Introduction: Experiential deconstructive inquiry -- Foundational philosophies and spiritual methods -- Non-duality in Advaita Vedanta and Zen Buddhism -- Ontological differences and non-duality -- Meditative inquiry, questioning, and dialoguing as a means to spiritual insight -- The undoing or deconstruction of dualistic conceptions -- Advaita Vedanta : philosophical foundations and deconstructive strategies -- Sources of the tradition -- Upaniads that art thou (Tat Tvam Asi) -- Gauapda (c.7th century) : no bondage, no liberation -- Aakara (c.7th-8th century) : there is (...) no apprehender different from this apprehension to apprehend it -- Modern and contemporary masters -- Ramana Maharshi (1879-1950) : who am I? -- H.W.L Poonja (1910-1997) : you have to do nothing to be who you are! -- Gangaji (b. 1942) : you are that! -- Advaita Vedanta summary : nothing ever happens -- Zen Buddhism : philosophical foundations and deconstructive strategies -- Sources of the tradition -- The Lakvatra Sutra and the Vajracchedik Prajñpramit Sutra all things ... are not independent of each other and not two -- Ngrjuna (c.113-213) : Sasra is Nirva -- Eihei Dgen (1200-1253) : if I am already enlightened, why must I practice -- Contemporary masters -- Ekai Korematsu (b. 1948) : return to the spine -- Hgen Yamahata (b. 1935) : why not now -- Zen Buddhism summary : neither being nor non-being is to be taken hold of -- Deconstructive techniques and dynamics of experiential undoing -- Deconstructive techniques common to both traditions -- The teacher-student dynamic -- Key deconstructive techniques -- Unfindability analysis -- Bringing everything back to the here and now -- Paradoxical problems -- Negation -- Dynamics of experiential undoing -- Non-dual experiential space -- Experiential mapping : practitioners in the space -- Experiential undoing in Advaita Vedanta -- Experiential undoing in Zen Buddhism -- Conclusion: Deconstruction of reified awareness. (shrink)
Zen Training is a comprehensive handbook for zazen , seated meditation practice, and an authoritative presentation of the Zen path. The book marked a turning point in Zen literature in its critical reevaluation of the enlightenment experience, which the author believes has often been emphasized at the expense of other important aspects of Zen training. In addition, Zen Training goes beyond the first flashes of enlightenment to explore how one lives as well as trains in Zen. The author also draws (...) many significant parallels between Zen and Western philosophy and psychology, comparing traditional Zen concepts with the theories of being and cognition of such thinkers as Heidegger and Husserl. (shrink)
In Taking the Path of Zen , Robert Aitken provided a concise guide to zazen (Zen meditation) and other aspects of the practice of Zen. In The Mind of Clover he addresses the world beyond the zazen cushions, illuminating issues of appropriate personal and social action through an exploration of the philosophical complexities of Zen ethics. Aitken's approach is clear and sure as he shows how our minds can be as nurturing as clover, which enriches the soil and benefits the (...) environment as it grows. The opening chapters discuss the Ten Grave Precepts of Zen, which, Aitken points out, are "not commandments etched in stone but expressions of inspiration written in something more fluid than water." Aitken approaches these precepts, the core of Zen ethics, from several perspectives, offering many layers of interpretation. Like ripples in a pond, the circles of his interpretation increasingly widen, and he expands his focus to confront corporate theft and oppression, the role of women in Zen and society, abortion, nuclear war, pollution of the environment, and other concerns. The Mind of Clover champions the cause of personal responsibility in modern society, encouraging nonviolent activism based on clear convictions. It is a guide that engages, that invites us to realize our own potential for confident and responsible action. (shrink)
The true man without any rank.--Two dimensions of ego consciousness.--Sense and nonsense in Zen Buddhism.--The philosophical problem of articulation.--Thinking and a-thinking through kōan.--The interior and exterior in Zen.--The elimination of color in Far Eastern art and photography.
To live life fully and die serenely--surely we all share these goals, so inextricably entwined. Yet a spiritual dimension is too often lacking in the attitudes, circumstances, and rites of death in modern society. Kapleau explores the subject of death and dying on a deeply personal level, interweaving the writings of Western religions with insights from his own Zen practice, and offers practical advice for the dying and their families.
