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Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Buddha Clouds

The supreme water spirit Ocean covers the earth with clouds; the rain in each place is different, but the spirit has no thought of distinction. Likewise, Buddha, sovereign of truth, extends clouds of great compassion in all directions, raining differently for each practitioner, yet without discriminating among them.

--The Flower Ornament Scripture, trans. by Thomas Cleary

James: This is such beautiful prose and underscores my realization that there is a slightly different version of the Dharma within each individual based on ones karmic journey. It is this flexibility and emphasis on personal experience that brings me so much peace.

I also like this quote from Stephen Batchelor regarding the issue of the adaptability of Buddhism:

To say that Buddhism is transitory, insubstantial and conditional is merely to restate its own understanding of the nature of things. Yet its teachings endlessly warn of the deeply engrained tendency to overlook this reality.... Instead of seeing a particular manifestation of the Dharma as a living spiritual tradition of possibilities contingent upon historical and cultural circumstances, one reifies it into an independently existent, self sufficient fact, resistant to change. Living continuity requires both change and constancy. Just as in the course of a human life, a person changes from a child to an adolescent to an adult while retaining a recognizable identity (both internally through memory and externally through recurring physical and behavioral traits), so does a spiritual tradition change through the course of its history while retaining a recognizable identity through a continuous affirmation of its axiomatic values. Thus Buddhism will retain its identity as a tradition as long as its practitioners continue to center their lives around the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha and affirm its basic tenets. But precisely how such commitment and affirmation are expressed in different times and places can differ wildly. The survival of Buddhism today is dependent on its continuing ability to adapt.

--Stephen Batchelor, The Awakening of the West

~Peace to all beings~

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2 comments:

私達 said...

you answer my question! now if only these Buddha Clouds stay in my sky =)

They call him James Ure said...

May the Buddha clouds always swirl around us all. :)

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