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Difference between Tao and Zen?


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#1 LeonBasin

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Posted 04 June 2009 - 10:13 PM

Difference between Tao and Zen?

#2 vortex

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Posted 05 June 2009 - 05:22 AM

Supposedly, the seed of Zen (from "Chan'an-na" from "Dhyana") Buddhism was planted by Mahakasyapa in India, sprouted and grew in China with the influence of Taoism and reached final flowering in Japan.

Zen means waking up to the present moment. That is, perceiving this moment exactly as it is, rather than through the filter of our ideas, opinions, etc. One way to practice this is to ask yourself a Big Question, such as "What am I?" If you ask such a question strongly and sincerely, what appears is "Don't Know." This don't-know is before thinking.


Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes. - Carl Jung
The ability to see in realtime that experience is not self is called enlightenment. - Kenneth Folk
Knowledge can be taught, but skill must be practiced.
Donít move the body Ė you train your Qi. Donít move your mind Ė you train your Spirit. - Fong Ha
I used to sit in full-lotus even on the can but there's not a lot of space in my bathroom. - drewhempel

#3 Ya Mu

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Posted 05 June 2009 - 05:28 AM

Japanese doctors did a study with Zen "masters" and Qigong "masters". They measured brain wave patterns. Conclusion was that the Zen and Qigong folks both went into deep relaxation but the Qigong guys has the creative aspect of the brain stimulated while the Zen people did not show this.

#4 三江源

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Posted 05 June 2009 - 05:57 AM

Japanese doctors did a study with Zen "masters" and Qigong "masters". They measured brain wave patterns. Conclusion was that the Zen and Qigong folks both went into deep relaxation but the Qigong guys has the creative aspect of the brain stimulated while the Zen people did not show this.


Ah. how extremely interesting to know. thankyou.

#5 Sunya

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Posted 05 June 2009 - 06:40 AM

Ah. how extremely interesting to know. thankyou.


yes very interesting. let's decide which religion is better by measuring brain waves. :lol:


The universe is this arising thought.
The universe is this arising sound.
Just this magnificent arising!
Is Tao.
Homage to all arising.

#6 Ya Mu

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Posted 05 June 2009 - 06:55 AM

yes very interesting. let's decide which religion is better by measuring brain waves. :lol:


I don't think the study had anything to do with trying to decide which was better; they were simply trying to see what the difference was in the relaxation response and found this. The last time I checked the practice of qigong or zen practice in itself was not a religion. Perhaps it has changed and no one informed me.

#7 evZENy

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Posted 05 June 2009 - 07:41 AM

Cultural differences.
The first Zen patriarchs in Japan are also considered prominent scholars in China.
And they speak of the Way - check Hsin Hsin Ming, for example.

#8 LeonBasin

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Posted 05 June 2009 - 10:12 AM

Japanese doctors did a study with Zen "masters" and Qigong "masters". They measured brain wave patterns. Conclusion was that the Zen and Qigong folks both went into deep relaxation but the Qigong guys has the creative aspect of the brain stimulated while the Zen people did not show this.



So, wait a min. What does QiGong have to do with Zen and Tao? I would think of it this way. Zen is the mind or in the mind and then Tao is more of an action. Therefore, they both compliment each other? Would this be a good assumption?

#9 evZENy

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Posted 05 June 2009 - 10:30 AM

Zen is the mind or in the mind and then Tao is more of an action....Would this be a good assumption?

Not for me. Tao is about infinite motion, but always with stillness in it.

#10 Ya Mu

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Posted 05 June 2009 - 10:53 AM

So, wait a min. What does QiGong have to do with Zen and Tao? I would think of it this way. Zen is the mind or in the mind and then Tao is more of an action. Therefore, they both compliment each other? Would this be a good assumption?


Qigong has everything to do with Tao, since Tao owns qigong. The state of wu wei (harmony/syncronicity with Tao) can be achieved by practicing qigong. Qigong is the tool one can use to experience Tao on an experiential level. Reading 10,000 mis-translated (or even properly translated; remember the Tao that be talked about is NOT the real Tao) books on Taoism/about Tao will not give anyone the insight or connection to the Tao that can be obtained with one hour of proper internal qigong practice.

Someone else that knows more about Zen can address the other part of your assumption.

#11 LeonBasin

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Posted 05 June 2009 - 11:20 AM

Qigong has everything to do with Tao, since Tao owns qigong. The state of wu wei (harmony/syncronicity with Tao) can be achieved by practicing qigong. Qigong is the tool one can use to experience Tao on an experiential level. Reading 10,000 mis-translated (or even properly translated; remember the Tao that be talked about is NOT the real Tao) books on Taoism/about Tao will not give anyone the insight or connection to the Tao that can be obtained with one hour of proper internal qigong practice.

Someone else that knows more about Zen can address the other part of your assumption.


