Monday, May 29, 2006

True Nature

“ A student asked master Bankei “ How can I cure my terrible temper?”

“Show it to me,” demanded Bankei,

“ I can’t just show it to you like that because it comes on unexpectedly.” Explained the student.

Bankei replied “It is not your true nature, then. If it were it would be with you at all time.”

Friday, May 26, 2006

The Highest Good

The highest good is not to seek to do good,
but to allow yourself to become it.
The ordinary person seeks to do good things,
and finds that they can not do them continually.

The Master does not force virtue on others,
thus she is able to accomplish her task.
The ordinary person who uses force,
will find that they accomplish nothing.

The kind person acts from the heart,
and accomplishes a multitude of things.
The righteous person acts out of pity,
yet leaves many things undone.
The moral person will act out of duty,
and when no one will respond
will roll up his sleeves and uses force.

When the Tao is forgotten, there is righteousness.
When righteousness is forgotten, there is morality.
When morality is forgotten, there is the law.
The law is the husk of faith, and trust is the beginning of chaos.
Tao Te Ching 38

Saturday, May 20, 2006

"Before Enlightenment - chop wood, carry water;
after Enlightenment - chop wood, carry water."
--- Old Zen saying

Is work part of your spiritual practice? It should be...
Practice mindfulness in work. It does little good to attain clarity of mind on your meditation cushion if you lose it as soon as you become active. Start with simple activities like brushing your teeth, ironing clothes, or washing dishes. Be fully alert as you move. Notice the position of your body in space. Notice the feelings in your body as you move. Feel the water run through your fingers. Pay attention to the thoughts that enter your mind when you do the task. See if you can let them go and just focus on the work itself.

When we open awareness to the tasks in our lives they become lighter. When we are able to be in the moment, we no longer feel compelled to watch the clock. Whatever your work might be, bring all of yourself to it. When you are fully present, you may find that your labor is no longer a burden.

Wood is chopped.
Water is carried.
Life happens.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Breadth of Life

"The universe and its inhabitants are as ephemeral as the clouds in the sky;
Beings being born and dying are like a spectacular dance or drama show.
The duration of our lives is like a flash of lightning or a firefly's brief twinkle;
Everything passes like the flowing waters of a steep waterfall."
-Lalitavistara Sutra

Friday, May 05, 2006

The Swan

Did you too see it, drifting, all night, on the black river?
Did you see it in the morning, rising into the silvery air -
An armful of white blossoms,
A perfect commotion of silk and linen as it leaned
into the bondage of its wings; a snowbank, a bank of lilies,
Biting the air with its black beak?
Did you hear it, fluting and whistling
A shrill dark music - like the rain pelting the trees - like a waterfall
Knifing down the black ledges?
And did you see it, finally, just under the clouds -A white cross
Streaming across the sky, its feet
Like black leaves, its wings Like the stretching light of the river?
And did you feel it, in your heart, how it pertained to everything?
And have you too finally figured out what beauty is for?
And have you changed your life?

© Mary Oliver. From The Paris Review # 124, Fall, 1992.

Monday, May 01, 2006

God has no Religion

God has no religion.....Mahatma Gandhi.

I cannot tell if what the world considers 'happiness' is happiness or not. All I know is that when I consider the way they go about attaining it, I see them carried away headlong, grim and obsessed, in the general onrush of the human herd, unable to stop themselves or to change their direction. All the while they claim to be just on the point of attaining happiness....Chuang-tzu.

We are all Buddha. To be a human being is to be a Buddha. Buddha nature is just another name for human nature–true human nature. This means that being Buddha is intrinsic or essential to being human. If we were not Buddha, we could not be human. The word "Buddha" means "an awakened one," one who is awake to things as they really are, without the coloring and attachments of our individual conditioning. So another meaning of Buddha is our unconditioned nature. It does not mean that beings possess a Buddha nature, or that beings are containers in which a seed form of Buddha can be found, as if there were two realities, beings and Buddha. It means that beings are Buddha, but they are blind, stupid Buddhas who are ignorant of their true nature.- Taitaku Pat Phelan

The following are from Anasazi018

"Eternity is not something that begins after you are dead. It is going on all the time." -- Charlotte Perkins Gilman

"Man is an animal suspended in webs of significance he himself has spun." -- Clifford Geertz