What is Buddha Nature?

Buddha Nature is a concept in Mahayana Buddhism that thoughtfully turns foundational teachings on emptiness. It emphasizes understanding the 'self' and encourages appreciation for the material reality of 'suchness' in our daily experiences.

How do we describe, let alone experience, Buddha Nature in our practice life? In this eight-week course, we will explore the evolution of the Buddha Nature concept, its significance for our practice, and experience it firsthand.

The course focuses on Dogen’s fascicle, Bussho. Characterized by its exemplary functioning, Bussho skillfully exposes the workings of the mind with surprising tenderness. Our study is grounded in Zazen, enriched by text analysis, writing prompts, brief expositions, and group discussions. This approach will broaden our confidence and curiosity in Dogen’s writings and deepen our understanding of our own Buddha Nature.

What is The One Taste of True Practice?


Delve into Dogen's essay Bussho and explore the Zen concept of Buddha Nature. Examine the historical roots and varied interpretations of this term, derived from ancient Indian sutras and their Chinese translations.

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The image shows a smiling person with a shaved head and fair skin, wearing a dark robe, indicative of a Zen priest, in a sunlit natural setting.
Chikudo Catherine Spaeth was ordained in the Suzuki Roshi lineage in 2013 by Susan Tokudo Jion Postal, a student of Darlene Cohen. Upon Susan Postal's death she came to Tassajara in 2014, becoming Paul Haller's student and remaining there until 2020. For many years she taught in university Literature, Comparative Studies, and Art History departments, both at the undergraduate and graduate level.


Class Information

  Login Instructions
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  Welcome
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  Introduction
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  From Emptiness to Mountains: Historical overview
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