Thursday, October 30, 2014

The Three Jewels

The Buddha - The Teacher

The Dharma - The Teaching

The Sangha - Those Following the Teaching

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Pure Lands

The path to heaven via the wielding of political power is fundamentally flawed. The Buddha, therefore, offered an example of the only alternative. This is for people to have the courage of their deeper conviction and create Pure Lands by their own pure actions of virtue, truth and compassion.

---The New Buddhism - by David Brazier---

The Guide

Before the Buddha died he declared that the dharma would suffice as one's guide.

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

Sebastian Castro

I Shall Not Care

When I am dead and over me bright April
Shakes out her rain-drenched hair,
Though you should lean above me broken-hearted,
I shall not care.

---Sara Teasdale---

Red, White, and Blue

Your Decision

No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.

---Eleanor Roosevelt---

Remembering a Friend

.........No wreaths please -
especially no hothouse flowers.
Some common memento is better,
something he prized and is known by:
his old clothes - a few books perhaps.

---William Carlos Williams---


1 tablespoon of your favorite oil
1 tablespoon of unsalted butter
1 small onion, finely chopped
3 ears of corn, shucked
2 medium zucchini, diced into 1/2-inch pieces
1 large tomato (beefsteak tomato works very well), peeled and finely chopped
2 tablespoons of water
1 tablespoon of chopped cilantro
Salt to taste
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

In a large saucepan, heat the oil and the butter over medium heat.

Add the onion and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes.

Remove the corn kernels from the cobs.

Add the corn, the zucchini, the tomato, and the 2 tablespoons of water to the onion in the saucepan.

Cook, stirring, until the vegetables are tender crisp, 4 to 7 minutes.

Add the spices and simmer for a few more minutes. Do not over cook.

Serve hot with rice on the side.

The Dhammapada - Verses 153 and 154

Through many a birth in samsara
have I wandered in vain,
seeking the builder of this house of life.
Repeated birth is indeed suffering.

O house-builder, you are seen!
You will not build this house again.
For your rafters are broken
and your ridgepole shattered.
My mind has reached the unconditioned;
I have attained the destruction of craving.

A Commentary on the verses:

These two verses, the first paean of joy uttered by the Buddha immediately after his Awakening, are not found in any other place in the canon. Venerable Ananda heard them from the mouth of the Buddha. The compilers of the Dhammapada have inserted them here.

With these words, the Buddha speaks of his past wandering and the suffering he encountered.

Siddhartha discovered, by his own intuitive wisdom, that the elusive architect is not some outside being, but his own craving and attachment.

This discovery lead to Siddhartha's Awakening and becoming the Buddha.

The rafters of this self-created house (rebirth) are defilements. The ridgepole is ignorance, the root of all defilements.

The shattering of the ridgepole of ignorance by wisdom results the end of construction (rebirth).

With the demolition the house, the Mind attains the Unconditioned, which is Nirvana.

---Hung Su---

Religion or Superstition

A religion built on and supported by fear is not a religion, it's a superstition.

The Friendship of Trees

To cut down a tree that has provided you with shade on a hot day is the same as the betrayal of a friend.


The Fifth Precept

I undertake the training rule to abstain from fermented drink that causes heedlessness.

Proper Speech

Proper Speech is speaking truthfully, not speaking with a forked tongue, not speaking cruelly, not using the truth to cause harm, not gossiping, and not exaggerating.

Proper Speech also includes Listening. We listen not to judge, not to criticize, not to condemn, not to evaluate. We listen so, as in the words of Thich Nhat Hanh, “...with the single purpose in mind to help the other person suffer less.”

When speaking with someone, put down your cell phone. Don't wander with your eyes. Give your attention, your true attention, to the speaker. Listen with respect. Speak with respect.

The Third Precept

Aware of the suffering caused by sexual misconduct, I am committed to cultivating responsibility and learning ways to protect the safety and integrity of individuals, couples, families, and society. I am determined not to engage in sexual relations without love and a long-term commitment. To preserve the happiness of myself and others, I am determined to respect my commitments and the commitments of others. I will do everything in my power to protect children from sexual abuse and to prevent couples and families from being broken by sexual misconduct.

The Biker

The Five Precepts

The Precepts are not commands, rules or regulations. They are reminders. Points to help us in our Awareness.

