Soh Wei YuAuthorAdmin"Tradition, "the Buddhas and Patriarchs," supplies the standard by which to judge the truth of doctrine. "Anyone who wishes to determine if a teaching is correct or not should use the standards of the Buddhas and Patriarchs. They are the true masters of the wheel of the Law whom we should consult" (1977:23;1970:392). A doctrine can be verified as correct if it can be found to be the teaching of Buddhas and Patriarchs."Just saw this. What Dogen said here is interesting and reminds me of what Buddha taught:"In Anguttara Nikaya Sutta 4.180, the Buddha taught the great authorities. He advised that when any monk says that such and such are the teachings of the Buddha, we should, without scorning or welcoming his words compare those words with the Suttas and Vinaya. If they are not in accordance with the Suttas and Vinaya, we should reject them.""To some of you, Ānanda, it may occur thus: 'The words of the Teacher have ended, there is a Teacher no longer'. But it should not, Ānanda, be so considered. Indeed, Ānanda, that which I have taught and made known to you as the Dhamma and the Vinaya will be your Teacher after my passing away."-- Mahāparinibbāna SuttaLikewise, Dzogchen teacher Malcolm Smith also quoted Sakya Pandita before on this matter:"If he does not teach according to the words of the Buddhaeven if he is a guru, one should remain indifferent. "-- Sakya Pandita
Also as the Buddha stated in http://dharmafarer.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/40a.16-Ahita-Thera-S-a5.88-piya.pdf -- even famous teachers may have wrong views.
Soh Wei YuAuthorAdminAlso, this point is not entirely correct:"the radically anti-doctrinal posture of Zen's paradigmatic figures such as Bodhidharma, Hui-neng, Lin-chi, and Ta-hui"Bodhidharma brought Lankavatara Sutra from India to China and advised his students to study it, and his teachings was centered on the Lankavatara Sutra.The Sixth Patriarch Hui-neng attained great awakening through Diamond Sutra and the explanation from the 5th patriarch on the Diamond Sutra, and he too commented on and advised his students to study that sutra.
Coming from a Soto Zen tradition I would say that all the ‘views’ are piffle. It is only being that counts. The Heart Sutra does not say Avalokitesvara held the view that ‘form is empty, empty Ed’s is form, etc.’ but that he saw it. He did not need to have a view about it. Just as I can look out of my window at the moment and se the sun dappling on the willow in my garden. I don’t need a view, it just is - beyond all my views and interpretations. And it is just the same with me.
Epicurean Epitaph: Non fui, fui, non sum, non curo
Soh Wei Yu
Soto Zen writer and speaker Ted Biringer says, "Accurate understanding is not authentic realization. At the same time, authentic realization can hardly be expected to occur without accurate understanding. And while an absence of "right understanding" almost excludes the possibility of authentic realization, the presence of "wrong understanding" excludes even the slimmest hope of success. If we aspire to realize what Zen practice-enlightenment truly is, then, as Dogen says, "We should inquire into it, and we should experience it." To follow his guidance here we will need to understand his view of what "it" is that needs to be inquired into, and who the "we" is that is to do the inquiring."
Soh Wei Yu
http://www.thezensite.com/.../Doctrine_and_Concept_of... (the entire article is not bad and worth reading in full)
Truth as Correct Dharma and Right Understanding
Dōgen initiates a significant change of course in the Zen tradition when, from within that tradition, he opposes the radically anti-doctrinal posture of Zen's paradigmatic figures such as Bodhidharma, Hui-neng, Lin-chi, and Ta-hui. Even today, Dōgen 's writings are unique in the Zen tradition for the extent to which they take seriously such traditional matters as doctrine, language, scripture, and faith. In chapter after chapter of the Shōbōgenzō, an adamant stand is taken: sutras are not just "names and forms" that must be rejected in order to attain authentic practice and enlightenment. On the contrary, to reject the sutras is to reject the Buddha's proclamation of Dharma. For Dōgen, the spoken Dharma is as essential as the "wordless Dharma" and, in fact, is inseparable from it. Similarly, for Dōgen, the practice of zazen is not, as some of the great Chinese Ch'an masters had been teaching, a ritualized behavior that one must leave behind in the quest for enlightened spontaneity. Failure to practice zazen is failure to practice the Buddha Way. Zazen is not an ordinary activity; it is handed down from Buddhas and Patriarchs as the right way to practice enlightenment.
