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Questions tagged [zen]

Japanese school of Mahayana Buddhism emphasising practice.

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What is the Buddhist view in Socratic questioning?

From Socratic questioning – Wikipedia: Socratic questioning is a form of disciplined questioning that can be used to pursue thought in many directions and for many purposes, including: to explore ...
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Where does it say 'You Are Already Enlightened'?

I've heard Zen Buddhism characterised by the notion of 'Everyone is already enlightened'. Is that correct? - does Zen Buddhism actually say that and if so can someone give a reference to a text where ...
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What is the state of a Zen disciples mind prior to a Satori?

I have almost finished reading D.T. Suzuki's 'Essay's in Zen Buddhism'. There are many stories of disciples attaining state of Satori (which according to book is akin to Nirvana) when the Zen master ...
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How does the 'Great Doubt' compare to doubt?

A while back I heard something about the 'Great Doubt'. I think it is a Zen thing? Does anyone know what it is and how it might compare to the doubt that all human beings feel from time to time? Many ...
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Would zen Buddhists agree with this quote from Chih-I?

Would zen Buddhists agree with this quote from Chih-I? Quoted in T'ien-t'ai Buddhism and Early Madhyamika p110 I've not read the original material, so am not sure where Chih-I makes these points (...
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Diamond Sutra in Tibetan, Sanskrit, and/or Japanese

Does anyone know where I can find a version of the Diamond Sutra that is in one of these three formats: Classical Tibetan with Romanized Tibetan and English Devangari with Romanized Sanskrit and ...
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190 views

How do zen practitioners balance the mix between Buddhism detachment and Taoism attachment?

On this site there's a topic Is there common ground between the Tao Te Ching and Buddhism? where one of the answers says: A commentator of the Taoist philosopher Guo Xiang's work and a Taoist ...
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396 views

How does *Buddhist* meditation differ from others and lead to awakening?

The practice of meditation is central to certain Buddhist traditions, e.g. Vajrayana, Dzogchen, Zen, important for recognizing Buddha nature. Furthermore, Vajrayana and Theravada traditions assert ...
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166 views

What is the Universal Mind?

As far as I know, the concept of the Universal Mind (一心, yixin) was first coined in the 'Awakening of Faith'. In studying Zongmi, Yanshou, Chinul and Wonhyo, I found different translations such as: ...
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149 views

How is the pendulum understood in Buddhism?

I've seen the pendulum is widely used as an illustration for finding a neutral, balance point between the extremes. Its movement is also periodic which shares the same characteristic with samsara. It ...
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348 views

Spontaneity in Zen

This Zen Buddhism article starts with, Zen often seems paradoxical - it requires an intense discipline which, when practised properly, results in total spontaneity and ultimate freedom. This ...
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Is Nirvana the goal, for Zen and Theravada?

What is the main goal for Theravada Buddhism and Zen Buddhism? Is it Nirvana for both or is there any additional differences? Can the answer be detailed because this is an assignment and I am trying ...
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“The not finding (the mind) is the finding”

American Buddhist teacher Joseph Goldstein says1 that in order to cut through identification with consciousness, or the knowing mind, that Zen traditions say that in looking for the mind, there is ...
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56 views

Did Gudo Wafu Nishijima claim that there will be no pain for anyone after death?

Gudo Wafu Nishijima (incidentally Brad Warner's teacher) the soto monk, claimed that sentient beings in pain are just in hell, and hell is a supposition. I take this to mean that pain occurs without ...
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240 views

What does it mean by 'All beings have a Buddha nature'?

I have come across this phrase while studying Zen, in a Zen meditation center. It is Dogen's translation of Nirvan Sutra. That all beings by nature are Buddha. As I understand, we become Buddha when ...
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237 views

Good is not different from Bad?

In the book Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind, I read the following statement: This is the basic teaching of Buddhism. Pleasure is not different from difficulty. Good is not different from bad. Bad is good;...
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Which branches of Buddhism acknowledge the Parable Sutra?

This Sutra, known in Chinese as 佛说譬喻经, has been translated into English by Charles Patton. The Sutra makes a part of Taisho Tripitaka (Takakusu Junjiro's edition). The text is known worldwide, also ...
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Symbolic meanings in Dogen's Fugen zazengi

What is the symbolic meaning behind "the tiger takes to the mountain" in Dogen's Fugen zazengi?
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Does Dogen's wholehearted way say anything about the status of memory?

Seems to me that memory is notoriously fallible, whatever we think about the nature of the self. I have a copy, but rather than reread it, I thought to ask, whether Dogen's wholehearted way, or right ...
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Similes of Attainment

Though to the extent of my admittedly scarce knowledge, decapitation as a simile for some level of attainment is not to be found in the Pali Canon, but I bet the Zen tradition offers countless koans ...
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Can Buddhism lead to eternal happiness?

Does Buddhism propose the possibility of any state of consciousness which feels better than neutral? Many buddhist teachings I have heard so far (mostly by Alan Watts) seem to point to an "ideal" ...
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Does everyone need to sit, even zen masters, especially according to Soto zen?

Does everyone need to sit, even zen masters, especially according to Soto zen? Or are certain highly accomplished meditators incapable of experiencing scattered thoughts?
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What is the difference between right thinking and right view?

They seem to be both elements that promote a healthy perception about things in life. I have a hard time differentiating between one and the other.
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Why don't teachers just tell us the answers?

'Those who speak don't know, those who know don't speak.' (Zen aphorism) Lots of posts on SE Buddhism seem to hover around the question 'what is your original face', or 'what is Buddha' etc. It ...
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Mala in Zen Practice

What is the common use (if any) for mala beads in Zen practice. Also, is there any special etiquette involved, or other considerations?
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Does a monk wearing a samue break a prātimokṣa vow?

