Green Koans Case 28: The Buddha's Union

Clark Strand

Martin Luther King, Jr.


CASE #28:    The Buddha’s Union

Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche taught, “Like a hundred streams passing under a single bridge, Chenrezi is the union of all the Buddhas.”


Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche    One of the last of the generation of great lamas who completed their training in Tibet, Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche (1910-1991) was a lineage holder in the Nyingmapa School and an important teacher in the Dzogchen (“Great Perfection”) tradition. He taught many of today’s most important lamas, including His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama.
Chenrezi    Chenrezi (also known as Avalokiteshvara, Kuan-yin, and Kannon) is the Bodhisattva of Compassion. He appears in various guises in Tibetan Buddhist art and iconography and is sometimes depicted with four arms, sometimes with one thousand. Chenrezi occupies a central place in Tibetan Buddhism, where he is generally thought of as a Buddha.

Forget streams and bridges. No need to go so far afield. Look at your body, with its countless veins and capillaries, its arteries bearing oxygen-rich blood to muscle, nerve, and bone. All comes from the heart. And all returns to it. Why?

Just as the heart drives the Life Force through our bodies, Compassion—all-embracing Compassion—is what drives the life of Nature through vast chains of plants and animals, and back again to the beginning. To unite with that truth, and give expression to it, is what makes us Buddhas. The Buddha’s Union is open to anyone with a really, really big mind.

Pay your dues and join
The Union of All Beings!
Meetings every day—
Just stand up and get counted!
Buddhas everywhere unite!


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Dominic Gomez's picture

On this day commemorating Martin Luther King, Jr., a quote by him:
"Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. This is the interrelated structure of reality." Quite Buddhist by a Baptist.

All rivers run to the great ocean,
Giving it all flavors of the world.
And even just a drop of its water
Contains its essential nature.