Tag Archives: Bodhidharma

The Eye of Bodhidharma

Even if one possesses the ability to expound upon countless sutras and shastras, it is important to recognize that without directly perceiving one’s own nature, the teachings given are merely those of a mortal, not a Buddha. The true Way, the path to enlightenment, is something that transcends language and cannot be adequately expressed through words alone. In light of this, what purpose do scriptures serve? However, an individual who truly sees and understands their own nature will discover the Way, even if they are unable to read a single word. Such a person who perceives their own nature is a Buddha. read more

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The Hierophant-Bodhidharma

Historically the Hierophant stands for wisdom and the ongoing strength and teaching of a living spiritual tradition. In our study it relates to mystical-spiritual respiration: read more

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Birthing the Bodhichild

Within you is the Buddha-seed or gotra, which we refer here to as the Bodhichild. But this child cannot be birthed in a forced or worse yet, in an artificial manner. Its potentiality is already there, it just needs a little coaxing through proper nourishment via the Buddhadharma. It’s there but you have been carrying it for so long that it may result in a still-birth. This is the direct cause of your inner-anguish, you sense something is there inside that wants to come out, that wants to be born, but your resistance is killing it; it’s like a woman carrying a fetus for more than nine-months—it’s not natural and this unnaturalness is malignancy itself.  Only a monstrous tumor is the end result. It seems to be a contradiction, but you first need to be empty before this transcendent birth can occur. Emptied of all that is in opposition to the Unborn. Emptied of emptiness itself. read more

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The untrapped Mind

The untrapped Mind is the Mind of Nirvana.

Where defiled minds dwell in countless positions of their own making, the untrapped Mind remains free in the shining reality of its own uncreatedness. read more

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Open your mouth

Open your mouth, utter a single syllable, type a single word and you merely are spreading the illusion of your own perception of what you believe, at any given moment, to be the equal or part of an absolute reality. read more

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Bodhidharma Dhyana

Some might suspect from reading this series that Tsung-mi was someone who only emphasized the scholastic-side of Ch’an Buddhism. They would be wrong. Tsung-mi’s spirituality was a healthily balanced one—one that took Sūtra Study very seriously, yet at the same time being willing to cultivate the full-import of Ch’an—which essentially refers to faithfully practicing Dhyana. In fact, his subtitle to the Ch’an Prolegomenon is, “COLLECTION OF EXPRESSIONS OF THE PRINCIPLE AND PRACTICE OF DHYANA” (Broughton). Here’s his wonderful definition for the Absolute make-up of Dhyana/Ch’an: read more

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Eunuch Power and the Two Entrances

The Sweet-Dew Incident

It may sound hard to hear for modern ears that the great Tsung-mi’s downfall was at the hands of Eunuchs. However, these were no namby-pamby fellows that appear in some Mel Brook’s comedy, but rather fierce-warriors that were actually bred for maintaining power and control over the Emperor’s Court.  The year was 835 and Tsung-mi became implicated in what is known as the Sweet-Dew Incident. This involved a failed coup attempt to oust the Eunuch stronghold over the Emperor Wenzong. The main conspirator,  Li Xun, sought refuge in Tsung-mi’s monastery. Apparently, Tsung-mi favored Li Xun’s politics and after shaving his head to resemble one of the monks, granted him sanctuary.  For his action, Tsung-mi was later arrested and even faced possible execution. But once again Tsung-mi’s own powerful presence and powers of persuasion made an impact and his execution was stayed. Peter N. Gregory writes: read more

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(5) The Black Dragon

When the birdcage is open and the illusion of the false bird dies
the virtuous one recollects the unborn essence.
Transcending the sensory addicted mind, finding the gateless gate to its original source of perfection.
This is a black dragon’s greatest quality and truth
No delusion to reject, no things to transcend
What battle can find nourishment in such an un-transforming mind?
All things equal and thus sunyata,
True nature luminous and vast, obstructive notions of closed or open minds
eternally cessated.
This dragon, a magnificent defender of the true law cuts off a thousand heads from heretic misconceptions.
The true lotus free to blossom on its own accord
Mind unbound, uncreated, radiating in all ten directions
perfectly illuminating a thousand dharmas.
How can petty desire or delusion of the worldling recollect such a thousand-fold instant wisdom?
This most sacred and unborn mani-pearl is always radiant and clear.
Who is he to defile its original bright nature with notions of good or evil?
The pure desire to awake is what drove Prince Gautama to recollect what was always there for him.
Guided by the light of countless Tathagatas read more

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Emperor WU´s Memorial Stele of Bodhidharma

On the north side and lower flank of the Bear Ear Mountain in Luoyang there is an old stupa. This is Bodhidharma´s burial stupa. [1] read more

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Tozen: The Spirit of Zen Buddhism

The Zen Master wanders the temple yard, while slowly waving a paper fan against his face under the hot summer sun. A monk approaches fast]. read more

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