Posted in diamond sutra

Diamond Sutra, chapter 17

The Buddha continued:

“If a follower were to give away many treasures, would a great blessing and merit be generated?”

Subhuti replied, “Yes they would acquire considerable blessings and merit.”

The Buddha said:

“Subhuti, if such a blessing had any substantiality, if it were anything other than a figure of speech, I would not have used the words ‘blessings and merit’.”

The Buddha is challenging public ideas about karma. Karma is a complicated matter in Buddhism. Many people then, and now, thought of it as ‘if you do good things, then good things will happen to you’. The point is we should practice virtue because we want to practice virtue, not because we believe it will generate good karma for us.

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Author:

Daniel is a Zen Teacher in Kansas City. He leads Fountain City Zen, a floating meditation community. Daniel is affiliated with the Dharma Winds Tradition, where he ordained in 2018. Daniel is a co-owner of the website The Tattooed Buddha and he has a weekly podcast called Scharpening the Mind.

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