Need Research on Bodhidharma
Some of my books are reboxed. I need an entire room for my library. I was looking for my Chinese history books…
I found one that I didn’t pack up because I wrote a bunch of Zen Poetry in it. I was so inspired that after reading this book I wrote an entire book in about two weeks. It was a beautiful experience. I’m remembering it now. I had just finished writing the ZOMBIE KILLER movie. So my nerves were very rattled.
Zen Poetry Inspired by Bodhidharma
That was another motivation for jumping into this book, ZEN POETRY INSPIRED BY BODHIDHARMA. I needed to clean all the murder, death, gore, hatred and pain from that movie out of my brain. It was like living it in real life during that first month when I wrote the screenplay. The horrible events that happened to me in Las Vegas in 2012 were the inspiration for the fear and angst in that 2015 movie script.
I remember how satisfying it was to bathe my mind in thoughts of Zen like blue peace of mind in a lava lamp. (My head being the lava lamp.)
Anyway. This book has information that is very different from my prior sources which were disputed by later sources and now this book.
I’m reluctant to be adamant of which stories are correct.
History of Bodhidharma
Bodhidharma was born around 440 A.D. in Kanchu, a coastal town of India.. He was born a Brahman which makes him an automatic Hindu. He was the third son of King Simhavarman?
But when he was young he got a Buddhist tutor. This must mean his dad converted to Buddhism?
In most of the stories I’d heard, Bodhidharma was wealthy and that he may have had someone accompany him to China. His Buddhist mentor, Prajnatara, motivated Bodhidharma to go to China. I’m not sure he was a high ranking monk in India.
Crossing the Yellow River in China
Bodhi had to cross the Yellow River twice. Once from the Shaolin Temple to visit the Emperor. Second to return to the temple. There are legends and goofy stories about how he did it. I’ve got my logical realistic story: he built a raft with bamboo lashed together. No big deal. But it got embellished. That’s my story.
Bodhi Meets the Chinese Emperor
The Emperor Wu of the Liang dynasty may have been the one to become disappointed in Bodhidharma. There were 8,000 TEMPLES and over 110,000 Buddhist monks in China. That’s a lot of tortillas! Oh yeah, they didn’t have tortillas. Well, that’s a lot of rice to feed those monks every day. I have many stories about ancient Buddhist homeless life that portray a civilization in India that can only compare to Canada. When I hitchhiked across Canada in 1971 and 1972 I was taken home by Canadians who would feed me, let me take a shower, then in the morning make me breakfast and drive me to the freeway. I know that Americans find that unbelievable, but that’s how warm and friendly Canadians used to be. I hope they still are. Evidently that’s how warm and friendly the people of India used to be who were Hindus and Buddhists.
But the Emperor wasn’t ready for Bodhidharma’s reply. He didn’t like it. Bodhi’s lucky… Bodhidharma went back to the Shaolin Temple.
Who’s the Monk That First Built the Temple?
Who built it?
I’ve got a couple good stories about the monk that preceded Bodhidharma. I look forward to unboxing them. This book of mine says that Bodhidharma wasn’t the monk that was foretold. Hmmm. I hadn’t heard that, but that explains why he was stuffed into a cave instead of given a temple room. Maybe he preferred the cave?
This book gave me specifics on the only three disciples of Bodhidharma. One he ordained before reaching the Temple which makes me wonder if he included the Shaolin Kung Fu? The other two at the Shaolin Temple learn that Kung Fu and Zen Buddhism are “The Way.” This becomes Shaolin Kung Fu.