There is a story that the Buddha, in a previous life, gave his body to a Tiger so she could feed her staving cubs.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama gives the Opening Prayer in the U.S. Senate.
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C-SPAN 6 May 2014
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With a wish to free all beings
I shall always go for refuge
to the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha
until I reach full enlightenment.
Enthused by wisdom and compassion,
today in the Buddha’s presence
I generate the Mind for Full Awakening
for the benefit of all sentient beings.
As long as space endures,
as long as sentient being remain,
until then, may I too remain
and dispel the miseries of the world.
I venture to ask this assembly, ‘Have you awakened to and penetrated into the subtle Way of enlightenment with which everyone is endowed?’ If you have awakened, say something! HAK!
[a shout to awaken those listening]
As the sun rises brightly in the sky in the middle of the night, young monkeys are climbing up trees backwards.
The clear wind and the bright moon
demonstrate the great truth.
The green peaks and the white clouds
reveal the subtle function.
Every kind of form magnificently adorns
As a phoenix sings and a crane dances,
there is no end to the joy! Continue reading
Filed under: Buddhism, Ch'an / Seon / Zen, Kusan Sunim, Martine Batchelor | Tagged: Hwadu, kongan (Koan), Martine and Stephen Batchelor, Photo by @KyotoDailyPhoto, Photo from #endangeredarchives @bl_eap, Songgwang Sa Monastery | Leave a comment »
The Buddha placed great emphasis on personal experience and understanding. But we’re inclined to forget this and try to obtain understanding second-hand, from someone else. In other words we abdicate our responsibilities. We may fall into the trap of going to teachers/gurus — not to learn from them, but to lean on them. Wisdom, compassion and realization, of course, cannot be found this way. Naturally, unless we’re very foolish, we shall learn from others. But there is a very fine line between learning and leaning.
From the August 1989 Buddhism Now.
In my garden, there lived a cat. Seeing it one morning, elegantly tipping the milk bottle so as not to spill the contents, one of my flatmates christened it Einstein. Einstein it remained. A most intelligent cat, which on one occasion stole a large pork chop, and on another a pound of sausages, from right under our noses.
And yet Einstein was able to put all this intelligence aside and be simply — Cat.
There was a small, busy rat, which lived under the garden shed, together with a number of other assorted rodents. Continue reading
Of course, in following a spiritual path — as in anything in life — one needs information, support and the guidance of experienced people. We could call those who supply these essentials teachers — though perhaps spiritual friends is a better term. Traditionally in both East and West such people have lived modestly and often in seclusion, avoiding the public gaze. Some, however, on account of their very rare gifts and achievements, attained fame and sizeable followings. The Buddha is an example from the distant past, Sri Ramana Maharshi from more recent times.
No one would deny that the spiritual care of others is the gravest responsibility with which a person can be invested. Granted this, we have a right — a duty even — to ask how those responsibilities are being discharged today. Continue reading