Enlightened yet fat

General discussion, particularly exploring the Dharma in the modern world.
[N.B. This is the forum that was called ‘Exploring Buddhism’. The new name simply describes it better.]
User avatar
Reibeam
Posts: 171
Joined: Thu Nov 21, 2013 5:21 am
Location: On the Western continent In the mountains close to space

Re: Enlightened yet fat

Post by Reibeam » Tue Jul 14, 2015 4:23 am

Kunga Lhadzom wrote:Lostitude,

What would you think, if a Buddhist teacher was repulsed by fat people, and only wanted students with perfect bodies ?
What if he insulted all the fattys that came to him and told them they couldn't attend any teachings until they lost weight?
There would be a lot less Dharma centers in America if all lamas where like that.

emaho
Posts: 898
Joined: Sun May 06, 2012 8:33 pm

Re: Enlightened yet fat

Post by emaho » Tue Jul 14, 2015 4:23 am

Even high Bodhisattvas have their shortcomings and imperfections, that's what distinguishes them from a fully enlightened Buddha who has reached the path of no more learning. There aren't many fully enlightened Buddhas on our planet, if any. It seems to me that you have a bit of a prejudice that all Buddhist teachers claim to be enlightened and therefore have to be perfect. That's not at all so. I don't know what tradition you belong to, but I'm sure it would help you if you would study a description of the Bodhisattva bhumis to refine your understanding of "enlightenment".

As to the weight problems many teachers have, it's pretty much an occupational hazard that comes with a sitting occupation. Especially in Tibetan Buddhism being a teacher means people have to sit through hour long rituals day by day, and when they travel their students mean it well and offer them lots of calory rich food. The situation is comparable to that of politicians who spend their lives between hour long meetings and opulent banquets.

Also, Tibetans are not as obsessed with food as we are, especially not with healthy food. Especially when teachers are monks they just eat what's offered to them. Btw being a health nut is also a form of attachment.
"I struggled with some demons, They were middle class and tame..." L. Cohen

smcj
Posts: 6948
Joined: Wed May 29, 2013 6:13 am

Re: Enlightened yet fat

Post by smcj » Tue Jul 14, 2015 4:26 am

Actually HHKarmapa 16 got quite hefty at one point. Later he lost a good bit of it. It didn't make him less of a teacher when he was heavy.
1.The problem isn’t ‘ignorance’. The problem is the mind you have right now. (H.H. Karmapa XVII @NYC 2/4/18)
2. I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against lama abuse.
3. Student: Lama, I thought I might die but then I realized that the 3 Jewels would protect me.
Lama: Even If you had died the 3 Jewels would still have protected you. (DW post by Fortyeightvows)

User avatar
Johnny Dangerous
Global Moderator
Posts: 10778
Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2012 10:58 pm
Location: Olympia WA
Contact:

Re: Enlightened yet fat

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Tue Jul 14, 2015 4:27 am

:good: Emaho

Pre-occupation with perfect weight, perfect body, perfect life can be a deep form of neuroses I think. In some cases (though not all), I think it's actually worse than being overweight with less neuroses. When I think about women and men I know who constantly starve themselves, injure themselves, and obsess over body image, then I think about overweight teachers i've known who simply seem to have less attachment to their weight, their image, their moles, their butt, whatever.. I know which one seems more like enlightened qualities to me.

Lostitude:

I'm sorry if I was too harsh, but really, perhaps it's worth considering there are more dimensions to someone's weight than simply assuming that they are basically gluttons if they are overweight, and therefore possess no realized qualities - which seemed to be your implication to me.
"...if you think about how many hours, months and years of your life you've spent looking at things, being fascinated by things that have now passed away, then how wonderful to spend even five minutes looking into the nature of your own mind."

-James Low

lostitude
Posts: 216
Joined: Thu Jul 02, 2015 3:48 pm

Re: Enlightened yet fat

Post by lostitude » Tue Jul 14, 2015 4:39 am

emaho wrote:

As to the weight problems many teachers have, it's pretty much an occupational hazard that comes with a sitting occupation. Especially in Tibetan Buddhism being a teacher means people have to sit through hour long rituals day by day, and when they travel their students mean it well and offer them lots of calory rich food. The situation is comparable to that of politicians who spend their lives between hour long meetings and opulent banquets.

