Add KarateForums.com
Username:    Password:
Remember Me?    
   I Lost My Password!
Post new topic   Reply to topic    KarateForums.com Forum Index -> Internal Arts and Philosophy
Goto page 1, 2, 3, 4  Next
 See a User Guidelines violation? Press on the post.
Author Message

Traymond
Pre-Black Belt
Pre-Black Belt

Joined: 26 Nov 2008
Posts: 997
Location: Michigan
Styles: Sensei of Brasshand Style, but practicioner of many

PostPosted: Thu Jan 29, 2009 8:53 am    Post subject: Christian and following Zen? Reply with quote

So as a Christian my church does not believe that I should follow the arts of Zen, but even the Lord says that we should honor all religions, how can we truly honor them without truly understanding them? IO have studies Zen Buddhism, Shinto, Taoism, Daoism, many other types of Christianity, and now my church believes that it is a sin to try to study Zen...

What are your beliefs on Martial artists and using Zen in their arts...whether you are Christian or not I want you input.
_________________
To fear death is to limit life - Xin Sarith Azuma Phan Wuku
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail MSN Messenger

tallgeese
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 04 May 2008
Posts: 6851
Location: McHenry County, IL
Styles: Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Bujin Bugei Jutsu, Gokei Ryu Kempo Jutsu, MMA, Shootfighting, boxing, kickboxing, JKD, Pekiti Tersia Kali

PostPosted: Thu Jan 29, 2009 9:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Speaking from a Christian world view (although I'll be the first to admit I'm as flawed as the next guy- probibly more so), there is a distinct difference between studying them to have a knowledge and understanding vs. following them as a way of addressing the issues you face in your daily life.

The Bible is very clear on where a followers priorities need to be and on where the fundimental answers to our questions are. Anything that would lead us off that path is less than desireable.

Now, does reading this stuff agaisnt the precepts of Christianity, I'd say no. In fact, how are you supposed to understand other's outlooks as a matter of witnessing to them if you have no idea of where they are coming from. So, read and understand them - fine. Follow - not so much.

Bear in mind, this is my opinion and that's all. It's not my place to pass judgement on anyone.

For me, it's been easy, even eastern thought dosn't play a part in my ma trarining. I veiw them as totally sperate activites as they related to the western mind. For me, ma has always been about fighting, therefore, I haven't felt the need to delve to deeply into the phylosophical side of things. Although I did end up with a minor in Philosopby during my undergrad years. But I spent plenty of time in non-eastern thought classes.

So for me, it's easy. If they don't apply to your ma and you're not following those paths, then they aren't going to come into conflict with your faith.

I can see how it might get tricky if you're trying to integrate them into your training. Again, not passing judgement, you asked for opinions and I'm just chiming in.

Now, if you'd asked about the fighting and my attitute towards it and how it interacted with my faith it would be an entirely more complex answer that I'm not even certain I've figured out yet .

See, we all have some sort of issue.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Yahoo Messenger

Traymond
Pre-Black Belt
Pre-Black Belt

Joined: 26 Nov 2008
Posts: 997
Location: Michigan
Styles: Sensei of Brasshand Style, but practicioner of many

PostPosted: Thu Jan 29, 2009 9:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Haha I see.


My problem is that I am confused as some would say...

I am not sure if I look at Zen in terms of the fighting concept or if I look at it in the spiritual aspect...at times its a little bit of both, but I do lean to more of a philosophical fighting pattern through zen...more so then the spiritual version of it...I think...haha.
_________________
To fear death is to limit life - Xin Sarith Azuma Phan Wuku
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail MSN Messenger

bushido_man96
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 27843
Location: Hays, KS
Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE

PostPosted: Fri Jan 30, 2009 12:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I knew a guy who was a Catholic, but also followed a Buddist philosophy. I think that is how you have to look at it; as a philosophy. He didn't have any qualms with the way it fit with his views of Christianity, either.

If you look at the Zen is, I don't think it has much to do with who you worship, or how you worship. Its basically a way of respectfully interacting with the environment, and all things around you. Basically, in Christianity, God wants you to be good, to all. I think Zen goes along with this, too. I'll admit, that I don't know a lot about Zen or Buddism, and I probably won't make an effort to learn, either. It isn't a concern of mine. I am more like tallgeese is; I want to be able to defend myself from an attack; I'm not concerned with philosophy or a way of being. However, learning about what these different philosophies/relgions propogate, you can probably find some correlations that go along with Christianity.

In the end, even if the folks at the church don't like what you are looking into as far as your Martial Arts training and research goes, they will still likely forgive you...
_________________
www.haysgym.com
http://www.sunyis.com/
www.aikidoofnorthwestkansas.com
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail

Daisho
Orange Belt
Orange Belt

Joined: 30 Sep 2007
Posts: 180
Location: NJ
Styles: BJJ, MMA, Judo

PostPosted: Fri Jan 30, 2009 8:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was born a Roman Catholic, educated by first Franciscans, then Jesuits through high school and college. At 17 I became a Buddhist, and through my first Buddhist teacher I found a Zen teacher. I've been a practicing and active member of the Zen Buddhist community of NYC, and have been on at least 15 sesshin over the passed 13 years.

