Soh: "...Even in Zen there are stages of enlightenment - the Ten Oxherding Pictures https://terebess.hu/english/oxherding.html (this webpage has the best commentaries on the old text by a modern Zen master yet) and Tozan's Five Ranks awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2008/02/tozan-ryokais-verses-on-five-ranks.html for example.

And n Mahayana there are the 10 bhumis, in Dzogchen there is the Four Visions, in Mahamudra there is the Four Yogas, in Theravada there is the Four Paths to Arahantship, so on and so forth.

Different Buddhist traditions have different approaches to triggering insights. Likewise, in Zen, there are different categories of koan triggering different level of insights -- From direct realization of the Absolute to the full integration of the Absolute and Relative. The experience derived from the koan “before birth who are you?” only allows the initial realization of our nature. It is also not the same as the Hakuin’s koan of “what is the sound of one hand clapping?”, and others. The five categories of koan in Zen ranges from hosshin that give practitioner the first glimpse of ultimate reality to five-ranks that aims to awaken practitioner the spontaneous unity of relative and absolute..."


Mr A said:
"So here's my question, how can you speak of stages when Zen is the school of instant enlightenment?"


Soh replied:

"Nobody denies instantaneous awakening.

But awakening is not an end. Usually it's just Thusness Stage 1 realization, or the First Rank of Tozan. It needs to be matured and deepened.

"Nice explanation. Meido Moore, who is a Rinzai Zen master says the same, he writes: 'From a practice standpoint, the crucial point is contained in the words, "one should just constantly activate correct views in one’s own mind." This has nothing to do with theoretical certainty that defilements are empty and do not bind; it refers to the seamless, sustained upwelling of the unity of samadhi/prajna. Departing from but then returning to this, again and again, describes the post-awakening practice to dissolve jikke. If one experiences departure from this samadhi, even for a moment, the path is not completed at all. If one does not know what is actually meant by that samadhi, then even with kensho the path is still barely begun in terms of actualization.' This process, dovetailing the “sudden” and “gradual” is identical for Dzogchen and Mahāmudrā as well." - Kyle Dixon, 2021

Meido Moore also said,

"In Rinzai practice, the process of establishing continuity is what is meant by practice of Hokyo Zanmai (jewel mirror samadhi) and Sho Hen Ego Zanmai (alternating samadhi of sameness and difference), taken up well after the initial awakening. Once the meaning of these is penetrated within sanzen (encounter with the teacher), the traditional instruction is to secretly practice them for a minimum of three years in order to establish sufficient continuity within daily activities.

I posted a famous text by Hakuin, which also is the source for koans that serve within the structure of Rinzai practice to point out this crucial stage of training, in this topic: viewtopic.php?f=69&t=29215&p=461314#p461314 " - https://www.dharmawheel.net/viewtopic.php?f=69&t=29188&hilit=bhumi&start=20

Anyone who thinks that an instantaneous awakening or kensho does not need to be followed up by years of deepening and stabilizing one's practice and insight would be quite naive and misguided."



Mr. A said: “
That’s another thing, what would you need to practice for? your true nature is lacking nothing, so why supplement it with these meaningless practices?

 

Soh replied:

Your question is a good one, and since this is precisely the paramount question which drove Zen Master Dogen's search to China and which culminated his great awakening, I'll paste this famous text as a response to your question as it seems appropriate:

Zen Master Dogen’s teachings on Zazen:

Fukan Zazengi (Universally Recommended Instructions for Zazen)

The way is originally perfect and all-pervading. How could it be contingent on practice and realization? The true vehicle is self-sufficient. What need is there for special effort? Indeed, the whole body is free from dust. Who could believe in a means to brush it clean? It is never apart from this very place; what is the use of traveling around to practice? And yet, if there is a hairsbreadth deviation, it is like the gap between heaven and earth. If the least like or dislike arises, the mind is lost in confusion. Suppose you are confident in your understanding and rich in enlightenment, gaining the wisdom that knows at a glance, attaining the Way and clarifying the mind, arousing an aspiration to reach for the heavens. You are playing in the entranceway, but you are still short of the vital path of emancipation.

Consider the Buddha: although he was wise at birth, the traces of his six years of upright sitting can yet be seen. As for Bodhidharma, although he had received the mind-seal, his nine years of facing a wall is celebrated still. If even the ancient sages were like this, how can we today dispense with wholehearted practice?

Therefore, put aside the intellectual practice of investigating words and chasing phrases, and learn to take the backward step that turns the light and shines it inward. Body and mind of themselves will drop away, and your original face will manifest. If you want to realize such, get to work on such right now.

For practicing Zen, a quiet room is suitable. Eat and drink moderately. Put aside all involvements and suspend all affairs. Do not think "good" or "bad." Do not judge true or false. Give up the operations of mind, intellect, and consciousness; stop measuring with thoughts, ideas, and views. Have no designs on becoming a buddha. How could that be limited to sitting or lying down?

At your sitting place, spread out a thick mat and put a cushion on it. Sit either in the full-lotus or half-lotus position. In the full-lotus position, first place your right foot on your left thigh, then your left foot on your right thigh. In the half-lotus, simply place your left foot on your right thigh. Tie your robes loosely and arrange them neatly. Then place your right hand on your left leg and your left hand on your right palm, thumb-tips lightly touching. Straighten your body and sit upright, leaning neither left nor right, neither forward nor backward. Align your ears with your shoulders and your nose with your navel. Rest the tip of your tongue against the front of the roof of your mouth, with teeth together and lips shut. Always keep your eyes open, and breathe softly through your nose.