Also, Tibetans are not as obsessed with food as we are, especially not with healthy food. Especially when teachers are monks they just eat what's offered to them. Btw being a health nut is also a form of attachment.
Thank you. That's the explanation I needed, although coming from a sufi background where reduced eating and even fasting are strongly encouraged, those are also the living conditions of sufi 'masters' who generally look quite fit despite sitting for very long. But that's probably because of the importance islam gives to maintaining a strong health.
Pre-occupation with perfect weight, perfect body, perfect life can be a deep form of neuroses I think. In some cases (though not all), I think it's actually worse than being overweight with less neuroses. When I think about women and men I know who constantly starve themselves, injure themselves, and obsess over body image, then I think about overweight teachers i've known who simply seem to have less attachment to their weight, their iamge, their moles, their butt, whatever.. I know which one seems more like enlightened qualities to me.
I completely agree with that, never implied nor thought anything different!

lostitude
Posts: 216
Joined: Thu Jul 02, 2015 3:48 pm

Re: Enlightened yet fat

Post by lostitude » Tue Jul 14, 2015 4:42 am

Johnny Dangerous wrote:
I'm sorry if I was too harsh, but really, perhaps it's worth considering there are more dimensions to someone's weight than simply assuming that they are basically gluttons if they are overweight, and therefore possess no realized qualities - which seemed to be your implication to me.
It was at least an assumption I could see as valid, because I didn't have the info emaho gave about a typical teacher's daily routine. Thanks for your time. I really wouldn't have seen the use in opening this thread if I was already confident that my assumption was necessarily true.

User avatar
Johnny Dangerous
Global Moderator
Posts: 10778
Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2012 10:58 pm
Location: Olympia WA
Contact:

Re: Enlightened yet fat

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Tue Jul 14, 2015 4:44 am

lostitude wrote:
Johnny Dangerous wrote:
I'm sorry if I was too harsh, but really, perhaps it's worth considering there are more dimensions to someone's weight than simply assuming that they are basically gluttons if they are overweight, and therefore possess no realized qualities - which seemed to be your implication to me.
It was at least an assumption I could see as valid, because I didn't have the info emaho gave about a typical teacher's daily routine. Thanks for your time. I really wouldn't have seen the use in opening this thread if I was already confident that my assumption was necessarily true.

Fair enough, i'm sorry to jump down your throat.
"...if you think about how many hours, months and years of your life you've spent looking at things, being fascinated by things that have now passed away, then how wonderful to spend even five minutes looking into the nature of your own mind."

-James Low

User avatar
Reibeam
Posts: 171
Joined: Thu Nov 21, 2013 5:21 am
Location: On the Western continent In the mountains close to space

Re: Enlightened yet fat

Post by Reibeam » Tue Jul 14, 2015 4:45 am

emaho wrote:Even high Bodhisattvas have their shortcomings and imperfections, that's what distinguishes them from a fully enlightened Buddha who has reached the path of no more learning. There aren't many fully enlightened Buddhas on our planet, if any. It seems to me that you have a bit of a prejudice that all Buddhist teachers claim to be enlightened and therefore have to be perfect. That's not at all so. I don't know what tradition you belong to, but I'm sure it would help you if you would study a description of the Bodhisattva bhumis to refine your understanding of "enlightenment".

As to the weight problems many teachers have, it's pretty much an occupational hazard that comes with a sitting occupation. Especially in Tibetan Buddhism being a teacher means people have to sit through hour long rituals day by day, and when they travel their students mean it well and offer them lots of calory rich food. The situation is comparable to that of politicians who spend their lives between hour long meetings and opulent banquets.

Also, Tibetans are not as obsessed with food as we are, especially not with healthy food. Especially when teachers are monks they just eat what's offered to them. Btw being a health nut is also a form of attachment.

I am glad someone pointed this out about teachers eating what they are offered. In America and much of the world sharing food particularly rich foods is a sign of affection and within much of Buddhism its tradition to eat what you are offered. Many people offer very rich food to their teachers because they like rich foods themselves.

I bet you $100 if Buddha Shakyamuni was born and achieved enlightenment in some poor southern state with bad food like Mississippi he would have been pretty overweight under the peach tree.

And btw, the calorie is a calorie argument is BS, eat 2000 calories of crap from Safeway and 2000 calories from and organic a consciously cultivated farm and you will have two entirely different health outcomes.......but that's another thread and probably another forum altogether.

