Buddhism - Lesson 11

Mahayana Buddhist Schools and Lineages (Part 2)

Chinese and Japanese Meditative Buddhism includes Zen Buddhism.

Lesson 11
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Mahayana Buddhist Schools and Lineages (Part 2)

The Emergence of the “Great Vehicle”

Part 6

VI. Mahayana Buddhist Schools and Lineages (part 2)

A. Chinese and Japanese Invocational Buddhism


B. Chinese and Japanese Meditative Buddhism

1. Ch’an and Zen Buddhism

2. Bodhidharma

3. Ch’an/Zen practice

a. Dogen (1200-1253)

b. Zazen

c. Sanzen

d. Satori

e. Koan

C. Rationalistic Buddhism

1. Tendai Buddhism

2. Saicho (767-822)

D. Political Buddhism

1. Nichiren Buddhism (founder Daishonin Nichiren)

2. Lotus Sutra meditation

3. Sokagakkai & Shakubuku (forced conversions)

Terms to Know from this lecture:

Lotus Sutra


In this course, you will gain an in-depth understanding of Buddhism, including its historical background, key concepts, and major branches. You will explore the life and teachings of Siddhartha Gautama, the Buddha, and learn about the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path. Additionally, you will examine the differences between the major branches of Buddhism, such as Theravada, Mahayana, and Vajrayana, and learn about various Buddhist practices and beliefs, including meditation, karma, rebirth, and the role of the Sangha. Lastly, you will study how Christians can bring hope to Buddhists by sharing the truths of God's character and the salvation of His Son. 


Dr. Timothy Tennent
Mahayana Buddhist Schools and Lineages (Part 2)
Lesson Transcript


The Christians give up the resurrection of Christ. They give up the uniqueness of Christ. They give up any normative claims of the gospel and they end up. Jesus is kind of like a moral good fellow who wanders around Galilee teaching. And it's a lot like the Buddha who wanders around India teaching, and they compare some of the moral teachings of Christ with the moral teaches the Buddha. Well, the result is the people that represent Christianity, as I say in my book, they're not actually represent historic Christianity. They're representing Protestant liberalism. Now, if you want to have a debate between a Protestant liberal who doesn't believe the gospel and a liberal Buddhist who doesn't believe in seminal Buddhism, okay, that's fine. But make sure you say that's what this is. Don't have the Protestant liberals be presented as if they represent historic Christianity because you cannot jettison the resurrection of Christ and being historic Christian. You cannot do that. You're not a Christian. You're something else. You're some other kind of entity. You're not an historic Christian. So I've longed for some more, you know, decent kind of serious interactions. So this book here and I'm so grateful, though I'm actually not yet finished reading it. I'm so grateful to one of my students at Trinity Episcopal Divinity School who's in the doctoral program out there, who I taught in a missions course, who alerted me to this book because I emailed him because he works and I Buddhism and so forth. And I said, I'm looking for a book like this, but I can't find it. And he, about a month later came across this book, Buddhist Priest Choose Christ. And this is a collection of testimonies. I got to Amazon.com, though. This is a used copy.


They don't have any new is out of print, but you can use copies of all these books of Buddhist priests and why they chose Christ. To me, this is very vital information. I'm really want to share some this with you. And then the other one I got in a library loan. I'm just also going through this. This is the book that I was telling you about by Paul Williams entitled The Unexpected Way on Converting from Buddhism to Catholicism. Okay, now hold on. Suspension the Catholicism thing, because that's that's not the most critical part of this. The most important part is why would Paul Williams, who is the what is the professor of Indian and Tibetan philosophy at the University of Bristol? This is a as you know, a major scholar on Buddhism. He's the author of our textbook on Mahayana Buddhism. He's converted to Christianity from Buddhism, and his book is now The Unexpected Way. This, to me, these are the kind of more substantial books that we need to see written. And I've written a couple of chapters myself in the field in my book, at least, to try to prod evangelicals into engaging this a little more. So that's where you come in, because I think that your papers are part of this process, and I'm hoping that your papers will begin to plant seeds into developing more full arranged, apologetic responses that an evangelical is speaking to actual Buddhism, not a caricature of Christianity, speaking to a caricature of Buddhism. The first one is written by Comey, Tony. We knew and already met Shehata. I can tell you write this down. Buddhist priests choose Christ. The saying that great though these names, this is not you know, Tim Tenet is a come across like a some Westerner.


