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Introduction Of Zen Into China By Bodhidharma
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How To Worship Buddha








The author of Vimalakirtti-nirdeca-sutra well explains our attitude
towards Buddha when he says: We ask Buddha for nothing. We ask
Dharma for nothing. We ask Samgha for nothing. Nothing we ask of
Buddha. No worldly success, no rewards in the future life, no
special blessing. Hwang Pah (O-baku) said: I simply worship Buddha.
I ask Buddha for nothing. I ask Dharma for nothing. I ask Samgha
for nothing. Then a prince[FN#159] questioned him: You ask Buddha
for nothing. You ask Dharma for nothing. You ask Samgha for nothing.
What, then, is the use of your worship? The Prince earned a slap
as an answer to his utilitarian question.[FN#160] This incident well
illustrates that worship, as understood by Zen masters, is a pure act
of thanksgiving, or the opening of the grateful heart; in other
words, the disclosing of Enlightened Consciousness. We are living
the very life of Buddha, enjoying His blessing, and holding communion
with Him through speech, thought, and action. The earth is not 'the
vale of tears,' but the glorious creation of Universal Spirit; nor
man 'the poor miserable sinner' but the living altar of Buddha
Himself. Whatever we do, we do with grateful heart and pure joy
sanctioned by Enlightened Consciousness; eating, drinking, talking,
walking, and every other work of our daily life are the worship and
devotion. We agree with Margaret Fuller when she says: Reverence
the highest; have patience with the lowest; let this day's
performance of the meanest duty be thy religion. Are the stars too
distant? Pick up the pebble that lies at thy feet, and from it learn
all.


[FN#159] Afterwards the Emperor Suen Tsung (Sen-so), of the Tang
dynasty.

[FN#160] For the details, see Heki-gan-shu.






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