Grasp the Ungraspable| Buddhism Superstitious?| How to Forgive?| Why Buddha Images?| Meat & War| Still Carrying| Intellectual & Experiential Understanding
- TheDailyEnlightenment.comWeekly 10.02.06Here's a deceivingly simple but ironically humorous Zen story. Maybe you'd heard it many times before, but it holds more lessons than it seems! "One day, two travelling monks encounter a beautiful dressed girl unable to cross a stream. 'Come on!' exclaimed the master without hesitation, as he lifted her up, swiftly carrying her across. Seeing this, his student was shocked, and remained dumbfounded throughout the rest of the journey. Night came, and he was no longer able to stand the tension. Suddenly, he burst aloud, 'Monks aren't supposed to touch women!' Calmly, the master remarked, 'What woman? The one I left by the stream? I didn't know you're still carrying her!'" With mindful wisdom of one's pure intentions, one should be spontaneous in doing what is best in this instant - even if it may seem wrong to others at first. If not, there might be some prideful selfishness inhibiting! When observing moral guidelines, we should abide by the spirit of the "law" instead of sticking blindly to the letter - for what attached to as definitely "wrong" sometimes turn out to be perfectly alright!
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To grasp the ungraspable, we must practise non-grasping.
How can you hold the sky in your hand?
Leave your hand open.
- Dean Sluyter (Cinema Nirvana)
Is Buddhism Superstitious?
How to Forgive When Betrayed by a Loved One
Letter: Do Buddhists Worship the Buddha?
Letter: Actual Significance of Buddha Statues
Letter: Birth Dates Never Clash Negatively with those of 'Buddhist gods'
Can Meat-Eating Contribute to War?
Launch of Mindfulnest : Enlightened by the Ordinary
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Realisation: I Didn't Know You're Still Carrying Her!
The rule is 'to be not attached' ; not 'to be attached to any rule.' - stonepeace
Like the deluded student, we "carry" the burden of what we perceive to be problematic, when there's no need to disturb our peace of mind. Just as he raised his concern almost too "late", we let our speculative doubts trouble us indefinitely - when we can simply suspend judgement or clarify! Even if another is truly doing wrong, there's still no need to be disturbed - we just need to express our concerns with goodwill. And if they're not received with goodwill, there's no need to make that problem of his yours! What seems apparently so might not be really so! The master did not really "carry" the girl afterall, while the student was still very much "attached" to her in his mind! It's now obvious why the master was the master and why the student was just a student! Are you more spiritually masterful like the master, or more of a student? Now empty your mind and read the story again. Put yourself in the shoes of the student monk... Is your reaction to your master's behaviour still that of shock? Hey! I didn't know you're still carrying her! - Shen Shi'an
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Review: Response to "Switching Off the Autopilot; Turning On Life"
Excerpt: Of Intellectual & Experiential Understanding
"How well do you understand your understanding?" - stonepeace
It is important to be able to differentiate between two levels of understanding. One is the superficial, intellectual level, where on the basis of reading, studying or listening to teachings, we distinguish between negative and positive qualities of the mind and recognise their nature and origin. The other is the deeper, experiential level, where we actually cultivate and generate positive qualities within ourselves.
Although it can be challenging to develop an intellectual understanding of certain topics, it is generally easier because it can be cultivated merely by reading texts or listening to teachings. Experiential understanding is far more difficult to develop, since it comes about from only as a result of sustained practice. At the experential level, your understanding is also accompanied by a strong component of feeling; your understanding is essentially a felt experience.
- The Essential Dalai Lama : His Important Teachings (Edited by Rajiv Mehrotra)
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