Really all this defensiveness is because of the way the question was asked in the first place. It was worded in a somewhat attacking manner. Maybe it could have been written this way...

Hi, I have seen many pictures of Buddhist teachers and monks whom appear to be quite overweight. It is my understanding some aspects of Buddhism are about overcoming attachment. As a dietitian I am trained that much of obesity stems from emotional trauma expressed as cravings and overeating. Does anyone have any thoughts about why there are so many seemingly unhealthy looking teachers and how do I reconcile this with my professional training and pursuit of the dharma.

Thanks.


Maybe that would have yielded better responses

User avatar
Reibeam
Posts: 171
Joined: Thu Nov 21, 2013 5:21 am
Location: On the Western continent In the mountains close to space

Re: Enlightened yet fat

Post by Reibeam » Tue Jul 14, 2015 4:51 am

Sorry to have gotten so fired up, most my teachers have been overweight and they are extraordinary beings.......Buddhas


I just don't want someone to miss out on receiving a wish fulfilling jewel because it came from chubby hands.

Blessings to you and your realization.

plwk
Posts: 2932
Joined: Thu Feb 25, 2010 10:41 am

Re: Enlightened yet fat

Post by plwk » Tue Jul 14, 2015 5:03 am

If these are of any use in here...
Link
PARABLE 047: FAULT-FINDING (GOOD SPIRITUAL ADVISOR)
According to the Brahma Net and Avatamsaka Sutras, we should ignore appearances and external forms when seeking a good teacher.
For example, we should disregard such traits as youth, poverty, low status or lack of education, unattractive appearance or incomplete features, but should simply seek someone conversant with the Dharma, who can be of benefit to us. Nor should we find fault with good spiritual advisors for acting in certain ways, as it may be due to a number of reasons, such as pursuing a hidden cultivation practice or following an expedient teaching. Or else, they may act the way they do because while their achievements may be high, their residual bad habits have not been extinguished. If we grasp at forms and look for faults, we will forfeit benefits on the path of cultivation.

'Thus, when Buddha Sakyamuni was still alive, the Bhikshu Kalodayin was in the habit of moving his jaws like a buffalo; a certain Bhikshuni used to look at herself in the mirror and adorn herself; another Bhikshu liked to climb trees and jump from one branch to another; still another always addressed others in a loud voice, with condescending terms and appellations.

In truth, however, all four had reached the stage of Arhatship. It is just that one of them was a buffalo in a previous life, another was a courtesan, another was a monkey, and still another belonged to the Brahman class. They were accustomed to these circumstances throughout many lifetimes, so that even when they had attained the fruits of Arhatship, their residual habits still lingered.

'We also have the example of the Sixth Patriarch of Zen. Realizing that the cultivators of his day were attached to a literal reading of the sutras and did not immediately recognize their Buddha Nature, he took the form of an ignorant and illiterate person selling wood in the marketplace. Or else, take the case of a famous Zen Master who, wishing to avoid external conditions and concentrate on his cultivation, took the expedient appearance of a ragged lunatic, raving and ranting. As a result, both distinguished Masters were criticized during their lifetimes. The Sixth Patriarch was faulted for his ignorance, while the Zen monk was called insane and berserk. Therefore, finding a good spiritual advisor is a difficult task indeed."
Master Tam

Note: The story is told in the sutras of a group of people lost in a deep, dark ravine. Among them is a leper who happens to have a torch. A wise person would suppress his revulsion and follow the leper to safety.
A reflection from the Never Slighting Bodhisattva
Does anyone have any thoughts about why there are so many seemingly unhealthy looking teachers and how do I reconcile this with my professional training and pursuit of the dharma.
If these are helpful in any way....
What the Buddha taught to his own cousin and attendant, the Elder Ananda... excerpts on the teacher-disciple relationship
"Ananda, it's not proper for a disciple to follow after the Teacher to hear discourses, verses, or catechisms. Why is that?
For a long time, Ananda, have you listened to the teachings, retained them, discussed them, accumulated them, examined them with your mind, and penetrated them well in terms of your views. But as for talk that is scrupulous, conducive to release of awareness, and leads exclusively to disenchantment, dispassion, cessation, calm, direct knowledge, self-awakening, & Unbinding — i.e., talk on modesty, contentment, seclusion, non-entanglement, arousing persistence, virtue, concentration, discernment, release, and the knowledge & vision of release: It's for the sake of hearing talk of this sort that it is proper for a disciple to follow after the Teacher as if yoked to him.