Once you have adjusted your posture, take a breath and exhale fully, rock your body right and left, and settle into steady, immovable sitting. Think of not thinking, "Not thinking --what kind of thinking is that?" Nonthinking. This is the essential art of zazen.

The zazen I speak of is not meditation practice. It is simply the dharma gate of joyful ease, the practice realization of totally culminated enlightenment. It is the koan realized; traps and snares can never reach it. If you grasp the point, you are like a dragon gaining the water, like a tiger taking to the mountains. For you must know that the true dharma appears of itself, so that from the start dullness and distraction are struck aside.

When you arise from sitting, move slowly and quietly, calmly and deliberately. Do not rise suddenly or abruptly. In surveying the past, we find that transcendence of both mundane and sacred, and dying while either sitting or standing, have all depended entirely on the power of zazen.

In addition, triggering awakening with a finger, a banner, a needle, or a mallet, and effecting realization with a whisk, a fist, a staff, or a shout --these cannot be understood by discriminative thinking; much less can they be known through the practice of supernatural power. They must represent conduct beyond seeing and hearing. Are they not a standard prior to knowledge and views?

This being the case, intelligence or lack of it is not an issue; make no distinction between the dull and the sharp-witted. If you concentrate your effort single-mindedly, that in itself is wholeheartedly engaging the way.

Practice-realization is naturally undefiled. Going forward is, after all, an everyday affair.

In general, in our world and others, in both India and China, all equally hold the buddha-seal. While each lineage expresses its own style, they are all simply devoted to sitting, totally blocked in resolute stability. Although they say that there are ten thousand distinctions and a thousand variations, they just wholeheartedly engage the way in zazen. Why leave behind the seat in your own home to wander in vain through the dusty realms of other lands? If you make one misstep, you stumble past what is directly in front of you.

You have gained the pivotal opportunity of human form. Do not pass your days and nights in vain. You are taking care of the essential activity of the buddha-way. Who would take wasteful delight in the spark from a flintstone? Besides, form and substance are like the dew on the grass, the fortunes of life like a dart of lightning --emptied in an instant, vanished in a flash.

Please, honored followers of Zen, long accustomed to groping for the elephant, do not doubt the true dragon. Devote your energies to the way of direct pointing at the real. Revere the one who has gone beyond learning and is free from effort. Accord with the enlightenment of all the buddhas; succeed to the samadhi of all the ancestors. Continue to live in such a way, and you will be such a person. The treasure store will open of itself, and you may enjoy it freely.

 

--------------

 

 Original Enlightenment vs Practice-Enlightenment

  • John Tan
    When Dogen was still a monk in Tendai School, he was puzzled and couldn't understand the teaching of "original enlightenment". If we were originally enlightened, how can we be lost? Unsatisfied he traveled to China in search for answers and when he returned back to Japan, he began promoting "practice-enlighthment". What did Dogen realize from this koan of "original enlightenment" into "practice-enlightenment"?
    Those that went for the ATR gathering don't answer ah🤣.
    2

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         · 22h · Edited

    Robert Dominik Tkanka
    John Tan
    anatta is a seal. Its permament in the sens it is always already so, originally so. Its not permament substance but more like - impermanence is permament.
    Not seeing that however one suffers like a beggar who sleeps on a rock with precious stone inside. He is free of poverty altough his ignorance covers that. Or like water. Water is pure, limpid and clear. It can look though as if water is unclear due to the mud of obscurations. Practice is resting (samatha) so the mud settles down and seeing (vipassana) so one recognises the natural state of water.
    Also koan about wind being permament and penetrating everywhere comes to mind. One still practises fanning to cool the suffering and refresh the mind distracted with it.
    Just some ramblings that came to me when I saw your comment 🙂
    1

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         · 22h · Edited

    John Tan
    Robert Dominik Tkanka
    is this the first time u hear this koan and and has an intuitive immediate direct recognition? Or u have heard of this koan and had contemplated it before?

         · Reply
         · 22h · Edited

    Robert Dominik Tkanka
    John Tan
    about your comment its the first time I see it worded like that.
    Though Ive contemplated similar themes and pointers. I think most of all your pointer of Anatta being a seal has triggered the recognition.
    Post-anatta Ive came to see Buddha nature teachings as hinting at that.

         · Reply
         · 22h · Edited

    John Tan
    Robert Dominik Tkanka
    well said. When I heard of this koan shortly after anatta insight, I too have a direct immediate recognition and I was telling the ATR gathering yesterday that Soh Wei Yu
    was too lazy to contemplate when I asked him abt this koan post his anatta insight 🤣🤣🤣.
    Indeed this is similar to anatta insight. When no self/Self is seen through, seen is just seen and heard is just heard. When original enlightenment is seen through, sitting is just sitting, walking is just walking, and sleeping is just sleeping -- practice enlightenment!
    2

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         · 21h · Edited

    Soh Wei Yu
    John Tan
    I can't remember when I first read about practice-enlightenment, but it has resonated with me from the very early years... I also like this one:
    No Buddha is Conscious of its Existence [of having a Perfect-nature]
    "By his fifteenth year one burning question became the core around which his spiritual strivings revolved: "If, as the sutras say, our Essential-nature is Bodhi (perfection), why did all Buddhas have to strive for enlightenment and perfection?" His dissatisfaction with the answers he received at Mount Hiei led him eventually to Eisai-zenji, who had brought the teachings of the Rinzai sect of Zen Buddhism from China to Japan. Eisai's reply to Dogen's question was: "No Buddha is conscious of its existence [that is, of this Essential-nature], while cats and oxen [that is the grossly deluded] are aware of it." In other words, Buddhas, precisely because they are Buddhas, no longer think of having or not having a Perfect-nature; only the deluded think in such terms. At these words Dogen had an inner realization which dissolved his deep-seated doubt."
    -- recommended reading, Yasutani-roshi's Introductory Lectures on Zen Training (it's a practical text on Zazen and Koan training)
    2

