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u/IntentionalBlankName · 1 pointr/zen

I wouldn't say those in recent times who study the Way do not try hard, but often they just memorize Zen stories and try to pass judgment on the ancient and modern Zen masters, picking and choosing among words and phrases, creating complicated rationalizations and learning stale slogans. When will they every be done with this? If you study Zen like this, all you will get is a collection of worn-out antiques and curios.

When you "seek the source and investigate the fundamental" in this fashion, after all you are just climbing up the pole of your own intellect and imagination. If you don't encounter an adept, if you don't have indomitable will yourself, if you have never stepped back into yourself and worked on your spirit, if you have not cast off all your former and subsequent knowledge and views of surpassing wonder, if you have not directly gotten free of all this and comprehended the causal conditions of the fundamental great matter-then that is why you are still only halfway there and are falling behind and cannot distinguish or understand clearly. If you just go on like this, then even if you struggle diligently all your life, you still won't see the fundamental source even in a dream.

This is why the man of old said: "Enlightenment is apart from verbal explanations-there has never been any attainer."

Deshan said: "Our school has no verbal expressions and not a single thing or teaching to give people."

Zhaozhou said: "I don't like to hear the word buddha."

Look at how, in verbally disavowing verbal explanations, they had already scattered dirt and messed people up. If you go on looking for mysteries and marvels in the Zen masters' blows and shouts and facial gestures and glaring looks and physical movements, you will fall even further into the wild foxes' den.

All that is important in this school is that enlightenment be clear and thorough, like the silver mountain and the iron wall, towering up solitary and steep, many miles high. Since this realization is as sudden as sparks and lightening, whether or not you try to figure it out, you immediately fall nto a pit. That is why since time immemorial the adepts have guarded this one revelation, and all arrived together at the same realization.

Here there is nowhere for you to take hold. Once you can clear up your mind and you are able to abandon all entanglements, and you are cultivating practice relying on an enlightened spiritual friend, it would be really too bad if you weren't patient enough to get to the level where the countless difficulties cannot get near you, and to lay down your body and your mind there and investigate till you penetrate through all the way.

Over thousands of lifetimes and hundreds of aeons up until now, has there ever been any discontinuity in the fundamental reality or not? Since there has been no discontinuity, what birth and death and going and coming is there for you to be in doubt about? Obviously there things belong to the province of causal conditions and have absolutely no connection to the fundamental matter.

My teacher Wuzu often said, "I have been here for five decades, and I have seen thousands and thousands of Zen followers come up to the corner of my meditation seat. They were all just seeking to become buddhas and to expound Buddhism. I have never seen a single genuine wearer of the patched robe."

How true this is! As we observe the present time, even those who expound Buddhism are hard to find, much less any genuine people. The age is in decline and the sages are further and further distant. In the whole great land of China, the lineage of Buddha is dying out right before our very eyes, We may find one person of half a person who is putting the Dharma into practice, but we would not dare to expect them to be like the great exemplars of enlightenment, the "dragons and elephants" of yore.

Nevertheless, if you simply know the procedures and aims of practical application of the Dharma and carry on correctly from beginning to end, you are already producing a lotus from within the fire.

You must put aside all the conditioning that entangles you. Then you will be able to perceive the inner content of the great enlightenment that has comedown since ancient times. Be at rest wherever you are, and carry on the secret, closely continuous, intimate-level practice. The devas will have no road to strew flowers on, and demons and outsiders will not be able to find your tracks. This is what it means to truly leave home and thoroughly understand oneself.

If, after you have reached this level, circumstances arise as the result of merit that lead you to come forth and extend a hand to communicate enlightenment to others, this would not be inappropriate. As Buddha said, "Just acquiesce in the truth, you surely won't be deceived." But even for me to speak this way is another case of a man from bandit-land seeing off a thief.



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u/Hip2BS · 1 pointr/zen

>Fayan pointed to a chair and said, “If you know the chair, there’s plenty of room.” ​
Yunmen said, “If you know the chair, you’re as far off as sky from earth.” ​
Tianyi said, “If you know the chair, it’s made of maple and cedar wood.”
Dahui remarked, “If you know the chair, you’d better shave your head and wash your feet. Even so, there are many people who still misunderstand.”

