Mujitsu and Tairaku's Shakuhachi BBQ

World Shakuhachi Discussion / Go to Live Shakuhachi Chat

You are not logged in.


Tube of delight!

#1 2008-06-04 15:08:35

lowonthetotem
Member
From: Cape Coral, FL
Registered: 2008-04-05
Posts: 529
Website

Stories of Fuke

Here is an online translation of the Linji Lu.

http://www.thezensite.com/ZenTeachings/ … Rinzai.pdf

Here is the first story I found of old Puhua/Fuke,

44.a. One day the master and Fuke went to a vegetarian banquet
given them by a believer. During the meal, the master asked
Fuke: " 'A hair swallows the vast ocean, a mustard seed contains
Mt. Sumeru' — does this happen by means of supernatural
powers, or is the whole body (substance, essence) like this?"
Fuke kicked over the table.
The master said: "Rough fellow."
Fuke retorted: "What place is this here to speak of rough and
refined ?"
b. The next day, they went again to a vegetarian banquet. During
that meal, the master asked: "Today's fare, how does it compare
with yesterday's?"
Fuke (as before) kicked over the table.
The master said: "Understand it you do — but still, you are a
rough fellow."
Fuke replied: "Blind fellow, does one preach of any roughness or
finesse in the Buddha-Dharma?"
The master stuck out his tongue.

Crazy Wisdom.  Any comments on the meaning?  I wonder how it relates to the other Dharma talks by Linji in the presence of the Prefect.  Why waste all that good food?  Maybe he preferred pork chops?


"Turn like a wheel inside a wheel."

Offline

 

#2 2008-06-04 15:14:24

edosan
Edomologist
From: Salt Lake City
Registered: 2005-10-10
Posts: 2185

Re: Stories of Fuke

Maybe he was just an assh*ole...

eB


Zen is not easy.
It takes effort to attain nothingness.
And then what do you have?
Bupkes.

Offline

 

#3 2008-06-10 04:56:46

Priapus Le Zen M☮nk
Historical Zen Mod
From: St-Jerome, Quebec, Canada
Registered: 2006-04-25
Posts: 612
Website

Re: Stories of Fuke

edosan wrote:

Maybe he was just an assh*ole...

eB

Would not actually be surprised.

My take on Fuke and Rinzai bithcing at eachother is that Fuke seesm to dislike idle and useless talk and will use his freakyness to just cut the crap.


Sebastien 義真 Cyr
春風館道場 Shunpukan Dojo
St-Jerome, Quebec, Canada
http://www.myspace.com/shunpukandojo

Offline

 

#4 2008-06-10 15:24:29

lowonthetotem
Member
From: Cape Coral, FL
Registered: 2008-04-05
Posts: 529
Website

Re: Stories of Fuke

My take on Fuke and Rinzai bithcing at each other is that Fuke seems to dislike idle and useless talk and will use his freakyness to just cut the crap.

My take is less "idle" talk, as in chit chat, as he seems to spend a great deal of time in the market chatting it up with folks.  I think he gets crabby over Lin Chi's habit of always seeking to qualify Pahua's answers.  He seems to be saying, "So you want to test me?  How you like this!  How do you like me now?"  I think this is given as a thematic continuation of Lin Chi before the Prefect.  "You want a talk that enlightens you?  When you meet a Buddha, kill him."

Of course it all stems from the question of "Do you like the food?"  Fuke seems to cut through the crap, as you say, and tips the table, in effect saying "How is it now that we have nothing to eat.  That food, humble as it was (or not), would have been wonderful, considering that now we go hungry."

More idle chatter from me.  I'll try to cut and paste the other Fuke/Puhua story from the Record of Lin Chi later today.


"Turn like a wheel inside a wheel."

Offline

 

#5 2008-06-10 16:20:16

edosan
Edomologist
From: Salt Lake City
Registered: 2005-10-10
Posts: 2185

Re: Stories of Fuke

lowonthetotem wrote:

He seems to be saying, "So you want to test me?  How you like this!  How do you like me now?"  I think this is given as a thematic continuation of Lin Chi before the Prefect.  "You want a talk that enlightens you?  When you meet a Buddha, kill him."

