Tuesday, June 30, 2015

A Father's Advice

Surprise loved ones with little unexpected gifts.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Emptiness and Existence

This is the Mahayana realization: that emptiness and existence are the same. Because everything constantly changes, there is no real existence.

---Master Sheng Yen---

A Father's Advice


Sriracha Lentil Soup

2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 red onions, chopped
3 large carrots, chopped
5 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tablespoons of smoked paprika
2 tablespoons of ground cumin
3 bay leaves
1 tablespoon of tomato paste
3/4 of a cup of Sriracha
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can of stewed tomatoes and their juice
1 pound of red lentils
8 cups of vegetable broth
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Sour cream, for garnish
Chopped fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish
Sriracha, for garnish

Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat.

Add the onions and the carrots and saute until they begin to soften, 6 to 8 minutes.

Stir in the garlic, the paprika, the cumin, the bay leaves, the tomato paste, and the Sriracha. Cook for a couple of minutes, until aromatic.

Add the tomatoes and their juice, and, with a wooden spoon, scrape up any brown bits that have accumulated at the bottom of the pot.

Pour in the lentils and the vegetable broth, stirring to combine.

Bring the mixture to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer, uncovered for 20 to 30 minutes, until the lentils are softened and cooked thoroughly.

Season to taste with the salt and the pepper. Discard the bay leaves.

Ladle the soup into bowls.

Garnish with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkling of the cilantro.

Some may enjoy a last minute squiggle of Sriracha for color and zip.


The sage never kills a single being,
or harms another,
or causes either to occur.

---The Buddha, in The Dhammapada, verse 405---


The Question

How can we have time to live the Buddhist ideal if we are constantly pursuing wealth or fame?

---Thich Nhat Hanh---


A buddha is one who does not seek. In seeking this, you turn away from it. The principle is the principle of nonseeking; when you seek it, you lose it.

---Pai-chang (Baizhang Huaihai)---


The first aim of the practice is to be free of all attachments, especially attachments to views. This is the most important teaching of Buddhism.

---Thich Nhat Hanh---

The Blockhead Lord

Two Zen teachers, Daigu and Gudo, were invited to visit a noble lord.

After they had been seated, Gudo said to the Lord, "You are wise by nature and have an inborn ability to learn Zen."

"Nonsense," said Daigu. "Why do you flatter this blockhead? He may be a lord, but he doesn't know anything of Zen."

The noble lord did not build a temple for Gudo. The lord built a temple for Daigu and studied Zen with him.

Buddha Nature

Has a dog Buddha-nature?
This is the most serious question of all.
If you say yes or no,
You lose your own Buddha-nature.


A Father's Advice

Avoid overexposure to the sun.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Slow Cooker Barbecue Jackfruit (Vegetarian Pulled Pork)

2 (20 ounce) cans of jackfruit in water, drained (avoid the sweetened jackfruit)
1 1/2 cups of your favorite barbecue sauce
1 onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced

Rinse the jackfruit thoroughly

Place all the ingredients in a slow cooker. Mix well.

Set the slow cooker to medium heat and cook for 4 to 5 hours.

The jackfruit will soften, begin to fall apart, and take on the consistency of pulled pork.

Use a fork to pull the jackfruit apart.

Stir thoroughly.

Set the slow cooker to low heat and cook for another 1 to 2 hours, or when it reaches the texture and consistency you desire.

Serve on buns.

What I Teach

. . . what I teach is this
it is all nothing but mind.

---The Buddha, in The Lankavatara Sutra---

The Hsin Hsin Ming

The Hsin Hsin Ming is a poem written in the Sixth Century by Seng-ts'an, the Third Ch'an Patriarch.

It is one of the most beloved and commented upon of all Ch'an (Zen) texts. It is foundational to the understanding and practice of Ch'an.

The Third Patriarch created a masterpiece of economy. The poem expresses the most profound truth of the enlightened mind in only a few short pages.

To Know the Truth

If you wish to know the truth,
then hold to no opinions for or against anything.
To set up what you like against what you dislike
is the disease of the mind.

---The Hsin Hsin Ming---

A Father's Advice

Take out the trash without being told or asked.


. . . nothing else exists but their combinations
thus I teach no self-existence.

