HZM551 - Bodhidharma - the Man, the Myth, the Legend (3 Units)
Textbook: The Zen Teaching of Bodhidharma: A Bilingual Edition by Red Pine
9 week course
There is a question as to whether there is conclusive evidence on the existence of Bodhidharma, the 28th Ancestor after the Buddha in the Zen Buddhist tradition. Though he is an icon in the Zen tradition, many scholars and researchers still insist that he is a myth.
Credit is due to those Chinese authors of the 5th, 6th and 7thcenturies who wrote about Bodhidharma in China - in the days when there were no modern facilities to assist them in their writing. It is only due to their writings and references to Bodhidharma that we are able to establish his bonafide and do away with the “myth” theory that is still being propagated. Regardless of this fact, if Bodhidharma did not exist, some very wise person wrote the essays that bear his name in history. It is the heart of Bodhidharma that we follow and this class will explore the man, the myth and the legend.
Separating the imaginative stories from facts has led to the creation of this course and Bodhidharma’s resilience and persistence in his endeavors set an example for us to pursue the practice of Zen ,though at times it becomes extremely difficult, as Bodhidharma is regarded as saying,“Fall down nine times, get up ten times.”