Sunday, July 27, 2014

You Already Have Everything You Need to Wake Up!

I currently teach three courses at Buddha Dharma University. They are:
  • Dropping Ashes on the Buddha - Zen Master Seung Sahn
  • The Mirror of Zen - Zen Master So Sahn
  • The Sutra of Perfect Enlightenment
  • Here is the amazing thing: The source material for each one of these classes contains everything needed to wake up! That's right - any one of these texts is enough. Add the value of the lectures pointing to the most important parts and voila, people should start waking up left and right!

    What I am saying is, when I first put these courses together and foisted them upon the students at Buddha Dharma University, I think I was a little naive. Being a mostly self-taught, self-practicing student of Buddhist texts (by far the most useful for those trying to wake up, IMHO), I thought it would be useful to pass along some of my experience along with the teachings of past masters who really knew how to help students wake up.

    One of the things I find most interesting is many responses to homework questions comparing and contrasting different teachings that students have run into in their Buddhist quests. Another thing that is interesting is some responses will be pointing out how the teachings they have studied earlier in their quests are better than the teachings in the class. I have been told how Tibetan Buddhism is better. I've also been given the teachings of Dogen as answers to questions (along with reasons I should include Dogen in my lectures).

    One of the reasons I am part of the Five Mountain Order is because of the teachings of Zen Master Seung Sahn. In one of the sections in Dropping Ashes on the Buddha, he says "If someone tells you that the words Coca-Cola have power in them and you really believe that, then Coca-Cola will work for you."

    Does it mean we chant Coca-Cola? No, it means we do not need to attach to any dogma. We don't need to compare Soto to Rinzai to Korean Son to Dharma Punks to Yoga to Bobism. It simply means keeping the mind that is before thought, paying attention to Situation, Function and Relationship, to being here now, to clearing away everything that is preventing us from seeing reality as it is.