Archive for the ‘Thich Naht Han’ Category

Thich Naht Han talks nonsense

January 27, 2009

Subform : Traditions > East Asian Buddhism > Chan/Zen/Seon General Forum
Thread title: Right View… the Beginning of the Path…, what is it? and who’s is it?
Page no: 36
Date and time: 1st April 2008

Forum member:

I was just reading something about the enlightenment of non-sentient things. it is an idea advocated by Pureland’s founder and which Tung-shan the (nominal) founder of Soto struggled with before his final awakening. You might ask, how could such things gather wisdom or merit? In the record of Tung-shans and Yun-yens discussion I think they make it clear how it is about obstacles to hearing the ‘turning words’ so to speak, the causes of enlightenment, rather than about attainment (or it simply being the natural state or ‘Buddha nature’ of things – an idea later reviled by Dogen)

Namdrol (Former E-sangha global moderator):

Right, it’s completely impossible. No mind, no awakening.

Forum member:

All beings are Buddha. This means all beings.

Namdrol (Former E-sangha global moderator):

The last I checked, trees and so on are not sentient. They are therefore not Buddhas, never will be, never were.

Forum member:

Thich Nhat Hanh in No Fear, No Death says that we have all lived as trees, probably through many lifetimes

Namdrol (Former E-sangha global moderator):

Sorry, this assertion by TNH is completely and utter nonsense.

Forum member:

Sorry, if I don’t take your word over his.

Namdrol (Former E-sangha global moderator):

His assertion is merely that– an assertion that has no backing in any sutra, or any commentary at all.

As far as you taking his word over mine– it seems that it is popular to accept the words of some famous teacher, even when those words totally violate common sense and the Buddha’s Dharma. In this case it is a trivial issue, but it is amazing the extent to which people follow things on blind faith with no investigation of sources for assertions.

Trees, grass, algae, seaweed, are not sentient beings, they never have been, they never will be. They do not engage in action, they do not think, and so on. They are part of the container universe, but they are not sentient beings since they do not have minds. In other words, trees, etc., are only made out four elements, they do not have any of the mental aggregates.

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