p 258 The Shōbōgenzō expresses immense respect for the Buddhist sutras, for the historical Buddha who initiated their transmission, and for the transmitted tradition as a whole, and on this basis, takes a strong stand in doctrinal matters. A master of critique, with an uncanny sense and awareness of language, Dōgen works his way through the vast repertoire of Buddhist doctrines and practices, alternately praising, criticizing, and reinterpreting them. In the process, Dōgen makes it perfectly clear: belief or disbelief is not an indifferent matter. On the contrary, correct doctrinal belief is essential to the Buddhist way. Dōgen is persistent in his efforts to expose "false views" and to present the "correct viewpoint." Ability to "discriminate the true from the false" is for Dōgen essential to enlightenment (1977:78/1972:188).  "Trainees should learn this: It is imperative that we can discern true from false" (1983a:109;1972:450). "Mistaken belief," "evil belief," "distorted ideas and opinions" are to be rooted out, and replaced by the "correct viewpoint," "truth without error." References to "non-believers" — those doctrinally "outside the Way" — are found throughout the Shōbōgenzō, and Dōgen warns of the dangers of associating with them (1983a:83;1972:75). Various versions of "distorted teaching" stand in clear opposition to the true, which should not be subjected to doubt (1983b:16;1972:345). "When you hear the true teaching believe it without any doubt" (1975:95;1970:294-5). "Do not have any doubt about it" (1977: 164; 1970:332).
Which particular doctrines and viewpoint are taken to be "correct" is not of concern here. But one example will illustrate how the case is made for right understanding in doctrinal matters. In the ]inshin Inga chapter, where Dōgen defends the principle of "causality," the text reads: "To harbor doubts regarding the law of causality as many monks do, is a clear denial of this law's very existence. Truly it is regrettable that the Way of the Buddhas and Patriarchs has declined in this way.... We should not doubt this [teaching]" (1983a:97;1972:432). Correct belief on this issue distinguishes true Buddhists from the unorthodox, those "outside the Way" (gedo). "A man may take ordination, he may wear a monk's robe, but if he subscribes to this mistaken view, he is not a disciple of the Buddha, for, as already stated, this is the doctrine of non-believers"p 260 (1983a:98-99;1972:450). Dōgen is adamant that unless one believes and understands correctly on this matter, there can be no progress on the Buddhist path. "It is imperative that trainees clarify the principle of causality first, otherwise they will remain susceptible to false views, their practice decline, and finally they will cease from doing good altogether. The principle of causality is straightforward; those who do wrong fall into hell; those who do good attain enlightenment" (1983a:101;1972:437). Quoting a Zen poem that says that "causality is as true and unchangeable as pure refined gold" (1983a:100;1972:436), Dōgen makes this point clearly: the principle of causality is permanent and knowable. When one understands properly and holds the correct viewpoint on this matter, then one's understanding corresponds with the way things truly are, and the consequences of such correct belief are ultimately beneficial. On the other hand, "spreading false doctrine is a most serious crime" (1983a:106;1972:447). "The principle of causality means that those who practice well realize enlightenment — it's as straightforward as that" (1983a:98;1972:433).