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         · 21h

    Soh Wei Yu
    My journal entry 25th February 2012
    I see Shikantaza (The Zen meditation method of “Just Sitting”) as the natural expression of realization and enlightenment.
    But many people completely misunderstand this... they think that practice-enlightenment means there is no need for realization, since practicing is enlightenment. In other words, even a beginner is as realized as the Buddha when meditating.
    This is plain wrong and thoughts of the foolish.
    Rather, understand that practice-enlightenment is the natural expression of realization... and without realization, one will not discover the essence of practice-enlightenment.
    As I told my friend/teacher 'Thusness', “I used to sit meditation with a goal and direction. Now, sitting itself is enlightenment. Sitting is just sitting. Sitting is just the activity of sitting, air con humming, breathing. Walking itself is enlightenment. Practice is not done for enlightenment but all activity is itself the perfect expression of enlightenment/buddha-nature. There is nowhere to go."
    I see no possibility of directly experiencing this unless one has clear direct non-dual insight. Without realizing the primordial purity and spontaneous perfection of this instantaneous moment of manifestation as Buddha-nature itself, there will always be effort and attempt at 'doing', at achieving something... whether it be mundane states of calmness, absorption, or supramundane states of awakening or liberation... all are just due to the ignorance of the true nature of this instantaneous moment.
    However, non-dual experience can still be separated into:
    1) One Mind
    - lately I have been noticing that majority of spiritual teachers and masters describe non-dual in terms of One Mind. That is, having realized that there is no subject-object/perceiver-perceived division or dichotomy, they subsume everything to be Mind only, mountains and rivers all are Me - the one undivided essence appearing as the many.
    Though non-separate, the view is still of an inherent metaphysical essence. Hence non-dual but inherent.
    2) No Mind
    Where even the 'One Naked Awareness' or 'One Mind' or a Source is totally forgotten and dissolved into simply scenery, sound, arising thoughts and passing scent. Only the flow of self-luminous transience.
    ....
    However, we must understand that even having the experience of No Mind is not yet the realization of Anatta. In the case of No Mind, it can remain a peak experience. In fact, it is a natural progression for a practitioner at One Mind to occasionally enter into the territory of No Mind... but because there is no breakthrough in terms of view via realization, the latent tendency to sink back into a Source, a One Mind is very strong and the experience of No Mind will not be sustained stably. The practitioner may then try his best to remain bare and non-conceptual and sustain the experience of No Mind through being naked in awareness, but no breakthrough can come unless a certain realization arises.
    In particular, the important realization to breakthrough this view of inherent self is the realization that Always Already, never was/is there a self - in seeing always only just the seen, the scenery, shapes and colours, never a seer! In hearing only the audible tones, no hearer! Just activities, no agent! A process of dependent origination itself rolls and knows... no self, agent, perceiver, controller therein.
    It is this realization that breaks down the view of 'seer-seeing-seen', or 'One Naked Awareness' permanently by realizing that there never was a 'One Awareness' - 'awareness', 'seeing', 'hearing' are only labels for the everchanging sensations and sights and sounds, like the word 'weather' don't point to an unchanging entity but the everchanging stream of rain, wind, clouds, forming and parting momentarily...
    Then as the investigation and insights deepen, it is seen and experienced that there is only this process of dependent origination, all the causes and conditions coming together in this instantaneous moment of activity, such that when eating the apple it is like the universe eating the apple, the universe typing this message, the universe hearing the sound... or the universe is the sound. Just that... is Shikantaza. In seeing only the seen, in sitting only the sitting, and the whole universe is sitting... and it couldn't be otherwise when there is no self, no meditator apart from meditation. Every moment cannot 'help' but be practice-enlightenment... it is not even the result of concentration or any form of contrived effort... rather it is the natural authentication of the realization, experience and view in real-time.
    Zen Master Dogen, the proponent of practice-enlightenment, is one of the rare and clear jewels of Zen Buddhism who have very deep experiential clarity about anatta and dependent origination. Without deep realization-experience of anatta and dependent origination in real time, we can never understand what Dogen is pointing to... his words may sound cryptic, mystical, or poetic, but actually they are simply pointing to this.
    Someone 'complained' that Shikantaza is just some temporary suppressing of defilements instead of the permanent removal of it. However if one realizes anatta then it is the permanent ending of self-view, i.e. traditional stream-entry.
    1

         · Reply
         · 21h

    John Tan
    Soh Wei Yu
    din know u wrote this. Means u did put in some effort🤣.
    4
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     · 21h · Edited

  • Reply
  • 20m
  •  
  •  
  •  Anurag Jain
    Thanks Geovani Geo
    I get your point. Was the original face not manifest then is the point I was making 😉
    2

         · Reply
         · 1h

    Geovani Geo
    I wrote "original self" instead of "original face". Corrected.