This these are Buddhist priest who have come to Christ a holy. Can you see this? Okay, let me get a better idea. My handwriting, you know, has problems. How's that? This is a you. I'll use. It's great. Okay. It's translated by Satsuki Wakabayashi and John Terry, who are Dawn Dawn Press. I want to reflect on this more with you in the days to come. But okay, let's talk about one more lineage. Well, let's do one more. The next is the meditative branch of Buddhism. So we have spent all this time on in vocational primarily, and this is known primarily in the West as Zen Buddhism, though it's known in India as Diena and in China as Chon and in Japan as Zen and because Japanese masters. Well, there's two reasons. One, because in Japan, the lineages are pure and inverted because Japanese Zen masters brought it to the West is commonly known in the West as Zen. But in India they don't use the word Zen. They use the word tianhe. And in Chinese or Chan, like all of the other lineages, it is based on a particular human figure that the lineage traces back to. In this case, it's Bodhidharma. And this is all now familiar language to you, because what does the word body mean? Enlightenment, Dharma teaching, the teaching of enlightenment. So these these people have very good names that are helpful while they're given these kind of status. In this case, this Monk, Bodhidharma was believed, was an Indian missionary to Canton in 470 A.D.. This is part of the the India diaspora going into China with Buddhism. Bodhidharma was very famous at developing meditative techniques. And if you know about meditative Buddhism, if you read or learn about it, you'll know that there's a lot of debate and pride, really, among Buddhist schools and meditative schools about how long someone can meditate without falling asleep.


So you can imagine that sleep is not the natural enemy of meditation in these contexts. And so people will talk about how long, how many hours they've been, how to meditate without falling asleep. So Bodhi Dharma had developed many, many techniques for this, but he was at one point when he got to Canton, according to Chinese legend, he was meditating one night. And by the way, just to your role as the context for this. Of course, China is famous for tea, but as far as we know, tea is not indigenous to China. So one of the questions is how did tea come into China? Because tea is what we know is indigenous to India. So this is one of the stories about the source of tea as well as is tied into that important legend anyway. He's meditating and he starts to fall asleep. Now you know how it is when you're sleepy and maybe it's 8:00 class on Monday morning and you're fighting sleep, and so your eyelids start getting heavy and your eyelids become big weights and you're trying so hard to hold them open, but you just can't quite do it. So what he did was he realized that this is the problem. So he took a knife out and he cut his eyelids off and he threw them to the ground. That's how you become a famous Zen master. He cut his eyelids off. That way he would stay awake because his eyes were always open. All right. Now, according to the Chinese, is from his eyelids at the tea plant emerged. And this is the source of tea in China. No, this is not a scientific explanation. This is a legendary thing. But this is part of one of the legends about how he got into China.


Okay, So, Bodie, Dharma, is this the standard lineage person in meditator Buddhism? The Zen Buddhism is more particularly associated with one of the teachers who really established the actual praxis or practice of Zen Buddhism in the Japanese context, a person named Dogan. So we're going to take a moment to look at what Dogen emphasized. He is a figure 1253, and he accepted this very, I would say, extension of Mahayana belief close to Vajrayana on that everybody carries within them a Buddha nature. This is not, again, any part of terra vada. So what he believed, the whole problem, he said, was, okay, if everyone has a Buddha nature, and then we discuss the idea of the embryo of the Buddha or the seed of the Buddha and everyone is gaba if everyone has this embryonic Buddha within them, and yet the most majority people don't manifest it, how do you bring it out of the person? By the way, this is a really, really important knock off on in general. Western versus Eastern conceptions of teaching. And I even found that the Latin word for teach has two derivatives. One means to instill into one means to draw out of in the original Western conception. And I think more biblical conception is that discipleship involves placing in somebody. So you're pouring your life into somebody. Christ comes into your life. Christ fills that which is empty. The Holy Spirit fills your life. The whole thing presupposes that you are an empty vessel needs to be filled. The eastern concept is, Oh no, everything you know is already there. I just need to draw it out of you to draw out. It's one of the derivatives. So in the eastern world, teaching is often in terms of not putting information in the you adjoin out what's already there in latent form.


