Friday, February 28, 2014


The doctrine of nondualism is not intended to be an objective description of the true nature of reality, but rather a recommendation as to how one can best view reality in order to advance one's religious aims, a tool to assist one in realizing the Middle Way. Like all doctrines in Mahayana, it is provisional in nature, and to cling to it too tenaciously would be as reprehensible as any other form of clinging or attachment. Yet without it, one cannot hope to view the everyday world in its proper perspective.

---Burton Watson, In The Introduction To His Translation Of The Vimalakirti Sutra---

Wild Places


The Buddha taught that all things in the phenomenal world are conditioned in nature, brought into being and governed by causes and conditions. They are thus in a state on constant flux and are destined to change and pass away. They may therefore be designated as "empty" or "void" because they lack any inherent characteristics by which they can be described, changing as they do from instant to instant. At best they can be delineated by what they are not--not permanent, not possessed of any fixed form or self-nature.

---Burton Watson, In The Introduction To His Translation Of The Vimalakirti Sutra---

Human Values

I am not promoting Buddhism.
I am promoting human values.

---His Holiness the Dalai Lama---


Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by rulers as useful.

---Seneca the Younger---


Men never commit evil so fully and joyfully as when they do it for religious convictions.

---Blaise Pascal---

Proof of God

An atheist doesn’t have to be someone who thinks he has a proof that there can’t be a god. He only has to be someone who believes that the evidence on the God question is at a similar level to the evidence on the werewolf question.

---John McCarthy---


Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day; teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime; give a man religion and he will die praying for a fish.


Mutual Recognition

I come from the East, most of you [here] are Westerners. If I look at you superficially, we are different, and if I put my emphasis on that level, we grow more distant. If I look on you as my own kind, as human beings like myself, with one nose, two eyes, and so forth, then automatically that distance is gone. We are the same human flesh. I want happiness; you also want happiness. From that mutual recognition, we can build respect and real trust for each other. From that can come co-operation and harmony.

---His Holiness the Dalai Lama---

Compassion For Other Beings

Compassion for others (as opposed to self) is one of the central teachings of Mahayana Buddhism. In this connection I would like to quote a verse which conveys the message:

If you are unable to exchange your happiness
For the suffering of other beings,
You have no hope of attaining Buddhahood,
Or even of happiness in this present life.

---His Holiness the Dalai Lama---

Inward and Outward Views

To cling to oneself as Buddha, oneself as Zen or the Way, making that an understanding, is called clinging to the inward view.

Attainment by causes and conditions, practice and realization, is called the outward view.

Master Pao-chih said, "The inward view and the outward view are both mistaken."

---Pai-chang (Hui-Hai)---

The Carriage

The path is called "straight,"
"Without fear" is the destination;
the carriage is called "silent"
and its wheels are right effort.

Conscience is the rails and
mindfulness the upholstery,
Dharma is the driver and
right view runs ahead of it.

And whether it be a woman
or whether it be a man,
whoever travels by this carriage
shall draw closer to Nirvana.

---Samyutta Nikaya---

Tempeh and Sauerkraut Stew

1 pound of tempeh, cut into 1/2-inch squares
2 tablespoons of your favorite olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 medium carrot, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tablespoons of tomato paste
1/2 cup of dry white wine
1 tablespoon of sweet paprika
1 teaspoon of caraway seeds
2 cups of sauerkraut, rinsed and drained well (See note.)
1 1/2 cup of vegetable broth, more if needed
1/2 cup of sour cream
Salt to taste
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons of minced fresh parsley

Place the tempeh in a saucepan with enough water to cover. Bring the water to the boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes.

Drain the tempeh and pat it dry.

Heat the oil in a Dutch oven or large saucepan over medium heat. Add the tempeh and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 5 or 7 minutes.

Remove the tempeh with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add the onion and the carrot to the pan, cover, and cook, stirring a few times, until softened, about 5 minutes.

Add the garlic and cook without the cover for 1 minute longer.

Stir in the tomato paste, the wine, the paprika, the caraway seeds, the tempeh, and the sauerkraut. Add the stock and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer until the flavors have developed and the carrots are tender, about 30 minutes.

If the stew is thicker than you desire, add a wee bit more broth. Make it as thick or thin as you like.

Just before serving, remove the stew from the heat and stir in the sour cream. Make sure the sour cream is well blender into the stew.

Season to taste with the salt and the pepper.

