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Tending the Tigress: An Apprenticeship in Clay

· Teachings · ,

by Jody Hojin Kimmel, Osho

Recently, somebody asked me how I was turned into a vessel before my eyes. found Buddhism. I found it through a crooked tea bowl. At the time, I had been studying with a teacher who was very formal. Everything had to have these exact proportions, and everything had to be straight. He would actually come around with a ruler to measure—is the foot in proportion to the body? Is the lip in proportion? It was very trying for me to make a pot this way. I thought, “What ever happened to feeling it? Can’t I just feel this vessel as it takes shape beneath my hands, as the wheel turns fast and slow?” But I figured, “Okay, I’m here to learn.” And so I’d get my ruler out. Then somebody invited me over and showed me a bowl by Rengetsu, a 19th–century Buddhist nun renowned for her poetry and her pottery. This bowl was cracked, repaired and asymmetrical. Yet it was deeply, deeply centered. The first words out of my mouth were, “Who accepted this? Who let this happen?” I wanted to know whose hands and mind put that bowl together. It felt so alive.

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Document of Heritage

· Teachings · ,

by Eihei Dogen

A Buddha is transmitted dharma only from a buddha, an ancestor only from an ancestor, through merging realization in direct transmission. In this way, it is the unsurpassable enlightenment. It is impossible to give the seal of realization without being a buddha, and it is impossible to become a buddha without receiving the seal of realization from a buddha. Who else, other than a buddha, can certify this realization as the most venerable, the most unsurpassable?

When you have the seal of realization from a buddha, you have realization without a teacher, realization without self. This being so, it is said, “A buddha receives realization from a buddha; an ancestor merges realization with an ancestor.” The meaning of this teaching cannot be understood by those who are not buddhas. How then can it be measured by bodhisattvas of the ten stages or even those in the stage of enlightenment equal to buddhas’?

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Photo by Yuya Sekiguchi

Past, Present, Future

· Teachings · ,

by Jan Chozen Bays, Roshi

I thought it would be interesting to offer you a feeling or what it was like back in the old days—you know, back when we had to walk ten miles to the zendo, knee-deep in snow, barefoot. It’s good to know your history. And although Hogen’s immediate lineage is separate from mine—he studied with Kapleau Roshi at Rochester and I studied with Maezumi Roshi at ZCLA—these lineages are joined just another generation back. Kapleau Roshi trained in Japan with Daiun Harada Roshi and Maezumi Roshi’s teacher, Yasutani Roshi, also trained with Daiun Harada Roshi. Daiun Harada Roshi would be your dharma great-grandfather.

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Photo by Eric Parker

In Accord with All Time

· Teachings · ,

by Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Sensei

Prajnatara
Transmission of the Light, Case 28
Listen to this talk

Main Case
The Buddhist master Punyamitra said to Prajnatara, “Do you remember events of the past?” Prajnatara said, “I remember in a distant eon I was living in the same place as you. You were expounding great wisdom and I was reciting the most profound scripture. This event today is in conformity with past cause.”

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Photo by Rom Srini

The Place of Discipleship in Buddhism

· Teachings · ,

by Bhikkhu Bodhi

As a religious founder the Buddha did not claim to be a divinely inspired prophet, a personal savior, or a deity incarnate in flesh. Within the framework of his Teaching, the Dhamma, his special role is that of a teacher, the Supreme Teacher who reveals the unique path to final deliverance. In the earliest form of the Teaching, as represented by the Pali Canon, no essential difference divides the goal attained by the Buddha himself from that realized by his disciples. For both the goal is the same, Nibbana, the perfect liberation of the mind from all constricting bonds and the consequent release from samsara, the round of repeated birth and death.

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