Friday, January 8, 2010

Back to Buddha Basics

When this blog began, the first reflection was on the nature of the Buddha. This is such a crucial subject for Buddhists to consider that it’s worth meditating on again, as we enter a new calendar year, and make renewed commitments to walking the Buddha Way. As a teacher of English, I have often used basic question-and-answer formats to elicit responses from new students, giving them a chance to learn about their teacher and each other, whilst also giving me the opportunity to assess their verbal capabilities. These questions are simple queries such as ‘Who are you?’ ‘Where do you come from?’ ‘How old are you?’ With the replacement of the word ‘you’ with ‘Buddha’, we can use this format to explore our own understanding of the Buddha:

  • Who is Buddha?
  • Where does Buddha come from?
  • How old is Buddha?
  • What does Buddha do?
  • Where does Buddha live?

Although some of these questions may seem weird, over simplistic, or just plain daft, in their direct manner they do have the ability to help us to cut to the chase and perceive our essential understandings and experiences of the Buddha. It’s not the intention of this blogger to influence your initial responses to these questions, so I’ll refrain from expressing them just yet. This is because I’m fascinated in your answers to these five basic questions about the Buddha, dear reader, and would really appreciate it if you’d take the time to ponder them, and then write your answers in the comments section linked to below. In sharing our understandings of the word ‘Buddha’ we can help each other to open up to new ways of experiencing the Buddha and this can be a real boon to our living the Buddhadharma.

To read that first post and readers responses to it, please click here: Who is the Buddha?


G said...

Looks like this one's got you bamboozled, dear readers. I'll set the ball rolling & see if my answers inspire any responses. Anyway, it's okay to talk (or write) to one's self, since there's no self here in truth anyhow!

1) Who is the Buddha?
We all are.
2) Where does Buddha come from?
Apparently, right here,; in reality, nowhere.
3) How old is Buddha?
4) What does Buddha do?
5) Where does Buddha live?
See answer to question 2.


1. The mind.
2. He always was.
3. Nothing.
4. In awareness.

Good question. Here is an attempt to put into words what, I think, can really not be put in words.

G said...

Good point at the end, Count. And, in a sense, all five questions could be classified as having answers beyond words. For, at the level of Buddha-Knowing, that is to say awareness itself, there is this intangible & indefinable 'is-ness.' So, thank you for illustrating the ultimate impotence of my words, Count! (Reflecting on this, perhaps the majority of 'Buddha Space' readers are a wise lot after all, having not even attempted to answer these unanswerable questions!)

But, your enlightening responses are appreciated, nonetheless, Count. :-)