Sunday, March 16, 2008

18th March

Shall I compare this life to a lightening flash
or a drop of dew?
Before I have even spoken these words,
it has passed.

Life as identified by self can dissapear in an instant. The
realisation of Truth can occur spontaneously by observing
either of the above and realising they are you.

17th March

Hakuin boldly calligraphed the character for the word "DEATH", and
then added, "If anyone can see into the depths of this word he is
a true hero."

For me, to be a hero one must undertake an heroic act.
To embrace this word, and find out who is it that will
die, is truly heroic.

16th March

What is the ultimate teaching of Buddhism?
You won't understand it until you have it.

Zen is an inherent realisation of Truth. This cannot be taught
but must be experienced. The texts in this blogger strip away
the illusion of self to reveal what has been there all along.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

15th March

Just get rid of the false and you will
automatically realise the true.

What is displayed here is the world of opposites.
By the release of the false, the truth will be automatically revealed.
For me, however, these are opposite sides of the swinging
pendulum. The still pendulum is the balance between the two,
yet partakes of the nature of both. The pendulum at rest is

Friday, March 14, 2008

14th March

The Buddhas are all his servants. Who is he?
When you see him you will feel as if you have met
your own father at the end of the road.
You won't need to ask anyone else
if you are right or wrong.

For me this describes where perception merges into one.
The realisation that there is only IT. Everyone you meet,
and everything you percieve becomes just part of IT,
including you.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

13th March

A student came to a monastery to seek the truth of
Buddhism. "Why have you come to a monastery?"
asked the master. "Why do you neglect your own
precious treasure at home?" "What is my treasure?"
asked the student. "The one who asks the question
is the treasure," replied the master.

We often feel that if we could change something in
our lives it will make that life better. To do lots of
meditation or visit a holy place will somehow change
our perception of self. The Zen masters taught that
the most profound practice was to live life wherever
you may find it.

12th March

Do you want the truth?
Then abandon words and silence,
and live your own Zen.

The master shows that doing anything, even not doing,
is mind. Abandon this without doing and you are
expressing your Zen.

11th March

Vimalakirti asked Manjusri what was the Buddha's
doctrine of nonduality. Manjusri answered,
"The doctine is realised by one who sees beyond forms
and who knows beyond argument. This is my understanding
- what is yours?" In response to this question,
Vimalakirti closed his lips and was silent.

The Zen masters would often teach by non-doing. Duality is
an expression of mind. By remaining silent the master
shows that non-duality is stillness that cannot be expressed.

10th March

In a certain sense Zen is feeling life
instead of feeling something about life.
Alan Watts.

This quote is reiterating that life is meant to
be lived not thought about. Expressing life
not thinking about expressing it.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

9th March

Spring flowers, autumn moon,
Summer breeze, winter snow -
When the mind is free from
unnecessary thoughts,
Every season is just perfect!

Take the mind away from creating an illusory
reality and all of nature is revealed in it's
simplicity and glory.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

8th March

Let go of your hold.

To hold onto something, by definition, is to be attached to
it in some way. This attachement arises due to opinion and/or
judgement about something, that it is not right in some way,
that it is not acceptable. Zen is the acceptance of everything as it is,
in all it's raw beauty.

Friday, March 7, 2008

7th March

Our lives are based on what is reasonable and common
sense; truth is apt to be neither.
Christmas Humphreys

Truth in this sense is Zen. Our lives are governed by our
perceptions and judgements which fogs the clarity, the
truth of nature as it reveals itself to us in all its raw

6th March

Master Hsiang-yen asked a monk, "Do you understand the
meaning of Wei-shan holding up his stick?"
The monk replied, "The master's idea was to point to
objective reality - to demonstrate the Truth beyond concepts."
"Your theories are alright, but limited," said Hsiang-yen.
"What is your understanding then?" asked the student.
Hsiang-sen held up his teaching stick.

As before, the teaching stick was a call to leave mind behind
and embrace Buddha nature, the perfection of all, ie: there is
no understanding needed.

5th March

A monk asked master Wei-shan why Bodhidharma
had come to China. In answer, the master held up
his teaching stick.

A teaching stick is a long, flat piece of wood, a bit like a small
plank. If the master perceives one of his students has drifted
off or is not in the 'now' moment, he uses the stick to sharply
rap them on the head to bring their attention back.
This was the reason Bodhidharma came to China.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

4th March

Those who are content to be nothing special
are noble people. Don't strive. Be ordinary.

If one strives to be something one draws to oneself all of the
components of suffering.
Lack of something.
Not good enough.
Judgement about right and wrong, good or bad.
To want to be something you perceive you are not
is usually based on how you are perceived by others.
Your world is governed by external forces which are illusory.
To be ordinary is to look inwards and embrace who you are
in that moment without refference to any of the above.

Monday, March 3, 2008

3rd March

A novice asked a master for instruction.
The master replied, "Have you had your breakfast yet?"
"I have," said the student. "Then wash your bowl," said
the master.

The master is showing the student that the search for knowledge is
akin to hunger. Asking the novice if he had eaten, and received the
reply that he had, he instructed the novice to wash his bowl, to
end the meal, to stop searching for knowledge. To stop searching for
knowledge is Zen.

2nd March

The monks asked master Pai-chang to give a sermon.
He replied that he would talk about Zen later, and that they
should get on with their farming. After work had finished
the master was requested to fulfill his promise, whereupon
he opened both his arms as if to embrace the whole

The monks required of the master an explanation of Zen.
The master, knowing full well that Spirit is Life and the constant
unfolding thereof, made a gesture that indicated all that the monks
had done that day, the request for a sermon, working in the fields,
as part of the infinite universe is Zen. This is the sermon that is
presented to each one of us, every day.