This month, the University expanded our Mahāyāna offerings with new sections of the library dedicated to Chan and Vajrayāna Buddhism.

While the Vajrayāna is famous for its “magic,” there is also a long history of “spells” in East Asian Buddhism, as Ryan Overbey explains in “The Meaning and Function of Dhāraṇī Language”.

But the real heart of the Mahāyāna tradition is that just as:

Apart from water there is no ice;
Apart from beings, [there is] no Buddha.
How sad that people ignore the near
And search for truth afar

You can read the rest of Hakuin’s Song of Zazen along with dozens of other pieces on the history, theory and practice of the Mahāyāna now online at the


Khemarato Bhikkhu
Chief Librarian @ The Open Buddhist University