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#1658 - Friday, December 26, 2003 - Editor: Gloria Lee  

"All methods, in the search for truth, should be looked on as a means, rather than as ends in themselves or as absolute truth." 
    - Thich Nhat Hanh
  "Strengthening the mind is not done by making it move around as is done to strengthen the body, but by bringing the mind to a halt, bringing it to rest."
    - No Ajahn Chah (Heart & Mind #38)

"Of course there are dozens of meditation techniques but it all comes down to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it's cool, out of the battle. Why not give it a try?"
    - No Ajahn Chah (Heart & Mind #69)

"Remember, you don't meditate to "get" anything but to get "rid" of things. We do it, not with desire, but with letting go. If you "want" anything, you won't find it."
    - No Ajahn Chah (Heart & Mind #77)


yick keng hang - Dharma-Direct  

MINDFULNESS PRACTICE
---------------------

To practice mindfulness means to be constantly aware or
conscious of everything we do. It requires us to keep our
minds absorbed in the present moment, noticing the details
and nuances (fine distinctions) of our actions. For example,
if we wash a cup with mindfulness, we notice the texture of
the cup, aware of how much pressure we are applying to the
cup with the sponge, take note of the speed with which we
are conducting the activity, our sensation and thought process.

The more repetitive or routine the activity, the more likely
it is that we will switch to autopilot, and allow our minds
to dwell elsewhere. We tend to miss a full appreciation of
the present, because our minds are perpetually oscillating
backwards and forwards through time and space. The past
is history and the future is only a possibility – it might
not even happen.

THE ONLY 'REALITY' FOR US IS WHAT OUR MIND PERCEIVES RIGHT NOW!

So if you wash that cup with your full attention, you will
learn a great deal about that cup. If you make mindfulness a
priority and a discipline, you will spend much more time in
the here and now.

Consequently, you will learn a lot about yourself and about
how you interact with others. Your conduct will naturally
become more sensitive, more empathetic, and thus, more
effective. Mindfulness develops sensitivity to what is
going on within you. As a result, it develops equanimity
and compassion. Imagine you are served by someone who is
serene and mindful, compared to someone who is preoccupied
with some other issues.

MINDFULNESS GIVES US THE QUALITIES OF:
---------------------------------------

1) Sensitivity
Nothing is judged to be unworthy of our attention.
Thus, everything that comes into our perception is
greeted equally.

2) Oneness
Our heart, body and mind become more integrated, making us
receptive to all things without judgment, rather than
emotionally reactive to them.

3) Clarity
Mindfulness is like a mirror, simply reflecting each moment.
It dissolves the habit of judging and reacting, and leads to
clarity of perception, which results in greater calmness.

When the mind is not mindful and attentive, it follows its
habitual patterns of liking, disliking, rejecting, pursuing,
projecting, and for and against things.

Clear attentiveness is awareness that is free from the
process of reacting, without adding or subtracting anything
from the experience. Confusion dissipates and clarity and
equanimity emerge.

Mindfulness does not foster new theories or belief systems,
but simply focuses our mind upon the essential clarity and
reality of our own experiences. It causes us to awaken and
free ourselves from speculating what might have been or what
could be.

 


Mary Bianco - NDSN

From the Himalayas, Art for Your Soul's Sake.

It's easy to forget — and museums will seldom remind you — that much of the art in most of the world before the modern era wasn't made just to sit there looking pretty. It was made to save your soul. Two major museum presentations of Buddhist art in California are filled with art of exactly this kind. One show pays only dutiful attention to that fact; the other doesn't let you lose sight of it for a second. "The Circle of Bliss: Buddhist Meditational Art" at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art is a rarity for two reasons. It's a big, luxuriant display of truly fabulous religious images, but tightly focused. And it doubles as a step-by-step guided trek over rigorous spiritual and intellectual terrain. -more-


Gloria Lee - Dzogchen

"The Circle of Bliss: Buddhist Meditational Art" An exhibition of:

Tibetan, Nepalese, Mongolian, Indian, and Chinese paintings, sculptures, textiles,
 and ritual implements that communicates the ideals and teachings
 of key Himalayan Buddhist tantras.
   

At the museum's website is a great online exhibit, which shows many images fullscreen.    http://kaladarshan.arts.ohio-state.edu/exhib/circleofbliss/Entrance.html    

   


Daily Dharma  

"Whether you are going or staying
Sitting or lying down,
The whole world is your own self.

