Blog Archive

Monday, February 28, 2011

God's Pharmacy video(This intriguing wisdom muscle)

Lead me from dreaming to waking. Lead me from opacity to clarity. Lead me from the complicated to the simple. Lead me from the obscure to the obvious. Lead me from intention to attention. Lead me from what I'm told I am to what I see I am. Lead me from confrontation to wide openness. Lead me to the place I never left, Where there is peace, and peace - The Upanishads
*note*lovely list of intriguing list of fruits and vegetables which resemble the human organs...they are based on the synchronistic marvelous factor of interdependent creation factor...in other words,all the universe outside is a projection of you,grasshoppers...now go out and find the fruit or veggie whom resembles my wisdom muscle...since is the source of all,and empty...you won't find it so easy,unless you LOOK into yourself,and meditate...thus spokenth the mahayogi to the bewildered grasshoppers from heaven.
Kisses:)
-added by danny-
.......
It's been said that God first separated the salt water
from the fresh, made dry land, planted a garden,
made animals and fish...
All before making a human.
He made and provided what we'd need before we were born.
These are best & more powerful when eaten raw.
We're such slow learners...God left us a great clue as to what foods help what
part of our body! God's Pharmacy! Amazing!


A sliced Carrot looks like the human eye.
The pupil, iris and radiating lines look
just like the human eye...
And YES, science now shows carrots greatly
enhance blood flow to and function of the eyes.


A Tomato has four chambers and is red.
The heart has four chambers and is red.
All of the research shows
tomatoes are loaded with lycopine
and are indeed pure heart and blood food.


Grapes hang in a cluster that has the shape of the heart.
Each grape looks like a blood cell and
all of the research today shows
grapes are also profound heart and blood vitalizing food.


A Walnut looks like a little brain, a left and right
hemisphere, upper cerebrums and lower cerebellums.
Even the wrinkles or folds on the nut are just like
the neo-cortex. We now know walnuts help
develop more than three (3) dozen neuron-transmitters
for brain function.
Kidney Beans actually heal and help maintain kidney function
and yes, they look exactly like the human kidneys.


Celery, Bok Choy, Rhubarb and many more look just like bones.
These foods specifically target bone strength.
These foods replenish the skeletal needs of the body.


Avocadoes, Eggplant and Pears target the health and function
of the womb and cervix of the female - they look just like
these organs. Today's research shows that
when a woman eats one avocado a week,
it balances hormones, sheds unwanted birth weight,
and prevents cervical cancers. And how profound is this?
It takes exactly nine (9) months to grow an avocado
from blossom to ripened fruit There are over 14,000 photolytic
chemical constituents of nutrition in each one of these foods
(modern science has only studied
and named about 141 of them).


Figs are full of seeds and hang in twos when they grow.
Figs increase the mobility of male sperm and increase
the numbers of Sperm as well to overcome male sterility.


Sweet Potatoes look like the pancreas and actually balance
the glycemic index of diabetics.


Olives assist the health and function of the ovaries.


Oranges, Grapefruits, and other Citrus fruits look just like
the mammary glands of the female and actually assist the health
of the breasts and the movement of lymph in and out of the breasts


Onions look like the body's cells. Today's research shows onions help clear waste materials from all of the body cells. They even produce tears which wash the epithelial layers of the eyes. A working companion, Garlic, also helps eliminate waste materials and dangerous free radicals from the body...
And there is one more fruit..the kripto wisdom muscle veggie whom cures all insanities..indeed.
This wisdom muscle is the best...halleluyah!! 
Find it inside yourselves,grasshoppers from heaven...
To nourish the vital energy, keep watch in silence;
In order to subdue the mind, act with non-action.
Of movement and stillness, be aware of their origin;
There is no work to do, much less someone to seek.
The true and constant must respond to phenomena;
Responding to phenomena, you must be unconfused.
When unconfused, the nature will stabilize by itself;
When the nature stabilizes, energy returns by itself.
When energy returns, the elixir crystallizes by itself;
Within the pot, the trigrams of heaven and earth are joined.
Yīn and yáng arise, alternating over and over again;
Every transformation comes like a clap of thunder.
White clouds form and come to assemble at the peak;
The sweet nectar sprinkles down Mount Sumeru.
Swallow for yourself this wine of immortality;
You wander so freely—who is able to know you?
Sit and listen to the tune played without strings;
Clearly understand the mechanism of creation.
It comes entirely from these twenty lines;
A true ladder going straight to Heaven.-Daoist text -
To us all towns are one, all men our kin. Life's good comes not from others' gift, nor ill. Man's pains and pains' relief are from within. Thus have we seen in visions of the wise !." - Tamil Poem-

Saturday, February 26, 2011

The Sun riddle

Lead me from dreaming to waking. Lead me from opacity to clarity. Lead me from the complicated to the simple. Lead me from the obscure to the obvious. Lead me from intention to attention. Lead me from what I'm told I am to what I see I am. Lead me from confrontation to wide openness. Lead me to the place I never left, Where there is peace, and peace - The Upanishads
*note* lovely site I found,with huge amount of spiritual links..kisses to the creator.. Tormod Kinnes   :)
I picked this post (lovely)about ,,The Sun,, http://oaks.nvg.org/old-riddles.html#sun
_added by danny-
..........
A Few Old Riddles
-The Sun-
I view the world in little space,
Am always changing place;
No food I eat, but, by my power,
Procure what millions do devour.
Now let us focus on the riddle. A dictionary says that a riddle is a mystifying, misleading, or puzzling question that is put as a problem to be solved or guessed - so it is something that can be difficult to understand until you know the answer. Most of the things we know too little of, may seem difficult. But as soon as we know the best answers, or "know how to do it", much tends to become easy.

Historically, the riddle is a form of guessing plot that has been a part of the folklore of most cultures. There are two sorts of riddle: the descriptive one and the shrewd or witty question.
The descriptive riddle describes someone or something enigmatically. For example, "What is black as coal, round as the sun and with a black tail"? The Moering answer was "The frying-pan", because the heavy iron pans in use were black before new materials like teflon got into them.

If you know the answer or can figure it out, the riddle - based on figurative descriptions - is solved.
Descriptive riddles deal with how things or others look, not how they work or are put to use. Thus, an egg is "A little white house without door or window."
Shrewd questions and catch questions may call for divergent thinking first of all, and some for a measure of frivolous folly. Thus:
"Why is six afraid of seven?" — "Because seven ate nine". (Say it).
"What European capital used to lie in the middle of another country?" — "OSLO in the middle of CzechOSLOvakia."
"What is in the middle of Paris?" (Not Hilton) — "R".
"How can we know the elephant was in the refrigerator last night?" — "By the footprints in the paté."
Some puzzles are elaborate. Som examples follow. -(from Tormod Kinnes)

To nourish the vital energy, keep watch in silence;
In order to subdue the mind, act with non-action.
Of movement and stillness, be aware of their origin;
There is no work to do, much less someone to seek.
The true and constant must respond to phenomena;

Responding to phenomena, you must be unconfused.

When unconfused, the nature will stabilize by itself;

When the nature stabilizes, energy returns by itself.

When energy returns, the elixir crystallizes by itself;
Within the pot, the trigrams of heaven and earth are joined.

Yīn and yáng arise, alternating over and over again;
Every transformation comes like a clap of thunder.
White clouds form and come to assemble at the peak;
The sweet nectar sprinkles down Mount Sumeru.

Swallow for yourself this wine of immortality;


You wander so freely—who is able to know you?

Sit and listen to the tune played without strings;
Clearly understand the mechanism of creation.
It comes entirely from these twenty lines;
A true ladder going straight to Heaven.-Daoist text -




To us all towns are one, all men our kin. Life's good comes not from others' gift, nor ill. Man's pains and pains' relief are from within. Thus have we seen in visions of the wise !." - Tamil Poem-

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Nirmala Srivastava Shri Mataji(March 21, 1923 – February 23, 2011)

Lead me from dreaming to waking. Lead me from opacity to clarity. Lead me from the complicated to the simple. Lead me from the obscure to the obvious.
Lead me from intention to attention. Lead me from what I'm told I am to what I see I am. Lead me from confrontation to wide openness. Lead me to the place I never left, Where there is peace, and peace - The Upanishads
*note*...we all die..in the realm of silence...thank you,Mataji for your power,your love..and your dedication..
Thank you.
-added by danny-





Hello darkness, my old friend
I've come to talk with you again
Because a vision softly creeping
Left its seeds while I was sleeping
And the vision that was planted in my brain
Still remains
Within the sound of silence

In restless dreams I walked alone
Narrow streets of cobblestone
'Neath the halo of a street lamp
I turned my collar to the cold and damp
When my eyes were stabbed by the flash of a neon light
That split the night
And touched the sound of silence

And in the naked light I saw
Ten thousand people, maybe more
People talking without speaking
People hearing without listening
People writing songs that voices never share
And no one dared
Disturb the sound of silence

"Fools", said I, "You do not know
Silence like a cancer grows
Hear my words that I might teach you
Take my arms that I might reach you"
But my words, like silent raindrops fell
And echoed
In the wells of silence

And the people bowed and prayed
To the neon god they made
And the sign flashed out its warning
In the words that it was forming
And the sign said, "The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls
And tenement halls"
And whispered in the sounds of silence




When I find myself in times of trouble, mother Mary comes to me,
speaking words of wisdom, let it be.
And in my hour of darkness she is standing right in front of me,
speaking words of wisdom, let it be.

