|Dr. Robert Puff|
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#1533 - Sunday, August 24, 2003 - Editor: Gloria
"Hibiscus Sakti" photo by Tony O'Clery ~ HarshaSatangh
Earl ~ TrueVision
That it will never come again is
what makes life so sweet.
~ ~ ~
Doug ~ TrueVision
"When you shine the light,
We may understand this as a kind of fight between
light and darkness,
But in reality, it is an embrace."
-Thich Nhat Hanh
~ ~ ~
Joyce (know_mystery) ~ TrueVision
" With wise understanding we
allow ourselves to contain all things,
both dark and light, and we come to a sense of peace. This is not the
peace of denial or running away, but the peace we find in the heart
that has rejected nothing, that touches all things with compassion."
-Jack Kornfield, A Path With Heart
"The man of human-heartedness is one who desiring to sustain himself, sustains others, and desiring to develop himself, develops others; that may be called the way to practise human heartedness."
~ ~ ~
In olden days, Dharma meant much more than what we now understand from the term 'religion'. It stood for power to hold things together in perfect harmony.
- Swami Nihsreyasananda
~ ~ ~
"It is hard to be born as a
human being and hard to live the
life of one. It is even harder to hear of the path, and
harder still to awake, to rise, and to follow. "
"Yet the teaching is simple: 'Cease to do evil, learn to do
good, and purify your mind.'"
"'Hurt none by word or deed. Be moderate in your eating. Live
in inner solitude. Seek the deepest consciousness.This is the
From the Dhammapada, source unknown.
~ ~ ~
"The Dharma is not a lecture.
The Dharma in the Buddhist tradition is a kind of rain. Our
consciousness should behave like the soil, the earth.
We have to allow the Dharma talk to penetrate.
According to the Buddha we have seeds of understanding, of
awakening, of compassion, within ourselves.
We don't need these seeds to be transmitted from the teacher.
We already have all of them in the depth of our consciousness. We
call it store consciousness, sometimes earth consciousness.
Because these seeds are buried deep in the mind, in the soil of our
consciousness, it is very hard for them to grow and manifest.
Above there are many layers of suffering, confusion, prejudices and
so on, and our intellect can never go deep enough.
Our intellect very often contradicts our deepest nature and
therefore to allow the intellect to rest and to open our earth store
in order for the rain of the Dharma to penetrate is very important."
" The spring rain is falling gently
and the earth and the soil of my consciousness
is penetrated by the rain.
And the seed deep within me
now has a chance to be penetrated by the rain
and to smile, sprouting. "
~Thich Nhat Hanh
From the website http://www.plumvillage.org/
Gill Eardley ~ Allspirit Inspiration
The action and repose of those who have mastered Zen are like flowing
clouds, without self-consciousness, like the full moon, reflected
everywhere. People who have mastered Zen are not stopped by anything: though
clearly in the midst of all things, still they are highly aloof; though they
encounter experiences according to circumstances, they are not tainted or
mixed up by them.
From: Zen Essence: The Science of Freedom'
Translated and Edited by Thomas Cleary ~ ~ ~
For a Wedding on Mount Tamalpais
and the rich apples
once again falling.
You put them to your lips,
as you were meant to,
enter a sweetness
the earth wants to give.
Everything loves this way,
in gold honey,
in gold mountain grass
that carries lightly the shadow of hawks,
the shadow of clouds passing by.
And the dry grasses,
the live oaks and bays,
taste the apples' deep sweetness
because you taste it, as you were meant to,
tasting the life that is yours,
while below, the foghorns bend to their work,
bringing home what is coming home,
blessing what goes.
'Claiming the Spirit Within - A Sourcebook of Women's Poetry'
Edited by Marilyn Sewell
Jim & Kheyala Rasa, with children Ananda & Zack on their wedding day, July 4, 2003, Boulder, CO photo by Gloria Lee
Verteg & Lee Love ~ E-zendo Conversation about Art and Practice
V: Hello! I glad you got
your computer back working again after a long
L: Thank you Verteg!
V: I've been waiting for you in particular to return because I
have a question which I've always wanted to ask an artist - who also
happens to be a Buddhist.
L: Creativity has always been an essential aspect of Buddhism where
ever it takes root and it is especially evident in China and Japan. Zen
is very influential in Japan in regards to creativity and beauty.
V: As I'm sure everyone would agree, all artists strive to create
L: Traditionally, this has been so. It is questionable if all
"modern art", especially the type whose primary function is to shock and to
promote politics, or personality , is really art. I'm afraid that many
people judge art by what has been foisted upon us as art, by investment
V: And naturally this requires matter - either two
or three dimentional in the case of visual arts.
L: Actually, creativity is also dependent upon process/movement/dynamic
-interchange. Unchangeable matter would not allow for art.. If matter was
unchangeable, life would not be possible.
V: Considering your own ceramic art for a moment, there can be no shape
without matter (the clay), and no clay without shape. Therefore the
principle of Beauty cannot exist without matter because Beauty
requires shape, and shape requires matter.
