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#2478 - Monday, May 22, 2006 - Editor: Gloria Lee  

We take long trips.  We puzzle over the meaning
of a painting or a book, when what we're wanting
to see and understand in this world, we are that.

                - Rumi

Version by Coleman Barks
"Open Secret"
Threshold Books, 1984

posted to Along the Way  

Opening From Heart   Right now, and in every now-moment, you are either closing or opening. You are
either stressfully waiting for something--more money, security, affection--or you
are living from your deep heart, opening as the entire moment, and giving what you
most deeply desire to give, without waiting. If you are waiting for anything in
order to live and love without holding back, then you suffer. Every moment is the
most important moment of your life. No future time is better than now to let down
your guard and love. Everything you do right now ripples outward and affects
everyone. Your posture can shine your heart or transmit anxiety. Your breath can
radiate love or muddy the room in depression. Your glance can awaken joy. Your
words can inspire freedom. Your every act can open hearts and minds. Opening
from heart to all, you live as a gift to all. In every moment, you are either opening
or closing. Right now, you are choosing to open and give fully or you are waiting.
How does your choice feel?  

--David Deida, from 365 Nirvana, Here and Now by Josh Baran  

Even a strong wind is empty by nature.
Even a great wave is just ocean itself.
Even thick southern clouds are insubstantial as sky.
Even the dense mind is naturally birthless.  

--Milarepa, "Drinking The Fountain Stream"  


photo by Alan Larus  

On the great road of buddha ancestors there is always unsurpassable practice,
continuous and sustained. It forms the circle of the way and is never cut off.
Between aspiration, practice, enlightenment, and nirvana there is not a moment’s
gap; continuous practice is the circle of the way. This being so, continuous practice
is unstained, not forced by you or others. It means your practice affects the entire
earth and the entire sky in the ten directions. Although not noticed by others or by
yourself, it is so.

--Dogen (1200-1253  

  The supreme paradox of all thought is the attempt to discover something that thought cannot think... --Soren Kierkegarrd  

However deep your knowledge of the scriptures,
It is no more than a strand of hair
In the vastness of space;
However important seeming your worldly experience,
It is but a drop of water in a deep ravine.



The Essence  

The bamboo shadows are sweeping the stairs,
But no dust is stirred:
The moonlight penetrates deep in the bottom of the pool,
But no trace is left in the water.  

Author unknown (Essays in Zen Buddhism - First Series 352)  

Here's your Daily Poem from the Poetry Chaikhana --

  Reply to a Friend

By Ryokan
(1758 - 1831)

English version by Mei Hui Huang and Larry Smith

In stubborn stupidity, I live on alone
befriended by trees and herbs.
Too lazy to learn right from wrong,
I laugh at myself, ignoring others.
Lifting my bony shanks, I cross the stream,
a sack in my hand, blessed by spring weather.
Living thus, I want for nothing,
at peace with all the world.

Your finger points to the moon,
but the finger is blind until the moon appears.
What connection has  moon and finger?
Are they separate objects or bound?
This is a question for beginners
wrapped in seas of ignorance.
Yet one who looks beyond metaphor
knows there is no finger; there is no moon.


Thought for the Day:

Don't ask questions
with simple answers.
Ask the questions
that bring you face-to-face with the Mystery.


Here's your Daily Music selection --

C Lanzbom


Listen - Purchase

More Music Selections

Like Han-shan in China, Ryokan is loved as much for his antics as for his profound poetry.

Ryokan became a priest at age 18 and took to a life of wandering. He eventually met his teacher, Kokusen Roshi, and settled down to study Zen practice, ultimately becoming his most esteemed student. When Kokusen Roshi died, Ryokan inherited his temple. But the duties and regularity of being temple master didn't suit Ryokan, and he resumed his itinerant life.

He next settled in a small hut he called Gogo-an on Mt. Kugami, where he lived by begging.

Ryokan's love of children and animals are legendary. He often played games with the local children, attested to in his own poetry.

His reputation for gentleness carried sometimes to comical extremes. One tale is told that, one day when Ryokan returned to his hut he discovered a robber who had broken in and was in the process of stealing the impoverished monk's few possessions. In the thief's haste to leave, he left behind a cushion. Ryokan grabbed the cushion and ran after the thief to give it to him. This event prompted Ryokan to compose one of his best known poems:

The thief left it behind:
the moon
at my window.

When Ryokan was 70 and nearing the end of his life, he met a young nun and poet named Teishin. Though Teishin was only 28, they fell in love. They exchanged several beautiful love poems.

As Ryokan was dying, Teishin came to him and held him at his moment of death. It was Teishin who collected and published Ryokan's poetry after his death.


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