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In yet another sign of the interesting times we live in, Oprah has chosen Eckhart Tolle's, A New Earth, Awakening to You Life's Purpose,for her book club. For the first time ever, she is about to embark upon a 10 week online study course with the author open to everyone who is interested and willing to sign up on her website. The course began tonight, and apparently 100's of thousands have signed up.There's an online live video feed of the Q & A with Eckhart, but this can also be viewed later at your convenience.
To see it, click on the address above, or copy and paste it into
the address/location bar in your Internet browser.
"I think that all
poets are sending religious messages, because poetry is,
in such great part, the comparison of one thing to another ... and to
insist, as all poets do, that all things are related to each other,
comparable to each other, is to go toward making an assertion of the unity
of all things."
- Richard Wilbur
The Whole Universe is
- Zen Master Seung Sahn
One Sunday, while Seung Sahn Soen-sa was staying at the International Zen Center of New York, there was a big ceremony marking the end of one hundred days of chanting Kwanseum Bosal. Many Korean women came, with shopping bags full of food and presents. One woman brought a large bouquet of plastic flowers, which she presented smilingly to an American student of Soen-sa's. As soon as he could, the student hid the flowers under a pile of coats. But soon, another woman found them and, with the greatest delight, walked into the Dharma Room and put them in a vase on the altar.
The student was very upset. He went to Soen-sa and said, "Those plastic flowers are awful. Can't I take them off the altar and dump them somewhere?'
Soen-sa said, "It is your mind that is plastic. The whole universe is plastic."
The student said, "What do you mean?"
Soen-sa said, 'Buddha said, "When one mind is pure, the whole universe is pure; when one mind is tainted, the whole universe is tainted." Every day we meet people who are unhappy. When their minds are sad, everything that they see, hear, smell, taste, and touch is sad. The whole universe is sad. When the mind is happy, the whole universe is happy. If you desire something, then you are attached to it. If you reject it, you are just as attached to it. Being attached to a thing means that it becomes a hindrance in your mind. So "I don't like plastic" is the same as "I like plastic" -- both are attachments. You don't like plastic flowers, so your mind has become plastic, and the whole universe is plastic. Put it all down. Then you won't be hindered by anything. You won't care whether the flowers are plastic or real, whether they are on the altar or in the garbage pail. This is true freedom. A plastic flower is just a plastic flower. A real flower is just a real flower. You mustn't be attached to name and form."
The student said, "But we are trying to make a beautiful Zen center here, for all people. How can I not care? Those flowers spoil the whole room."
Soen-sa said, "If
somebody gives real flowers to Buddha, Buddha is happy. If
somebody else likes plastic flowers and gives them to Buddha,
Buddha is also happy. Buddha is not attached to name and form, he
doesn't care whether the flowers are real or plastic, he only
cares about the person's mind. These women who are offering
plastic flowers have very pure minds, and their action is
Bodhisattva action. Your mind rejects plastic flowers, so you
have separated the universe into good and bad, beautiful and
ugly. So your action is not Bodhisattva action. Only keep
Buddha's mind. Then you will have no hindrance. Real flowers are
good; plastic flowers are good. This mind is like the great sea,
into which all waters flow -- the
posted by -ts-
by A.H. Almaas (This guy is really worth a look)
from Diamond Heart, Book II
When your mind is free, not concerned, or worried, or focused on anything in particular, and your heart is not grasping or clinging to anything, then you are free. The most characteristic quality is that there is no fixation on anything; you're not focused on any issue or experience. Whatever is there, is there. So there is a freedom of mind. The mind is not saying, "I want this," or "I want to look at this," or "It has to be this way." The mind is loose. The expression "hang loose" tells us what it means to be liberated.
Allspirit NonDual Quotations
posted to Wisdom-l
photo by Clay, posted to Nondual Art
"Generally, everyone feels compassion, but the compassion is flawed. In what way? We measure it out. For instance, some feel compassion for human beings but not for animals and other types of sentient beings. Others feel compassion for animals and some other types of sentient beings but not for humans. Others, who feel compassion for human beings, feel compassion for the human beings of their own country but not for the human beings of other countries. Then, some feel compassion for their friends but not for anyone else. Thus, it seems that we draw a line somewhere. We feel compassion for those on one side of the line but not for those on the other side of the line. We feel compassion for one group but not for another. That is where our compassion is flawed. What did the Buddha say about that? It is not necessary to draw that line. Nor is it suitable. Everyone wants compassion, and we can extend our compassion to everyone."
Lectures on Kamalashila's 'Stages of Meditation in the Middle Way School
by Kenchen Thrangu Rinpoche
posted by Bob O'Hearn
Dogen said, Although everything has Buddha nature, we love flowers, and we do not care for weeds. This is true of human nature. But that we are attached to some beauty is itself Buddhas activity. That we do not care for weeds is also Buddhas activity. We should know that. If you know that, it is all right to attach to something. If it is Buddhas attachment, that is non-attachment. So in love there should be hate, or non-attachment. And in hate there should be love, or acceptance. Love and hate are one thing. We should not attach to love alone. We should accept hate. We should accept weeds, despite how we feel about them. If you do not care for them, do not love them; if you love them then love them.
Usually you criticize yourself for being unfair to your surroundings; you criticize your unaccepting attitude. But there is a very subtle difference between the usual way of accepting and our way of accepting things, although they may seem exactly the same. We have been taught that there is no gap between nighttime and daytime, no gap between you and I. This means oneness. But we do not emphasize even oneness. If it is one, there is no need to emphasize one.
Dogen said: To learn something is to know yourself; to study Buddhism is to study yourself. To learn something is not to acquire something which you did not know before. You know something before you learn it. There is no gap between the I before you know something, and the I after you know something. There is no gap between the ignorant and the wise. A foolish person is a wise person; a wise person is a foolish person. But usually we think, He is foolish and I am wise, or I was foolish, but now I am wise. How can we be wise if we are foolish? But the understanding transmitted from Buddha to us is that there is no difference whatsoever between the foolish man and the wise man. It is so. But if I say this people may think that I am emphasizing oneness. That is not so. We do not emphasize anything. All we want to do is to know things just as they are. If we know things, as they are, there is nothing to point at; there is no way to grasp anything; there is no thing to grasp. We cannot put emphasis on any point. Nevertheless, as Dogen said, A flower falls, even though we love it; and a weed grows, even though we do not love it. Even though it is so, this is our life.
In this way our life should be understood. Then there is no problem. Because we put emphasis on some particular point, we always have trouble. We should accept things just as they are. This is how we understand everything, and how we live in this world. This kind of experience is something beyond our thinking. In the thinking realm there is a difference between oneness and variety; but in actual experience, variety and unity are the same. Because you create some idea of unity or variety, you are caught by the idea. And you have to continue the endless thinking, although actually there is no need to think.
Emotionally we have many problems; they are something created; they are problems pointed out by our self-centered ideas or views. Because we point out something, there are problems. But actually it is not possible to point out anything in particular. Happiness is sorrow; sorrow is happiness. Even though the ways we feel are different, they are not really different; in essence they are the same. This is the true understanding; transmitted from Buddha to us.
- Shunryu Suzuki
Zen Mind, Beginners Mind
posted by Bob O'Hearn
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