Note: The chair is the seat of consciousness, in it there is nothing, plenty of room;
in it you are atop a 1000 foot pole, as far as heaven is from earth;
it is in you, the various elements, maple and cedar wood;
if you know it you'd shave your head and wash your feet like a monk, wearing the patched robe, who could understand?


>Look: when Zhaozhou asked, "How is it when a man who has died the great death returns to life?"
Touzi Datong immediately said, "He must not go by night: he must get there in daylight."
Direct as sparks struck from stone, like the brilliance of a lightning flash. Only a transcendental man like him could do this.
A man who has died the great death has no Buddhist doc­trines and theories, no mysteries and marvels, no gain and loss, no right and wrong, no long and short. When he gets here, he just lets it rest this way.

-Blue Cliff Record

>Once you have the intent to investigate this Path to the end, you must settle your resolve and vow to the end of your days not to retreat or fall back so long as you have not yet reached the Great Rest, the Great Surcease, the Great Liberation. There's not much to the Buddha Dharma, but it's always been hard to find (capable) people. The concerns of worldly passions are like the links of a chain, joining together without a break. Those whose resolve is weak and inferior time and time again willingly become involved with then: unknowing and unawares they are dragged along by them. Only if the person truly possesses the faculty of wisdom and will power will he consent to step back and reflect.


>Once you have achieved peaceful stillness of body and mind, you must make earnest effort. Do not immediately settle down in peaceful stillness- in the Teachings this is called "The Deep Pit of Liberation," much to be feared. You must make yourself turn freely, like a gourd floating on the water, independent and free, not subject to restraints, entering purity and impurity without being obstructed or sinking down. Only then do you have a little familiarity with the school of the patchrobed monks. If you manage to cradle the uncrying child in your arms, what's the use?

-Swampland Flowers

Link to Dahui Shobogenzo

u/songhill · 1 pointr/zen

Read Zen Dawn; end your delusion

Here is what some readers have to say about Zen Dawn:

>Zen Dawn brings the same spiritual excitement to Buddhism as reading the New Testament does to Christians, but better. These texts have only just come to light in the 20th Century. They give the feel of communicating directly with those who practiced and formulated the ancient Zen wisdom in China in the 8th Century. Scholars will love them, but the down-to-earth practicality of their content will appeal to the ordinary Zen student. For example, one learns that 'paramita' means "reaching the other shore." I always wondered what it meant. However, Bodhidarma also goes on to explain the symbolism of it which in essence means that when one's "worldly dust" has been cleaned up, it enables us to escape from affliction, or, in other words, "reach the other shore." This is something everyone is striving for, each in their own way. The six paramitas or six perfections describe how to go about cleaning up our worldly dust. This way works for everyone!

>In places this book can fall deeply into esotericism. This will appeal to those who also like physics. For example, Hongren may be touching upon the physics theory that all time is happening at once when he speaks of birth and birthlessness, quoting Nagarjuna: "Phenomena are neither born of themselves, nor born of others nor born of self and others together, nor are they born without a casual basis. Thus we know: there is no birth."

>If you love Zen, you will love this book.

u/naughty · 2 pointsr/zen

Instant Zen by Foyan and translated by Thomas Cleary is really good. The introduction by the translator is a bit wonky but the body of the book is great.

If you're more Shikantanza inclined Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind and Not Always So are pretty good. They're both collections of dharma talks by Shunryu Suzuki.

I personally have a great affection for the book Zen Question it has beautiful illustrations and is in a very simple Q & A format.

u/[deleted] · 1 pointr/zen

>I must admit that I have not read a lot of zen texts or sutras. I don't know what the Third Patriarch discusses and I don't know in what context your comment came from. This last year zen has taken up my interest, but mainly from youtube lectures of zen masters, spiritual entertainers and reddit commenting and discussing. If you would expand on what the Third Patriarch said (especially this quote) I shall be an aware listener!

I'd advise you read some Zen literature from the masters. Take it straight from the horses mouth.

I personally started with [Verses of the Faith Mind] ( (The quote above), and then moved onto [Yunmen] (

>Since I come from a very western culture, brought up with western parents and western ways of thinking and teaching I have a lot unlearning to do. But I still think that intellectualism is something worth pursuing, and especially in my current employment at a warehouse, intellectualism would be a healthy wind for a lot of people. Still it has its problems with to much pride and an excessive explain-it-all-attitude, but every wave has its troths.

