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#2326 - Monday, November 28, 2005 - Editor: Gloria Lee

There simply is nothing to which we can attach ourselves, no matter how hard we try. In time, things will change and the conditions that produced our current desires will be gone. Why then cling to them now?

-Master Hsing Yun, "The Indescribable"
Copyright Wisdom Publications 2001. Reprinted from "Daily Wisdom: 365 Buddhist Inspirations," edited by Josh Bartok  


The teaching about the way things are is not a way to enlightenment for someone who is still filled with desires or who still longs to be this or that. But those who do understand it will become beings of distinction, dispersing all the forces of confusion.

-Sutta Nipata
From "The Pocket Buddha Reader," edited by Anne Bancroft, 2001
quotes from  

  Learn how not to escape

Man is the only escapist animal. The escapism has become a deep rooted mechanism in man. The same he goes on doing with psychological things. If there is fear, then rather than encountering it he goes in another direction – prays to God, asks for help.  Feeling poverty, inside poverty, rather than encountering it he goes on accumulating wealth, so that he can forget that he is poor inside.

Seeing that he does not know himself, rather than encountering this ignorance he goes on collecting knowledge, becomes knowledgeable, like a parrot, and goes on repeating borrowed things.

These are all escapes. If you really want to encounter yourself, you will have to learn how not to escape.

Life has to be encountered. Whatsoever comes before you, you have to look into it deeply, because that same depth is going to become your self-knowledge.


posted by Xan to awakened awareness

Re: Learn how not to escape

and, it is possible to do this with kindness and tenderness.
it is possible to feel the deepest compassion for every part
that does not know it is safe to be here. it is possible to
respect the sanctity of every being that will protect itself
until it is time to open and bloom. and it is possible to know
that even escape is part of the blooming. when it is seen
that escape no longer transforms anything, it dissolves as
one is struck wide open, in this moment, here, just as is.

but for the wounded parts that have been the most rejected
and forgotten, it takes such willingness to let go of any
force that would prematurely demolish the dream of escape
from suffering. the very desire to escape is the same
honourable gorgeous life energy, wildly, freely moving
towards full awareness. it is life, pure life, in every
movement, every stillness, every desire to find the time
and place when it is ok to really truly be here. it is
in the softness, that the last most vital parts of being
can be called with tenderness to be here in our open hands.
as long as there is suffering, this tenderness is called
into being.

posted by Josie to awakened awareness


  The Dzogchen Practice list has proven to be a rich source of authentic teachings by several members with decades of experience and study. It is led by Jackson Peterson. Here Jax responds to queries about the history of his background in Zen and Dzogchen....  

Hey Earl, Adam and all...thanks for the kind words...  

Ok..ok!   Here's the deal....  I was always driven by the concept of "sudden enlightenment" as discussed by the 6th Patriarch, Huineng, in the Platform Sutra.  The Southern school of Chan was of the "sudden enlightenment" view.  SotoZen, which was my first Buddhist affiliation seemed not so "sudden" in approach... hence my eventual interest in Rinzai.... which definitely had the "storming the walls" approach.   I ended up going to China in pursuit of the Southern School of "Sudden Enlightenment" or to at least find out if this lineage still existed.  But before I go directly to that part of the story, it might be helpful to share a bit of my initial interests in Buddhism.  It may be interesting to some to watch the evolution of my efforts... let's see!   