I like your analysis. Has a lot more redeeming social value than 'assh*le'....


Zen is not easy.
It takes effort to attain nothingness.
And then what do you have?
Bupkes.

Offline

 

#6 2008-06-10 17:53:08

Zakarius
Member
From: Taichung, TAIWAN
Registered: 2006-04-12
Posts: 361

Re: Stories of Fuke

edosan wrote:

I like your analysis. Has a lot more redeeming social value than 'assh*le'....

On the other hand, it doesn't really embody the "cut the crap" modality...

Zak -- jinashi size queen


塵も積もれば山となる -- "Chiri mo tsumoreba yama to naru." -- Piled-up specks of dust become a mountain.

Offline

 

#7 2008-06-10 18:33:47

lowonthetotem
Member
From: Cape Coral, FL
Registered: 2008-04-05
Posts: 529
Website

Re: Stories of Fuke

On the other hand, it doesn't really embody the "cut the crap" modality...

So what does embody the "cut the crap" modality?  Maybe you prefer nobody talked about it?  Kind of like Fuke preferring that nobody eat?


"Turn like a wheel inside a wheel."

Offline

 

#8 2008-06-10 18:40:29

lowonthetotem
Member
From: Cape Coral, FL
Registered: 2008-04-05
Posts: 529
Website

Re: Stories of Fuke

45. One day the master and the two old teachers Kayo and
Mokuto were sitting in the hearth pit of the meditation hall. The
master remarked: "Every day Fuke plays the fool in the street
markets. Does anyone know whether he is a vulgar fellow or a
sage?"
Before he had finished speaking, Fuke came in. The master asked
him: "Are you a vulgar fellow or a sage?"
Fuke replied: "Say it yourself whether I am a vulgar fellow or a
sage." The master gave a Katsu.
Fuke, indicating each with his pointing finger, said: "Kajo's style
of the newlywed bride, Mokuto's grandmotherly Zen, Rinzai's
little servant — all three have the single eye."
The master remarked: "This robber."
Fuke left, shouting "robber, robber."


"Turn like a wheel inside a wheel."

Offline

 

#9 2008-06-10 20:12:56

Zakarius
Member
From: Taichung, TAIWAN
Registered: 2006-04-12
Posts: 361

Re: Stories of Fuke

lowonthetotem wrote:

On the other hand, it doesn't really embody the "cut the crap" modality...

So what does embody the "cut the crap" modality?  Maybe you prefer nobody talked about it?  Kind of like Fuke preferring that nobody eat?

No, not at all! I just think that your take on what Fuke was trying to impart was more articulate but didn't capture the feel like Edosan's original take.

Zak -- jinashi size queen


塵も積もれば山となる -- "Chiri mo tsumoreba yama to naru." -- Piled-up specks of dust become a mountain.

Offline

 

#10 2008-06-10 20:52:28

lowonthetotem
Member
From: Cape Coral, FL
Registered: 2008-04-05
Posts: 529
Website

Re: Stories of Fuke

With the second story in mind, perhaps we should ask Edosan, "Is he an as*hole, or a sage?"


"Turn like a wheel inside a wheel."

Offline

 

#11 2008-06-10 21:09:30

Lorka
Member
Registered: 2007-02-27
Posts: 303

Re: Stories of Fuke

Every sage is an asshole.  But not every asshole (sadly) is a sage...

These "wisdom snapshots" are nice, but a bit of a waste of time.  Sort of like studying spontaneous behaviour, or thinking of a good come back before you've been insulted, so you can appear extra-special witty.   Best to be as blank as possible.  Or such is the lesson I glean. 

Now, if Fuke ever knocked over my table and ruined my meal I would smack him upside the head with my 2.8 Taimu, and figure out the enlightenment bit later.

Now, when I want direct, no word-mincing facticity I look to Edosan's comments.  I mean all this very much as compliment.   I always appreciate his candor.


Gravity is the root of grace

~ Lao Tzu~

Offline

 

#12 2008-06-10 21:56:54

lowonthetotem
Member
From: Cape Coral, FL
Registered: 2008-04-05
Posts: 529
Website

Re: Stories of Fuke

Every sage is an asshole.