Nothing wrong with intellect. It's not Zen though. Zen is outside of intellectual understanding. Once you start reading some Zen literature, you'll start to realize that all of the ideas, presumptions and intellect based understandings you had about Zen are utterly wrong.

u/GreenSage45 · 2 pointsr/zen

I can't help but love you

I finally read "Not Zen" btw ... let me say that it is brilliant.

It's not often that I find a tether but some part of the book caused me to realize that I hadn't fully let go of a certain conceptualization of "the thing." I can't remember what part of the book it was (or even, actually, what the particular conception was), but it made it clear that I was still holding on to this one little nugget and then it was like this clearing sensation as I let it go.

It was something along the lines of accepting that one literally cannot (figuratively) see it or perceive it. It's a sort of "negative space" in perception. I mean, I "understood" that before, and I "saw" it ... but that was the problem.

Sure enough, listening to Hunagbo, reading the Mumonkan, and even thinking back about that convo we had about the hurricane (if you remember) ... things make so much more sense.

Sort of like wiping a film off the glass.

So anyway, thanks again.

And this post is hilarious lmao, even if I specifically call it out here, there are still going to be tons of trolls who bite. They just can't help it!

As for Ronin, I'm still optimistic. I view it like a horse race: I've given my money to the bookie, now all that's left to do is to watch the ponies run :P

u/tostono · 2 pointsr/zen

I usually recommend Zen Essence as a primer: very easy to read quotes from 18 Chan masters, they each get a dozen or so, so they all get to talk to each other without any one particular master or style dominating the conversation. Because of the format it also lets you see through the translator because each master has a different style (thus making the translator's colorations and mudding easier to notice).

Then of course Mumonkan, Faith in Mind, and then the records of whomever you're interested in based on either mumonkan or Zen Essence. The Cleary translation has multiple poems about each case from different Masters.

I also think it's crucial to read the treatment of Baizhang's fox in the Book Of Serenity, and not just Mumonkan.

The Blue Cliff Record is in my mind the ultimate mountain peak, and the BoS is the perfect compliment to it. But to start, ZE plus Mumonkan, then spiraling into the records of whom you're interested in makes a very strong foundation.

u/crapadoodledoo · 1 pointr/zen

The Zen Teaching of Huang Po is short and very straightforward unlike some Zen books. It has been the single most important book I've read without a doubt.

I've read a couple books by Shunryu Suzuki and found them very helpful. "Zen Mind Beginners Mind" is a book I read and reread many times, each time getting a bit more out of it.

I honestly don't know anything about Seung Sahn or Sawaki or other contemporary teachers. My teacher was Joshu Sasaki Roshi.

When I first started looking into Zen, I was a bit paranoid. Having been raised by very strict atheists who put down all things religions or spiritual, I wanted to be sure I was on the right track of authentic Zen and not in danger of ending up in a cult.

I decided very early on that reading books that have been tested by centuries of time was the safest and so I avoided most modern authors for the first 2 years.

If you enjoy ancient literature, I highly recommend reading a couple of the old sutras. They are often easier to read than some modern shit and they are AMAZING considering how long ago they were written.

My favorites so far as the Surangama Sutra and the Lankavatara Sutra.

u/NegativeGPA · 1 pointr/zen


Your post was likely caught in the sub's spam filter, but I invite you to check out a list that one of our sub's users, /u/ewk, has compiled of many Zen Texts:


As a personal recommendation (though it's not how I started), I'd recommend beginning with The Sayings of Joshu (Green translation):


It makes a nice "Bathroom reader" and is useful for getting you primed for "Wait wtf how does that response make sense?" because, buckle up, that's the game, my friend!


Since you mention Dharma Talks, I think you'll probably like Bankei:


However, definitely check out the Mumonkan. It's a primary source (rather than secondary source "Sayings Texts") with commentary on various "Cases" by an actual Zen Master himself: Mumon. It's claimed by Mumon himself to be intended for novices.


Have fun!

u/TeamKitsune · 1 pointr/zen

I understand. I'm sure there are a lot of us "Zen Practitioners" in this group, but maybe they've all left now. I only respond when something pops up on my front page.

Practice, in Zen, is sitting. Sitting Meditation. There is no real goal for the practice, not even the goal of "getting better at sitting." Good reading is anything that makes you want to sit. Good Teachers are those that instruct you in sitting and constantly point you back to it.

