Reb Anderson

‘A buddha is someone who sees the way things really are. When we see the way things really are, we see that we’re all in this together, that we are all interdependent. A great surpassing love arises from that wisdom, and that love leads buddha to wish that all beings would open to this wisdom and be free of the misery that arises from ignoring the way things are. Buddhas appear in the world because they want us to have buddha’s wisdom, so that we will love every single being completely and protect every single being without exception and without limit – just as all buddhas do.’ (The Third Turning of the Wheel)

This is another book I borrowed from my friends’ shelves recently. I have a feeling that I have not posted a single quote from Tenshin Roshi the entire time I have been writing this blog; it is at least a dozen years since I read one of his books, and I hold opinions about his personality and teaching style. This book interested me however – I was in the room when some of the lectures it is based on were given, during the first of two Tassajara practice periods I attended where Reb was the teacher, this one back in 2003.

At the time I could make very little sense of what was being discussed; the Samdinirmocana Sutra is considered fairly impenetrable. I do remember trying to explain what I had retained a year later to my best friend from London, in a failed attempt to have him see how wonderful Buddhist thinking was. These days more of it makes sense, even reading it on BART, my current main practice. I would still think twice about attempting to explain it all, though I did try paraphrasing some of it to my students last week, since the conversation had veered towards the relative and the absolute. You might have noticed that this passage is not impenetrable in the slightest; it is rather lovely, and it is the opening paragraph in the book; I was encouraged to continue. I also find it reads as a nice reflection on yesterday’s post.

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