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Jerry Katz
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#2472 - Monday, May 15, 2006 - Editor: Gloria Lee 


"Best of any song is bird song in the quiet,

but first you must have the quiet."

--Wendell Berry

posted to Daily Dharma



Trout Grass


Last week, I saw a documentary film ostensibly about how bamboo is transformed
into a meticulously crafted split-cane fly rod for trout fishing. The best bamboo
for this only grows around a certain mountain in southern
China, beautiful scenery
there. The making of them at the workshop is also truly an art. You can see all this
from just a few clips on their website. But this isn't really a film review. Since it is
unlikely to turn up many places, you'd probably have to buy the DVD to see it


I just want to share that moment of Zen near the end, when two old guys are
wading into the sparkling clear river in
Montana, going in opposite directions to
give one another the gift of their absence. What I remember about fishing from
my childhood vacations was the beauty of being on a river at dawn in the quiet, with
water slapping the boat and birdcalls the only sounds. It was nice to hear that
fishing was not even for getting fish, as most now practice catch and release. So it
was somewhat expected that the narration would begin to rhapsodize about
connecting with the life of the river through the spirit of the bamboo. Then he
said, "The nouns come and go, but the verbs go on forever. This is about losing
yourself in the river and being timeless."


Alan Larus photos,



This is the Mind-seal of not one thing.
What is “not one thing?”
Mountains fresh and green,
Water clear and flowing.

--Yamaoka Tesshu (1830)


Just Being At the Piano


Just being at the piano--egoless--is to reach the place where the only thing that
exists is the sound and the moving toward the sound. The music on the page that
was outside of you is now within you, and moves through you; you are a channel for
the music, and play from the center of your being. Everything that you have
consciously learned, all of your knowledge emanates from within you. There is a
sense of oneness in which the heart of the musician and the heart of the composer
meet, in which there is no room for self-conscious thought. You are one with
yourself and the act, and feel as if playing has already happened and you are
effortlessly releasing it. The music is in your hands, in the air, in the room, the
music is everywhere, and the whole universe is contained in the experience of


--Mildred Chase, from 365 Nirvana, Here and Now by Josh Baran


Meditation will not carry you to another world, but it will reveal the most profound
and awesome dimensions of the world in which you already live. Calmly
contemplating these dimensions and bringing them into the service of compassion
and kindness is the right way to make rapid gains in meditation as well as in life.

--Hsing Yun


What is of all things most yielding
Can overcome that which is most hard,
Being substanceless, it can enter in
Even where there is no crevice.
That is how I know the value
Of action which is actionless.
But that there can be teaching without words,
Value in action which is actionless
Few indeed can understand.

--Lao Tzu (5th c.)

Buddha Within
Jamgon Kongtrul

The ultimate luminosity of Dharmakaya, absolute truth,
is nothing other than the very nature
of this uncontrived, ordinary mind.
Don't look elsewhere for the Buddha.

It is nothing other than the nature of this present awareness.
This is the Buddha within.

There are innumerable Dharma teachings.
There are many antidotes
to many different kinds of spiritual diseases.
There are many words
in the Mahamudra and Dzogchen nondual teachings.

But the root, the heart of all practices is included here,
in simply sustaining the luminous nature of this present awareness.

If you search elsewhere for something better,
a Buddha superior to this present awareness,
you are deluding yourself.
You are chained,
entangled in the barbed wire of hope and fear.

So give it up!
Simply sustain present wakefulness,
moment after moment."

posted by Jax to Dzogchen Practice


Although you may understand the explanations, if you are still suffering because of
problems, you clearly do not understand the true nature of your mind, your body,
and your senses.


-Lama Zopa Rinpoche, "Transforming Problems Into Happiness"


The Liar That Lives in Your Head


By don Miguel Ruiz with Janet Mills


Adapted from "The Voice of Knowledge" by don Miguel Ruiz


Before we were born, a whole society of storytellers was already here. The
storytellers who were here before us taught us how to be human. First they told us
what we are—a boy or a girl—then they told us who we are, and who we should or
shouldn't be. They taught us how to be a woman or how to be a man. They told us to
be a proper woman, a decent woman, a strong man, a brave man. They gave us a
name, and they told us the role we would play in their story. They prepared us to
live in the human jungle, to compete with one another, to impose our will, to fight
against our own kind. They filled us with knowledge, and of course we believed
them. From the storytellers around us, we learned how to create our own story.

posted by Viorica Weissman to The Power of Silence



"To the as-yet-unborn, to all innocent wisps of undifferentiated
nothingness: Watch out for life.  I have caught life.  I have come down
with life.  I was a wisp of undifferentiated nothingness, and then a
little peephole opened quite suddenly.  Light and sound poured in. 
Voices began to describe me and my surroundings.  Nothing they said could
be appealed.  They said I was a boy named Rudolph Waltz, and that was
that. They said the year was 1932, and that was that.  They said I was in
Midland City, Ohio, and that was that. 
They never shut up.  Year after year they piled detail upon detail.  They do it still. 
You know what they say now?  They say the year is 1982, and that I am fifty years old.  Blah
blah blah..." 

--Kurt Vonnegut, in "Deadeye Dick"

posted by Wayne Ferguson to The Power of Silence


Everywhere is the treasury of endless capacities of followers of the way.
Everywhere is not everywhere; it is called everywhere.


-Hui-k'ung From "The Pocket Zen Reader," edited by Thomas Cleary, 1999


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