I could go on forever, but I suggest you read a practice oriented book. Opening The Hand of Thought by Kosho Ushiyama is my current favorite.

Later, you need to drop by somewhere to get instruction. Don't know where you live though. I'm lucky to have always lived on the West Coast within 50 miles of a Temple or Monastery.

u/kloudspiller · 2 pointsr/zen

> I don't think the zen characters expressed any metaphysical views, or conceptual explanations in their teachings. Logic, yes, to expose hypocrisy but not to try to support or clarify Mazu’s position.
> Mazu points. What is pointed at (the moon) is inherently a mystery. Zen is experienced non verbally, non conceptually.
> Zongmi is building conceptual models, truths, a philosophical and metaphysical synthesis, verbal descriptions of reality. This is not what Mazu, Dongshan, or their followers were doing.

So Zongmi was really more of an academic himself, than a zen student.
Academia is not about emulating zen masters (or even students), but about gathering accurate information regarding their history and concepts.
Like academics in other fields, e.g. biology, are not trying to emulate animals either.
Since this seems to be what Zongmi was also trying to do, it makes sense that he would be one of the most important sources.

>Though Zongmi was not character within the zen stories and conversations, you may enjoy reading Foyan, Instant Zen in the sense that Foyan spends a lot of time disabusing Zongmi's followers (not his immediate followers, but the institutional results of Zongm's point of view, which prevailed in Song period Chan Orthodoxy) of which Foyan is critical, and expounds upon.

I've read Foyan already (a year ago or so). I don't remember too much, though.
Maybe I'll reread it when I have time, trying to see how his teaching is actually a reaction to the conceptualized zen of people following
academics Zongmi.

u/rockytimber · 1 pointr/zen


I don't think the zen characters expressed any metaphysical views, or conceptual explanations in their teachings. Logic, yes, to expose hypocrisy but not to try to support or clarify Mazu’s position.

Mazu points. What is pointed at (the moon) is inherently a mystery. Zen is experienced non verbally, non conceptually.

Zongmi is building conceptual models, truths, a philosophical and metaphysical synthesis, verbal descriptions of reality. This is not what Mazu, Dongshan, or their followers were doing. Later, expecially in the Song period, people who claimed to be in the lineage of Mazu and Dongshan had essentially hijacked the lineage name in order to teach a new Buddhist synthesis, based largely on what Zongmi had done:

>Zongmi's lifelong work was the attempt to incorporate differing and sometimes conflicting value systems into an integrated framework that could bridge not only the differences between Buddhism and the traditional Taoism and Confucianism, but also within Buddhist theory itself.

Zongmi was classifying the finger, not looking at the moon. His interests had nothing to do with zen. And yet Zongmi's work provides the

>"most valuable sources on Tang dynasty Zen. There is no other extant source even remotely as informative"

according to Broughton, who speaks for all modern Buddhist Religious Studies department academia in this regard.

I also addressed some of this in a recent conversation with grass skirt, a Buddhist academic Phd candidate:

>point me to some other book or website ..... that clarify's Zongmi's interpretation of Mazu

Though Zongmi was not character within the zen stories and conversations, you may enjoy reading Foyan, Instant Zen in the sense that Foyan spends a lot of time disabusing Zongmi's followers (not his immediate followers, but the institutional results of Zongm's point of view, which prevailed in Song period Chan Orthodoxy) of which Foyan is critical, and expounds upon.

u/ludwigvonmises · 1 pointr/zen

I always recommend engaging with primary source works (translated, naturally...), but some people are not ready to grapple with Yuanwu's collection of koans or with Linji yet.

Some initial works to start out:

u/bobbaphet · 3 pointsr/zen

No, it wouldn't be a waste of time. It's not an "all or nothing" thing. What you get out of it is directly proportional to what you put into it. :) Opening the Hand of Thought: Great book!

u/ewk · 1 pointr/zen

Recorded Sayings of Zen Master Joshu, trans. by Green.

A wonderfully entertaining book. Zhaozhou (Joshu) is famous for his very short but nonetheless often very complicated or laugh out loud answers to a really wide variety of questions.

u/dec1phah · 1 pointr/zen

> I used to practice zen

You didn’t. What you did was some mind relaxation to not lose your cool.

If you’re interested in zen, I recommend you to dive deeper into the topic.

Would it help you with your housemate problem? Oh boy, you have no idea what’s waiting for ya :D

1. [Blue Cliff Record] (
by the Cleary brothers.