---The Buddha, in The Lankavatara Sutra---


. . . things give rise to each other
this is what causation means.

---The Buddha, in The Lankavatara Sutra---

A Father's Advice

Put the cap back on the toothpaste.


The Awakened see things as they are,
neither engaging in worldly pursuits,
nor leaving things undone.
Such wisdom is found
in the mind of great beings.

---The Buddha, in The Dhammapada, verse 403---


Having surrendered
the burdens of attachment,
the sage walks free.

---The Buddha, in The Dhammapada, verse 402---

A True Master

An army of insults
cannot overcome
the patience and calm
of a true Master.
What greater ally is there than peace?

---The Buddha, in The Dhammapada, verse 399---

Gate Gate, Paragate, Parasamgate

Having cut the ties of hatred,
having unbound the ropes of delusion,
having unlocked the door of ignorance,
the sage sees the truth and goes beyond.

---The Buddha, in The Dhammapada, verse 398---


You are not born to greatness;
your virtue is earned.
The Awakened own nothing
and want nothing,
such is their freedom.

---The Buddha, in The Dhammapada, verse 396---

A Father's Advice

Buy vegetables from truck farmers 
who advertise with hand-lettered signs.

A Quote

When dealing with critics always remember this: Critics judge things based on what is outside of their content of understanding. 

---Shannon L. Alder---

Buddhist Salvation

When people have truly purified their minds of ignorance, they will see the universe as it really is and they will not suffer from superstition and dogmatism. This is the 'salvation' that Buddhists aspire to.

---K. Sri Dhammananda---

Relax, O World

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Yiddish Proverb

You can't control the wind, you can adjust your sails.

Forest Potatoes

1/2 cup of finely chopped onion
1/2 cup of chopped celery
1/2 cup of shredded carrot
1 clove of garlic, minced
2 cups of vegetable broth
4 cups of pared and cubed potatoes
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Parsley, chopped

Melt the butter in a good skillet.

Saute the onions, the celery, and the carrots over medium heat until they are tender.

Add the garlic and saute for a few seconds more.

Add the broth, the potatoes, the salt and pepper to taste and cover. Simmer for 10 minutes.

Remove the cover and continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are tender and the broth thickens, perhaps 20 minutes.

Sprinkle with the parsley and serve.

Need or Greed

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's needs, but not every man's greed.

---Mahatma Gandhi--

Cause No Offence

Never cause offence
by what you do, think or say.

---The Buddha, in The Dhammapada, verse 391---

A Father's Advice

Don't waste time learning the 
"tricks of the trade."
Instead, learn the trade.

Time to Change

For more than two years this note has been pinned to the board above my desk. I believe I can take it down.


Shifu Jason

With complete control,
do not give in to anger.
The more you avoid harm,
the more suffering ceases.

---The Buddha, in The Dhammapada, verse 390---

Note: The translation of this verse by Venerable Sri Acharya Buddharakkhita reads:

Nothing is better for a holy man
than when he holds his mind back from what
is endearing. To the extent the intent to 
harm wears away, to that extent does
suffering subside.

You Are the Way

You are the Way;
you are the light;
where else could you look?
Take care and attend to your journey.

---The Buddha, in The Dhammapada, verse 380---

Note: The translation of this verse by Venerable Sri Acharya Buddharakkhita reads:

One is one's own protector,
one is one's own refuge.
Therefore, one should control oneself,
even as the trader controls
a noble steed.

Hate versus Love

A Father's Advice

Write "thank you" notes promptly.

The White House Lit Up With Rainbow Colors Last Night To Mark the Supreme Court's Historic Ruling On Marriage Equality

The Last 124 Words of Justice Anthony Kennedy's Majority Opinion of Yesterday's Historic Ruling

Thursday, June 25, 2015


Examine your mind
with attention to detail;
look within and find peace.

---The Buddha, in The Dhammapada, verse 79---

Coming and Going

When causes and conditions combine
something arises and something ceases
aside from causes and conditions
nothing else arises or ceases

---The Buddha, in The Lankavatara Sutra---


Those who do not see clearly never get free of projections.

---The Buddha, in The Lankavatara Sutra---

A Father's Advice

Keep secrets.


Marriage Equality