To justify this doctrinal claim to truth, Dōgen appeals to tradition. "It is apparent that the Patriarchs never denied the chain of causality....Do not teach that causality does not exist; this is untrue and conflicts with the Law transmitted by the Buddhas and Patriarchs. Only those ignorant of the true teaching support such views" (1983a:97;1972:432-33). Several times the appeal is made to one particular patriarch, Nagarjuna, who, ironically enough, in his "causality" based claim that all doctrines are empty (sunya), initiated the historical sequence that led to the denial of causality that Dōgen so dreaded. So Dōgen invokes Nagarjuna to set things straight. "As Patriarch Nagarjuna said, "to deny, as non-Buddhists do, the principle of causality, is not only a denial of the existence of the present and future worlds, but also the existence of the three treasures, the Four Noble Truths, and the various stages of arhathood" (1983a:98; 1972:434). The authority of tradition, and of Nagarjuna in particular, is so powerful that Dōgen can simply sum up the matter by saying: "The preceding are the compassionate teachings of the Patriarch Nagarjuna, We should gratefully accept and heed these words" (1983a:98; 1972:434).
This example shows the Shōbōgenzō's position on the nature and importance of correct doctrinal belief by focusing on a doctrine that is fundamental to most Buddhist thought. The same essential attitude, however, is presented on many matters of correct belief and practice, from the doctrine of karma to the details of monastic practice. There is a right way of belief and practice in all matters that is knowable and verifiable as true and efficacious. How can one correctly distinguish p 261 the true from the false?  The Shōbōgenzō's answer to this question in the above example is a pattern that appears throughout the text. Tradition, "the Buddhas and Patriarchs," supplies the standard by which to judge the truth of doctrine. "Anyone who wishes to determine if a teaching is correct or not should use the standards of the Buddhas and Patriarchs. They are the true masters of the wheel of the Law whom we should consult" (1977:23;1970:392). A doctrine can be verified as correct if it can be found to be the teaching of Buddhas and Patriarchs.
Soh Wei Yu
Furthermore, the Shōbōgenzō holds that the content of correct belief and practice has been accurately transmitted from the Buddhas through centuries of tradition.  "I also learned (from a sutra) that the Patriarchs transmit the Dharma free of error" (1983b:100;1972:400). That the Patriarchs' transmission can be trusted Dōgen claims to have learned from a sutra. The tradition apparently verifies itself. Furthermore, because the transmission of doctrine is unbroken, the Buddhist Dharma has been able to escape the vicissitudes of history: " ... it is not difficult to authenticate a doctrine even if removed by centuries from the Buddhas and Patriarchs" (1983b:72). Dōgen is aware of at least some of the histor
ical and hermeneutical problems that arise when the truth of historically transmitted doctrine is based upon the word or confession of that same transmission. The divergence and plurality of belief is an often mentioned and much lamented fact in the Shōbōgenzō. But Dōgen 's response is simply that the others have received it incorrectly, and that the truth runs like a single unbroken thread down through the centuries. "Shakyamuni's Eye and Treasury of the true Law and supreme enlightenment was only rightly transmitted to Mahakasyapa, and no one else. The right transmission surely passed to Mahakasyapa" (1977:23;1970:392).
But in spite of the continuity of tradition, there are those who hold "mistaken and distorted views." "Unfortunately many masters have proclaimed the teaching based on their own limited mistaken views... They distorted the teachings to conform to their own misguided interpretation which they contested to be true Buddhism" (1983b: 16; 1972:345). Although these people think they possess the p 262 truth, they are caught in an illusory perspective that can only be exposed by showing them the correct interpretation of the teachings. "Inferior monks remain ignorant and do not know that their teaching is twisted. It is a pity that they are trapped in illusion. Such people have not experienced the Dharma and do not know how to think properly" (1983a:83;1972:76).
Apparently those who hold a correct viewpoint and those who adhere to incorrect doctrine both believe that their view is true, and both verify that view by reference to the tradition. Yet nothing in the Shōbōgenzō indicates how one might adjudicate the conflict of interpretations. The circularity of an appeal to tradition as a means to verify an interpretation of tradition is not raised to the status of an issue. Therefore, even the pivotal principle itself can be stated in circular terms: "This is the Buddhist teaching of right transmission — only those with right transmission can correctly calculate right transmission" (1983a:68;1972:38). As Dōgen seems to sense, the whole procedure seems to rest on one crucial belief: "belief in right transmission" (1977: 181).
