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    Zen Teaching of Instantaneous Awakening

    A Classic Zen text written in the 8th century by Hui Hai. He was a student of Ma-tsu and from the same line as Hui Neng, Huang Po and Rinzai (Lin-chi).

  • Don't Take Your Life Personally

    Ajahn Sumedho urges us to trust in awareness and find out for ourselves what it is to experience genuine liberation from mental anguish and suffering.

  • Perfect Wisdom: Prajnaparamita Texts

    The Short Prajnaparamita Texts were composed in India between 100 BC and AD 600. They contain some of the most well known Buddhist texts such as The Perfection of Wisdom in 700 Lines, The Heart Sutra, and The Diamond Sutra.

  • Fingers and Moons, by Trevor Leggett

    Trevor Leggett points to the truth beyond words, beyond explanations and methods.

  • Experience Beyond Thinking: Practical Guide to Buddhist Meditation. An easy to follow guide to Buddhist meditation and the reflections of an ordinary practitioner. Used as a guide by meditation groups.

    An easy to follow guide to Buddhist meditation.

  • Understanding Karma and Rebirth A Buddhist Perspective

    Meditations and exercises to help us understand karma and rebirth and to live from the unborn moment.

  • The Old Zen Master by Trevor Leggett

    Stories, parables, and examples pointing to the spiritual implications of practical events in daily life.

  • Teachings of a Buddhist Monk

    Modern practical teachings from an American monk living within one of the oldest Buddhist traditions.

Virtue, Calligraphy by Hakuin

Calligraphy by Hakuin Ekaku (1685–1768)

大字「悳」
Japan, Edo period
(1615–1868)
Hanging scroll;
ink on paper
Image: 106 × 52 cm
Overall with mounting:
85.8 × 64 cm

Virtue, by Hakuin Ekaku. www.metmuseum.org

This oversize rendition of the character for “virtue” (toku 悳) reflects the exuberant spiritual energy projected by Hakuin Ekaku, who was one of the foremost proponents of the revival of the Rinzai sect of Zen Buddhism in late Edo Japan. Originally composed by Chinese historian and scholar of Confucianism Sima Guang (1018–1086), the inscription reads:

Virtue
Save up money for your descendants—
they’ll just spend it.
Collect books for your sons and grandsons—
they won’t read them.
The best thing to do for them—
increase your own virtue.
Quietly, secretly
impart this ideal to your descendants,
and it will endure through the generations.
— Trans. Jonathan Chaves

Metropolitan Museum of Art
1000 Fifth Avenue
New York, New York 10028-0198
Phone: 212-535-7710


In the Taoist tradition there is a saying ‘dim your light’. In Buddhism we talk about ‘hidden virtue’.

One Response

  1. Do something each day for someone else, an act of kindness – but they must not know!

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