I think broad statements like that are precisely the target in the second story.

Sorry to waste time, but some very nice monks took the time to write this record down.  I worry about wasting their time by allowing works like this to go unread.  Only the snapshots are here.  Please, feel free to use the link and review the entire work.  Thich Nhat Hanh recently (relatively speaking) completed a commentary on it called Nothing to Do, Nowhere to Go (or maybe it is the reverse).  He does not comment on Fuke, though.

Blank is good, although it requires some preparation.  It is interesting that the Master and Teachers are characterized in a fawning relationship, one teacher as a new bride ready to bend over, so to speak, and take it on her wedding night and the other as an old grandma ready to overlook faults and dote on her favorite.  Best to be a robber in such company.


"Turn like a wheel inside a wheel."

Offline

 

#13 2008-06-10 23:18:41

Lorka
Member
Registered: 2007-02-27
Posts: 303

Re: Stories of Fuke

lowonthetotem, I did not mean to project a dimissive attitute, though such a stance might be rather zen and sage like of me.   I actually like these little stories, but my issue, I suppose, is they tend to follow a fairly standard narrative structure, in which someone does something seemingly shocking to prove much more zen they are (or to prove what zen is, or is not), therby inducing some kind of jolt of enlightenment in another person.   These kind of things have a lesson embedded in them, for sure, but they also lend themselves to what I call "the zen contest".  This kind of a contest often seems to be parodied in some of the stories themselves (which, as I say, I do enjoy), but the "I'm more zen (read evolved) than you" or "my master is more enlightened than your master" bogs us down in an absurd mud pool of relativity.   

When I said it was a waste of time, I meant that the analytical deconstruction of meaning takes away the immediacty of the very meaning that we hope to extract.  We try to extract wisdom, but often end up with clever written dogma, or simply more ammunition with which to prove how remarkably clever and evolved we are.  Like talking about being spontaneous, rather than actually being so.

Talking about zen is not zen, just as the Tao that is named is not the Tao that is.  Am I making any sense at all.  Maybe I'm just trying to say that the dispensation of wisdom is a dubious business indeed, even the wisdom of the east.   

Then again, I am not very Zen.  I have read stories and smiled, but that does not make me zen.  When I go play the shakuahchi, I start to get somewhere in my own little way. 

The lesson I get from these stories is to embrace direct experience, and in doing so engage in "pure" unreflected action.  That's what I meant by "being blank." I should have said "empty", as in the empty of the bowl, etc. 

Flute is as good as any other action, if done with pure intent, i.e. with our chattering monkey minds turned off, or at the very least turned way the  hell down. 

I universally tend to avoid universal statements, but I do suspect that every sage is indeed an asshole/smart ass/trickster (at least to some degree), especially the ones who think they are sages.   Is that not part of their charm?   Hmmm, do forgive the ramble.

I think shnitzel loving Horst would have said it better, and perhaps in the form of a zen-like parable

Last edited by Lorka (2008-06-10 23:29:45)


Gravity is the root of grace

~ Lao Tzu~

Offline

 

#14 2008-06-10 23:28:46

Priapus Le Zen M☮nk
Historical Zen Mod
From: St-Jerome, Quebec, Canada
Registered: 2006-04-25
Posts: 612
Website

Re: Stories of Fuke

Lorka wrote:

lowonthetotem, I did not mean to project a dimissive attitute, though such a stance might be rather zen and sage like of me.   I actually like these little stories, but my issue, I suppose, is they tend to follow a fairly standard narrative structure, where someone does something seemingly shocking to prove much more zen they are (or to prove what zen is, or is not) to induce some kind of jolt of enlightenment in another person.   These kind of things have a lesson embedded in them, or sure, but they also lend themselves to what I call "the zen contest".  This kind of a contest often seems to be parodied in some of the stories themselves (which, as I say, I do enjoy), but the "I'm more zen (read evolved) than you" or "my master is more enlightened than your master" bogs us down in an absurd mud pool of relativity.   

