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#2436 - Sunday, April 2, 2006 - Editor: Gloria Lee
When a thing
has been said and said well, have no scruple. Take it and copy
Above the tower -- a lone, twice-sized moon.
On the cold river passing night-filled homes,
It scatters restless gold across the waves.
On mats, it shines richer than silken gauze.
Empty peaks, silence: among sparse stars,
Not yet flawed, it drifts. Pine and cinnamon
Spreading in my old garden . . . All light,
All ten thousand miles at once in its light!
Tu Fu (712-770)
Seeing the Moon
A Zen poem says, "After the wind stops I see a flower falling. Because of the singing bird I find the mountain calmness." Before something happens in the realm of calmness, we do not feel the calmness; only when something happens within it do we find the calmness. There is a Japanese saying, "For the moon; there is the cloud. For the flower there is the wind." When we see a part of the moon covered by a cloud, or a tree, or a weed, we feel how round the moon is. But when we see the clear moon without anything covering it, we do not feel that roundness the same way we do when we see it through something else. When you are doing zazen, you are within the complete calmness of your mind; you do not feel anything. You just sit. But the calmness of your sitting will encourage you in your everyday life.... Even though you do not feel anything when you sit, if you do not have this zazen experience, you cannot find anything; you just find weeds, or trees, or clouds in your daily life; you do not see the moon.
--Shunryu Suzuki, Zen
Mind, Beginners Mind
by Tara Brach
The Buddha taught that holding on to *anything*, including
a sense of being the observer, obscures the full freedom
of awareness. At these times, [...] we can pull the curtain
on this faint aura of self-ness by asking, "Who is aware?"
We might also ask, "What is aware?" or, "Who am I?" or,
"Who is thinking?'' We bring mindfulness to awareness
itself. We *look into* awareness. By inquiring and then
looking into awareness, we can cut through and dispel the
deepest illusions of self that have held us separate and
"A Taste of Freedom" by Ajahn Chah
It's of great importance that we practice the Dhamma. If we
don't practice, then all our knowledge is only superficial
knowledge, just the outer shell of it. It's as if we have some
sort of fruit but we haven't eaten it yet. Even though we have
that fruit in our hand we get no benefit from it. Only through
the actual eating of the fruit we really know its taste.
The Buddha didn't praise those who merely believe
others, he praised the person who knows within himself.
Just as with that fruit, if we have tasted it already, we don't
have to ask anyone else if it's sweet or sour. Our problems
are over. Why are they over? Because we see according to
the truth. One who has realized the Dhamma is like one
who has realized the sweetness or sourness of the fruit. All
doubts are ended right here.
When we talk about Dhamma, although we may say a
lot, it can usually be brought down to four things. They are
simply to know suffering, to know the cause of suffering,
to know the end of suffering and to know the path of practice
leading to the end of suffering. This is all there is. All
that we have experienced on the path of practice so far
comes down to these four things. When we know these
things, our problems are over.
A Vajra Song
by Ven. Lama Gendun Rinpoche
Happiness cannot be found
through great effort and willpower,
but is already present, in relaxation
and letting go.
Don't strain yourself;
there is nothing to do.
Whatever arises in the mind
has no importance at all,
because it has no reality whatsoever.
Don't become attached to it;
don't identify with it
and pass judgement upon it.
Let the entire game happen on its own,
springing up and falling back like waves -
without changing or manipulating anything -
and everything vanishes and reappears, magically,
Only our searching for happiness
prevents us from seeing it.
It's like a rainbow which you pursue
without ever catching.
Although it does not exist,
it has always been there
and accompanies you every instant.
Don't believe in the reality
of good and bad experiences;
they are like rainbows in the sky.
Wanting to grasp the ungraspable,
you exhaust yourself in vain.
As soon as you open and relax this grasping,
space is there - open, inviting and comfortable.
So make use of this spaciousness, this freedom
and natural ease.
Don't search any further.
Don't go into the tangled jungle
looking for the great elephant
who is already quietly at home.
Nothing to do,
Nothing to force,
nothing to want -
and everything happens by itself.
Gill Eardley posted to Allspirit
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