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#1552 - Friday, September 12, 2003

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  • Gloria Lee
    #1552 - Friday, September 12, 2003 - Editor: Gloria __________________________________ Daily Zen The central benefit of Zen, in the context of ordinary ups and
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 13, 2003
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      #1552 - Friday, September 12, 2003 - Editor: Gloria
      __________________________________
       
      Daily Zen
       

      The central benefit of Zen,
      in the context of ordinary
      ups and downs of life,
      is not in preventing the minus
      and promoting the plus,
      but in directing people
      to the fundamental reality
      that is not under the sway of ups and downs.

      - Muso Kokushi (1275-1351)

       
      Alan Larus
      photo and poem
       




      And yet, though we strain
      against the deadening grip
      of daily necessity,
      I sense there is this mystery:

      All life is being lived.

      Who is living it then?
      Is it the things themselves,
      or something waiting inside them,
      like an unplayed melody in a flute?

      Is it the winds blowing over the waters?
      Is it the branches that signal to each other?

      Is it flowers
      interweaving their fragrances
      or streets, as they wind through time.
       
      ~ Rainer Maria Rilke ~


      (translated by Anita Barrows and Joanna Macy)

       

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      Daily Dharma
       

      ”A political science professor asked me what I think about when I meditate.  I told him, ‘I don’t think about anything.’  I said that I am only attentive to what is there, what is going on.  He appeared skeptical, but it is the truth.  While sitting, I make almost no use of my intellect.  I don’t try to analyze things or solve complex problems.  Even if I am examining a Kung-an (Japanese: Koan), I just allow it to be there and I contemplate it, without seeking to explain or interpret it, because I know that a kung-an is not a puzzle to solve.  Examination in the sense of awareness does not mean analysis.  It only means continuous recognition.”

       

      ~Thich Nhat Hanh


      From the book,  “The Sun My Heart,” published by Parallax Press

       

      ~ ~ ~

      Written  in 1965 as a teaching on reconciliation and overcoming  anger for his young students who risked their lives daily and many of whom perished during the Vietnam War. It is an eloquent expression of equanimity.

      Promise me,

      promise me this day,
      promise me now,
      while the sun is overhead
      exactly at the zenith,
      promise me:

      Even as they
      strike you down
      with a mountain of hatred & violence;
      even as they step on you & crush you
      like a worm,
      even as they dismember & disembowel you,
      remember, brother,
      remember:
      man is not our enemy.

      The only thing worthy of you is compassion
      invincible, limitless, unconditional.
      Hatred will never let you face
      the beast in man.

      One day, when you face this beast alone,
      with your courage intact, your eyes kind,
      untroubled
      (even as no one sees them),
      out of your smile
      will bloom a flower.

      And those who love you
      will behold you
      across ten thousand worlds of birth & dying.

      Alone again,
      I will go on with bent head,
      knowing that love has become eternal.
      on the long, rough road,
      the sun & the moon
      will continue to shine.

      ~Thich Nhat Hanh
       
      ~ ~ ~
       
      DON'T KNOW

      "When he was young the great Zen Master Ma-tzu was known for his hard practicing. One day the Seventh Patriarch, Huai-jang, came upon Ma-tzu meditating in his hut. Having heard of his reputation, Huai-jang decided to test him. He entered the hut and questioned Ma-tzu as to the purpose of meditation practice. Ma-tzu replied that he was practicing to become an enlightened being, a Buddha.

      Saying nothing, Huai-jang picked up a discarded brick and started rubbing it with a rock. After a while, Ma-tzu's curiosity got the best of him. ‘Why are you grinding on that brick?’ he asked.

      Huai-jang replied, ‘I'm polishing it into a mirror.’

      Somewhat perturbed, Ma-tzu blurted: ‘How can you possibly make a mirror by polishing a brick?’

      Huai-jang's reply was immediate: ‘How can you become a Buddha by practicing meditation?’ Hearing these words, Ma-tzu had an opening.

      Zen means.. ‘I don't want anything’. Another name for this is ‘enough mind,’ which means completely attain this moment. But we often hear Zen Master Seung Sahn say that his only teaching is ‘don't know.’ This is interesting. We hear many times that Zen is very simple. And it is, but we are human beings so we sometimes have a lot of thinking; then things get complicated. Because we have thinking, we have many teaching words. But all these teaching words mean only one thing: ‘don't know.’ So, ‘just do it’  is  ‘don't know,’ ‘only go straight’ is ‘don't know,’ ‘put down (i.e. let it rest) your opinion, condition and situation’ is ‘don't know,’ ‘enough mind’ is ‘don't know.’  Even ‘the Buddha Way is inconceivable, I vow to attain it’  is ‘don't know.’  But ‘don't know’ is not  ‘don't know.’

      Sengtsan, the Third Patriarch, left us with -this poem:

      ‘To live in the Great Way
      is neither easy nor difficult,
      but those with limited views
      are fearful and irresolute:
      the faster they hurry, the slower they go,
      and clinging (attachment) cannot be limited;
      even to be attached to the idea of enlightenment is to go astray.
      Just let things be in their own way,
      and there will be neither coming nor going.’

