History

Part 2 Toward Nirvana and From Nirvana, by Professor Masahiro Shimoda

In order that you may gain a clear understanding of the idea of the bodhisattva, I would like to turn your attention to a long-­­­standing discussion in the scholarly world regarding an erroneous belief widely maintained by contemporary scholars. According to their understanding, the bodhisattvas of Buddhist scriptures belong to two almost mutually exclusive categories…

Toward Nirvana and From Nirvana, by Professor Masahiro Shimoda

The process whereby Buddhism—which first began as the deeply internal experience of just one ascetic practitioner—has over time borne fruit within vastly different races, climates, cultures and histories, might be likened to the way volcanic magma breaks through the earth’s crust and gushes heavenwards then flows down in every direction…

Ten Verses on Oxherding, Zen master Guoan Shiyuan

In Zen, a herdboy’s search for his lost oxen has served as a parable for a practitioner’s pursuit of enlightenment since this Buddhist sect’s early history in China. In the eleventh century, the Song-dynasty Zen master Guoan Shiyuan (active ca. 1150) codified the parable into ten verses (gāthā), recorded and illustrated in this handscroll…