That mentality is there. And that's partly because of our view of the fall. If you believe we're fallen creatures and that we are totally depraved, you're not going to emphasize that there's all kinds of good things in us that are just kind of there to be drawn out later. Dewey exploits this idea in Western educational models for the West that says we need to downplay the teacher's role as teacher, and the teacher is now a facilitator and draws all these gems of wisdom out of our children who are already there and unpolished stones. You can see what's happened to our school system because of this idea, because people don't have unpolished stones inside, they need to be taught. Anyway, he believed that in order, if you followed certain math techniques, you could bring out the Buddha nature. And this is really right down the line of partly what he saw I was talking about in terms of recognizing what is the nature of a man or a woman in Buddhism versus Christianity. So he adopted first what he calls zazen, which is a bodily postures for proper meditation. This is brought over directly from Hinduism, though we haven't discussed this in the class, but there are certain positions that are conducive to meditation. The most important one is the lotus position. Now lotus position is where you sit cross-legged with both of your feet fucked up on top of the other side. It's extremely painful to sit in that position as a Westerner unless you have some practice at it, because it's hard to get your legs all tied up like that. And so in the West they often have to sit in chairs, which is defeats the whole purpose of the original lineage, which was that you had to sit in a certain way.


They believe that the energy will pass through your body at particular intervals, and they actually have very precise drawings of the human body and how your breathing techniques and all will you get in harmony with your bodily position. So supposedly, according to Dogan, you cannot ever achieve meditative insight on a chair. You have to be in certain body positions, such as the lotus position. So this idea of zazen is very, very important. And it goes into not only the bodily position, but eventually the whole position of your breath control. Everything is involved with this. Yes, because I just wondered if. If there are any positions in would indicate that people. There is something about parties for people to go out of their way. This sort of thing. It seems like they're all. Well, I think the key in your question is whether we want to use the word learn or to maybe recapture. I mean, there's nothing in bodily posturing in Buddhism or Hinduism that's not already present in Judaism and in the early Christian practice. So the idea of following your face before God said in the presence of God. Meditation, as well as prayer, is all very much part of the Christian tradition. One of the problems of Protestantism is that we have been so distance ourselves from the monastic tradition that the Catholics had that we therefore have downplayed all of this. I know that's hard to believe. I mean, maybe not hard to say. I'm interested if you think this is hard to believe, but when I was growing up, my parents did. They did what they did to us, what they did, what their parents did to them. They taught us how to pray. It's hard for us to imagine today doing this in our Sunday school program, but this is what we were doing.


What happened to us? Our parents. Every night we would all kneel down together and we would follow our hands like this, which is actually the prayer. This is called the Court of Murder. I mean, in Eastern thought. But in the West, is it a symbol of prayer? It's a simple prayer in the East as well. Actually, we put our hands like this and we kneel down and we would say, Now lay me down to sleep. I pray my soul, the Lord, to keep. If I should die before our wake, Lord, I pray my soul to keep. Or that's how it goes. Whatever. I don't like that. I've read that prayer many years. That was that. They taught us like this set prayer, and then we could pray for grandmother and granddaddy and our pets and all that. But we had to always, you know, kneel down, getting the proper position. And we got this. The this thing was like the way it was done. I don't think that's done much today. And therefore, I think that we have lost something about the posturing because you do find this in scripture. So it's a good point. Yes. Actually, you know, like a real fight or something. Yell it off until you assume the prayer position. And they all want to quit. Yeah. Yeah. Well, you know, because they say the Muslims have also exported this because the Muslims have this very seven postures of prayer they go through in the lot. And these prayer postures that you see on TV that involve various kneeling and prostrate in positions and all this. And they said, you know, that they they think we're prayer less because we don't do this. Now, Jesus, of course, says don't do this in public.


