DDM Global News

Gilbert Gutierrez Forth installment of Six-Part Lecture Series “The Development of Chan from the Beginning.”

On November 28th Dharma Drum Mountain Los Angeles Center presented the fourth lecture on the Development of Chan, given by Gilbert Gutierrez, one of the western Dharma Heirs of DDM's founder Master Sheng Yen.  In this discussion, participants learned how the Six Paramitas, Bodhicitta, and Sunyata (emptiness) help to establish Mahayana practice.

Gilbert explained how the Theravada focus on morality (sila), effort (samadhi), and wisdom (prajna) evolved to include generosity (dana), patience (ksanti), and meditation (dhyana), becoming the six paramitas.  He further noted that wisdom, inclusive of the other paramitas is an essential part of the bodhisattva path. 
He also explained that whereas an arhat experiences cessation of suffering, a bodhisattva embodies bodhicitta, the caring for others and vow to deliver sentient beings. It is this quality that sets the two apart.
Quoting from the Heart Sutra "Form is emptiness, emptiness is form. All phenomena are empty.", Gilbert emphasized that this teaching on sunyata is a cornerstone for Mahayana Buddhism. Though difficult to understand, by practicing awareness through meditation, the mind expands and realizes that everything is empty becomes possible.
Gilbert also spoke on the fourth patriarch Dao Xin's "lucid purity of mind is only possible by identification with the natural rhythm of things". He referred to the "natural rhythm" as the causes and conditions that drive the mind and pointed out that contemplating causes and conditions can help to stop subject-object observations that lead to suffering.
 The last two talks in the series will be held on December 5th and December 12th at 6:00 pm Pacific Standard Time on Zoom. The Zoom ID is 849 5390 8815 and the passcode is 4388. Recordings of each talk are posted at DDM LA's Facebook page.

By Jeremy Bieber of Dharma Drum Mountain Los Angeles Center