This book is the first to engage Zen Buddhism philosophically on crucial issues from a perspective that is informed by the traditions of western philosophy and religion. It focuses on one renowned Zen master, Huang Po, whose recorded sayings exemplify the spirit of the 'golden age' of Zen in medieval China, and on the transmission of these writings to the West. The author makes a bold attempt to articulate a post-romantic understanding of Zen applicable to contemporary world culture. While deeply (...) sympathetic to the Zen tradition, he raises serious questions about the kinds of claims that can be made on its behalf. (shrink)
1 Be Still Sitting is a natural slowing down of this rushing, self-centered, mind-body chattering that we often live. This is the practice of realization, which is what we are, and this practice allows us to be who we are.
would probably have taken over the translating profession by now. At best, computer translations read awkwardly, and some of them are downright humorous. Precise, word-for-word, humanrendered translations fare no better.
Koan Zen is a philosophical practice that bears a strong family resemblance to Wittgenstein's approach to philosophy. In this paper I hope to show that this resemblance is especially evident when we compare the Zen method of koan with Wittgenstein's suggestion, towards the end of his Tractatus, about what would constitute the only correct method in philosophy. Both koan Zen and Wittgenstein's method set limits to the reach of philosophical discourse. Each rules metaphysical speculation out of bounds. Neither, however, represents (...) a rejection of the metaphysical. Where Wittgenstein enjoins silence in the face of the unsayable, a silence that allows the metaphysical to show itself, koan Zen calls for concrete demonstrations of that which cannot be captured in rational discourse. I attempt to illustrate this through discussion of a number of koans that serve as reminders that the philosopher (and Zen master) should say nothing except what can be said. (shrink)
John Hick's "pluralistic hypothesis" of religion essays a comprehensive vision of religious diversity and its attendant soteriological, epistemological, and ontological implications. At the heart of Hick's proposal is the belief in the transcendental unity and soteriological identity of all religions. While coherent and compelling, Hick's model militates against those traditions that do not possess an ultimate noumenal referent that undergirds the phenomenal responses of culturally conditioned traditions. One of those traditions, namely Sōtō Zen Buddhism, at once defies Hick's categories and (...) presses for an alternative understanding of the epistemological, metaphysical, and soteriological issues. (shrink)
Simon P. James' Zen Buddhism and Environmental Ethics offers an engaging, sophisticated, and well-argued defence of the notion that Zen Buddhism has something positive to offer the environmental movement. James' goal is two-fold: first, dispel criticism that Zen (by virtue of its anti-philosophical stance) lacks an ethical program (because it shuns conventional morality), has no concern for the environment at large (because it adopts a thoroughly anthropocentric stance), and deprives living entities of any intrinsic worth (because it operates from the (...) standpoint of the doctrine of emptiness); second, to argue that Zen's quietist stance in fact fosters the development of certain character traits (compassion, non-violence, selflessness, etc.) that in turn lead to having an enlightened attitude toward the environment. (shrink)
This essay takes as its focus Japanese philosopher Nishida Kitar? (1870?1945) and his seminal first text, An Inquiry into the Good (or in Japanese zen no kenky?). Until now scholarship has taken for granted the predominantly Buddhist orientation of this text, centered around an analysis of the central concept of ?pure experience? (junsui keiken) as something Nishdia extrapolates from his early experience of Zen meditation. However, in this paper I will present an alternative and more accurate account of the origins (...) of this important work, a text often seen as marking the beginning of Modern Japanese philosophy. I will show that while Buddhism is an important part of Nishida's early intellectual development, there is ample biographical and textual evidence to suggest that zen no kenky? is at its core a text which attempts to solve key ethical problems via a modern interpretation of concepts drawn from the Confucian tradition. This analysis thus places the concept of ?Conduct? (koi), rather than ?pure experience?, at the center of the text, suggesting that ethics, rather than metaphysics, is the core theme of the book. (shrink)
This paper strengthens the theoretical ground of feminist analyses of anger by explaining how the angers of the oppressed are ways of knowing. Relying on insights created through the juxtaposition of Latina feminism and Zen Buddhism, I argue that these angers are special kinds of embodied perceptions that surface when there is a profound lack of fit between a particular bodily orientation and its framing world of sense. As openings to alternative sensibilities, these angers are transformative, liberatory, and deeply epistemological.
Review of Leesa S. Davis, Advaita Vedanta and Zen Buddhism: Deconstructive Modes of Spiritual Inquiry Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-3 DOI 10.1007/s11841-012-0297-1 Authors David R. Loy, Boulder, CO, United States Journal Sophia Online ISSN 1873-930X Print ISSN 0038-1527.