      So, it is very important not to be attached to teaching words, no matter how wonderful or how great the mouth from which they emerged. Forget the net; catch the fish."

       ~~Zen Master Dae Kwan

      From the website, http://www.kwanumzen.com
       

       
      Rumi to Hafiz
       
      blessing the boats
      (at St. Mary's)

      may the tide
      that is entering even now
      the lip of our understanding
      carry you out
      beyond the face of fear
      may you kiss
      the wind then turn from it
      certain that it will
      love your back
      may you open your yes to water
      water waving forever
      and may you in your innocence
      sail through this to that. . ..

        ~Lucille Clifton
       
      ~ ~ ~
       

      I LOOK FAR, I FORGET YOU and I'm lost. I lift my hands to you.
      I kneel toward my heart. I have no other home. My love is here. I
      end the day in mercy that I wasted in despair. Bind me to you, I
      fall away. Bind me, ease of my heart, bind me to your love. Gentle
      things you return to me, and duties that are sweet. And you say, I
      am in this heart, I and my name are here. Everywhere the blades
      turn, in every thought the butchery, and it is raw where I wander;
      but you hide me in the shelter of your name, and you open the
      hardness to tears. The drifting is to you, and the swell of suffering
      breaks toward you. You draw me back to close my eyes, to bless
      your name in speechlessness. Blessed are you in the smallness of
      your whispering. Blessed are you who speaks to the unworthy.

      ~Leonard Cohen 'Book of Mercy' 
       
      ~ ~ ~
       

      Somewhere i have never travelled
      e. e. cummings

      somewhere i have never travelled,gladly beyond
      any experience,your eyes have their silence:
      in your most frail gesture are things which enclose me,
      or which i cannot touch because they are too near

      your slightest look easily will unclose me
      though i have closed myself as fingers,
      you open always petal by petal myself as Spring opens
      (touching skillfully, mysteriously)her first rose

      or if your wish be to close me,i and
      my life will shut very beautifully,suddenly,
      as when the heart of this flower imagines
      the snow carefully everywhere descending;

      nothing which we are to perceive in this world equals
      the power of your intense fragility: whose texture
      compels me with the colour of its countries,
      rendering death and forever with each breathing

      (i do not know what it is about you that closes
      and opens;only something in me understands
      the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses)
      nobody,not even the rain, has such small hands

       

       
      Million Paths
       
      You see, intelligence is not personal, is not the outcome
      of argument, belief, opinion or reason. Intelligence comes
      into being when the brain discovers its fallibility, when it
      discovers what it is capable of, and what not. 
       
            ___   Saanen , 5 August 1971  
       
      J. Krishnamurti
       

       
      Monks_Mystics
       
      Spring was a time of swaggering declarations.
           Reaching autumn, one finds few absolutes.
           Life is mystery and ambiguity,
           Toward winter, that now seems agreeable and
               comfortable.
           `
           `
           `
           `
      When young, one makes heroic attempts.  The world will surely bend to our
      will, we think, ad we will surely make grand contributions.  Social
      injustice will be righted.  The big questions will be answered.

      I once went to see a master writer.  Long retired, white-haired, and
      fragile, she nevertheless evinced a sharp and discerning mind.  I was a
      novice writer.  She had edited hundreds of great authors.  I peppered her
      with my anxieties and asked her all the questions that my teachers never
      answered.  To most of my questions she would only answer "Yes."  She knew
      all the answers, and she knew all the exceptions, and she knew the best
      thing that an older person could tell a younger person was "Yes."  Yes, the
      affirmative.  Yes, as in keep exploring.  Yes, as in there are no ultimate
      answers.

      I used to push for an immediate resolution to daily problems.  Now,  I am
      not so anxious.  Is science right about things, or is religion?  Is there
      one god, or are there many gods, or no gods?  A hundred answers exist for
      these questions.  They are all known, but no one agrees.  Today, I think it
      all very fine.  Let there be a hundred answers with none of them entirely
      correct.  The asking of the question is already enough.

      Indefinite
      365 Tao
      Deng Ming-Dao
      Daily Meditations


       

       

      Following are excerpts from a thought-provoking interview with David on Irish Radio, appropriately titled "The Power and Place of Poetry." If you would like to listen to the complete interview in RealAudio™ please click here!

      Poetry can be deeply personal, and also lead us into what society is working with at the time. Throughout the ages, the task of the poet has been that of trying to say it - whatever it is at that particular time and place in history. This is why dictators and despots always go for the poets, because they are daring to speak the it of their time.

      The poet writes from the deepest place she or he can find, the place from which there is no going back. The discipline of poetry is trying to overhear yourself say difficult truths from which you cannot retreat. All poems are good; all poems are magnificent unto themselves. But only some are able to speak to something universal, to create a door through which anyone can walk into their own experience of what it means to be alive in the world.

      We must learn to look at our lives through a more mythological perspective. The mythological view is a storytelling, poetic view that grants magnificence to our lives, and you can feel in your body that it is a more pleasing view of the world and your place in it than the psychological model, which implies that there is something wrong with you. The psychological model is a useful tool, but it lacks imagination; our biographies are important, but they are not the whole picture.


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