Let me share a bit of history, or evolution of "view".  I became involved in Japanese martial arts, Judo, in 1962 when I was 12.  I started taking lessons in Shotokan karate when I was 15.  One of the teachers told me that to really master the Japanese martial arts one had to practice and master Zen Buddhism.  In 1966, when I was 16  I found there was a teacher in Chicago, at the Chicago Zen Temple, which was one of the earliest Zen temples in the U.S. The teacher's name was Matsuoka Roshi of the Soto lineage of Japanese Zen.  He taught me Zazen and really didn't have much interest in discussions but felt Zazen practice would reveal all that I sought.  I practiced with him on and off until 1968 when I left for college at the University of Hawaii.  My goal there was to study Asian and Buddhist philosophy.  I tried to link up with a Soto Zen teacher there, but he didn't speak much English, so that never really happened.  During a break from schooling in 1968 I went out to San Fransisco  and stayed for a short time at the Bush St. Soto Zen Temple under Suzuki Roshi and Katagiri Sensei. Katagiri later became a well known Zen Roshi himself.  I had dokusan with Suzuki Roshi and Katagiri Sensei while there.  Many adventures after that took me to Europe for more schooling and back to Hawaii again and around.  In 1976 I moved to Colorado.  In 1977 I went to Nepal to Swayambu, a complex of Tibetan Buddhist temples and monasteries  and met Sachyu Tulku who initiated me into the Karma Kagyu lineage.  I received initial "empowerments" and yidam practice (tantric visualization).  He told me when I return to Colorado to seek out Trungpa Rinpoche, which I did.  I practiced under the Vajra Regent Osel Tenzin as my meditation teacher and had a dharma/practice discussion with Trungpa Rinpoche as well.  It was then I began reading about Dzogchen.  

In 1978 I visited Hong Kong and had hopes of finding a Chan/Zen teacher in China.  I was looking for original teachings from the ancient school of "sudden enlightenment" of Huineng'slineage, the Sixth Patriarch of Chan/Zen in China.  I was referred to an elderly gentleman who was the Chan Master of three separate temple/monasteries, Yen Why Shih, a disciple of the venerable Master Hsu Yun. Yen Why was 84 years old when I met him.  His teacher, Hsu Yun, died in 1959 at the age of 119!  Any way, one temple was on the island of Lun Tao and two on China mainland in Shatin, part of the New Territories.  I met this teacher first on mainland China at his temple in Shatin.  I spent the entire day with him on my first trip to meet him, discussing everything about "sudden enlightenment" and how to attain enlightenment in the shortest time possible.  It was from that discussion that I first experienced a true "flash" of knowing, a sort of "direct introduction" Chan style. I'll share a bit of the conversation, the best part:    To be continued......




Venerable Master Hsu Yun _______________

The Way of Wu

From Hong Kong I took a ferry to the mainland and had to find my way to Shatin, the location of Yen Why Shih's temples and monastery complex.  He greeted me in the village and we walked up into the lush foothills of Shatin.  We saw several older villagers in a lower temple room busily chanting randomly and lighting incense sticks in great abundance....    the fragrance was intoxicating.  Thinking this was a Chan/Zen Temple I didn't understand what all this other stuff going on was all about.  Hoping not to offend my teacher or confess my ignorance prematurely, I yet took the risk to ask him what those people were doing.  In response he said "God only knows....."  and we both had a good laugh!  Now you have to remember the image this venerable 84 year old Chan Master offered in his simple yet functional Chan monks robe in contrast to his off-handed comment about his own disciples.... it was so completely disarming!  That was our first point of human contact... heart to heart.  

We continued walking upwards, the stairs continuing to ascend to higher and higher temple grounds and buildings.  We finally came to a house where Yen Why resided.  I was introduced to his granddaughter and family.  I was amazed at the sense of revere they had for this elderly patriarch of the family.  You could tell they knew he was more than just a nice and kindly grandfather, but that they intuitively knew his value to all those who be fortunate enough to have contact with him.  And now it was my turn to try to understand what they already knew.  

We talked about many things concerning the Dharma and how one could come to understand the true meaning of Enlightenment.  I told him that I most of all, above all other things, wanted to understand and experience my Buddha-Nature first hand.  I shared with him many of my intellectual thoughts about the true meaning of practice and the enlightened state of mind.  He was quite amazing in his command of the English language.  He spoke with a deep bass tone and flawless British accent.  Actually in his earlier years he studied and fell in love with the writings of Shakespeare.  He insisted Shakespeare was an enlightened being.   More amazing was the fact that when I would ask him about points of the Chan teachings, he would often quote phrases from Shakespeare to make his points vividly clear!  Can you imagine how this whole scene took place in an almost, no, not almost but actual surreal space somewhere between ancient China and Medieval England.... truly unsettling!   

