Tuesday, September 30, 2014




Say What?


Young Monks

May 3, 2013 at a Chogye temple in Seoul, South Korea, during the celebration of the Buddha's birthday, children attend the 'Children Becoming Buddhist Monks' ceremony. The children will stay at the temple for 14 days to learn about the Practice.

BC and Meditation

The Practice

What counts is not so much the destination but the resolve to take the next step.

---Buddhism Without Beliefs - by Stephen Batchelor---

The Sangha

Awakening is the purpose that enfolds all purposes. Whatever we do is meaningful to the extent that it leads to awakening, meaningless to the extent that it leads away from it. Dharma practice is the process of awakening itself: the thoughts, words, and deeds that weave the unfolding fabric of experience into a coherent whole. And this process is participatory: sustained and matured by communities of friendship.

---Buddhism Without Beliefs - by Stephen Batchelor---

How Books Fool Us

A courteous handsome young man
well-versed in the classics and histories
people address him Sir
everyone calls him a scholar
but he hasn't found a position yet
and doesn't know how to farm
in winter he wears a tattered robe
this is how books fool us

---Cold Mountain---

A Poem

Buddha is your mind
And the Way goes nowhere.
Don't look for anything but this.
If you point your cart north
When you want to go south,
How will you arrive?


A Blind Man

A man that possesses knowledge of the written word,
And yet he does not apply what he has learned,
Is like a blind man carrying a lamp during the day,
He is still unable to see the road.


The Awakening

During the night of his Awakening, Siddhartha stopped identifying the thoughts, feelings, and sensations that arose within him as "me" or "mine" and with that understanding, that freedom, he became the Buddha - One Who Is Awake.

The Idea of Evil Personified - The Inner Darkness

In Hebrew Satan means "adversary."

In Greek diabolos means "one who throws something across the path."

In Pali and Sanskrit Mara means "the killer."

Not a Bodhisattva

If bodhisattvas have the notion that there are living beings to be liberated, this is an image of self. If they have the sense that they can liberate living beings, this is an image of a person. If they think nirvana can be sought, this is an image of a being. If they have the notion of the existence of nirvana to be realized, this is an image of a liver of life. Those who have these four images are not bodhisattvas.


Wisdom and Charity

Wisdom is the chief of the ten thousand virtues, and charity is the foremost of the myriad practices.


A Poem

Always, when I was a boy,
I would play here and there.
I used to put on my favorite vest
And ride a chestnut horse with a white nose.
Today I spent the morning in town
And the evening drinking amid the peach blossoms
...by the river.
Returning home, I have lost my way. Where am I?
Laughing, I find myself next to the brothel.


Warm Slaw

2 tablespoons of butter
1 quart of shredded cabbage
1 teaspoon of salt
1 1/2 cups of water
5 tablespoons of sugar
1 large egg, beaten
1 tablespoon of flour
1/2 cup of whole milk
2 tablespoons of cider vinegar

Melt the butter in a saucepan and add the cabbage. Stir thoroughly; then add the salt and the water.

Cover the pan and cook over medium-low heat for 10 minutes.

In a bowl mix the sugar, the beaten egg, the flour, and the milk. Add this slowly to the cabbage. Stir.

Cook another minute then and the vinegar, stir, and serve.

The Spirit of Zen

Truly, I love this life of seclusion.
Carrying my staff, I walk toward a friend's cottage.
The trees in his garden, soaked by the evening rain,
Reflect the cool, clear autumnal sky.
The owner's dog comes to greet me;
Chrysanthemums bloom along the fence.
These people have the same spirit as the ancients;
An earthen wall marks their separation from the world.
In the house volumes of poetry on the floor.
Abandoning worldliness, I often come to this tranquil place--
The spirit here is the spirit of Zen.



A "spiritual warrior" who resolves to attain buddhahood in order to liberate others and who is thus the paragon of Mahayana Buddhism.

---Red Pine---


If bodhisattvas say, 'Because I teach dharmas, I eliminate the passions of others,' this is a dharma of individuality. If they say, 'I have liberated other beings,' this is to possess something. Although they liberate other beings, if they think about a subject or object and don't get rid of self and other, they can't be called bodhisattvas. Whereas even if they zealously teach all sorts of expedients to help and liberate other beings, as long as their minds remain free of subject and object, they are bodhisattvas, indeed.


The Highest Truth

No beginning, Subhuti, is the highest truth.

---The Buddha - in the Diamond Sutra---


When nothing is realized, it is called wisdom. When something is realized, it is called delusion.

---The Nirvana Sutra---

The Way

Consider the tree outside the door. Although it serves as a resting place for birds, it doesn't make an effort to call those that come. Nor does it care whether those that leave return. When a person's mind is like the tree's, they no longer oppose the Way.


My Teacher

Perfectly still, no other thought
empty silence, this is my teacher.

---Pai Chu-yi (Bai Juyi or Bo Juyi)------

Walk the Path - That's All

As we walk the Buddha-Dharma path there is the possibility of becoming attached to the ideas of liberation and enlightenment, the practice and its goal.

Reward and Punishment

In Buddhism expect no reward and no punishment. Expect result and consequences for your actions of deed, word, and thought.

When you free yourself from ideas of reward and punishment, then you have attained spiritual growth.