Let it be, let it be, let it be, let it be.
Whisper words of wisdom, let it be.

And when the broken hearted people living in the world agree,
there will be an answer, let it be.
For though they may be parted there is still a chance that they will see,
there will be an answer. let it be.

Let it be, let it be, .....

And when the night is cloudy, there is still a light, that shines on me,
shine until tomorrow, let it be.
I wake up to the sound of music, mother Mary comes to me,
speaking words of wisdom, let it be.

Let it be, let it be, .....


To nourish the vital energy, keep watch in silence;
In order to subdue the mind, act with non-action.
Of movement and stillness, be aware of their origin;
There is no work to do, much less someone to seek.
The true and constant must respond to phenomena;
Responding to phenomena, you must be unconfused.
When unconfused, the nature will stabilize by itself;
When the nature stabilizes, energy returns by itself.
When energy returns, the elixir crystallizes by itself;
Within the pot, the trigrams of heaven and earth are joined.
Yīn and yáng arise, alternating over and over again;
Every transformation comes like a clap of thunder.
White clouds form and come to assemble at the peak;
The sweet nectar sprinkles down Mount Sumeru.
Swallow for yourself this wine of immortality;
You wander so freely—who is able to know you?
Sit and listen to the tune played without strings;
Clearly understand the mechanism of creation.
It comes entirely from these twenty lines;
A true ladder going straight to Heaven.-Daoist text -
To us all towns are one, all men our kin. Life's good comes not from others' gift, nor ill. Man's pains and pains' relief are from within. Thus have we seen in visions of the wise !." - Tamil Poem-

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The 5 stages of the mahayogi

Lead me from dreaming to waking. Lead me from opacity to clarity. Lead me from the complicated to the simple. Lead me from the obscure to the obvious. Lead me from intention to attention. Lead me from what I'm told I am to what I see I am. Lead me from confrontation to wide openness. Lead me to the place I never left, Where there is peace, and peace - The Upanishads
*note* lovely 5 faces of the mahayogi..the buddha,the pondering,the joker,the curious,and the cooked (crucified) beloved..:)

by the way...I love them all..kiss..this post was the very reason they banned me,by the way in some forum..after all  the fuss about it,I was still banned,and I should be..indeed..


no more comments..kisses:)
-added by danny-
ps..Thus spokenth the mahayogi..loved in the 3 worlds,worshiped in 10,and celebrated in the 18th also by himself...since only him is there,one with ALL grasshoppers... in his wisdom muscles bliss!!..Halleluyah!!


To nourish the vital energy, keep watch in silence;
In order to subdue the mind, act with non-action.
Of movement and stillness, be aware of their origin;
There is no work to do, much less someone to seek.
The true and constant must respond to phenomena;
Responding to phenomena, you must be unconfused.
When unconfused, the nature will stabilize by itself;
When the nature stabilizes, energy returns by itself.
When energy returns, the elixir crystallizes by itself;
Within the pot, the trigrams of heaven and earth are joined.
Yīn and yáng arise, alternating over and over again;
Every transformation comes like a clap of thunder.
White clouds form and come to assemble at the peak;
The sweet nectar sprinkles down Mount Sumeru.
Swallow for yourself this wine of immortality;
You wander so freely—who is able to know you?
Sit and listen to the tune played without strings;
Clearly understand the mechanism of creation.
It comes entirely from these twenty lines;
A true ladder going straight to Heaven.-Daoist text -
To us all towns are one, all men our kin. Life's good comes not from others' gift, nor ill. Man's pains and pains' relief are from within. Thus have we seen in visions of the wise !." - Tamil Poem-

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

R. E. Martin introduces basic Zen Magik

Lead me from dreaming to waking. Lead me from opacity to clarity. Lead me from the complicated to the simple. Lead me from the obscure to the obvious. Lead me from intention to attention. Lead me from what I'm told I am to what I see I am. Lead me from confrontation to wide openness. Lead me to the place I never left, Where there is peace, and peace - The Upanishads
*note* every now and then,I find a giant in understanding..this guy,for example,(R.E.Martin)reminds me of this sunshine pic:)

Very few people explained so good the essence of Zen,like he did in the pdf file from his site.(http://www.zen-meditation.co.uk/zen.pdf)
I'll try to posts parts of it,and explain later.
...if I have time.
Kisses to him:)
-added by danny-
........
Questions and Answers


This is an extension to Chapter 13 of the book:(from http://www.zen-meditation.co.uk/)
A Personal Introduction(from R.E. Martin)


I repeat my thanks to those who have provided questions for the follow-up to my book on Zen Meditation. In attempting the answers I have drawn as much as possible on the writings of others, and due acknowledgement is given in such cases. I have not revealed anything not known about for centuries, even though the method of presentation is my own. It is this fresh approach, helped by the advancement in human knowledge over the past century, that I hope will stimulate the reader's interest, but once again it has to be stressed that the limitations of language restrict how far one can go in explaining the inner meaning of Zen. This inner meaning can come only from meditation.


Little can be said about how and why Zen meditation works, but it is worth bearing in mind that Zen is very much about the Here and Now as being the only reality. This has been emphasised by all the Zen masters, and their constant attempts to bring their pupils back to the reality of the moment is shown in all their works. This is precisely what happens when one concentrates on the ticking of a clock. Unlike random thoughts and memories, which are ephemeral and no more than just thoughts, this meditational experience is absolutely real and self-less. (i.e. One is not conscious of a self having an experience, it is just experience).


Apart from the quotation of Albert Einstein I gave in my book, I avoided writing about spirituality, even though it is at the heart of Zen and of Buddhism as a whole, and is what makes Buddhism a religion and not merely a philosophy. The question is, how can one define spirituality in a meaningful way? The only answer I can give is that it is that which refers to life and consciousness and so enables us to experience the ultimate unity of everything that exists. (I do not use the word ‘spirit' because this implies that there is an entity, independent of our selves. It also leads to belief in ‘good' and ‘evil' spirits, at which point we become hopelessly bogged down in dualism).


Clearly there is something special about a living organism, whether it be a plant or an animal, that sets it apart from inanimate matter. Computers are now at a stage of development where they can out-perform the best chess players in the world and the most brilliant of mathematicians, but they are no more conscious of what they do than any other inanimate object, so it is not a question of complexity — the tiny, single cell amoeba is far more amazing than any computer. If a living organism has consciousness this is an even greater attribute, and it is extended still further in the level of consciousness we have as human beings. To go beyond this by creating a new dualism (i.e. a God ‘out there') inevitably encounters insuperable contradictions, yet still leaves us with a mystery and possibly leading to erroneous claims of certainty and to fundamentalism which, in its extreme form, results in the suicide bomber.


Finally, I would like to state what, for me, is the most important revelation that came from meditating. It is to understand, at gut feeling level, the difference between reincarnation and Re-Birth. It was the Buddha's Enlightenment on this point that set him apart from the prevailing beliefs of his time. It was Anatman, as against Atman, that was and is the basis of Buddhism.
Questions and Answers


How did the illusion of time arise and how can we know it is an illusion?


Time, as we perceive it in our everyday lives, is totally dualistic (e.g. then and now; today and tomorrow, etc.) but when the Here and Now is experienced in meditation as the only reality there is no perception of time. It is, therefore, duality that gives rise to the illusion of time. This duality is concomitant with our perception that grass is green (see Chapter 2) whereas the colour is actually a creation of the mind and is not in the grass. It is due to our belief that there is a self that has an experience and an object that is experienced, without realising that the two are one and the same. As stated in Chapter 3, there is not a me having an experience, I am the experience.


Phiroz Mehta dealt with this in one of his lectures, when he related time to our perception of universal creation:


People regard the pulse of creation and the production of a new universe somewhat after the fashion of rearranging the furniture in a room, using the old stuff. No, primordial creative activity is totally new all the time. The word ‘pulse' also brings in the feeling of time, but time as we know it just does not exist . (My emphasis)


What is the relationship between the Here and Now and our personal impression of time, which seems just as real?


Once again we are considering the difference between the reality of appearances and the reality of the Absolute. (The former is that grass appears to be intrinsically green, whereas the latter clearly indicates that this is not so, as explained in Chapter 2). I have a photograph of myself when I was four years old, and there is no apparent link between what I was then and what I am now. Every part of my body has changed over the years and my mind has no apparent link either. I do, of course, have vague memories of childhood, but none of them have any link with this photograph. However, Karma does provide one link and this can be hinted at by using the analogy of a motor car. Supposing that, over many years, each part of a car is replaced by a new part, eventually nothing of the old car would remain. So, would we have a new car? If the procedure had been carried out to the full the Absolute Reality is that we would end up with a different car, but the impression we would have is that we still have the same car. Furthermore, the character of the car (equivalent to our genetic characteristics) would remain unaltered.


This analogy can also be used to illustrate the difference between Zen and other forms of Buddhism. The follower of Zen would say that even if we change only a single spark plug we have a different car and that this is just one moment in a continuous process of change, whereas the others would say that it is not until all parts of the car had changed that anything significant had altered. Both are experiencing the same events and both points of view are valid, but because they see things from a different perspective they appear (but only appear) to be a long way apart.


You state in your book that when we die the brain ceases to function and consciousness comes to an end. With the Buddhist doctrine of Anatta this must mean that the end is total. How, then, can the doctrine of Re-Birth function?