"And how do students engage with the teacher in opposition and not in friendliness?
There is the case where a teacher teaches the Dhamma to his students sympathetically, seeking their well-being, out of sympathy:
'This is for your well-being; this is for your happiness.' His disciples do not listen or lend ear or apply their minds to gnosis. Turning aside, they stray from the Teacher's message. This is how students engage with the teacher as opponents and not as friends.

"And how do students engage with the teacher in friendliness and not in opposition?
There is the case where a teacher teaches the Dhamma to his students sympathetically, seeking their well-being, out of sympathy:
'This is for your well-being; this is for your happiness.' His disciples listen, lend ear, & apply their minds to gnosis. Not turning aside, they don't stray from the Teacher's message. This is how students engage with the teacher as friends and not as opponents.

"Therefore, Ananda, engage with me in friendliness, and not in opposition. That will be for your long-term well-being & happiness."

And this

And then there are these short videos... interesting points raised....
phpBB [video]
phpBB [video]

User avatar
Sonam Wangchug
Posts: 346
Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2010 8:26 pm

Re: Enlightened yet fat

Post by Sonam Wangchug » Tue Jul 14, 2015 5:19 am

I'm sorry, but it's ridiculous to assume because a teacher is of a heavy weight he/she might not be enlightened.

In the nature of mind there is no fat or skinny, however what we see in an enlightened lama is a projection of our own mind.

We cannot See the Vajra bodies of the genuine lama's and tend to grasp and project onto their physical forms impurely.

Some enlightened beings come in surprising forms, carrying out all sorts of activities.. One thing i've learned over the years is that enlightened beings resemble less
and less what I thought/expected they would be, and more and more something else which stretches the mind, yet with a sense of spaciousness and playfulness.

I don't think it would be too skillful to get into different level's of a lama's body on a more inner meaning, however needless to say the body we perceive is not necessarily as tangible as it appears, nor the only bodily manifestation a lama has.

:namaste:
"To have confidence in the teacher is the ultimate refuge." -Rigzin Jigme Lingpa

User avatar
rory
Posts: 1574
Joined: Mon May 16, 2011 8:08 am
Location: SouthEast USA

Re: Enlightened yet fat

Post by rory » Tue Jul 14, 2015 6:59 am

I'm not offended but perhaps instead of focussing on a person, and I relate to worrying about guru type figures (the 'no-judging' mentality led to tons of idiot women sleeping with Zen 'masters' in the US thinking they'd get enlightened... :roll: ), take up a dharma practice that involves the sutras. You can't go wrong there. You can rely on the buddha-dharma!. The teachings not some person.

btw; I became concerned with health and diet in my 20s and am very healthy today. My dad now is elderly but due to his healthy lifestyle, he's in fab shape. People admire him; but you have to do the work. I think what you're doing is great.
gassho
Rory
Namu Kanzeon Bosatsu
Chih-I:
The Tai-ching states "the women in the realms of Mara, Sakra and Brahma all neither abandoned ( their old) bodies nor received (new) bodies. They all received buddhahood with their current bodies (genshin)" Thus these verses state that the dharma nature is like a great ocean. No right or wrong is preached (within it) Ordinary people and sages are equal, without superiority or inferiority
Paul, Groner "The Lotus Sutra in Japanese Culture"eds. Tanabe p. 58
https://www.tendai-usa.org/

SeeLion
Posts: 195
Joined: Tue May 26, 2015 8:09 am

Re: Enlightened yet fat

Post by SeeLion » Tue Jul 14, 2015 7:57 am

My advice for you is to actually seek fat guru, if only for the reason of challenging your beliefs :P

This is very important ... At least make some fat friends who don't feel guilty or ashamed about it and look into their thoughts and also examine your own thoughts and feelings towards them.

Because craving is bad ... but I feel judgement (criticism), guilt and shame are worse. And I don't talk about you here, but it's the culture where we live in.

I know you believe that "dieticianism" is the truth, but so does a sports coach, a mathematician, a psychologist, an accountant. If you are going to seek guidance that tells you what you already think you know, there is little hope for progress.
someone claiming to be liberated
I thought a liberated person will never claim to be liberated.

-----

So you posses knowledge which knows how much people should weight.

