The Institute of Buddhist Studies provides graduate level education in the entirety of the Buddhist tradition with specialized instruction supporting Jodo Shinshu Buddhist ministry.
The Trackless Path
1 commentOh, for a great mansion of ten thousand roomsWhere all the poor on earth could find welcome shelter Steady through every storm, secure as a mountain! Ah, were such a building to spring up before me, I would freeze to death in my wrecked hut well content. —Tu Fu, My Thatched Hut Is Wrecked by the Autumn Wind While serving as the Buddhist representative on the AIDS Interfaith Council in Los Angeles in the late 1980s, I was struck by what a Christian fundamentalist minister from a conservative county in California said at one meeting to her very liberal Episcopalian and Jewish colleagues. More »
3 commentsA few years ago, I was teaching a workshop on the Heart Sutra. We had just finished that long list of negations and everyone was a bit off balance, having had the rug pulled out from under them four or five different ways. The next lines were “Because for bodhisattvas there is no attainment, they rest, trusting the perfection of wisdom.” “When he reaches the perfection of wisdom, can a bodhisattva choose to do whatever he wants?” a young man asked. “The illusion of choice is an indication of a lack of freedom,” I replied. He looked at me, stunned, then turned around and gently banged his head against the wall as he said, “Now my head really hurts.” More »
0 commentsTwo monks were watching a flag flapping in the wind. One said to the other, “The flag is moving.” The other replied, “The wind is moving.” Overhearing this exchange, Hui-neng said, “Neither flag nor wind is moving; mind is moving.” (Case 29, The Gateless Gate)Hui-neng is wrong here. Nothing moves. Imagine you are looking at a tree on a windy day. You feel the gusts against your cheeks. You see the leaves shaking and flashing as they twist and turn. You see the branches swaying back and forth. You hear the leaves rustling and the tree creaking. And you are so clear and open that there is no movement, not inside, not outside, not anywhere. Nothing moves. More »