Zen & the Lotus Sutra

Ryuei and Maylie with the Berkeley Zen Center

A Series of Seminars at the
Berkeley Zen Center ~ 1999
by Ryuei Michael McCormick

Table of Contents

Dedication to the memory of the late Zen Master, Kushin Seisho Maylie Scott (1935-2001)

Session One ~ April 1

  • Opening Verse and Statement (Ch.1)
  • Zen and the Lotus Sutra (Ch.2)
  • Parables of the Lotus Sutra (Ch.3-4)
  • Overview of the Seminar
  • Q&A from Session 1
  • Session Two ~ April 8

  • Overview of the Lotus Sutra
  • Bodhicitta (Ch.3-4)
  • Parables of Encouragement (Ch.5,7)
  • Parables of Buddha-nature (Ch.8,14)
  • Absolute and Relative Bodhicitta (Ch.10,14)
  • Q&A from Session 2
  • On the Odaimoku
  • Session Three ~ April 15

  • Appearance of the Precious Stupa (Ch.11-14)
  • The Emergent Bodhisattvas of the Earth (Ch.15)
  • The Eternal Buddha (Ch.16)
  • The Merits of the Single Moment of Faith and Rejoicing (Ch.17-19)
  • The Transmission of the Wonderful Dharma (Ch.21-22)
  • Q&A from Session 3
  • Session Four ~ April 22

  • Analysis of the Lotus Sutra
  • Bodhisattva Medicine King (Ch.23)
  • Bodhisattva Wonder Sound (Ch.24)
  • Bodhisattva Regarder of the Cries of the World (Ch.25)
  • Dharanis (Ch.26)
  • King Resplendent (Ch.27)
  • Encouragement of Bodhisattva Universal Virtue (Ch.28)
  • Q&A for Session 4
  • Session Five ~ April 29

  • Q&A for Session 5 after Shodaigyo Practice

    Appendix A: Verses for Opening the Sutra
    Appendix B: Practice Questions
  • Appendix C: The Seven Parables of the Lotus Sutra
    Appendix D: Zen Masters on the Lotus Sutra
    Appendix E: Recitation Passages
    Appendix F: Shodaigyo Meditation

    Appendix A
    Sutra Opening Verse:

    An unsurpassed, penetrating, and perfect Dharma
    Is rarely met with, even in one hundred, thousand, million kalpas.
    Having it to see and listen to, to remember and accept,
    I vow to taste the truth of the Tathagata's words.

    Appendix B
    Practice Questions

  • Who is Buddha? How is the Teacher manifested?
  • Who is the Tathagata?
  • What is our experience of the One Vehicle Teaching?
  • What is a Bodhisattva's practice?
  • How does a bodhisattva learn?
  • What is the experience of nirvana within samsara?
  • What does the non-difference of practice and enlightenment mean?
  • What is the factor of faith in practice?
  • What is the factor of joy in practice?
  • What is Buddha nature, "big mind"
  • Class Assignment

    "Buddha-dharma cannot be known by a person. For this reason, since olden times no ordinary person has realized buddha-dharma, no practitioner of the Lesser Vehicles has mastered buddha-dharma. Because it is realized by buddhas alone, it is said, 'Only a buddha and a buddha can thoroughly master it.'" - Dogen Zenji

    "If you think, 'I practice zazen,' that is a misunderstanding. Buddha practices zazen, not you. If you think, 'Buddha practices zazen,' there will not be trouble. Whether or not your zazen is painful or full of erroneous ideas, it is still Buddha's activity. There is no way to escape from Buddha's activity. Thus you must accept yourself and devote yourself to yourself, or to Buddha, or to zazen. When you become yourself, zazen becomes zazen, and Zen become Zen." Suzuki Roshi

    Our ancestors, far and near, have described how to realize the Buddha Way. How can we express it in our own words, art or manner?

    Session One | Session Two | Session Three | Session Four | Session Five

    Copyright by Ryuei Michael McCormick. 1999. 2002.


    Hakuin's Letter to a Hokke Nun 1747
    Dogen's Hokke-ten-Hokke 1241
    The Seven Parables of the LS
    Zen & the LS Dogen/Hakuin
    Samantabhadra Bodhisattva
    An Overview of Buddhism
    Heart Sutra Commentary
    Odaimoku as Hua-t'ou
    Hua Yen

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