« Zen actually goes this far | Main | Zen the old fashioned way »

October 29, 2009


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Reading this article I get this gut feeling that the author, probably american, has never visited Japan, much less devoted any first hand study of the country, and so gained little insight into the very refined Japanese mind. But this doesnt surprise me.

Americans have rock solid opinions about everything.
And if the information is based on second or third party information it is still rock solid because it is an american whom conveys it. As an american you have the "god"-given right to be ignorant and still be right and anyone disagreeing is either a low life al Qaida supporter or even worse, a Euro-trash socialist! LOL

Zen in Japan might at first sight seem phenomenalized but inderneath th seemingly urbane or polished appearance lies a very sophisticated mind set that managed to survive centuries of hacks like Dogen whom btw always thought appearance was more important than substance.

Some of the most profound dharma teachers throughout buddhist history on this planet were active in Japan. We speak of eminent and incomparable teachers like Hakuin Ekaku, Myōan Eisai, the great Myoe (Kegon school) and not to forget, Zen master Dokuan Genko (1630–1698), whom openly questioned the necessity of written acknowledgment from a teacher, which he dismissed as "paper Zen". D. Genko were like some great masters of his time considered jigo jisho, or "self-enlightened and self-certified".

The list is long and I could go on but I believe that those intelligent enough will find out more about the real Japan then revealed on this blog.

Nakamura-san might be considered a good scholar but for those with an above average IQ it will not take long time to find other equally merited scholars whom have a completely different opinion on this subject.

Thank you for this very interesting article. Unlike the Japanese influenced by Shinto “pantheism”, I would add that the Chinese saw a similarity between the Tao and the Indian concept of Buddha-nature. This is the reason why “sudden enlightenment” is often expressed as “seeing Tao” or “seeing nature” in Ch’an literature.

In this respect, I note that the Tao is often translated by way or nature, which is misleading. For Chinese people, the Tao is the reason or eternal principle behind phenomena. We could call it the nounenon, but its nature is also dynamic. It is in fact the underlying eternal force, the reason or purpose behind changing events and appearances. The closest Western concept would be the “logos” of stoicism, namely the animating principle pervading the universe.

Kind regards,


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