George Rupp's Beyond Existentialism and Zen, in its typological-structural analysis and model of religious pluralism, proffers an alternative to the dominant Kantian models (e.g., by John Hicks and Sarvepalli Radhakrish- nan). The question for Rupp is not which religion is true and how to decide that issue-answered in the Kantian approach in terms of an unknowable Ding an sich that all religions, albeit imperfectly, try to approximate or conceptualize (i.e., God or the Transcendent)-but rather how do religions represent, at least (...) in principle, a structural possibility for salvation or human flourishing, however different and incompatible their distinct prima facie truth claims might be. Although the potential for a radically relativistic model is implicit in Rupp's approach, it is argued here that his Hegelian assumptions lead him to accept relativism only in a provisional ("critical") way; for Rupp, under ideal epistemic conditions (e.g., the Peircian "end of inquiry"), one final conceptualization of ultimate reality will emerge as absolute truth. In the final part of this essay a version of the relativistic model implicit in Rupp's approach is defended against both the Kantian model of Hicks et al. and Rupp's Hegelian-Peircian model, which, it is argued, is incompatible certainly with the spirit of his own typological-structural analysis, if not with the letter. In challenging what Rupp calls the truth of Zen, it is further argued that not only is more than one salvific structural possibility available to us through the different world religions but also that realizing these possibilities is principally a human responsibility, and that the cosmos is quite indifferent to and compatible with several possibilities, from the most destructive to the most conducive to human well-being and flourishing. (shrink)
: Scholars have underestimated and misunderstood the distinction between Sōtō and Rinzai, the two major branches of Zen Buddhism, because they have either parroted the sectarian polemics of the schools themselves or, as in the case of prominent scholars Carl Bielefeldt and T. P. Kasulis, dismissed these polemics as deriving from institutional politics rather than substantive doctrinal or practical differences. Here it is attempted for the first time to understand the polemics of these two schools as reflecting a real disparity (...) in concept and practice. The psychological concept of manas of the Yogācāra or "mind-only" school, a Buddhist philosophical tradition that is foundational to Mahāyāna Buddhist meditation practice and to Zen, is investigated.This concept is used to explicate the mental mechanics of meditation in order to appreciate the criticisms of classical Zen Masters directed against each other and thereby to understand important conceptual and practical differences between the two schools. (shrink)
In reviewing four works from the 1990s-monographs by Christopher Ives and Phillip Olson on Zen Buddhist ethics, Damien Keown's treatment of Indian Buddhist ethics, and an edited collection on Buddhism and human rights-this article examines recent scholarship on Zen Buddhist ethics in light of issues in Buddhist and comparative ethics. It highlights selected themes in the notional and real encounter of Zen Buddhism with Western thought and culture as presented in the reviewed works and identifies issues and problems for further (...) consideration, in particular, problems of comparative and cross-cultural understanding and the articulation and redefinition of Zen Buddhist tradition. (shrink)
[About the book] Comparative aesthetics is the branch of philosophy which compares the aesthetic concepts and practices of different cultures. The way in which the various cultures of the world conceive of the aesthetic dimension of life in general and art in particular is revelatory of profound attitudes and beliefs which themselves make up an important part of the culture in question. This anthology consists of entirely new essays by some of the leading, internationally recognised scholars in the field. The (...) subjects addressed include the influence of Upanişadic thought on the classic Indian tradition in aesthetics and the way in which that tradition continues to have relevance to issues discussed today; how Buddhist thought in general and Zen in particular shape aesthetic attitudes in Japanese culture; how Confucianism affected not only the morality but also the classical aesthetics of China; how different ideas of the self and of human nature affect artistic training and practice in different cultures; how feminism can draw inspiration from classic non-European lines of thought in the area of aesthetics, and how different attitudes to nature underpin a whole range of aesthetic beliefs and attitudes in western and eastern thought. These ideas reveal both deep differences and deep similarities between east and west. No-one seeking to understand the cultures discussed in these essays can ignore their aesthetic dimension, which often holds the key to understanding the deepest motives which have formed them. (shrink)
If we reflect on the history of Buddhism, we should be able to acknowledge as an anomaly the present yawning chasm to be seen between North American / Japanese academic scholarship that deals with Zen/Chan and the corresponding practice community. We have on one hand a religious tradition that has, due to a combination of its own rhetorical choices and various historical turns, become largely bereft of the ongoing production of significant scholarship concerning its own history and doctrine (leaving (...) aside for the moment the case of Korea). This is juxtaposed with an academic scholarly tradition, generated from its own radically different historical roots that has a historical-philological orientation that ends up being almost completely disconnected from the concerns of the practitioner within the tradition, be she/he a monastic or lay adherent. What is further interesting about this situation is the extent to which it has, despite its peculiarity, come to be taken for granted as normative—at least within Western and Japanese scholarship. (shrink)