The preface will provide you a good introduction to the history of zen. Plus, insights into the lineage of the masters.

This book is actually a collection of koans. But my advice is: Don't jump into cold water. Make yourself familiar with the background first (preface's).

2. [Zen Essence] ( by Thomas Cleary.

Cleary provides quotes/ sayings from the masters referring to “topics” or “questions”, like “Zen Teaching?”, “Basis of Zen?”, “Summary of Zen Practice?”.

I think this approach is very helpful for people who want to get introduced to Zen, in terms of “What the hell is this shit about?” -- good guy Thomas Cleary!

3. Gateless Gate
by Robert Aiken.

This is rather a workbook for the practitioner than literature regarding zen.

I haven’t read the book I’ve linked to, but in my opinion, starting with the Mumonkan without any notes or comments from contemporary scholars/ students/ teachers/ translators is not the right approach. Use the commentaries from Aitken only as an orientation or a hint. The meaning itself has to be found by you!

u/Pangyun · 1 pointr/zen
u/space_noodel · 1 pointr/zen

I think that Opening the Hand of Thought is a great manual on Shikantaza.

u/eygrr · 2 pointsr/zen

You could check out the Hsin Hsin Ming, but there are some issues with relying on only a single text. If you treat it as an explanation of your own life, and then bring your own ideas into it, you end up with a modified version of your own ideas, which isn't what Zen talks about.

So, I'd recommend you try and read many different authors that talk about the same thing, in the form of Zen Essence, or just by buying a bunch of different Zen Master books and studying until you see the common theme outside of words.

u/dharmadoor · 1 pointr/zen

I appreciate the link to Jinhua Jia's statements regarding the timing and authenticity of Dazhu's works. I will study those statements more carefully.

According to The Tsung Ching Record, both works translated by Blofeld and quoted on Terebess (The Path to Sudden Attainment, Dunwu rudao yaomen lun and The Tsung Ching Record, Zongjing lu) come from his post-Mazu days, or so the story goes...

This (below) is from the first section of The Tsung Ching Record:

> The Master spent the next six years in attendance upon Ma Tsu; but, as his first teacher—the one responsible for his admission to the monastic order—was growing old, he had to return to Yueh Chou to look after him. There he lived a retired life, concealing his abilities and outwardly appearing somewhat mad. It was at this time that he composed his shastra—A Treatise for Setting Forth the Essential Gateway to Truth by Means of Instantaneous Awakening. Later this book was taken by Hsuan Yen, a disciple of his brother in the dharma, who brought it from the Yangtse region and showed it to Ma Tsu.

While the Terebess version of The Tsung Ching Record is not complete, an alternate translation of the The Tsung Ching Record can be found online. I prefer the Blofeld translation, which I purchased from amazon. It contains 43 dialogs in Dunwu rudao yaomen lun and 40 dialogs in Zongjing lu.

u/w_v · 2 pointsr/zen

I've read ewk talk about issues with D.T. Suzuki. He's been ambivalent before. I think implying he's a blind supporter is a bit uncharitable.

And as far as personal interactions, he excitedly pointed me to this new collection of koan commentaries by 12th century female Zen masters, something I don't think an elitist uninterested in modern scholarship would care for.

Edit: Removed the personal critique because it felt judgey.

u/3DimenZ · 2 pointsr/zen

Introduction to Zen Buddhism was my first book on Zen, and it was an interesting read with some solid context to the whole Zen teachings, written by Suzuki, who introduced Zen to the western world back in the day

Currently I am reading Two Zen Classics: The Gateless Gate and The Blue Cliff Records which is a solid read after the introduction with many of the well known koans

u/lyam23 · 2 pointsr/zen

I'm interested in a paper copy. Is this the translation you'd recommend?

u/smellephant · 1 pointr/zen

If you are considering trying a longer Sesshin, then Opening the Hand of Thought. However that book might be slightly less popular here than Zen Mind Beginners Mind.

u/tombh · 6 pointsr/zen

The Blue Cliff Record is a famous collection of koans with commentary. I've never actually owned a copy myself, but always enjoyed dipping into it at other people's libraries.

u/ewkbot · 1 pointr/zen

Start by studying Zen Revolution :

It's a good work for beginners. Mumonkan is another one. Between the two, if you only have to read one, I recommend Zen Revolution.

u/realshushisandwiches · 1 pointr/zen

I am reading Zen Flesh Zen Bones right now - really enjoying it. Includes the Gateless Gate.

u/academician · 2 pointsr/zen

I enjoyed The Three Pillars of Zen by Philip Kapleau. It's more detailed than "Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind".

u/Temicco · 6 pointsr/zen

Oh, no need to apologize anyway. There's just a lot of... backstory.

