Diamond Sutra, chapter 10

The Buddha continued, “When I was in a previous life did I receive any teaching or attain any degree of self-control that later helped me become a Buddha?”
“No. You didn’t receive any teaching or attain any degree of self-control in a previous life that helped you become a Buddha.”
The Buddha said, “A disciple should develop a mind which is not dependent on the senses or mental conceptions. A disciple should develop a mind that doesn’t rely on anything.”
“So the minds of disciples should be purified. They should use their minds naturally, without being constrained by preconceived notions that arise from the senses.”

The Buddha is repeated the point that Awakening doesn’t come from someone else, it comes from within. It’s been said that in a previous life the Buddha learned from someone named Dipankara. Even if this is true, that doesn’t mean that Dipankara led the Buddha to Awakening. Dipankara only pointed the way, just as teachers do for the rest of us.
The Buddha goes on to say that our minds shouldn’t be imprisoned by having to rely on our preconceived notions. Nor should they be imprisoned by delusions arising from our senses which, if we are honest with ourselves, have a tendency to deceive us sometimes. A disciple should strive to interact with the world without attaching to any particular paradigm.

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About Daniel Scharpenburg

Daniel Scharpenburg is an independent dharma teacher living in Kansas City. He gives online teachings through the Open Heart Project. He also runs the Monday Night Zen Group at the Rime Buddhist Center. His writing has appeared in Lion's Roar, Patheos, Tattooed Buddha, and Elephant Journal.

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