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 true form of non-form, and the ineffable gate of dharma. It is a special transmission outside the teaching. I now entrust it to Mahakashyapa.”

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