A zen pupil articulates the particular dissimilarities between the conceptual along with ritual parts of practice. This text was in fact brought to our notice by Lama Surya Das Married who is an American lama inside the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. He’s a poet, chantmaster, religious activist as well as author of several popular works on Buddhism; a meditation tutor and spokesperson for Buddhism in the west. Lama Surya Das keeps us updated concerning the a variety of facets of Buddhism and also meditation occasionally with his very own discourse and often via articles along with content which sheds light on Buddhism. This particular piece on Buddhism stems from John Blofeld a scholar, writer, along with translator of Asian philosophy along with religion, specifically Buddhism along with Taoism. Continue reading to read more information on Buddhism and also the distinctions involving the conceptual in addition to ritual aspects of practice.
Given that Buddhism came to the West, inevitably some people have felt, “Zazen is good, love is great, self-discipline is a useful one, why all this bowing along with incense? To whom would you provide incense as well as flowers?” For this all of the Buddhists of the past and all of Asian ?Buddhists today might answer with one voice: “Dear friends, a spirit of reverence is vital to effective practice. Without it, enlightenment can never be acquired!”
Prostrations in addition to offerings usually are admittedly just forms-just a person’s way of articulating what cats express by rubbing themselves alongside a much loved person’s legs. If it had been natural for individuals to stand on their heads as well as stick out their rumps to convey respect, then Buddhists would probably stand on their particular heads or even stick out their rumps as a matter of course. Styles usually do not matter in themselves, but the attitude of mind displayed by prostrations and so forth is of fantastic significance to followers of the Way.
My Tibetan lama explained at a very early stage of my training: “Ignorant people embrace the perspective of subject to king before a Buddha statue. Higher-level practice is accomplished totally within the mind. However even if you reach the maximum level-hard certainly to succeed in in one lifetime-you have to every day alternate formless, wordless, above-conceptual practice with bowing down and making offerings. Never fail in that.” My Chinese Chan (Zen) educator told me: “In between your rounds of meditation, practice bowing, supplying incense, along with making circumambulations. When you have no spirit of reverence, virtually no feeling of awe for all that lies beyond the constraints of that miserably circumscribed illusion you suppose to be your ‘me,’ you will earn hardly any development. Why? Simply because whenever your practice improves, you may reflect: ‘I did much better within my meditation just now’ and by so contemplating fall back to the lowest level of ignorance owing to the actual consequent inflation of one’s devilish ‘I’!”
Those Zen priests who said, “Meet the Buddha, kill the Buddha” or even recommended utilizing Buddha figures as firewood and so forth were talking not to Americans or even to new Buddhists but to Chinese or perhaps Japanese Zen followers that could be counted upon to comprehend the meaning of these recommendations, which truly amounted to this: “Never for one minute suppose that veneration of sutras or perhaps images is of much use in itself, thus don’t let it switch the rest of your practice, as uninformed people often do.” I doubt if it actually entered those monks’ minds that one day there’d be people in the world who’d take these powerful (in addition to funny) injunctions actually!
If it is incorrect to have and also to symbolize behavior of reverence, awe, along with gratitude by prostrations in addition to offerings, then all Buddhists have been wrong considering that the dharma was basically preached within this latest kalpa 2,500 plus much more years ago. Can it be probable that those 100s of millions of people at all levels of dedication to the particular practice we so significantly value included no single man or woman of genuine understanding till Buddhism reached America?