Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Buddha Nature!

I'm taking a class on Buddha Nature with Jiryu, a long time resident and priest at Green Gulch.

Last night was the introduction, we all said our names and what we thought Buddha nature was. Scary!

I said, My name is Austin, and I think Buddha nature is open hearted, radical acceptance, which I regretted saying all night. Then I thought, I SHOULD have said, "Cultivating way seeking mind, letting go of way seeking mind." (Then they'd love me...reallllllllllly love me.)

My wonderful wife, Lulu, said "It's like a star, you can squint your eyes and try and see it, but never really know what it looks like, while all the time, it's right there."

What does everyone else think Buddha nature is?


  1. I've been stewing uselessly over what to write here. Which is probably a good thing because whatever I think it is, that's not it. I enjoy your blog!

  2. I think you were right with "radical acceptance." Works for me.

  3. David- Don't I know it! I was about the 15th one to answer and there were about 20 more people to go...I went over Dogen's Valley Sounds, Mountain Colors and I liked this:

    "Slipping out of your old skin, not held back by passed views, you manifest immediately what has been dormant for boundless eons. As this very moment manifests, "I" don't know, "Who" doesn't know, "You" have no expectations, and "the buddha eye" sees beyond seeing. This experience is beyond the realm of human thinking."

    Leaves me breathless!

    Thanks David!

  4. Mandy- Think so? Seems self-helpy to me, and I am wary of the subtle aggression of self help!

    I like this idea, too: Softening, crushing your bones until they become milk.

    Kinda gruesome though, opposite of self help, too.

    Oh, Mandy and David, in the famous words of Katagiri Roshi, "You have to say something!"

  5. I'd go for the Crossisim: Whatever you think it is, it's not that!

    But my first response would have been cursing down an open freeway on a Harley.

  6. As one who is just wandering around out here cold, I don't understand why the question.

  7. I really like your answer! A lot of times when a question is asked people give these answers that may be clever or honest but are just as confusing or at least warranting question and explanation as the question itself. Your answer resonated with me a lot. I'm glad you went with that one.

  8. Found a new one: "Water, vessel to vessel." But do I have to bring my own water or my own cup, or both?

  9. Well isn't the point of asking most Zen questions to help break the jaws of the snapping turtle mind?

    I love the first response above, though, and would amplify that whatever you would answer you would also be right.

    Trite? You may say so. Then I'll restate "whatever you may answer that comes from your authentic practice and current experience of Buddha Nature, would be right."

    You may then answer differently in stanzas for every hour of every day for the rest of your life, collated as volumes of poetry. Or carved like Enkyu's 250,000 Buddhas each unique and yet portraying so astoundingly his experience of Buddha Nature.