When I said it was a waste of time, I meant that the analytical deconstruction of meaning takes away the immediacty of the very meaning that we hope to extract.   Like talking about being spontaneous, rather than actually being so. Talking about zen is not zen, just as the Tao that is named is not the Tao that is.  Am I making any sense at all.  Maybe I'm just trying to say that the dispensation of wisdom is a dubious business indeed, even the wisdom of the east.   Then again, I am not very Zen.  I have read stories and smiled, but that does make me zen.  I go play the shakuahchi, then I start to get somewhere.  The lesson I get from these stories is to embrace direct experience, and in doing so engage in "pure" unreflected action.  That's what I meant by "being blank." I should have said "empty", as in the empty of the bowl, etc.   Flute is as good as any other action, if done with pure intent, i.e. with our chattering monkey minds turned off, or at the very least turned way hell down.  Hmmm, do forgive the ramble

Very well said I like the overall wording of your post. Other than that the whole thread is getting in the Horse playing with the Monkey type of interaction.

Anyway also some of the problems trying to make sense of the Rinzai book and other Chinese Zen books is the fact that many of them were just translated and not fully explained . By this I mean that on many occasion the stuff you read in English is a Chinese expression that needs to be explained in order to make more sense.

This is why even the Japanese and Korean had to make bunch of annotations and comments on those Chinese Zen books in iorrder for the monks to be able to grasp the whole gimmick.


Sebastien 義真 Cyr
春風館道場 Shunpukan Dojo
St-Jerome, Quebec, Canada
http://www.myspace.com/shunpukandojo

Offline

 

#15 2008-06-11 00:07:03

Thomas
Member
From: New York City
Registered: 2006-04-21
Posts: 81

Re: Stories of Fuke

Gishin,
What is "the Horse playing with the Monkey type of interaction" anyway?  I'm curious of the ramifications/historical context of this image.

Offline

 

#16 2008-06-11 00:37:33

Priapus Le Zen M☮nk
Historical Zen Mod
From: St-Jerome, Quebec, Canada
Registered: 2006-04-25
Posts: 612
Website

Re: Stories of Fuke

Thomas wrote:

Gishin,
What is "the Horse playing with the Monkey type of interaction" anyway?  I'm curious of the ramifications/historical context of this image.

Means that when trying to meditate or concentrate on something that is important your brain is unfocused and spends energy uselessly playing with the monkey.


Sebastien 義真 Cyr
春風館道場 Shunpukan Dojo
St-Jerome, Quebec, Canada
http://www.myspace.com/shunpukandojo

Offline

 

#17 2008-06-11 05:00:26

Zakarius
Member
From: Taichung, TAIWAN
Registered: 2006-04-12
Posts: 361

Re: Stories of Fuke

Lorka wrote:

Then again, I am not very Zen.  I have read stories and smiled, but that does not make me zen.  When I go play the shakuahchi, I start to get somewhere in my own little way. 

The lesson I get from these stories is to embrace direct experience, and in doing so engage in "pure" unreflected action.  That's what I meant by "being blank." I should have said "empty", as in the empty of the bowl, etc.

You may not be 'very Zen', but you sound like a Taoist master... would this be a bad time to bring up 'wu wei'?

Zak -- jinashi size queen


塵も積もれば山となる -- "Chiri mo tsumoreba yama to naru." -- Piled-up specks of dust become a mountain.

Offline

 

#18 2008-06-11 05:09:41

Horst Xenmeister
Shiham
From: Germany
Registered: 2007-05-26
Posts: 69
Website

Re: Stories of Fuke

If Fuke is not Zen or asshole, which we may not accept whether he speaks truth or, opposite explains you to history not the truth of the Zenperspektive.


i am horst

Offline

 

#19 2008-06-11 05:54:06

Priapus Le Zen M☮nk
Historical Zen Mod
From: St-Jerome, Quebec, Canada
Registered: 2006-04-25
Posts: 612
Website

Re: Stories of Fuke

Zakarius wrote:

Lorka wrote:

Then again, I am not very Zen.  I have read stories and smiled, but that does not make me zen.  When I go play the shakuahchi, I start to get somewhere in my own little way. 

