Three modes of Reality

Over the holidays, I recited the Lankavatara Sutra. This sutra is often said to expound the hallmark of the Zen school and very important in Early Zen in China. It seems to be a synchronistic occurrence that after studying the Gate Gate Mantra, I would stumble across this sutra, which really explores even more how … Continue reading Three modes of Reality

No-Birth, No-death

From “Touching the Earth, Intimate Conversations with the Buddha” by Thich Nhat Hanh, pages 25 and 26: “Lord Buddha, I shall listen to your advice and look deeply into impermanence, interdependence, emptiness and interbeing, in order to arrive at the deep realization that all that exists has the nature of no birth/ no death no … Continue reading No-Birth, No-death

Bodhisattvas and Buddhas

As I have been attending Ken Ford’s Buddhist history class at Clouds in Water, I was struck by this observation of a myth about Bodhisattvas. The myth that I have heard and often said in teaching is that bodhisattvas forgo full buddhahood in order to save living beings. In other words, at the brink of … Continue reading Bodhisattvas and Buddhas

Cubist Enlightenment

Several years ago in the practice leaders study group, we were questioning what to study. Ken Ford said, “Let’s study enlightenment!” We all laughed and balked. Balked because it’s a tricky or scary question. We all should understand this thing we search for, ‘enlightenment’, but who does? Can enlightenment be understood? And yet, if we … Continue reading Cubist Enlightenment

Awakened Awareness

It seems that we get sidetracked in practice in many ways. Buddha said that he was the “awakened one.” Thich Nhat Hanh calls it mindfulness in every moment. Katagiri Roshi explains that enlightenment is subject and object merged in every moment that arises. It is a very rare and concentrated person who is able to … Continue reading Awakened Awareness