Don't make a big show of it. And so it that be done this way. But you know, there is a place for being before a god and in a way that your posture I mean, it goes right down to things like we why do we dress up? I mean, I when I was growing up, my hair was always just like it is now, just like, you know, just dry, floppy hair. But on Sunday, it was unthinkable to go to church like this. And last week, in another language, my parents would line us that there's three of us and my dad would squirt Brylcreem into my head on our hair like Brylcreem. And if you notice, if it's like a gel type stuff and it would slick our hair back and we wear these three piece suit. And and Saturday the big tradition on Saturday night was shoeshine. And my dad had a brown brush for brown shoes and a black brush for black shoes. Like I haven't polished my shoes in years, but my dad and I had bought our shoes and get them all nice and shiny and they'd line us up in the bathroom. Sunday morning he took our hair down. We got these suits and we go to church because you couldn't go to church looking like you. Look, the rest of the week is unthinkable about this. Yesterday I was preaching at a church in here. Massachusetts has several services. Each service gets successively more informal. So the first service I wore a robe. I mean, the full clean of doctoral robe and all this. And we get them. We say, you know, welcome to divine service. We are here to worship God. All right. The second service we wore, just like a suit coat, you know, And I like this.


You know, I can walk tonight and, you know, it's like, hey, everybody, you know, stand together, worship the Lord, you know? And it was more relaxed and it had choruses and huddles, best band of their playing. The thing on that third service Hawaiian shirt, Hey, we're jammin for Jesus, you know, and everybody's rock and roll and it's going wild, all right. And it was just that I was like, This is unbelievable. All right. This whole and I'm at Grace Chapel into this month, November 30th is same thing there. Early service the morning, very traditional, kind of like standard. At nighttime, you got like dry ice coming up on the stage. There's no pulpit. You speak with an open mic, you walk back and forth, you know, on the platform. You know, it's just all the atmosphere and the age group just drops dramatically as you go through this whole process. So the first service, it was mainly gray and blue hair. And then as you got into the evening, you get into, you know, people in their twenties, would they come to church with t shirts on? These are all really important practical questions that relate to how we think about worship. And I think that this is something that, you know, your generation that wrestled with this because more and more we're being perceived by Buddhist and Muslims as having no regard for any of these things. I was even told when I was growing up if my dad saw me walking around with several books, one of which was the Bible, it was not on top of the stack. We were scolded for that, where you never carry a Bible halfway down the stack, always on top of the stuff. You didn't know what the size of the books are, the Bibles on top or as I've seen students in our classes like shove the Bible on the floor, you know, underneath their chair or whatever, you know, it's just because there's a there's just a whole we haven't talked about these things, and I've been critical of it because I think it's something that ultimately your generation has to work out.


But that explains some of the this whole posturing thing. The X Factor is something that we can really address. I think a lot as Christians. All this is important for our Christian response, and that is the sons and which is essentially the discipleship relationship. This is the idea that enlightenment is transmitted from person to person. Meditative technique is passed on from a mentor, a roshi down to a devotee, a disciple. I'm sorry. All of the. Yes. This is all Dugan's diagram for Zen practice, which has been replicated, followed all over the world. So you have the idea of bodily posturing and breath technique, and you have the idea of man to man transmission that this is done through a disciple relationship. So it's like going when you do doctor work in the UK, you can be accepted into university to do doctoral work, but you can't start until you get a mentor. That's the way it works in the American system. You can go through and take classes and do all kinds stuff and you don't really have a mentor. You have some committee. But in the British system, you have to be accepted as somebodys disciple, basically. So when Andrew Walls, I was already accepted university or the real job, I had a send off information and some I'd cut my dissertation from a master's degree to get Andrew Walls to accept me as like his disciple. That's how it works. So that's also a Christian model. Of course, Jesus has 12 disciples. This is very much kind of a pattern that we understand in the West, but it's very dominant East that you can want to be a Zen follower, you can be committed to it, blah, blah. But you ultimately have to have somebody who will take you under their wing and teach you the meditative practice.


