Tathagata: A Teaching Moment
I suggest a moment is breathing in, then out, and then in again, a compelling biological process. It is semi-autonomous. We can affect it by holding-off inhaling or not exhaling for a while.
We can breathe deeper longer, shallower, or shorter. Yet we cannot, through doing these actions, stop it for long. We can lose awareness whereby the breathing continues. Breathing continues in all conditions and happenstance until everything stops. Whatever happens, we breathe. So, life happens in all forms of manifestations and interpretations.
Tathāgata is defined as someone who "knows and sees reality as-it-is" (yathā bhūta ñāna dassana). Gata "gone" is the past passive participle of the verbal root gam "go, travel". Āgata "come" is the past passive participle of the verb meaning "come, arrive". In this interpretation, Tathāgata means (literally) either “the one who has gone to suchness” or "the one who has arrived at suchness". Another interpretation, proposed by the scholar Richard Gombrich, is based on the fact that, when used as a suffix in compounds, -gata will often lose its literal meaning and signifies instead "being". Tathāgata would thus mean "one like that", with no motion in either direction. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tath%C4%81gata#cite_note-5
Let's watch Thich Nhat Hanh: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eiaxqGsyld8
So, what is the Tathagata's Truth?
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August 25, 2020: A Dharma Talk: "The Trapezoid is Gone," by Ku Wasan Ann Glasman, Priest and Dharma Teacher, in the Silent Thunder Order. Ku Wasan is one of two Mentors in our Discipleship Training Program at Falmouth Soto Zen Sangha working with Mokuo and Enjitsu-sans
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