Category: spirituality

While AA has restored thousands of poor Christ…

While AA has restored thousands of poor Christians to their churches, and has made believers out of atheists and agnostics, it has also made good AA’s out of those belonging to the Buddhist, Islamic, and Jewish faiths. For example, we question very much whether our Buddhist members in Japan would ever have joined this Society had AA officially stamped itself a strictly Christian movement.
You can easily convince yourself of this by imagining that AA started among the Buddhists and that they told you you couldn’t join them unless you became a Buddhist, too. If you were a Christian alcoholic under those circumstances, you might well turn your face to the wall and die.

The historical Buddha never claimed to be a go…

The historical Buddha never claimed to be a god. Rather than a literal flesh and blood Buddha, the Higher Power in Buddhism is Amida Buddha, whose name means infinite light and boundless life. Namu-Amida-Butsu.

Amida Buddha & The Kena Upanishad

This is one of the most important quotes in all Hinduism:

That which is not uttered by speech, but that by which the word is expressed, know That alone to be Brahman, and not the gods being worshiped. 

That which one does not think with the mind, but that by which, they say, the mind is thought, know That alone to be Brahman, and not the gods being worshiped. 

That which man does not see with the eye, but that by which man sees the activities of the eye, know That alone to be Brahman, and not the gods being worshiped. 

That which man does not hear with the ear, but that by which man hears the ear’s hearing, know That alone to be Brahman, and not the gods being worshiped. 

That which man does not smell with the organ of smell, but that by which the organ of smell is attracted towards its objects, know That alone to be Brahman, and not the gods being worshiped.

Similarly, the true and ultimate Buddha is the Dharmakaya, beyond name and form. All the celestial buddhas of Mahayana Buddhism, such as Amida Buddha, are symbolic expressions of the one inexpressible Truth.

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Rather than a literal flesh and blood Buddha, …

Rather than a literal flesh and blood Buddha, Amida Buddha is the cosmic mirror into our True Self.
NAMU-AMIDA-BUTSU.

Pure Land Buddhism & Smarta Hinduism

matthewsatori:

I see all the celestial Buddhas and Bodhisattvas of Mahayana Buddhism as symbolic (upaya) of the one Dharmakaya, similar to how Smarta Hindus see the various gods of Hinduism as symbolic of the one Brahman:

According to Smartism, supreme reality, Brahman, transcends all of the various forms of personal deity…
The Smarta Tradition accepts two concepts of Brahman, which are the saguna Brahman – the Brahman with attributes, and nirguna Brahman – the Brahman without attributes.[42] The nirguna Brahman is the unchanging Reality, however, the saguna Brahman is posited as a means to realizing this nirguna Brahman.[43] The concept of the saguna Brahman is considered in this tradition to be a useful symbolism… A Smarta may choose any saguna deity (istadevata) such as Vishnu, Shiva, Durga, Surya, Ganesha or any other, and this is viewed in Smarta Tradition as an interim step towards realizing the nirguna Brahman and its equivalence to one’s own Atman.[26]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smarta_tradition#Saguna_and_Nirguna_Brahman

Shinran Shonin, like T’an-luan, saw Amida Buddha as a upaya-symbol of the one Dharmakaya:

According to T’an-luan, all Buddhas, including Amida, have two bodies (aspects):

1. Dharmakaya of Dharma-nature (ultimate truth) and 2. Dharmakaya of Expediency (upaya, relative truth).

The first is the ultimate, unconditioned reality beyond form, which is equally shared by all Buddhas[2], while the second is the specific and particular manifestation of each Buddha for the sake of saving sentient beings.

The relation between the two is described as follows:

“From the Dharmakaya of Dharma-nature originates the Dharmakaya of Expediency; through the Dharmakaya of Expediency, the Dharmakaya of Dharma-nature is revealed. These two Dharmakayas are different, but inseparable; they are one but not the same.”…

“Unconditioned Dharmakaya is the body of Dharma-nature. Because Dharma-nature is Nirvanic, Dharmakaya is formless. Because it is formless, there is no form which it cannot manifest.”
http://amida-ji-retreat-temple-romania.blogspot.com/2014/08/master-tan-luan-on-amida-buddha-and.html

The Dharmakaya and Nirvana are aspects of the same Ultimate Truth, and one could say that Nirvana is the ultimate experience of awakening to the Dharmakaya, or that Dharmakaya is the content of Nirvana.

