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One of the Indian stories tells how the merchants in some of the towns (when India was the richest country in the world) were very strict about business ethics. One man cut some corners. Well, they used to expel such people from the city and stone them ― not kill them ― but stone them and drive them away. So they took everything this man had, tied him to a stake outside the city, held back his wife and child, and threw stones.
There was a little boy there, the son of one of the big merchants. Not often you get the chance to throw a stone at a grown-up! He picks up a sharp stone, and he throws it. It catches the man on the face and just misses his eye. The blood pours down. (more…)
Zen Teaching of Instantaneous Awakening
by Hui Hai Translation of the Tun Wu Ju Tao Yao Mên Lun and Tsung Ching Record ISBN 13: 978-0946672035 ISBN 10: 0946672035 Buddhist Publishing Group Published: 1962, 1987 Paperback, 188 pages. £8.95 / $16.95 Rendered into English by John Blofeld Foreword by Charles Luk This eighth-century classic is a complete translation of Hui Hai’s teachings. He was one of the early Chan/Zen masters (along with Ma Tsu and Huang Po) following on from Hui Neng, the Sixth Patriarch. You can buy Zen Teaching of Instantaneous Awakening from the Book Depository for around £8 with free worldwide delivery. See below for other online sites. Extracts:
Sudden Illumination means deliverance while still in this life. How shall I make you understand that? You may be compared to lion cubs, which are genuine lions from the time of their birth; for, with those who undertake to become suddenly illumined, it is just like that. The moment they practise it, they enter the Buddha-stage, just as the shoots put forth by bamboos in spring will have grown to resemble the parent plants without the least difference remaining even before spring has departed. (more…)
Filed under: Biography, Books, Buddhism, Buddhist meditation, Buddhist Publishing, Ch'an / Seon / Zen, History | Tagged: Buddhist Books, Chan, Charles Luk, Huang Po, Hui Hai, Hui Neng, John Blofeld, Ma Tsu, Zen | Leave a Comment »
In Zen they say that ordinary mind is the way, ordinary mind is Buddha. In the early days of practice we might take this to mean that our minds as they are is the Buddha, is the way of Zen, is the immediate and straightforward life of liberation. This may sound plausible, logical, because we’re also told that the Buddha is within. It isn’t long however before we begin to feel that while ordinary mind might be Buddha, our mind doesn’t seem to know it. Our mind doesn’t feel liberated and in fact feels most unliberated and sometimes still very unhappy. At this point we could feel that ordinary mind is not the way, ordinary mind is not the Buddha. We could then easily drift away from Buddhism thinking it doesn’t work, or it doesn’t work for me. (more…)
Filed under: Beginners, Buddhism, Buddhist meditation, Ch'an / Seon / Zen, Diana St Ruth | Tagged: Amida Buddha, Buddha, Mumon, Mumonkan, Nyoirin Kannon, ordinary mind is Buddha, ordinary mind is the way, Zen | 6 Comments »
In 1969 I went to Japan in search of Zen. There I met Kosho Uchiyama, abbot of Antaiji Temple. It was neither my first meeting with a Japanese Zen teacher nor was it my first stay at a Zen temple in Japan, but it was a special meeting for me because it was my first meeting with a Zen teacher who seemed to have none of what I will call ‘Zen posturing’. Our discussion was informal and I walked away feeling that I had met someone who could be a friend as well as a teacher. Uchiyama invited me to stay at Antaiji and I did.
During my stay at Antaiji I came into contact with five teachers of Zen. Three, I met, and two I learned of through their heirs and their writings. All of these teachers were, in some capacity, connected with Antaiji, a small poor temple in Kyoto that seemed to be a magnet for Zen figures who did not mind breaking with tradition. The most unique of these teachers was a poet monk named Sodo Yokoyama. (more…)
Thought I’d share this verse and Zen Calligraphy with you from a new printing of The old Zen Master by Trevor Leggett.
Very apt in the current financial crisis. (more…)
Now, when you trace the source of the way, you find that it is universal and absolute. It is unnecessary to distinguish between ‘practice’ and ‘enlightenment’. The supreme teaching is free, so why study the means to attain it? The way is, needless to say, very far from delusion. Why, then, be concerned about the means of eliminating the latter?
The way is completely present where you are, so of what use is practice or enlightenment? However, if there is the slightest difference in the beginning between you and the way, the result will be a greater separation than between heaven and earth. If the slightest dualistic thinking arises, you will lose your Buddha-mind. For example, some people are proud of their understanding, and think that they are richly endowed with the Buddha’s wisdom. They think that they have attained the way, illuminated their minds, and gained the power to touch the heavens. They imagine that they are wandering about in the realm of enlightenment. But in fact they have almost lost the absolute way, which is beyond enlightenment itself. (more…)
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Questioner: Like the parable of the rich man in the Lotus Sutra, ordinary people delude themselves and search for the Buddha and dharma outside their own minds. This was so in the example of the rich man’s son who ran away from home, leaving his father and breaking off all relations with his family, finally having to beg others for food and clothing. And again, in the ‘Universal Gate’ chapter it is said: ‘If you just think earnestly about the power of the bodhisattva Kannon, you will attain emancipation.’ And again: ‘When you meet all kinds of misfortune, if you contemplate the power of Kannon even a burning pit will be transformed into a pool.’ Still the houses of the believers in Kannon are sometimes burned down, and temples enshrining his image have been burnt down too. There are also cases of people contemplating Kannon who meet with misfortune. Looking at things from this point of view, even the words of the World Honoured One become lies. (more…)
Filed under: Arthur Braverman, Books, Buddhism, Buddhist, Buddhist meditation, Ch'an / Seon / Zen | Tagged: Arthur Braverman, Bassui, Buddha, Chan, Dharma, Japanese Buddhism, Kannon, One Mind, Zen | Leave a Comment »