Norman Fischer

Revealing a World of Bliss

Magazine History & Philosophy

Revealing a World of Bliss

Norman Fischer explains how the Buddha was able to transmit the heart of his teaching simply by twirling a flower. When Buddha was on Vulture Peak he twirled a flower before the assembly. Everyone was silent. Only Mahakashyapa smiled. Buddha said: “I have the eye treasury of the true teaching, the heart of nirvana, the […]

By Norman Fischer

Magazine Meditation & Practice

Why Do We Bow?

Many people have this question the minute they walk into the zendo and are told to make full prostrations to the Buddha image on the altar. They come with an idea that Zen is beyond words and letters, beyond religion, beyond rules, beyond piety, and so the idea of such a thorough-going and outrageous display […]

By Norman Fischer

Magazine Arts & Culture

Buddhism, Racism, And Jazz

THE OTHER DAY I PICKED UP a world religions textbook my twin sons were using for their freshman high school history course. The chapter on Buddhism had a subdivision entitled “Western Buddhism,” and here you could see pictures of life in an American Zen Buddhist monastery, along with thoughtful text on the subject. I was […]

By Norman Fischer
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