This, what Dogen insisted on has to be a man to man transmission under a mentor. And this mentor has total authority over your life. It's almost this has been the source of some, I think, some abuse and problems. This is what I told you. I think I lived the story of the guy that would sneak up on you and cut your finger off and talk about that story. And that's this is this this mentor has the authority to do whatever it takes to get you to have this insight. And if he thinks that hitting you with a rod across the face will help you. And they do this in Thailand if you ever heard of it. But in Thailand, it's known for this where people will hit somebody with a stick in order to get them to be enlightened. So that is a pretty free relationship. Once you accept to be under their tutelage, they become your mentor. Then they then they try to do something. You do it as a jump to say how high and all that at the military. There's a lot of that in there and there's parallels in the nascent version as well, though I don't know if it would how it would involve physical beating that can hit you. Yeah. I mean, even in churches, they used to have that when they had a guy in the back of the old Church of England, sort of Scotland's that would have a long stick. And if he saw you dozing off in church, they could they could hit you with it. It's not part of the Willow Creek model, but it was the older system. Yes, isn't it? They will come and hit you. Yeah. Okay. Well, I. Yeah. Okay.


The other point of dog in practice is satori, which is the flash of insight, the belief that when you least expect that you could receive this enlightenment. You had to be waiting for. It's a little bit like the parallel. Just maybe a bad example of like people who talk about I'm waiting to receive the info in the Holy Spirit. It can happen at any moment. And they're selling going to have an outburst of tongues or whatever. There are people who say, You don't know when will come to you. You know, it could be there's even people who believe that you could be sitting on the floor just doing your daily chores. It could come to you could realize your Buddha nature. It could be the midst of a long days and days of fasting and meditation. There's different ideas within the schools of Zen, but the idea of having this is all building up to some insight where you have the insight that you are. You have Buddha nature. It's a lot like in Hinduism, the Tomasi The recognition that your nature is the same as Brahman, and this is partly done in practice through the use of codes. This is the last part of this, and we'll have to see the end. A cone is a paradoxical statement, which upon reflection, can help bring about the satori, the flash of insight. So usually, I mean, the most important early ones I give you kind of like your cone one on one is what starts you out. Or things like what is the sound of one hand clapping, which showed us before. Okay, so Carl has already gotten to stage one, but now some, you know, what is that one? What did your face look like before your mother was born? Okay, so you'll come into the mentor and he will say to you, What did your face look like before your mother was born? So you go back and you think about that and you maintain it for for several weeks.


You come back and give an answer. You either will say, find my son, here's the next cone, or he'll slap in the face and say, That was really bad. So I go back and and meditate some more. So there's several marvelous collection of these. This is a more popular one called Zen Flash Zen Bones by Paul Rouse. It's edited by Paul. It's compiled and it's filled with these not only little sayings like that, but also stories. I mean, here is a story entitled The Sound of one Hand, which talks about somebodys process in recognizing the true sound of one hand. So what the person said in this particular case, and you can't use this if you try to use this answer, the person is, listen, you know, you've been reading well, but that's not your answer. So, you know, it's not like you said, well, you found out this person. So this person came in and was asked, what's the sound of one hand clapping? And they responded by saying that they meditated and read and they discovered the soundless sound. And because one hand produces the sound of one hand, clapping is the sound the sound, which of course is nothingness. And it said, Tokyo Disciples name is Tokyo. Toyo realized the sound of one hand, so therefore he was accepted into the next level. And he said, Well, the sound of one to clapping is a soundless sound, which is a very important concept in Buddhism. Once a division of the Japanese army was engaged in a sham battle and some of their officers necessary to make their headquarters in Ghosn's temple, Ghassan told this Cook let the officers have only the same simple fare we eat. This made the Ottoman very angry, as they were used to be given very deferential treatment.


