Monday, July 23, 2018

Heretics and Buddhas

"During the time of the Buddha, there were some who slandered him and became disciples of heretics and demons." -- Mud & Water by Bassui, edited by A. Braverman

While some might wish to think of  "Heretics" in conjunction with an event such as the Christian-fueled Spanish Inquisition or the Crusades of Europe, fewer would bring the name of the Buddha to mind. Yet the great Zen master, Bassui does. It seems that all thinking souls are moved to discernment. He writes:

"Today's students of the Way go to teachers everywhere, but they don't want to penetrate all the way to the bottom of the great matter. They journey to the east, to the west, north and south, and take pride in having met many teachers. They try to surpass others with Zen stories and they collect paradoxical words and clever expressions from old masters. These are the ways of Heretics."

Writing further on the subject, Bassui delves into the value of knowledge. He writes of the karmic affinity for the way. Stating that some people have an affinity for the way while others do not, so if your karma does not discern a natural attraction, one that is immediate and affected, then you  neither trust nor believe what is taught. If, on the other hand, affinity is present, then that person will form a natural and easy bond with you. "Whether you follow the right path, or the path of heretics, depends upon your karmic inclination....A truly good teacher...does not destroy people's sight."

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