ALL ONE DHARMA
Buddhism comes in many shapes and sizes. There are different traditions and lineages and each teacher has their own way of doing it. The Tibetans sometimes jokingly say that there are as many Dharmas as lamas. This diversity is one of the great richnesses of Buddhism. Shakyamuni Buddha had a genius for teaching in a manner suited to the person before him. His disciples were diverse, each offering something unique, yet all engaged in the transcendence of self, the practice of compassion, the wisdom of emptiness, the practice of pure heartedness. Not just Shakyamuni: there have been innumerable great sages through the aeons of time who have taught love, compassion, joy and peace. They keep pointing out these simple principles and we complicate and divide them. Buddha did not teach a single method or protocol as exclusive. When he met people in need he responded from his great store of compassion. Each time was unique. He gave memorable teachings not so that each could defend the bit of the Dharma that each had memorized, but in the hope that these seeds would grow and burst our separate bubbles, liberating us into the open sky of his great Dharma vision. It is important to create Sanghas to transmit the Dharma, and Sanghas need their distinctive practices, but these should not become a barrier to understanding the fundamental unity of what is all one Dharma, all from one great heart.
David Brazier, (Dharma name: Dharmavidya), English, Buddhist master, Head of the Order of Amida Buddha (international, based in UK), President of the International Zen Therapy institute, patron of the Tathagata Trust in Assam, advisor to the Korean Buddhist Counselling association, teaches regularly at APAEL, the existential psychotherapy institute in Lima, Peru, examines doctoral students in London, UK, and regularly lectures in a dozen countries in the Americas, Europe and Asia. He is a doctor of philosophy and an authority on Buddhist psychology. He has published ten books, including Zen Therapy, The Feeling Buddha, Not Everything is Impermanent, and, most recently, Buddhism is a Religion: You Can Believe it. He is a published poet, a psychotherapist, and the inventor of pandramatics, a form of improvisational theatre. In the past he has founded and worked in a number of socially and culturally engaged projects around the world helping refugees, the mentally ill and victims of war, and resisting the arms trade. He and his disciples have founded sanghas and Buddhist training communities in various parts of Europe, also Hawaii, Israel and India. He has studied with leading Buddhist teachers in a number of traditions, Soto Zen, Shin, Jodo, Kargyu, and Theravada. His spiritual experiences go back to childhood and he has a lifelong interest in the unity of spiritual revelation across traditions and its personal and social implications. When not travelling he lives alone in a hermitage in a rural part of France. He enjoys photography, gardening, walking, and reading. He has three children and five grandchildren.