#2735 - Monday, February 19, 2007 -
Desire and aversion are of the mind.
is never yours.
You are free of its turmoil.
You are awareness itself,
Wherever you go,
--Ashtavakra Gita 15:5
From "The Heart of
A Translation of the Ashtavakra Gita"
A monk asked, All of the buddhas and all of
the buddadharmas come forth from this sutra.
What is this sutra?
Qinshan said, Forever turning.
-"Zens Chinese Heritage"
phenomena are intrinsically void and yet
this Mind with
which they are identical is no mere nothingness.
-Huang Po, Zen Teaching of Huang Po
If your knowledge of fire has been turned
certainty by words alone,
then seek to be cooked by the fire itself.
abide in borrowed certainty.
There is no real certainty until you burn;
you wish for this, sit down in the fire.
Version by Camille and Kabir Helminski
posted to Along the Way
"To detach oneself from all external stimulation
and to be
undisturbed within: When we look outside, we see trees,
flowers, mountains, and people, and we cannot erase this
cannot erase the things that appear before us.
We can't `close' our ears,
and we feel many things-- hot,
cold, joy, and pain--and smell fragrances. In
this way we live
totally connected with the environment that surrounds us;
we cannot separate ourselves from it. The most important
thing is not to
be attached to that environment. This does
not mean to cover our eyes, it
does not mean to cover our
ears, it does not mean to stop smelling, nor does
it mean to
stop feeling. It means that our minds must become taut and
concentrated beyond all of those stimulations. It means not
distracted, not to use our minds meaninglessly, not to
loosen our attention.
It means to find our center and with
our total concentration to gather our
focused energy. Not
to be attached to external form, not to be unsettled
within, not to think this and that, not to be cluttered with
things, not to think about gain and loss and
whether we are happy or sad.
This can be called Zen. We
are always thinking something in our minds. If we
leave our minds full of these thoughts our minds will never
become clear, but we also cannot instruct our minds to stop
This means that we should always keep our minds
taut and perfectly
attentive. Hakuin gave us the instruction
for susokkan, which has the truly
great function of clearing
the mind. He said: `In any case do not be
attached to the
outside world, and within our minds do not think of this and
that. To have our minds precisely concentrated only on what
doing, this is what is called deep samadhi."
--Shodo Harada, Roshi
posted to Daily Dharma
Something of this spirit is reflected in
the story of the late
Zen master Taji, who lay dying. One of his
recalling the fondness the roshi had for a certain cake,
went in search of some in the bake shops of Tokyo. After
he returned with the delicacy for the master,
who smiled a
feeble smile of appreciation and began
nibbling at it. Later as the
master grew visibly weaker, his
disciples asked if he had any
departing words of wisdom or
advice. Taji said, "Yes." As they drew closer,
so as not to
miss the faintest syllable, Taji whispered, "My, but this
cake is delicious.'' With those words he died.
Here is neither a cynical humor, born of
despair, nor a defiant humor, making some last gesture
rebellion against the meaninglessness of life, "head bloody,
unbowed" (W. E. Henley). Nor is this a sarcastic and
bitter humor, mocking
the disruption or cessation of the
"best-laid schemes of mice and men" (R.
Burns). The spirit is
quite different. This is a humor of acceptance,
"yes" to the opportunity of life, albeit transient. It
expresses the joy of life, and of the smallest particulars
life, without at the same time frantically clutching after
As Master Dogen said: "In life identify yourslf
with life, at
death with death. Abstain from yielding and craving. Life and
death constitute the very being of Buddha....You must
neither loathe one
nor covet the other." From this
perspective we may speak of a humor of
non-attachment, which is therefore free to embrace death
well as life, the Buddha along with a mouthful of cake.
posted to Daily Dharma
Alan Larus posted to