You'll need to couple source material like the below with the above historical scholarship if you want to come to a full understanding.

As for some primary sources:

Tang dynasty teachers who were students of Mazu (one of the most influential Zen teachers ever)

Dazhu (although, relevant)


Baizhang (this text is prohibitively expensive on Amazon, so look in local libraries.)

Song dynasty teachers

Yuanwu (1, 2)

Hongzhi (1, 2) (note, take Taigen dan Leighton's introduction to Cultivating the Empty Field with a grain of salt, as he's a shitty scholar. He basically just misrepresents Hongzhi and Dahui's relationship. See Schlutter's How Zen Became Zen for more details.)

Song dynasty kanhua Chan teachers (kanhua is the main approach to Zen in both Rinzai and Seon)

Dahui (Yuanwu's student)


A Japanese Zen teacher

Bankei (1, 2)

A Korean Zen teacher

Daehaeng (1, 2, 3)


Note that this leaves out huge swathes of the literature, including all of the literature associated with the East Mountain teaching, the Northern school, the Oxhead school, Soto, most of Rinzai, Obaku, most of Seon, etc. Of course, some people with more fixed and essentialist ideas of what "Zen" is object to the idea that some of these other schools/lineages are actually "Zen". Use your own head. (I'm not saying they're necessarily wrong; I'm just saying that once you feel comfortable with the basics, start to think critically about Zen and your own study of it, including e.g. how you would decide which teachings to follow, and why.)

There's no roster of "Zen masters^TM " anywhere, so the above is a bit of a random mix of my own choosing.

While reading, note what people say and ask yourself questions -- where do they agree? Where do they disagree? If they disagree, should that be reconciled or not, and why?

Some more pointed questions to ask for each book: What can one do to reach awakening? What ways to reach awakening are preferred over others? What practices and doctrines are criticized? Is there any cultivation necessary at any point along the path? If yes, what is to be cultivated? If the teacher is talking about the teachings of earlier masters, are those teachers being represented accurately, or are extrinsic frameworks being laid onto them to fit the later teacher's presentation of Zen? If you had to sum up the teacher's teaching in a slogan, what would it be?

Really, the main thing is that you can think critically about what you're reading, but the above reading list and approach would give you a really solid foundation for the things people tend to talk about on this forum.

u/zaddar1 · 3 pointsr/zen

" Troll claims other people don't have experiences "

so when you read miaozong its obvious she had a dai kensho experience and you are doing a 180 degree turn and have decided you have had one ?

like paul of tarsus, you are off to missionize the world ?

u/planetbyter · 2 pointsr/zen

Yes it was, as a matter of fact they were chanting lines from Not Zen. Also it wouldn't even matter to you, because Zazen meditation is not Zen according to you anyway.

EDIT: You also didn't answer the question.

u/DirtyMangos · 0 pointsr/zen

>Dahui's Real Original, the First Shobogenzo:

Anybody that goes around on the internet telling people he knows what's "real" usually needs to get his tinfoil hat checked.

u/amberandemerald · 1 pointr/zen

Someone here recommended this to me and I am working my way through it. Shipping took forever. 😐

u/CaseyAPayne · 1 pointr/zen

>HIstorically, there is no evidence that Bodhidharma wrote outline of practice.

"In the early part of this century, the discovery of a walled-up cave in northwest China led to the retrieval of a lost early Ch'an (Zen) literature of the T'ang dynasty (618-907). One of the recovered Zen texts was a seven-piece collection, the Bodhidharma Anthology. Of the numerous texts attributed to Bodhidharma, this anthology is the only one generally believed to contain authentic Bodhidharma material." - The Bodhidharma anthology: The earliest records of Zen

I imagine this is the source in English. I imagine the bulk of the scholarship surrounding the texts was done in Chinese.

>Zen Masters don't ascribe outline of practice to Bodhidharma or even mention the text at all, let alone in relation to Zen, anywhere that I've found.

I have no idea who you would include as "Zen Masters" so I can't help there.

