View Full Version : 12/31 TRANSMISSION of the LIGHT: to Prajnatara

12-31-2010, 02:27 PM
As the year turns, it is fitting that we begin the turn from India to China ... this time, the teacher of Bodhidharma who came from the West ...

"Do you remember the past?" is asked ... "it is not past present or future" is answered ...

By the way, as we move into China, and a bit closer to historical times, one mind notice the stories start to come "down to earth" a little ... just a little ...

Cook from 143
Hixon from 130

01-01-2011, 11:18 AM
Past, present and future are ideas of the mind. Labels for a concept, and all we perceive is this very moment.Remembering the past is perceiving our minds thoughs this moment, so its always now. Now. Now.

01-02-2011, 04:38 AM
Just a couple of parts which hit me this week...

The statement in Hixon concerning master and successor seemed to be a key point:

One always attracts the other, inexorably, until the successor suddenly realizes again that they are not two. This not twoness is metaphorically called the transmission of Light.

Perhaps this point has been made before in the readings, perhaps stated in slightly different ways, but these two sentences really sum up what we are talking about with "the transmission of Light."

Keizan describing the moon and its reflection in the bottom of a clear pond:

The water transparent and pure, reaches right to the sky.

I found this to be beautifully poetic. As Hixon explains
There is no separation between relative and absolute, water and sky, disciple and master, speech and silence.


01-04-2011, 02:51 AM

Upon reading the opening koan (where Prajnatara is found as a homeless youth) one thing that came to mind was the work that Roshi Bernie Glassman does in his "Street Retreats".


01-10-2011, 08:30 PM
One of the things I like so much about these books isn't so much the transmission stories. Rather, it is how many creative and different ways these stories express the same thing, and this week was a perfect example of that for me.

Lots I liked (and needed for understanding) in Hixon:

Mahaprajna contains both transcendent insight (prajna) AND boundless compassion (karuna), and their functioning together liberates all beings. Along those same lines, there is no relative and absolute, rather:

...they are the same brightness everywhere.... Pure prajna resides at the core of every act of perception and conception. Pure karuna abides at the core of every longing. [Thus] there is no essential difference between Buddhas and sentient beings. They are just the harmony of prajna and karuna.
Which led me to:

Only by focusing on the conventional world, with its arbitrary circumferences and its dream of oneness and twoness [i.e., absolute and relative, among other things], can we produce the appearance of some paradoxical, mystical journey beyond the world [I find this a common stumbling block in studying and practicing Buddhism]. The Awakened One is the person without paradox, without world, without beyond, without journey--filled with humor and responsibility. Here is the playful sage, standing comfortably, contentedly gazing.

01-18-2011, 04:48 PM
Today is eternity. Today is all there is. Look back and you see today, everything else is just mind baggage. Some good and some not so good. Wisdom is knowing the difference and compassion is its application.
When Prajnamitra was asked by what method he would save all sentient beings he replied," each individual according to their circumstances and type." This explains why the Transmission of Light is one but the examples of the transmission from master to successor many. When a successor has the realization that he and the master are not two this is the metaphorical Transmission of Light. gassho zak

01-23-2011, 06:24 PM
Hixon's, as almost always, I find very striking!

Prajnatara's transmission was brought about by past causes as present master and successor met then, others before. with and after them have and will do the same. They knew each other intimately and with few open words it was confirmed.

In Cook's Master Keizan's talk struck me, this
"Though they seemed like beginners or veterans, if for one moment they reversed the movement of their minds and unveiled their original merits, not even a hair was lacking. They were the same as the Tathagata and on with the Venerable Ones."