Q. Is the historical Buddha not the true Buddha? If he is, why did he pass away having said that there is no birth and death?

A. Of course he is. He said that everything, including all of us, is the Buddha. When everything is the Buddha, there is no exception. The Diamond Sutra has the answer to your question, where the Buddha said, “One who tries to see me by my voice and forms cannot see me”, and where he said to his disciples on his deathbed, “Take a close look at me. Anyone who thinks that I perish is not my student, and anyone who thinks that I don’t perish is also not my student.”

He meant that because the essence of his being had never been born, there could be no concept such as ‘die’ and ‘not die’.” In other words, his teaching is that we cannot recognise not only him but also ourselves because we are deluded by the illusion of us. If you can recognise the Buddha who didn’t die about 2,500 years ago, you can also realise the essence of your being that transcends birth and death.

Student: “How can I see the Buddha who didn’t pass away 2,500 years ago?”

Master: “What have you seen and heard so far?”

©Boo Ahm

All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway

#zen #meditation #zenmeditation #enlightened #enlightenment #zenfools #photography

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