>What Zen Masters say about Bodhidharma would suggest that outline is unrelated to Bodhidharma.

Again, I don't know who you include as "Zen Masters". It appears scholars agree that it is from him.

>There is no evidence that Bodhidharma or anybody else thought "wall gazing" was meditation; Dogen lied about this in FukanZazenGi, and like Jesus being resurrected, lots of people thought it sounded good.

I don't think the text suggested that he thought wall was meditation. I was just sharing the only connection to meditation in that book which scholars generally agree came from Bodhidharma.

u/wordsfail · 1 pointr/zen

It can be useful to come in contact with words and letters especially when they "point" to consciousness beyond words and letters, without desires, aversions, and delusions. If words were altogether useless, those masters would have said nothing on the subject. It seems that many of the old masters did just that a lot of the time (said nothing). The words are the opening gambit, it's all changing experience.

u/ewkbotbot · -3 pointsr/zen

> Master ewk wrote a book for us: - I recommend you to study it before you make further comments on /r/zen ... to be one of the ewks, study Not Zen and what Zen Masters didn't teach.

Zen Masters didn't teach this. There are no "ewks" How to study a green sound sleeping?

u/Yusei94 · 2 pointsr/zen

I'd suggest you read some Huang Po.
I think you can find a PDF of it online, somewhere.

u/SamuraiFromHell · 2 pointsr/zen

The jar represents entangling thoughts and calculations/confusions.

Kicking it over is zen.

What is zen? Words can only barely point to it, but here is a start:

Or here:

u/essentialsalts · 2 pointsr/zen

You can find Cleary’s translation collected in Zen Dawn, also including Shenxiu’s Bodhidharma Treatise and the Sudden Enlightenment Treatise.

u/Dillon123 · 1 pointr/zen

Do you consider yourself as someone who studies Zen?

Why are you selling a book?

u/singlefinger · 1 pointr/zen

Still working on it.

Not a fan of Hoffman, bailed on that one. I'm reading this right now.

u/ziggah · 1 pointr/zen

I didn't lie about a free pdf, I simply didn't know about it because the link in question is where I bought it from. you know the one you made 30 bucks from.

u/snbeings · 1 pointr/zen

The Zen Teaching of Huang Po: On the Transmission of Mind

fundies gonna have to find other ways to revolt

u/will42 · 1 pointr/zen

There are reasons for sitting in the half/full lotus position. It's important not to forget about the physiological aspect of meditation. Proper posture and breathing go a long way in altering how the mind works. Meditation isn't just a mental exercise.

As you bring your spine into alignment and breathe properly, your mind will begin to quiet itself. Tension in the body is mirrored in the mind. You can't really fix one without fixing the other. It's easy to underestimate the power that our bodies hold over our minds, and it's important not to fall into the trap of thinking that meditation is just an exercise in relaxation.

Katsuki Sekida's book, Zen Training, has some interesting discussion on the physiological aspects of Zen.

EDIT: What do we do whenever we need to focus intently on something? We tighten our abdomen and hold our breath. Stress and anxiety--constant mental chatter--lead to chronic tension in the abdomen. The intercostal muscles tighten, shrinking the chest cavity and increasing pressure on the internal organs. Breathing is more shallow, and the brain receives less oxygen. The shoulders slump forward and the spine is pulled out of alignment. Pain in the body makes it more difficult for the mind to focus, making it that much more difficult to reach a calm, centered state.

Using the lotus positions allows one to bring the spine into alignment, and provide a good, sturdy foundation for sitting properly. Correcting these physical manifestations of stress go a long way towards quieting the mind. It's important not to underestimate how much of a difference proper posture and breathing make in fixing the mind.

u/thejoesighuh · 1 pointr/zen

> Dahui's Original Shobogenzo:
>ewk \^? note: People who don't study Zen, but instead attach themselves to religious doctrines and messiahs and such can't handle words like this... they invariable add some "wisdom" or something to this teaching to "help" people with supernatural "wisdom"... but all this really adds is their desperation. Zen students on the other hand will shrug and say, "outside of words" or "vain talk", but what does this take away from "still doesn't leave"?
>Without adding anything, without knowledge of what hasn't left, where are we?

That's all that will display for me on mobile and my laptop in multiple browsers. Mobile shows a partial quote preview after "Shobogenzo:" but all it displays is what I quoted. What the heck!