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Nara Period and Zen

To: alt.philosophy.zen,alt.zen,alt.magick.tyagi,alt.religion,alt.religion.buddhism,talk.religion.buddhism,alt.consciousness,alt.philosophy.taoism
From: Pen Ting 
Subject: Nara Period and Zen (was Re: SOsborne: Re: Origins of Zen)
Date: Sat, 30 Mar 1996 13:02:31 +0000

If refering to "Zen" proper, and not "Ch'an," then we should know that 
six sects of Buddhist thought were imported into Japan almost 
simultaneously.  From these six, Tendai later emerged as a very powerful 
school of thought (following T'ien T'ai Chih-I in China), which combined 
_all_ aspects of Buddhist thought currently in China.

What does that have to do with "Zen"?  Esai and Dogen, the disputed 
"founders" of "Zen," were both monks who were originally 
ordained in the Tendai tradition. 

That means that they practiced following the traditional three aspects 
of Buddhist teaching (dhamma):  ethics (sila, moral precepts), 
knowledge (prajna, wisdom), and meditation (dyhana or samadhi, 
mindfulness).  Tibetan, Thervadin, Zen, Pure Land, Ch'an ... these sects 
_all_ practice these teachings (dhamma), although they may present them 

There are no Buddhist sects that I am aware of that deny these three 
basic teachings (dhamma).

Even when Robert Aitken, Roshi of the Diamond Sangha in Hawaii, says 
"there are no precepts (moral codes, rules, or observances)," he does 
_not_ mean that "anything goes."  He means that compassion, joy, peace, 
and friendliness are conditioned phenomena just like everything else.

In other words, being a self-righteous moral prig about rules can be 
just as bad as being a murderer, rapist, robber, or Rush Limbaugh.



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