Bodhidharma, Spiritual Teacher of Enlightenment

Bodhidharma was an Enlightened Spiritual Teacher; A guru, mystic and sage of a very high level of consciousness. He attained Enlightenment as a Buddhist monk in India and introduced Zen Buddhism to China.

Bodhidharma lived during the fifth and sixth centuries CE. Much like the Buddha, he was born the son of a Brahman king in the kingdom of Pallavas in South India. He was the third of three sons and was drawn to spiritual Self inquiry at an early age.

Bodhidharma, Spiritual Teacher of Enlightenment

Born with tremendous spiritual wisdom he renounced his father’s kingdom, and sought only to know his True Self before physical death.

He was a man of great wisdom and intelligence and knew that conscious spiritual immortality was a higher goal than any physical desires or attachments. For the world of perception is transitory, and temporary, he wasted no time on his journey to Truth.

He studied under the Enlightened Buddhist Sage Prajnatara, the 27th Indian Patriarch in a direct mind-to-mind line of transmission from the historical Lord Buddha.

Upon his transcendence of the ego and the attainment of Enlightenment and Self-Realization, he became the 28th Patriarch in that lineage.

He then traveled to China and began transmitting the Mahayana teachings.

There are a few interesting legends of Bodhidharma’s life which you can research if so inclined. What is most important, (as in all Enlightened Spiritual Teachers) is his Teachings.

Bodhidharma Quote

Teachings and Quotes:

Discrimination with no-mind is right. Discrimination with mind is wrong. When one transcends right and wrong, he is truly right.

As long as you look for a Buddha somewhere else, you'll never see that your own mind is the Buddha.

To find a Buddha, you have to see your nature. Whoever sees his nature is a Buddha. If you don't see your nature, invoking Buddhas, reciting sutras, making offerings and keeping precepts are all useless.

A Buddha is someone who finds freedom in good fortune and bad.

When your mind doesn't stir inside, the world doesn't arise outside. When the world and the mind are both transparent, this is true vision. And such understanding is true understanding.

If we should be blessed by some great reward, such as fame or fortune, it's the fruit of a seed planted by us in the past.

When you observe your delusions, you will know that they are baseless and not dependable. In this way you can cut confusion and doubt. This is what I call wisdom.

Go beyond language. Go Beyond Thought.

Mind is like the wood or stone from which a person carves an image. If he carves a dragon or a tiger, and seeing it fears it, he is like a stupid person creating a picture of hell and then afraid to face it. If he does not fear it, then his unnecessary thoughts will vanish. Part of the mind produces sight, sound, taste, odor and sensibility, and from them raises greed, anger and ignorance with all their accompanying likes and dislikes.

According to the Sutras, evil deeds result in hardships and good deeds result in blessings.

Recommended Reading:

The Zen Teaching of Bodhidharma presents four of his great teachings in their entirety. "Outline of Practice" describes the four all-inclusive habits that lead to enlightenment, the "Bloodstream Sermon" exhorts students to seek the Buddha by seeing their own nature, the "Wake-up Sermon" defends his premise that the most essential method for reaching enlightenment is beholding the mind.

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Enlightening Lotus

Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find anything that agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.
(Siddhartha Gautama)
(The Buddha)
563-483 B.C.

Enlightening Lotus Ripples