1...To Respect and Protect Life

2...To Respect and Protect the Property of Others

3...To Be Sexually Responsible

4...To Respect and Protect the Truth

5...To Respect and Protect My Mind and Body

Equal and Alike

And therefore I'll dispel the pain of others,
For it is simply pain, just like my own.
And others I will aid and benefit,
For they are living beings, like my body.

Since I and other beings both,
In wanting happiness, are equal and alike,
What difference is there to distinguish us,
That I should strive to have my bliss alone?

---The Way of the Bodhisattva 8:94-95---



Just as these arms and legs
Are seen as limbs of a body,
Why are embodied creatures
Not seen as limbs of life?

---The Way of the Bodhisattva 8:114---

German Proverb

Fear makes the wolf larger than he truly is.

The Nashville Grizzlies

Nothing in Return

When I act for the sake of others,
No amazement or conceit arises.
Just like feeding myself,
I hope for nothing in return.

---The Way of the Bodhisattva 8:116---

Sunday, October 26, 2014


The correct motivation for every action is essential.

---Geshe Rabten---

Be Gentle With Yourself

Be gentle with yourself. Be kind to yourself. You may not be perfect, but you are all you've got to work with. The process of becoming who you will be begins first with the total acceptance of who you are.

---Bhante Henepola Gunaratana---

The Refuge Commitments

At the foot of the Bodhi tree, beautifully seated, peaceful and smiling, the living source of understanding and compassion, to the Buddha I go for refuge.

The path of mindful living, leading to healing, joy, and enlightenment, the way of peace, to the Dharma I go for refuge.

The loving and supportive community of practice, realizing harmony, awareness, and liberation, to the Sangha I go for refuge.

I am aware that the Three Gems are within my heart. I vow to realize them.

I vow to practice mindful breathing and smiling, looking deeply into things.

I vow to understand living beings and their suffering, to cultivate compassion and loving kindness, and to practice joy and equanimity.

I vow to offer joy yo one person in the morning and to help relive the grief of one person in the afternoon.

I vow to live simply and sanely, content with just a few possessions, and to keep my body healthy.

I vow to let go of all worry and anxiety in order to be light and free.

I am aware that I owe so much to my parents, teachers, friends and all beings. I vow to be worthy of their trust, to practice wholeheartedly, so that understanding and compassion will flower, and I can help living beings be free from suffering.

May the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha support my efforts.

---Thich Nhat Hanh---

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Stuffed Dill Pickles

4 large dill pickles
3 ounces of cram cheese, room temperature
Chopped pimento or chopped green onion or chopped black olives or anything else that strikes your fancy

Cut the ends off the pickles. remove the centers of the pickles with a vegetable peeler.

Us the cream to make the cream cheese the consistency you desire.

To the cream cheese mixture, add the Worcestershire sauce to taste. Blend in the flavoring bits that you've chosen.

Stuff the hollowed-out pickles with the cheese mixture.

Chill the stuffed pickles for 4 hours.

Cut into 1/2-inch slices and serve with buttered rye bread and your favorite autumn drink.


Only within will one find peace.

---The Buddha---

This Is The Teaching

Having seen conflict as a danger and harmony as peace, abide in unity and kind-heartedness. This is the teaching of the Buddhas.

---The Buddha---

Do Not Follow - Think For Yourself

Do not go by revelation, by tradition, by hearsay, by what the scriptures say, by logical reasoning, by inferences, by the supposed authority of the teacher or because you think 'He is our teacher.' But when you yourself know that a thing is good, admirable, praised by the wise, and if undertaken leads to your benefit and happiness, them you should undertake it.

---The Buddha---

A Freed Mind

One whose mind is freed does not argue with anyone, he does not dispute with anyone. He makes use of the conventional terms of the world without clinging to them.

---The Buddha---

The Morning

Advice From An Emperor

Ambition means tying your well-being to what other people say or do.

Self-indulgence means tying it to the things that happen to you.

Sanity means tying it to your actions.

---Marcus Aurelius---


Its essence is emptiness, so abandon self-denial and self-improvement. Its nature is empty radiance, so let your diligent effort drop away. Everything is unobstructed, so forget your preferences. Just as phenomena arise, let them be, and do not cling to them.


