Buddha Flower

When the Buddha slightly twirled the flower between his fingers and saw the smile of Mahakashyapa, he’s actually saying : « This is the Dharma I’m handing down to you, for you have already realized it ».

This statement may, at first sight, appear as inconsistent, an anachronism.
What need would Mahakashyapa have to be given the Dharma if he already had realized it ?
The realization of the Dharma and its transmission overlap.
Why should he be given something he already has ?

I see the watermarked question Dogen Zenji asked 1700 years later : Why should we ever practice if we already have Buddha Nature ?
What is this transmission from the Buddha ?

As a matter of fact, this transmission is performative. By saying ‘I’m passing it down to you’, it is a moment of recognition, this is what matters.
The Buddha allows the identity of his wisdom to surface.
There is no difference between his reality and Mahakaqhyama’s.

No other but the one who already resides in the Land of Dharma,
Can identify another resident.
Looking into Mahashyapa’s eyes, the Bouddha actualizes his brotherhood with his his disciple.

In the same way that Dogen understands he has to actualize Buddha-Nature through Practice,
only a practice which is already realized allows the emergence of the nature of realization.

Dogen calls this ‘Practice-Realization’.
Practice is performative.
The Buddha, through his statement, allows Transmission-Recognition of the Dharma.

In these two faces of the same experience :
Practice-Realization and Transmission-Recognition,
Time and logic’s usual unfolding do not operate.
Time is coiled and curved in fleeting volutes.

Evanescent, they clear up and reveal
The Dharma.

FJ Fev 2022
Recueils / Participations
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Un commentaire

  1. I noticed you made reference to my making a « Dogenish » comment elsewhere. Although vaguely aware of Dogen, I claim only the most superficial acquaintance with his thought.

    Apart from taking a humorous delight in anything apparently bizarre, Charles Hoy Fort theorised that all existence is in constant flux between extremes, never static. This leads me to conclude that the essence of the « Fortean » ideology is to say: « Maybe; maybe not. Just enjoy the ride for what it is now ».

    My highly imperfect understanding of Dogen suggests something similar.

    You may well find this an entertainingly bizarre thought process.

    Aimé par 1 personne

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