What ceases is the individual person as a self-conscious entity. In his book, The Oakroom Talks on Buddhism, Phiroz Mehta is quoted as saying:


The Buddha himself clearly indicated that this thing called personality, this existential being is a perishable thing, and it is totally perishable, nothing remains. That abstraction completely disappears when the brain disappears.


Perhaps this can best be illustrated by considering the brain in greater detail. The brain is, in fact, a lump of flesh, a special kind of flesh it's true, but not fundamentally different to that which makes up the rest of our bodies. How is it, then, that this lump of flesh can think and experience the world ‘out there'? Well, I submit that it doesn't. I put forward the view that the brain is like a telephone exchange. When you lift up the receiver the voice that you hear does not originate at the exchange, yet without the exchange there would be no voice. As with the brain, faults at the exchange can give rise to all sorts of malfunctions. An intermittent fault, or a bad line, could distort the message; a more serious fault could cut off the voice altogether. This is similar to what happens when a person is still alive but brain dead.


Re-Birth functions at the point where the process of living begins. Were it not for it being a continuous process, with no beginning and no end, it could be likened to a ‘spark' that starts the whole process off. It is the spiritual side of our being, but it is important to bear in mind that it is ‘choicelessly aware' (as Phiroz Mehta put it) and is neither ‘good' nor ‘bad' in the moral sense — it just is . It is not until the ego arises some time after birth — the belief that we are separate entities — that dualism comes about and we get the whole paraphernalia of desires and apparent choices, such as the choice between good and evil. If you think this is far-fetched then simply accept the challenge to choose between being perfect and being less than perfect and see what happens. (Oh, if only we could choose to be perfect!) On page 20 of my book I illustrate this with a comparison between a bitch suckling its pups and an Enlightened One helping a person in distress. As mentioned above, Re-Birth is happening all the time, and this is why the Here and Now is eternal and therefore timeless.


You write that you have not revealed anything new, but surely using the ticking of a clock as a source for meditation is new — I have not come across this before.


The sources of sound are virtually infinite, so each one of us is capable of using a source that has not been used before. But, using sound, as such, for meditation is not new. Vipassana meditation requires awareness of thoughts, sounds , smells and sensations as they happen. In other words, it is simply being aware of the Here and Now, of which sound is one manifestation. Because the ticking of a clock is continuous I find it particularly useful in this respect, though others may find a visual source better. In the chapters on Practical Meditation I give reasons why a sound source offers the best prospect of getting beneficial results.


In Chapter 5 you dealt with the question of desire in relation to the ego, but since,as you put it, desire is essential for the continuation of life on earth I cannot see how we can overcome desire without foregoing the continuation of life.


Desire functions in two forms and this was illustrated when I described the process of learning to ride a bicycle. On the one hand it can be said that desire plays a part, because without the wish to learn we would not even begin, so this form of desire has an essential role, but it is when we wish to learn to do something in order to achieve an unrelated goal that the other form of desire enters into it. For instance, if we want to learn to ride a bicycle in order to prove our superiority over someone else this kind of desire is not only unrelated to the former but actually reinforces the ego, instead of overcoming it. This latter form of desire also functions when we choose between something our ego does not like (that filthy dustbin and the noise of jet engines) and what we imagine to be an ideal world. Such an ideal world simply does not exist, nor can it exist as a product of the ego. It is in Zen meditation that we come round to accepting this, to such an extent that we see and hear something as if sight and hearing were given to us afresh. Phiroz Mehta put it thus:


“There will be incidental consequences, for instance, you never saw such a red before or such a golden yellow before or something like that, and yet it is the same red and same yellow and so on. That is an incidental result. But there is another result. When the brain is choicelessly aware, choicelessly active, then it does not offer any resistance to Pure Mind functioning through the brain.”


This Pure Mind he refers to is not our minds, it is transcendent to our individual selves, or egos; it is the Essence of Mind, as proclaimed by Hui Hai and Huang Po or, as we more commonly portray it in Buddhism, the Buddha Mind.
Zen Notes


In the process of compiling both the original book and this extension I acquired a number of quotes and extracts from other works. Some relate to questions that could have been asked but were not, but all are relevant to the subject of Zen meditation, and so I feel are worth recording under this separate heading.


1. In Chapter 2 I pointed out that matter does not exist independently of consciousness, since the ‘building blocks' of matter (e.g. electrons and protons) do not have a physical existence but are merely charges, which become manifest only through the operation of Mind. The Nobel Prize winning physicist, Erwin Schrodinger, supports this thesis by showing that an electron can be in two places and two states at the same time. This could not happen with something having a physical presence in space.
2. The Way of Zen (by Prof. Alan W. Watts) page 218 (paraphrased) states that the application of Zen does not absolutely require the specific ‘sitting technique' of za-zen proper. The late Dr. Kunihiko Hashida, a life-long student of Zen and editor of the works of Dogen, never used formal za-zen.
3. The Way of Zen (page 220). The Sixth Patriarch (Hui Neng) says in the T'an-ching when referring to the Here and Now:


In this moment there is nothing which ceases to be. Thus there is no birth-and-death to be brought to an end. Wherefore the absolute tranquillity (of Nirvana) is the present moment. Though it is at this moment there is no limit to this moment, and herein is eternal delight.


Alan Watts concludes:


Yet, when it comes to it, this moment can be called ‘present' only in relation to past and future, or to someone to whom it is present. But when there is neither past nor future, and no-one to whom this moment is present, what is it? When Fa-ch'ang was dying, a squirrel screeched on the roof. ‘It's just this', he said, ‘and nothing else'.
4. From The Voice of the Silence (by H.P. Blavatsky) we get, on page 31:


Desire nothing. Chafe not at Karma, nor at nature's changeless laws. But struggle only with the personal, the transitory, the evanescent and the perishable.


And on page 44:


Avert thy face from world deceptions; mistrust thy senses, they are false. But within thy body — the shrine of thy sensations — seek in the impersonal for the Eternal Man; and having sought him out, look inward; thou art Buddha.


This extract could so easily be misinterpreted, and Phiroz Mehta dealt with it on page 6 of The Oakroom Talks on Buddhism:


Unfortunately several religious philosophies decry the senses — ‘Beware the senses'! They say Buddha taught that, but he didn't. He said, ‘Beware of the pleasures of the senses' He very definitely taught to use the senses rightly; when you look, look and see what you are seeing, be aware of it actually and not imaginarily'.
5. On the matter of desire (dealt with in Chapter 5 of my book) Phiroz Mehta said (page 3 of The Oakroom Talks on Buddhism):


There is no discrimination, no picking and choosing in the realm of totality, in the realm of wholeness.


And on page 2 he says:


…if we live totally in the immediate present, then there has been living in eternity, in the unborn, the unbecome, the unmade.
6. The limitations of language are referred to in many works on Buddhism. John Blofeld, in his book on Hui Hai, quoted the Master as saying:


To comprehend (real) meanings we should go beyond unsteady words; to awaken to the fundamental law we should leap beyond writings; how can it be sought amid a plethora of sentences.


And on page 129 John Blofeld notes:


The Chinese omission of such words as ‘your', ‘its', and so on makes it easier for the reader to keep in mind that the self-nature of all sentient beings is one and the same.
7. From The Way of Zen we get on pages 69, 73, 74 and 81 some observations about Samsara/Karma and the nature of experience:


The active principle of the Round (Samsara) is known as Karma, or conditioned action, which arises from a motive seeking a result — the type of action which always requires the necessity for further action.


He then goes on to say that Zen takes Samsara as ‘the process of re-birth from one moment to moment, so that one is re-born so long as one identifies oneself with a continuing ego, which reincarnates itself afresh at each moment in time.' Going further into this we get:


Through awareness is seen that the separation of the thinker from the thought, the knower from the known, the subject from the object, is purely abstract. There is not the mind on the one hand and its experience on the other; there is just the process of experiencing in which there is nothing to be grasped as an object, and no-one, as a subject, to grasp it.


(In other words, as put in my book, there is no me having an experience, I am the experience).
8. Dealing with meditation Prof. Watts writes, on page 74:


Meditation, in the common sense of ‘thinking things over' or ‘musing' is a most misleading translation. But such alternatives as ‘trance' or ‘absorption' are even worse, since they suggest states of hypnotic fascination.


Phiroz Mehta, on pages 128/130 of The Oakroom Talks on Buddhism, is even more emphatic about meditation:


Now remember these states … are not trance states, you are not entranced. I know that some very great scholars have used the word ‘trance'. For my part I say quite categorically that it is a mistake. So is that other word, the raptures, or ecstasies, used by Rhys Davids in the early days and by some modern people too. Do not be misled by what anyone says, that they are merely trance states or deep states of consciousness that you enter into and get out of and there is not much in them related to true enlightenment.
9. Finally, it is interesting to discover what Shakespeare had to say about duality — his works are a mine of insights into the human condition — in the play, Hamlet , there is a point where Hamlet says:


There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.
..........
Chapter 13
Questions and Answers
In addition to those readers who are new to Buddhist philosophy, and may now be
tempted to study it further, there may be some who already have some familiarity with
the subject, yet have difficulty resolving certain problems. This chapter, although limited
in the range of questions it deals with, has been compiled to help both kinds of reader
realise that no amount of study can provide all the answers. Having come from a mind
that is not fully Enlightened it is to be hoped that it will be seen as an attempt to point the
way ahead, rather than as a desire to assume the role of teacher.


