Mirror of Zen Blog

In the Hours After Surgery

I have wanted for some time to participate in Robert Thurman’s (ongoing?) talks on the Avatamsaka Sutra from Menla, Upstate NY. He started back during the mid-pandemic, after we had already attended all of his talks on the Vimalakirti Sutra — Ioannis, great Nikos, Anetta, and me. That was such a great experience, and I was recently inspired to make some space to absorb it again. I can’t promise I will stay with every single lecture — the talking and talking is already something I’m not accustomed to needing for arriving at absolute Truth. It’s already right here!

But Thurman’s flowing bodhisattvaship illuminates aspects of the Buddha’s teachings which I always find inspiring and faith-building, to be frank. I realise, while listening to him, how much I miss getting some “teachings” sometimes, rather than nearly always being employed as the “dispenser” of all the teaching all of the time, in our retreat situations and in the daily Community flow. Listening to him, I sometimes can perhaps miss my Teacher. It might be the only occasion for experiencing that, but this truly enlightened mentorship-quality emanating from a Robert Thurman just inspires again to be able to learn again, as a student, “at the foot of the Teacher”.

I registered recently, taking advantage of the need for lying positions to listen to Dr. Thurman’s insights into the practicing mind. He is always like listening to a great master, if certainly hyper-rational. But softly and humorously so, and he knows the total limits and disaster of language for communicating “it”.

That’s why he’s a Bodhisattva.

Someone here was filming for her family and shared this view with me of these hours back in my room after this little procedure:

Hyon Gak Sunim Post-surgery meditation: Dr. Robert Thurman on The Avatamsaka Sutra 현각스님 회복 화엄경 #zen

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