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Zen Buddhism is a dead end, claims Li Hong Zhi

To: talk.religion.buddhism,alt.religion.buddhism.tibetan,alt.zen,alt.buddha.short.fat.guy
From: "Ned Ludd" 
Subject: Re: Zen Buddhism is a dead end, claims Li Hong Zhi
Date: Mon, 25 Feb 2002 21:16:20 -0600

Samycarter  wrote in message
> Li has the following to say about Zen Buddhism
> (
> Li Hong Zhi, the founder of Falun Gong, claimed that Zen Buddhism
> is all mistaken, and is a dead end.  Can any Zen expert please
> enlighten us?

> Some random bozo makes some random
> claims and you need a Zen Master?

> Yes and no.

> Find the zen story about the overfilling of a questioner's tea cup.

> Enlighten us on what?

  These are all good.  No shortage of good answerers.

  Ok, let's see what Mr. Li has to say:

> "Our cultivation practice requires teaching both a cultivation method
> and Fa. Some monks in temples, especially those of Zen Buddhism, may
> have different opinions. As soon as they learn about the teaching of
> Fa, they will be unwilling to hear it. Why is it? Zen Buddhism
> believes that Fa should not be taught, that Fa is not Fa if it is
> taught, and that there is no teachable Fa; one can only understand
> something via heart and soul. As a result, to this day Zen Buddhism
> has not been able to teach any Fa. Patriarch Boddhidarma of Zen
> Buddhism taught such things based upon a statement made by Sakyamuni8
> who said: "No Dharma9 is definitive." He founded Zen Buddhism based on
> this statement by Sakyamuni. We consider this cultivation way to be
> "digging into a bull's horn."10  Why is it said to dig into a bull's
> horn? When Boddhidarma began to dig into it, he felt that it was quite
> spacious. When Patriarch II dug into it, he felt that it was not very
> spacious. It was still passable by the time of Patriarch III, but for
> Patriarch IV it was already quite narrow. There was almost no room to
> move further for Patriarch V. By the time of Huineng, Patriarch VI, it
> had reached a dead end and could move no further. If today you visit a
> Zen Buddhist to study Dharma, you should not ask any questions. If you
> ask a question, he or she will turn around and whack your head with a
> stick, which is called a "stick warning." It means that you should not
> inquire, and you should become enlightened on your own. You would say,
> "I came to study because I don't know anything. What should I become
> enlightened about? Why do you hit me with a stick?!" This indicates
> that Zen Buddhism has reached the dead end of the bull's horn, and
> there is no longer anything to teach. Even Boddhidarma stated that his
> teaching could be passed down to only six generations,...after which it
> would no longer serve any use. Several hundred years have passed. Yet
> there are people today who still hold firmly to the doctrines of Zen
> Buddhism. What's the actual meaning of Sakyamuni's pronouncement, "No
> Dharma is definitive"? Sakyamuni's level was Tathagata.11  Many monks
> later on were not enlightened at Sakyamuni's level, to the thinking in
> his realm of thought, to the real meaning of his professed Dharma, or
> to the actual meaning of what he said. Therefore, people later on
> interpreted it this way or that way with very confusing
> interpretations. They thought that "No Dharma is definitive" meant
> that one should not teach it, and it would not be Dharma if taught.
> Actually, that is not what it means. When Sakyamuni became enlightened
> under a Bodhi tree, he did not reach the Tathagata level right away.
> He was also constantly improving himself during the forty-nine years
> of his Dharma teaching. Whenever he upgraded himself to a higher
> level, he looked back and realized that the Dharma he just taught was
> all wrong. When he made progress again, he discovered that the Dharma
> he just taught was wrong again. After he made further progress, he
> realized again that the Dharma he just taught was wrong. He constantly
> made such progress during his entire forty-nine years. Whenever he
> reached a higher level, he would discover that the Dharma he taught in
> the past was at a very low level in its understanding. He also
> discovered that the Dharma at each level is always the manifestation
> of the Dharma at that level, that there is Dharma at every level, and
> that none of them is the absolute truth of the universe. The Dharma at
> high levels is closer to the characteristic of the universe than that
> of lower levels. Therefore, he stated: "No Dharma is definitive."
> In the end, Sakyamuni also proclaimed, "I haven't taught any Dharma in
> my lifetime." Zen Buddhism again misunderstood this as meaning there
> was no Dharma to be taught. By his later years, Sakyamuni had already
> reached the Tathagata level. Why did he say that he had not taught any
> Dharma? What issue did he actually raise? He was stating, "Even at my
> level of Tathagata, I've seen neither the ultimate truth of the
> universe nor what the ultimate Dharma is." Thus, he asked people later
> on not to take his words as the absolute or the unchangeable truth.
> Otherwise, it would later limit people at or below the Tathagata
> level, and they would be unable to make breakthroughs toward high
> levels. Later, people could not understand the actual meaning of this
> sentence and thought that if taught, Dharma is not Dharma-they have
> understood it this way. In fact, Sakyamuni was saying that there are
> different Dharma at different levels, and that the Dharma at each
> level is not the absolute truth of the universe. Yet the Dharma at a
> given level assumes a guiding role at that level. Actually, he was
> telling such a principle.
> In the past, many people, especially those from Zen Buddhism, held
> such prejudice and an extremely warped view. How do you practice and
> cultivate yourself without being taught and guided? There are many
> Buddhist stories in Buddhism. Some people may have read about a person
> who went to heaven. Upon arriving in heaven, he discovered that every
> word in the Diamond Sutra12 up there was different from that down
> here, and the meaning was entirely different. How could this Diamond
> Sutra be different from that in the ordinary human world? There are
> also people who claim: "The scripture in the Paradise of Ultimate
> Bliss is totally different from that down here, and it's not at all
> the same thing. Not only are the words different, but the implications
> and the meaning are all different, as they've changed." As a matter of
> fact, this is because the same Fa has different transformations and
> forms of manifestation at different levels, and it can play different
> guiding roles for practitioners at different levels.
> It is known that in Buddhism there is a booklet called A Tour to the
> Paradise of Ultimate Bliss. It states that while a monk was sitting in
> meditation, his Primordial Spirit13 (yuanshen)  went to the Paradise
> of Ultimate Bliss and saw its scenery. He spent one day there; when he
> returned to the human world, six years had passed. Did he see it? He
> did, but what he saw was not its true state. Why? It is because his
> level was not high enough, and what he was shown was only the
> manifestation of the Buddha Fa at his level. Because a paradise like
> that is a manifestation of the Fa's composition, he could not see its
> actual situation. This is what it means when I talk about "No Dharma
> is definitive."

  Hey, this is good dharma. (Fa.)  Why would someone who knows this
dharma talk about 'levels'?  You don't cuss out a birch tree for not
being an oak, do you?  Did Buddha walk the earth to turn birch trees
into oaks?

  I think he walked the earth to cause something much faster, much
more immediate.  There's no time to turn the birch tree into an oak.
It must be done now, this instant.  While the birch tree is what it


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