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#1547 ~ Sunday, September 7, 2003

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  • Gloria Lee
    #1547 ~ Sunday, September 7, 2003 ~ Editor: Gloria Lee Sam ~ E-zendo Ideal Droning Since earnestly studying the Buddhist doctrine of emptiness I ve learned to
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 9, 2003
      #1547 ~ Sunday, September 7, 2003 ~ Editor: Gloria Lee
      Sam ~ E-zendo
      Ideal Droning
      Since earnestly studying the Buddhist doctrine of
      I've learned to still all the common states of mind.
      Only the devil of poetry I have yet to conquer-
      let me come on a bit of scenery and I start my idle
      BAI JUYI
      from Zen Poems



      reedroot litgrit

      birdsong pikewand

      safepond holyshit


      wayback sacklag

      offwhite suiterag  

      sharpedge wavebag


       shipraft tritenight

       nosweat soakwet

      wingstroke dreamtight



      stifflip windwhip






      Alan Larus

      Diana ~ NDS

      Shadow Boxing

      It's not about you,

      and everything you see is you.

      Elegant, parsimonious way
      to stage a cosmic joke, huh?

      Nina ~ NDS
      Rembrandt's Vision
      (The following is an excerpt from Anne Rice's book, The Tale of the
      Body Thief. It is a portion of a letter from the vampire, Lestat, to
      his mortal friend, David. I find it to be a striking allegorical

      I believe that Rembrandt sold his soul to the Devil when he was a
      young man. It was a simple bargain. The Devil promised to make
      Rembrandt the most famous painter of his time. The Devil sent hordes
      of mortals to Rembrandt for portraits. He gave wealth to Rembrandt,
      he gave him a charming house in Amswerdam, a wife and later a
      mistress, because he was sure he would have Rembrandt's soul in the

      But Rembrandt had been changed by his encounter with the Devil.
      Having seen such undeniable evidence of evil, he found himself
      obsessed with the question What is good? He searched the faces of his
      subjects for their inner divinity; and to his amazement, he was able
      to see the spark of it in the most unworthy of men.

      His skill was such - and please understand, he had got no skill from
      the Devil; the skill was his to begin with - that not only could he
      see that goodness, he could paint it; he could allow his knowledge of
      it, and his faith in it, to suffuse the whole.

      With each portrait he understood the grace and goodness of mankind
      ever more deeply. He understood the capacity for compassion and for
      wisdom which resides in every soul. His skill increased as he
      continued; the flash of the infinite became ever more subtle; the
      person himself ever more particular; and more grand and serene and
      magnificent each work.

      At last the faces Rembrandt painted were not flesh-and-blood faces at
      all. They were spiritual countenances, portraits of what lay wihtin
      the body of the man or the woman; they were visions of what that
      person was at his or her finest hour, of what that person stood to

      This is why the merchants of the Drapers' Guild look like the oldest
      and wisest of God's saints.

      But nowhere is this spiritual depth and insight more clearly manifest
      than in Rembrandt's self-portraits. And surely you know that he left
      us one hundred and twenty-two of these.

      Why do you think he painted so many...



      Though Dürer is credited for being the first artist to consistently create self-portraits, Rembrandt is given credit for being the first artist to intensely study the self through art. During his life time, 1606-1669, Rembrandt sketched his own face thousands of times. He created a legacy of 60 self-portraits that depict his history, an autobiographical story that chronicles his turbulent life. From rags to riches, through marriages and mistresses, from youth to old age, we can witness the changing face of Rembrandt.

      His first self-portrait is dated as early as 1629; his last, a few months before his death in 1669. Between those forty years Rembrandt modeled for himself so many times that we can't help but wonder why. There seems to be several advantages for Rembrandt to turn to the mirror for inspiration. One notion suggests that as a young and struggling artist, Rembrandt was the most readily available model. He could paint himself anytime, anywhere without having to pay or rely on a professional model. Another reason for the multitude of self-portraits may lie in the typical clientele of the time. Rembrandt often painted his own face deep in the shadows or with grimacing expressions, techniques that he certainly could not explore on the portrait of a wealthy client. Kelly noted that for Rembrandt, "self-portraits became an outlet for feelings and ideas concerning the nature of human existence which found no satisfactory channel elsewhere." In this case, his own face provided a wide range of opportunity for growth and discovery as an artist.

      Janson summed up Rembrandt's use of the self-portraits well when he wrote that "...his view of himself reflects every stage of his inner development - experimental in the Leyden years; theatrically disguised in the 1630's; frank and self-analytical toward the end of his life, ... yet full of simple dignity." The self-portraits of his last two decades show that Rembrandt was beyond using himself as a model out of convenience, and past using his face to test new techniques. It is in these last two decades that a real exploration of self comes forth. We see a much more honest view of Rembrandt's features in his later work than in his famous Self-Portrait, from 1640. In his final self-portraits dated from 1660 to 1669, Rembrandt appears old, wrinkled, and tired. Glancing in the mirror, Rembrandt said of these final portraits, "...and I came, it may be, to look for myself and recognize myself. What have I found? Death painted I see..."