         · Reply
         · 1h

    Geovani Geo
    I think everything is always manifested but mind fabrications stir and infuse mud into de clean pure water making one believe that the clean water has disappeared.
    1

         · Reply
         · 1h

    John Tan
    Geovani Geo
    If original face is always manifested, then there is no orignal face other than the zillions of manifested faces. Each face is is neither same nor different, pure in every manifestion.
    All along there is no dust on the mirror, all dusts r mirrors; only when a particular speck of dust claimed to b special and pure, all other mrriors suddenly become dusts.
    Also to answer ur below post since it is related:
    👇👇👇
    Take everything away, strip it empty. No colors, no taste, no sensations, so that colors, tastes and sensations can arise. Empty of knowing, so that knowing can abide. Empty it from everything imaginable or not. Empty it even from the idea of no-thingness that is still there: nothing. That is the Ground. So, is there a Ground? If yes, than its not yet empty enough. If no, how come we are talking? Good morning children... 😉
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     · 1h · Edited
  •  
  • Also see: Original Enlightenment and Original Nature is a wrong view / How did Ignorance originate etc
Labels: , 0 comments | |

 

https://www.sotozen.com/eng/practice/zazen/advice/fukanzanzeng.html

The way is originally perfect and all-pervading. How could it be contingent on practice and realization? The true vehicle is self-sufficient. What need is there for special effort? Indeed, the whole body is free from dust. Who could believe in a means to brush it clean? It is never apart from this very place; what is the use of traveling around to practice? And yet, if there is a hairsbreadth deviation, it is like the gap between heaven and earth. If the least like or dislike arises, the mind is lost in confusion. Suppose you are confident in your understanding and rich in enlightenment, gaining the wisdom that knows at a glance, attaining the Way and clarifying the mind, arousing an aspiration to reach for the heavens. You are playing in the entranceway, but you are still short of the vital path of emancipation.

Consider the Buddha: although he was wise at birth, the traces of his six years of upright sitting can yet be seen. As for Bodhidharma, although he had received the mind-seal, his nine years of facing a wall is celebrated still. If even the ancient sages were like this, how can we today dispense with wholehearted practice?

Therefore, put aside the intellectual practice of investigating words and chasing phrases, and learn to take the backward step that turns the light and shines it inward. Body and mind of themselves will drop away, and your original face will manifest. If you want to realize such, get to work on such right now.

For practicing Zen, a quiet room is suitable. Eat and drink moderately. Put aside all involvements and suspend all affairs. Do not think "good" or "bad." Do not judge true or false. Give up the operations of mind, intellect, and consciousness; stop measuring with thoughts, ideas, and views. Have no designs on becoming a buddha. How could that be limited to sitting or lying down?

At your sitting place, spread out a thick mat and put a cushion on it. Sit either in the full-lotus or half-lotus position. In the full-lotus position, first place your right foot on your left thigh, then your left foot on your right thigh. In the half-lotus, simply place your left foot on your right thigh. Tie your robes loosely and arrange them neatly. Then place your right hand on your left leg and your left hand on your right palm, thumb-tips lightly touching. Straighten your body and sit upright, leaning neither left nor right, neither forward nor backward. Align your ears with your shoulders and your nose with your navel. Rest the tip of your tongue against the front of the roof of your mouth, with teeth together and lips shut. Always keep your eyes open, and breathe softly through your nose.

Once you have adjusted your posture, take a breath and exhale fully, rock your body right and left, and settle into steady, immovable sitting. Think of not thinking, "Not thinking --what kind of thinking is that?" Nonthinking. This is the essential art of zazen.

The zazen I speak of is not meditation practice. It is simply the dharma gate of joyful ease, the practice realization of totally culminated enlightenment. It is the koan realized; traps and snares can never reach it. If you grasp the point, you are like a dragon gaining the water, like a tiger taking to the mountains. For you must know that the true dharma appears of itself, so that from the start dullness and distraction are struck aside.

When you arise from sitting, move slowly and quietly, calmly and deliberately. Do not rise suddenly or abruptly. In surveying the past, we find that transcendence of both mundane and sacred, and dying while either sitting or standing, have all depended entirely on the power of zazen.

In addition, triggering awakening with a finger, a banner, a needle, or a mallet, and effecting realization with a whisk, a fist, a staff, or a shout --these cannot be understood by discriminative thinking; much less can they be known through the practice of supernatural power. They must represent conduct beyond seeing and hearing. Are they not a standard prior to knowledge and views?

This being the case, intelligence or lack of it is not an issue; make no distinction between the dull and the sharp-witted. If you concentrate your effort single-mindedly, that in itself is wholeheartedly engaging the way.

Practice-realization is naturally undefiled. Going forward is, after all, an everyday affair.

In general, in our world and others, in both India and China, all equally hold the buddha-seal. While each lineage expresses its own style, they are all simply devoted to sitting, totally blocked in resolute stability. Although they say that there are ten thousand distinctions and a thousand variations, they just wholeheartedly engage the way in zazen. Why leave behind the seat in your own home to wander in vain through the dusty realms of other lands? If you make one misstep, you stumble past what is directly in front of you.

You have gained the pivotal opportunity of human form. Do not pass your days and nights in vain. You are taking care of the essential activity of the buddha-way. Who would take wasteful delight in the spark from a flintstone? Besides, form and substance are like the dew on the grass, the fortunes of life like a dart of lightning --emptied in an instant, vanished in a flash.

Please, honored followers of Zen, long accustomed to groping for the elephant, do not doubt the true dragon. Devote your energies to the way of direct pointing at the real. Revere the one who has gone beyond learning and is free from effort. Accord with the enlightenment of all the buddhas; succeed to the samadhi of all the ancestors. Continue to live in such a way, and you will be such a person. The treasure store will open of itself, and you may enjoy it freely.

(See Soh's response below as Xabir)

https://www.reddit.com/r/singapore/comments/psfjao/i_accidentally_joined_a_cult_called_yiguandao/

Posted byu/willbassyeah
7 hours ago
Helpful4Wholesome3Silver2Hugz5
I accidentally joined a cult called YIGUANDAO
Serious Discussion

So last weekend i went to pray to the Guanyinma temple at waterloo. Then there is these 2 person outside the temple saying they are doing a prayer and ask me whether i want to join the prayer. Being the gullible dumbass that i am, i say okay and they brought me to a HDB temple just across the Guanyin temple.

