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August 11, 2013


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Spoken like Zen master Tsung-mi.

“If one just depends on the sayings of the Buddha and does not infer for himself, his realization will be no more than a matter of baseless faith. If one just holds on to direct perception, taking what he perceives for himself to be authoritative without comparing it to the sayings of the Buddha, then how can he know whether it is true or false”

Forgot to add one thing. As far as I understand of the Dharma so far, in Buddhism the essential thing is maintaining the right balance between insight, study ( -> Sutras) and samatha, calming (meditation), and also morality, but in my humble opinion morality is not as essential to Buddhism as it is to Christianity.

In any case, the teachers who stress too much meditation and ignore study/sutras are all spawns of Mara because a student that has no insight will under the trance of meditation be even more prone to Mara's influence.

The Sutras and introspection are like two wings without which a Mahayana student cannot fly.

I ask the Zennist to confirm or reject my statements. I'm merely a beginner.

The sutras are "activators" that trigger our inner potentialities. Even if we don't understand them, just reading them slowly and carefully has a profound effect on us. "Zen masters" are only people who explain the Sutras using metaphors and language we can understand. They are trying to understand calculus to children. It's very hard.

But it's all in the Sutras ... I hear people say more and more how other sects are more effective than Zen in showing them Mind. I've heard many people say: "Since I learned Dzogchen, I can understand those crazy koans!"

I've never learned Dzogchen so I can't say, but perhaps Zen has been ineffective because it made a few mega blunders 1) inventing the Mahakashyapa and "direct lineage" myth; 2) intermingling with other sects and non-Buddhist influences (Taoism, Shinto, Confucianism); 3) stressing too much independence from sutras. The latter is, I think, the worst mistake.

But of course if we read Hui-Neng we find no "independence from sutras" he DIRECTLY says studying the Diamond Sutra is the correct Zen practice.

And in Hui-Hai we find quotes after quotes from Sutra that guy learned them all by heart.

But today Zennists misunderstand "independence from words and letters" and disparage the sutras which is abusing the right dharma (saddharma) which is a very serious offense that leads to Hell. (but of course modern Buddhist are "too smart" to believe in Hell...)

The seed (our innate potentiality for Buddhahood) meets with the right cause (sutras) , that is the way to the path (Marga). In your case, a spokesman for the Lotus Sutra (Nichiren bishop).

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