I love this picture, which I found on Master Kozen’s website. I like it because it is a reminder that elightenment has no culture, although it is a culture of the mind. I like it because it shows the continuity of the practise of zen, which afterall is just a type of meditation practise, known in Sanskrit as dhyana and in Mandarin as chan.
And in the Sanghata Sutra, he recounts to Sarvashura “…the Tathagata, Arhat, Perfect and Complete Buddha Dipankara arose in the world. At that time, at that moment, I was a brahmin youth named Megha.”
In the Diamond Sutra, the Buddha recounts to Subhuti, “I remember the infinitely remote past before Dipankara Buddha. There were 84,000 myriads of multimillions of Buddhas and to all these I made offerings.”
We don’t know how old humanity is, although some put the Mitochondrial Eve some 200,000 years ago. If we say there’s a Buddha every 2,000 years, that means there’s been 200 of them since Eve. How many countless dhyana masters have there been?
I find it inspiring.