Author Topic: There is no Buddha apart from the mind...  (Read 249 times)

Offline Dharma Flower

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There is no Buddha apart from the mind...
« on: May 14, 2017, 02:53:39 am »
The Buddha’s last words were to seek no external refuge. In reciting the Name, NAMU-AMIDA-BUTSU, this is not a petitionary prayer to some external deity. It is instead the means to awakening the Buddha-nature within:

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Buddhist authors in late-medieval China and Vietnam frequently describe Pure Land Buddhism’s practice of reciting the Buddha’s name in terms of three levels:

Mundane, regular level: reciting the Buddha’s name to achieve rebirth in the Pure Land.
Middle-level: reciting the Buddha’s name to “bring out” the Buddha within the practitioner.
High-level: reciting the Buddha’s name with the understanding that there is no Buddha outside the mind.

The point is that the “ultimate” teaching of Pure Land Buddhism has nothing to do with an external refuge, but that the Pure Land is the mind itself.
https://klingonbuddhist.wordpress.com/2014/02/16/a-look-at-chinese-pure-land-buddhism/


Please compare the above passages to these words from Shinran Shonin:

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67 The Commentary on the Treatise states:
To aspire to be born in the Pure Land of happiness is necessarily to awaken the mind aspiring for supreme enlightenment.

68 Further, it states:
This mind attains Buddhahood means that the mind becomes Buddha; this mind is itself Buddha means that there is no Buddha apart from the mind…

69 The [Master of] Kuang-ming temple states:
This mind attains Buddhahood. This mind is itself Buddha. There is no Buddha apart from this mind.
http://shinranworks.com/the-major-expositions/chapter-on-shinjin/
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Offline Kodo308

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Re: There is no Buddha apart from the mind...
« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2017, 08:16:56 am »
Yes. I think the 'lands' of the Mahayana sutras are often misunderstood as being non-mind, a too-literal interpretation.

Thank you for this peek inside your tradition.  :listen:

Offline Dharma Flower

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Re: There is no Buddha apart from the mind...
« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2017, 06:15:00 pm »
Yes. I think the 'lands' of the Mahayana sutras are often misunderstood as being non-mind, a too-literal interpretation.

Thank you for this peek inside your tradition.  :listen:

You are welcome. I am sharing teachings from Chinese Pure Land Buddhism, which became fused with Ch'an many years ago.
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Offline Kodo308

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Re: There is no Buddha apart from the mind...
« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2017, 07:59:46 am »
I am Soto zen, so my tradition has sprung from the Chinese tradition(s). I actually really appreciate the way the traditions didn't get sliced into various sects so much in China. It's always been pretty syncretic. 84,000 Dharma gates...  :jinsyx:

Offline Dharma Flower

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Re: There is no Buddha apart from the mind...
« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2017, 02:26:02 am »
My tradition is Jodo Shinshu. One of my favorite books is Buddha of Infinite Light by D. T. Suzuki, which gives an interpretation of Jodo Shinshu teachings in light of Zen Buddhism. Suzuki introduced Zen to the West, but he was raised Shinshu and considered himself a Shinshu follower throughout his life.
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Offline Kodo308

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Re: There is no Buddha apart from the mind...
« Reply #5 on: May 23, 2017, 08:51:58 am »
My tradition is Jodo Shinshu. One of my favorite books is Buddha of Infinite Light by D. T. Suzuki, which gives an interpretation of Jodo Shinshu teachings in light of Zen Buddhism. Suzuki introduced Zen to the West, but he was raised Shinshu and considered himself a Shinshu follower throughout his life.

I'll have to keep my eye out for that text, tho' I find his writing style a bit dense.  :namaste:

Offline Dharma Flower

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Re: There is no Buddha apart from the mind...
« Reply #6 on: May 24, 2017, 12:58:01 am »
My tradition is Jodo Shinshu. One of my favorite books is Buddha of Infinite Light by D. T. Suzuki, which gives an interpretation of Jodo Shinshu teachings in light of Zen Buddhism. Suzuki introduced Zen to the West, but he was raised Shinshu and considered himself a Shinshu follower throughout his life.

I'll have to keep my eye out for that text, tho' I find his writing style a bit dense.  :namaste:

The book is relatively simple and easy to read, since it's from a transcript of a public talk he gave.
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Offline Dharma Flower

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Re: There is no Buddha apart from the mind...
« Reply #7 on: May 24, 2017, 12:59:10 am »
I do not believe in literal flesh and blood Buddhas from eons before the Big Bang, and neither do I accept that the Pure Land sutras were taught by the historical Buddha.

If Amida Buddha is really a symbolic expression of Buddha-nature or Dharma-body, then the Nembutsu has immense power as a Buddhist practice for awakening the Buddha within.

When Shinran's Kyogyoshinsho says "There is no Buddha apart from the mind," this passage is inspired by The Contemplation Sutra:

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'When you have perceived this, you should next perceive Buddha himself. Do you ask how? Every Buddha Tathagata is one whose spiritual body is the principle of nature (Darmadhatu-kaya), so that he may enter into the mind of any beings. Consequently, when you have perceived Buddha, it is indeed that mind of yours that possesses those thirty-two signs of perfection and eighty minor marks of excellence which you see in a Buddha. In conclusion, it is your mind that becomes Buddha, nay, it is your mind. that is indeed Buddha. The ocean of true and universal knowledge of all the Buddhas derives its source from one's own mind and thought. Therefore you should apply your thought with an undivided attention to a careful meditation on that Buddha Tathagata, Arhat, the Holy and Fully Enlightened One. In forming the perception of that Buddha, you should first perceive the image of that Buddha; whether, your eyes are open or shut, look at an image like Jambunada gold in color, sitting on that flower throne mentioned before.
http://web.mit.edu/stclair/www/meditationsutra.html
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May you be happy and well.  :anjali:

 


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