Entering the Samadhi of Buddha’s Radiance

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A talk by Tenshin Roshi for a gathering of the No Abode community

AI Summary: 

In the talk for the No Abode community, the focus is on the profound impact of the Buddha Flower Adornment Scripture (also known as the Avatamsaka Sutra) on the Zen tradition. This scripture, pivotal to the lineage taught by Dogen, emphasizes the interpenetration of the universal and the particular. This concept underpins various Zen practices that emphasize meticulous attention to daily, minute actions as both containing and reflecting the entire universe.

- **Text referenced:**
- Buddha Flower Adornment Scripture (Avatamsaka Sutra)

- **Individuals mentioned:**
- Dainin Katagiri Roshi
- Suzuki Roshi

The essence of the teaching highlighted is the interconnectedness of all particulars with the vast universe, encouraging a profound respect and attentiveness to every aspect of day-to-day life. The talk also mentions the historical spread and quiet influence of the sutra through various cultures and its foundational role in the practices of the attending community.

AI Suggested Title: "Zen and the Universe in Every Detail: The Influence of the Avatamsaka Sutra"


In this temple we are in the process of reading and listening to and contemplating the great extensive buddha flower adornment scripture. We started this study project, this great adventure a few month ago. There are many causes and conditions for the embarking on this exploration of this great scripture. One of them is that this scripture has a to some extend not sufficiently acknowledged influence on what we sometimes call the zen tradition. This sutra has a very deep influence on the zen tradition. Starting in china and then spreading to corea and japan and other places like north america. This scripture rather quietly has influenced the tradition for around 1600 years, which is about when the sutra came together. 

One of the hallmarks of chinese zen in a particular lineage which comes down to us through the ancester Dogen in Japan. So one of the main teachings of that school is the interpenetration of universal and particular, of one and many, of principle and phenomena. That kind of a hallmark of the particular lineage of this temple in china. 

But the sutra is not .. This teaching was so vastely given is not mentioned too much. And so I want to pay hommage and praise and make offerings to this great sutra and the many teachings that are the core of our practice. One of them being, because the infintie and the particular are so intimately engaged with each other , so intimately include each other, that gives rise to the emphasise or the acknowledgement of the importance to do every tiny act with complete attention to the tinieness, minute attention to the details of our day to day, moment by moment life. Our thinking, our speaking, our gestures, each one of these things in their kind of subatomic manifestation includes the whole universe and therefore everything deserves the attention that the whole universe deserves. And these particulars give us a chance to celebrate this mutual inclusion, this great mutual inclusion of everything and everything, Of each particular and vast reality of the universe. That is one of the main thing that this sutra influenced us in our tradition. If we continue this study more influences will be revealed. 

One of the founding teachers of zen centre is named Dainin Katagiri Roshi. When I came to Zen centre he was kind of like Suzuki Roshis assistant. So I don't want to skip over this story, which seems to be calling for me to tell you.