Zen take: Is Zen Buddhism?
Someone recently posted that:
Zen Masters do not teach the Eightfold Path
The Buddha taught the Eightfold Path, and the Mahayana Canon (Mahayanism) views this teaching as foundational. Zen Masters of the Song to the Tang dynasty, as far as we can determine, taught the core metaphysics of Mahayanism. Some Zen Master refers to the eightfold path as “eight concentrations” as in Dahui, in his work “treasury of the eye of true teaching.”
The post further goes on to state that nobody can define Buddhism. This only indicates ignorance and not really viewing Zen beyond the handful of quotes from cherry-picked Zen Masters.
Buddhism is simply a liberation ontology based in wisdom. This is prefaced in the Four Noble Truths and outlined in the Eightfold Path. These where the very first two sermons given by The Buddha just after his enlightenment. Everything after this as in Pali suttas and Mahayana sutras is just further elaboration.
I have stated in an earlier post, that the Recorded Sayings of Zen Masters from the Golden Age of Ch’an (400ad to 600ad) is mostly likely ‘narrative fiction’ of those times. To take them as absolutes well is to be Literal and Fundamental, and this is probably not a good place to be at.
Zen is not quoting ancient narrative fiction, nor is it ‘sloganism’ as the post indicates it is through the Four Statements of Zen in the sidebar. Seriously, I have never heard of anything more ridiculous.
Zen is a school of metaphysics based upon Mahayanism that views ‘Intuitive knowing’ as the gateway to the immortal, to the unborn, to the infinite awakening. The popular narrative fiction of the Golden Age of Ch’an clearly illustrates this metaphysical view through similes and sermons.