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Thread: Why did Bodhidharma post on Facebook?

  1. #1

    Why did Bodhidharma post on Facebook?

    Hi all just wanted to share this I read today on Facebook. I found it interesting, especially with those of us studying precepts right now.
    Gassho
    C
    Sat Today!


    Bloodstream Sermon (concluding part) - Bodhi Dharma
    People who see that their mind is the Buddha donít need to shave their head" Laymen are Buddhas too. Unless they see their nature, people who shave their head are simply fanatics.
    Student: But since married laymen donít give up sex, how can they become Buddhas?
    Bodhidharma: I only talk about seeing your nature. I donít talk about sex simply because you donít see your nature. Once you see your nature, sex is basically immaterial. It ends along with your delight in it. Even if some habits remainí, they canít harm you, because your nature is essentially pure. Despite dwelling in a material body of four elements, your nature is basically pure. It canít be corrupted.
    Your real body is basically pure. It canít be corrupted. Your real body has no sensation, no hunger or thirstí, no warmth or cold, no sickness, no love or attachment, no pleasure or pain, no good or bad, no shortness or length, no weakness or strength. Actually, thereís nothing here. Itís only because you cling to this material body that things like hunger and thirst, warmth and cold, sickness appear Once you stop clinging and let things be, youíll- be free, even of birth and death. Youíll transform everything. Youíll possess Spiritual powers " that cant be obstructed. And youíll be at peace wherever you are. If you doubt this, youíll never see through anything. Youíre better off doing nothing. Once you act, you canít avoid the cycle of birth and death. But once you see your nature, youíre a Buddha even if you work as a butcher.
    Student: But butchers create karma by slaughtering animals. How can they be Buddhas?
    Bodhidharma: I only talk about seeing your nature. I donít talk about creating karma. Regardless of what we do, our karma has no hold on us. Through endless kalpas without beginning, its only because people donít see their nature that they end up in hell. As long as a person creates karma, he keeps passing through birth and death. But once a person realizes his original nature, he stops creating karma. If he doesnít see his nature, invoking Buddhas wonít release him from his karma, regardless of whether or not heís a butcher. But once he sees his nature, all doubts vanish. Even a butcherís karma has no effect on such a person. In India the
    twenty-seven patriarchs only transmitted the imprint of the mind. And the only reason Iíve come to China is to transmit the instantaneous teaching of the Mahayana. This mind is the Buddha. I donít talk about precepts, devotions or ascetic practices such as immersing yourself in water and fire, treading a wheel of knives, eating one meal a day, or never lying down. These are fanatical, provisional teachings. Once you recognize your
    moving, miraculously aware nature.

    Yours is the mind of all Buddhas. Buddhas of the past and future only talk about transmitting the mind. They teach nothing else if someone understands this teaching, even if heís illiterate heís a Buddha. If You donít see your own miraculously aware nature, youíll never find a Buddha
    even if you break your body into atoms.

    The Buddha is your real body, your original mind. This mind has no form or characteristics, no cause or effect, no tendons or bones. Itís like space. You canít hold it. Its not the mind or materialists or nihilists. Except for a Tathagata, no one else- no mortal, no deluded being-can fathom it.
    But this mind isnít somewhere outside the material body of four elements.Without this mind we canít move. The body has no awareness. Like a plant or stone, the body has no nature. So how does it move? Itís the mind that moves. Language and behavior, perception and conception are all functions of the moving mind. All motion is the mindís motion. Motion is
    its function. Apart from motion thereís no mind, and apart from the mind thereís no motion. But motion isnít the mind. And the mind isnít motion. Motion is basically mindless. And the mind is basically motionless. But motion doesnít exist without the mind. And the mind doesnít exist without motion. Theres no mind for motion to exist apart from, and no motion for mind to exist apart from. Motion is the mindís function, and its function is its
    motion. Even so, the mind neither moves nor functions, the essence of its functioning is emptiness and emptiness is essentially motionless. Motion is the same as the mind. And the mind is essentially motionless. Hence the Sutras tell us to move without moving, to travel without traveling, to see without seeing, to laugh without laughing, to hear without hearing, to know without knowing, to be happy, without being happy, to walk without walking, to stand without standing. And the sutras say, "Go beyond language. Go beyond thought." Basically, seeing, hearing, and knowing are completely empty. Your anger, Joy, or pain is like that of puppet. You search but you wonít find a thing.

    According to the Sutras, evil deeds result in hardships and good deeds result in blessings. Angry people go to hell and happy people go to heaven. But once you know that the nature of anger and joy is empty and you let them go, you free yourself from karma. If you donít see your nature, quoting sutras is no help, I could go on, but this brief sermon will have to do.

  2. #2
    Thanks Clark.

    Gassho,,
    Walter

    #SatToday
    Gassho,Walter

  3. #3
    Hi Clark,

    Thank you for posting this. Just a couple of quick notes though.

    First, historians are pretty sure that the Bloodstream Sermon is not actually the words of Bodhidharma, and was written several centuries after his time (there is only one writing that historians say has a good chance of being by him, the so-called "Two Entries and Four Practices").

    Second, there is always a danger in this kind of writing because it presents a one-sided teaching on Karma, Precepts and moral behavior. (As I always emphasize, Mahayana Buddhists often look at these things from several angles ... and non-angles ... at once). So, yes, there is that aspect of reality beyond right and wrong and killing (because nobody to kill and no separate person to be killed, no birth or death). Yes, it is so! Nonetheless, there is simultaneously right and wrong, killing and the Karmic consequences for doing so. We miss something if seeing only one or the other.

