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#2426 - Tuesday, March 21, 2006 - Editor: Gloria Lee

The fishermen know that the sea is dangerous and
the storm terrible, but they have never found these
dangers sufficient reasons for remaining ashore.

-Vincent Van Gogh 


Atisha is not an escapist. He does not teach escapism, he does not teach you to escape from situations which are not to your liking. He says: you have to learn to function in Bodhicitta, in Buddha-consciousness, in all kinds of situations - in the marketplace, in the monastery; with people or alone in a cave; with friends or with enemies; with family, familiar people, and with strangers; with men and with animals. In all kinds of situations, you have to learn to function in compassion, in meditation - because all these experiences of different situations will make your Bodhicitta more and more ripe.
Don't escape from any situation - if you escape, then something will remain missing in you. Then your Bodhicitta will not be that ripe, will not be that rich. Live life in its multi-dimensionality.

Religion is a science in the sense that it is the purest knowing. ...It is the greatest adventure there is. It is a call and a challenge to all those who have any courage, any guts, any intelligence.

  * From The Book of Wisdom : Discourses on Atisha`s Seven Points of Mind Training, by Osho

    "The path of developing loving-kindness and compassion is to be
patient with the fact that you're human and that you make mistakes.
That's more important than getting it right.

It seems to work only if you're aspiring to give yourself a break,
to lighten up, as you practice generosity, discipline and insight.

As with the rest of the teachings, you can't win and you can't lose.
You don't get to just say, 'Well, since I am never able to do it,
I'm not going to try.'
You are never able to do it and still you try. And, interestingly
enough, that adds up to something; it adds up to loving kindness for
yourself and others.

You look out your eyes and you see yourself wherever you go. You see
all these people who are losing it, just like you do.

Then, you see all these people who catch themselves and give you the
gift of fearlessness.

You say, 'Oh, wow, what a brave one--he or she has caught
themselves.' You begin to appreciate even the slightest gesture of
bravery on the part of others because you know it's not easy, and
that inspires you tremendously.

That's how we can really help each other.

                      ~ Pema Chodron

From the article, "The Answer to Anger & Other Strong Emotions"
published in the magazine Shambhala Sun, March 2005

  "Shariputta, does it occur to any of my followers to think that after they have known full enlightenment they should lead all beings to nirvana?"

"No, Honored One."

"But that should be their intention. They should not be too caught up with themselves to believe that. A glowworm or firefly does not think that its light could illuminate the continent of India or even radiate over it. In the same way, the followers do not think that they can, after obtaining full enlightenment, lead all beings to nirvana. But the sun, when it has risen, radiates its light over the whole of India. Just so, an awakened follower when he is fully enlightened, without even consciously attempting to, leads all beings to nirvana."


From "The Pocket Buddha Reader," edited by Anne Bancroft, 2000

From: Lover's Gifts (1918)  - Rabindranath Tagore
XXXIX: There Is a Looker-On

There is a looker-on who sits behind my eyes. It
seems he has seen things in ages and worlds beyond
memory's shore, and those forgotten sights glisten
on the grass and shiver on the leaves. He has seen
under new veils the face of the one beloved, in twilight
hours of many a nameless star. Therefore his sky seems
to ache with the pain of countless meetings and partings,
and a longing pervades this spring breeze, - the longing
that is full of the whisper of ages without beginning.

posted by Gill Eardley to Allspirit


Alan Watts: 

Thich Nhat Hanh (filtered from a variety of podcasts by other teachers etc):


posted by Ben Hassine to Awakened Awareness

    From:  'The Spirit of Tao'  Thomas Cleary


Those obstructed by nothingness, clinging one-sidedly to
this principle, sit blankly to clear away sense objects and
think that the Way is herein. None of them seeks the secret
of nurturing the three treasures. Though they speak of
reaching nothingness, this is really not the Way. The ulti-
mate Way is not in reification, nor simple nothingness.
The mystic essential is to balance openness and realism.

