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Zen

Dharma Transmission

In Zen-Buddhism, Dharma transmission is a custom in which a person is established as a “successor in an unbroken lineage of teachers and disciples, a spiritual ‘bloodline’ (kechimyaku) theoretically traced back to the Buddha himself.”

The Buddha Twirls A Flower

In the Flower Sermon, Shakyamuni Buddha passes something to his disciple, Mahakashyapa.
According to the story, Shakyamuni is on the teaching seat surrounded by his disciples.
But instead of giving the usual kind of lecture, he just holds up a flower and gives it a twirl.
Everyone except Mahakashyapa stared with confusion at the Buddha.
But, Mahakashyapa smiled.
Whereupon the Buddha said, “I possess the true Dharma eye, the marvelous mind of Nirvana, the true form of the formless, the subtle Dharma Gate that does not rely on words or letters but is a special transmission outside of the scriptures. This I entrust to Mahakashyapa.”
Commentary: There’s nothing to transmit and no-one to transmit it to.
To say a word about it and you break the 4th precept. To not say anything and you break the Bodhisattva vow.
What could be said that would make that moment more beautiful?
Mahakashyapa is still smiling.
The Buddha is still smiling.
The flower is still twirling.
It was such a beautiful day.
How do I know?
I was there.
So were you.
PEH!!!


By Ian Marshall

Ian Paul Marshall has been initiated by the Dalai Lama, is trained in Zen as transmitted through the teachings of the Venerable Dr. Thich Thien-An and Seung Sahn Dae Jong Sa and is the founder of Awakened.ca based out of Toronto, Canada.