Zen Buddhism Relg 102 H01
Popular in Introduction world religions
Relg 102 H01
verified elite notetaker
Popular in Religious Studies
This 0 page Class Notes was uploaded by Danielle Gibson on Friday December 4, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to Relg 102 H01 at West Virginia University taught by Dr. Snow in Summer 2015. Since its upload, it has received 18 views. For similar materials see Introduction world religions in Religious Studies at West Virginia University.
Reviews for Zen Buddhism
Report this Material
What is Karma?
Karma is the currency of StudySoup.
You can buy or earn more Karma at anytime and redeem it for class notes, study guides, flashcards, and more!
Date Created: 12/04/15
Danielle Gibson Relg Intro to World Religions Dr Alex Snow Notes 10715 Zen Buddhism Notes gt Koan riddle that is not meant to be solved gt Zen Buddhism is fundamentally theoretically linguistically philosophically the culmination of interdependence and interconnection nothingness and noselfness emptiness impermanence and constant change This is the logical extreme of what all of this would lead to gt According to Japan Zen is nothing but the logical extension of something that happened in India thousands of years earlier Zen in the Japanese language literally means to meditate In Japan the word Zen is stolen and taken from China where it is called Chan which also means to meditate Chan is stolen from India and the sand script word Dhyana Dhyana is another word for the fourth yoga raja yoga psychophysical exercise Dhyana is the tradition in India of meditation transferred to China transferred to Japan Therefore according to Japanese versions of Zen it is fundamentally the logical conclusion of what began in India gt The fourth image of the Buddha s last words is the supposed tradition of his final teachings It is a piece of esotericism secret esoteric teaching is a secret mystical teaching exoteric teaching is an open public teaching you could find in texts According to Japan there is a secretive mystical esoteric teaching of the Buddha that many traditions don t take into consideration It is called the Flower Teaching 0 He invited tens of thousands of monks to come to the monastery in northern India where he was about to die Everyone shows up excited for the Buddha s final teaching The Buddha comes in sits down and says nothing Weeks go by and he continues to sit saying nothing Over weeks thousands of the monks leave assuming the Buddha has gone crazy Near the end when weeks or months have gone by according to tradition there are 4 or 5 monks left and one particular sitting in the corner After sitting there doing nothing for so long the Buddha silently pulls a ower out from underneath his robe and holds it up which is why it s called the Buddha s Flower Sermon and says nothing More people leave assuming he s crazy One man is left Kalsarpa and he makes eye contact with the Buddha and smiles Immediately after sitting there for weeks saying nothing the Buddha says Ahh Kalsarpa you know the dharma that goes beyond words I pass on my robe to you I This is an esoteric secret teaching that a lot of Buddhists do not like because it comes down to sectarianism and who has the power and authority to teach etc I The silent teaching of the ower sermon of the Buddha then gets mythologically transported to China gt There is a historical emperor whose name is Emperor Wu Emperor Wu is a very rich and powerful man he craves knowledge because knowledge is power He hears about a secret teaching in India and he hears about a particular monk mythological because in China they re still not sure if he exists who is supposed to be a dirty itinerate wondering non sectarian crazy looking mad man His name was Bodhi Dharma Emperor Wu hears about the legend of Bodhi Dharma Bodhi wisdom Dharma teaching He is literally a wisdom teaching Emperor Wu wanting the knowledge and power sends according to tradition 500 ships and 10000 men from China to India to find Bodhi Dharma 10 years go by the Emperor hears that almost all of his ships and men were either lost or died in major storms off the China coast 10 years pass and randomly one day in China in Emperor Wu s court 3 men show up 2 of Emperor Wu s original emissaries from 10 years ago and a very odd dirty bug eyed looking man from India They d found Bodhi Dharma and brought him back to Emperor Wu 0 Emperor Wu asks a series of questions which are philosophical mythological and historical all at the same time Emperor Wu is a historical man with a lot of money and power and had invested a lot into getting Bodhi Dharma to his palace Wu has 2 questions I Question 1 What is the truth Oh Bodhi Dharma what is the answer to the highest holy truth He wants the answer to the Universe 0 Bodhi Dharma responds to Wu very carefully and very methodically He says Emptiness without truth One of the things he is doing is trying desperately to teach emperor Wu in the moment the sand script Indian Buddhist idea of Sunyata which means emptiness if everything in the universe is interdependent and interconnected then nothing exists on its own Bodhi Dharma s response is a koan When he says emptiness without trut it is a riddle not meant to be solved or answered Emperor Wu unsuccessfully tries to figure out Bodhi Dharma s response he s confused so he asks a second question 0 A Koan is meant to do 2 things to show you the limits of human thought and show you the limits of human speech It is meant to show you the limitations of what you can think and what language can express I Question 2 Who are you This is both a philosophical and historical question He is asking philosophically Who are you What are you You re from India I ve heard of this concept of the Atman the self what are you What is the self What is your idea of self hood He is also asking historically who Bodhi Dharma thinks he is Wu is a rich powerful Emperor and Bodhi Dharma is just a poor itinerate monk Who does he think he is that when the emperor asks him a question Bodhi Dharma does not reply with an answer the emperor desires or can understand 0 Bodhi Dharma answers I don t know Philosophically Bodhi Dharma is trying to give him a teaching He is not a thing that can be known When Wu asks what he is he is from India He is an Atman but according to Indian Buddhist ways of thinking an atman a thing is not something that can be known that s Maya Bodhi Dharma Is giving him the most honest answer he can he doesn t know what he is This is also a koan I His answers are not answers they are koans They aren t meant to be solved but are meant to show the emperor that his questions are misplaced He s asking bad questions Bodhi Dharma is trying to pass on the Buddha s teaching of My teachings are not true They are only useful or not useful to the emperor O The emperor tells Bodhi Dharma to leave He is upset that he did not get the answers he wanted after so much investment into the man He only asked him two simple questions neither of which Bodhi