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Monday, July 6, 2020

Living by Vow - Continuing with Lotus Sutra

We usual people appear in this world, according to Buddhism, because of karma, and we die because of karma. But Buddha appeared in this world with a vow, the Mahayana vow. The first of the four vows we recite is to “save all human beings.” He appeared in this world with this vow instead of karma. Karma and vow are actually the same thing, perhaps, but our attitude changes when our understanding changes. Karma changes into a vow. Instead of living by karma, we live with the vow to help people who live in karma. That is Buddha's teaching. This kind of teaching is supported by what Buddha taught when he was alive, you see? So for them, this is not just a story-- this is the actual story we see through the example of the Buddha. In this way, Buddhism survived for a long time. ----------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-10-20 as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC  - Going through Suzuki lectures and posting anything that can stand on its own. Not looking for zingers or "the best of." I find that following these excerpts daily provides another way to experience Suzuki's teaching. - DC

DC Comment: Why'd he say that? We don't vow to "save all human beings" but to save all beings, the implication being all sentient beings, not all human beings. Another way to see what Suzuki is saying is that if we turn our karma into a vow, we become Buddha.