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Japanese Religions and Buddhism in Japan Lecture

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York University
HUMA 1865
Aviva Goldberg

Japanese Religions/Buddhism in Japan - ch’an Buddhism, zen Buddhism, dao Buddhism, share traditions with Mahayana Buddhism - doctrinal emphasis on emptiness and that inside every human is the potential of becoming Buddha - the essence of Buddha resides in all who produce karma - Mahayana understand that all you need to do is reveal and purify that hidden nature; that is reaching enlightenment - so anyone can become a Buddha achieve Buddhahood; bodhisattvas take bows to become buddhas - - ch’an Buddhism: meditation schoola part of much mahayan Buddhism in china and inida - emphasis on meditiationnot focusing on bodhisattvas/scriptures, rather mainly on medititation to reach enlightenment - not about understanding 4 noble truths, main idea is reaching it directly; direct connection through meditation - you become to realize this nature through meditation - cant be taught through doctrine or words; rather the experience of meditation brings enlightenment (direct mind-to-mind transmission between master and student; direct connection realization of self) Bodhisattva founder of ch’an - born in India - meditated so much his legs fell off - another story: he told the Buddhist empire that karma itself is permanent and empty, it has no use…instead one should come to this flash of realization - takes away the idolatry aspect, texts etc  because one gets too tied to these things, when one should really be meditating his students promoted and burned Buddhist images (however they were still good monks) = trying to destroy objects of attachment - ch’an and zen Buddhism: rely on your own mind, the only place where enlightenment occurs is in your head (committing pious deeds, etc is good but it is not direct…direct experience = enlightenment) - by spitting and burning the idols, the Zen believe that they are actually respecting the Buddha because they are taking out the attachment aspect Mahakasypa - was a monk that received full teaching and transmission through meditation (enlightenment, or in Japanese, Satori) - the monk is able to see the Buddha in the truth of the teachings, and all these words/sermons fall away compared to the direct transmission - realized that he was
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