and like pollutants, then this world and life take on those tints. On the other hand, if we bring gentleness and peace into our hearts, then our life is colored with those thoughts and the world becomes a bit nicer. It is up to us in each thought, word, and action we take in life in each moment. We bring Buddha to life, here and now, in the way we live here and now.
    Thank you for this. I came mostly to this same conclusion today while walking home for work. For reasons I don’t understand I’ve been in a bit of a mental funk for the past week. There’s no reason for it. As I was walking home I was stewing about stuff and I was finding myself getting angry. As I felt the anger rising I said to myself “I don’t want to feel this way any more, I want to be happy”. It was at that point that I realized the tint (to use Jundo’s word above) that anger was putting on my view of the day. I paused in my steps, looked around and tried to see the beauty of the world around me.


    Tairin
    Sat today & LAH
    泰林 - Tai Rin - Peaceful Woods

  26. #26
    I left sitting, wondering if there was a Buddha. I had been searching for Buddha since summer 1971 when I began to read Herman Hesse. These readings brought me to Allen Watts and a book The Gospel According to Zen. There was the famaous Zen Mind, Beginner Mind, and I own a copy dating from 1975, so came lots of reading, but no practice. In 2011, or so, I began simple practices bassed on the few things I knew, then people questioned me on Facebook, and I began searching in earnest when I found Treeleaf Zendo. So, Jundo is this another history? Lately I've looked to teachings from childhood, but only I could make the choice to sit, sitting so the important teachings of my mother and father are not incompatible with Shikantaza, just sitting, in stillness of morning. Thus, my childhood memories intersect with breath I pass on to my daughter, that my father has passed on to me. For me, Buddha is breath sitting, and childhood simplicity.

    Tai Shi
    st today/lah
    Gassho
    For the end is to know the beginning, to know the beginning is to know the end for the first time.

  27. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by Tai Shi View Post
    For me, Buddha is breath sitting, and childhood simplicity.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

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