How could I be unhappy about others being pleased? Acarya Shantideva

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

Kitamukizan Fudo-in Photo © @KyotoDailyPhotoIf a man condemned to death were released after having his hand amputated, would that be a misfortune? If through human suffering I were spared the misery of hell, would that really be a misfortune?

But if I am unable to bear even the slight suffering of the present, then why do I not resist my anger which is the source of hellish agony? Thousands of times have I been burned in hell on account of my desires, yet none of this has been of any benefit either to myself or others. The harm in this world is so much less and can be of great benefit. So now I should gladly accept this suffering which can conquer the pain of living beings. Continue reading

Everything comes from mind, by Bodhidharma

Old Bodhidharma Crossing River on they’re attached to appearances, they’re unaware that their minds are empty. And by mistakenly clinging to the appearance of things they lose the Way. If you know that everything comes from the mind, don’t become attached. Once attached, you’re unaware. But once you see your own nature, the entire Canon becomes so much prose. Its thousands of sutras and shastras only amount to a clear mind. Understanding comes in mid-sentence. What good are doctrines? The ultimate Truth is beyond words. Doctrines are words They’re not the Way. The Way is wordless. Words are illusions. They’re no different from things that appear in your dreams at night, be they palaces or carriages, forested parks or lakeside pavilions. Don’t conceive any delight for such things. They’re all cradles of rebirth. Keep this in mind when you approach death. Don’t cling to appearances, and you’ll break through all barriers. A moment’s hesitation and you’ll be under the spell of devils. Your real body is pure and impervious. But because of delusions you’re unaware of it. And because of this you suffer karma in vain. Wherever you find delight, you find bondage. But once you awaken to your original body and mind, you’re no longer bound by attachments. Anyone who gives up the transcendent for the mundane, in any of its myriad forms, is a mortal. A buddha is someone who finds freedom in good fortune and bad.

Click here to read Breakthrough Sermon, by Bodhidharma.

Reprinted from The Zen Teaching of Bodhidharma with kind permission from the translator Red Pine.

Great Wisdom Sutra from the Chū sonji Temple Sutra Collection

The frontispiece to this sutra chapter shows a dramatic three-quarters view of the Buddha seated with two bodhisattvas. Seven figures pay obeisance to the Buddha, with the six in front raising offerings of food. The silver used to articulate sections of the ground, the ribbons that hang from the tree behind and the altar before the Buddha, and the offering bowls raised before him provides a subtle, pleasing contrast to the gold used elsewhere in the composition.

Great Wisdom SutraThis chapter from the Great Wisdom Sutra (Daihannyakyō; Sanskrit: Mahaprajnaparamita) is one of more than five thousand scrolls of Buddhist scripture that were dedicated in 1176 to the temple Chūsonji in northern Japan by the nobleman Fujiwara Hidehira (died 1187) for the salvation of his father, Motohira (died 1157). Throughout the sutra, absolute truth is equated to emptiness, and wisdom is praised as the best means of attaining enlightenment. Continue reading

The Emotional Climate of Nondualistic Practice, by Ken Jones

Photo by @KyotoDailyPhotoI believe that the emotional climate generated by nondualistic practice, individually and also collectively (in a sangha or on a retreat), differs from that of a practice which tends to emphasize the attainment of higher spiritual states. If we feel we are already intrinsically wise and compassionate, even though we have yet fully to manifest it, then our practice is surely less anxious and stressed, and more playful. Certainly that has been my experience with retreat participants. Again, the great Chan poem “Faith in the Heart (Xin-Xin-Ming) offers the reassurance of living in suchness, as in the following passage (Waley translation): Continue reading

Zen monks from Hossjin-ji on Takuhatsu

Monks in Obama on Dana

Zen monks from Hossjin-ji going on Takuhatsu

(Dana or alms round) in Obama Japan.

Short film about 7mins.

To watch more Buddhist videos click here.

False Thought, by Ch’an Master Lai-kuo

Translated from the Korean by Martine and Stephen Batchelor

Dainichi Nyorai is known as the Supreme Buddha of the Cosmos in Esoteric Buddhist thoughtWhen people first make the resolve to realize enlighten­ment, they fear false thought. Those people who have sat for a long time fear drowsy con­fusion. I say that people like these are not capable of doing the work, and don’t have a share in liberation from birth and death. Why is that? Be­cause they don’t realize the scope and sphere of their false thinking, and what is more, they don’t know the places to which their drowsy thinking takes them.

You should understand that from beginningless kalpas past until the present, that which has ascended into the heavens is just your false thinking, that which has fallen into the hells is just your false thinking, that which has transformed into a cow or a horse is just false thinking, that which wants to cultivate the Way is just your false thinking, that which wants to put an end to birth and be liberated from death is just your false thinking, and that which wants to accomplish Buddhahood and become a Patriarch is just your false thinking. Continue reading


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