There is a similarity between what follows and the Question and Answer technique
used by some Zen Masters. Here, again, it must be stressed that this in no way implies a
belief that it is on the same plane as their great works. Those Zen Masters, in their
wisdom, knew what the mental obstructions of their pupils were and that the best way of
breaking through to the Essence of Mind was to hammer at the same theme over and over
again, but with subtle variations, and that a formal question and answer session was a
good way of doing this. This has been attempted here in the hope that, at the very least, it
will encourage the reader to go further along the Path.


Q: Is there a limit to the type of object we should use for meditation? Would it not be
best to use only those which are beautiful, or give rise to pleasant associations?

A: There are only five objects suitable for meditation - our faculties of sight, hearing,
smell, taste and feeling.

Q: You have just said that our faculties of sight, hearing, smell, taste and feeling are the
only suitable objects for meditation, yet earlier you mentioned the ticking of a clock as
being a suitable object. Does this not indicate some confusion as to which is subject and
which is object?

A: The necessities of language compel us to speak of subject and object as if they were
separate entities, but in reality this is not so. When our Buddha Mind is perceived there
is no differentiation between subject and object and so there is no confusion.

Q: You mentioned five faculties as being the only suitable objects for meditation, but
we have a sixth faculty, that of thought. Why has this been excluded?

A: The faculties of sight, hearing, smell, taste and feeling are intrinsically pure and
cannot, of themselves, give rise to dualism. Thought is the source of the delusion of a
separate self and is therefore unsuitable as an object of meditation. However, we cannot
exclude thoughts from the mind by intention, since the very act of intending requires
thought, and so it would be attempting to use the mind to cleanse the mind. Meditation is
simply a device for pointing our minds in the right direction by bringing conceptual
thought to and end.

Q: What is self-deception?

A: Idealism is self-deception. The belief that we can make ourselves ‘good’ by trying to
be ‘good’ is self-deception. The belief that we can use the mind to cleanse the mind is
self-deception. However, it is because we have so little faith in the Buddha within that
we have to use the self in the process of destroying the self. Self-deception is an aid to
liberation from the self because it turns the mind inwards and only if we look within can
the Buddha Mind be found. But it is still only thinking about the Buddha Mind and so
continues the state of duality; the final barrier can be broken down only by experiencing
our Buddha nature in a condition of ‘no-thought’. That is what meditation is.
Q: Surely the examples you gave of contemplation in preparation for meditation -
listening to ‘religious’ music, reading poetry and looking at flowers in a garden - are
really forms of meditation, since we are not conscious of the self when we do these
things.

A: The Buddha Mind is not only self-less but is also timeless. When you listen to music
you may not be conscious of the self but you are conscious of time, otherwise you would
not be hearing music, only undifferentiated sound. All forms of contemplation omit at
least one of the characteristics of the Buddha Mind and are therefore not meditation.

Q: If I listen to the ticking of a clock during meditation will I not also be conscious of
the passage of time?

A: If you concentrate on the sequence of sounds, instead of on sound as a pure
experience, you will be conscious of the passage of time. In practice this presents less
difficulty than it does in theory but, if it does become a problem, then you should change
to something else, using one of the other senses.

Q: Would it not be better to use a continuous tone as an object of meditation?

A: If you do you will find extraneous sounds having a time sequence (coming and
going) more troublesome. Also, do not overlook the fact that the feeling of breathing in
and out has a time sequence, and since it is a pure experience it must not be excluded
from the mind by intention, so you cannot escape from time simply by changing the
object used in meditation. Extraneous experiences are a problem only if they worry the
meditator; as previously mentioned, an experienced meditator would have no difficulty
meditating in a tube train.

Q: How do I know if I am meditating?

A: If you are conscious of time passing you are not meditating; a pure experience is of
the Here and Now and is therefore timeless. If you are conscious of the ticking of a clock
(or whatever is the object of meditation) as coming from ‘over there’ then you are not
meditating; an object of meditation is not separate from the self but is the Self.

However,
you must not think that timelessness and selflessness will be experienced from the moment you start to the end of each session - you cannot defeat ‘original sin’ as easily as
that. If, after two or three sessions, you experience timelessness and selflessness for only
a few moments this will be progress. Your greatest problem after that will be the
tendency to wonder whether the period of timelessness and selflessness is increasing at
each subsequent session, but this matter of monitoring meditation has been dealt with
earlier.

Q: Why does sensory deprivation have strange effects on the mind?

A: Sensory deprivation has strange effects on the mind because the mind is virtually
denied access to pure experiences and is left only with thoughts; but since thought is the
source of all delusions the mind then has nothing to hold these in check. Sensory
deprivation is therefore the opposite of meditation, where the aim is to have pure
experiences without thoughts.

Q: In view of what you said earlier, what have you to say about The Noble Eightfold
Path - which is fundamental to Buddhist doctrine - is this not a form of self-deception,
because of its ‘programme’ for Enlightenment?

A: The Noble Eightfold Path is precisely what it is claimed to be - a Path - it is not the
Goal. So long as we are conscious of being on the Path then the separate self exists. It is
only when there is no differentiation between ourselves, the Path, and the Goal, that
duality comes to an end and there is only the ONE. This is why we cannot think our way
to Enlightenment.

Q: What is Truth?

A: Truth is Void, like the track of a bird in flight; it neither exists, nor does it not exist,
but when you know Truth, you KNOW. You KNOW that you have the senses of sight,
hearing, smell, taste and feeling; it is sufficient to start with these, because when you
know one aspect of the Truth you recognise the Truth in all its manifestations. Truth is
the Tao; it is formless and nameless and yet, as the Mother of Existence, it encompasses
all forms and all names.

Q: Can you explain a miracle in Buddhist terms?

A: Whenever you walk, that is a miracle; whenever you see a flower, that is a miracle;
whenever you hear a bird sing, that is a miracle. How many miracles do you want?
Q: You misunderstand me, I want to know what a real miracle is, defined in a dictionary
as a supernatural event..

A: When subjective knowledge and objective knowledge are not in alignment then we
call the happening a miracle; but when subjective knowledge and objective knowledge
are in alignment an event is not seen as being a miracle. Logically, you should either see
everything that happens as being a miracle, or nothing that happens as being a miracle.
Picking and choosing your evidence is no way to discover the Truth. You think that a
miracle is an event that cannot be explained, but can you explain how you walk, see a
flower, or hear a bird sing?

Q: It has been said that Wisdom and Compassion are the Twin Pillars of Buddhism.
What is the foundation of these Pillars?

A: The Buddha Mind is the foundation of Wisdom and Compassion.

Q: You said that we are intent on escaping from reality, but if reality is the Buddha
Mind why do we want to escape from it?

A: It is the self - the ego - that wants to escape from reality, because reality destroys the
self as a separate entity, but our Buddha Mind will not let us escape. It is the conflict
between the ego and the Buddha Mind that causes dissatisfaction, unhappiness and
despair (Dukkha).

Q: You have only briefly mentioned the Buddhist doctrine of Karma. Why is this?

A: Karma is a marvellous and comprehensive doctrine, but even if understood in its
entirety it would not bring you one step nearer to Enlightenment. However, some of its
effects have been mentioned, as in answer to your last question.

Q: I can understand why a Christian has such mental torment, trying to incorporate the
fact of suffering into his belief. Would it solve the problem if he no longer believed in
the duality between God and Man?

A: Merely to believe in non-duality is not enough; it must be experienced. Suffering is
a problem only if you distance yourself from it, which happens all the time you believe
that there is an external cause or, to put it another way, that there is a separate self to
which suffering occurs. So long as there is a delusion of a separate self pain will always
be seen as a problem, distinct from its actual experience. When the Abbot Kwaisen
allowed himself to be burned alive by the soldiers of Oda Nobunaga,(ps...if you want to see how he died in flames,watch  http://www.shinobinomono.oninohana.com/films.php ..I've seen all those old movies..added by danny)sitting calmly in the
posture of meditation, it showed that this is no idle speculation.

Similarly, unpleasant sights, unpleasant sounds and unpleasant smells and tastes all
arise from the same cause. It helps to alleviate the problem if you realise that the faculty
of feeling is an inevitable condition of existence. It helps even more if you relieve the
sufferings of others, since by doing so you bring their suffering into your life, and this
diminishes the condition of duality; but it must be non-selfconscious action, otherwise
you will merely be a ‘do-gooder’, and this will not lessen the problem. However, there
can be no final solution so long as you intellectualise about it and do not experience the
real answer which, like the Tao, is beyond explanation.

Q: If I lose my sight, or hearing, would my Essence of Mind be diminished as a result?
A: No, the faculties of sight, hearing, smell, taste and feeling may be likened to access
points, through which there is admittance to the Essence of Mind - which is the Buddha
Mind - the manifestation of which is the Buddha nature. If sight, or hearing, is lost then
this reduces the number of access points, but because the Essence of Mind stays
unimpaired the remaining access points become enhanced as a result. Remember, also,
as in answer to an earlier question, that when you know one aspect of the Truth you know
the Truth in all its manifestations. This is why, in meditation, it is quite sufficient to
concentrate on a single pure experience.

Q: If a person is born mentally impaired is that person’s Essence of Mind impaired as
well?

A: No - the Essence of Mind cannot be impaired. Such a person can still see, hear,
smell, taste and feel, and these faculties are no different from those of one who is normal.
It is only the ability to construct concepts about experiences that differ, but since all
concepts are illusions, anyway, the distinction between normality and mental impairment
is a matter of convention. Such a person can be more kind and loving than one who is
normal, but convention does not take this into account.