One came to Ghassan said, Who do you think we are? We are soldiers sacrificing our lives for our country. Why don't you treat us accordingly? So they would tell this story to the disciple. And what is what's your answer to that? So this is also part of the code. It can be a little story. And so this person responded and said, this is a ghost on the temple person. Who do you think we are? We are soldiers of humanity aiming to save all sentient beings. So he responded by saying that there is no greater army than the Buddhist priest. It'd be like an army coming in here and and occupying Gordon Conwell. And we said, Wait a minute, we're more important army because we're out to save people. You're not years out there telling people we're out here to save the human race. Is this kind of thing. So a lot of these are not so paradoxical. They have this whole section of koans here is called the Gate Alice Gate. You can kind of get the feel for some of this. I see here I have all of these I wanted to read to you. When flag mind moves the same understanding when the mouth opens, all are wrong. That takes time to think about that. Then you come back and you respond. What I say is. I mean, the story behind that, I'll say. If you see you got here, Gordon Conroy across the to the care building, you see a flag waving is the flag waving as the wind is the wind moving. And they'll ask you something like this. And so you think about that. What is the waving flag in relationship to the wind? It's like people saying when a tree falls in the forest, nobody is there just making any sound.


Is that kind of that kind of thing? A monk asked Bozo, what is Buddha versus said The mind is not Buddha. And Munson's comment, If anyone understands this, I'm sorry. What is Buddha? He said, This mind is not Buddha because obviously a very definite antithesis at the Mathura statement. Okay. This is a this is something coming out of the Nagarjuna, not the idea of mind. He says if anyone understands this, he is a true graduate of Zen. All right. So you have a lot of this kind of philosophical stuff. They also have diagrams. They'll show you diagrams and they'll ask you to make sense of the diagram, make comments about the diagram, whip, rope, person ball, all merge in no thing. How is that true? So this this is kind of example. There's a lot of oh, here's a good one about nothing exist. This whole idea of Sujata yarmulke tissue. As a young son of Zen visit one master after another. He finally called upon Duncan of Shikoku, desiring to show his attainment. He said the mind, Buddha and sentient beings, after all, do not exist. So he's got to send. The mind isn't exist. The Buddha doesn't exist. Sentient beings exist. The true nature of phenomena is emptiness. There is no realization, no delusion, no sage, no mediocrity. There is no giving and nothing to be received. Because we've definitely discussed this a lot in the class document sat there smoking, quietly, saying nothing. Suddenly he whacked Yamaoka with his bamboo pipe, youth quite angry. So here the guy comes and he says, You know, nothing exists to do that. He kind of gave the standard as if he came out of this class. And you went and you said all this and the guy just whacks you and you get out.


What do you mean? Why did you whack me? And he says, if nothing exist in Quiet Cocoon, where did this anger come from? So he knew he was just reciting the Buddhist lines. You're supposed to say nothing exist, blah, blah, blah, blah. But you haven't actually realized it because when you got hit with a stick, you got angry. If he had been passive, he would have said something else. So, Oh, yeah, it's interesting stuff. So be careful when you go into the Buddhist monastery because you might get hit with something. So be very, very careful. It could be a very dangerous thing. Keep your distance and know how to duck. This is more of a scholarly edition of this, and we'll close with this called The Opening Mountain. I want open a Mountain Cones of the Zen Master by Stephen Haney. And it's a it's a great collection again. And you can look it afterwards if you'd like to, but it's a full collection of, you know, what are cones and all the different categories of cones, the famous cones historically, in all the lineages within Zen, the use of all kinds of diagrams, of course. So there's a lot to this, but that's all kind of the the Zen world. So we'll stop there and do cones levels because the teacher when. You come down in order to give you the flash of insight. He will give you a cone for meditation to promote, promote meditation. And as you go through cones, you get more advanced cones. And this is all to help stimulate your insight. And you're achieving that satori, that flash of insight. What we're going to do today is try to blitz through this last little bit that we didn't finish on the Ten Die and Nietzsche in Buddhism.