Sprinkle minced parsley over each serving.

Do not use the type of kraut made with vinegar. This is not true kraut. Sauerkraut is cabbage and salt, that's all.

Those Yet to Learn

As the Buddha has told us, never despise those who have yet to learn.

---The Vimalakirti Sutra---


Even Shakyamuni could never tame Ananda
but Kashyapa kicked him out and tamed him.
Throw away all you know.
Throw away all you don't know.
Then and only then one star shines bright.

---Ko Un---

Is One of the Three Poisons Greater Than the Other Two?

1...Greed or Desire

2...Anger or Lust

3...Delusion or Ignorance or Foolishness

These are the Three Poisons. Is one greater than the other two?

Many great teachers have said Delusion is the greatest. They have said the other two derive from Delusion. If we understood, we not hold onto Greed. If we understood, we would let Anger fall away.

The March to Equality

The March to Equality must always be one of Peace.


Desires know no ending.

You fulfill one and another takes its place, or the same one returns.

Human desires are endless. They are similar to the thirst of a man drinking salt water; he gets no satisfaction and his thirst increases.

To Rid Oneself of the Three Poisons

The three -- greed, anger, and delusion -- are the source of all human unhappiness. To free oneself of these three, one is advised to observe the Precepts, to practice concentration of the mind, and cultivate wisdom.

Observance of the Precepts will allow greed to fall away.

Right concentration of the mind will allow anger to fall away.

And wisdom will replace delusion.


Buddha-nature exists in everyone no matter how deeply it may be covered by greed, anger, and delusion. It is there no matter how hidden or shrouded by our deeds.

Buddha-nature cannot be lost or destroyed. When all anger, all greed, and all delusion are removed it will reappear.

Proud Dog

Sons and Daughters

Thursday, February 27, 2014

The Lawsuit Is About Not Being Treated Equally Under The Law

Please follow the link:


Deluded the moment before, you were an ordinary mortal; enlightened the moment after, you are a buddha. Fixation on objects the moment before was affliction; detachment from objects the moment after is enlightenment.



When one is real, all is real. The extent of mind is too vast to travel a narrow path.


Walk Evenly

Those to whom the Dharma is clear
are not led into other doctrines;
perfectly enlightened with perfect knowledge,
they walk evenly over the uneven.

---Samyutta Nikaya---

Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Caramelized Shallot Rings

2 large sweet potatoes, well scrubbed
1 1/4 cups of all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon of salt
1/8 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons of your favorite olive oil
3 or 4 shallots, to your taste, thinly sliced and pulled apart into rings
1 teaspoon of minced fresh marjoram leaves

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Pierce the potatoes with a fork in several places and bake until soft, about an hour.

Remove the potatoes from the oven and allow them to cool slightly.

Reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees F.

While the potatoes are baking, place the flour in a large bowl and sprinkle with the salt and the pepper.

As soon as the potatoes are cool enough to handle, peel them, then run them through a potato ricer, or mash with a potato masher until they are fluffy.

Make a well in the center of the flour and place the potatoes in the well. Using a spoon, gradually draw the flour in the potatoes until a dough is formed. Knead the dough for 5 minutes, then divide it into 6 equal pieces.

On a floured board, roll each piece of dough under the palms of your hand into a rope about 1/2-inch in diameter.

With a knife, cute each rope into 3/4-inch long pieces.

Roll each piece briefly on the board with your hand to round off the edges. Press the tines of a fork onto each piece to achieve the classic gnocchi shape.

Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil and add the gnocchi. Cook until the gnocchi float to the top, perhaps 1 to 3 minutes.

Remove the gnocchi from the water with a slotted spoon and place in a colander to drain well. Then place the gnocchi on a baking sheet, arrange them in a single layer, and place them in the 300 degree oven to keep warm while you prepare the shallots.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, until they are crisp and golden brown, about 10 minutes.

Remove the gnocchi from the oven, sprinkle with the marjoram and the shallots and drizzle with the oil in which the shallots were cooked.

Transfer to a serving dish and serve hot.

Our Vision

Slow Down


Where To Find Happiness


According to the Buddha, one must first seek to understand one's own mind.

---What Buddhists Believe, by K. Sri Dhammananda---


While speaking with others, do not hope
or pray not to be disagreed with. With-
out disagreement, self-righteousness can

---Thich Nhat Hanh---


Giving himself to things to be shunned
and not exerting where exertion is
needed, a seeker after pleasure, having
given up his true welfare, envies those
intent upon theirs.

