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#2735 - Monday,
February 19, 2007 - Editor: Gloria
Desire and aversion are of
The mind is never yours.
You are free of its turmoil.
You are awareness itself,
Never changing. Wherever you go,
--Ashtavakra Gita 15:5
From "The Heart of Awareness:
A Translation of the Ashtavakra Gita"
by Thomas Byrom
A monk asked, All of
the buddhas and all of
the buddadharmas come forth from this sutra.
What is this sutra?
Qinshan said, Forever turning.
-"Zens Chinese Heritage"
intrinsically void and yet this Mind with
which they are identical is no mere nothingness.
-Huang Po, Zen Teaching of Huang Po
If your knowledge of fire
has been turned
to certainty by words alone,
then seek to be cooked by the fire itself.
Don't abide in borrowed certainty.
There is no real certainty until you burn;
if you wish for this, sit down in the fire.
Version by Camille and Kabir Helminski
posted to Along the Way
"To detach oneself from all
external stimulation and to be
undisturbed within: When we look outside, we see trees,
flowers, mountains, and people, and we cannot erase this
scenery. We cannot erase the things that appear before us.
We can't `close' our ears, and we feel many things-- hot,
cold, joy, and pain--and smell fragrances. In this way we live
totally connected with the environment that surrounds us;
we cannot separate ourselves from it. The most important
thing is not to be attached to that environment. This does
not mean to cover our eyes, it does not mean to cover our
ears, it does not mean to stop smelling, nor does it mean to
stop feeling. It means that our minds must become taut and
concentrated beyond all of those stimulations. It means not
to be distracted, not to use our minds meaninglessly, not to
loosen our attention. It means to find our center and with
our total concentration to gather our focused energy. Not
to be attached to external form, not to be unsettled
within, not to think this and that, not to be cluttered with
extraneous things, not to think about gain and loss and
whether we are happy or sad. This can be called Zen. We
are always thinking something in our minds. If we always
leave our minds full of these thoughts our minds will never
become clear, but we also cannot instruct our minds to stop
thinking. This means that we should always keep our minds
taut and perfectly attentive. Hakuin gave us the instruction
for susokkan, which has the truly great function of clearing
the mind. He said: `In any case do not be attached to the
outside world, and within our minds do not think of this and
that. To have our minds precisely concentrated only on what
we are doing, this is what is called deep samadhi."
--Shodo Harada, Roshi
From the website:
posted to Daily Dharma
Something of this spirit is
reflected in the story of the late
Zen master Taji, who lay dying. One of his disciples,
recalling the fondness the roshi had for a certain cake,
went in search of some in the bake shops of Tokyo. After
some time he returned with the delicacy for the master,
who smiled a feeble smile of appreciation and began
nibbling at it. Later as the master grew visibly weaker, his
disciples asked if he had any departing words of wisdom or
advice. Taji said, "Yes." As they drew closer, so as not to
miss the faintest syllable, Taji whispered, "My, but this
cake is delicious.'' With those words he died.
Here is neither a cynical humor,
born of resignation and
despair, nor a defiant humor, making some last gesture of
rebellion against the meaninglessness of life, "head bloody,
but unbowed" (W. E. Henley). Nor is this a sarcastic and
bitter humor, mocking the disruption or cessation of the
"best-laid schemes of mice and men" (R. Burns). The spirit is
quite different. This is a humor of acceptance, a final
"yes" to the opportunity of life, albeit transient. It
expresses the joy of life, and of the smallest particulars
of life, without at the same time frantically clutching after
As Master Dogen said: "In life
identify yourslf with life, at
death with death. Abstain from yielding and craving. Life and
death constitute the very being of Buddha....You must
neither loathe one nor covet the other." From this
perspective we may speak of a humor of non-ego and
non-attachment, which is therefore free to embrace death
as well as life, the Buddha along with a mouthful of cake.
posted to Daily Dharma
Alan Larus posted to HarshaSatsangh
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