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 pr
nce[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


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


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