The meaning of the word Nibbana clearly extends to the absence of mental defilements the cause of Dukkha. So that at any moment that our minds are empty of ‘self’ and ‘belonging to self’ then that is Nibbana. For example, at this moment as you sit here I will attest that everyone, or almost everyone, has a mind empty of the feelings of ‘I’ and ‘mine’ because there is nothing engendering them. In listening attentively you give no opportunity for self – consciousness to arise. So look and see whether or not the mind is empty of ‘I’ and ‘mine’. If there is some emptiness (and I merely use the word some, it’s not completely or unchangingly empty) then you are dwelling within the sphere of Nibbana. Even though it is not absolute or perfect Nibbana, it is Nibbana just the same. Continue reading
The Gathering of Intentions reads a single Tibetan Buddhist ritual system through the movements of Tibetan history, revealing the social and material dimensions of an ostensibly timeless tradition. By subjecting tantric practice to historical analysis, the book offers new insight into the origins of Tibetan Buddhism, the formation of its canons, the emergence of new lineages and ceremonies, and modern efforts to revitalize the religion by returning to its mythic origins. Continue reading
Cold Mountain is a film portrait of the Tang Dynasty Chinese poet Han Shan, a.k.a. Cold Mountain. Recorded on location in China, America and Japan, Burton Watson, Red Pine, and Gary Snyder describe the poet’s life and poems.
Short film (about 30 minutes)
Han Shan wrote poems for everyone, not just the educated elite. A man free of spiritual doctrine, it is unclear whether or not he was a monk, whether he was a Buddhist or a Taoist, or both. It is not even certain he ever lived, but the poems do.
- Children, I implore you
- get out of the burning house now.
- Three carts await outside
- to save you from a homeless life.
- Relax in the village square
- before the sky, everything’s empty.
- No direction is better or worse,
- East just as good as West.
- Those who know the meaning of this
- are free to go where they want.
Red Pine poem 253
Directed by Mike Hazard and Deb Wallwork, the music is by Gao Hong and animations are by John Akre. For more, visit Center for International Education.
The film will engage people interested in poetry, China, Zen, Taoism and other spiritual pursuits.
For more from Red Pine (Bill Porter) click here.
Season’s Greetings from all of us at Buddhism Now and BPG!
Photo: Sadaksari-Lokeshvara (Avalokiteshvara) Surrounded by Manifestations and Monks C15th, Tibet. © The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
This painting represents the “six-syllables form” of Avalokiteshvara, evoking the mantra om mani padme hum. Surrounding him are bodhisattvas, an array of protectors, and a lineage of monks. This manifestation of Avalokiteshvara is especially associated with the Dalai Lama, who is understood as an incarnation of this form. Sadasari is conventionally white, though here is represented all gold, the most radiant of colours.
The tradition of Zen teaching stories goes back at least to the time of the Buddha. Like the Buddha, Thich Nhat Hanh uses story–telling to engage people’s interest so he can share important teachings, insights and life lessons.
Drawing of the Buddha
When I was a small boy of seven or eight I happened to see a drawing of the Buddha on the cover of a Buddhist magazine. The Buddha was sitting on the grass, very peacefully, and I was impressed. I thought the artist must have had a lot of peace and calm within himself at the time to be able to draw such a special image. Just looking at the drawing made me happy, because so many people around me at the time were not very calm or happy at all. Continue reading
After ascending the dharma seat, and looking to all the four directions, Master Kusan said, ‘Today is the beginning of this three-month retreat. Within the assembly present here now — do each of you brave men intend to go through with this retreat? Those of you endowed with the Dharma Eye, speak! What is an extraordinary person (an awakened mind)?’
The assembly remained silent. After a pause the master gave a shout and said, ‘The oranges of Cheju-do and the apples of Taegu — do you know where they fall? One pill of golden cinnabar (the medicine of the immortals) swallows all the Dharma realms, and exudes many marvellous manifestations. Everyone is Vairocana. Everything is a store of flowers within which the Sambhogakaya of the Buddha dwells. Do you understand this? You must be as audacious as someone trying to grab the eyebrows of a living tiger or to snatch the whiskers of a flying dragon. Then you will know. A poem says: Continue reading