Posted on 9 December 2016 by Buddhism Now
After ascending the dharma seat, and looking to all the four directions, Master Kusan said, ‘Today is the beginning of this three-month retreat. Within the assembly present here now — do each of you brave men intend to go through with this retreat? Those of you endowed with the Dharma Eye, speak! What is an extraordinary person (an awakened mind)?’
The assembly remained silent. After a pause the master gave a shout and said, ‘The oranges of Cheju-do and the apples of Taegu — do you know where they fall? One pill of golden cinnabar (the medicine of the immortals) swallows all the Dharma realms, and exudes many marvellous manifestations. Everyone is Vairocana. Everything is a store of flowers within which the Sambhogakaya of the Buddha dwells. Do you understand this? You must be as audacious as someone trying to grab the eyebrows of a living tiger or to snatch the whiskers of a flying dragon. Then you will know. A poem says: Continue reading
Filed under: Buddhism, Buddhist meditation, Ch'an / Seon / Zen, Kusan Sunim, Mahayana | Tagged: Chan Ch'an Korea, Koan practice, Korean Buddhism | Leave a comment »
Posted on 28 November 2016 by Buddhism Now
The Chan monk Qisong (1007-1072), an important figure in Northern Song religious and intellectual history, has garnered relatively little scholarly attention. This book provides a detailed biography with a focus on the influential historical writings he composed to defend Chan claims of a “mind-to-mind transmission” tracing back to the historical Buddha. It places his defence of lineage in the context not only of attacks by the rival Tiantai school but also of the larger backdrop of the development of lineage and patriarchs as sources of authority in Chinese Buddhism. It advances new arguments about these Chinese Buddhist innovations, challenges common assumptions about Chan masters, and offers insights into the interactions of Buddhists, Confucians, and the imperial court during the Song. Continue reading
Filed under: Biography, Book reviews, Books, Buddhism, Ch'an / Seon / Zen, Encyclopedia, History, Mahayana | Tagged: Bodhidharma, Chinese Buddhism, Chinese Chan, Meditation Sutra | Leave a comment »
Posted on 20 November 2016 by Buddhism Now
Mandala. At the centre, a tutelary deity, Yi-dam, of buddha rank, locked in embrace with his prajna, or wisdom party. Twenty lesser divinities surround them, two or three on each petal, before circular drums or altars. Continue reading
Filed under: Art, Buddhism, Encyclopedia, History, Mahayana, Tibetan, Tibetan Buddhism | Tagged: Art © British Museum, Buddhist art, Mandala, Prajna, Yi-dam | Leave a comment »
Posted on 16 November 2016 by Buddhism Now
We must first be aware of these two categories, ’empty of I’ and ‘not empty of I’. The former is called ’empty’ and the latter is called ‘disturbed’ and to save time that is how they will be referred to from now on.
Here your common sense may say straight away that nobody likes being disturbed. If I were to ask those people who like being disturbed to raise their hands, if anyone did so it would have to be a joke. Everyone likes to be empty in one way or another. Some people like the lazy emptiness of not having to work. Everyone likes to be empty of annoyance, not having the kids coming to bother you. But that emptiness is an external thing, it is not yet true emptiness.
Inner emptiness means to be normal, to have a mind that is not scattered and confused. Anyone who experiences this really likes it. If it develops to its greatest degree, which is to be empty of egoism, then it is Nibbana. Continue reading
Filed under: Buddhadasa Bhikkhu, Buddhism, Buddhist meditation, Foundations of Buddhism, Theravada | Tagged: Buddha-Dhamma-Sangha, emptiness, nibbana, Triple Gem | 3 Comments »
Posted on 8 November 2016 by Buddhism Now
From an interview with Phiroz Mehta July 1988
Questioner: Can you remember when you first read about the Buddha and what it was that first appealed to you about Buddhism?
Phiroz Mehta: I first read about the Buddha in any serious measure during the war years — in this country of course — and that was round about 1943 and 1944, from then onwards. I had Radhakrishnan’s two Volumes Indian Philosophy and you know he has several chapters dealing with the various aspects of Buddhism. It appealed to me very strongly — the rationality of the thing and the depth of the teaching — so that was when my interest started seriously. Prior to that of course, having spent my boyhood in Colombo, I naturally knew about Buddhism in a superficial manner. Through reading theosophical books, I came to know something about Buddhism and I came to know something about all of the other religions at the same time, apart from Islam; I am quite ignorant of Islam, although I have looked into the Koran a certain amount. But Buddhism struck me as really deep. Continue reading
Filed under: Buddhism, Encyclopedia, Foundations, Foundations of Buddhism, History | Tagged: Buddhist Asia, Phiroz Mehta | 1 Comment »
Posted on 21 October 2016 by Buddhism Now
Bhikkhu Zhi Chang, a native of Gui Xi of Xin Zhou, joined the Order in his childhood, and was very zealous in his efforts to realize the Essence of Mind. One day, he came to pay homage to the Patriarch, and was asked by the latter whence and why he came.
‘I have recently been to the White Cliff Mountain in Hong Zhou,’ replied he, ‘to interview the Master Da Tong, who was good enough to teach me how to realize the Essence of Mind and thereby attain Buddhahood. But as I still have some doubts, I have travelled far to pay you respect. Will you kindly clear them up for me, Sir.’
‘What instruction did he give you?’ asked the Patriarch. Continue reading
Filed under: Buddhism, Buddhist meditation, Ch'an / Seon / Zen, History, Mahayana | Tagged: Art Metropolitan Museum of Art, Chinese Chan | Leave a comment »