Actually, you may find it useful to examine where does this should come from ? Not the scientific explanation, but the underlying emotion.

And I'm wondering ... Is it remotely possible for you to accept (without judging) that there are a lot of people out there who simply don't care about that weight knowledge ?

I know that in some countries, body weight creates a positive appreciation, it signifies well being, it can be a sign of good social position, etc. Should we judge those cultures, simply because ours is different ?

Personally, I suspect the body weight has something to do with establishing a position of respect, also ensures more "visibility". The same way that teachers teach from the center of the room, maybe on a stage, high chair, etc.

Another thing, if the food you're being served contains, what I believe is called "empty calories", don't you need to eat more to provide your body with all the nutrients ?

Also, you seem to correlate being overweight with craving. Maybe some fat people have cravings, but you cannot claim that all of them do. Craving is linked to picking and choosing, but I'm sure there are people which simply eat what they have and in the amount they feel satisfies their hunger and they gain weight.

The biggest issue with judging is measuring against preconceived personal ideas. That creates a huge barrier to understanding.

How you choose a teacher is an important question, but I'm thinking, maybe, if you are going to judge a monk, you should judge them based on the percepts and based on strong evidence, not assumptions.

User avatar
Ayu
Global Moderator
Posts: 8038
Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2012 8:25 am
Location: Europe

Re: Enlightened yet fat

Post by Ayu » Tue Jul 14, 2015 10:31 am

To assume being overweight must be a sign of minor restraint is only biased. In fact there are many reasons for overweight that have nothing to do with greed or taking too much food.
For example it depends on genetic factors and having or missing the opportunity of certain foods and sports. Also hormones and age do a share.
Also "just lose weight" is not as simple done as it is said. The human body is not only like a bag and if you don't put in food, it will lose it's weight. It's not that simple.

And: there are many greedy thin people on this planet. Just out of biased view they do not look like being greedy. 8-)
For the benefit and ease of all sentient beings. :heart:

Jesse
Posts: 1763
Joined: Wed May 08, 2013 6:54 am
Location: Virginia, USA

Re: Enlightened yet fat

Post by Jesse » Tue Jul 14, 2015 10:39 am

The desire to be thin and fit is based completely on a subjective standard projected by society. To be attractive to the opposite sex is the main point. Those who see themselves as either superior/inferior due to their physical appearance are the ones with real attachment problems. Not people who are overweight.

Obviously it's best not to be overweight to the point of health problems, but that's another story.
The cost of a thing is the amount of what I call life which is required to be exchanged for it, immediately or in the long run.
-Henry David Thoreau

philji
Posts: 800
Joined: Mon May 09, 2011 2:26 pm

Re: Enlightened yet fat

Post by philji » Tue Jul 14, 2015 10:54 am

There are plenty of skinny teachers around...go work with one of those...

goldenlight
Posts: 31
Joined: Wed Jun 24, 2015 6:23 pm

Re: Enlightened yet fat

Post by goldenlight » Tue Jul 14, 2015 10:55 am

lostitude wrote:Hello,

Sorry if it sounds blunt, but I guess my question is obvious :)
I have seen quite a lot of pictures of buddhist monks. While many are quite thin, a fair number of them are surprisingly overweight.
To me this looks a bit contradictory with the notion of renouncing this world's deceiving lures...
I completely understand that no one is flawless, but why would I ask guidance from someone who doesn't even seem to master the techniques he's supposed to teach me, or worse, who preaches what he deliberately neglects?
I have come across several accounts of very renowned teachers/gurus who are fond of alcohol or much worse things. But as a dietician, overweight is something that catches my attention as it is very frequently the symptom of major emotional issues. Only in very rare cases can it be explained by hormonal, non-psychological disruptions.
Does this mean that one can enter the stream without even being liberated from attachment to food and resorting to binge-eating as an emotional coping mechanism? Or does it mean that many teachers, inclusing well-known ones, are not stream-enterers?

Thanks
The phenomenon is definitely diet related and not restricted to Monks,All of us are affected similarly.Monks of the vegetarian Mahayana sects are typically leaner,which is obviously attributed to their diet.

Meat eating Monks on the other hand tend to be more obese,however that too is not a necessity,Had it been so the entire South east asian Monastic communities would have been overweight.

