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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

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Korin Charlie Pokorny
The Advanced Buddhist Studies Lecture Series 2014
Article: The Advanced Buddhist Studies Lecture Series Turns to the Chinese Tradition
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.)

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Related Bio(s):

Korin Charlie Pokorny
Korin Charlie Pokorny was ordained as a priest by Reb Anderson in 1999. He practiced as a resident at Tassajara and Green Gulch Farm for 12 years, including serving as tenzo and director at Tassajara. He holds a master’s degree from Stanford University in Religious Studies, and he has brought a breadth of perspective on the direction that Soto Zen is taking in the world today through his recent position as director of the Soto Zen Buddhist Association.