‘The Buddhist Scriptures tell us that when Gotama was twenty-nine years old, he saw for the first time an Old man, a Sick Man, a
It is bizarre to consider that as Japan descended into fascism and racism prior to WWII – the distorted, nationalistic Zen Buddhism of that time was popular in the West amongst intellectuals, despite a number of its masters expressing openly hostile attitudes toward the Western people. It is even more bizarre to consider that after WWII – many of these very same masters remained popular as they quietly pushed their formerly racist rhetoric into the background, and applied a more ‘neutral’ policy toward the acquisition of Enlightenment.
Today, the socio-economic forces of the West have produced the conditions for the human mind to move beyond the conditioning of a theology that reflects medieval (and earlier) conditions, and which have led to the development of secular logic and presumed superior standards of moral behaviour. The problem with this development is that it is not ‘free’ of the Judeo-Christian tradition that has served as its historical basis.
Daoxin stared at this young Dharma-vessel. Later the boy became his student and eventually inherited the Dharma and became the Fifth Ch’an Patriarch – Hongren. Hongren would eventually choose an illiterate man for his successor, who would become the Sixth Patriarch of Ch’an – Hiuneng. This is a significant statement to humanity, because Hongren had many students who were affluent and well educated.
There are a number of Buddhist monks from Myanmar and Thailand, who are advising the lay people in their communities to attack and kill their fellow citizens who happen to be Muslim. A recent BBC Radio Four documentary investigating this phenomenon found that it was a minority of high ranking Buddhist masters (in Myanmar) who were responsible for this behaviour, and that the majority of masters did not agree, or had no opinion. This demonstrates that theses rogue masters are behaving in an unBuddhist manner and not only creating hellish karma for themselves, but also causing hellish karma for all those who unthinkingly follow their delusion without question.
Many Ch’an masters, such as Ben Huan and Fo Yuan, talk of the inherent dangers for the mind whilst in the sleeping state. This is because all kinds of hellish states can be accessed when the body is dormant, but the mind remains active.