The place look super eerie, it has like three statues of buddha. Then one of the guy explain to me about their "buddhism" and ask me whether i am okay with donating $10. I normally donate to temple so i thought its fine, pass him $20. Then he asked me to do the prayer. The prayer was fucking eerie, asked me to stare at a candle and ask me to repeat in chinese. My chinese sucks so i have no idea what are they saying. After the prayer end, he starts telling me a lot of things that make me realise is not a fucking temple.

He starts telling me what i went through is a baptisation, which i fucking do not agree upon. He told me i was baptised by fire and the "Christian" has outdated in terms of their baptisation. He starts telling me the founder was a reincarnated Buddha. Told me about three treasures which apparently allow me to go into the heaven & how my name is no longer inside the reincarnation "book". He starts quoting bible quote how heaven is below the mountain and thus i need to point below my nose.

After the whole experience, i google what the heck just happened to me and it leads me to find out i just joined a fucking Buddhist cult called YIGUANDAO. The best way to describe Yiguandao is basically the bastardisation of buddhism a bit similar to Mormon. Founder claimed to be reincarnation etc,etc.

Also i found out apparently the prayer i did is a swear that i would not tell anyone about what happened if not my family get strucked by lightning. They pass me a super secret chant that i am not supposed to tell anybody. So i will tell you all what the chant is " wu tai fuo mi le". Because i dont understand chinese, i dont even know that i am actually swearing. I read on another forum about the cult here

TLDR: Joined a cult, writting this post so that you can warn your family who visited the Guanyin temple at waterloo to be careful of anyone outside of the temple approaching you so that they wont get scammed of their $20.
208 comments
97% Upvoted
Comment as xabir

level 1
xabir
·
6h

It is not Buddhism, has no valid lineage from Buddhism and is not recognised by any orthodox Buddhist organisation.

It is a syncretic cult that attempts to integrate various religions into a new age soup with many cult like characteristics.
47
User avatar
level 2
JayFSB
·
3h

Lacking a central canon text and /or religious authority, no one can claim orthodoxy to Buddhism unless you refer to a particular school. That said, its an obvious secret cult much like Scientology except its much more secretive.
5
level 3
xabir
·
3h
· edited 3h

In a sense, yes, although to be more precise, it is not that they have no 'canons' but each of the three traditions do not agree on which canon is authoritative.

There are three main schools of Buddhism which has different sub-sects. The three main schools are Theravada (Thai, Sri Lanka, Burmese), Mahayana (e.g. Chinese Pure Land and Ch'an Buddhism or Japanese Zen Buddhism) and Vajrayana (Tibetan Buddhism, Japanese Shingon).

Theravada takes the Pali canon as authoritative and considers itself the earliest, most orthodox school of Buddhism closest to the original teachings of Buddha, and considers other traditions to be offshoots and later developments. Mahayana accepts the Pali canon as authoritative (the near-equivalent of Pali canon in the Mahayana canon would be the Agamas), but additionally accepts the Mahayana canon of sutras as authoritative as well. Vajrayana accepts Pali canon and Mahayana canon + additionally, the tantras as authoritative. Personally I accept all traditions as valid, as I accept the dictum of Vasubandhu that anything well-spoken could be considered to be the word of the Buddha, regardless of the historical development of Theravada [or the other 18 early schools] to Mahayana to Vajrayana over hundreds or thousands of years.

But those 'Maitreya texts' composed by Yi Kuan Dao are completely absent from any of the canons above. They are composed in the 20th century by the creators of a new religious syncretic movement, and hence cannot be recognised as 'orthodox' under any Buddhist traditions. Their teachings also do not align themselves with the core teachings of Buddhism in too many ways.
9
User avatar
level 4
4evaronin
·
2h

Off-hand, are you able to cite any examples how it deviates from core Buddhism? Curious.
1
level 5
xabir
·
48m
· edited 40m

If you look at Yi Kuan Dao's belief, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yiguandao#Beliefs

The belief in Infinite Mother is more akin to the belief in an ultimate formless Source, like Brahman or Tao.

In Buddhism, the central teaching is more on dependent origination (phenomena arise due to causes and conditions), anatman (no unchanging/substantial/independent self) and emptiness, the Buddhists do not believe in an ultimate source and origin.

Also all the myths they teach (as elaborated in the Wikipedia page) are composed by the creators of the new religion, nothing to do with Buddhism. By myths I mean things like "Maitreya is one of the three enlightened beings sent by the Mother herself to bring salvation.", their cosmology such as "Yiguandao conceives the cosmos as tripartite, consisting of litian (the right heaven), qitian (the spiritual heaven) and xiangtian (the material plane)." also differs from Buddhism, and we do not believe things like getting initiated = assured will go to heaven. Heaven is also not the goal of Buddhists, rather Nirvana or a state of awakening is.

Besides borrowing some Buddhist names like Guan Yin, and other moral teachings common to all religions, there is not a lot in common.
1
level 5
xabir
·
44m
· edited 35m

Also from personal anecdote, personally I have gone through these phases of awakening in my own spiritual practice as described by my mentor: http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2007/03/thusnesss-six-stages-of-experience.html

Yi Kuan Dao leads to the I AM realization, but not to the further realisations like anatman (no unchanging self/Self/soul), dependent origination and emptiness which are the core realizations of Buddhism.

From Yi Kuan Dao website:

"This is an imperfect translation of a well-known saying in I-Kuan Tao, which literally says "borrow the unreal to cultivate the real." What it actually means is that we make use of the material world to cultivate the soul.