Shinran, like T’an-luan and Shan-tao, understood the Pure Land as the realm of Nirvana. This is why Shinran described rebirth into the Pure Land as “the birth of non-birth,” just as the Buddha described Nirvana as “the unborn.”

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NAMU-AMIDA-BUTSU

According to T’an-luan, all Buddhas, including Amida, have two bodies (aspects):

1. Dharmakaya of Dharma-nature (ultimate truth) and 2. Dharmakaya of Expediency (upaya, relative truth).

The first is the ultimate, unconditioned reality beyond form, which is equally shared by all Buddhas[2], while the second is the specific and particular manifestation of each Buddha for the sake of saving sentient beings.

The historical Buddha never claimed to be a …

The historical Buddha never claimed to be a god. Rather than a literal flesh and blood Buddha, the Higher Power in Buddhism is Amida Buddha, whose name means infinite light and boundless life. Namu-Amida-Butsu.

The historical Buddha never claimed to be a go…

The historical Buddha never claimed to be a god. Rather than a literal flesh and blood Buddha, the Higher Power in Buddhism is Amida Buddha, whose name means infinite light and boundless life. Namu-Amida-Butsu.

Alcoholics Anonymous & Zen Buddhism

The sudden awakening on a hospital bed that led Bill W to found Alcoholics Anonymous has been compared to the satori experience of Zen Buddhism:

In Pass It On: The story of Bil Wilson and how the A.A. message reached the world (at page 302), one of Bill’s close friends, Bill P. discusses what happened to Bill in the moment of his “hot flash” at Townes Hospital. “The thing Bill had was a perfectly clear case of satori or somate,” he says. “You know by the fruits. The guy goes out and starts to act like an enlightened man. No one ever went further to prove it than that man did – he led a life of total service.”…

D.T. Suzuki, the Japanese Zen Master who was the principle teacher who introduced Zen Buddhism to the United States, had the following to say about the nature and experience of satori:

“As for satori itself, it will turn into an act or a form of intuition. Zen does not propose this kind of miracle. In satori the continuum [of consciousness and time] is not subjected to the process of intellection and differentiation; it is not a concept here, though we have to speak of it as if it were. Satori is the continuum [of consciousness and time] becoming aware of itself. When it perceives itself as it is in itself there is a satori. There is in satori no differentiation of subject and object. What is perceived is the percipient itself, and percipient is no other body that the perceived; the two are in a perfect state of identification; even to speak of identification is apt to mislead us to the assumption of two objects which are identified by an act of intuition.” (Suzuki, Living by Zen, p. 50.)
http://recoverytable.blogspot.com/2011/02/what-was-bills-spiritual-experience-did.html

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Buddhism and the Twelve Steps: A Recovery Work…

Buddhism and the Twelve Steps: A Recovery Workbook for Individuals and Groups:

A longtime Buddhist practitioner and 12 Step participant, Kevin is a leader in the mindful recovery movement and one of the founders of the Buddhist Recovery Network. 

He has trained with the leading Western Vipassana teachers, among them Jack Kornfield, Joseph Goldstein, and Ajahn Amaro. His teacher training was as a Community Dharma Leader at Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Marin County, CA.

Kevin teaches nationally in Buddhist centers, treatment centers, professional conferences, and academic settings. He specializes in helping people in recovery connect with meditation and a progressive understanding of the 12 Steps.

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Higher Power in Buddhism & 12 Step

matthewsatori:

While it isn’t for everyone, many people have found help with addictions and compulsions, whether their own or a loved one’s, though the 12 Step program.

The original AA program was written for people of all religions or lack thereof. In the words of the second step, “We came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.”

For a Buddhist, this power greater than one’s own ego can be Amida Buddha, Avalokitesvara, or even the Dharma itself as the moral order of the universe. One’s “higher power” can even be the Sangha or the AA group itself, rather than a spiritual entity or force.

Every individual member of AA and other 12 Step groups is welcome to find a higher power according to their own understanding.

For a Buddhist, this power greater than one’s own ego can be Amida Buddha, Avalokitesvara, or even the Dharma itself as the moral order of the universe.