The lesson I get from these stories is to embrace direct experience, and in doing so engage in "pure" unreflected action.  That's what I meant by "being blank." I should have said "empty", as in the empty of the bowl, etc.

You may not be 'very Zen', but you sound like a Taoist master... would this be a bad time to bring up 'wu wei'?

Zak -- jinashi size queen

Anyway Zen as a Chinese form of Buddhism when reading the old masters IS very obvioulsy and greatly influenced by Taoism anyway.

Now for a little taste of Fuke stuff 2008 style. (If my Aunt had balls she would be my uncle!)


Sebastien 義真 Cyr
春風館道場 Shunpukan Dojo
St-Jerome, Quebec, Canada
http://www.myspace.com/shunpukandojo

Offline

 

#20 2008-06-11 15:34:25

lowonthetotem
Member
From: Cape Coral, FL
Registered: 2008-04-05
Posts: 529
Website

Re: Stories of Fuke

Anyway also some of the problems trying to make sense of the Rinzai book and other Chinese Zen books is the fact that many of them were just translated and not fully explained ... This is why even the Japanese and Korean had to make bunch of annotations and comments on those Chinese Zen books in iorrder for the monks to be able to grasp the whole gimmick.

The text in question is actually an English translation of a Japanese translation of the original Chinese, hence the names Rinzai and Fuke and words like Katsu.  I did mention a commentary written by the 28th Patriarch of the Lin Chi tradition if anyone cared to look into it.

As far as disecting the wisdom of Zen, these are stories not Koans.  I would be hesitant to utilize them as the object of meditation and would tend to look for more literal meaning.  Although the second story suggests that Fuke has spent a considerable amount of time contemplating the popular "Who am I" Koan.

I actually like these little stories, but my issue, I suppose, is they tend to follow a fairly standard narrative structure, in which someone does something seemingly shocking to prove much more zen they are (or to prove what zen is, or is not), therby inducing some kind of jolt of enlightenment in another person.

Indeed, it should be noted I suppose that these stories were not written by Fuke or Rinzai (I am trying to do better using the Japanese names).  They were recorded by monks who may or may not have heard the exchanges.  Some may have been collected many years after the fact and therefore are bound to follow a certain narrative style.  Such is the nature of stories, as dissatisfying as they may be in certain ways.  Expecting to find untarnished wisdom in them or subsequent musings or explanations may say more about the nature of expectations than the nature of stories or explanations.

What is "the Horse playing with the Monkey type of interaction" anyway?  I'm curious of the ramifications/historical context of this image.

As the mule prepares to depart, the horse has already arrived.

Anyway Zen as a Chinese form of Buddhism when reading the old masters IS very obvioulsy and greatly influenced by Taoism anyway.

Although Chan is often explained in the terms of Toaism, as well as Confucianism since both were popular philosophic structures of the time, the Buddhism transmitted by Bodhidharma and the subsequent Chinese patriarchs, and even by Dogen, is firmly rooted in the Mahayana tradition as described by Nagarjuna.  It should be noted that there was already a line of 28 patriarchs of Dhyanna/Chan/Zen when Bodhidharma walks into China.  It would seem difficult to translate this tradition into Chinese without using words that carried Toaist conotations, just as it was difficult to translate it into Japanese without using words that had Shinto conotations.  And, since this Zen is a special transmission outside the scripture, it would be hard to say that the influence of either of these traditions was profound in anyway, although many may have been influenced in their reading outside the line of these patriarchs.  Anyway, that could encompass an entire thread on its own.  I just hoped to share some stories here.  My apologies for sinking to my more explicative depths.

46. One day Fuke was eating raw cabbage before the meditation
hall. The master saw him and said: "You have quite the air of an
ass." Fuke began to bray.
The master said: "This robber."
Fuke went away, shouting "robber, robber."

Ass is another word for mule, ne c'est pas?  We all bray once in a while I think, and raw cabbage will give you some fabulous farts.


"Turn like a wheel inside a wheel."