posted by Gill Eardley to Allspirit

    Q: 'Vimalakirti dwells in silence. Manjushri offers praise.' How can they have
     really entered the Gateway of Non-Duality?
A:  The Gateway of Non-Duality is your original Mind. Speech and silence are
     relative concepts belonging to the ephemeral sphere. When nothing is said,
     nothing is manifested. That is why Manjushri offered praise.
Q: Vimalakirti did not speak. Does this imply that sound is subject to cessation?
A:  Speech and silence are one! There is no distinction between them.
     Therefore is it written: 'Neither the true nature nor the root of
     Manjushri's hearing are subject to cessation.' Thus, the sound of the
     Tathagata's voice is everlasting, nor can there be any such reality as the
     time before he began to preach or the time after he finished preaching. The
     preaching of the Tathagatha is identical with the Dharma he taught, for
     there is no distinction between the preaching and the thing preached; just as
     there is none between such varied phenomena as the Glorified and Revealed
     Bodies of the Buddha, the Bodhisattvas, the Srvakas, the world-systems with
     their mountains and rivers, or water, trees, birds, forests and the rest. The
     preaching of the Dharma is at one and the same time both vocal and silent.
     Though one talks the day long, no word is spoken. This being so, only Silence
     belongs to the Essential."
        ~i lost the source for this quote. ,^)) But who needs more words anyway?
posted to Daily Dharma


Book Excerpts


"Open Mouth Already a Mistake"

by Richard Shrobe, ( Zen Master Wu Kwang )

Don't Know is Closest to It

                     For those of you that are new to our style of practice and
             Zen practice in general, I will now introduce you to the practice
             of "not knowing". Usually, people want to learn something, to
             know something. Zen practice actually moves in the opposite
             direction; from knowing to not knowing.                     
                    This not knowing is represented in the classical Zen literature
             by a famous story about Zen Master Poep An. Poep An was one
             of the main figures of Chinese Zen during the T'ang Dynasty, 
             which was the Golden Age  of Zen in China. He lived around 900 
             AD. At the time this story takes place, Peop An was not yet a master.
             Making a Zen pilgrimage didn't mean the same thing as traveling
             means to us today because, of course, there were no airplanes,
             trains, or buses, just ox carts or foot travel, for the most part, and
             most of the main centers were in the mountains. So, the journey
             to call on the various Zen Masters was a rather arduous one.
             in and of itself, the hardship of travelling hundreds of miles over
             every kind of terrain, not knowing where you would sleep that night,
             or where you would find food, was a practice in facing oneself. This
             was a practice, as the old Zen Masters say, in "putting it all down."

                   Poep An came to a particular monastery and greeted Master Ji
             Jang, who was to become his final teacher. Ji Jang asked Peop An,
             "You're travelling all around China; what's the meaning of your 
             pilgrimage?" Initially, Peop An felt stuck and momentarily all thinking
             stopped. Then he said, "don't know". Ji Jang responded, "Not
             knowing is most intimate". Sometimes you'll see this translated as:
             "Not knowing is closest to it." So, Poep An decided, I'd better stay
             here and see what this guy has to offer.

                   After spending some time at the monastery being introduced into
             this "don't know", Poep An decided he would continue on his
             pilgrimage. He told the Master, "Tomorrow I'll be leaving here to
             become a wandering monk again". Ji Jang said, "Oh, do you think
             your ready?". Poep An said, "Certainly!" "Then let me ask you a 
             question," said Ji Jang. "You are fond of the saying that 'that the
             whole world is created by the mind alone'. So, you see those big
             boulders over there in the rock garden? Are they inside your mind
             or outside?" Poep An said, "They're inside my mind. How could
             anything be outside it?" The Zen Master said, "Oh, well, then you'd
             better get a good night's sleep because it's going to be hard
             travelling with all  those rocks inside your mind"! Peop An was
             undone and taken aback, and stayed there with this Master and
             finally attained great awakening.

                  This one sentence, "don't know" or "Not knowing is most intimate",
             is very much at the heart of our practice. The word intimacy is also
             quite interesting. Closeness. Becoming one with something. Really
             being able to fathom something. And, of course, many of our
             difficulties come about by holding on to some conception of
             knowing, or some opinion, or some dualistic attitude that seperates
             us from our experience. So, as we cultivate and enter into this 
             attitude of not knowing, true intimacy becomes a possiblity, true 
             at-oneness with our own experience and with the world that we find
             ourselves in. 
posted by Gill Eardley to Allspirit

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