While there has been a surge in scholarship on Imperial Way Buddhism (kōdō Bukkyō) in the past several decades, little attention has been paid, particularly in Western scholarship, to the life and work of Ichikawa Hakugen (1902–1986), the most prominent and sophisticated postwar critic of the role of Buddhism, and particularly Zen, in modern Japanese militarism. By way of a thorough and critical investigation of Ichikawa’s critique, Imperial-Way Zen: Ichikawa Hakugen’s Critique and Lingering Questions for Buddhist Ethics by Christopher Ives (...) seeks to provide answers to a number of important questions regarding Zen ethics in the context of modern Japan. Particularly fruitful is Ives’ discussion, in chapter 7, of the .. (shrink)
The early Nishida has conventionally been seen as an apolitical thinker, concerned primarily with religious philosophy. In itself this constitutes a political reading of Nishida's work, since it represents an attempt to distance (and thus "save") his wider philosophy from his dubious political practice during the 1930s and 1940s. However, a fresh reading of Nishida's debut, "Zen no kenkyū" (An inquiry into the good), reveals a distinctive political agenda and a sophisticated philosophy of political ethics. Counterintuitively, this essay suggests that (...) Nishida's politics, at least in his "early period," provides a sound philosophical basis for a critique of imperialism and ultranationalism. (shrink)
: Zen philosophy of language is discussed by exploring the concepts of live anddeadwords,involvement with meaningand involvement with words, and the three mysterious gates as they are employed in Pojo Chinul's huatou meditation. A comparison is made betweenthe Zenuse of language and Merleau-Ponty's philosophy of visibility, Julia Kristeva's idea of the semiotic and the symbolic, and Kierkegaard's concept of anxiety, in an attempt to provide a paradigm to understand the Zen Buddhist vision.
Zen philosophy of language is discussed by exploring the concepts of live and dead words, involvement with meaning and involvement with words, and the three mysterious gates as they are employed in Pojo Chinul's huatou meditation. A comparison is made between the Zen use of language and Merleau-Ponty's philosophy of visibility, Julia Kristeva's idea of the semiotic and the symbolic, and Kierkegaard's concept of anxiety, in an attempt to provide a paradigm to understand the Zen Buddhist vision.
The problem of Nishida Kitaro's historical philosophy and an introduction to the psychedelic paradigm -- The Zen nexus between Nishida Kitaro and modern psychedelic experience -- Experience and the self: the early phase of Nishida's thought (1911-1931) -- Nishida Kitaro's historical world (1931-1945) -- A psychedelic paradigm of history -- Hallucinating the end of history: reflections on myth, the eschaton and the problem of overcoming modernity.
Extract: Having spent sixteen years teaching philosophy in Singapore, half a year in Hong Kong, and a few months near Shanghai, the three major financial centres in Cultural China, I have been unwittingly exposed to the brutality and intricacies of the business and financial world. I am particularly interested in the psychology of stock trading which could benefit greatly from Zen and Taoistic cultural resources.
Prof. Matsumoto Shirō and his colleague, Prof. Hakamaya Noriaki, have together produced a number of lengthy essays on a theme called hihan bukkyō (批判仏教), in English, "Critical Buddhism."1 At the core of their project is the conviction that the concepts of tathāgatagarbha and innate enlightenment (本覺思想) are alien to Buddhism, due to the fact that those concepts imply a belief in a hypostasized self--a type of atman, which Buddhism originally and distinctively sought to refute through the conceptual framework of pratītya-samutpāda (...) (dependent origination). (shrink)
N. G. de Bruijn, now professor emeritus of the Eindhoven University of Technology, was a pioneer in the field of interactive theorem proving. From 1967 to the end of the 1970’s, his work on the Automath system introduced the architecture that is common to most of today’s proof assistants, and much of the basic technology. But de Bruijn was a mathematician first and foremost, as evidenced by the many mathematical notions and results that bear his name, among them de Bruijn (...) sequences, de Bruin graphs, the de Bruijn-Newman constant, and the de Bruijn-Erd¨. (shrink)
Part I It is a perennial theme in the literature on environmental ethics that the exploitation of the environment is the result of a blindness to (or perhaps a refusal to recognize) the intrinsic value of natural beings. The general story here is that Western traditions of thought have tended to accord natural beings value only to the extent that they prove useful to humans, that they have tended to see nature as only instrumentally valuable. By contrast, it is said (...) that a new, environmentally friendly understanding of the world would value nature ?for its own sake?, would conceive natural beings as having intrinsic value. In the light of such an understanding, the oak tree, for instance, would be seen not merely as a source of timber or shade or as a decoration for the front lawn, but as valuable ?in itself?, as having an intrinsic value that ought to be respected (see further, O'Neill 1993, chapter 2). (shrink)