is there interest in Zen out there?

Discussion in 'Philosophy and Spirituality in the Arts' started by hoshin1600, Jul 15, 2014.

  1. hoshin1600

    hoshin1600 Senior Master

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    i am wondering how many people out there who are martial artists are also meditation practioners or have an interest in Zen and/or Buddhism. having studied Rinzai Zen i sometimes feel i am the exception in the martial arts community. i see the word Zen used often and it has taken on a catch phrase status but a deeper look into those that use the term reveals they have no real understanding of the practice. this is not to put down actual practioners but rather an observation that for marketing purposes schools may use the term Zen because they feel they teach confidence and self reliance to students and this is their definition of Zen. i remember as a teen my dojo classes would start and end with a quiet meditation. this is about as close to ZEN as ninja turtles are to a Koryu art. is there or would there be interest in students and dojo's to learn and understand true Zen and how could there be an interest if Zen is not known.. ie..how can you miss something you have never known?
    Just my little ponderings~~~~~
     
  2. jezr74

    jezr74 Master of Arts

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    Could you recommend a site that explains the meditation side of Zen, and some background?
     
  3. tshadowchaser

    tshadowchaser Sr. Grandmaster

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    I meditate and when I instruct formal classes I include meditation in them. If I remember correctly I started this practice about 40 years or more ago.
    As for actually doing or practicing ZEN who can say
     
  4. Xue Sheng

    Xue Sheng All weight is underside

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    I meditate and I have read a lot of books on Zen from multiple authors and at one point in my early 30s I came darn close to going on a one month residential retreat with an eye on the year retreat at Zen Mountain monetary and did look seriously into the Tendai school of Buddhism as well. More recently I find that I am drawn to and reading about Tibetan Buddhism...so no...YouÂ’re not alone

    But a dojo is not a Buddhist temple and they are only there to teach you martial arts not religion or spirituality that is something you need to pursue on your own and apply it to your martial arts where you see fit.

    I train Chinese martial arts so I also study a bit of Taoism and Confucianism as well, but still it is not the job of my teachers to teach me anything but the martial arts.
     
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  5. hoshin1600

    hoshin1600 Senior Master

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    unfortunatly i have never looked up Zen on line. backround? backround on what, Zen or my backround?
    but i am more than willing to talk about what ever you like.
    there is this Zen Mountain Monastery

    while i can understand and would agree to this statement from a perspective of religion, it must be remembered that while Zen is a form of Buddhism, the two terms are not interchangeable. there are many different flavors of Zen and the one i have come to know has a target audience of martial artists. the flavor is that of a warrior monk. so the two are not separate for me. but this is more in line as Zen as a practice and less as a religion although the line between the two is very fuzzy and very gray. if you have ever read Takuan's books and thoughts on swordsmanship that would give a good example.
    Also Zen Mountian monastary has regular workshops on different "Zen" arts like flower arranging, gardening, shodo and archery. i do belive martial arts were also there at one time. so this concept of Zen martial arts is not a strange idea. it would seem it is ok for a monastary to teach martial arts but not ok for a karate dojo to teach Zen in your view? maybe you have never heard of shoshin Nagamine coming from a Chinese backround but he was an okinawan master who was in the same Zen organization and linage as myself. he tought the two together in his dojo in okinawa.
     
  6. Xue Sheng

    Xue Sheng All weight is underside

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    I am aware that Buddhism is a name for a type of religion and that there are 2 main; Theravada and Mahayana under that and that there are multiple type under those 2 . I am also aware that Zen (Japanese) is a Type of Buddhism that comes from Chan (Chinese) which comes from Mahayana Buddhism

    You can also find examples in the book by Miyamoto Musashi too. And he was a swordsman not trained in the Rinzai school of Zen Buddhism like Takuan Sōhō. And no I have not read his book but I shall look for it. I am also aware that there were warrior monks but they trained in monasteries not Dojos. However since the east (Japan and China) do not compartmentalize things like we do in the west you will find things that can be associated with Zen in certain martial arts, however they are not taught as separate from the art they are all one in the same in those cases.

    I am also aware what Zen mountain has, thank you. And yes they did have a martial arts class there at one time, but then kyūdō is a martial art so…. But I am not sure they are, or were there for anything more than workshops, meaning not regularly taught there.

    You completely misunderstood my view. It is ok for a monastery to teach martial arts and It is ok for a karate dojo to teach Zen as well, if it chooses to. However it is not ok for anyone to expect they learn Zen, Taoism, Shintoism or any other type of religion or spirituality in a Dojo, Guan or Dojang from the Sensei, Sifu or Sonseang-nim (not sure if that is the proper Korean tem for teacher).

    Maybe you don’t know how much of the history of this stuff I have studied. But I will admit I never heard of Shōshin Nagamine and had to look him up. Is this the Shōshin Nagamine, born 15 July 1907 – 2 November 1997. If this is him I would not exactly say he had a Chinese background since he was in the 47th Infantry Division that fought in China. So I doubt anyone in China would call that a Chinese background or for that matter be pleased he was there. Now if there is more to it, and there very likely may be, I would like to know what that is.
     
  7. hoshin1600

    hoshin1600 Senior Master

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    im sorry, you have misunderstood me. maybe i could have written that in a better way. what i was expressing is that your backround seems to be in chinese martial arts so i made an assumption that you may not have heard of Shoshin Nagamine since he is Okinawan and yes you did look up the correct man.
    again i am sorry if i misunderstood. misunderstandings happen often on the internet when reading someone elses written word.
    so i will agree no one should EXPECT to learn religion from their martial arts teacher. i think learning religion from a martial arts teacher is probably not a good idea. but i think this points out where our views begin to differ and a bit of confusion has slipped in. while i do see Buddhism as a religion and Zen is a line of Buddhism, i can see Zen in a different view. that being not a religion but a practice. and this is what i was trying to point out.
    i am not sure if you understood that this difference between religion and practice was the entire point of my last post.
     
  8. Buka

    Buka Grandmaster

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    I've never thought of Zen as religious. But it was never taught to me that way. I think we all practice Zen in one way or another, maybe without even knowing it.

    Of course I also think that reincarnation is making a comeback and hope my karma doesn't run over my dogma. :) (both lines taught to me by a dear friend who is Buddhist)
     
  9. Xue Sheng

    Xue Sheng All weight is underside

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    The way you are quoting makes it very difficult to understand who or what you are referring to. You seem to be replying to me but you are not quoting me so I am having a hard time following you.

    But in reference to this one, that is if you are referring to me

    You are making rather large assumptions here and you are again missing my point and I do have a rather good understanding of the "difference between religion and practice" You were talking about Zen practice in the dojo, which is ok if the sensei wants it that way but it should not be expected by any student nor should a dojo that does not promote that (separately form the art) be judges by that... that is my point

    I also can find no actual Chinese martial arts background for Shoshin Nagamine. Could you give me more detail into what that background actually is
     
  10. Reedone816

    Reedone816 Blue Belt

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    Is it zen, to eat when you hungry, to sleep when you sleepy, to ask when you don't understand?
    It is martial art as to seek within not outside.
    Just curious...
    Sent from my RM-943_apac_indonesia_207 using Tapatalk
     
  11. hoshin1600

    hoshin1600 Senior Master

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    no
     
  12. hoshin1600

    hoshin1600 Senior Master

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    Zen is simple ; eat when hungry, sleep when tired.
     

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