This is actually part of the last lecture number eight, which we didn't complete. Let's briefly mentioned about these two last lineages and then we'll go from there. Just to refresh your memory, we talked about two lineages. We talked about the invocation of lineage and the meditative lineage. Those are two of the most dominant forms of Mahayana Buddhism. So most Mahayana are either in vocational or meditative or some combination of those two. But there are other lineages, not only the ones I have here, but others yet. But I've mentioned the four most important. The next is the rationalistic brand of Buddhism, which is mostly found in the ten day school, which is in Japan. It was founded by a young monk named Saito. You see his name there on the overhead at a famous place called Mount High. This is a place that eventually had over 30,000 monks studying there, and they essentially believe that enlightenment comes through the careful study of scripture, and they engage in very strict rationalistic arguments related to propositions found in Buddhist text. And some schools have focused on one text more than the other. I mean, the Nietzsche ran or see later develops this point to a degree, but essentially that this is a place for a lot of scholarship. Buddhist scholarship emerges from the school. So this does help to generate a lot of the more high end philosophical thinking about Buddhism that is trickles down and affects all the other schools. The last one is a political or socio political school that is also rooted back to a monk known as Nietzsche in dates who is dates or 1222 to 1282, 1222 to 1282. He tried to actually find a way to his original thing was to find a way to join together meditation and invocation.


We've seen this is a tendency, particularly in Chinese Buddhism, to find ways to bring these all together. But by the time this develops, there was another countermovement occurring in Nietzsche Wren's Day, which said that it is impossible for any one person to actually become acquainted with Buddhist text. And this became a point of real concern for Nietzsche. RENNE Because he said, How can you meditate on Buddhist scriptures when there are too numerous to be read? Because unlike the Islam, which has the Koran, which is a relatively defined book about the Southern New Testament, the New Testament, the Old Testament, these are books that are, relatively speaking, short and can be carried around and in one hand Buddhism, of course. One of the things that strikes visitors to our friends next door in India, when you walk into the Tibetan monastery, in addition to the central altar where they have this large body smartphone statue and various things in the walls and murals, they have these cabinets on either side, the altar, which I would say are easily as wide as from these two desks here. And they actually a bit wider and go all the way to the ceiling on both sides, stacked with sacred Buddhist text, not multiple copies of attacks, but of different Buddhist texts, all viewed as sacred by the the tradition of the Tibetans. The library across the street is the largest Tibetan library in the world there in Dehradun, and it contains even more sacred texts for all of the Buddhist various lineages and within Mahayana and Theravada. And it is truly astounding to see. Did you ever go across to see the Buddhist library? And it's a remarkable, overwhelming experience. So many children had this kind of overwhelming sense even in the 13th century.


So he decided that that we should focus on one text only. So this is a little bit like in Hinduism with the the idea of focus on one particular God in the devotional movement called bhakti ism. And in Buddhism, the idea of focusing on one particular bodhisattva, such we find with pure land where you trust everything in Amitava, in the case of this movement, they said, We're going to put all of our trust in one text. We believe that all of enlightenment, all of the other texts can be found in seed form in this particular text, which in the case of this event is the Lotus Sutra. This is why I had you read this, because this is extremely important text. And is believed to be the text by which all of Buddhism is found. So their main formula of recitation is rather than praise be to Tao Buddha, or I trust them to our Buddha, its namo your hold when they hear salvation to the Lotus Sutra. So it's I mean sorry salutation to the Lotus Sutra. So they had this trust in the text and they have found various ways to use this text and claim that all true knowledge is there. So the political side came when a lot of followers who were meditating Lotus Sutra predicted that the Mongols would invade and invade China. And they did. They predicted in 1268 it happened in 1270. Of course, there are a lot of reasons why you would believe the Mongols would have invaded China. So it wasn't like a totally out of the blue thing, but it was taken as yet another example of the political ability of the Lotus Sutra to be ma be serve as kind of as a a doorway to future events.


