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Everyone Has a Light: Exploring Buddha-Nature in Chinese Buddhism and Our Practice (Advanced Buddhist Studies Lecture Series), CC 4/17

with Korin Charlie Pokorny
in the City Center dining room

Thursday, April 17, 2014
7:30 - 9 pm

Universal Buddha-nature, or the assertion that all beings possess the potential to realize Buddhahood, is based on teachings from Indian Buddhism which became pivotal in the development of Chinese Buddhism. It can refer to the essential purity of mind, the immanence of awakening, the universal endowment of suchness, or a mere potential. In all such formulations, Buddha-nature represents a profound assertion that has led to a number of deep philosophical problems, particularly pertaining to how it integrates with other key teachings, such as no-self, emptiness and karma.

More broadly, however, a fairly general, mostly inchoate notion of Buddha-nature permeates East Asian Buddhism in all spheres and acquires profound, widespread significance. As a matter of faith, Buddha-nature is a deep affirmation of the spiritual potential of all beings, a deeply optimistic estimation of our true nature.

We will touch on the teaching of Buddha-nature in key texts and traditions, including the Nirvana Sutra, Lotus Sutra, Chinese Yogacara, Huayan school and Zen Buddhism. Buddha-nature plays a key role in how Buddhism, a religion that originated in India, truly finds its place in China. We will also explore how Buddha-nature can live in our practice, based in the Soto teachings of Eihei Dogen.

Other lectures in this series

Fees: $15; $13.50 current SFZC members; $12 limited income. (About Registration, Scholarships, and Cancellations.)

To Register: Use the ticket table below for the date you wish to attend. Or call our toll free number (888.743.9362) or our local number (415.475.9362).


About Registration, Scholarships, and Cancellations