Offline

 

#21 2008-06-11 18:29:17

Priapus Le Zen M☮nk
Historical Zen Mod
From: St-Jerome, Quebec, Canada
Registered: 2006-04-25
Posts: 612
Website

Re: Stories of Fuke

lowonthetotem wrote:

As far as disecting the wisdom of Zen, these are stories not Koans.  I would be hesitant to utilize them as the object of meditation and would tend to look for more literal meaning.  Although the second story suggests that Fuke has spent a considerable amount of time contemplating the popular "Who am I" Koan.

What makes you so sure of this? Just because the Rinzai roku was not labelled as Koans? Some of the stories in it sure fit that description. Alos considering that the Rinzai schools bases a lot of their stuf fon use of Koan it would be natural that the main book on their founding masters saying would have this taste.

lowonthetotem wrote:

Indeed, it should be noted I suppose that these stories were not written by Fuke or Rinzai (I am trying to do better using the Japanese names).  They were recorded by monks who may or may not have heard the exchanges.  Some may have been collected many years after the fact and therefore are bound to follow a certain narrative style.  Such is the nature of stories, as dissatisfying as they may be in certain ways.  Expecting to find untarnished wisdom in them or subsequent musings or explanations may say more about the nature of expectations than the nature of stories or explanations.

As I see it when it gets to Fuke not much is known about him other than what is in the Rinzai roku and it looks like he could even be fabricated. Also most of the stories could be based on stuff that happened but I would not bet on that. 

lowonthetotem wrote:

Although Chan is often explained in the terms of Toaism, as well as Confucianism since both were popular philosophic structures of the time, the Buddhism transmitted by Bodhidharma and the subsequent Chinese patriarchs, and even by Dogen, is firmly rooted in the Mahayana tradition as described by Nagarjuna.  It should be noted that there was already a line of 28 patriarchs of Dhyanna/Chan/Zen when Bodhidharma walks into China.  It would seem difficult to translate this tradition into Chinese without using words that carried Toaist conotations, just as it was difficult to translate it into Japanese without using words that had Shinto conotations.  And, since this Zen is a special transmission outside the scripture, it would be hard to say that the influence of either of these traditions was profound in anyway, although many may have been influenced in their reading outside the line of these patriarchs.  Anyway, that could encompass an entire thread on its own.  I just hoped to share some stories here.  My apologies for sinking to my more explicative depths.

But the main point of all this IS Zen as we know it and pursue it was made up in China so what was used and the way it was transmitted in China shows a lot to do with mostly Taoism and some parts of Confucianism this is quite normal. If people want to cling to images of transmission from India to China from master so and so in order to make it more legit or more sacred go for it. But again the main point is that all those Schools and the writings of their masters are Chinese products.

Anyway when it comes to Japan and your Shinto relationship the written texts and traditions of Shinto are anyway mostly influenced by Taoism  and confucianism themselves. Shinto is 100% Japanese but the ritualisation, clothes accessosirs, written texts etc. is mostly based on Chinese stuff way of structuring and presenting. My question to you is. What is a Shinto connotation?


Sebastien 義真 Cyr
春風館道場 Shunpukan Dojo
St-Jerome, Quebec, Canada
http://www.myspace.com/shunpukandojo

Offline

 

#22 2008-06-11 19:33:01

Lance
Member
Registered: 2008-01-19
Posts: 74

Re: Stories of Fuke

I'm not a scholar of any of this as many of you obviously are... 

what about the Zen precept of casting away books and study of all this to find enlightenment...  seems that 'Zen' is about that. (Which is SO much more relaxing than the study of ancient philosophy, but perhaps not so entertaining.

So the Fuke sect was a strick Buddist sect with all sorts of rules and dogma, and 'Zen' philosophy is something quite different??


“The firefly is a good lesson in light, and darkness”

Offline

 

#23 2008-06-11 19:37:25

lowonthetotem
Member
From: Cape Coral, FL
Registered: 2008-04-05
Posts: 529
Website

Re: Stories of Fuke

What makes you so sure of this? Just because the Rinzai roku was not labelled as Koans? Some of the stories in it sure fit that description. Alos considering that the Rinzai schools bases a lot of their stuf fon use of Koan it would be natural that the main book on their founding masters saying would have this taste.

