Simply Drop Off Everything by Hongzhi

The rub comes where people like me call some individuals or institututions frauds, fakes, etc. insofar as they claim to be representing the zen of Joshu, Fayan, Foyan, that that crew, that we presume would have been able to recognize each other.

Would they have recognized Nagarjuna as one of their own, or would they have recognized Brad Warner as one of their own? Is this where a visitor to r/zen is even interested in going?

Fools rush in where angles fear to tread is an old saying that I still like, and so, I will show you u/fripsidelover9110, for example, a fellow who has been studying "zen buddhist" ideas from the perspective of a religious orientation, coming on r/zen to present his point of view, but also going to r/buddhism to preach his version there:

Here is my personal opinion.

Solid, robust doctrinal study of Buddhism. We do not have Shakamuni anymore. (Even if he is really a historical figure ) He was gone long long ago. American Buddhism should absorb all the accomplishments previously achieved in traditional Buddhist countries, and by doing so, make its own Nagarjuna, Zhiyi, Vasubandhu, Wonhyo. Meditation oriented Buddhism (say, Zen Buddhism, Or Vipassana practice of the Southern Theravada tradition) can flourish and keep its vitality for long only in strong, robust, rich soil of doctrinal study of Buddhism. As far as I know, there has not been any single case in which Meditation oriented Buddhism could develop successfully without healthy foundation of doctrinal study of Buddhism. They are like two sides of the same coin. Without the latter, the former will quickly degenerate to a handy, light weighted secular Mc-mindfullness technique (I suspect that even traditional Christianity prayer might be able to make similar therapeutic effect). This is an important lesson from the history of Buddhism.

And the fact that Buddhism is often conceived as a mystic (eastern) religion in the U.S. (even among American Buddhists themselves) indicates how weak and poor its doctrinal foundation is at present. You can safely assume that there is not any genuine American Buddhism until it is conceived as the religion of Truth (at least by American Buddhists themselves) there and American Buddhists feel confident that it can stand against any philosophical attacks and charges from Brahmanism, Hinduism, Neo-Confucianism, Taoism, Scientism, Marxism, Physicalism or whatever. Otherwise, It will stay as a fad for a while and pass away sooner or later.

Protect Buddhism from native local superstitions. In Korea, and Japan, native Shamanism and Shintoism have corrupted Buddhism more or less. In America, there is its own superstition, commonly called 'consumerism'. No lame compromise should be allowed.

Throw away unnecessary, non-Buddhistic Culture specific stuff of East Asian Buddhism. There is nothing more Buddhist or enlightenment relevant things with Kimchi or Sushi than Salad or Bacon. And, Chanting in East Asian languages does not make any sense to native American Buddhists.

So, fripside and myself are another example of the kinds of conversations that ensue, that help to illuminate (see, I found a way to use the word!) the fallout that happens when you notice stuff.

like you're implying that there can't be a real teacher because they lived in a certain era

I happen to greatly relish Bankei and Ikkyu. I meant to say that we don't know of as many zen characters after Yuanwu as before.

like you're implying that there can't be a real teacher because they lived in a certain era

Automatically suspect. But then, to be fair, I think every zen character is automatically suspect, no matter the age. When did Joshu ever stop being tested by his students, right up to the last day?

One of the fun things about zen is finding a friend that survives having been suspect from the start. And the ones, like Diamond Sutra, that don't survive the examination, oh well, we can always look again. The only thing is if someone has ruled out looking. What can you do with that?

/r/zen Thread