So that's been important. Like pure land, the goal of Nietzsche ran was to be born into the land of the Buddha, kind of like the pure land idea. But this comes through the Lotus Sutra meditation. The super Gorky, which I have there on the overhead, is something which is important because we'll see later on from next week how this has become important for Christian responses to Buddhism, because the way that this spread was through a movement called Cerca Gorky, which is the lay led discussion groups. This is kind of like the Buddhist version of Alpha. This was a movement which allowed people to come into someone's home, ask questions, gain a circle of fellowship. And in this way, Buddhism, this took a form Buddhism spread all across Japan. Have been a number of people who have argued that this is actually a much more insightful way to spread Buddhism in Japan, as opposed to kind of mega-church model that we find in Korea, which has not worked in Japan. Japanese, as a rule, sociologically, do not mingle with a lot of people. They are much more closed in terms of their in social networking. If you look at the studies of the sociology of Japan versus Korea, they're very, very different. So people in the West say, well, what works in Korea must really work in Japan, and this is not true. So I wrote a dissertation a few years ago that argued quite persuasively that Japanese generally only have close relationships with about 12 people, and they don't have a lot of what we would call casual acquaintances. And therefore, the idea of creating a large church. Of course, Japan now has a few mega-churches. But as a rule, this hasn't been successful. But the idea of creating a large church kind of pattern in Japan where people would come into that is actually creating an alien social structure and therefore people don't feel free to come.


The one of the problems, like everything else, to go back to a theological problem of ecclesiology because the Western missionary movement has been, at least in my view, unduly reticent about acknowledging that the house church is a real church. And the theological community certainly has had problems with this. So the idea is that somehow the house church is some kind of pre church model. It's a proto church. It's a good stepping stone to a real church. All that language creeps into the discussion and actually destroys the most powerful way the church spread, which is through the house, a home church. I think a house church is a real church. And I don't have the theological or ecclesiastical problems with that. Since the house church model was the dominant model until about the fourth century anyway, and the church did quite well. Thank you. And so I just wonder if we have not imposed on the modern context a false ecclesiology. Anyway, the surrogacy has definitely operated along those lines and has been very, very effective in doing this. Okay. Any questions or comments about these other strands? Because I'm afraid I just really briefly summarize this so we can move to the next section. Yes. So I was just doing a search on the Internet. I saw a lot of ads and things for sitting groups that. No, the sitting groups would be referring to the Zen, meditative, posturing groups who would go and do meditation. There could be groups that are advertised probably with that kind of sitting groups. That's a Zen meditative group. Yes, political. Because they believe that the Lotus Sutra predicts all future political events. So they've used it politically to gain power into this discussion. Groups talk of gotcha parchment is clear.


They not only discuss religion, but also politics. And it is tied into a little bit of Japanese messianism, which has popped up throughout history, including, of course, the 20th century, where Japan, at certain points, Japan has believed that they are the destined to rule the world. And therefore, these groups have fostered a lot of that. And these groups have fostered some ideas about Japan's superiority over other countries. Yes, victory was the founder and his name. Yes. All of these sects go back to particular people. I mentioned that very beginning. So all the lineages go back to a past, which is why they call them lineages. So know Nietzsche Rin is the founder of Nature Buddhism. He began by trying to combine meditative and vocational, but then he became overwhelmed with the sheer number of text involved in meditation. And so he gradually began to focus on just the power of one particular text the Lotus Sutra. Is that clear?