Those who see into their true nature
are instantaneously initiated into all
the mystic teachings.
We are beset by so many small (and sometimes large) problems. They fill the space in our heads to the point when there seems nowhere left to mount a solution.
The central problem is that they all demand to be dealt with now, or otherwise there will be terrible consequences. Of course we can’t solve them all now, so we collapse in misery and the little voices in our heads panic and threaten to bring the whole house crashing down on us. They drown out both common sense and the quiet, wise voice that might sort the whole mess out. Whilst we are so off balance, we can’t think straight.
If we had any peace of mind, we would see that one thing had led to another, then another, and that is how the whole net that bound us had been spun. (more…)
Sir John Aske has been a practising Buddhist for many years. He is a keen traveller and photographer (many of his photos on this blog), and is a regular contributor to Buddhism Now. He lives in Exeter.
Other posts by John Aske
In ancient times, the Patriarchs and Ancestors directly pointed at the mind for realisation of self-nature and attainment of Buddhahood. Like Bodhidharma who ‘quietened the mind’ and the Sixth Patriarch who only talked about ‘perception of self-nature’, all of them just advocated the outright cognizance (of it) without any more ado. They did not advocate looking into a hua t’ou, but later they discovered that men were becoming unreliable, were not of dogged determination, indulged in playing tricks and boasted of their possession of precious gems which really belonged to others. For this reason, these ancestors were compelled to set up their own sects, each with its own devices; hence, the hua t’ou technique.
There are many hua t’ous, such as: ‘All things are returnable to One, to what is (that) One returnable?’ 1 ‘Before you were born, what was your real face?’2 but the hua t’ou: ‘Who is repeating Buddha’s name?’ is widely in use (today). Continue reading
OATMEAL BAKE ( Vegetarian Christmas dinner serves 4)
1 Onion – diced
10 Medium-sized mushrooms – sliced
3 Carrots – diced
150g Tinned tomatoes – mashed
75g Tinned or fresh chestnuts (if dried soak overnight)
50g Ground cashew nuts
1 pkt Tofu
Salt and pepper
1 teaspoon mixed herbs
Fry onions and mushrooms in a little oil.
Steam carrots until tender. Boil chestnuts until soft.
Mash tofu and then mix with tomatoes, nuts, oatmeal, salt, pepper and herbs.
Then mix together with onions, mushrooms, carrots and chestnuts.
Place into a greased oven-dish; cook for 30-40 minutes at 180° C, 350° F until brown and firm on top. (more…)
Buddhism has a very guru-and-teacher-oriented side to it, but I don’t think it was ever meant to. The Buddha found his own way to freedom from suffering. He followed various teachers beforehand, but after thoroughly understanding what they were talking about, he realised they had not reached final liberation. Finally, he sat beneath the bodhi tree and penetrated the depths of his own mind and consciousness. Then he found the way. And basically that is what he advised others to do. (more…)
I venture to suggest to this assembly: ‘Even in a dirty place the true nature of all beings is always pure.’ It is like a lotus flower unsmeared by muddy water. In an accomplished person it does not increase and in a sentient being it does not decrease. So, have you completely awakened to it or not? The wise person, say something! Truly, what is this thing? HAK! You must observe the moon over the shadowless ground and chant the wind, then you will realise it!
The wonderful Dharma, being like a lotus flower, transcends everything.
Only when tranquil and without hindrance will you encounter
If you have not removed pride, then truly you are a fool.
When seeking the Way, if you grasp at the form, you will be ensnared in the pheasant’s net.
Spending fifteen years as the first Patriarch of the Jogye-san Monastic Compound (Jogye Chongnim) headquartered in Songgwang-sa, Master Kusan devoted much his life’s energy to propagating Buddhism, through such activities as the founding of the Bulil International Seon Center. Directly and indirectly, some fifty of his disciples from both Korea and abroad are spreading the teachings of Korean Seon Buddhism around the world.
Master Kusan was born December 17, 1909, in a small village in Mt. Jirisan in Namwon, Jeollabuk-do province, Korea. (more…)