“Let go of all your previous imaginings, opinions, interpretations, worldly knowledge, intellectualism, egotism, and competitiveness; become like a dead tree, like cold ashes. When you reach the point where feelings are ended, views are gone, and your mind is clean and naked, you open up to Zen realization.
After that it is also necessary to develop consistency, keeping the mind pure and free from adulteration at all times. If there is the slightest fluctuation, there is no hope of transcending the world.
Cut through resolutely, and then your state will be peaceful. When you cannot be included in any stage, whether of sages or of ordinary people, then you are like a bird freed from its cage.”
Anger gives the illusion of clarity. A certain strength arises when we have an opinion and we know where we stand. The difference between the clarity we believe we have when angry and the clarity that results from actually seeing clearly is that aggression has its own narrow logic, which does not take into account the deeper level of causes and conditions that surround each situation.
May all beings be happy and secure. May all beings have happy minds.
Whatever beings there may be without exception – weak or strong, long, large, medium, short, subtle or gross, visible or invisible, living near or far, born or coming to birth – may all beings have happy minds.
Let no one deceive another nor despise anyone anywhere. Neither from anger nor ill will should anyone wish harm to another.
As a mother would risk her only life to protect her only child, even so toward all living beings one should cultivate a boundless heart.
One should cultivate for all the world a heart of boundless loving-friendliness, above, below and all around, unobstructed, without hatred or resentment.
Whether standing, walking or sitting, lying down or whenever awake, one should develop this mindfulness; this is called divinely dwelling here.
“Make no mistake about it; if you do not find it now, you will repeat the same routines for myriad eons, a thousand times over again, following and picking up on objects that attract you. We are no different from Shakyamuni Buddha. Today, in your various activities, what do you lack? The spiritual light coursing through your six senses has never been interrupted. If you can see in this way, you will simply be free of burdens all your life.”
~ Lin Chi (d 867)
from the essential website Daily Zen
I received this e-mail from one of the Buddhist mailing lists I am on. I pass it on as it is a very clear-minded and direct encouragement concerning meditation practice and mindfulness | Douglas
Good Morning, Good Afternoon and Good Evening,
Where ever you all are, I hope that you have all been well and happy. And now here is my friendly reminder on this Guru Rinpoche Day.
A genuine motivation leads to a genuine practice.
Practicing the dharma is very important, but at the same time, you need to know how to practice the dharma properly. Just by doing some kind of practice or meditation or reciting a sadhana like a daily chore is not sufficient.
In order to practice the dharma well, it is most essential to have a pure motivation, a selfless motivation. A motivation that is drawn specifically towards benefitting all sentient beings:
May all sentient beings find happiness and the causes of happiness.
May all sentient beings be free from suffering and the causes of suffering.
When you practice the dharma, it is also very important to be mindful of your emotions and your chain of thoughts. Watch them close. See and reflect. How is that negative emotion arising? While arising, how soon are you getting attached to it? And how soon is your mood shifting? How easy to be changed, this mind, your mind!
Maintaining the practice is to know how to reduce the negative emotions.
Being free from mood swings and fleeting emotions.
Being free from this kind of impermanence.
Be soft in your practice. Think of the method as a fine silvery stream, not a raging waterfall. Follow the stream, have faith in its course. It will go its own way, meandering here, trickling there. It will find the grooves, the cracks, the crevices. Just follow it. Never let it out of your sight. It will take you.
I love the bamboo tree:
It staves off heat and cold,
Cultivates unbending fidelity;
Empties its mind every day.
In the moonlight it plays with its shadow
And sends clean words before the wind.
When it wears snow on its head,
Grace fills the deep forest.
Good friends, my teaching
Of the Dharma takes
Meditation and wisdom
As its basis.
Never under any
Circumstances say that
Meditation and wisdom
They are one unity,
Not two things.
Meditation itself is the
Substance of wisdom;
Wisdom itself is the
Function of meditation
“Try to be mindful, and let things take their natural course. Then your mind will become still in any surroundings, like a clear forest pool. All kinds of wonderful, rare animals will come to drink at the pool, and you will clearly see the nature of all things. You will see many strange and wonderful things come and go, but you will be still.”
~ Achaan Chah
PS: Even afflicted with the illness that would confine him to a bed for ten years and later kill him, Achaan Chah used the stuff of daily life as a teaching. From the Wikipedia entry on his life:
“By the early 1980s, Ajahn Chah’s health was in decline due to diabetes. He was taken to Bangkok for surgery to relieve paralysis caused by the diabetes, but it was to little effect. Ajahn Chah used his ill health as a teaching point, emphasizing that it was “a living example of the impermanence of all things…(and) reminded people to endeavor to find a true refuge within themselves, since he would not be able to teach for very much longer”. Ajahn Chah would remain bedridden and ultimately unable to speak for ten years, until his death on January 16, 1992 at the age of 73 …”
“Sometimes religion becomes yet another source for more division and sometimes open conflict. Because of that situation, I feel that different religious traditions have a great responsibility to provide peace of mind and a sense of brotherhood and sisterhood among humanity.”
“After realizing the intent of Zen, people in ancient times used to spend decades polishing themselves thoroughly in order to free themselves from compulsions of conditioning and habit. This is called the work of maturation; the completion of maturation is called the attainment of unification.”
On that side, beyond the clouds,
The mountain is blue-green as jade
The white clouds on the mountain
Are whiter than white
From the spring on the mountain,
Drop after drop
Who knows how to see the face
In the white clouds?
Clear skies and rain have their times,
They’re like lightening
Who knows how to listen to the
Sound of this spring?
It flows on without stopping
And thousands of turns
The moment before thought
Is already wrong
To try to say anything further
– T’aego (1301-13