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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Buddha Inside, Buddha Outside.

Each form, each particle, is a Buddha. One form is all Buddhas. All forms, all particles, are all Buddhas. All forms, sounds, scents, feelings, and phenomena are also like this, each filling all fields. -Pai-chang


James: This sentiment pretty much sums Buddhism up for me. It is the wisdom that sees my DNA as apart of Buddha just as it is apart of star dust, refuse, the air, birds, other sentient beings, rocks and subatomic particles. This is a huge reason why I believe in the cyclic universe theory that the Universe will die but will also be reborn only to die again and be reborn, etc. It reminds me that Buddha is both eternal and not eternal just as all things.

The cyclic model is a theory that has gained popularity with the recent discovery of dark matter and dark energy. It says in part that there is a net expansion each cycle with each new big bang thus preventing entropy from building up (which was a critique of the earlier cyclic model). I won't go further into the particulars of the cyclic universe model but if you're interested check out the book, "Eternal Universe: Beyond the Big Bang." I'm currently reading it and it's absolutely fascinating especially reading it from a Buddhist perspective of rebirth.

The cyclic model agrees with the Buddhist concept that something can not come from nothing because all things are subject to the doctrine of pratītyasamutpāda or dependent origination. In conclusion, if Buddha is eternal and not eternal and Buddha is within all things known and unknown then the cyclic model makes perfect sense. This all said, the answer to the questions of the fate of the Universe is not essential to our awakening as understood in Buddha not answering this very question. In the end, the only moment is now.

P.S.~The blog counter topped 200,000 over-night and I just wanted to type a note thanking everyone for making this blog possible. Thank-you for reading and for commenting. I look forward to the next 200,000!! To celebrate I might give away a couple of books.

~Peace to all beings~

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14 comments:

Douglas Dobbins said...

I hope you do not mind me asking a question from a Christian perspective, but, given the teaching that all particulars are Buddha, what is the meaning of redemption or forgiveness or reconciliation? If all things are Buddha, would that mean that restoration means going from Buddha to Buddha?

Barry said...

James, THANK YOU for your wonderful blog and many efforts over many years. Congratulations on hitting 200,000!

I dunno about Buddha. Right now: black type on white screen. That's enough.

Cheers!
Barry

Uku said...

Thank you James for your awesome blog! :)

Yeah, Buddha there, Buddha here, who cares. Killing Buddha rules.

Gassho,
Uku

They call him James Ure said...

Douglas:

Since Buddhists don't believe in a God there is no need for redemption. We believe that we can over-come suffering without the intervention of a supernatural being.

We Buddhists believe that we are our own saviors. In other words, we are responsible for our own liberation from suffering. This is done by following the Eight-Fold Path.

There is no original sin nor sin in the Judeo-Christian sense in Buddhism and therefore nothing to be forgiven of. The closest we get to sin is Karma. Karma is the natural law of cause and effect where our actions "punish" ourselves. Thus we don't need forgiveness from a supernatural being.

Our positive and negative actions (as determined by the Buddhist precepts, Eight-Fold Path and civic law) will determine the conditions of our next life and whether we achieve ultimate liberation from samsara (the cycle of birth and rebirth).

Upon liberation we realize Nirvana, which is not like heaven. Nirvana is indescribable. One can't understand it until it is a reality.

We are encouraged to ask forgiveness in this life of those whom we have hurt or offended. If not then the consequences will be felt in this life and in the next rebirth.

I'm not sure what you mean by reconciliation or restoration. Please explain further and I'll be happy to address those.

Barry:

Oh I'm happy to run the blog. It makes me feel good and I learn a lot. I enjoy sharing my journey with all who visit. And I like what you said about the black type on white screen. Well said my friend.

Uku:

You're very welcome. Thank-you for the compliments. I mostly write it for myself to get my thoughts out in front of me to meditate upon. However, it is nice that others find it interesting and perhaps helpful in some way.

Yep, Buddha ain't gonna save anyone's ass. We all must walk the karmic path before us. One foot in front of another.

