Episode Description: Henry examines this fascinating koan in which a monk asks Master Baso, “What is the meaning of Bodhidharma’s coming from the West?” or, more specifically, what did Bodhidharma really hope we would discover when he brought the Zen meditation school from India to China? The talk briefly examines the “4 Propositions” and “100 Negations” of Buddhist philosophy, which are mentioned in the koan, and gives us some background on the characters in the case, as it considers the apparently inscrutable meaning of Zen, which ceases to be inscrutable when realized through direct experience. Henry describes how Zen is a “thing that isn’t a thing”, a fact that can’t be named, yet at the same time is the very ground of beauty, love and grace.”
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