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After the Teacher is Gone

April 4, 2011

One of the Buddhist scriptures says: “Since Buddha-nature pervades all beings, there is no such thing as an unsuitable candidate (for buddhahood or the Buddhist teachings).”

This scripture was composed after the death of Buddha, after the Parinirvana. In the world of gods and humans, everyone began to doubt whether the teachings of Buddha would remain, because it seemed that now the wonderful teacher was gone and all that remained was a group of mendicant monks, and they did not seem to do very much, or they were not able to do so. So one of the disciples was lamenting and saying that, “Now the world of samsara, the confused world, will go on and on, with its waves of passion, desire, hatred, and delusion. We will never have the chance to hear the Buddha’s teaching and instructions. We are again plunged into darkness. So what shall we do?” As he lamented, the answer came to his mind: that Buddha had never really died. The birth and death of Buddha is merely a concept, an idea, and his teaching is always present. In fact, no one is excluded and all beings—anyone who possesses consciousness, anyone who possesses mind—all are candidates for bodhisattvahood. Anyone can become an awakened person.

From Meditation in Action, 40th Anniversary Edition, pages 17 to 18.

Of Interest to Readers:
Today is the 24th anniversary of the Parinirvana (death) of Chögyam Trungpa. At 4 p.m. EST we will select a winner to receive the eight-volume Collected Works of Chögyam Trungpa to celebrate Chögyam Trungpa and reaching 10,000 subscribers to Ocean of Dharma. To enter, tell us your favorite book, article, or saying by Chögyam Trungpa and why you like it in a comment on the editor’s blog.

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