“The mind is the root from which all things grow. If you can understand the mind, everything else is included.” — Bodhidharma
Have you ever seen a painting of Bodhidharma? His eyes are wild and crazy. He is more of a barbarian than a Buddhist monk. He stare at us from history, imploring us to press forward. Enlightenment is not far off.
Being a spiritual seeker is perhaps the greatest rebellious act one can ever take. It is a rebellion against the very nature of reality. The seed of it begins after endless lifetimes of trying and failing to fulfill oneself. This turning point begins the journey back to our Ancient Home. We all need a bit of Bodhidharma within ourselves to get on that train.
Bodhidharma is credited with bringing Ch’an (Zen) from India to China. It is perhaps the greatest gift that India has ever given. How many Chinese seekers have realized their true nature through this spiritual practice? Like a spiritual fire growing as it spreads, it is a gift that keeps on giving!
Zen does not pull any punches. The story goes that the most powerful emperor in the world at the time, Emperor Wu, asked Bodhidharma how much merit he had earned by building numerous temples and supporting countless Buddhist monks. His reply? None. Like the Zen practice he demonstrated, Bodhidharma never shied away from the full blow of the truth. Are you this honest with yourself?
Can Zen prepare us for living in a changing world? The world needs your contribution. By reconnecting with, following and expressing Spirit, one can give great gifts to the world. Zen can be very useful if it brings one to this state of being. However, purpose is not something that is often mentioned in Zen teachings. It is not the emphasis. This limits its relevance in these difficult times. Newer spiritual practices hold far more potential.