Well, we continued our walking the grounds and eventually arrived at a monastery of his disciples, both men and women in different sections.  Most of the Buddhist nuns were already well beyond middle age.  They were nothing less than wonderful in expressing their very warm greetings to us both... but they had something very special to offer us:  a stew of freshly picked and stir-fried giant shiitake-like black mushrooms.  To this day, I can't think of a single meal I have ever enjoyed simple, yet so delicate in the array of subtle flavors... as though I was eating the essence of the entire mist enshrouded forest from which these mushrooms were gathered.  I know also from observing the demeanor of these elderly women, that each mushroom was savored at the picking as being a precious offering of the forest itself, an offering yielding nutrition and chi to restore the vitality of these dakinis of the Way.     

We finally arrived at our destination, another building residence that housed some of the senior monks and guests.  We went upstairs to Yen why's study, where we were greeted with tea and biscuits.  The tea was a bit strong for my tastes, but certainly set the sober mood. Now was my chance to ask more of my burning questions... the one's that I was leading up to yet approaching obliquely so as not to expose my shallow knowledge all at once.  Perhaps I had a fear that if I appeared as too much of a novice that he might reserve the best of his enlightening morsels of wisdom for a later time, when I would have ripened more.  Ripening more, for me, was just twisting longer in torment on the vine of my own unenlightenment.... a state I already knew all too well.  Well, hell.... that was why I took all the trouble getting this far wasn?t it?  Let's not fall now, I thought, clearly aware that I was free-climbing without any ropes or safety equipment on the face of a totally unpredictable mountain that could be my final salvation if scaled adroitly or be my demise, if not in actuality then at least in spirit.  Who else could I visit and interview about the ultimate meaning of the Buddha's teaching?  My short list of candidates was dwindling... after all I was interested in the shortest path to enlightenment... i.e. the teachings of the "Sudden School of Enlightenment" of the 6th Patriarch.  These teachings were renown as being the source of instruction that brought the greatest flowering of Chan/Zen Masters of all time!  If not Yen Why Shih, an actual master of this lineage, then who?

At any event, we sat drinking tea discussing the true meaning of Wu or emptiness.  Wu has a particular meaning in Chinese; it's a way of asking about one's Buddha Nature.  From his precise and direct explanations I thought I finally grasped the true essence of the teaching, proud of my realization I asked him this question:  "So, master, I understand... the purpose of practice is to just "simplify" ones thinking completely.... isn't that it? "  I waited expecting his nod of approval and confirmation of my understanding... He instantly, like a Master Samurai drawing his katana and striking a singular killing blow, lurched toward me with the authority of a granite mountain and said  "You have already made "It" hopelessly complex!!!"  My mind went completely BLANK, EMPTY....WU   There it was....HA!!!  We looked at each other, his eyes locked on mine... no movement and suddenly as though Mt. Fuji was erupting, we both exploded in laughter... I couldn't stop laughing.... I stood up and danced around in hysterical laughing.... I said  "I see... I see.... yes, "to simplify is....hopelessly complex".....ha, ha, ha.... laughing for a good five minutes at least!  He smiled broadly, his eyes filled with mirth as we both recognized that his skillful and thoroughly spontaneous blow cut through to the  marrow and divided the space of my mind into Wu!  

That's how I came to know the Way, as taught by the "Sudden Enlightenment Schoolof the 6th Patriarch of Chan", the illustrious and profoundly compassionate Huineng..... 

posted to Dzogchen Practice  

Sampava does a weekly message on the yahoo list, ConsciousOneness.

The following are 3 selected entries found in Sampava's blog.  

What is This?  

Q: Your teachings resonate. I fully understand who I am not. I feel all arisings are transient and they should not be taken so seriously. But there is still a lingering question of 'who am i'. what is the self or oneness that all the masters are abiding in?

