May 7 2016 – month of flower & buddha photos – day 7
“Buddha-Hridaya [Sanskrit hridaya : heart] is Buddha’s Mind, the very mind of enlightenment Shakyamuni attained under the Bodhi Tree at the age of thirty-five. When you open your inner eye you will attain the original source of the teaching, and then all the Buddha’s teachings will become your own. For Buddhism is the teaching of realization. In awakening lies your only salvation. Unless you experience your own enlightenment, the teachings of the thousands of Mahayana books will be for you mere speculation, and though you may devote yourself to the Theravada teachings, renouncing the world and living the rest of your life in a secluded monastery, unless you open your own inner gate by your own efforts, after your monkish body perishes you will have to start your endless travel in samsara all over again. Unless you experience enlightenment, you will remain in the world of birth and death, and be unable to enter nirvana, the condition of true happiness.
“Ultimately there is no difference between Mahayana and Theravada, man and woman, monk and nun; whoever strives hard enough will acquire the fruits of meditation, this is the teaching of Buddha-Hridaya.
“Effective meditation is a method of attaining Buddha-Hridaya, the brilliant enlightenment which is the highest and most essential of all teachings. The study and practice of effective meditation cannot be confined to hermitages in remote mountains, for it transcends all place, time, custom, sect, and even all life itself. It can and must be found and applied in the busiest city, as well as in the tranquility of simple country life.”
— Ven. Nyogen Senzaki, 1931
flower photo © May 6 2016 snapped at my fav coffeehouse/ “campus office annex”
Buddha head © May 6 2016 snapped at local discount store.
photo of Venerable Nyogen Senzaki – photographer & date unknown.
Senzaki-sensei, “Uncle Nogie,” was my first Zen teacher, a personal & family friend of my childhood. He was one of two first known Japanese Zen masters to live and teach permanently in the United States. His own master regarded him as “an obvious bodhisattva and realized buddha.” Nyogen was nominated to lead the Rinzai Zen sect as his master’s successor, but he chose instead to open a free kindergarten in a remote seaside village. Later he accompanied his master on a visit to the US and remained in San Francisco. Twenty years later, he began teaching in the City, later relocating his “floating zendo” to Los Angeles. With the outbreak of hostilities between Japan and the US in World War Two, Senzaki-sensei was imprisoned with other West Coast Japanese Americans in a concentration camp at Heart Mountain, Wyoming.
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