These notes aim to give a basic picture of Buddhism as a living practice. A picture that helps go towards experiencing Buddhism rather than just accepting a conceptual understanding or strong emotional connection, though these are good too.
As in the ‘parable of the burning house‘, the Lotus Sutra shows there are more magnificent toys awaiting the truly receptivethan the conceptual template and practices of Budddhism.
It is hoped the notes show how to move towards positive changes; from our incoherent, confused, habitual states of mind and actions, as through practice the shape of the mind changes and becomes more coherent and receptive content and presumptions are replaced more and more by direct inner meaning .
Just about everything in Buddhism from the ascetic clarity of the Theravada to the mysterious magical depths and subtlety of Mahamudra can see its roots in the life of Shakyamuni Buddha. This is especially the case if you rest your attention, imagination and empathy on Siddhartha , some 2500 years ago, and follow his life and let the result grow in your mind . In doing so a deeper understanding can arise of the path from man to Buddha will grow and that will change you as you delve into that reality as if transfixed by some great painting.
Buddhism is fond of the number 3 ( and 7). In the notes that follow place the Mahayana between the Theravada and the Mahamudra and gently associate these with the conceptual (Theravada, nirmanakaya) , the imaginal (Mahayana, Sambodakaya) and the (Vajrayana-Mahamudra, Dharmakaya). Where the nirmanakaya, Sambodakaya and Dharmakaya are the realms of the Trikaya; the perception of material form, imaginal form and then the being reality.