Today I would like to do something I haven’t done in a while and that is to thank all the people who read and support this blog. I really appreciate all of you who have left comments here, contacted me privately, who have “liked” The Endless Further’s Facebook page, and so on. I continue to be amazed that anyone reads this thing.
I’ve worked the blog for nearly five years now, and the best part of this experience has been the friends I’ve made. The blog has put me in touch with some wonderful, interesting people I would have never met otherwise, and not just here in the United States, but throughout the world.
There are times when words are unneeded, excessive. The Buddha is thought to be one person who understood that very well. Most of you are probably familiar with the story of the Buddha’s Flower Talk. One day the Buddha was sitting with the bhikkhus on Vulture Peak. They expected the Buddha to give a dharma talk. Instead of speaking, he simply held up a flower. No one understood except for a bhikkhu named Mahakasyapa, who smiled.
One of the earliest records of a transmission between the Buddha and Mahakasyapa appears in The Transmission of the Lamp, a Ch’an text composed in the 11th century CE. The transmission was called “the pure Dharma eye, the wondrous mind of nirvana.” However, this account does not mention a flower or a smile. That was embroidered into the story later. In Japanese Buddhism, this story is known as nengemisho or “pick up flower, subtle smile.”
I am not likening myself to the Buddha, as a transmitter of wisdom, I am merely saying that today it would be superfluous to say anything more than thank you . . .