Author Topic: A question about Linji Yixuan  (Read 513 times)

Offline WakWaka123

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A question about Linji Yixuan
« on: November 27, 2016, 09:41:04 am »
Hello!
As you can see,I am new here :)
Could anyone write for me a shortly about the renewal and importance of Linji Yixuan?Did he differentiated Zen from Buddhism?from Daoism?
 I'm new in this bussines and wish to study about important people and thier activities:)

Offline zafrogzen

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Re: A question about Linji Yixuan
« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2016, 09:59:56 am »
Linji (Rinzai Jp) was the founder of a large branch of zen that emphasizes koan practice. He didn't have much to do with differentiating zen from Buddhism or Taoism -- that was a gradual process involving many different individuals. Google him. Here's a good translation of some of his talks -- http://www.thezensite.com/ZenTeachings/Translations/Teachings_of_Rinzai.pdf
My first formal meditation training was with Shunryu Suzuki in the 60's and later with Kobun, Robert Aitken and many other teachers (mainly zen). However, I've spent the most time practicing on my own, which is all I do now. I'm living in a rather isolated area so I miss connecting with other practitioners. Despite my interest in zen I've made an effort to remain secular. You can visit my website at http://www.frogzen.com

Offline WakWaka123

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Re: A question about Linji Yixuan
« Reply #2 on: November 27, 2016, 10:14:12 am »
Linji (Rinzai Jp) was the founder of a large branch of zen that emphasizes koan practice. He didn't have much to do with differentiating zen from Buddhism or Taoism -- that was a gradual process involving many different individuals. Google him. Here's a good translation of some of his talks -- http://www.thezensite.com/ZenTeachings/Translations/Teachings_of_Rinzai.pdf


Wow!thank you very much!I will start reading it soon.Why I do so,could you still answer for me- what new things did he bring to the Zen?How important was he?

Offline zafrogzen

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Re: A question about Linji Yixuan
« Reply #3 on: November 27, 2016, 10:30:14 am »
As I said, he was the founder of a very, large branch of zen (Rinzai in Japan). He had a very abrupt style of zen which evolved into a type of Koan practice. You can google "Koan" as well. A lot of his actions, and Koans in general, don't make much sense intellectually but are designed to provoke specific meditation insights.
My first formal meditation training was with Shunryu Suzuki in the 60's and later with Kobun, Robert Aitken and many other teachers (mainly zen). However, I've spent the most time practicing on my own, which is all I do now. I'm living in a rather isolated area so I miss connecting with other practitioners. Despite my interest in zen I've made an effort to remain secular. You can visit my website at http://www.frogzen.com

Offline WakWaka123

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Re: A question about Linji Yixuan
« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2016, 08:04:56 am »
As I said, he was the founder of a very, large branch of zen (Rinzai in Japan). He had a very abrupt style of zen which evolved into a type of Koan practice. You can google "Koan" as well. A lot of his actions, and Koans in general, don't make much sense intellectually but are designed to provoke specific meditation insights.

Wow , I started reading it and this is very interesting! In your opinion, do you think that what he brought was important or overrated?And just to understand,he was the first to use koans?

Offline stillpointdancer

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Re: A question about Linji Yixuan
« Reply #5 on: December 03, 2016, 03:34:29 am »
As I said, he was the founder of a very, large branch of zen (Rinzai in Japan). He had a very abrupt style of zen which evolved into a type of Koan practice. You can google "Koan" as well. A lot of his actions, and Koans in general, don't make much sense intellectually but are designed to provoke specific meditation insights.
Did you ever read Trevor Leggett's 'The Warrior Koans'? Kept it by my bed for a couple of years as the last thing to read before sleep. I think the aim is just to build up a mental tension in the reader, in preparation for insight. My view is that it is like the North American cowboy practice of 'breaking in' a wild horse quickly in order to ride it. The South American gaucho practice of 'gentling' a horse takes longer, and is more like regular vipassana practice.

The warrior koans were a kind of violent short cut to enlightenment, for people who didn't have much time before they went off to fight and die somewhere. Whatever answer they gave as their solution to the problem was unacceptable, yet they had to keep giving answers. Eventually something would 'give' and create the conditions for a realization.
“You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet, still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.” Franz Kafka

Offline zafrogzen

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Re: A question about Linji Yixuan
« Reply #6 on: December 03, 2016, 01:48:14 pm »
Quote
In your opinion, do you think that what he brought was important or overrated?And just to understand,he was the first to use koans?

IMHO he was important as the founder of one of the two main schools of zen in Japan and as a great master in his own right. But I don't understand why you need to come up with some estimation of Rinzai's (Linji's) importance. I'm certainly not the one to judge that. At one level everyone is of equal importance.

I don't think he was the first to use Koans in the way they are used today, which probably evolved later. The use of Koans is controversial in some circles, ironically because it can promote intellectualism and the sense that there are actually "answers."
My first formal meditation training was with Shunryu Suzuki in the 60's and later with Kobun, Robert Aitken and many other teachers (mainly zen). However, I've spent the most time practicing on my own, which is all I do now. I'm living in a rather isolated area so I miss connecting with other practitioners. Despite my interest in zen I've made an effort to remain secular. You can visit my website at http://www.frogzen.com

 


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