Monks and nuns take the vow of not wearing lay clothes. Zen monks sometimes wear a casual "working clothing" called a samue. It looks like a regular kimono, without the belt. Since lay people also ...
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Does Zen have an unusual view of samadhi?

There was a book titled Zen in the Art of Archery: Zen in the Art of Archery is a short book by German philosophy professor Eugen Herrigel, published in 1948, about his experiences studying Kyūdō, ...
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Seongcheol's parinirvana gatha

Seongcheol's parinirvana gatha reads: Deceiving people all my life, my sins outweigh Mount Sumeru. Falling into hell alive, my grief divides into ten thousand pieces. Spouting forth a red ...
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How do kōans work?

A kōan (公案?) (/ˈkoʊ.ɑːn/; Chinese: 公案; pinyin: gōng'àn; Korean: 공안 (kong'an); Vietnamese: công án) is a story, dialogue, question, or statement, (1) which is used in Zen practice to provoke the "great ...
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what is zen's attitude / teaching on keeping a journal?

Not much more to elaborate than just the question. But the website is making me type more stuff. So here it is.
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Discussion with Chih-Tao in the Platform Sutra

... does not have the appearance of origination and does not have the appearance of cessation, much less the cessation of origination and cessation. Thus, nirvana is right here. But although it is ...
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Length of daily meditation (Soto zen)

Most Soto Zen sources that I've seen advise daily Zazen, preferably when first rising and before going to bed. However, few make reference to a length of time. The only one I remember says half an ...
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Can one get into the heart of Zen Buddhism without Chinese?

Do we know any Zen teachers/masters that do not have Chinese origins and do not speak Chinese? For example English? P.S. I know that such type of logical questions are taken humorously in the zen ...
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Do Chinese-language publications about Zen Buddhism usually use Simplified or Traditional Chinese?

Is most of the Chinese content (books or articles) about Zen Buddhism, available on the internet, written in simplified or traditional Chinese? And of course, now and then we want to buy printed ...
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Not-Buddhism is the highest level of Buddhism?

I'm new here. I have a question regarding "Not-Buddhism" as the highest level of Buddhism. I'm not sure where is the source, but this is the koan. Tozan said to his monks, "You monks should know ...
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very strong cravings for compelling images of moving exciting images

The problem I find is that modern technology enables easy yielding to exciting moving images in a compulsive way via television, DVDs, cinema and the internet. How can I find free online Buddhist ...
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Is Meditation And Concentration Mutually Exclusive?

I'm relatively new to mindfulness meditation and I've been having trouble focusing / concentrating during my sessions. Even thought my meditation sessions are around 10 - 20 minutes, I feel like my ...
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277 views

Book of zen kōans

I am looking for a book of kōans that contains things like the following: Nasreddin Khodja commanded his disciples, when he sneezed, to salute him by clapping their hands and crying out: "Haïr ...
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303 views

Chop wood, carry water: why? [duplicate]

A very famous, so famous it may be apocryphal, zen quote says: Before Enlightenment chop wood carry water, after Enlightenment, chop wood carry water. What does this mean? Specifically, is the ...
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jhānas, Zen, and how to practice concentration meditation

I've read about the jhānas which one can experience from concentration (samatha) meditation. I have been practicing some form of mindfulness, breathing meditation, but have not experienced a state of ...
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Watching the flow or flow?

I had this moment , when I was engaged in conversation of topic with my friend, which we both reveled. I enjoyed the talk and we discussed without inhibition as it was natural. My question is whether ...
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What is Zen, what are Zen beliefs, and why is it called Buddhism?

Please note that i have no idea about what Zen is, and I mean no disrespect to anybody with this question. I have heard these words "Zen Buddhism", many times, and I'm curious: why it is called or ...
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Is it possible to “naturally” reach the first three jhanas

Is it possible, having been taught meditation by a zen master, to naturally enter the 1st three jhanas. By that, I mean through mental effort which is not really meditation as we normally think of it (...
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What is the meaning of the Zen quote: “Before Enlightenment chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment chop wood, carry water”?

In the question "A question regarding the level of worldly participation for a buddhist monk", Bhante gave an answer containing a Zen quote. The quote is; "Before Enlightenment chop wood, carry ...
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Are the movie Fight Club, and Project Mayhem in it, buddhist?

Is the movie Fight Club, and the Project Mayhem idea at all buddhist? Since it predicates detachment from material possesions there's a neat point. I believe in the end it's not, but wanted to ask ...
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How open are current Zen Buddhism masters to teaching westerners?

Would it be acceptable to travel to Japan or China and seek out masters of Buddhism to learn from them? Would they accept the opportunity or is it expected of everyone to seek out their own truth on ...
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Are there any strict Soto Zen teachers online that I could listen to?

Recently, I have become interested in Soto Zen. I would like to go to a Soto Zen center, but I live to far away from one. This leaves me with the option for listening to online talks. Are there any ...
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How to not let the attachment to a self and its preferences influence the choice of a particular tradition in buddhism? [closed]

I have recently dedicated my life towards a search for an practice of a right livelihood. I was acquainted to buddhist philosophy before and set my mind on clearing any preconceived ideas about it and ...
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701 views

Zen & Dukkha — Is Everything Suffering?

Thich Nhat Hanh seems to deny a major teaching on dukkha/suffering common to both Theravada and Tibetan teachings -- the idea of all-perasive suffering ("the suffering of composite things",samskara ...
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Shoshin in regular buddhism

In Zen-Buddhism there is the concept of the "Beginner's mind" called "Sho Shin" which I find fascinating. I haven't heard of something analogous in "regular" buddhism (meaning the forms of buddhism ...