Q: I am still uneasy about the idea of a separate self being an illusion. Surely, my body
is separate from your body, and my mind is separate from your mind. How can I ever see
this otherwise?

A: Never, if you continue trying to think your way to Enlightenment! Your immediate
error is in supposing that, if a separate self is an illusion, then this is tantamount to saying
that it does not exist; but since it clearly does exist, then it cannot be an illusion. But this
is to confuse two forms of reality - the reality of appearances and the reality of the
Absolute. The reality of appearances is that grass is green, but you should know by now
that in Absolute terms this is not so. However, the Reality of the Absolute does not
exclude the reality of appearances, since you know that grass is green.  

If you could only
grasp the distinction between grass is green and grass is green you would understand, in a
flash, the cause of dualism. You cannot err if you accept only that which you know for
certain. You KNOW that you have the faculties of seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting and
feeling - the very moment you step beyond this you are back in the world of duality. You
must not even have the idea that there is nothing more to non-duality than having
experiences without concepts, since that idea is, itself, a concept, and misses the Goal
completely.

Q: I think I am now nearer to realising the distinction between grass is green and grass
is green. If I do gain this insight will I be Enlightened?

A: Presumably only if that realisation is permanent, but the ‘original sin’ of the mind is
so powerful that, to most of us, it does not last. The great Zen Masters called this flash of
insight “Kensho”, but it is only a stage on the way to Enlightenment (Satori).
One thing can be said for sure is that once you have had this experience your life will never be the
same again. Outwardly, you will appear ‘normal’, but you will be happy under
circumstances in which other people would be miserable, and calm in circumstances
where others would be flustered. Inwardly, you will have gained insights into all manner
of problems that most people find perplexing. Above all, you will have gained
confidence in the Buddha Mind within and know that the Unshakeable Deliverance of the
Mind is attainable, even if it is not attained in this life. If this answer ends with an
enigma it is because you still do not grasp the distinction between grass is green and grass
is green.

All profound religious truths are about integration, and the core of Buddhist integration
is the coalescence of the ‘in here’ and ‘out there’ to make the ONE, but this condition
will always elude you if all you do is to intellectualise about it. There is no answer other
than to “Look within, thou art Buddha”.

(N.B. Various interpretations have been given for the meanings of the terms ‘Kensho’
and ‘Satori’. In this book the former is treated as being a flash of insight and the latter as
a more permanent experience. In truth, of course, neither can be precisely defined,
because they are beyond the scope of language, as is the term ‘Nirvana’.)

To nourish the vital energy, keep watch in silence;
In order to subdue the mind, act with non-action.
Of movement and stillness, be aware of their source
There is no work to do, much less someone to seek.
The true and constant must respond to phenomena;
Responding to phenomena, you must be unconfused.
When unconfused, the nature will stabilize by itself
When the nature stabilizes, energy returns by itself
When energy returns, the elixir crystallizes by itself;
Within the pot, the trigrams of heaven and earth are joined.
Yīn and yáng arise, alternating over and over again;
Every transformation comes like a clap of thunder.
White clouds form and come to assemble at the peak;
The sweet nectar sprinkles down Mount Sumeru.
Swallow for yourself this wine of immortality;
You wander so freely—who is able to know you?
Sit and listen to the tune played without strings;
Clearly understand the mechanism of creation.
It comes entirely from these twenty lines;
A true ladder going straight to Heaven.-Daoist text -




To us all towns are one, all men our kin. Life's good comes not from others' gift, nor ill. Man's pains and pains' relief are from within. Thus have we seen in visions of the wise !." - Tamil Poem-

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Shine On Harvest Moon...

Lead me from dreaming to waking. Lead me from opacity to clarity. Lead me from the complicated to the simple. Lead me from the obscure to the obvious. Lead me from intention to attention. Lead me from what I'm told I am to what I see I am. Lead me from confrontation to wide openness. Lead me to the place I never left, Where there is peace, and peace - The Upanishads
*note* I love how they dance..
-added by danny-
ps....lyrics are
So shine on
Shine on harvest moon
Up in the sky

I ain't had no loving' since January, February, June or July

Snow time ain't no time to stay outdoors and spoon
So shine on
Shine on harvest moon for me and my gal

Snow time ain't no time to stay outdoors and spoon
So shine on
Shine on harvest moon for me and my gal..

To nourish the vital energy, keep watch in silence;
In order to subdue the mind, act with non-action.
Of movement and stillness, be aware of their origin;
There is no work to do, much less someone to seek.
The true and constant must respond to phenomena;
Responding to phenomena, you must be unconfused.
When unconfused, the nature will stabilize by itself;
When the nature stabilizes, energy returns by itself.
When energy returns, the elixir crystallizes by itself;
Within the pot, the trigrams of heaven and earth are joined.
Yīn and yáng arise, alternating over and over again;
Every transformation comes like a clap of thunder.
White clouds form and come to assemble at the peak;
The sweet nectar sprinkles down Mount Sumeru.
Swallow for yourself this wine of immortality;
You wander so freely—who is able to know you?
Sit and listen to the tune played without strings;
Clearly understand the mechanism of creation.
It comes entirely from these twenty lines;
A true ladder going straight to Heaven.-Daoist text -
To us all towns are one, all men our kin. Life's good comes not from others' gift, nor ill. Man's pains and pains' relief are from within. Thus have we seen in visions of the wise !." - Tamil Poem-

Thursday, February 03, 2011

What use is meditation to those who have clearly obtained enlightenment?

Lead me from dreaming to waking. Lead me from opacity to clarity. Lead me from the complicated to the simple. Lead me from the obscure to the obvious. Lead me from intention to attention. Lead me from what I'm told I am to what I see I am. Lead me from confrontation to wide openness. Lead me to the place I never left, Where there is peace, and peace - The Upanishads
*note* nice translations from Dogen..worthy of pondering about..Dogen was(from wikipedia) quote"At some later point, Dōgen became a low-ranking monk on Mount Hiei, the headquarters of the Tendai school of Buddhism. Later in life, while describing his time on Mt. Hiei, he writes that he became possessed by a single question with regard to the Tendai doctrine:
“ As I study both the exoteric and the esoteric schools of Buddhism, they maintain that human beings are endowed with Dharma-nature by birth. If this is the case, why did the Buddhas of all ages—undoubtedly in possession of enlightenment—find it necessary to seek enlightenment and engage in spiritual practice?[2] ”


This question was, in large part, prompted by the Tendai concept of "original enlightenment" (本覚 hongaku), which states that all human beings are enlightened by nature and that, consequently, any notion of achieving enlightenment through practice is fundamentally flawed.[3]
Under Rujing, Dōgen realized liberation of body and mind upon hearing the master say, "Cast off body and mind" (身心脱落 shēn xīn tuō luò). This phrase would continue to have great importance to Dōgen throughout his life, and can be found scattered throughout his writings, as—for example—in a famous section of his "Genjōkōan" (現成公案):
“ To study the Way is to study the self. To study the self is to forget the self. To forget the self is to be enlightened by all things of the universe. To be enlightened by all things of the universe is to cast off the body and mind of the self as well as those of others. Even the traces of enlightenment are wiped out, and life with traceless enlightenment goes on forever and ever.[6]
In 1253, soon after arriving in Kyōto, Dōgen died. Shortly before his death, he had written a death poem:


Fifty-four years lighting up the sky.
A quivering leap smashes a billion worlds.
Hah!
Entire body looks for nothing.
Living, I plunge into Yellow Springs."
Fascinating guy..anyway,I'll post this for reference..I'll add my comments later..kisses:)..from http://www.zenki.com/index.php?lang=en&page=bendo01
-added by danny-
Bendowa


Written by zen master Dogen Zenji translated by Prof. Masunaga Reiho


Translated in Soto Approach to Zen by Prof. Masunaga Reiho, Chapter 10, Layman Buddhist Society Press, 1958.
Introduction


Dogen wrote Bendowa shortly after his return from China. At that time he was 32 years old and living quietly in Fukakusa, a suburb of Kyoto. Shortly before that he wrote Fukanzazengi, while staying at Kennin temple in Kyoto. In this work, he clarified the meaning of truly transmitted zazen. Bendowa attempted to express and propagate the great aspirations and profound beliefs of Buddhism on the basis of zazen in the religious world of those days. The Zen style and basic spirit of Dogen permeated this work. Bendowa can be considered a general introduction and summary to the 95 fascicles of the Shobogenzo. Other fascicles could well be called elaboration of Bendowa. Those who wish to study the Shobogenzo must delve deeply into this work in a narrow sense Bendo means zazen; in a broader sense it means training.


Basically Bendowa discusses zazen; more specifically it tells how to perfect the Buddhist way through zazen. Put away in draft form, it did not appear either in the 75 fascicles of Ejo or the 60 fascicles of Giun.


Bendowa began to circulate during the life of Manzan Dohaku (1636-1715). Manzan went to Imadegawa in Kyoto on business and stayed at Kikuteiden. Kagesue, the master of Kikuteiden, seemed to have been a descendant of Dogen. During dinner, he brought out a carefully preserved manuscript of Bendowa in Dogen' own handwriting. Manzan considered this a tremendous discovery and after reading it carefully, he satisfied himself that it was genuine. He ordered Menzan Zuiho (1683-1769), who accompanied him, to copy this work. In this way Bendowa became available to the general public.