Certainly, I am not so sure.  However, I'd tend to think that the Koans exist within the stories, not the stories themselves, like "Who calls me fool or sage?"  Furthermore, the discourses of Rinzai are Dharma talks and narratives of Dharma talks, not so much direct instruction for meditation, especially the ones before the Prefect.  If they are Koans, they are awfully long ones and very discursive, leading to logical conclusions.  Although these stories are a little more shocking, if you will, they tend to follow the same pattern.  Much of Rinzai's discussion warns against "wasting rice" on monks who "put heads upon their own heads."  I think the second story is a direct illustration of this but instead of approaching it in an anti-logical Koan-like manner, it simply sets up some opposites, the old teachers and Fuke, leading the reader to a more logical conclusion.  As you say earlier, given the Chinese narrative style, this may seem less than logical to the modern reader, but we are simply making a choice between two opposites.  Hardly what I would consider Koan meditation.  Still, you offer food for thought.  Just getting down why I had not pictured these as Koans.

As I see it when it gets to Fuke not much is known about him other than what is in the Rinzai roku and it looks like he could even be fabricated. Also most of the stories could be based on stuff that happened but I would not bet on that.

Yes, quite right.  And, if we go with the notion that he is fully made up, this means that the writers/monks/teachers are not bound by what Fuke may have actually said and have license to put words in his mouth that express the most pertinent issues.  This would further support your idea that his words are more Koan-like, in my opinion.  Perhaps he is a literary device offered in contrast to the discursive Dharma talks.  It could be quite fitting that monks of empty nothingness would be inspired by an empty personage, so to speak.

But the main point of all this IS Zen as we know it and pursue it was made up in China so what was used and the way it was transmitted in China shows a lot to do with mostly Taoism and some parts of Confucianism this is quite normal. If people want to cling to images of transmission from India to China from master so and so in order to make it more legit or more sacred go for it. But again the main point is that all those Schools and the writings of their masters are Chinese products.

Anyway when it comes to Japan and your Shinto relationship the written texts and traditions of Shinto are anyway mostly influenced by Taoism  and confucianism themselves. Shinto is 100% Japanese but the ritualisation, clothes accessosirs, written texts etc. is mostly based on Chinese stuff way of structuring and presenting. My question to you is. What is a Shinto connotation?

As I mentioned, this one could take up quite alot of breath, probably to no feasible compromise.  It is often the basis of discussion on the other forum run by despots and nirvana seekers smile.  I would say that transmission did take place from India and it can be seen in the transmission of Sutras, the Lankavatara being specific to the mythical or not so mythical Bodhidharma.  Again, just getting my thoughts out.  I don't mean to argue the point with you, and I appreciate your point of view.  There is a great deal of evidence to support it as well.  I do believe there is a line of Dharma that can indeed be traced back through the Chinese patriarchs to Kasyapa and the first transmission outside the scripture with the appreciation of the flower.  Whether this is a product of faith or a fact of history I imagine is up to the individual.  I apologize if I had presented it otherwise.  I certainly have an appreciation of Taoism.

As far as Shinto Connotations, i simply meant that through translation of texts on spiritual issues, words are likely to be used that were formerly closley associated with Shinto or Koshinto, as it was the spiritual standard prior to and even along with the introduction of Buddhism.  This would be largely unavoidable, as it was with Taoist terms in China.  I am just not so ready to say that the concepts behind the words changed Buddhism fundementally through these translations.  Reading these texts today, it is easy to incorporate these thoughts and concepts into a more inclusive idea of Zen or Chan, but in China, at least, Chan was a monastic pursuit for the most part, Layman Pang and Cold Mountain not withstanding.  I imagine that mixing cornerstones of Buddhist thought with Taoist concepts was largely discouraged.  Of course, I believe in a lineage of transmission as well.  As you say, from a cultural model this may not be the case, but Zen is not so much a cultural phenomena to me.  My apologies for that.  As far as specific Shinto connotations, the despots and nirvana seekers have recently been discussing the idea of "Life Force of the Universe" which seems to show up in several modern writers' works on Japanese Zen.  However, they are hard pressed to find this idea in Dogen or other Japanese lineage teachers and find it to be more of a concept spilling over from animistic Shinto.  The discussion is difficult for me to follow as I cannot read or write Japanese, so I'm sorry if that is less than satifying.


