Wednesday, June 25, 2008

15th June

I have no parents; I make heaven and earth my parents.
I have no divine power; I make honesty my power.
I have no means; I make submission my means.
I have no magic power; I make inward strength my magic.
I have neither life nor death; I make Eternity
my life and death.
I have no designs; I make opportunity my design.
I have no miracles; I make the Way my miracle.
I have no principles; I make adaptability
to all things my principle.
I have no friends; I make my mind my friend.
I have no enemy; I make incautiousness my enemy.
I have no armour; I make goodwill and righteousness
my armour.
I have no castle; I made immovable Mind my castle.
Samurai’s Zen Creed
No comment needed

14th June

My compassion to all sentient beings
shall be like the limitless sky.
When released, Mind is freed from
clinging to worldly things.
Even though living in this world of illusion,
My meditations shall be like the Lotus flower,
Lovely and unstained, rising up from the mud.
With purified mind I offer my respects
to the Buddha - The Enlightened One.
No comment needed.

13th June

Master Seung Sahn taught his students that to let go of
their small self and discover their true self, they must make
a firm decision to attain enlightenment and help others.
To help them they had been given the Buddhist precepts,
but they should know when to keep them and went to
break them, when they are open and when they are closed.
To be the self is to be immersed in the self, seeing only what the
self projects. The true self is to recognise all outside of oneself is the Self.
The Buddhist precepts are unconditional and can have a different meaning
depending on which self is present.

12th June

Zuigan would greet himself each morning and
request of himself, "Today please try and wake up,"
to which he would answer, "Yes, indeed I will."
This master acknowledges the game we all play with our
minds. That there is something to do - constantly.

11th June

Is some sickness coming tonight?
Is death waiting for us tomorrow?
There is no greater folly than to be alive
but unconscious - not following the Buddha's way.
The Venerable Ching.
Projecting future events based on worry and judgement is to be alive but unconscious to the richness of life in the moment – the Buddha’s way.

10th June

If you don't let go of worldly worries about the future
and make a living, you'll regret it. Follow the way,
or all your days and nights will have been lived for nothing.
This quote shows how we can be so immersed in worries about our future that we fail to live life today, leading to a life of missed opportunity, of experiencing the richness of LIFE.

9th June

Zen is not a pastime,
but the most serious task in life.
D. T. Suzuki.
Zen is life.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Taming The Bull.

The seeker must train his mind to prevent it from forever
wandering off into delusion. At this stage the student
begins Zen practice in earnest. Such disciplines are not an end
in themselves, but a means to harmonise the mind so that it
effortlessly expresses the seeker's deeper nature. The bull,
once tamed, naturally obeys without struggle or imposed
discipline. Kuo-an Shih-yaun writes

With weight and tether
to prevent it wandering off into the wilderness,
the bull will become well-trained
and naturally meek -
obeying without need of restraint.

One thought follows another. When thought emerges from
enlightenment, all thoughts are true - but one deluded
thought makes everything false. It is not the objective world
that oppresses us, but our own deceiving minds. To master the
bull, hold the nose ring tight and do not let your intention

8th June

There is nothing lukewarm in Zen;
if it is lukewarm, it is not Zen.
D. T. Suzuki.
To experience reality as having qualities is not Zen. Zen is the freshness of every moment free of qualities or judgements.

7th June

Twenty monks and one beautiful nun named Eshun
were practising with a master. Several monks fell in love
with Eshun and one wrote her a love letter suggesting
a private meeting. Eshun did not reply, but the next day,
after the master’s talk to the group, she addressed the
author saying, "If you love me so much, come and
embrace me now."
How could a student of Zen write a love letter? Who is in love?

6th June

In spring the daffodils bloom
- but not the same daffodils.
And lovers walk in the park
- but not the same lovers.
Peter Gandy.
Zen is the unfolding of Life in all its simplicity and diversity.

5th June

In this situation now before one, and nowhere else,
will Zen be found, or not found at all.
Christmas Humphreys.
What is around you now, as you read this is Zen. You either know this or you do not.

4th June

A monk asked the master, "I've been your student for a
long time, but you haven't given me any instructions in the
path of Buddhism. Please teach me more."
The master replied, "What do you mean my son?
Every morning you greet me and I greet you back.
You bring me tea which I accept and enjoy drinking.
What more teachings do you want from me?"
Zen is the flow of daily life in all its simplicity.

3rd June

"I can explain. I know.
I am the teacher you are the student."
Anyone who says such things is guilty
of demonic suggestion.
To talk of I, is to be in the illusion of separate self.

2nd June

Imitating me won’t get you anywhere.
My mind isn't the same as yours. When your mind
is the same as mine, you will be here.
The master points out to the student that to imitate
a master of Zen is pointless. The desire to do so comes from a mind that is in comparison, that sees this and that, has identity. Buddha-mind is boundless without qualities.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

1st June

Before he was himself a master, Hakuin went to master
Shoju to demonstrate his knowledge of Zen.
When Shoju asked him what he knew, Hakuin pretended to
vomit and announced, "Anything I can find I will expel from
me." Shoju, however, was unimpressed. He tweaked Hakuin
firmly on the nose and said, “What is this? Have I not found
something after all?”
The master showed Hakuin he still had a concept of I and me. Truly a burden.