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July 09, 2014

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@ Methexis:

The breezes at dawn have secrets to tell you.

--Rumi

Mystical doesn't mean secret though, at least not in the sense people commonly use the word "secret". This is a quote from a post you made in 2007:

"Yes, of course Zen has a secret teaching as do most Mahayana traditions of Buddhism. The secret is carefully guarded. It is hidden in the obvious like a boat hides in a boat."

An open secret!

However, I have my reservation about the other meaning of the term "secret", as in esoteric.

The "hidden" Guru stuff is clearly of non-Buddhist origin. Not saying it's wrong or anything, but it's at least incompatible with the Nikayas:

"Three things shine openly, not in secret. What three? The orb of the moon, the orb of the sun and the Dhamma and discipline taught by the Tathàgata" (Anguttara Nikaya I. 283).

"I have proclaimed the Dhamma without any idea of a hidden and open teaching. I do not have the closed fist of the teacher who holds anything back" (Digha Nikaya II. 100).

Recently I read an interesting blog by a Buddhist monk who said that the idea of Masters and "direct transmission" is a later invention that is foreign to mainstream Indian Buddhism. This is really just the Indian "Guru" system transplanted into Buddhism.

But in Buddhism, it is the teaching itself that matters, and it's present in the sutras, and the commentaries, one only has to contemplate it. It's very hard to it's possible to some degree even to ordinary people like me.

A wise man once told me:

"You have a roof over your head. You have food. You have some good Mahayana Sutras. What else do you need?"

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