Seek no intimacy with the beloved
and also not with the unloved, for
not to see the beloved and to see
the unloved, are both painful.

Therefore, hold nothing dear, for
separation from the dear is painful.
There are no bonds for those who
have nothing beloved or unloved.

From endearment springs grief,
from endearment springs fear.
For him who is wholly free from
endearment there is no grief,
whence fear?

From affection springs grief, from
affection springs fear. For him who
is wholly free from affection there is
no grief, whence fear?

From attachment springs grief, from
attachment springs fear. For him who
is wholly free from endearment there
is no grief, whence fear?

From lust springs grief, from lust
springs fear. For him who is wholly
free from lust there is no grief, whence
then fear?

From craving springs grief, from craving 
springs fear. For him who is wholly
free from craving there is no grief, whence
then fear?

People hold dear him who embodies
virtue and insight, who is principled,
has realized the truth, and who himself 
does what he ought to be doing.

One who is intent upon the Ineffable
(Nirvana), dwells with mind inspired
(by supramundane wisdom), and is
no more bound by sense pleasures--
such a man is called 'One Bound

When, after a long absence, a man
safely returns home from afar, his
relatives, friends and well-wishers
welcome him home on arrival.

As kinsmen welcome a dear one on
arrival, even so his own good deeds
will welcome the doer of good who
has gone from this world to the next.

---The Dhammapada, chapter 16---

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Texas Ban On Marriage Ruled Unconstitutional By Federal Judge

Social Justice and the Practice of the Buddha's Teaching

Social justice can be an easy avenue to travel to judge others. It is an ever evolving notion that has no fixed boundaries other than what we know is true. How that truth manifests is the challenge and those manifestations are what evolve, not the truth itself. 

Patience is the partner of progress. It takes patience with those who are still struggling to come to terms with the truth. When we show them impatience or intolerance towards their views are we any different than they are; or, do we think we hold the higher ground just because we got there first? 

When we do, we share in their arrogance and ignorance. 

Live the justice, don't preach it. When we preach it we end up sounding just like those who stand opposed. 

At least it's something to think about.

---Venerable Deok Wun---



Monday, February 24, 2014

Peace On Earth


In the Buddhist tradition, Dharma has three meanings. It is the universal order or the physical laws which guide everything. The word is also applied to the Buddha's teaching and to all phenomena.

The Dharma

The Dharma knows no increase or diminution, knows no birth or extinction, the Dharma knows no destination.

---The Vimalakirti Sutra---

Remember, The Finger Pointing At The Moon Is Not The Moon

The Religious Experience

The true spirit of religion does not arise from a desire for economic security or a hope of being cured of disease. Worship inspired by the prospect of worldly benefits is not true worship and does not accord with the higher teachings of the Buddha. It cannot be denied, however, that many people whose original motive for turning to religion was desire for mundane well-being have gone on to acquire consciousness of higher ideals and awareness of the genuine meaning of faith. The religious experience can occur on many levels. The acquisition of the religious spirit is more often than not gradual, and ideals tend to become loftier and deeper as experience grows.

---Basic Buddhist Concepts, by Kogen Mizuno---

Peace On Earth

Two Obstacles must understand that the eternal soul theory- "I have a soul" -and the material theory- "I have no soul" -are both obstacles to self-realization or salvation. They arise from the misconception "I AM."

---What Buddhists Believe, by K. Sri Dhammananda---


To believe in the existence of an ego is an erroneous belief that supposes the existence of non-existence; to deny Buddha-nature is wrong, for it supposes that existence is non-existence.

---The Teaching of Buddha, by the Buddhist Promoting Foundation---


We have been speaking of Buddha-nature as though it were something that could be described, as though it were similar to the "soul" of other teachings, but it is not.

The concept of an "ego-personality" is something that has been imagined by a discriminating mind which first grasped it and then became attached to it, but which must abandon it. On the contrary, Buddha-nature is something indescribable that must first be discovered. In one sense, it resembles an "ego-personality" but it is not the "ego" in the sense of "I am" or "mine."

---The Teaching of Buddha, by the Buddhist Promoting Foundation---


...if a man thinks that he has attained Enlightenment, he is deceiving himself, for, although he may be moving in that direction, he has not yet reached Buddhahood.

---The Teaching of Buddha, by the Buddhist Promoting Foundation---