Posted on 21 October 2016 by Buddhism Now
Bhikkhu Zhi Chang, a native of Gui Xi of Xin Zhou, joined the Order in his childhood, and was very zealous in his efforts to realize the Essence of Mind. One day, he came to pay homage to the Patriarch, and was asked by the latter whence and why he came.
‘I have recently been to the White Cliff Mountain in Hong Zhou,’ replied he, ‘to interview the Master Da Tong, who was good enough to teach me how to realize the Essence of Mind and thereby attain Buddhahood. But as I still have some doubts, I have travelled far to pay you respect. Will you kindly clear them up for me, Sir.’
‘What instruction did he give you?’ asked the Patriarch. Continue reading
Filed under: Buddhism, Buddhist meditation, Ch'an / Seon / Zen, History, Mahayana | Tagged: Art Metropolitan Museum of Art, Chinese Chan | Leave a comment »
Posted on 1 October 2016 by Buddhism Now
Posted on 22 September 2016 by Buddhism Now
Trans. and Commentary by Red Pine,
Shoemaker & Hoard, ISBN 9781593760823
Most Buddhists will know the Heart Sutra, at least those interested in the Mahayana tradition. It is chanted daily in Zen temples throughout Japan, Korea and China. This is considered to be the heart, the very essence, of the Perfection of Wisdom (Prajnaparamita) texts. There have been many translations of this short text over the years, but this is a completely fresh look and the translator comes up with some rather unique conclusions.
Red Pine, otherwise known as Bill Porter, is the name he goes by when engaged in translation work—as with his Diamond Sutra: The Perfection of Wisdom, and The Zen Teaching of Bodhidharma. Continue reading
Filed under: Book reviews, Books, Buddhism, Ch'an / Seon / Zen, History, Mahayana | Tagged: Abhidharma, Diamond Sutra: The Perfection of Wisdom, Road to Heaven, Sarvastivadins, Zen Teaching of Bodhidharma | 2 Comments »
Posted on 10 September 2016 by Buddhism Now
We are approaching the end of this summer school here in Leicester. The day after tomorrow we shall be departing and the only thing left will be a sweet memory which may recur from time to time.
In a way, life is a continuous imparting of oneself in other people’s hearts. So we can say there is a continual process of giving something to someone. Whether you like it or not, that is just the way life is. If you know this, then give readily with pleasure. Give it according to your own environment and relations.
There is a maxim in this part of the world: `One swallow does not make a summer’. But I’ve never seen a swallow in Britain! I can, of course, imagine a mother swallow picking up a worm or an insect and bringing it back to the nest where her young chicks—maybe five or six of them—are waiting, making an awful noise, opening their mouths: Me first! Me first! Me first! Give it to me! Give it to me! Continue reading
Filed under: Buddhism, Buddhist meditation, Ch'an / Seon / Zen, Mahayana | Tagged: #longread, Art Metropolitan Museum of Art, hua t'ou meditation, I Mo Ko, Jisu Sunim, Koan practice, Korean Buddhism, Longform, Zen koan | 1 Comment »
Posted on 29 August 2016 by Buddhism Now
Have you ever noticed? If everything seems to be going right in your life, if everything seems to be perfect and you start thinking that this is the most perfect time in my life and it’s going to be wonderful from now on, your world suddenly falls apart. It’s a bit like that old board game of snakes and ladders where you throw the dice and climb the ladder to greater and greater heights, then encounter a snake and zoom down you go again, maybe even to a lower position than before.
Some people might say that this is a somewhat pessimistic view of life and that we should be more optimistic, but I have found that this sort of thing does happen quite often. The pinnacle of perfection is reached in terms of health and worldly well-being, our ambitions have been gratified, maybe just sometimes, it’s exciting, and then something awful happens and we plummet downwards into a difficult or even nightmare situation. The depths of despair, on the other hand, can equally as suddenly turn and life goes into the ascendant again. Mostly, we probably just jog along with less dramatic ups and downs — we’re relatively happy; we’re relatively unhappy; we’re relatively happy again. Continue reading
Filed under: Beginners, Buddhism, Diana St Ruth, Foundations of Buddhism | Tagged: Art Metropolitan Museum of Art, Everyday Buddhist | 2 Comments »