From Buddhist as well as Tao teachings, we understand that the material world is ultimately illusory, and therefore unreal. The soul, unlike the transience of the material world, is eternal, and therefore real. "

"I Kuan Tao differs from a religion in that the Tao is the root of all holy teachings while religions are branches of the tree that grew from the root. Toa is our conscience, true nature, and real self. Receiving the Tao is not accepting a new belief or religion but realization of our true self as we engage in the worship of God through our religions. With this relisation of our true self, we become stronger in our love for God."

p.s. also, my mentor has talked with the Yi Kuan Dao teachers and visited teachers of all kinds of religions and sects and cults when much younger and have shared his encounters with me before.
1

https://www.reddit.com/r/Dzogchen/comments/pmhz6a/apologies_for_the_super_offtopic_post_but_are/

Apologies for the super off-topic post but: Are dzogchen and quan yin method the same thing?

It's real hard to get info on quan yin as it's an initiatory transmission lineage but they seem to work with some kind of inner sound and from what I can gather it seems to provide an exceptionally quick advancement. Can anyone share if they are similar or not?



Soh replied privately:

Hi,

Quan yin method and teachings only lead to the first two stages here: http://www.awakeningtoreality.com/2007/03/thusnesss-six-stages-of-experience.html

Dzogchen guided by a highly realised master leads to all stages including the crucial 5 to 7 that is hallmark of buddhist enlightenment

I AM [i.e. as the recognition of the clarity aspect of one's basis] is just the preliminary rigpa of dzogchen

Also read:

http://www.awakeningtoreality.com/2014/02/clarifications-on-dharmakaya-and-basis_16.html


https://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2020/09/the-degrees-of-rigpa.html

Sep 13

shared with someone days ago:

Dzogchen subreddit is good because krodha (kyle dixon) is admin there. He went through all the way to anatta and emptiness and his insights are deep. Not many subreddits have this clarity because lack if people deeply awakened

Sent this to someone like yesterday:

there's another guy on reddit who is very clear, the admin of dzogchen reddit (i've been added as a mod past few days): https://www.reddit.com/user/krodha/comments/

Sent this message to someone yesterday:

“if you are interested in Dzogchen, I can recommend Dzogchen teacher Acarya Malcolm Smith. both John Tan and I attended his teachings and found it resonating, very similar in view and insights

www.zangthal.com

another one is Prabodha Jnana Yogi and Abhaya Devi Yogini https://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2018/04/way-of-bodhi.html

i just became moderator at the dzogchen subreddit days ago https://www.reddit.com/r/Dzogchen/

Krodha made me a moderator, also Krodha (Kyle Dixon) is also highly awakened having realised anatman and sunyata as well, and by good karma i was able to meet Acarya Malcolm Smith and Kyle together at California two years ago. it was really coincidentally and good karma cos malcolm (who is kyle's teacher) doesn't even live in california and i too just happened to pass by that state at that time in my travels, i live halfway across the globe in singapore

malcolm smith told me over dinner that kyle was the first person who understand his teachings completely

then malcolm invited me to his retreats next year


john tan and i were able to join his teachings in 2020

so if interested you can check out if there are any other teachings in time to come

here's an article by Acarya Malcolm Smith explaining dzogchen view on the basis:

https://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2014/02/clarifications-on-dharmakaya-and-basis_16.html

im really glad i was able to join his teachings though, it just became clear how resonating it is after hearing him speak. didnt know dzogchen is so similar.

also, kyle and malcolm pointed out that the I AM is also the initial rigpa of Dzogchen which is later matured with the realisation of anatman and emptiness at later stage called 3rd vision

http://www.awakeningtoreality.com/2020/09/the-degrees-of-rigpa.html

Sep 14


btw I'm Soh, co author of the blog

2007:

(2:01 AM) AEN:   
    Q: Master, Why is it seeing light and hearing sounds so important in
       meditation?

    M: Because that is our own real self. Light and sound is the
       manifestation of our wisdom inside, which is invisible to our eyes and
       ears. Hearing the sound doesn't mean you hear with the ears. Seeing the
       light doesn't mean you see with eyes. It's just the inside awareness of
       your own self, of your own glorious nature, that we are light; that we
       are a beautiful melody and that we are not the body. And the more you
       hear of this invisible, inaudible sound, the more you'll see this
       invisible light or heaven, the wiser you'll become; the more loving
       you'll become; the more satisfaction you'll gain; and the more
       efficient you will be to serve the world.
(2:01 AM) AEN:           It's not because the light and sound are important; it is because it is
       ourselves. It's just like food, we don't eat because of the taste only;
       it's because it will give nourishment that will later manifest as
       strength and energy, so that we can work for the family; we can think;
       we can read books; and we can do other things. That is the importance
       of food. Similarly, the importance of the light and sound is that it
       makes us wiser, more loving, more capable in all aspects. Alright?

                        Supreme Master Ching Hai answered on March 9, 1993 in Singapore
(2:01 AM) AEN:    http://www.godsdirectcontact.org/eng/faq.txt
(2:02 AM) AEN:     

Quan Yin Method -- the meditation on Inner Light and Inner Sound.
The inner Light, the Light of God, is the same Light referred to in the word "enlightenment".

The inner Sound, is the Word referred in Bible:" In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was God. ..."

It is through the inner Light and Sound that we come to know God...
(2:02 AM) AEN:   

For example, the Christian Bible states, In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (John 1:1) This Word is the inner Sound. It has also been called the Logos, Shabd, Tao, Soundstream, Naam, or the Celestial Music. Master Ching Hai says, It vibrates within all life and sustains the whole universe. This inner melody can heal all wounds, fulfill all desires, and quench all worldly thirst. It is all powerful and all Love. It is because we are made of this Sound, that contact with it brings peace and contentment to our hearts. After listening to this Sound, our whole being changes, our entire outlook on life is greatly altered for the better.

