Zen (Chan)

The meditation (dhyana) school originating in China that emphasizes "mind-to-mind transmission"
  • Tricycle Community 4 comments

    Tea and Rice Paid Member

    When you ride in a boat and watch the shore, you might assume that the shore is moving. But when you keep your eyes closely on the boat, you can see that the boat moves. Similarly, if you examine myriad things with a confused body and mind, you might suppose that your mind and essence are permanent. When you practice intimately and return to where you are, it will be clear that nothing at all has unchanging self. *** To study the way of enlightenment 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 enlightenment remains, and this no-trace continues endlessly. More »
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    The Three Times Paid Member

    It is essential to see that we live our lives most of the time in the three times; that’s to say, the past, the present, and the future. We spend our time playing past, present, and future. Why do I suffer now? It’s because of something in the past. What about what should I do in the future? Well, I should plan to do something in the future. The odd fact is that the past actually is dead. There are memories of it, but everything in the past is actually gone, and everything in the future has not yet arisen. There’s only one place where you can actually be, and that is now. This needs thinking about, because it’s very easy to say that’s a lot of nonsense—of course there’s past, present, and future. But actually, the only place where there is something, is-ness, is only now. How could there be anything else? More »
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    A Special Transmission Paid Member

    Legend tells us that Chan Buddhism began in India, specifically when the Buddha transmitted his true dharma to one and only one disciple, Mahakashyapa. History, however, tells us a different story, namely that Chan originated in China some time around the 6th century. Over time, the Chan school spread throughout most of the Chinese sphere of cultural influence—to Korea, Vietnam, and of course Japan, and it is by its Japanese name, Zen, that Westerners recognize it best. Of course, it is not just the name; the Japanese tradition is by far the most familiar and visible of Chan’s various cultural manifestations, though Korean and Vietnamese traditions as well have gained sizable footing in the West. All of which makes for a certain irony: while Chan originated in China, and while China, after the Indian subcontinent, has been the most historically influential home for Buddhism, Westerners tend by and large to have very little working knowledge of contemporary Chinese Buddhism. More »
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    Free from Fear Paid Member

    Our greatest fear is that when we die, we will become nothing. Many of us believe our entire existence is limited to a particular period, our “lifespan.” We believe it begins when we are born—when, out of being nothing, we become something—and it ends when we die and become nothing again. So we are filled with a fear of annihilation. But if we look deeply, we can have a very different understanding of our existence. We can see that birth and death are just notions; they’re not real. The Buddha taught that there is no birth and no death. Our belief that these ideas about birth and death are real creates a powerful illusion that causes us a great deal of suffering. When we understand that we can’t be destroyed, we’re liberated from fear. It’s a huge relief. We can enjoy life and appreciate it in a new way. More »
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    Goalless Practice Paid Member

    The iconoclastic itinerant Soto Zen teacher “Homeless” Kodo Sawaki Roshi famously said, “Zazen is good for nothing!” He wasn’t being facetious. He wasn’t employing some kind of “skillful means” by saying something he really didn’t believe. He wasn’t being mystical and saying it’s good (wink, wink) for nothing (nudge, nudge). Nope. He meant it. Zazen really is good for nothing. It’s useless. Absolutely useless. One of the hardest aspects of Zen practice is getting your head around the idea that zazen has no goal. No goal at all. You don’t do it for anything except itself. It doesn’t get you anywhere. It doesn’t gain you a damned thing. More »
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    How a Buddhist Can Prepare for Death Paid Member

    Each of us will enter the Painful Bardo of Dying and Death, some of us sooner than later. Why not prepare for this event now, while you still are able to do so?  In this retreat, you will be offered practical tools to help plan this process, including completion of advance care directives, will and estate planning, death care options for Buddhists, and Tonglen, Nine Contemplations of Atisha, Essential Phowa Practice, and Dissolution of the Elements instruction. If you allow yourself this opportunity to consider your own death with clarity, lovingkindness, compassion and tenderness, you will learn to move beyond—beyond fear, apprehension, and denial, and into an acceptance and understanding of the nature of impermanence. Your willingness to do this will be a gift to your loved ones, as you will then be able to leave them with the information they will need to continue their support when you cannot speak for yourself. Retreat begins November 6, 2012. More »