Like a handful of fallen leaves, by Buddhadasa Bhikkhu

New Oak leavesThe Buddha refused to have any dealing with those things which don’t lead to the extinction of Dukkha. Take the question of whether or not there is rebirth. What is reborn? How is it reborn? What is its kammic in­herit­ance? These questions are not aimed at the extinction of Dukkha. That being so they are not Buddhist teaching and they are not connected with it. They do not lie in the sphere of Buddhism. Also, the one who asks about such matters has no choice but to indis­­crimi­nately believe the answer he’s given, because the one who answers is not going to be able to produce any proofs, he’s just going to speak according to his memory and feeling. The listener can’t see for himself and so has to blindly believe the other’s words. Little by little the matter strays from Dhamma until it’s something else altogether, unconnected with the extinction of Dukkha. Continue reading

Meditation for Geeks

One for geeks — it gave me a laugh, thanks to @CausesEffects #HappyMeditationMonth

and Joy of tech.

Artwork by Nitrozac and Snaggy.

Meditation for Geeks

 

The Path of Wisdom, by Ajahn Sumedho

The Six Realms of Birth, 10 hanging scroll paintings Japan Edo period, 19th century ADSometimes people criticize Buddhism because they say it’s pessimistic — we just talk about suffering; why not talk about love? Love is much more in­spiring than suffering, isn’t it? Talking about universal love is a very inspiring subject. There is nothing wrong with contem­plating universal love, either. But if that’s all we are doing, then it can be merely a whitewash over inner pain and anguish. We might want to love all beings and live in a world of unity and total love. That might be a very appealing idea. What is it that prevents us from that unity? If we trace it back, we will find it’s the ignorance that we have about ourselves. The suffering that we create in life is always the tendency to divide and separate, compare, accept and reject. So the Buddha emphasized the Noble Truth of suffering — not as an absolute, pessimistic view, but as a truth that we can be free from. The Buddha said, ‘I teach only two things — suffering and the end of suffering’. Continue reading

Trek the mountains of Khumbu.

Explore the Khumbu

Visit the Everest Region of Nepal, homeland of the Sherpa people.

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Nepal in Google Maps

The Sixth Patriarch of Zen at the Moment of Enlightenment

The Sixth Patriarch of Zen at the Moment of Enlightenment

Hanging scroll; ink on paper
Artist: Kano Tan’yū (Japanese, 1602–1674)
Edo period (1615–1868) Japan, 1635–45
Photo © Metropolitan Museum of Art

This small image, executed with a few brushstrokes in light ink, is Kano Tan’yū’s reiteration of a legendary painting of the early thirteenth century by the renowned Southern Song Chinese painter Liang Kai (now in the Tokyo National Museum). It illustrates a Zen parable regarding Hui-neng (638–713), the sixth patriarch of Zen (Chan in Chinese), who suddenly found enlightenment as he was about to split a bamboo branch for firewood. See the whole scroll

Part 3 Zazenshin: Acupuncture Needle of Zazen, by Shohaku Okumura

This is the third part of a commentary on the Shobogenzo: Zazenshin by Reverend Okumura. In Part I he explained that `zazen is an acupuncture needle to heal the sickness caused by the three poisonous states of mind.’ The second instalment went into his experiences in relationship to that teaching, and this instalment is the story of Nangaku polishing the tile. Click here to read part one and two of Zazenshin.

Nangaku’s Polishing a Tile

Baso Tile[Dogen Zenji comments on the story about Nangaku (Nanyue Huairang 677-744) and Baso (Mazu Dao-I 709-88). Nangaku Ejo was a disciple of the Sixth Ancestor, Daikan Eno (Dajian Huineng 638-713).]

Baso Doitsu was a great Zen master in Tang Dynasty China. It is said that he had more than eighty Dharma heirs.

This story about Nangaku is interesting and important. Dogen Zenji did not initially introduced it in its entirety in the Shobogenzo Zazenshin. He presented the sayings from the koan story and then added his comments. When we read the Zazenshin, therefore, this story is not particularly clear. Dogen’s comments are especially difficult to understand. This is typical of Dogen. Unless we have a clear understanding of the original story, therefore, we really don’t understand what he is talking about, not even one sentence of it.

I would like to consider the original story. What is the point of it? And what is the point of the alterations Dogen made to the meaning of expressions. Unless we understand the original story, we cannot understand why he did that. This is why I would like to consider the original story of this interesting koan before giving Dogen’s comments. Continue reading

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