Perfect Wisdom

Perfect Wisdom

posted in: Dharma Talks | 1

The attainment of Perfect Wisdom is one of the great ideals of Buddhism, yet Chaotic Stupidity seems to be the free-flowing currency of our world. Perfect Wisdom is nowhere in sight. Or is it? I gave this Dharma talk on July 2, 2015 at the Village Zendo in New York City. By taking a close look at the opening of the well known Buddhist text “The Heart Sutra” I tried to see Perfect Wisdom in a Zen light. I mention a recent talk by contemporary Zen teacher Issho Fujita, and recite part of a poem by Gertrude Stein. Here is the talk 23 minutes long:

Perfect Wisdom

During the talk a question came up about the meaning of the Chinese word “Inmo” which Reverend Issho Fujita had mentioned in his talk. I asked Issho-san a little more about it, and he replied: “Inmo is a Chinese colloquial which means “what”,”how”, “thus”, “this way”, “it”. In Zen text it is pointing at what cannot be described or specified by words. In Chinese it is written as 恁麼 or 什麼.” My Japanese friend who was in the audience that evening also did a little further research on Inmo and says “Linguistically it is a Chinese kanji and rooted in Zen; therefore, there is always a chance of it being interpreted differently among Japanese. I learned the most appropriate word is ‘It’ in English.” On even further inquiry my friend told me that in contemporary Japanese, phonetically the word “Inmou” sounds like the Japanese word for “body hair” or “pubic hair” ha! In = 陰 Hidden/Shadow, 毛 Mou = hair. Whether it means “what” or “it” or “body hair” is exactly the Zen point. Inmo is an excellent word. WHAT! If you are in doubt, please chant my crude translation of the Maha Prajña Paramita Gata three times:

Gone gone, gone beyond. Really gone! Awake! That’s it.
Gone gone, gone beyond. Really gone! Awake! That’s it.
Gone gone, gone beyond. Really gone! Awake! That’s it.

Artwork: Perfect Wisdom – watercolor on paper – 22.5 x 30.25 inches – October 15, 2007

One Response

  1. Patrick Kapty
    | Reply

    Body Hair!

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