On April 3, 2023, Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche gave a teaching in Taipei with the enigmatic title “Lying Flat Buddha.” In fact, the title refers to the recent phenomenon in mainland China of “lying flat” (Mandarin: “tang ping”), a type of passive resistance to the high pressure and competitiveness of contemporary life. In his multilayered teaching Rinpoche offered a broader interpretation of the term, linking it to different wisdom traditions and the Buddhist Noble Eightfold Path.
“So if we understand words like ‘tang ping’ … within this context, as how it is understood by the Buddhists, Confucianists, Daoists, and by those great Hindu masters, then probably ‘tang ping’ should be in your school textbook. More than ever now we need to aspire for ‘tang ping’ life. But this is difficult.
Lying flat is not only an art—it is also a craft. In order to lie flat, you need merit, you need to be quite lucky. You need to be savvy, strategical. So, basically, just as how it is taught in the ancient texts, in order to do nothing, we have to do a lot of things. Most of all, we need some sort of wisdom to really manage to do that.”
Visit the Siddhartha’s Intent website for more of Rinpoche’s teachings.