Home Discussion Forum Where was Bodhidharma's cave?

Where was Bodhidharma's cave?

Look, I’m not trying to be clever or tricksy or anything here.
I’m saying that the cave may well be a metaphor for the final inward journey, ripping away all falsity, peeling off the layers of who he was not to reveal, in that stark internal darkness, who he really was.
Whaddya think?
Lol Lupo,
Yes, I am aware of what you say.
I am also aware that I am not mixed up.
No, I’m referring to the one who, when asked by the Emperor of Chin who it was who dared to speak to him in such a rude manner, anwered that he didn’t know. He then went away and reputedly sat meditating in a cave for nine years before achieving enlightenment.
Have you heard the legend about his grave and what they found in there?
Vic W.
One shoe indeed, and laughing like crazy.
Vic W,
Yes, it’s a great tale – but one I tend not to mention to my Christian friends.
Anyway, it gets you BA – shame you’re only allowed to give one.


  1. I wonder if you know that Bodhi Dharma, aka Bodhidharma aka Bodhi -da-mo; was a Buddhist monk as opposed to Buddha?
    He was the Founder of the Martial Arts, just in case you don’t know.
    Buddha found enlightenment under the Bodhi Tree, incidentally.
    Seems to me you are a bit mixed up.
    All the best.

  2. Are you referring to the Tibetan monk who lived in a cave for 60 years?
    From the book called ‘The Hermit’..by any chance?

  3. Yes an interesting theory Although In China cave meditation has always been popular Qi Gong is a good example where Qi Gong Masters Chunny Lin is one for example who use cave meditation to further their practice
    I have heard it said Bodhidharma meditated for nine years in a cave I’ll research for you over the coming days and I come up with something I’ll update the answer
    There is a great deal about including this
    Maybe It was a physical place as well as what you say Good question
    One shoe !
    Ha Ha But it is true
    After He died He was seen on a road and when asked by someone who knew nothing of his death Where are you going He replied To the west It was noted He was carrying a shoe When this tale got about eventually it was decided to open up the grave and it is claimed there was no corpes just one shoe

  4. I’m assuming you don’t mean the cave where he was supposedly buried, but the one where he’s said to have spent nine years.
    It’s traditionally been thought to be in Dengfeng, China (near the city Zhengzhou), though I don’t know that any specific cave today is regarded as “the” place where he supposedly meditated for all that time.
    Your idea that it may be metaphorical sounds very plausible to me – though I’m no expert. It may also be that he spent *some* time in a cave (maybe even near Dengfeng), and this was later taken up and made into a nine-year stint of meditation. Or perhaps he did spend a long time (maybe even nine years) living an ascetic lifestyle, perhaps in a cave. As far as I understand, there’s a lot of non-historical, legendary elements that have been used to fill out his rather poorly attested life. But you’re right, whether there’s no historical evidence whatsoever for his time in the cave, or even if there’s an historical kernel behind the story, it can certainly be thought of metaphorically – which makes perhaps for the best kind of story.


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