But even if there is difficulty in grounding correct belief, it nevertheless remains a central theme throughout the Shōbōgenzō that the truth or falsity of one's doctrine and practice is a matter of great significance. In contrast to much of the Zen tradition that precedes it, the Shōbōgenzō is adamant that doctrine does make a difference. To bring the significance of this position into focus, one might contrast Dōgen’s relentless critique of false views with Nagarjuna's famous "critique of all views." For Dōgen, not all views obstruct realization, only those "outside the way" (gedo). Others, sanctioned by Buddhas and Patriarchs, are to be cultivated. It is significant that the Shōbōgenzō commonly refers to the Lotus Siitra as the highest standard for truth, because this text can clearly be seen to support Dōgen's emphasis on correctness and truth of belief. But this same sutra also expresses a concern for universality and all-inclusiveness. It probes toward a position that, rather than simply contradicting other positions, attempts to take them all in, including them in one universal Dharma. This is also Dōgen 's concern, a concern which derives from a second approach to the question of truth.
Soh Wei Yu
Back to Soh:
There are many places in Shobogenzo where Dogen emphasized the importance of right view. For example he criticised such Vedantic sort of eternalist views: http://www.awakeningtoreality.com/.../non-duality-of...
There are many instances where Dogen criticised even the contemporary Zen masters for harbouring wrong views.
For example, Dogen said: “Meditation Master Engo Kokugon once said in a poem commenting on an ancient Ancestor’s kōan* story: When fish swim, they may muddy up the water; When birds fly, they may shed a feather. It is hard indeed to escape the ever-bright Mirror.5The Great Void knows no bounds. Once something has passed, it is far, far gone. The five hundred rebirths were simply dependent on the fox’s Great Practice with cause and effect. A thunderbolt may suddenly smash a mountain and the wind churn up the sea, But the Pure Gold, though refined a hundred times, never changes Its color. Even this verse leans towards denying cause and effect and, at the same time, tends to support the view of eternalism."
"The monk known as Meditation Master Daie Sōkō once said the following in a congratulatory poem: ‘Not being subject to’ and ‘not being blind to’ Are merely stones and clods of earth. Having met them along the path between the rice fields, I pulverized the silver mountain. Clapping my hands, I give a hearty “Ho, ho!” wherever I am, For here in Kōshū, this foolish Laughing Buddha is to be found.7Present-day people in Sung dynasty China consider monks like Daie to be Masters skillful in leading trainees, but Daie’s opinions and understanding never reached the level of skillful means in instructing others in the Buddha Dharma. If anything, he leaned towards naturalism.8"
- Zen Master Dogen, https://www.thezensite.com/.../Shobogenzo/088jinshiInga.pdf
You can read more about Dogen criticisizing false views of various teachers/teachings here: My opinion on Shurangama Sutra http://www.awakeningtoreality.com/.../my-opinion-on...
"Dogen is really a difficult person with whom to practice. In a sense, he’s so stubborn and picky. Many Zen texts agree with this theory in these sutras and Zongmi’s. Dogen is a very unusual and unique Zen master. To be his student is a difficult thing." - Shohaku Okumura
And as John Tan said in 2007 about Dogen, “Dogen is a great Zen master that has penetrated deeply into a very deep level of anatman.”, “Read about Dogen… he is truly a great Zen master… ...[Dogen is] one of the very few Zen Masters that truly knows.”, “Whenever we read the most basic teachings of Buddha, it is most profound. Don't ever say we understand it. Especially when it comes to Dependent Origination, which is the most profound truth in Buddhism*. Never say that we understand it or have experienced it. Even after a few years of experience in non-duality, we can't understand it. The one great Zen master that came closest to it is Dogen, that sees temporality as buddha nature, that see transients as living truth of dharma and the full manifestation of buddha nature.”