To which part of the world is your study pertaining to , and where did you notice these characteristics ? :namaste:

DGA
Former staff member
Posts: 9423
Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2010 5:04 pm
Contact:

Re: Enlightened yet fat

Post by DGA » Tue Jul 14, 2015 12:02 pm

rory wrote:I'm not offended but perhaps instead of focussing on a person, and I relate to worrying about guru type figures (the 'no-judging' mentality led to tons of idiot women sleeping with Zen 'masters' in the US thinking they'd get enlightened... :roll: ), take up a dharma practice that involves the sutras. You can't go wrong there. You can rely on the buddha-dharma!. The teachings not some person.

btw; I became concerned with health and diet in my 20s and am very healthy today. My dad now is elderly but due to his healthy lifestyle, he's in fab shape. People admire him; but you have to do the work. I think what you're doing is great.
gassho
Rory
By your reasoning, none of Nichiren's disciples should have listened to his discourses, but should have instead simply read the sutras together.

More to the point, in every mainstream Buddhist tradition, there are leaders and teachers. You will be hard pressed to find instances of one attaining the goal without relying on a well-qualified teacher. It's not hard to find instructions in the sutras and shastras on how to identify such a teacher. If one relies on the sutras, in other words, one eventually gets to the tutelage of a teacher. Example: the passages in the Lotus Sutra that explain how one who upholds the Sutra should be regarded.

I take issue with your characterization of victims of sexual abuse as "idiot women." How is blaming or shaming a victim helpful?
It seems to me that the idiocy lies in the refusal of communities with toxic teachers to recognize the abuse as such, and act on it--to actually listen to women, in other words--and to those who are in a teacher's role but are clearly not qualified to lead people to liberation. Case in point:

http://www.theatlantic.com/features/arc ... de/383831/

I rejoice in your good health, and your father's.

lostitude
Posts: 216
Joined: Thu Jul 02, 2015 3:48 pm

Re: Enlightened yet fat

Post by lostitude » Tue Jul 14, 2015 12:10 pm

Thanks everyone for some interesting comments.

I just wanted to come back on two things very quickly:
Reibeam wrote:And btw, the calorie is a calorie argument is BS, eat 2000 calories of crap from Safeway and 2000 calories from and organic a consciously cultivated farm and you will have two entirely different health outcomes
But the weight outcome would be the same, no matter where the calories come from. Thinking otherwise is a simple case of wishful/magical thinking that goes against all scientific data and against logic itself. Unfortunately this belief is what a significant part of a multibillion-dollar weight-loss industry thrives on. A calorie is a calorie, it is energy that has to either come out of your body by being used, or get stored, and there is no way around it.
I understand this is not a nutrition forum so I won't answer the other comments, but I really felt I should stress that, because this belief is one of the most exploited ones by the industry in its manipulations of people who are suffering.
Really all this defensiveness is because of the way the question was asked in the first place. It was worded in a somewhat attacking manner
I found this very surprising, coming from a buddhist (and I know you're not the only one reacting like that, other comments to that same effect can be found in several places in this thread). Who is there to attack? Who am I offending and why? Isn't there a small issue there? Doesn't sound like a very detached response to me. I am more than ready to accept that my wording was poor and awkward, but I didn't really pay attention because I couldn't even think of someone who would feel directly targeted and offended, especially on a buddhist forum.

User avatar
Astus
Former staff member
Posts: 7680
Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2010 11:22 pm
Location: Budapest

Re: Enlightened yet fat

Post by Astus » Tue Jul 14, 2015 12:26 pm

Recommended book:

A Bull of a Man: Images of Masculinity, Sex, and the Body in Indian Buddhism

Info:

The androgynous, asexual Buddha of contemporary popular imagination stands in stark contrast to the muscular, virile, and sensual figure presented in Indian Buddhist texts. In this groundbreaking study of previously unexplored aspects of the early Buddhist tradition, John Powers skillfully adapts methodological approaches from European and North American historiography to the study of early Buddhist literature, art, and iconography, highlighting aspects of the tradition that have been surprisingly invisible in earlier scholarship.
1 Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

2 If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

3 Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

4 With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.


1 Huangbo, T2012Ap381c1 2 Nirvana Sutra, T374p521b3; tr. Yamamoto 3 Mazu, X1321p3b23; tr. J. Jia 4 Yongjia, T2014p395c14; tr. from "The Sword of Wisdom"

Post Reply

Return to “Dharma in Everyday Life”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 31 guests