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When you start to use words... {Re: [Pali] Previous email resent with Velthuis translieration and translation of Pali passage}

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  • Kumâra Bhikkhu
    ... Hmm.... Is that true? kb
    Message 1 of 7 , Dec 31, 2009
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      Bryan Levman wrote thus at 03:11 31/12/2009:
      >Yes I agree, neither Love nor Nibbana can be described with words. As they say in Chan, when you start to use words, you've already gone to hell,

      Hmm.... Is that true?

      kb
    • Bryan Levman
      Hi Kumara, Chan has a deep distrust of words (as did Buddha. See, inter alia, Po.t.tapaadasutta DN 9, 202 ). When the Chan teacher tries to explain with
      Message 2 of 7 , Jan 1, 2010
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        Hi Kumara,

        Chan has a deep distrust of words (as did Buddha. See, inter alia, Po.t.tapaadasutta DN 9, 202 ). When the Chan teacher tries to explain with language the nature of reality to his student, it is called "stepping into the weeds". Therefore they developed non-linguistic forms of teaching like the shout or the slap/kick.
        In Koan 69 of the Book of Serenity, for example, Nanquan asks a lecturer, "What is the ultimate principle of the Nirvana Scripture?" The lecturer said "Thusness is the ultimate principle" Nanquan said "As soon as you call it 'thus', it has already changed". Later he says "Where knowledge doesn't reach, don't speak of it; if you speak of it, then horns grow on the head."
        I am sure if I look through the Blue Cliff Record of 100 koans and the Book of Serenity (a further 100 koans) long enough, I can find an exact quote about "going straight to hell" , but in almost every koan there is a deep distrust of words - getting stuck in words gets us stuck in conceptual structures and Buddhism is about renouncing all conceptual structures, whether of the ego, the object, decisions, prejudices, words - or whatever we are stuck to.

        Mettaa, Bryan

        Cleary, Thomas. 2005. Book of Serenity, One Hundred Zen Dialogues. Boston: Shambhala

        Cleary, Thomas & Cleary, J. C. 2005. The Blue Cliff Record. Boston: Shambhala






        ________________________________
        From: Kumâra Bhikkhu <kumara.bhikkhu@...>
        To: Pali@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Thu, December 31, 2009 3:28:00 AM
        Subject: When you start to use words... {Re: [Pali] Previous email resent with Velthuis translieration and translation of Pali passage}


        Bryan Levman wrote thus at 03:11 31/12/2009:
        >Yes I agree, neither Love nor Nibbana can be described with words. As they say in Chan, when you start to use words, you've already gone to hell,

        Hmm.... Is that true?

        kb





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