Zen can be a part of Christianity as well as almost any other religion, as Zen is essentially zazen, which is sitting zen meditation. Zen students always keep in mind Buddhas wisdom of "light your own lamp" meaning don't take his word for anything... but go find dharma yourself. Actually many sects of Zen strongly feel that zazen is the ONLY practical part of Zen Buddhism, and everything from the 4 noble truths to ancient koans do nothing but destroy the prajna paramitas of the practice.

Locally there is a Jesuit college (St. Peter's), that has many priests that operate the Morning Star Zendo. I believe the head of the Zendo is a Father Kennedy, S.J., and as far as I've heard he has recieved "dharma transmission", which basically means his teacher believes him to be worthy of teaching Zen. Apparently they feel that Zen does not in anyway effect their faith.

As for the above comment, perhaps your friend follows a Taoist philosophy? I don't see anyway a Christian would be able to accept even preliminary Buddhist precepts outside of the practice of Zen itself. Many times people who are have strong Taoist leanings, mistaken them for Buddhism, especially "the middle way" of Zen can seem so similar to "the path" of the Tao, but Buddhism much like Christianity requires leaps of faith and it's morality is centered on dogma. That dogma would seriously call into question the Christian's insistence on a single God, to begin with, and from there would only divide MUCH further.

However we have many Taoists at both my Zendo and the local Buddhist monastery, and I know of at least one Taoist Jew from my former job. I wouldn't be surprised at all to know that there are Christian Taoists as well. I recieved the Tao Te Ching as a gift this passed Christmas, and wind up talking about it endlessly at my Zendo. But even as similar as it is to my Zen, the Tao isn't necessarily true dharma in my life.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message

Traymond
Pre-Black Belt
Pre-Black Belt

Joined: 26 Nov 2008
Posts: 997
Location: Michigan
Styles: Sensei of Brasshand Style, but practicioner of many

PostPosted: Fri Jan 30, 2009 8:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Haha of course they would forgive me...it would not be Christian like if they didn't haha.

But thank you I think you gave me a better insight on how I do LOOK at things myself...haha wow. Very good words you basically summed it up into words that i could not have done myself...thank you...

It is a philosophy that I follow now the Buddhism itself. Thanks again.
_________________
To fear death is to limit life - Xin Sarith Azuma Phan Wuku
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail MSN Messenger

Traymond
Pre-Black Belt
Pre-Black Belt

Joined: 26 Nov 2008
Posts: 997
Location: Michigan
Styles: Sensei of Brasshand Style, but practicioner of many

PostPosted: Fri Jan 30, 2009 9:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Daisho wrote:
I was born a Roman Catholic, educated by first Franciscans, then Jesuits through high school and college. At 17 I became a Buddhist, and through my first Buddhist teacher I found a Zen teacher. I've been a practicing and active member of the Zen Buddhist community of NYC, and have been on at least 15 sesshin over the passed 13 years.

Zen can be a part of Christianity as well as almost any other religion, as Zen is essentially zazen, which is sitting zen meditation. Zen students always keep in mind Buddhas wisdom of "light your own lamp" meaning don't take his word for anything... but go find dharma yourself. Actually many sects of Zen strongly feel that zazen is the ONLY practical part of Zen Buddhism, and everything from the 4 noble truths to ancient koans do nothing but destroy the prajna paramitas of the practice.

Locally there is a Jesuit college (St. Peter's), that has many priests that operate the Morning Star Zendo. I believe the head of the Zendo is a Father Kennedy, S.J., and as far as I've heard he has recieved "dharma transmission", which basically means his teacher believes him to be worthy of teaching Zen. Apparently they feel that Zen does not in anyway effect their faith.

As for the above comment, perhaps your friend follows a Taoist philosophy? I don't see anyway a Christian would be able to accept even preliminary Buddhist precepts outside of the practice of Zen itself. Many times people who are have strong Taoist leanings, mistaken them for Buddhism, especially "the middle way" of Zen can seem so similar to "the path" of the Tao, but Buddhism much like Christianity requires leaps of faith and it's morality is centered on dogma. That dogma would seriously call into question the Christian's insistence on a single God, to begin with, and from there would only divide MUCH further.

However we have many Taoists at both my Zendo and the local Buddhist monastery, and I know of at least one Taoist Jew from my former job. I wouldn't be surprised at all to know that there are Christian Taoists as well. I recieved the Tao Te Ching as a gift this passed Christmas, and wind up talking about it endlessly at my Zendo. But even as similar as it is to my Zen, the Tao isn't necessarily true dharma in my life.



Hmmm very deep insight...im glad to have read this as well...to bad you posted at the same time as I did...haha. But anyways. So at an early age you followed religion, I have just become a christian at the age of 15 I think only four years ago. Why Im not really sure I just figured it was the time to do it. But I want to spread Zen throughout the church, because my church is filled with a motley crew of hypocrites...And maybe that would help them. But I now know what to say to those that question me.