Still it's fun to think about the big picture now and then. Just so long as we remember to return to the present moment and stay mindful of it.

Anonymous said...

Big Bang of Buddha
Expanding and contracting
My mind's universe

They call him James Ure said...

Anonymous:

I LOVE IT!!! Very Zen.

Haikool said...

Thanks James.
I've now registered myself so I am no longer 'anonymous', although on second thoughts, Haikool isn't as cool as I first thought... But good enough I suppose.

I love your blog though!

Greenwoman said...

Congratulations on the counter. Your blog brings alot of great thoughts and mindfulness energy into the minds of others.

I really enjoyed this post. It got me thinking deeply about how sacred I am/we all are. Blessings. ((big hugs))

They call him James Ure said...

Haikool:

I love the name. You should keep it for sure. Glad that you have emerged from the shadows. :)

GW:

Thanks friend for your kind words. I feel the exact same way about embracing our sacredness.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of Sacredness...

In 'The Golden Bough' by anthropologist Sir James George Frazer, he mentions that in primative thought there was no distinction between the 'sacred' and that which was deemed 'unclean'. Both objects (or people) were never touched or even looked upon as both could cause disease or even kill.

This supports the Zen maxim; "If you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him."

There is no difference between the Sacred, but worldly Buddha on the road and your own earthly (impure) desires. Both will bring your downfall as both are outside your Buddha nature.

Something like that anyway.

Haikool.
(I cant' remember my password!)

Mohamed Taher said...

Hi James:
I envy your passion to blog and the compassionate audience you hold.
See my Multifaith Blog, that has some posts on Buddhism, as well.
Best wishes.

Douglas Dobbins said...

Thanks James for your answer. I will put forgiveness and reconciliation in concrete terms. The division of Jew and Gentile, according to St. Paul, has been demolished by the cross of Christ. I know that Buddhist teachings, because of the interconnectedness of all things, would see a divide between any two races as being problematic. But I am uncertain as to what grounds Buddhists have for doing so. If two people groups are reconciled together, what were they before? Were they separate? If they were, then how can all things be interconnected? It could be that they were ontologically connected, although they were unaware of their connection. But what about their thoughts and the attitudes of their heart, which appear to actually be separated. Are these thoughts only an illusion, which appear to be hostile but which are, in reality, non hostile? And what if this is applied to other states of being, such as murder and various forms of abuse? Racism, murder, abuse: as a Christian, I believe with a clear conscience that these are sinful. That those who do them, as well as their victims, are indeed separated, and in need of a true reconciliation. This I believe comes from the free grace of Jesus Christ, who was delivered for our trespasses and was raised for our justification.

They call him James Ure said...

Douglas:

In Buddhism there is no before. All is now. We are all apart of the same energy so to speak. Molecules that make up my body blend in with the molecules that make up air and they blend with the molecules that make up your body ad infinitum.

The different thoughts, attitudes and actions are like different colored sections of a large patch of moss. Or put another way a shade of red within the red spectrum, which is blended into the greater stream of the color spectrum.

In reality we are all one but appear different do to our karma. So a murderer is like an arm that looks different than a leg but is apart of the greater body, which has become infected. So for the greater good of the body the arm is amputated and the infection is isolated.

In other words, the murderer is imprisoned to protect the greater body from the infection. That does not change the reality that the arm will always have the same essence within it as is found in the greater body.

Here's another example. We are all the ocean (interconnected) but each have a unique representation of that water through expressing our karma in the form of a wave.

Each birth we emerge from the great body of water a bit to form a different sized wave though, while still standing connected to the deep ocean. Then when we die we return back to the greater ocean to be reborn as another wave, etc.

As for "sin" we Buddhists call it less skillful behavior that will affect the quality of your next life.

Thus if one wants to achieve liberation from the cycle of birth and death then we avoid those less skillful actions. And we adhere to the law, which has been developed over the centuries to show what is acceptable behavior and what is not.

Douglas Dobbins said...

Thanks for your helping me understand your position better. I greatly enjoy the dialogue.

Peace,
Doug

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