You must find out
Whether the mountains,
Rivers, grass, and forests
Exist in your own mind
Or exist outside it.

Analyze the ten thousand things,
And when you take
This to the limit,
You will come to the limitless;

When you search into it,
You come to the end of search,
Where thinking goes no
Further and distinctions vanish.

When you smash the citadel of doubt,
Then the Buddha is simply yourself."

~Daikaku


From the web site, "The Daily Zen,"
http://www.dailyzen.com


Venerable Hsu Yun  

 

Joyce Short - Sangha  

"Venerable Hsu Yun was the patriarch of all five lineages of
Buddhism in China and was very highly respected. He was the head of
the Ch'an lineage, the sutra lineage, the mantra lineage, the Vinaya
lineage, and the esoteric lineage. It's no secret that different
sects tend to argue with each other.

Yet he was so indisputably pure and skilled that everyone wanted
him to be the head. When the Red Chinese took over, they were
trying to wipe out religion all together and so be became a very
obvious target. The Chinese army attacked his monastery when he was
about 110 years old. They beat him with wooden clubs until he was a
bloody heap on the ground and left him for dead. Even though he had
broken bones and damaged organs, he recovered. The news of his
survival spread around the area. A while later the Red Army
came back and used iron bars to beat him until he was a complete
mess. This frail old man was really smashed up and seriously
injured, and yet he still didn't die.

His disciples were nursing him and trying to help heal his deep
and serious wounds. All of them were amazed that he was still
alive. Needless to say, he had incredible meditative powers, so his
disciples were convinced that he was sustaining his life energy for
them. They believed that the master realized the feeling of grief
they would have when he died because they were all very devoted to
him. And so they implored him: "Please, don't stay alive just for
our sakes. We're very touched that you would endure the weeks and
weeks of pain and misery because of not wanting to leave us grief
stricken. But if it's time for you to die, we would prefer that
you just let yourself go peacefully instead of enduring all this
agony." And he said, "What I'm doing is not for you. It's true I'm
keeping myself alive, but it's not for your sakes, it's for the
soldiers. If I died as a result of their beatings, the karmic
retribution for those who attacked me would be so great, I couldn't
bear to be responsible for that." After that, the army left him
alone. He survived and even taught retreats again. The books
Ch'an and Zen Training, translated by Charles Luk, are from the
Dharma talks that he gave at a retreat four years later. He died
when he was 120. He had made a vow to be a monk for one hundred
years.

 From:
Small Boat, Great Mountain

 Ajahn Amaro

  These three and other photos of Master Hsu Yun may be seen here:   http://www.hsuyun.org/Dharma/zbohy/Photos/HsuYun/hsuyun.html    


  "Reading the history of the emperors and dynasties in quietude, one feels nothing profound about the changes and caprices of the past; only when one experiences various challenges and difficulties in life does one gain a thorough understanding of the impermanence of worldly affairs."

      - Master Hsu Yun   http://www.hsuyun.org/Dharma/zbohy/Home/home-index.html  


   from Six poems by Master Hsu Yun

 

 

The Barking Dog - A Poem by Hsu Yun

We went up across the ridge for the fun of it.

Didn't need to pack any more wine.

On the precipice, flowers opened, smiling.

By the river, willows grew bright.

In the drizzling rain the village smoke congealed, concealed.

The wind was slight and the grass was cool.

There in the woods' underbrush, startled,

We suddenly heard a dog bark.

It wanted us to know the Master was aware.
               



Heart Of The Buddha - A Poem by Hsu Yun    

No need to chase back and forth like the waves.

The same water which ebbs is the same water that flows.

No point turning back to get water

When it's flowing around you in all directions

The heart of the Buddha and the people of the world...

Where is there any difference?

 
   


 

Searching For The Dharma - A Poem by Hsu Yun

 You've traveled up ten thousand steps in search of the Dharma.

So many long days in the archives, copying, copying.

The gravity of the Tang and the profundity of the Sung make heavy baggage.

Here! I've picked you a bunch of wildflowers.

Their meaning is the same

but they're much easier to carry.

  http://www.hsuyun.org/Dharma/zbohy/HsuYun/sixpoems/poem1.html   Translations are given in several more languages.

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