When you practice Compassion and Wisdom detached from ideas of reward and punishment and then you know enlightenment.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Such a Place

Where being wise and honest is not respected,
Then why would the wise and honest go?
In such a place as that,
What would the wise and honest do?


One's Character

Through developing wisdom we can achieve awakening. The Buddhadharma is not about anything else; it is about accomplishing and perfecting one's own character. When one has perfected one's character, love and compassion will exist. Without them, we will suffer from resentment, unhappiness, and blame.

---Jamin Sunim---

My Hut

My hut, located in a distant village, is a little more than
....four bare walls.
Once I was a mendicant monk, wandering here and there,
....staying nowhere long.
Recalling the first day of my pilgrimage, years ago--
How high my spirits were!


Proper Livelihood

These five trades ought not to be practiced by a layperson. What five? Trade in weapons, trade in human beings, trade in flesh, trade in alcohol and trade in poison.

---The Buddha---

Keeping Out of the Rain

Today, while begging, a sudden downpour.
I waited out the storm in a small shrine.
Laughing--one jug for water, one bowl for rice.
My life is like an old run-down hermitage--
...poor, simple, quiet.



Another shortcoming of desire is that it leads to so much that is undesirable.

---Lama Zopa Rinpoche---


The Other Option

You can't ever get everything you want. It is impossible. Luckily, there is another option. You can learn to control your mind, to step outside of this endless cycle of desire and aversion. You can learn not to want what you want, to recognize desires but not be controlled by them.

---Bhante Henepola Gunaratana---

It's Not Complicated

Buddha's teachings are so simple and straightforward. If you find them complicated, it is only because you have made them so. You may think, "I have a Ph.D. and have amassed all this knowledge, yet I still can't figure out how to begin practicing Dharma." The remedy is to take a good look at your own mind.

---Lama Thubten Yeshe---

Looking in Vain

If we're looking for outer conditions to bring us contentment, we're looking in vain.

---Ayya Khema---


Learning is like a design in water,
contemplation like a design on the side of the wall,
meditation like a design in stone.

---Adept Godrakpa---


Nirvana was seen by Hinayana Buddhists as the final and complete annihilation of both body and mind, while Mahayana Buddhists see it as the final and complete transformation of the bifurcating/bifurcated mind.

---Red Pine - in his commentary on the Lankavatara Sutra---

The Song of a Taoist Monk

Mt scrolls are filled with the poems of immortals
my jugs overflow with the wine of sages
out working I love to watch buffalo calves
at home I don't go far
and when cold dew soaks my thatched eaves
and moonlight lights my crockery sill
I sip a couple of cups
and hum a verse or two

---Cold Mountain---

Nothing to Prove

Leftover Rays

Rich men met in an elegant hall
the colored lanterns glowed so bright
then a man who had no candle
thought he would sit nearby
instead he was chased away
back to his place in the dark
how could more eyes ruin  the light
strange to begrudge leftover rays

---Cold Mountain---

A Poem

Since I came to this hermitage
How many years have passed?
If I am tired I stretch out my feet;
If I feel fine I go for a stroll in the mountains.
The ridicule or praise of worldly people means nothing.
Following my destiny, for this body I have received from my parents
I have only thanks.


Meaning and Its Absence

Life is neither meaningful nor meaningless. Meaning and its absence are given to life by language and imagination. We are linguistic beings who inhabit a reality in which it makes sense to make sense.

For life to make sense it needs a purpose. Even if our aim in life is to be totally in the here and now, free from past conditioning and any idea of a goal to be reached, we still have a clear purpose--without which life would be meaningless. A purpose is formed of words and images. And we can no more step out of language and imagination than we can step out of our bodies.

---Buddhism Without Beliefs - by Stephen Batchelor---

Being a Victim

When crows find a dying snake,
They behave as if they were eagles.
When I see myself as a victim,
I am hurt by trifling failures.


The Inn at Tamagawa Station

Midautumn--the wind and the rain are now at their most melancholy.
A wanderer, my spirit is inseparable from this difficult road.
During the long night, dreams float from the pillow--
Awake suddenly, I have mistaken the sound of the river for the voice of the rain.


Old-Fashioned Crumb Cake

3 cups of flour
2 cups of brown sugar
1/2 cup of butter (or vegetable shortening)
1 large egg, beaten
1 cup of buttermilk
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1 teaspoon of cream of tartar

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Mix the flour and with the brown sugar. Cut in the butter (or shortening) until the mixture is crumbly.

Take out 1 cup of the crumbs and set it aside for the topping.

Add to the remaining crumbs the egg, the buttermilk, the baking soda and cream of tartar, in that order. Mix well after each addition.

Pour the mixture into a greased 9"x13" baking pan. Sprinkle the reserved crumbs over the top.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes.


If people let their virtues speak through their actions,
Even those who do not have virtues will acquire them.


Two Ideas Deeply Held By Humanity

Two ideas are psychologically deep-rooted in man: self-protection and self-preservation. For self-protection man has created God, on whom he depends for his own protection, safety and security, just as a child depends on its parent. For self-preservation man has conceived the idea of an immortal Soul or Atman, which will live eternally. In his ignorance, weakness, fear, and desire, man needs these two things to console himself. hence he clings to them deeply and fanatically.

---What the Buddha Taught - by Walpola Rahula---