      Manuel Hernandez ~ A Net of Jewels

      "Mind is interested in what happens, while awareness is interested in the
      mind itself.  The child is after the toy, but the mother watches the child,
      not the toy."

      The Wisdom of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

      Ben Hassine ~ NDS


      If you would like to hear the chant: right-click then: save target as (in Windows that is...)
      Note: The Pali/English text translation may be read here. Or just listen...

      Mike ~ E-zendo

      Here is one definition of Zen:

      "True Zen consists of sitting quietly in the correct posture. It is not a
      special state, it is the normal state: silent, peaceful, without agitation.
      Zen means to put the mind at rest and to concentrate the mind and body. In
      zazen there is no purpose, no seeking to gain something, no special effort
      or imagination. It is not knowledge to be grasped by the brain. It is solely
      a practice, a practice which is the true gate to happiness, peace and

      --Taisen Deshimaru Roshi

      ~ ~ ~


      [There are many interesting articles by Zen Master Nishijima on this page
      (link above). The articles themselves must be downloaded as either PDF or
      MS-Word files. Below is the description of his article on the Shobogenzo.]

      "Understanding The Shobogenzo"

      "Most people's reaction on first reading the Shobogenzo is that it seems
      very difficult to see clearly what the writings mean. This is a natural
      reaction because when we read a sentence, we usually expect to be able to
      understand the meaning of what we read immediately. The first time that I
      picked up a copy of the Shobogenzo, I found that I could not understand any
      of it, although I was reading a book written in my own native language. Of
      course, reading the Shobogenzo in translation introduces a new set of
      problems related to the skill and knowledge of the translator, and to the
      similarities of the languages.

      "Attempts to elucidate the problems that the Shobogenzo presents to the
      reader bring me to four main reasons:

      "1. The Shobogenzo is written with a unique logical structure, which I have
      called "Four Views" or "Three Philosophies & One Reality." I explain this
      system of logic in a later section.

      "2. Master Dogen wrote using many phrases and quotations from Chinese
      Buddhism which are relatively unknown to the layman, and difficult to render
      into other languages. These phrases appear in the Shobogenzo in their
      original Chinese form, making some parts of the book a commentary in 13th
      century Japanese on Chinese phrases from even older sources. In the
      translated version, we have the additional problems of representing these
      phrases in a very different target language.

      "3. The concepts that Master Dogen wanted to express were profound and
      subtle. Even in his own language it was necessary for him to invent many new
      words and phrases to put over what he wanted to say. These new words were
      largely not adopted into the Japanese language, and so are unfamiliar to us

      "4. Master Dogen wrote the Shobogenzo in order to explain his experience of
      reality gained from practicing Zazen. His words are based on this
      experience. It is normal these days to think that anything philosophical can
      be understood intellectually, as an intellectual exercise. We do not have
      much experience of philosophies which are pointing to physical practice. We
      think that just reading the book should be enough to understand what is
      written in it."

      Jeff ~ NDS

      How do I know what the main interest
      is of an aggressive marketer?

      Marketing need not be a black art,
      it can be and is for many, an
      information art, a community building
      art -- worldwide, especially with
      the reach of the internet.

      You think everyone sells cheap
      and shoddy goods? Especially
      in the spiritual marketplace?

      Is there no integrity and honesty,
      no delight in sharing good news,
      and hope and motivation building
      efforts for pure reasons, are there
      no bodhisattvas among the marketers?

      Always in Love, Jeff

      Sarojini ~ NDS

      Hi Jeff!
              I agree with you.  I think it is important not to "dismiss" someone
      because they are "marketing" themselves.  It reminds me of the words to that
      song that goes "What if God were one of us".  Would it be "tacky" if He were
      amongst us to actually get a Web Site?  Probably not really.  What better
      way for so many to receive His message.  But, somewhere in my heart, a
      little part of me still hangs onto the thought that God would just be too
      "Godlike" to get a Web Site.  But how are we to know? :-) And since we can't
      be certain, it's a pretty good idea to just view everybody as God. Because
      we all are, aren't we?

                                              Peace and Love Always,

      Only awake to the One Mind and there is nothing whatever to be attained.

      This pure Mind, the source of everything, shines forever and on all with the brilliance of its own perfection. But the people of the world do not awake to it, regarding only that which sees, hears, feels and knows as mind.... If they would only eliminate all conceptual thought in a flash, that source-substance would manifest itself like a sun....

          Huang Po

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