The Bodhisattva vow, which many have taken when they received the 16 precepts, includes the vow to return again and again to this world until all beings attain Enlightenment. The underlying assumption is that Enlightenment, Nirvana and no rebirth is an aim of Buddhism. Zen Master Dogen’s phrase, “practice and Enlightenment are one” (修証一如), is a later development in Buddhism which merges the means with the ends. So, in one sense, concerning our self with rebirth is not necessary. However, even Zen Master Dogen talks about rebirth: “In ten thousand kalpas and thousands of lives, how many times are we born and how many times do we die? This cycle of lives is samsara [suffering], caused only by blind clinging to worldly affairs.”
“How did you feel about transferring from one religion to another? Have you found any conflicts between the two religions? What have you learned from Zen Buddhism in contrast to Catholicism?” These were questions asked of me by a student in my World Religions class at the Des Moines Area Community College. I hope thatContinue reading ““Conversion” to Buddhism”
Logic is ill Rationality makes no cents Divorce “The Thinker” Embrace the body Green is just green White is just white Sit tall like a pine Notice breath You are never alone Bee
My nephew is in the R.O.T.C. program at University of California, San Diego. He is planning to enter the Navy afterwards and possibly be a fighter pilot. Like his grandfather, his time in the service gives him a full ride, an option that makes total sense when money appears to be scarce. My nephew sharedContinue reading “Can a Buddhist Become a Marine?”
We think we exist as some kind of solid independent reality. Funeral ceremonies of loved ones have always served to remind me of the dream-like quality of life. Recently, a beloved aunt of mine passed away. Her husband, children, and grandchildren all eulogized her in a profound way. Her grandchildren played music, sang, and offeredContinue reading “The Web of Life”
In light of yet another round of shootings, this time at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh killing 11, and in the African American community in Jeffersontown, Kentucky killing 2, what is a Buddhist response? How do we make sense of the level of hate that we are witnessing in our country? What shouldContinue reading “The Tree of Life”
“Beyond Mountains are more mountains” is a Haitian saying. This proverb does not only accurately depict the Haitian landscape, but also the inner landscape of our lives. We all have ups and downs, just like the mountains’ slopes. There is no end to the highs and lows of our lives. Haitians know this all tooContinue reading “Haiti is a Great Teacher”
What is the role of silence in Zen?
What or who prevents us from experiencing real inner freedom? Is it our stuff, our relationships, our own perceptions, or perhaps a combination? Daishin shares his own wrestling with these questions.
“Even if you have the highest understanding of mountains as all buddhas’ inconceivable qualities, the truth is not only this. These are conditioned views. This is not the understanding of buddha ancestors, but just looking through a bamboo tube at a corner of the sky.” – Zen Master Dogen Every World Religion has goneContinue reading “We Are Blind”