"Turn like a wheel inside a wheel."

Offline

 

#24 2008-06-11 20:03:19

Priapus Le Zen M☮nk
Historical Zen Mod
From: St-Jerome, Quebec, Canada
Registered: 2006-04-25
Posts: 612
Website

Re: Stories of Fuke

lowonthetotem wrote:

The discussion is difficult for me to follow as I cannot read or write Japanese, so I'm sorry if that is less than satifying.

No not at all your points are very clear and makes sense and offer a different side of the pie. For me Zen seems to have those 2 sides especially in the West and the Modern Chinese lineage of what they call Zen. Japan is another story.


Sebastien 義真 Cyr
春風館道場 Shunpukan Dojo
St-Jerome, Quebec, Canada
http://www.myspace.com/shunpukandojo

Offline

 

#25 2008-06-11 21:01:30

lowonthetotem
Member
From: Cape Coral, FL
Registered: 2008-04-05
Posts: 529
Website

Re: Stories of Fuke

I'm not a scholar of any of this as many of you obviously are... 

what about the Zen precept of casting away books and study of all this to find enlightenment...  seems that 'Zen' is about that. (Which is SO much more relaxing than the study of ancient philosophy, but perhaps not so entertaining.

So the Fuke sect was a strick Buddist sect with all sorts of rules and dogma, and 'Zen' philosophy is something quite different??

Zen's main focus is meditation, as the word Zen itself is a translation of the Chinese Chan which is a translation of the Sanskrit Dhyana, all of which are words for meditation.  Zen is often described as "a special transmission outside the scripture" specifically from teacher to student.  Some may disagree with me, but Zen is not a philosophy but rather a religious tradition within the Mahayana Buddhist tradition.  I am not aware of a "precept" that calls for casting off books, but the focus of Zen IS ideally meditation, not study in the classical sense (although "study" is not completely abandoned).  I think this is where many people move into the, "I don't need to read anything," mode.  However, without an experienced teacher to instruct you on meditation, you could waste alot of time just sitting.  The focus of Zen meditation is to apprehend the true nature of Mind.  This requires little effort for a very small portion of humanity.  For the rest of us, it may be wise to get some instruction, even if it is from books, the best of which being, in my opinion, what has been recorded of the Patriarchs.  Although it can be viewed as "acient philosophy," many of the teachings of Zen, including the Precepts, can be a good guide in life and can go a long way to ending much of our suffering and that of others.  Zen's distrust of words should not be viewed as an invitation to treat its teachings disdain or dismissal.  There are many Zen centers throughout the US and Europe now, if you wanted to investigate it.  Wow, sorry I got a little preachy there.  Still, any Zen teacher would tell you that the first step in meditation is to develop Sila, or morality.  Although Fuke, if he was a real guy, goes around braying like a mule, he still followed a strict moral code, as did all the patriarchs and Masters.  I guess there is a New Agey zen out there that kind of says do what you want and feel good, and then there are actual Zen/Chan lineages.  It is always up to the individual what road he chooses to travel.  Different lineages follow different precepts, and precepts themselves are not commandments.  Still, it is hard to say that I am following Zen or am a Buddhist if I have chosen to ignore the teachings or "words" of Zen or Buddhism.  It is an entirely different issue to have an interest.  Certainly, there are no requirements to be interested.

The Fuke monks followed a strict moral code and a rather severe regimen of physical training, including Shakuhachi and martial arts.  Their adherance to the classic precepts of the Vinaya (loosely translated as "monk code") may have differed from that of Chinese monks or Japanese Soto monks, but they were monks of "empty nothingness," signifying that they had let go of the world, and any clinging to its worldly pleasures.  However, as with any group, not everyone was as committed as the next guy.  I believe that politics also played a role in introducing some of the more unsavory types into their fold and limiting membership in the sect to the Samurai class.


"Turn like a wheel inside a wheel."

Offline

 

Board footer

Powered by PunBB
© Copyright 2002–2005 Rickard Andersson

Google