The first part of Bendowa is called Jijiyuzammai (self-joyous meditation). Here the truly- transmitted Buddhism of Dogen finds clear expression. After this there are 18 questions and answers. They are important because they explain the reasons for urging Dogen' zazen of original enlightenment. In the copy discovered at Shobo temple in Iwate Prefecture there are 19 questions and answers.


It is interesting that one of the 19 questions and answers suggests the object of worship in the Soto sect. In Bendowa Dogen tried to define his zazen of original enlightenment and wondrous training. He emphasized that since the Buddhas and patriarchs have shown that all men inherently have the Buddha-Mind, we must have deep faith in our Buddhahood and manifest it in zazen and in own daily life. This is what Dogen means by original enlightenment and wondrous training. This zazen does not strive for enlightenment but is itself the living form of the Buddhas and the patriarchs. It is a zazen of no attainment and no seeking. Enlightenment dwells naturally in training, and training freely embody enlightenment.


Shobogenzo, in contrast to works by founders of other sects does not draw heavily on the canons. Instead it abounds in Dogen's original views. It lives today because it integrates the deepest in sights of science and philosophy. This book will probably open only to those who really want to experience life's potentials.
Text (Bendowa)


The various Buddhas and Tathagatas have a most enlightened way of realizing superior wisdom and transmitting the supreme law. When transmitted from Buddha to Buddha, its mark is self-joyous meditation. To enter this meditation naturally, right sitting is the true gate. Though each man has Buddha-nature in abundance, he cannot make it appear without practice or live it without enlightenment. If you let it go, it fills your hand; it transcends the one and many. If you talk about it, it fills your mouth; it is beyond measurement by height and width. All Buddhas eternally have their abode here without becoming attached to one-sided recognition. All beings are working here without attachment to sides in each recognition. The devices and training that I teach now manifest all things in original enlightenment and express unity in action. And when you thoroughly understand, why cling to such trifles as these?


On awakening of the desire to seek the way, I visited Buddhist masters in all parts of the country. Finally I met Zenko (Myozen, disciple of Eisai) at Kennin temple. The nine years that If served as his follower passed quickly. From him I heard about the Rinzai style. Zenko, as the leading disciple of Eisai, truly transmitted the highest Buddhism. Other disciples could not compare with him. I also went to China, visited Zen masters of both Cheh-chiang (Chekiang, formerly divided into east and west), and heard about the styles of the five schools. Finally I studied with Zen master Ju-sting (Nyojo) on Ta-p'ein (Taihaku) peak. In this was I completed the valuable training for my life.


After that at the beginning of the Shotei period (1227), I returned to Japan. Because I had the idea of spreading the Law and saving all beings, I was like a man carrying a heavy burden. Then I thought of abandoning this idea of spreading the Law and wait for a more propitious time. I wandered here and there for some time sincerely trying to teach the style of the former Zen master. There are true trainees who deliberately shun fame and profit and concentrate on the search for the way. But unfortunately they are misled by false masters, so real understanding is veiled and the trainees uselessly become drunk with self- madness and drown for long years in the world of delusion. How can the right seed of wisdom sprout and the chance for enlightenment be grasped?


I am now wandering here and there like a cloud or water grass - what mountain or river shall I visit?


Because I sympathize with such seekers, I went to China, saw the form and style of the monasteries, and received the essence of the Zen teaching. Gathering and recording all this, I am leaving it for the trainees so that they may be helped toward knowing the essence of Buddhism. Isn't this the core of Zen? Buddha Sakyamuni transmitted the right law to Mahakasyapa on Grdhrakuta Mountain, and a long line of patriarchs handed it down to Bodhidharma. And Bodhidharma went to China and transmitted the right law to Hui-k'o (Eka).


This started the transmission of Zen Buddhism to the East. Transmitted thus in its essential purity, it came down by a natural route to the Sixth Patriarch, Hui-neng. At this time true Buddhism was transmitted to China, and it expressed a meaning free from trivialities. The Sixth Patriarch had two outstanding disciples- Nan-yueh Huai-jang and Ch'ing-yuan Hsing-ssu. Together they transmitted the Buddha seal; they were leaders of man and heaven. These two schools spread, and five styles of Zen appeared. They were the schools of Fa-yen, Wei-yang, Ts'ao-tung, Yun-men, and Lin-chi. In present-day China only the Lin-chi (Rinzai) school is flourishing. Although the five schools differ, they are all based on the single seal of the Buddha Mind. From the later Han period to the present in China, the scriptures of the other teachings were propagated, but it was impossible to determine which was best. With the coming of Bodhidharma from India the root of the conflict was abruptly cut, and pure Buddhism spread. We must also try to do the same in our country. All the Buddhas and patriarchs who transmitted Buddhism considered sitting and practicing self-joyous meditation the true way of enlightenment. The enlightened ones in both the East and West followed this style. This is because the masters and their disciples correctly transmitted this superior method from person to person and received the uncorrupted truth.


1.


Q: I have heard of the superior merits of zazen. But an ordinary person will have doubts and say there are many gates in Buddhism. Why do you urge only zazen?


A: Because it is the right gate to Buddhism - this is my answer to him.
2.


Q: Why is it the only right gate?


A: The great teacher Sakyamuni handed down this unexcelled method of enlightenment. And the Tathagatas of the past, present, and future were similarly enlightened by zazen. They, too, transmitted it as the right gate. The patriarchs in India and China were also enlightened by zazen. For this reason, I now indicate the right gate for human beings and heaven.
3.


Q: Such reasons as correct transmissioby the unexcelled method of the Tathagatas and following in the footsteps of the patriarchs are beyond common sense. To ordinary people, reading the sutra and saying the Nembutsu are the natural means to enlightenment. You just sit cross-legged and do nothing. How is this a means to enlightenment?


A: You look on the meditation of the Buddhas and the supreme law as just sitting and doing nothing. You disparage Mahayana Buddhism. Your delusion is deep; you are like someone in the middle of the ocean crying out for water. Fortunately we are already sitting at ease in the self-joyous meditation of the Buddhas. Isn't this a great boon? What a pity that your true-eye remains shut-that your mind remains drunk. The world of the Buddhas eludes ordinary thinking and consciousness. It cannot be known by disbelief and inferior knowledge. To enter one must have right belief. The disbeliever, even if taught, has trouble grasping it. For example, when the Buddha was preaching at Grdhrakuta, the disbelieves were allowed to go away. To bring out the right belief in your mind you must train and study. If you cannot do this, you should quit for awhile, regretting that you lack the influence of the law from a former beneficial relation. What good are such actions as reading the sutras and saying the Nembutsu. How futile to think that Buddhist merits accrue from merely moving the tongue and raising the voice. If you think this covers Buddhism, you are far from the truth. Your only purpose in reading the sutras should be to learn thoroughly that the Buddha taught the rules of gradual and sudden training and that by practicing his teachings you can obtain enlightenment. You should not read the sutras merely to pretend to wisdom through vain intellections. To strive for the goal of Buddhism by reading many sutras is like pointing the hill to the north and heading south. It is like putting a square peg in a round hole. While you look at words and phrases, the path of your training remains dark. This is as worthless as a doctor who forgets his prescription. Constant repetition of the Nembutsu is also worthless-like a frog in a spring field croaking night and day. Those deluded by fame and fortune, find it especially difficult to abandon the nembutsu. Bound by deep roots to a profit-seeking mind, they existed in ages past, and they exist today. They are to be pitied. Understand only this: if enlightened Zen masters and their earnest disciples correctly transmit the supreme law of the seven Buddhas, its essence emerges, and it can be experienced. Those who merely study the letters of the sutras cannot know this. So put a stop to this doubt and delusion. Follow the teachings of a real master and, by zazen; attain to the self-joyous samadhi of the Buddhas.
4.


Q: The Tendai school and Kegon teachings have both came across to this country; they represent the cream of Buddhism. In the Shingon school-transmitted directly from Vairocana Tathagata to Vajrasattva - there is no stain between master and disciple. This school maintains that "this mind is the Buddha", and that "this mind becomes the Buddha"; it does not advocate long step-by-step training. It teaches the simultaneous enlightenment of the five Buddhas. It is unexcelled in Buddhism. In view of all this what superiority does zazen have that you recommend it alone and exclude the other teachings?


A: You must understand that in Buddhism the stress falls on the truth or falsity of the training-not on the excellence or mediocrity of the teaching or the depth or shallowness of the principle. In times past, men were drawn to Buddhism by grass, flowers, mountains, and water. Some received the Buddha seal by grasping dirt, stones, sand, and pebbles. The dimensionless letters overflow all forms, and we can hear the sermon now in a speck of dust. "This mind is the Buddha" - these words are like a moon reflected in water; and the meaning of the words: "sitting cross-legged is itself Buddhism"? Like a figure in the mirror. Do not be victimized by clever manipulation of words. When I recommend the training of immediate enlightenment, I want to make you a true human being by indicating the superior path transmitted by the Buddhas and patriarchs. To transmit the Buddha law you should always make the enlightened person your Zen master. Don't follow a scholar who counts the letters of the scripture. This would be like the blind leading the blind. In the teachings directly transmitted from the Buddhas and patriarchs, the Buddha law is sustained by respect for the enlightened person. When the Gods of darkness and light reject the Zen masters and when the enlightened Arhats ask the path, they provide the means of opening the Buddha Mind. In the other teachings we could not endure it. The followers of Buddhism only have to study the Buddha law. You must understand that we do not lack the highest wisdom. Though we enjoy it eternally, we do not always harmonize with it. This is because we meet setbacks on the Great Way through clinging to individual opinion and chasing after material things. Through individual opinions various phantoms arise. For example, there are countless views on the 12 chains of transmigration, the 25 worlds, the three vehicles, the five vehicles, the Buddha, and the non-Buddha. Training in the true path does not require learning these opinions. So when we sit cross-legged, depending on the Buddha sign and abandoning all things, we can enjoy great wisdom. We enter at once the superior field beyond delusion and enlightenment - a field without distinction between sage and commoner. How can one who clings to verbal tools rise up to this?
5.


