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Budh, Bodhi, Buddha, Buddha Nature, and Buddhism


This is the 1st Tuesday of the month which means a teaching from what we call classic Buddhism. What better place to begin than the term Budh which in Pali means "Awake." This term has two parts ,the first being to recognize a distinction (a sleep and awake and the second depth (fully awake verses groggy). So in the process of rousting a teenager from sleep for the tenth time to get him to school we see the difficulty. He does not wish to be awake...yet. Bodhi, can be used as the fullness of being awake. Here the example for some is let me have a cup of coffee and a few minutes of waking-up before I have to get engaged with talk or anything else! Buddha, refers to the "fully awakened one." He also said that he was not the first to become Buddha and that he found what already existed!

Awake to what, one might ask, and this is central-to the true nature of things sometimes the word "such or just" is used to convey this. Thick Nhant Hanh, when asked by a child what color was a tree he said it is just what you see. This essence or natural is one thing, while seeing this in everything is "Buddha Nature." This seeing everything for what it is a behavior that has been codified over 2500 years to mean mindful of the true meaning always and acting to reduce suffering in ourselves and others-"Buddhism." Our foundering teacher, Matsuoka-roshi, would say Zen is knowing "everyday is a good day", while his Dharma heir and Abbot of our Silent Thunder Order, when asked if he had something to add says..."regardless."

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I will be away from our services on March 13 and 20 while you have the opportunity to hear from our initiates (Jukai or Vow Takers) as they lead the services.


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