A: You are like the fish in the ocean, searching for the ocean. The fish has heard many stories about the ocean, and the stories are magical, fascinating and deeply intriguing. You ask, "...what is the self or oneness that all the masters are abiding in?" It is the same self and oneness that you abide in. The only difference is that you are living in a dream of your own creation, that has the self and oneness, as some separate and future experience. And so you strive and think and try and try to understand, and all the while the river flows to the ocean.

Yes, and as you become more aware, you realize that all this, that you used to believe was you, is not you. And so the question then arises, "Who am I?" "Who am I really?" "Where am I?" "If I'm not the body and the mind, then what am I?" You are looking for something to be—some thing! You are looking for an entity that is ‘me'. First there is the creation of ‘me', and then this created ‘me' is searching for something that can be accepted as ‘me'. So you have an illusion searching for an illusion, and then to intensify the frustration, you believe that this nightmare is real. The impossibility of being able to wake up from this dream, is because of the belief, that if you wake up from this dream, you will die. And yes, the ‘you' that you believe that you are, will die. So this fear of death is very real, but based on a false assumption—that you are this entity called ‘me'. Having this entity called ‘me' trying to wake up, is like trying to pull yourself up by your bootstraps. You, cannot create the waking up, because you, are the source of the problem. The very belief that you exist as an entity, makes waking up impossible. Once you totally see that you are living in a dream and that you are a dream, then the dream is over.

And all these words, go into the mind, and either make sense or do not, and either way, nothing changes in you. So you go round and round. This is the wheel of Samsara. This is living in the mind. To get off the wheel, ‘you' have to cease to be. And as you keep looking for who you are, and keep understanding what you are not, and all self concepts fall away, then slowly there is less and less of ‘you', until there is only emptiness. And then, in this state of emptiness, there is only oneness. And nothing abides in nothing—this is the fullness, this is the light, this Enlightenment, this is the wonder, this is the miracle, this is the Buddha-field. ~Umi

aug -05

The mind without & within I Am

We are transcending the mind not to negate it but to embrace it from a deeper perspective. The mind without I Am represents a very limited state of consciousness. But the mind within I Am represents the presence of true intelligence.~Anadi

posted by Sampava


Wake up to your eternal identity!

Who is present inside the head? Recognise this very 'I' which is present. It is your very centre of identity behind the mind.

Become aware of thinking, seeing that thinking is arising and passing outside of you. Recognise the centre behind thoughts. This sense of identity behind the mind never changes, it remains always the same. When you recognise the centre in the mind, something very significant takes place. Suddenly, you see that you are not who you thought you were. You discover that you are made from the light of awareness. You have no form, you have no memory; you have no colour, no sex, no nationality, no name… Can you see the significance of this recognition? If you truly see… if you truly see that you have no form – you will be in a state of shock! If you are not in a state of shock, it indicates that you have not seen your true face yet. You are still identified with the form, you are still on the sub-conscious level, identified with your former ego-image.

Recognise clearly the centre behind thoughts and stay with this experience. Abide in the state of pure awareness. Imagine that you do not have any form, you have no memories, no past and no future... You do not know what was yesterday and what will be tomorrow. You have no knowledge, you know nothing… But you are! And when you feel it clearly, you have a glimpse of eternity. You can have an insight into what it truly means to be eternal. It is not merely a poetic expression. Eternity is real. Wake up to your eternal identity! ~Anadi

posted by Sampava


I found this to be pretty good. A discussion of Koans. What I found
interesting is how Koans can be used in everyday, every moment life.
It's given by Norman Fisher. The practice is similar to what Joko and
Packer teach. It can be used as a kind of retreat, as the audio is about 5 hours long.     posted by Joe on ordinarymind   OR look at the larger menu of other talks here:  

Audio Dharma

The gift of the dhamma exceeds all other gifts.
- Dhammapada

This site is an archive of Dharma talks given by Gil Fronsdal and various guest speakers at the Insight Meditation Center since 2000. Each talk illuminates aspects of the Buddha's teachings. The purpose is the same that the Buddha had for his teachings, to guide us toward the end of suffering and the attainment of freedom.

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