"When you ride in a boat and watch the shore, you might assume that the shore is moving. But when you keep your eyes closely on the boat, you can see that the boat moves. Similarly, if you examine many things with a confused mind, you might suppose that your mind and nature are permanent. But when you practice intimately and return to where you are, it will be clear that there is nothing that has unchanging self.
"Tathagatas [Buddhas] never go beyond clarifying cause and effect"
For Dōgen, Buddha-nature or Busshō (佛性) is the nature of reality and all Being. In the Shōbōgenzō, Dōgen writes that "whole-being is the Buddha-nature" and that even inanimate objects (rocks, sand, water) are an expression of Buddha-nature. He rejected any view that saw Buddha-nature as a permanent, substantial inner self or ground. Dōgen held that Buddha-nature was "vast emptiness", "the world of becoming" and that "impermanence is in itself Buddha-nature". According to Dōgen:
Therefore, the very impermanency of grass and tree, thicket and forest is the Buddha nature. The very impermanency of men and things, body and mind, is the Buddha nature. Nature and lands, mountains and rivers, are impermanent because they are the Buddha nature. Supreme and complete enlightenment, because it is impermanent, is the Buddha nature.
Soh Wei Yu
And likewise, in Buddhism not limited to Zen, Nagarjuna and Madhyamaka was one of the core and most major and influential teacher in Mahayana Buddhism. In fact Zen considers Nagarjuna as one of the patriarchs of Zen in the long list of lineage tracing back to Buddha and then Mahakasyapa.
Many people hear and talk about Madhyamaka as propounding a "viewless view". But many people have a totally warped and wrong understanding of what that means.
For example, Dzogchen teacher Acarya Malcolm Smith says Madhyamaka is not a simple minded “I have no view” proposition:
“gad rgyangs wrote:
He clearly says in the VV that he has no view to defend. Do you think he was wrong about himself?
He states in the VV that he has no propositions/thesis concerning svabhāva as defined by his opponents. He does not say he has no views at all. For example, he clearly states in the MMK that he prefers the Sammitya view of karma.
Your claim is similar to the mistaken assertion made by some who claim that Candrakirti never resorts to syllogisms, which in fact he clearly does in the opening lines of the MAV. What Candra disputes is not syllogistic reasoning in its entirety, but rather, syllogistic reasoning applied to emptiness.
Likewise, he clearly asserts the view in the VV that there is no svabhāva in phenomena. Madhyamaka is not a simple minded "I have no view" proposition.
"Madhyamaka is not a simple minded "I have no view" proposition."
gad rgyangs wrote:
then why does the MMK end thusly? MMK 27.30:
I salute Gautama, who, based on compassion,
taught the true Dharma for the abandonment of all views.
"All views" here is summarized as two in chapter fifteen: i.e. substantial existence and nonexistence.”
Soh Wei Yu
“The purpose of the view is to open the mind up fully without background, duality and inherency. So that experience is fully open, direct, immediate and without boundaries. Chariot and its basis are not a cause and effect relationship, they originate in dependence.” - John Tan, 2019
“Dry non-conceptualities means PCE [pure consciousness experience] without insight and wisdom. Without insight of how the conceptual mind affect experiences and wisdom of the nature of mind and phenomena.
There is the experiences, the view and the realization. So practice is not just about experiences, one must realise clearly what the view of anatta and emptiness is pointing to in real-time experiences. Essentially it is about understanding how reification from conceptualities confuse the mind leading to dualistic and inherent thoughts and the freedom from them into spontaneous perfection of natural condition.” – John Tan, 2020
“4/12/2012 3:00 PM: John: Imo it is not possible to remove the sense of self by the path of practice alone, the view and realization is important. Tilopa’s advice is only advisable after a practitioner realizes certain important aspect of the nature and essence of mind.That is what is meant by being 'natural'. What is the cause of contrived effort. It is easy to say the sense of self creates the 'efforting' but practitioner will need to have deeper insight then just saying that. Otherwise the mind is not willing to let go itself”