Dogen Sangha Blog

  by Gudo NISHIJIMA

Japanese / German

Monday, August 20, 2007

Buddhism and Self Loathing.

Dear Nishijima Roshi,

From what I have read on the internet, on various forums, it seems that many people have interpreted Buddha's teaching as a subtle (and in many cases a not-so-subtle) form of self loathing.

You know, people often state that we should in some way counteract or even destroy our 'Demon Ego' etc. Is this a correct interpretation of what the Buddha proposed?

Should we adopt the Buddhist precepts with this view of our human self?

Maybe I have it all wrong; but it seems to me that this might well represent just another recipe for human dissatisfaction.

Wishing you good health.

Regards,

Harry,
Ireland.

3 Comments:

Blogger GUDO NISHIJIMA said...

Dear Harry (Ireland) San

Thank you very much for your questions, and my answers to your questions as follows.

Gudo Wafu Nishijima

Monday, August 20, 2007
Buddhism and Self Loathing.

Dear Nishijima Roshi,

From what I have read on the internet, on various forums, it seems that many people have interpreted Buddha's teaching as a subtle (and in many cases a not-so-subtle) form of self loathing.

(Gudo) I agree your idea that almost all
Buddhists' thoughts seem to be as a subtle (and in many cases a not-so-subtle) form of self loathing.
But, in my case, reading Master Dogen's
Buddhist thoughts, I never find any kind of self loathing, and that is the reason why I have supplied my total life for reading his Buddhist thoughts.

You know, people often state that we should in some way counteract or even destroy our 'Demon Ego' etc. Is this a correct interpretation of what the Buddha proposed?

(Gudo) I think that such a childish idea
to destroy our 'Demon Ego' etc, can never be Buddhist thoughts at all.

Should we adopt the Buddhist precepts with this view of our human self?

(Gudo) The Buddhist precepts are the fundamental criteria of Buddhist life, and so we should accept them sincerely,
but at the same time we can find that how it is difficult for us to follow the Buddhist precepts actually, then we can find the real fact to study actually in our daily life, and we can find the necessity of practicing Zazen too.

Maybe I have it all wrong; but it seems to me that this might well represent just another recipe for human dissatisfaction.

(Gudo) However, in my case, the teachings, which I have been able to follow throughout my life, has been only
Buddhism itself, in oher words Master Dogen's Buddhist thoughts and Zazen themselves.

Wishing you good health.

Regards,

Harry,
Ireland.

posted by HezB | 7:08 AM
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(Gudo) Thank you very much for your sincere questions.

Gudo Wafu Nishijima

9:52 PM, August 21, 2007  
Blogger HezB said...

Dear Nishijima Roshi,

Thank you so much for your answers. Dogen's Budhhism is indeed exceptional!

Regards,

Harry.

10:32 PM, August 21, 2007  
Blogger Franzzup said...

Harry,

Some practices in Tibetan Buddhism involve loathing (self- or otherwise) as a fast track to renunciation. (E. g., practitioners are encouraged to imagine the female figure as a decaying corpse as a way of decreasing sexual attachment.)

However, loathing, subsequent renunciation and even its final result, the complete cessation of attachment, are still only means to an end. The goal is to reach a balanced state where we can experience reality directly, which may be considered "enlightenment". Self-loathing is not a balanced state and can therefore never be an end in itself.

Following the teachings of Dogen and Nishijima Roshi, Zazen is a more direct method of reaching such a balanced state. It is said that the Buddha preached many different paths to enlightenment according to the needs of those who might follow them.

Best wishes,
Franzzup

10:27 AM, August 23, 2007  

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