11/10/2013 – Advaita, Non-Dualism, and Buddhism

Sam led our reflections for this session, focusing on the non-dualistic tradition in Advaita Vedanta and its relation to that strain of Buddhism.  Anchoring the talk was a talk by Rob Burbea, titled “The Wisdom of Non-Duality.”

The following zen story (from the book “No Water No Moon” by Osho) was also brought into play:

The nun Chiyono studied for years, but was unable to find enlightenment.  One night, she was carrying an old pail filled with water.  As she was walking along, she was watching the full moon reflected in the pail of water.  Suddenly, the bamboo strips that held the pail together broke, and the pail fell apart.  The water rushed out; the moon’s reflection disappeared – and Chiyono became enlightened.  She wrote this verse:

This way and that way I tried to keep the pail together,

hoping the weak bamboo would never break.

Suddenly the bottom fell out.  No more water; no more moon in the water –

emptiness in my hand.