The inner Light, the Light of God, is the same Light referred to in the word "enlightenment". Its intensity can range from a subtle glow to the brilliance of many millions of suns. It is through the inner Light and Sound that we come to know God.
(2:03 AM) AEN:    wat kind of experience is this?
(2:24 AM) AEN:    For example like, for an ordinary person to get enlightenment, you normally will see Light and hear Sound - Light of different colors or brilliance, sometimes more than a thousand suns. Some people will see less than that. Some people just see kind of moving black clouds for some time, but very rare. Most people see immediate Light from God.

Light represents wisdom, the super consciousness; the Light without shadows, the Light that you don't see with your eyes but you see with your inner awareness. That is called enlightenment when you see that. Then you hear the Sound, the silent Sound from God, which brings you the message from heaven. It's kind of like music, but without instruments. You can't make out what it is; but it is so beautiful and melodious, it lifts you up above the mundane level of consciousness and brings you back to where you are supposed to be.
-- ching hai, http://www.godsdirectcontact.org.tw/eng/ls/php/show3.php?id=138&code=b5

(2:36 AM) AEN:    she says our true self is that light and sound

Session Start: Sunday, 20 May, 2007

(9:41 AM) Thusness:    The description is true but the explanation is not quite right.  It is distorting a transcendental experience similar to that of "I AM".  It is having an experience of non-dual but not knowing what is non-dual.  It is also not knowing what is emptiness nature.
(9:42 AM) AEN:    how come "I AM" has to do with light and sound?
(9:42 AM) AEN:    so she knows "I AM"?
(9:45 AM) Thusness:    i go makan first...and of course. :P
(9:45 AM) Thusness:    it is clear.

(9:54 AM) AEN:    but why has 'I AM' got to do with light and sound
(9:55 AM) AEN:    anyway the master is a charismatic cult leader :P
(10:09 AM) Thusness:    yeah i know. 
(10:09 AM) Thusness:    But as long as she does not bring in buddhism, it is okie.
(10:09 AM) AEN:    she does!
(10:09 AM) Thusness:    she can be treated as a new age leader like ET. :P
(10:09 AM) AEN:    lol
(10:09 AM) AEN:    tats why buddhism always see her as cult

(10:10 AM) Thusness:    but if she does, then she is distorting the essence of buddhism.
(10:10 AM) AEN:    oic
(10:10 AM) Thusness:    she may be accepted in advaita/vedanta but not buddhism.
(10:10 AM) AEN:    icic
(10:10 AM) Thusness:    i wonder why these people must bring in Buddha's name and say this is the essence of his teaching.
(10:10 AM) Thusness:    just remain what they experience.
(10:11 AM) AEN:    oic hahaha
(10:11 AM) Thusness:    there is no need to ascribe this to the teaching of buddha.
(10:11 AM) AEN:    btw how come 'i am' has to do with light and sound? btw u heard of ching hai b4?
(10:11 AM) Thusness:    yeah
(10:11 AM) Thusness:    it is her experience.
(10:12 AM) Thusness:    like i tell u the 6 doors.
(10:12 AM) Thusness:    "I AM" is just a door in the thought realm.
(10:12 AM) Thusness:    hers is light and sound
(10:12 AM) AEN:    oic..
(10:12 AM) AEN:    so hers is not 'I AM'?
(10:12 AM) Thusness:    when all doors and vividness are cleared, there is only One taste.
(10:13 AM) Thusness:    then there is strengthening the experience of one taste as described in the 10 stages of mahamudra practices.
(10:13 AM) AEN:    oic
(10:13 AM) Thusness:    till "Emptiness is Form" is completely cleared.
(10:13 AM) Thusness:    one might think that he already is very clear about this, but that is an illusion.
(10:13 AM) Thusness:    there is no end to this experience and no depth to it.
(10:14 AM) Thusness:    all others stages are just the depth and intensity of this experience.
(10:14 AM) Thusness:    that manifestation is really the source and emptiness is form.
(10:14 AM) AEN:    icic..
(10:15 AM) Thusness:    even till now, every time i tell u i have another break-through, it is all about the intensity of this experience.
(10:15 AM) AEN:    oic
(10:15 AM) Thusness:    from arising, to ceasing to spontaneity to self-liberation.
(10:15 AM) AEN:    icic..
(10:15 AM) Thusness:    there is no beyond...there is only the clarity and degree of intensity.
(10:16 AM) AEN:    oic
(10:16 AM) AEN:    btw ching hai's experience is not 'i am' then?
(10:16 AM) Thusness:    it is.
(10:16 AM) AEN:    but i tot 'i am' is thought realm only?
(10:17 AM) Thusness:    u don't know lah...it is difficult for u to understand in terms of words.
(10:17 AM) AEN:    lol ok
(10:17 AM) Thusness:    only a person that has experienced it will know what she is toking about.
(10:18 AM) Thusness:    Like Yougarksooo (Scott Kiloby) that becomes a teacher. :P
(10:18 AM) AEN:    oic lol
(10:18 AM) AEN:    icic
(10:18 AM) Thusness:    he might not accept what i said but it depends on his yuan.
(10:18 AM) Thusness:    not that i am higher in terms of experience or what....
(10:18 AM) Thusness:    it is just a matter of insight. :)
(10:19 AM) Thusness:    in fact i do not like to tok about much there because it is a forum about ET [eckhart tolle].
(10:19 AM) Thusness:    and it is no good to shake their faith...
(10:19 AM) Thusness:    it all depends on yuan [conditions]...