Ahh, That makes sense. It's like taking action! So, basically Yoga, Tai Chi all of that is like Qigong? Zen is like Tao because you add meditation and then Tao is like Zen with QiGong? Am I confusing people? Am I getting the right assumption?

#12 evZENy

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Posted 05 June 2009 - 11:37 AM

Ahh, That makes sense. It's like taking action! So, basically Yoga, Tai Chi all of that is like Qigong? Zen is like Tao because you add meditation and then Tao is like Zen with QiGong? Am I confusing people? Am I getting the right assumption?

You can confuse people by making a statement that can not be understood.
Right now you are asking questions, that you can not understand :-)
I don't understand where you are going with this. Or why.
Zen and Tao are both ways of life. Beyond mental consttructions, moving or meditation. Both have them all.
Washing the dishes can be both.

#13 Ya Mu

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Posted 05 June 2009 - 11:50 AM

Ahh, That makes sense. It's like taking action! So, basically Yoga, Tai Chi all of that is like Qigong? Zen is like Tao because you add meditation and then Tao is like Zen with QiGong? Am I confusing people? Am I getting the right assumption?


Uh, yeah, you are confusing me. :lol:

Yoga is yoga, Tai Chi is Tai Chi; nothing like qigong, which is qigong. In the context talked about in above referenced study Zen is deep state of relaxation and Qigong is deep state of relaxation stimulating creation which is energy and INTENT.

Hating to really give definitions, because definitions can be so subjective, depending on the context, etc., and knowing someone will say I am wrong, I will try a very simplified definition:
Yoga - stretching exercises plus - ask somebody else
Tai Chi - Brutal and vicious martial art. Can help circulate energy.
Zen - What I said above plus - ask somebody else
Qigong - Study of energy ; Energy + INTENT = Creation; wu wei, arrived at through qigong and INTENT, state of harmony/synchronicity with Tao

#14 WhiteTiger

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Posted 05 June 2009 - 12:00 PM

Not for me. Tao is about infinite motion, but always with stillness in it.


I like this definition.

Although if we take a braoder look at this definition why do you need to be in motion?

Please don't mistake my question for saying you shouldn't be in motion.

There are many GOOD reasons to be in motion.

Peace, wt

Edited by WhiteTiger, 05 June 2009 - 12:01 PM.


#15 evZENy

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Posted 05 June 2009 - 12:23 PM

Although if we take a braoder look at this definition why do you need to be in motion?

You don't have to be.
Tao is.
It's not a choice you make. Energy moves. You are alive - you have energy.
I like CHI deciphered as "Continuous, Harmonious, Infinite".
Could be stillness. Could be movement. And as we are talking about energy - it is movement.

The moment Tao is not in movement, Yin and Yang are created and the interaction between them. And the constant interplay between them is movement.
Everything in the Universe moves, though many things look still.

And in many of the movements, you have this calm filling of stillness. Doesn't have to be Qigong moves. I just finished 3 sets of tennis - got few glimpses, when the swing, the ball and me were Continuous and Harmonious :-)




Hating to really give definitions
...
Tai Chi - Brutal and vicious martial art. Can help circulate energy.


True. I hate definitions too, exactly because they create disagreement, where (e.g. in this case) probably it does not exist.
Tai Chi Chuan (Taijiquan) - a martial art
Tai Chi (Taiji) - "is a Chinese cosmological term for the "Supreme Ultimate" state of undifferentiated absolute and infinite potentiality" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taiji (for example)

Yet, I like to say I practice Tai Chi, which I see as form of Qigong - moving my body, energy and spirit. No martial art, though I am awre of the possible applications. The goals are way beyond them. Too far for me to see them :-)

labels, labels, labels...

#16 Sunya

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Posted 05 June 2009 - 12:44 PM

Yoga is much more than stretching exercises, its a science of various positions (hatha yoga), breathing exercises (pranayama) and more, with the sole purpose of circulating energy in the subtle body, primarily the central channel in pranayama but hatha yoga works all nadis, or meridians as the Taoists call them, which are energy pathways in the subtle body. the purpose of yoga is to experience deeper states of consciousness, or something to that effect.

Zen does not have yoga, although posture is extremely important and full lotus is preferred. Zen actually is so influenced by Chinese that they do forms of Qi Gong and even Tai Chi. but the main difference is that Zen incorporates methods that go beyond energy manipulation, such as self inquiry, koans and bare awareness techniques (shikantaza), Zen's purpose is to attain enlightenment for the sake of all beings, as Zen is a school of Mahayana Buddhism. this is a slightly different goal than to ease into the flow of Tao and experience unity or harmony with Tao. Also Zen is considered anti-intellectual by many, but much less so than Taoism. Zen teachers particularly really like the Heart Sutra, so philosophical study is necessary to properly understand meditative experiences.

Edited by mikaelz, 05 June 2009 - 12:46 PM.



The universe is this arising thought.
The universe is this arising sound.
Just this magnificent arising!
Is Tao.
Homage to all arising.




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