    The words here of the Bloodstream may go a little far into the seeming amoral aspect of the Teachings.

    Gassho, Jundo
    Last edited by Jundo; 11-23-2014 at 02:46 PM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Clark View Post
    Student: But since married laymen don’t give up sex, how can they become Buddhas?
    Bodhidharma: I only talk about seeing your nature. I don’t talk about sex simply because you don’t see your nature. Once you see your nature, sex is basically immaterial. It ends along with your delight in it. Even if some habits remain’, they can’t harm you, because your nature is essentially pure. Despite dwelling in a material body of four elements, your nature is basically pure. It can’t be corrupted.
    I did read recently a lovely quote from the (much cherished in Zen and Mahayana circles) final book of the Avatamsaka/Flower Garland Sutra about Bodhisattvas and Teachers (what the translator, Thomas Cleary, terms the "specially dedicated and developed people who are enlightening beings") coming in all guises ... not just those who may look the part ... each using skillful means and their own talents to teach in their own way, fitting the situation ...

    Some appeared in the form of mendicants, some in the form of
    priests, some in bodies adorned head to foot with particular emblematic
    signs, some in the forms of scholars, scientists, doctors;
    some in the form of merchants, some in the form of ascetics, some
    in the form of entertainers, some in the form of pietists, some in the
    form of bearers of all kinds of arts and crafts-they were seen to
    have come, in their various forms, to all villages, cities, towns,
    communities, districts, and nations. With mastery of proper timing,
    proceeding according to the time, by modification of adapted forms
    and appearances, modifications of tone, language, deportment,
    situation, carrying out the practices of enlightening beings, which
    are like the cosmic network of all worlds and illumine the spheres of
    all practical arts, are lamps shedding light on the knowledge of all
    beings, are arrays of projections of all realities, radiate the light of
    all truths, purify the establishment of vehicles of liberation in all
    places, and light up the spheres of all truths, they were seen to have
    come to all villages, towns, cities, districts, and nations, for the
    purpose of leading people to perfection.
    Cleary says, "The versatility of enlightening beings in their modification of appearance and activity, adapting to the specific circumstances of the time-cultural, linguistic, technological, and so on-and the needs of
    the people they are working with, stems from a basic freedom enlightening beings cultivate, which is sometimes referred to as being beyond the world even while in the world:". and the Sutra continues ...

    They live and work in the world without being controlled by fetters, bonds,
    propensities, or obsessions, without being controlled by craving or
    opinions, without their minds being bound up in ideas of mundane
    enjoyments, without being taken with the taste of pleasure of
    meditation, without being blocked by mental barriers.
    Cleary continues ...

    It is the task of the more fully developed enlightening beings in every community to contact and nurture what is best in others; whether they do it through religion or art or cooperation in ordinary activities is purely a matter of local expediency. Often it is the case that preoccupation with the external face of such activity obscures its inner purpose; over a period of time this leads to elaboration of forms without their original meaning, fragmen'tation of the work, and mutual misunderstanding and even intolerance and hostility among members of what have now become factions. One of the functions of The Flower Ornament Scripture is to present a vision of the whole underlying the parts, so as to help people offset the effects of this scattering tendency and rise above sectarianism and other forms of bigotry.

    http://books.google.co.jp/books?id=O...e&q=mendicants
    I found the "teachers come in many guises" and "don't judge a book by its cover" message very inspiring.

    Gassho, Jundo
    Last edited by Jundo; 11-24-2014 at 02:13 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  5. #5
    Hi All,

    ...to contact and nurture what is best in others; whether they do it through religion or art or cooperation in ordinary activities...
    Yes! This is something we can all do, little by little, with anyone we interact with, each and every day, even in small ways. Reminds me of this favorite quote:


    Be a lamp, or a lifeboat, or a ladder. Help someone's soul heal. Walk out of your house like a shepherd. - Rumi
    Gassho
    Lisa
    sat today

  6. #6
    Kantai
    Guest
    Be a lamp, or a lifeboat, or a ladder. Help someone's soul heal. Walk out of your house like a shepherd. - Rumi
    Thatīs beautiful,
    thank you Lisa (and Rumi).

    Gassho
    Kantai

    Sat today

  7. #7
    Thanks Jundo, and everyone who posted.

    I appreciate the analysis.
    Gassho
    C

    Sat Today!

  8. #8
    Thanks, Lisa, for the Rumi quote. Really sums up what I call the "grocery store sangha," everyone we meet today. Giving and receiving each other.
    Maybe it's time to ask Santa to spring for the Avatamsaka Sutra........... hehehee

    _/\_ Shinzan
    sattoday

  9. #9
    Treeleaf Unsui / Engineer Sekishi's Avatar
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    Apr 2013
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    Virginia, USA

    Why did Bodhidharma post on Facebook?

    Thank you for posting this Clark, and everyone for the conversation. It really rings for my life at the moment.
    Deep bows,
    Sekishi #SatToday (but understands nothing)
    sekishi
    石志

    He/him. As a novice priest-in-training, this is simply an expression of my opinion. Please take it with a grain of salt.

  10. #10
    Metta to all.


    Gassho,
    Myosha sat today
    "Recognize suffering, remove suffering." - Shakyamuni Buddha when asked, "Uhm . . .what?"

  11. #11
    I really appreciated this, particularly Lisa's addition. Being a beginner there is so much to learn and it's easy to feel insufficient when seeing what all there is to do.

    Gassho
    Paul
    Sat today.
    Paul

    Gassho,
    sat today

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