L: First and foremost, beauty depends upon the mind. Matter is not
art. Mind patterns temporarily expressed in matter is creativity.
V: A few years ago, I was having a conversation with a guy who said he
had long experience in the Soto Zen sect. Aside from having read two
compilations of Dogen's work, I really know very little about the Soto
sect, so I don't know if what he told me was part of the Soto teaching
or just his own ideas, but I found them very strange.
L: Always be cautious about any "individuals" conception about reality.
.. I would say that this individual does not have a proper understanding of
V: He basically told me that since matter was regarded by Buddhism as
something impermanent, transitory, and binding (binding to samsara
through the miracle of craving), it should therefore be either
ignored, or perhaps even regarded as an illusion.
L: As Nagarjuna explained (and I won't use the term 'emptiness',
because it is misunderstood), "Because of Shunyata, all things are
If matter were unchangeable, creation would not be possible. . Rather
than thinking of Shunyata as being a void, having no characteristics of
matter (this is a materialist's understanding), for us Westerners, it is
probably better to use the positive explanation of Shunyata: That
everything in existence is dependent upon everything else for its existence..
Nothing exists in of itself. The nature of the physical world is not that
of matter frozen in place for eternity, but is the dance and interchange of
processes. Everything is continually changing. Modern physics is
beginning to come to grips with this reality.
V: And therefore the same must be said for the whole principle of Beauty,
which depends on matter to convey it.
L: Beauty depends upon Shunyata and in Buddhism, this aspect is stressed.
A flower or child is so beautiful
because of their transient nature.
V: As a Buddhist artist, I'm wondering how you would have responded to
this. I'd really like to hear your cooments on it.
L: I am just a craftsman, but my wife is an artist, and we both
worked against this attitude toward art back home in Minnesota. It has
nothing to do with Buddhism. It is more directly based in Calvinism and
our Puritan roots.
lee In Mashiko, Japan
~ ~ ~
Lee Love ~ E-zendo
Buddha taught a completely
different path. His attitude toward the
gods was not exactly disbelief, but rather deliberate dismissal of
their purported importance. Buddha taught that we must each work out
our own enlightenment through study and practice. The gods were
irrelevant to this effort.
Lee: I wouldn't call his attitude one of dismissal. One of the problems
with Atheism is that when we discount the reality/existence of others, we
reinforce the reality/existence of ourselves. The most difficult nut to
crack is the false notions of self.
If you have ever traveled in any Buddhist country, it is impossible
to deny that Buddhas and Bodhisattvas play a parallel role in Buddhism as
God(s) and Saints in Christianity.
During our trip to visit my relatives in Sakai, we took a couple day
trips to Kyoto. We went to Toji, an old temple founded by the Japanese
Buddhist Saint Kobo Daiishi. There are some magnificent Buddha statues,
the best ones are said to have actually been carved by Kobo Daiishi himself.
We were tickled to see that the wrathful group from the temple were the same
figurines as we have on our altar, that my wife collected from our local
Seven-Eleven. In every group of Buddha statues, images of India Gods were
included too. Usually, the Gods looked more like normal human beings,
while the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas look more like celestial beings.
The Buddha simply taught that everything, including Gods and you and
me, have no permanent existence. Everything is in constant change.
Our aversion to devotional practice is a new modern phenomenon. I
attribute our perceptive on deities in Buddhism to our initial introduction
to Buddhism via intellectuals rather that from a practice perspective.
Statue of Avalokiteshvara (or
Kwan Yin in Japan) Bodhisattva of Compassion, from Nelson Adkins
Museum, Kansas City, MO
Ben Hassine ~ NDS
too tired to struggle
I don't care anymore for health or illness. I don't care anymore for good or bad.
If I had to die this moment, that's okay. Should I live for three aeons, that's okay as well.
I don't care anymore for enlightenment, guru's and teachers. I don't care anymore for books, teachings and temples.
No reasons, no causes, no effects. I am too tired now for that. No meditation, no effort, no struggle. I am too tired and worn out for that.
I gave up everything. I forgot all that. I even forgot the struggle that life was.
Just Love for the sake of Love. For the rest I am like an idiot in the wrong place. I only know: Love for the sake of Love. That's what I AM.
Sam Pasiencier ~ NDS
The ultimate growth is to say yes with such joy as a child says no.
That is a second childhood. And the man who can say yes with tremendous freedom and joy, with no hesitation, with no strings attached, with no conditions ?
a pure and simple joy, a pure and simple yes ? that man has become a sage.
That man lives in harmony again. And his harmony is of a totally different dimension than the harmony of trees, animals and birds. They live in harmony because they cannot say no, and the sage lives in harmony because he does not say no. Between the two, the birds and the buddhas, are all human beings ? un-grown-up, immature, childish, stuck somewhere, still trying to say no, to have some feeling of freedom.
"Counting" photo by Sam Pasciencier
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|Dr. Robert Puff|