Monday, February 23, 2009

Zen Master Dogen on what to do after enlightinement

Students of the Way, even if you attain enlightenment, do not think that this is now the ultimate and thus abandon your practice of the Way. The Way is endless. Even if you are enlightened, you should still practice the Way.

Record of Things Heard, Classics of Buddism and Zen, Vol.4, p.840, Thomas Cleary

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Robert Aitken Roshi has opened a new Blog

Great news for the online Zen community!
Robert Aitken Roshi, the elder statesman of Zen in the West, has opened a new blog.
To read, comment, and learn from this great teacher follow this link:
The blog site also offers a number of links to great Zen resources.
See you there!
Ted Biringer

Monday, February 16, 2009

False teachers? If so, what responsibility?

In a number of places throughout his works, Dogen makes references to students that are "misled" or "led astray" by "false teachers." Such statements often seem to infer an obligation to intervene, or act in some manner in order to help "genuine students" to a correct understanding.

I wonder if some students are being misled today by 'false' or deluded teachers/teachings. If so, what is the responsibility of authentic Buddhist teachers (or of anyone who is aware of false teachers/teachings) to them? I have encountered some that seem to advocate a strict 'hands-off' approach, sometimes offering opinions that students with 'genuine aspiration' will eventually find their way out.

However, it occurred to me that there might be some who, by their very nature, were genuinely seeking to study the Way with no regard for fame and gain, as they tried to treat mindfulness as their prime goal, but perhaps they were unfortunately being led astray by some false teacher so that the correct understanding of the Truth was needlessly being kept from them.
Shobogenzo, Bendowa, Rev. Hubert Nearman, O.B.C

Yet if there were any true practitioners who put the will to the truth first, being naturally unconcerned with fame and profit, they might be fruitlessly misled by false teachers and might needlessly throw a veil over right understanding.
Shobogenzo, Bendowa, Gudo Nishijima & Mike Cross

Any thoughts?

Ted Biringer