Formula in Buddhism. Buddha-The Other Me-Part 2

Formula in Buddhism
Buddha: The Other Me – Part 2


Here is the formula when we learn the teaching of the Buddha. It goes as follows:

1. To learn Buddhism is to learn myself:

2. To learn myself is to learn Buddha's Compassion:

3. To learn Compassion is to forget myself,

4. And to throw myself into Buddha's world.

When we learn Buddhism, why do we learn ourselves, not the Teaching of Buddha? For example, when we learn mathematics, we learn addition and subtraction as a first step. Then, we go to multiplication and division later. And then we master how to handle and calculate numbers. We learn math in the relation between subject (me) and object (math). However, we learn Buddhism in the relation between subject (me) and the other subject (the other me).

Dogen (1200-1253), Zen Master, says “What is Buddha? Buddha is the other me to clarify what I am.” Shinran (1173-1262) says “What is Dharma? Dharma appears in form of Vows and the Name (Namo-Amida-Butsu) to clarify what I am.”

Buddha: The Other Me

When you stand in front of mirror, you surely look at your face in there. You never ever doubt you are looking at your face. But is it true? For example, you write your own name on paper, hold it, and stand in front of the mirror. Probably it’s not easy to read your own name. It’s simply because your name reflects backwards. Buddha appears this way.

The Vows and the Name

The Vows also appears to me as my face in the mirror. For example, the first Vow says as follows:

If in my country, after obtaining Buddhahood,

there should be hell, a land of hungry ghosts, or brute creatures,

may I not achieve the Highest Enlightenment.”

Hell: Result of my anger

Hungry ghost: Result of my greed

Brute creature: Result of my ignorance

I can rewrite the Vow as follows: There is the result of your anger, greed, and ignorance in your own world. But there is nothing like that in My World of Dharma.

Buddha or Dharma appears to me this way. Did you get it? If so, I am extremely happy.

In Gassho,

Rev. E.D. Fujii


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