I like the stories
I never had questions that would lead me to wonder about God—actually its not that I never had those questions, when I thought or felt about it there seemed no reason to pursue it. I was interested in Philosophy and religion is often considered in the same category so I have been exposed to it intellectually.
Buddhism is classified as a religion but there is no God—not some, or one. The faith is to awaken the Buddha inside of you. Is this the same Buddha for everyone or does each of us have our own personal unique Buddha different from everyone else.
I never understood why we should have to “awaken the Buddha inside,” why is My Buddha sleeping in the first place? (I am sure there is an answer in the old books somewhere). At least in Christianity the separation from the perfect life is clearly explained— Eve using her women’s ways influenced Adam to break God’s order for which they and all of us to follow were condemned to a life and then a death, I guess we only get one. I enjoy the stories in Zen much more .
So in Buddhism the purpose of awakening the Buddha inside of you is to end the process of “alienation by reincarnation,” compared to Christians who seek to end the process of one life-one death by being allowed into Heaven.
A gift from a friend, a hand carved Buddha from a vendor located at the Mahabodhi Temple, site of the Bodhi tree— where Shakamuni mediated and rediscovered enlightenment.
When I was 12 years old my father returned from a San Francisco business trip with a little book of Zen sayings and little by little my interest has grown. I think Zen has the best stories, not just in the category of religion, but in the category of stories. One of my favorite is the Sixth Patriarch of Chan.
A molded or shaped piece of soft metal attached to a piece of wood, bought at the Berkeley Flea Market early 1990s from a Korean vendor.
Shaka Buddha born and raised in India, established Buddhism in the 6th Century BCE.. It was popular for awhile and for centuries it spread from Greece to China all along the Silk Road. Bodhidharma (aka Daruma) brought Dhyana to China around the end of the Sixth Century where it grew for a few centuries, and later, about 1200 CE, it came to Japan as Soto and Rinzai Zen.
The Fifth Patriarch, being old, was seeking someone to pass on Daruma’s robe and bowl as the next patriarch. At the temple Shen-hsiu was considered to be outstanding in his qualifications; Shen-hsui, still uncertain of himself, snuck out in the night and wrote this on the wall:
translation by D.T.Suzuki, Essays in Zen Buddhism
The Fifth Patriarch was not moved by Shen-hsiu’s poem.. Hui-neng , an illiterate country boy who worked at an entry level job in the kitchen preparing rice. saw the writing on the wall, asked his friend to read it and then asked him to write his response, on the wall :
translation by D.T.Suzuki, Essays in Zen Buddhism –
Upon reading this the Fifth Patriarch immediately recognized Hui-neng as his successor, transmitted the Dharma, gave him the bowl and the robe and sent him on his way —with a warning that the other monks might be angry at this succession and seek to do him harm, and that is another story.
In the west the common media sense of “Zen” is that it refers to “getting down to the basics” of something— Many books have titles such as The Zen of This or The Zen ot That implying the reader will learn some basic elemental secret to the subject separated from the BS to become more focused on only the essentials.
To others is something more simple
In a sense reincarnation is materially possible,
Each of us is a specific set of particles, the Universe is six billion years old, and it made1of a bunch of particles which spend their time making thing s by constantly joining and separating with each other.
One could figure out how many particles are in the universe . . .
track their movements and calculate the odds of a set of specific particles once again coming together?
Still, the particles that makeup a person are not static, throughout our lives they are continually changing, a person is not one set of small particles but a set of constantly changing particles.
and the only chance for a person to be (materially) reincarnated is for every particle to be exactly the same and be in the exact same place again, which might require every particle in the universe to be exactly the same exact place again.—Is that in contraction or expansion mode?
At this time we cannot know where a particle is and what is it’s the velocity at same time , at any specific moment we only can know one. of these.
Can you remember before you were born.? Matter is conserved and energy is neither created nor destroyed . . .
kPerhaps you could say the energy is there but the matter is knot or the matter is there but the energy is not.
Where do you start? What is beginning of this road?
One could stand around looking good, hoping it comes by . . .
Brush drawing by Janney
or seek a window of opportunity . .
But you knead to be prepared . . .
One person’s opportunity is another’s prison
tBut one day you wake up in the morning and its clear as can be . . .
ready to be found . ..
Two Brush drawings by Janney
and sometime I may need a little push .
Gate Gate Paragate Parasamgate Bodhi Svaha