No Longer Foolish, by Shen Hui

Figure of a Luohan Northern China 1279-1368 AD Wood with traces of paint. V&AThe Prince of Sseu Tao once asked Master Shen Hui whether ‘the absence of thought’ was something to be cultivated by the foolish or by the wise. ‘Because’ the Prince reasoned, ‘if it was a method for the wise, why encourage the foolish to cultivate it?’

Shen Hui answered, ‘”The absence of thought” is a method for the wise, but if the foolish were to cultivate it, they would no longer be fool­ish.’

Prince: But that absence — what is it the absence of, and that thought — what is it the thought of? Continue reading

Dalai Lama talks about what is present

Dalai LamaWe talk of past present and future, but cannot find the present. Yet without the present, there’s no past or future. Dalai Lama

About 2 minutes

2014 in review and stats. Enjoy!

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 440,000 times in 2014. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 19 days for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Buddha is only a provisional name, by Harada Sekkei Roshi

Burma: Pagan period. 12th–13th century. Wood with traces of red lacquer, gesso and gold leaf.Question: What is the basic teaching of Buddhism?

Harada Sekkei Roshi: It is simply to realise for yourself that all things in the world are Buddha. This represents a major difference between Buddhism and other religions. In other teachings, something other is perceived to exist such as God, fate, destiny or the will of heaven. You are then taught to live in accord with this. However, in Buddhism it is taught that there is nothing which exists.

Q: But isn’t it taught that Buddha exists?

Roshi: In terms of a human being, a Buddha is a person without ego-self. This means that for sentient beings there is no centre or self-nature. In Buddhism, this is explained as the law of causality.

Q: What is the law of causality? Continue reading

Why should I be angry with him? by Acarya Shantideva

Tolerance part 4 from a prose translation by Stephen Batchelor of the sixth chapter of Acarya Shantideva’s A Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life (Bodhicaryavatara).

Wild flowersIt could be argued that, were one’s life prosperous, one would be able to eradicate evil and accumulate goodness. But would not goodness be erased and evil increased if one aggressively had to pursue prosperity? What would be the value of such an evil existence if thereby one only succeeded in destroying that for the purpose of which one lived?

Shouldn’t I be angry with those who say unpleasant things which cause others to lose [faith in me]? But then why do you not get angry with those who say unpleasant things to others? For if you can tolerate those whose ill-will arises on account of others, why can you not tolerate those whose slan­der arises on account of their emotions? Continue reading

Esoteric Buddhism and the Tantras in East Asia

Esoteric Buddhism and the Tantras in East AsiaEdited by Charles D. Orzech (General Editor), Henrik H. Sørensen, Richard K. Payne

ISBN13: 9789004184916, E-ISBN: 9789004204010, 2011, Illustr.:
xxii, 1216 pp. Hardback, BRILL €264 $351 e-book €264.00+ Tax (if applicable)Book Depositary £212.41.

Publisher’s Summary
In all likelihood, it was the form of Buddhism labelled ‘Esoteric Buddhism’ that had the greatest geographical spread of any form of Buddhism. It left its imprint not only on its native India, but far beyond, on Southeast Asia, Central Asia, including Tibet and Mongolia, as well as the East Asian countries China, Korea and Japan. Not only has Esoteric Buddhism contributed substantially to the development of Buddhism in many cultures, but it also facilitated the transmission of religious art and material culture, science and technology. This volume, the result of an international collaboration of forty scholars, provides a comprehensive resource on Esoteric Buddhism and the Tantras in their Chinese, Korean, and Japanese contexts from the first few centuries of the common era right up to the present.
Continue reading


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