"Im a christian following the principles of Zen"

But your ligthing the lamp context reminds me of a zen koan


AN OLD Zen master always told this fable to unserious students:
Late one night a blind man was about to go home after visiting a
friend. "Please," he said to his friend, "May I take your lantern
with me?"

"Why carry a lantern?" asked his friend. "You won't see any better
with it."

"No," said the blind one, "perhaps not. But others will see me
better, and not bump into me. So his friend gave the blind man the
lantern, which was made of paper on bamboo strips, with a candle
inside.

Off went the blind man with the lantern, and before he had gone
more than a few yards, Crack! -someone walked right into him. The
blind man was very angry. "Why don't you look out?" he stormed.
"Why don't you see this lantern?"

"Why don't you light the candle?" asked the other.
_________________
To fear death is to limit life - Xin Sarith Azuma Phan Wuku
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail MSN Messenger

Daisho
Orange Belt
Orange Belt

Joined: 30 Sep 2007
Posts: 180
Location: NJ
Styles: BJJ, MMA, Judo

PostPosted: Fri Jan 30, 2009 9:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

lol, thats the exact koan I was taught when learning the "light your own candle" principle! Nice job Tray.

I would like to warn how non-Zen Buddhists can twist the understandings of Zen, especially when dealing with western people who only identify with western rationality.

I stumbled upon a LiveJournal community where Christians were studying zen, and I came across some terribly misunderstood concepts. I cut and copied the original post I took issue with, and below (in bold) is my response http://spetsnazq2.livejournal.com/1371.html

I don't see any reason Zen wouldn't be fine within the Catholic church, I can't speak for other Christian churches considering I know very little about them. Even the koans of the Rinzai sect deal much more with reality than with meta-physics, and shouldn't be objectionable. I've been with Soto teachers almost my entire time as a Zen student, and we sit facing a wall and force glimpses of time where we don't actively think. That's it. That's our zazen, in totality, and by any stretch of my mind, that's dharma. If you wanted to get into Zen Buddhist thought, Shobogenzo was an author that wrote probably the most interest zen interpretations, and as many times as I've been over his work, I don't see where any of it would cross any Christian lines in acceptability.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message

Traymond
Pre-Black Belt
Pre-Black Belt

Joined: 26 Nov 2008
Posts: 997
Location: Michigan
Styles: Sensei of Brasshand Style, but practicioner of many

PostPosted: Fri Jan 30, 2009 10:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My opinion in being a christian...my grandfather is an ordained minister, I just decided to study christianity more deeper and got intrigued with it. But I think the biggest thing upon christians is that the "emphasis" of a Jealous God. And the followers want to keep that sacred.

I on the other hand am open to all sorts of religion because to truly understand life you must truly understand all aspects of life so forever I am a student of everything in life...Zen just happens to be the next thing in my life to try and understand, slightly...haha because by the looks of it...it may take a long time perhaps a lifetime, but im not going any where anytime soon I hope.

I particulary like this Koan the best:

Hyakujo, the Chinese Zen master, used to labor with his pupils even at the age of eighty, trimming the gardens, cleaning the grounds, and pruning the trees.

The pupils felt sorry to see the old teacher working so hard, but they knew he would not listen to their advice to stop, so they hid away his tools.

That day the master did not eat. The next day he did not eat, nor the next. "He may be angry because we have hidden his tools," the pupils surmised. "We had better put them back."

The day they did, the teacher worked and ate the same as before. In the evening he instructed them: "No work, no food."
_________________
To fear death is to limit life - Xin Sarith Azuma Phan Wuku
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail MSN Messenger

Daisho
Orange Belt
Orange Belt

Joined: 30 Sep 2007
Posts: 180
Location: NJ
Styles: BJJ, MMA, Judo

PostPosted: Fri Jan 30, 2009 10:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

here is a koan that may or may not be fitting for the convo:

There was an old woman in China who had supported a monk for over twenty years. She had built a little hut for him and fed him while he was meditating. Finally she wondered just what progress he had made in all this time.
To find out, she obtained the help of a girl rich in desire. "Go and embrace him," she told her, "and then ask him suddenly: 'What now?'"

The girl called upon the monk and without much ado caressed him, asking him what he was going to do about it.

"An old tree grows on a cold rock in winter," replied the monk somewhat poetically. "Nowhere is there any warmth."

The girl returned and related what he had said.

"To think I fed that fellow for twenty years!" exclaimed the old woman in anger. "He showed no consideration for your needs, no disposition to explain your condition. He need not have responded to passion, but at least he should have evidenced some compassion."

She at once went to the hut of the monk and burned it down.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    KarateForums.com Forum Index -> Internal Arts and Philosophy All times are GMT - 6 Hours
Goto page 1, 2, 3, 4  Next
Page 1 of 4
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


< Advertising - Contact - Disclosure Policy - Staff - User Guidelines >