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Buddhadharma : Spring 2014
SPRING 2014 BUDDHADHARMA: THE PRACTITIONER’S QUARTERLY 59 The Old Woman’s Enlightenment Japan, eighteenth century An old woman went to hear Master Hakuin give a lecture. He said, “Your mind is the Pure Land, and your body is Amida Buddha. When Amida Buddha appears, mountains, rivers, forests, and fields all radiate a great light. If you want to understand, look into your own heart.” The old woman pondered Hakuin’s words day and night, waking and sleeping. One day, as she was washing a pot after breakfast, a great light flashed through her mind. She dropped the pot and ran to tell Hakuin. “Amida Buddha filled my whole body. Mountains, rivers, forests, and fields are all shining with light. How wonderful!” She danced for joy. “What are you talking about?” Hakuin asked. “Does the light shine up your asshole?” Small as she was, she gave him a big push, saying, “I can see you’re not enlightened yet!” They both burst out laughing. The Hidden Lamp TOMHAWKINS Three contemporary women teachers shine new light on centuries-old stories of women and awakening. All excerpts from The Hidden Lamp, edited by Zenshin Florence Caplow and Reigetsu Susan Moon. Published by Wisdom, 2013 Female Bodhidharma by Kitagawa Utamaro (1753–1806) TOCHIGIKURANOMACHIMUSEUMOFART