4 days ago
Picture: Burma, 2017
How do you make a Buddha?
"Conflicting attitudes within the Zen sect towards the view that meditation is an activity to polish the mind-mirror to gain enlightenment, in other words, that 'the mirror shines from [much] polishing,' is evident in the divergent interpretations supported by a dharma exchange between Nanyue Huairang (677-744) and his disciple, Mazu Daoyi (709-788). One day, in response to his inquiry, Mazu told Nanyue that he engaged in extensive meditation practice in order to become a Buddha, whereupon Nanyue took up a tile and began to polish it. When Mazu asked what he was doing, Nanyue stated that he was polishing the tile to make a mirror. When Mazu pointed out that polishing cannot make a mirror of a tile, nor, added Nanyue, can the practice of seated meditation make a Buddha of Mazu. For those who subscribe to the notion of an innate Buddha Nature, one message contained in this exchange is the sensible one that Buddhahood is not the product of a great and highly circumscribed meditative endeavour, as if polishing a tile to make a mirror. On the other hand, in his essay on the 'Ancient Mirror' (古鏡), Dōgen argued that polishing can make a mirror of a tile, and that “this is why the making of mirrors through the polishing of tiles has been dwelt in and retained in the bones and marrow of eternal buddhas; and, this being so, the eternal mirror exists having been made from a tile.' However, the mirror (like the Buddha Nature) has never been tainted, and neither are tiles dirty, according to Dōgen. Therefore 'we just polish a tile as a tile. In this state, the virtue of making a mirror is realized, and this is just the effort of Buddhist patriarchs.' Expressed thus, Dōgen’s interpretation can be framed in terms which parody the advice that Krishna provided to Arjuna on the battlefield of dharma, the Kuru- field: ‘to polishing the tile alone you have the right, not to its reward. Do not let your motive be the reward of polishing, nor attach yourself to the inaction of quietude.’"
As for me, my understanding is much simpler. I have no need for paradox. .
Minolta XD-11 // Rokkor 50mm 1.7 // probably Tri-X (if not, FP4
#budd at Mandalay, Myanmar