Friday, October 24, 2014

The Practice

A couple of months ago a person came and spoke with me about living the Practice more fully. This person told me their job and family were getting in the way of their Practice.

I reminded that person that our family and our jobs are our Practice.

I've said it many times before, practicing Buddhism is not about lighting incense and buying a meditation cushion. It's not about statues and pleasant little sayings.

The Practice is about Awareness. Understanding each and every action has a result.

---Hung Su--- 

The Heat of the Day

The Four Stages of Ethics and Morals

.........Hope of Reward – Heaven.
.........Fear of Punishment – Hell.

.........The Golden Rule – Treat others as you want to be treated.
............Ego driven. Concerned about “I.” – I will treat you fairly and justly because that's I want to be treated.

3...Young Adulthood:
.........It is the proper way to be.
............Still ego driven. – “I” know the best way to be.

4...Mature Adult:
.........We, the Universe, are One.
............The waves on the ocean are still the ocean.

---Hung Su---

Your Poems Possess No Sense

Someone sighed Cold Mountain sir
your poems possess no sense
I said for the ancients
poetry was no disgrace
to this he answered laughing
such talk is poorly reasoned
well sir then be as you are
with money your concern

---Cold Mountain---

Jewel of Our Mind

When will the treadmill of life and death stop
each rebirth gets more confusing
until we discover the jewel of our mind
we're like blind mules following our feet

---Cold Mountain---

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Michigan Farmer Red Beet Eggs

5 medium red beets
1 cup of vinegar
1 cup of water
1/2 cup of sugar
1 teaspoon of salt
8 hard cooked eggs, carefully shelled

This process takes 2 days.

Roast the beets until they are tender. Cool the beets. Remove the skin and slice them about 1/2-inch thick.

Mix the vinegar, the water, the sugar, and the salt. Pour this mixture over the sliced beets. Refrigerate the beets overnight.

The next day, remove half of the beet slices and add the whole shelled eggs.

Refrigerate another 24 hours.

The eggs will be rosy-red in color.

Eat the eggs whole as a treat. Or slice the eggs and use them in a salad, on a sandwich, or as a side dish.

The most common way to use these eggs is to slice them and serve them with the beet slices as a bright salad on a gloomy winter's day.

Darjeeling Eggs

12 hard cooked eggs
1 quart of boiling water
3 tablespoons of Darjeeling Tea
1 teaspoon of anise seed
4 tablespoons of tamari
1 1/2 tablespoons of salt

Shell the eggs carefully so the whites are not broken.

Place the tea leaves in a large sauce pan. Pour the boiling water over the tea leaves. Allow the tea to steep for 5 minutes.

Strain the tea. Discard the leaves. Return the tea water to the sauce pan.

Add the anise seed, the tamari, and the salt to the tea water.

Carefully place the eggs in the hot tea mixture. Turn on the heat and simmer slowly for one hour.

Remove the eggs from the water and allow them to cool.

Refrigerate the eggs before serving.

Serve the eggs thoroughly chilled.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Meditation Cushions

People often ask why the meditation cushions in the temple Dharma Hall “need” to be placed in such a neat and tidy order.

Placing the cushions orderly and neatly on the Dharma Hall floor is not in itself a virtuous act, but awareness of the fact of placing the cushions in an orderly fashion is an expression of practice.

It is said in Buddhism that there are ninety thousand "subtle gestures" to practice.

These gestures and acts are expressions of the presence of mindfulness.

All that we say, think, and do in mindfulness are described as having "the flavor of Zen."

---Hung Su---


"I like you just the way you are."

A model of male softness and sensitivity, Rogers cut a striking figure on and off television.

Fred Rogers was the opposite of macho. He showed no hint of physical brawn; his chin was weak, his muscles underdeveloped, and his face smooth. Nor was he aggressive. He talked softly and carried no stick; his spirit was gentle and tender, patient and trustworthy, and receptive and loving.

And he was beloved by millions.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

A Cage

When you care how other people will judge you, you belong to them and are not free.

A Poem

Waiting for a visitor, I drank four or five
....cups of this splendid sake.
Already completely drunk, I've forgotten who is coming.
....Next time be more careful!



Meditation is participatory observation. What you are looking at responds to the process of looking. What you are looking at is you, and what you see depends on how you look.

---Bhante Henepola Gunaratana---

Julian Hemingway