(10:19 AM) AEN:    oic..
(10:20 AM) Thusness:    just that sometimes i find it a waste if someone is close or near to a breakthrough.
(10:20 AM) Thusness:    and some might think he already is there so...can't be helped. :P
(10:21 AM) AEN:    oic..
(10:21 AM) AEN:    lol
(10:21 AM) Thusness:    it is important that one must not assume the role of a teacher without being thoroughly authenticated because it will only prevent him/her from further understanding...
(10:22 AM) Thusness:    coz one teaches too much and re-enforce the ego structure.
(10:22 AM) Thusness:    the role of a teacher is deeper imprinted into his/her consciousness
(10:22 AM) AEN:    oic..
(10:22 AM) Thusness:    even buddha were to appear in front of him/her, they will not recognise.
(10:23 AM) AEN:    oic
(10:24 AM) Thusness:    it is better to focus on one practice than to become a teacher. :P
(10:25 AM) AEN:    icic
(10:25 AM) AEN:    yea
(10:25 AM) Thusness:    in fact i do not like anyone to know about the stages i wrote...just that it is due to yuan that i wrote something to share with JonLS.
(10:26 AM) Thusness:    and sharing is only meaningful when the time is right.
(10:26 AM) AEN:    oic
(10:26 AM) Thusness:    otherwise there isn't much value.
(10:26 AM) Thusness:    even then it can serve as a block.
(10:27 AM) AEN:    icic..
(10:27 AM) Thusness:    once a person have some experience and the idea of a teacher arise, it becomes a 'block' very quickly.
(10:27 AM) Thusness:    and one will not like who teach or what...
(10:27 AM) Thusness:    that is plainly the result of ego at work.
(10:27 AM) Thusness:    nothing more than that.
(10:27 AM) AEN:    oic..
(10:28 AM) Thusness:    similarly JonLs or Simpo might not like it after certain realisation. :)
(10:28 AM) AEN:    what realisation
(10:28 AM) Thusness:    so don't tok about me in their forums.
(10:28 AM) AEN:    lol
(10:28 AM) AEN:    how come
(10:28 AM) Thusness:    coz it is not respecting their realisation.
(10:29 AM) Thusness:    heehhee

...


(11:58 PM) Thusness:    i got to go... and u better meditate
(11:58 PM) Thusness:    practice until u bear fruition
(11:58 PM) AEN:    oic.. ok
(11:58 PM) Thusness:    insight + sitting
(11:58 PM) Thusness:    it helps ur progress
(11:58 PM) AEN:    i was thinking wah even that master ching hai make her students sit 5 hours a day :P
(11:59 PM) AEN:    she herself seat 4 hours lol
(11:59 PM) Thusness:    huh?
(11:59 PM) AEN:    i mean meditation
(11:59 PM) Thusness:    c...even cults sit more hours than u and me.
(11:59 PM) AEN:    she very emphasize meditation one
(11:59 PM) Thusness:    :P
(11:59 PM) AEN:    lol
(11:59 PM) Thusness:    if she has the correct knowledge, dunno where is she now. :P
(11:59 PM) AEN:    hahaha
(12:00 AM) Thusness:    unfortunately too attached to stages.
(12:00 AM) Thusness:    :P
(12:00 AM) AEN:    wat u mean
(12:00 AM) AEN:    she attached to stages meh
(12:01 AM) AEN:    ?
(12:01 AM) Thusness:    don't like to tok too much about cults.
(12:01 AM) Thusness:    :P
(12:01 AM) AEN:    huh lol
(12:01 AM) AEN:    i mean u said she attached to stages?
(12:01 AM) AEN:    or wat

sim pern chong wrote:

http://www.awakeningtoreality.com/2018/09/a-compilation-of-simpos-writings.html



She (Supreme Master Ching Hai) is definitely at 'I AM' stage. She has not yet understood 'no subject-object split'. That is why she say there are 2 parts... body and spirit.

For one who realises non-duality (no subject-object split) there is no division of body and spirit. At non-duality realisation, body is not seen as entity but as perceptions and sensations that are 'not separated from environment'. In fact perception and sensation is the 'environment'.

...

This thread reminds me of one incident last month.

I was in one shopping center and i saw a shopfront advertising Prana and Arhatic Yoga course.

Well, naturally, i was curious and went in to have a look. I have a chat with one of the persons inside. I think she is a staff or student of the course.

I was looking through the brochures and ask her why the word 'Arhat' was used for the Yoga course. Another lady overhead the conversation and say that the course is pitching at the same level as the Buddhist Arhat.

Having browsed thru some of the brochures, I told her it is not the same. She seems to be in a hurry and asked me to check out their website.

I check out their website. Their teacher talk about I AM oneness realisation.

Indeed, it is not the same level of realisation as the Arhat. The teacher is at I AM level understanding. It is sad that the followers cannot tell the difference.

People are doing business and earning from it. So, i thought better not to disrupt their livelihood by telling them. Also, the chances of them believing what i say will be very slim...



.....



I think Eckhart Tolle may have been suffering alot and suddenly he 'let go' of trying to work out his problems. This results in a dissociation from thoughts which give rise to the experience of Presence.

To me,  'I AM' is an experience of Presence, it is just that only one aspect of Presence is experienced which is the 'all-pervading' aspect. The non-dual and emptiness aspect are not experienced.. Because non-dual is not realised (at I AM stage), a person may still use effort in an attempt to 'enter' the Presence. This is because, at the I AM stage, there is an erroneous concept that there is a relative world make up of thoughts AND there is an 'absolute source' that is watching it. The I AM stage person will make attempts to 'dissociated from the relative world' in order to enter the 'absolute source'.

However, at Non-dual (& further..) stage understanding, one have understood that the division into a relative world and an absolute source has NEVER occcured and cannot be... Thus no attempt/effort is truly required.