Q: Samadhi dwells in the three training, and dhyanaparamita (means of meditation) in the six means of enlightenment. All Bodhisattvas study them from the beginning. They train without discriminating cleverness and stupidity. Even this zazen may be a part of them. Why do you say that the true law is gathered in zazen?


A: This question comes from giving the name "Zen sect" to the treasury of the essence of the true law, and to the unexcelled doctrine-the most important teachings of the Buddha. You must understand that the name "Zen sect" emerged from China and the East; it was not heard in India. When Bodhidharma stayed at Shao-Lin ssu in Sung-shan, gazing at the wall for nine years, the priests and laymen did not understand the true law of the Buddha; they called him a Brahmana who emphasized sitting cross-legged. Afterward every patriarch devoted himself to sit ting cross-legged. Unenlightened laymen who saw them carelessly referred to them as the zazen sect without understanding the truth. Today the "Za" has been dropped, and the followers of this practice are known as members of the Zen sect. This is clear in the manuscripts of the patriarchs. You must not equate zazen with the meditation in the six means and the three training. The spirit of transmission in Buddhism is clear in the career of the Buddha. To Mahakasyapa alone on Grdhrakuta Mountain the Buddha transmitted the eye and treasury of the true law, the superior mind of enlightenment and supreme doctrine, and some gods in heaven saw it. Don't doubt this. The gods of heaven protect Buddhism eternally. This is still a living fact. You must understand that zazen is the full way of Buddhism. It is incomparable.
6.


Q: Why does Buddhism advocate meditation and enlightenment through cross-legged sitting alone (of the four actions)?


A: I do not analyze the way of training and enlightenment followed by the various Buddhas. If you ask why, I say simply that it is the way used in Buddhism. You should not seek no further. But the patriarchs praised cross-legged sitting, calling it the comfortable way. I know this sitting is the most comfortable of the four actions. It is not only the training of one Buddha or two Buddhas but of all Buddhas and patriarchs.
7.


Q: Those who do not know Buddhism have to attain enlightenment by zazen and training. What use is zazen to those who have clearly obtained enlightenment?


A: Though I do not talk about last night's dream and cannot give a paddle to a woodcutter, I have something to teach you. The view that training and enlightenment are not one is heretical. In Buddhism these two are the same. Because this is training enfolding enlightenment, the training even at the outset is all of original enlightenment. So the Zen master, when giving advice to his disciples, tells them not to seek enlightenment without training because training itself points directly to original enlightenment. Because it is already enlightenment of training, there is no end to enlightenment. Because it is training of enlightenment, there is no beginning to training. Sakyamuni Tathagata and Mahakasyapa, therefore, were both used by training based on enlightenment. Training, based on enlightenment similarly moved both Bodhidharma and Hui-neng. This is typical of all traces of transmission in Buddhism. Already there is training that is inseparable from enlightenment. Because training even at the outset transmits a part of superior training, we fortunately gain a part of original enlightenment in this natural way. You must understand that the Buddhas and patriarchs emphasized the need for intensive training so as not to stain the enlightenment that is self-identical with training. If you throw away superior training, original enlightenment fills your hand. If you abandon original enlightenment, superior training permeates your body. In China I saw Zen monasteries in many districts, each with a meditation hall where 500 to 1,200 monks lived and practiced zazen day and night. When I asked the Zen masters who have been entrusted with the Buddha seal, "What is the essence of Buddhism?" they answered: "Training and enlightenment are not two but one." So they urged disciples to follow the footsteps of the Zen masters in accordance with the teachings of the Buddhas and patriarchs. They recommended zazen not only to their disciples, but to all those who seek the true way, to those who yearn for true Buddhism, regardless of whether one is a beginner or an advanced student, a commoner or a sage. As a patriarch (Nangaku) has said:"It is not true that there is no training and enlightenment, but do not stain them by clinging to them." Another patriarch has said: "He who sees the way trains the way." You must, therefore, train within enlightenment.
8.


Q: Why did Japanese patriarchs of the past, who went to China and returned to propagate Buddhism, transmit other teachings besides this Zen?


A: The patriarchs of the past did not transmit this Zen because the time was not ripe.
9.


Q: Did the patriarchs of the past understand this Zen?


A: If they had understood, they would have propagated it.
10.


Q: Someone has said, "Don't throw away delusion (birth and death). There is an easy shortcut to freedom from birth and death. This is because the spirit is eternal." The meaning here is that even if this body is born, it will eventually come to nothing, but this spirit does not perish. If this Spirit that is not subject to rising and ceasing resides in my body, this is the original spirit. Because of this, the body takes temporal form and remains unfixed, for it dies here and arises there. This spirit is eternal and does not change in past, present, and future. To know this is to free oneself from birth and death. For those who know this, the birth and death they have known up to now disappear, and they enter into an ocean of the spirit. When you embrace this ocean, superior virtue will be complete like the Buddhas. Even if you know this, because this body is the result of former delusive actions, you differ from the sages. Those who do not know this transmigrate eternally. So know only the eternity of the spirit. If you sit in vain and waste your whole life, what can you possibly hope for? Does this view conform to the way of the Buddhas and patriarchs?


A: Your view is not Buddhism. It is the Srenika heresy. This heretical view says: "In our body there is a spiritual knowledge. Through the knowledge we recognize like and dislike, right and wrong, pain and titillation, and suffering and pleasure. This spiritual knowledge, when the body deteriorates, is released here and is born anew elsewhere. Therefore, though it seems to die here, it is born there. It never dies; it continues eternally." This is the heretical view. If you absorb this and think it is Buddhism, it is more foolish than holding roof tiles and pebbles and thinking they are the golden treasures. This foolish delusion is shameful. It is beyond serious consideration. National master Hui-Chung of the Tang dynasty issued a sharp warning against this view. Those who hold this delusive view think that the mind is eternal and that appearance is transitory and equate this with the superior training of the Buddhas; they create the cause of transmigration and think that they have broken free from transmigration. Isn't this false? In deed, it is pathetic. This is nothing but delusive heresy. Don't listen to it. Although I hesitate to say it, I will correct your delusion with sympathy. In Buddhism you have to know this: the body and mind are one; essence and form are one. Make no mistake- this is known also in India and China. In a teaching that talks about eternity, all things become eternal. Don't separate body and mind. In a teaching that talks about cessation, all things are ceasing. Don't separate essence and form. Why do you say that the body ceases while the mind is eternal? Isn't this against the right law? You must realize that life-death itself is nirvana. We cannot talk about nirvana without life-death. You think erroneously that this is the Buddha wisdom free from life and death. Your mind, which understands and perceives, arises and perishes; it is not eternal. Understands this thoroughly: the unity of body and mind is always upheld in Buddhism. In the light of this, why is the mind only released from the body to become free from arising and perishing while the body arises and perishes? If you assert that body and mind are one now and that they are not one at another time, you becloud the Buddha's teachings. To think that birth and death are things to be avoided is a sin against Buddhism. They are truly the tools of Buddhism. In Buddhism, especially in the Awakening of Faith in the Mahayana, the great teaching of the Tathagata-garba embraces the Dharma-dhatu. It does not divide suchness and appearance, nor discuss arising and perishing. Even enlightenment and nirvana are nothing but the Tathagata-garba. It is self-identical with all things and appearances and contains them. These various teachings are all based on One Mind. There is no mistake about this. This is understanding of the Mind of Buddhism. How can you divide this into body and mind and delusion and nirvana. You are already the son of Buddha. Do not listen to madmen who preach heretical views.
11.


Q: Does one who seriously practices zazen have to observe the precepts strictly and purify his body and mind?


A: Observing the precepts and living purely are rules of Zen Buddhism and practices handed down by the Buddhas and patriarchs. Those who have not received the precepts should receive them; those who violate the precepts should repent. They shall then absorb the Buddha's wisdom.
12.


Q: Is there any objection to a serious student of zazen practicing the mantra of the Shingon sect and the Samathavipa'syana (calm and insight) of the Tendai sect together?


A: When I was in China and heard the gist of Buddhism from the Zen masters, they said they had never heard of any patriarchs who truly transmitted the Buddha seal, now and in the past, undertaking such simultaneous training. Unless we earnestly concentrate on one thing, we cannot gain one wisdom.
13.


Q: Can a layman practice this zazen or is it limited to priests?


A: The patriarchs have said that to understand Buddhism there should be no distinction between man and woman and between rich and poor.
14.


Q: The priests are free from myriad relations; for them there is no obstruction to zazen training. How can the busy layman attain enlightenment by earnest training?


