Best Books On Zen Buddhism Reddit

Elaine Sutton
• Friday, 01 January, 2021
• 8 min read

I think it touches and stuff that people bring to this forum sometimes... I think it's important to understand the context of realization in Zen.


There are lots of claims of realization in Zen texts and there are lots of mentions of somebody having multiple realizations... my theory is that there are actually two different things being talked about here. This is a very common realization; it happens to almost everybody at some point in their lives regardless of whether they ever study Zen.

It's what most westerners and Japanese Buddhists think about when they say “realization”. It can be the realization of the illusory nature of any previous perspective or experience or state or foundation.

They can lead to a period of confidence which deteriorates into faith that one has accomplished something. Realizations of Confusion can also lead to an intellectual conclusion that something has been seen, understood, or experienced.

It is essential to understand that Realizations of Confusion are in no way Zen Enlightenment. No matter how wonderful and profound, realizing that you were confused about something is not what Zen Masters are talking about.

We see this in texts a lot where somebody has a succession of realizations or insights or understandings and these are usually brought up because there's a final one... That final one is Realization of Enlightenment, Zen Enlightenment. Ewk note: I acknowledge that this entirely undermines the value religious communities put upon these Realizations of Confusion.

The Master said, “Because you wouldn’t acknowledge it.” With these words Cooling attained entrance into the faith. Ewk note: The problems that Buddhism faces in the West are, ironically, inversely relevant in Zen.

From The Zen Teachings of Huang Po by John Blood (1958), 78. A: If you think of your mind as resting in a state of void, then there will be such an attachment.

By the power of their vows of compassion, they have brought forth direct indications of the One Thing that is most profound and most recondite, the common essence of all the myriad forms of being. Without setting up stages, they abruptly transcend to realize this essence alone.

Since before the time when nothing existed, this essence has been ever still and unmoved, determining the basis of all conscious beings. It is never fluctuated or wavered: it is there, pure and naked and full of life.

That is why when Shakyamuni Buddha was firstborn, he immediately pointed to the heavens and to the earth and with a great lion's roar brought it right out in front. Then after he had left home and sought enlightenment for six years, he awakened at the sight of the morning star.

In the end, on Vulture Peak, he initiated the Zen transmission by holding up a flower. Those who did not know of the existence of the True Eye of enlightened perception thought that there was some kind of supernatural power or magical ability involved, and just spoke of going along with the waves and pursuing the current, never searching out the root of the transmission.

In olden times, when Marquis Li met Zen master Shi men, Shi men said to him: “This is the business of a truly great man, not something that can be done by mere generals and high officials.” In general, when superior wisdom, excellent capacity, and natural potential are already there, it is just a matter of working to penetrate through surely and truly.

If you can turn fast on top of things, then everything will submit to you, and everything will be in your grasp. At all times you remain peaceful and tranquil, without having anything whatsoever hanging on your mind.

Needless to say, leading brave heroes, commanding fierce warriors, routing powerful bandits, comforting the farmers, pacifying the nation, and assisting the work of restoring social harmony and cultural florescence all depend on this one revelation. Turning the topmost key, achieving something that cannot be taken away in ten thousand generations, you see and hear the same as the ancient Buddhas and share the same knowledge and functioning.

“Just continue in your calm, ordinary practice and your character will be built up. If your mind is always busy, there will be no time to build, and you will not be successful, particularly if you work too hard on it.

I was getting very angry and frustrated about a situation going on in my life and this helped calm me down As you can tell from my post history I go back and forth between stoicism and Buddhism as a life philosophy.

According to stoicism I can enjoy all those things in moderation as long as my happiness doesn’t become dependent on them and I recognize they are temporary. But Buddhism seems to teach that while I can enjoy these simple pleasures as a layperson, ultimately at some point in this life or future lives (not sure if I believe in rebirth yet) I will need to give them up for greater happiness in the Dharma.

If I’m not engaging in wholesome (skillful) ways with life and other people, what am I supposed to do? I realize I may be misunderstanding some core philosophies of Buddhism but this is the problem I keep coming back to again and again.

Zen Buddhism interests me more than other schools because of its focus on meditation and what seems to be a more positive take on life. From what I understand, it is advised to practice following breaths until one can concentrate fully before sitting shikantaza.

One must also have proper faith, determination, and perplexion--or curiosity--to discover true nature. In these days of the Degenerate-Dharma Age 1, most students of the way and zen are all attached to sights and sounds.

Why not allow your own mind to accompany mine, to be identical to that of empty sky, to be like that of withered wood and rock, to be like that of cold ash and dead fire? Rama is the lord of hell who judges the dead in Buddhist cosmology.

Even if you have learned to attain all minds of the three virtues 2, the four fruits 3 and the ten Bhmi 4, it is still only sitting within the humaneness and holiness. According to Mutant Hi (anthology of the Ancestral Hall), Thing was the Buddhist monk who told Emperor Wu to prepare for and to welcome the coming of Bodhidharma to the state of Liang.

And interestingly, Thing is recognized in the Lamp Transmission Records as a zen teacher, and is probably the only zen teacher who has no transmission lineage linked to Bodhidharma. For those who are embarking on the practice of the three virtues, they are considered mundane but virtuous people.

Only the stage of perfect awakening is considered Buddha, transcending the dualistic domain of humaneness and holiness. The four fruits refer to the four noble stages taught in the Savage vehicle.

When the force of the momentum ends, the arrow falls back down in return, resulting in an unfavorable birth in the next life. Thing said: Without meeting a world-transcending sharp-eyed teacher, the dharma medicine of the great vehicle is taken in vain 4.

This is a direct quote from zen teacher Yoga Quantum's 'Song of Realizing the Way'. This likely refers to the study of texts authored by the ancient ones, like that of Buddhist surreys and astral (treatises/commentaries).

The delusion of people these days, is that of fixedly for long. Hence, the sage has to be abidingly-square without being divisive, sharply-honest/upright without being injurious, straightforwardly-direct without being indulgently , emptily-illuminating without being show-offishly bright.

Hangzhou asked Annual: “*Mind is not the Buddha, knowledge is not the Way. Some background to Annual's teaching of Mind is not the Buddha, knowledge is not the Way '.

Maze (the teacher of Annual) has a famous teaching of 'This mind is the Buddha'. When Annual became a teacher, he started teaching Mind is not the Buddha, knowledge is not the Way instead.

So here in this OP, we have Hangzhou (a student of Annual) questioning if there is still fault in this particular teaching. I lost my job, my childhood traumas came back to me and I have severe PTSD, I can’t go out bc my girlfriend is immunocompromised, I haven’t seen my friends in a very long time, I was kidnapped and robbed at gun point of all but $700, I’m quickly running out of money and haven’t received any of the unemployment insurance that I was promised.

With all the personal affects and my overwhelming empathy for the rest of the world going to shit, I’ve grown increasingly pessimistic. I used to practice Buddhism daily, but now quieting my mind is next to impossible, and I can’t achieve the same level of reflection and peace I once had.

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