The Speculative Nature of Zen

The apparent focus in Zen literature is about discussing the nature of the mind (Myo). Expressions such as “True Mind is No-Mind”, “Mind is Buddha - Buddha is Mind” – suggest a focus on the mental aspect of phenomena. 

Nichiren Buddhism focuses on the nature of reality both Body and Mind (MyoHo), which considers the inseparability of the mental aspect (Myo) and its physical manifestation (Ho), and that Myoho constitutes reality of life “..reality is the Mystic Law (Myoho)” WND p3 

The excessive dwelling on the mind (Myo) in Zen practice can be considered as dualistic, because it is focused on the mental aspect of phenomena.  Reality, however, expresses the non-dual expression of both: the mental (Myo) and the physical aspects (Ho) of phenomena.

An example of Zen separation of the mental and physical aspects – leading to speculative arguments can be found in the following example:

Confession of a Zen Master

The following example of Zen speculative approach is presented by D T Suzuki in his book Introduction to Buddhism , p.57 :

Doko (Tao-kwang), a Buddhist philosopher, came to a Zen master and asked: “With what frame of mind should one discipline oneself in the truth?”  

Said the Zen master: “There is no mind to be framed, nor is there any truth in which to be disciplined”. 

“ If there is no mind to be framed and no truth to be disciplined, why do you have a daily gathering of monks who are studying Zen and disciplining themselves in the truth?” 

The master replied:” I have not an inch of space to spare, and where could I have a gathering of monks? I have no tongue, and how would it be possible for me to advise others to come to me?” 

The philosopher then exclaimed: “How can you tell me a lie like that to my face?...I cannot follow your reasoning!’ “Neither do I understand myself”, concluded the Zen master.

Zen and SGI Buddhism

                             The Origin of Zen                                             Ikeda on Zen  
                             Chanting & silent Meditation      Why did Nichiren criticise Zen?      
                        Dead cat’s head           Dog’s Buddhanature        Master’s Duty of Care