A: Through their boundless love the Buddhas and patriarchs have flung the vast gates of compassion for all beings- whether Human beings or Deva. We many examples in past and present: Tan-tsung and Sung-tsung, though very busy with state affairs practiced zazen and understood the great way of the Buddhas and patriarchs. Prime ministers Li and Fang were close advisers to the emperors, and they too practiced zazen and were enlightened in the great way of the Buddhas and patriarchs. It simply depends on the will. It has nothing to do with being either a priest or a lay man. Those who can discern excellence and inferiority will believe Buddhism naturally. Those who think that worldly tasks hinder Buddhism know only that there is no Buddhism in the world; they do not know that there is nothing that can be set apart as worldly tasks in Buddhism. In the great Sung dynasty a Prime Minister named P'ing mastered the way of the patriarchs and wrote a poem about himself: "Away from state affairs I practiced zazen, hardly ever laying on my side in bed and sleeping; although I am the prime minister, my fame as a Zen master spread throughout the world." Official business kept P'ing busy, but because he had the will to train earnestly, he gained enlightenment. Consider yourself through these cases (persons); look at the present through the past. At this moment, in the great Sung dynasty, emperors, ministers, soldiers and commoners, and men and women take interest in the way of the patriarchs. Warriors and intellectuals have the will to train, and many of them will eventually experience enlightenment. All this tells us that worldly tasks do not hinder Buddhism. If true Buddhism spreads in the state, the Buddhas and heavenly beings always protect that state, and the world becomes peaceful. If the world becomes peaceful, Buddhism acquires strength. In the age of the Buddha, even misguided criminals were enlightened through his teachings. Under the patriarchs, even hunters and woodcutters were enlightened. And others will gain enlightenment. All you have to do is to receive instructions from a real teacher.
15.


Q: Can one gain enlightenment by this zazen, even if one trains in this degenerate age and evil world?


A: Other teachings argue about the name and form of the doctrines. The true teaching does not differentiate the three periods of Sho, Zo and Matsu. Anybody who trains will inevitably gain enlightenment. In the correctly transmitted right law, you can always enjoy the rare treasure of your own house. Those who train know whether enlightenment has been obtained, just as one who drinks water knows personally whether it is cold or warm.
16.


Q: Some people say that to know Buddhism you only have to understand the meaning of "this mind itself is the Buddha"; you do not have to chant the sutras or train the body in Buddhism. Understand only that Buddhism is inherent in your self - this is full enlightenment. There is no need for seeking anything from others. So is there any use going to the trouble of practicing zazen?


A: That is a most grievous error. If what you say is true - even though the sages teach this ("this mind itself is the Buddha") - you cannot understand it. To study Buddhism you have to transcend the viewpoint of self and others. If you become enlightened by knowing that the self itself is the Buddha, Sakyamuni long ago would not have tried so hard to teach the way. This is evident in the high standards of the ancient Zen masters. Long ago there was a monk named Tse-kung Chien-yuan under Zen master Fa-yen. Fa-yen asked him: "Tse-kung, how long have you been in this monastery?" Tse-kung answered: "I have been here three years." Fa-yen: "You are younger than me. Why don't you ever ask me about Buddhism?" Tse-kung: "I will not lie. While studying under Zen master Ch'ing-feng, I understood the serenity of Buddhism." Fa-yen: "By what words did you gain this understanding?" Tse-kung: "I asked Ch'ing-feng, What is the real self of the trainee? He answered, The God of Fire calls for fire." Fa-yen: "That's a fine expression. But you probably did not understand it." Tse-kung: "The God of Fire belongs to fire. Fire needs fire. It is like saying that the self needs the self. This is how I understood it." Fa-yen: "I see clearly that you did not understand. If Buddhism is like that, it would not have continued until now." This disturbed Tse-kung deeply, and he left there. On the way home he thought: "Fa-yen is an excellent Zen master and the leader of 500 disciples. He has pointed out my fault. There must be a valuable point in his words." Tse-kung then returned to Fa-yen's monastery. Repenting and giving his salutation, he asked: "What is the real self of the trainee?" Fa-yen answered: "The God of Fire calls for fire." On hearing this, Tse-kung was fully enlightened about Buddhism. Obviously one does not know Buddhism by merely understanding that this self is the Buddha. If this is Buddhism, Fa-yen could not have guided Tse-kung in the manner described above, nor would he have given the advice he did. On first visiting a Zen master, you should ask for the rules of training. Only practice zazen earnestly and avoid cluttering your mind with superficial knowledge. The unexcelled method of Buddhism will then bear fruit.
17.


Q: In India and China-from ancient times to now-some Zen masters were enlightened by the sound of a stone striking bamboo, and others had their minds cleared by seeing the color of plum blossoms. Even the great teacher Sakyamuni was enlightened by seeing the morning star. The venerable Ananda saw the truth in a stick falling. In addition after the sixth patriarch many Zen masters of the five schools were enlightened by a single word. Did all of these persons practice zazen?


A: From ancient times until now all those who have been enlightened by seeing color or hearing sound practiced zazen without zazen and immediately became unexcelled.
18.


Q: In India and China men had inner integrity, and because culture was widespread, trainees were able to understand Buddhism when it was taught to them. In our country, from ancient times, many people have lacked superior intellect; it has been difficult to store the right seeds of wisdom. This comes from the barbaric current. It is very regrettable. Again the priests in this country are inferior to laymen in other countries. Everybody in Japan is foolish and narrow-minded. People cling tightly to worldly merit and hunger for the superficial good. Can such people quickly attain enlightenment about Buddhism even if they practice zazen?


A: It is as you say. The people in this country have neither knowledge nor integrity. Even if they are shown the true law, they change its sweet taste to poison. They tend to seek fame and profit and find it difficult to free themselves from attachments. But to become enlightened about Buddhism, we cannot rely on the worldly knowledge of human beings and heaven. Even during the time of the Buddha, those who enlightened the four results (includes the Arhats) by handball and those who enlightened the great path by the kesa were foolish and crazy. But they found the way to free themselves from delusion by the help of right faith. Again a woman trainee who waited with a prepared meal was enlightened by seeing the silent sitting of a foolish old priest. None of these cases depend on knowledge. They do not rely on scholarship, words, or speech. They all underline help through right faith. In the some 2,000 years since the birth of Buddhism, it spread to various countries. Its appeal was not limited to highly cultured nations or to people who were clever and wealthy. The true law of the Buddha, with its indeterminate power for good, will spread throughout the world when the right chance comes. All who train with right faith will be enlightened equally with no gap between the wise and foolish. Don't imagine that because Japan is not a highly cultured country and because its people lack knowledge, it is not ready for Buddhism. You must realize that all human beings have the seed of wisdom in abundance. Only there is little recognition of this fact. People do not train with right faith because they do not adequately recognize the essence of Buddhism and lack experience in practical application.


These questions and answers seem unwarranted. But I have tried to help those with poor eyesight to see a flower where nothing appeared before. For in this country the gist of zazen training has not been transmitted, and those who want to know about it are made sorrowful. Therefore, gathering what I saw and heard in China and recording the essence of the Zen masters, I would like to guide those who seek training. I would also like to teach the rules of the Zen monasteries and the rituals of the temples, but I have no time. These things cannot be described simply. Though our country is east of the sea and far from India, the Buddhism of the west was transmitted here about the time of the emperors Kinmei and Yomei. This was our good fortune. But because names, forms, things, and relations become tangled, we lose direction in training.


Now I will take my simple robe and bowl and make my abode among the reed-wrapped rocks of blue and white. Here, while I sit and train true Zen Buddhism - Buddhism transcending the Buddha manifests itself, and with this the object of training it fulfilled. This is the teaching of the Buddha and the style left behind by Mahakasyapa. The rules for this zazen depends on Fukanzazengi, which was transcribed during the Karoku period. To spread Buddhism within a country one must get the permission of the king. But in the light of the Buddha's transmission at Grdhrakuta there emerged kings and nobles and ministers and generals, who appeared in various countries, who gratefully received the guidance of the Buddha, and who did not forget the original spirit that preserved the Buddhism of former ages. All places where the teaching has spread are the Buddha's land. So to spread the way of the Buddhas and patriarchs there is no point in selecting the place or awaiting good conditions. Do not think that today is the beginning. I have, therefore, gathered this record and left it for the superior seeker of Buddhism and for serious trainees who wander here and there in search for the way.


Time-Mid-autumn, 1231


Dogen, Transmitter of the Law


From China

To nourish the vital energy, keep watch in silence;
In order to subdue the mind, act with non-action.
Of movement and stillness, be aware of their origin;
There is no work to do, much less someone to seek.
The true and constant must respond to phenomena;
Responding to phenomena, you must be unconfused.
When unconfused, the nature will stabilize by itself;
When the nature stabilizes, energy returns by itself.
When energy returns, the elixir crystallizes by itself;
Within the pot, the trigrams of heaven and earth are joined.
Yīn and yáng arise, alternating over and over again;
Every transformation comes like a clap of thunder.
White clouds form and come to assemble at the peak;
The sweet nectar sprinkles down Mount Sumeru.
Swallow for yourself this wine of immortality;
You wander so freely—who is able to know you?
Sit and listen to the tune played without strings;
Clearly understand the mechanism of creation.
It comes entirely from these twenty lines;
A true ladder going straight to Heaven.-Daoist text -
To us all towns are one, all men our kin. Life's good comes not from others' gift, nor ill. Man's pains and pains' relief are from within. Thus have we seen in visions of the wise !." - Tamil Poem-