Sunday, November 22, 2015

Depth of Interest & Quality of Transformation

     “The Son tradition originated in seventh-century Tang China as a reaction against the overly metaphysical concerns of the established Buddhist schools. It sought to recover the simplicity of early Buddhism by following Gotama’s example of sitting still beneath a tree in an uncompromising engagement with the primordial questions of what it means to be born, get sick, grow old, and die. The Son masters realized that the very way in which you posed these questions would determine the kind of ‘enlightenment’ you might gain. A famous aphorism encapsulates this realization:

Great doubt – great awakening;

Little doubt – little awakening;

No doubt – no awakening.

     The quality of your ‘doubt’ – of the questions you ask – is directly correlated to the quality of your insight. To ask such questions viscerally will engender a correspondingly visceral awakening. To pose them intellectually, with ‘little doubt,’ will lead only to intellectual understanding. For those who are not stirred by existential questions at all, awakening is not even conceivable.”

     Stephen Batchelor. “After Buddhism. Rethinking the Dharma for a Secular Age." Yale University Press, New Haven, 2015.

Tree with superficial roots blown down by wind.

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