Dharma answered Bodhi Dharma leaves 0 According to mythological tradition during this entire exchange between Emperor Wu and Bodhi Dharma there is one quiet attendant sitting in the corner attendants are not meant to be heard not supposed to talk or do anything he s just there to assist the emperor When Bodhi Dharma is sent away the emperor is irritated and muttering to himself and the quiet servant speaks up dangerous to do especially considering the emperor is already upset and says Oh Emperor Wu please do not have me beheaded please forgive me for what I m about to say but I think you missed something I think you misunderstood Bodhi Dharma I think you acted too quickly I think he was trying to tell you something Emperor Wu concedes and orders them to bring Bodhi Dharma back so that he may listen again The attendant says Oh Emperor Wu you may send all of your men and all of your horses and all of your chariots you may use all of your money and all of your power you may do anything but you will never bring Bodhi Dharma back here again This is a koan I The attendant is trying to tell the emperor that even if he brings Bodhi Dharma back the teachings are not true and Bodhi Dharma is not an independent thing Time will have changed and so if he were to ask Bodhi Dharma the same 2 questions again his teachings will have changed and Bodhi Dharma would give him a completely different answer then before I You should not get attached to an answer the second noble truth No attachment You can get attached to ideas so answers are the same I According to tradition Bodhi Dharma is never found He wonders off to the Northwest corner of China and follows the yoga path of the Buddha and finds a cave in northwest China He sits in the cave and makes a vow The Bodhisattva Vow in which he says I m not leaving this cave until I can master the last words of the Buddha All things are impermanent Observe this carefully constantly He sits in front of the cave wall and begins the now 2000 year old Buddhist tradition of wall meditation where you sit as Krishna instructed Arjuna to do in the Gita right in front of the wall and watch it carefully and constantly According to tradition he sits there for so long desperately trying to observe carefully and constantly wanting to put the Buddha s teaching into practice that his legs and arms rot and fall off Because he doesn t want to miss anything because things are changing carefully and constantly over time according to tradition he takes a int and cuts off his own eyelids because he doesn t want to blink As his eyelids fall to the ground before they hit the ground they turn into tea leaves This is the origin of tea in China and why Buddhist monks drink tea to stay awake when they re meditating According to tradition Bodhi Dharma is still in a cave still staring at the walls and still observing them carefully and constantly The goal of Buddhism is to maintain any type of practice in which you observe carefully and constantly A koan is a type of teaching that does not give answers to questions but shows us the limitations of conceptual thought and linguistic speech Zazen seated meditation Za means to sit Zen means meditation 0 Most of the Zen tradition says if you re ever going to achieve enlightenment what you really need to do is sit down and intimately look at things carefully and constantly 0 Over time the notion of sitting will be discarded and what it will turn into is paying very special and close attention to whatever you re doing right now when eating just eat carefully and constantly when listening to music just listen to music carefully and constantly don t think If you can do whatever you re doing and only that your goal is to experience kensho the thisness of things 0 Kensho means if you observe something carefully and constantly you can be aware of its thisness thatness it s isness What you can t know is if it s real or unreal its color its strength its smell 0 Kensho is the experience of things without adverbs or adjectives 0 Everything you have a sensory experience of you don t put qualities to no adverbs or adjectives just isness If you can learn to do this you can experience satori Satori enlightenment O Satori is a quicker version of Nirvana 0 It means enlightenment with no adjectives or adverbs no thoughts It means ahhh 0 It is essentially Nirvana right now Patriarch heshethey who transmit the teachings of the Buddha without words or concepts 0 Bodhi Dharma is called the first patriarch 0 Huinang is the 6th Patriarch he is Chinese I He is a wood cutter for a local Chinese Monastery He s not a monk He is supposedly illiterate One day the head monk at the monastery announces to everyone that he is getting old and he thinks he s going to die soon He needs to pass on his robe and ball pass on the teachings and responsibility to whoever is smart enough to do it He basically says come into the monastery and write the best way you can to express your understanding of the dharma Days and weeks go by and people come in and write things on the board poems and such this is where the origin of haiku comes from The master keeps saying no and the students keep getting more and more upset Huinang hears the monks arguing among themselves about the old man being crazy because none of their answers are right Huinang after hearing the monks argue for weeks decides one day after he s finished chopping the wood for the morning that he s going to have a small lunch break near his favorite watering hole He goes fishing casts his line and sits back and gets nothing It s a late uneventful sunny afternoon and he begins to doze As he s waiting and dozing a frog jumps out of the reeds and into the water next to him It surprises shocks and scares him and he jumps incomprehensibly just for a moment He is in this moment empty of mind In China this is called muchin mu emptiness chin mind empty mind For Huinang that is satori those moment in which you have an experience that you cannot conceive or understand He goes back into the monastery and writes on the board splash Head monk comes in the next day and sees it and asks who wrote it All the monks tell him it was the crazy janitor not understanding it and were happy to oust him The master says he is the one who knows the dharma that goes beyond words gt The goal of a Zen Buddhist teacher is to do anything you can to give you the experience of an empty mind The goal of Zin Buddhism is to work on ritual techniques that help make that experience last more than one second The goal of Zin Buddhism is to scare you out of your wits so that you will open yourself up to a new way of experiencing the universe around you Mu is a philosophical teaching of emptiness and a teaching of performance of emptiness
Are you sure you want to buy this material for
You're already Subscribed!
Looks like you've already subscribed to StudySoup, you won't need to purchase another subscription to get this material. To access this material simply click 'View Full Document'