Sunday, May 31, 2009

Bodhidharma is the man!

This is Bodhidharma (born in 440 AD or so). He's the fountainhead of Zen Buddhism, which is based on the idea that meditation is all anyone needs to gain wisdom (or enlightenment) and - more importantly - is all you need to learn how to live every moment of your life in accordance with Zen wisdom.

Bodhidharma traveled alone with no weapons for three years to bring Zen to China. He is also credited with bringing tea to China. If that were not enough, as he travelled, he watched how wild animals fought and defended themselves. From this, he created the martial arts. So Zen and the martial arts were (and should be) practiced together.

Bodhidharma always emphasized meditation as the way to know your own mind, be enlightened, and become free. He felt that looking outside yourself to organized religions, gods, preachers, and sacred books is (at best) a waste of time or (at worst) muddies the water and hides true wisdom from you. According to Bodhidharma, everything we need to be happy and gain wisdom is already inside us if we will just take the time to learn. A very wise man and clearly a man of physical as well as mental power.

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