February 2011 Archives

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Image Each of the Bodhisattvas may be seen as an archetype for a vital aspect of Buddhist Practice ... Manjushri Bodhisattva for Wisdom. Taigen Dan Leighton writes in FACES OF COMPASSION ...

Manjushri is the bodhisattva of wisdom and insight, penetrating into the fundamental emptiness, universal sameness, and true nature of all things. Manjushri ... sees into the essence of each phenomenal event. This essential nature is that not a thing has any fixed existence separate in itself, independent from the whole world around it. The work of wisdom is to see through the illusory self-other dichotomy, our imagined estrangement from our world. Studying the self in this light, Manjushri's flashing awareness realizes the deeper, vast quality of self, liberated from all our commonly unquestioned, fabricated characteristics.

... Manjushri cuts through our conventional conceptions of and attachments to abiding, increase and decrease, ordinary and holy, nirvana and samsara, arising and ceasing, aspiring, and grasping. Experiencing personally and clearly the perfection of wisdom that Manjushri expounds is about seeing through, and being liberated from, all limited views about these common snares of consciousness. (Bodhisattva Archetypes, p. 93 & 116)


Today's Sit-A-Long video follows at this link. Remember: recording ends soon after the beginning bells; a sitting time of 20 to 35 minutes is recommended.


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Image We continue our series looking at THE GREATS AMONG THE GREAT BODHISATTVAS, inspired by the wonderful book FACES OF COMPASSION by Taigen Dan Leighton, highly recommended ...

http://www.wisdompubs.org/pages/display ... n=&image=1

... today looking at Shakyamuni ... the man who became "THE BUDDHA"

Now, most folks usually think of Shakyamuni as "THE BUDDHA" ... but before he was"THE BUDDHA" Shakyamuni was a young seeker, in search of the key to human suffering to benefit all sentient beings, not himself alone. That seeking, that "Vow to Save All Sentient Beings" is precisely what makes a Bodhisattva a "Bodhisattva".

There are legendary tales as well, the hundreds of "Jataka Tales" and others, of past lives of the Buddha ... past lives as man, woman, fish and animals too, in which he gave of himself time and again to benefit others ... often sacrificing his very life to save others. These tales, merely legend or not, show how Shakyamuni came to symbolize selfless, compassionate giving as a Bodhisattva.

But I would insist that, even after becoming "THE BUDDHA", Shakyamuni as "THE BODHISATTVA" still remained ... for Gautama Buddha did not remain sitting under that Bodhi Tree complacent in his own peace and discovery ... nor did he vanish immediately from this world ... but rose up to walk across India, teaching, serving and helping others for the next 40 years ... helping others even now. 

Today's Sit-A-Long video follows at this link. Remember: recording ends soon after the beginning bells; a sitting time of 20 to 35 minutes is recommended.


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SIT-A-LONG with Taigu: Koku 5

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Dogen writes the following:

The migrating bird
leaves no trace behind
and does not need a guide


This freedom from form and attachment, from past ( trace) and future (guide), this complete action, absolute and yet transitory is our practice.
Koku is found in this wondrous life, in this body-mind. Totally experienced, it is forgotten. Once forgotten, it is realized.

gassho


Taigu

Today's Sit-A-Long video follows at this link. Remember: recording ends soon after the beginning bells; a sitting time of 20 to 35 minutes is recommended.


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Please join our SPECIAL MEMORIAL ZAZENKAI in honor of someone who was my friend and teacher of many years, Azuma Ikuo Roshi (東郁雄老師), who left our visible world this week at the age of 94.

Image Azuma Roshi shared tea with me, practicing his English and answering my silly questions, for most of 10 years when I sat with the weekly lay Zazenkai at Sojiji Honzan in Japan. He was a great Dogen scholar, lecturing us each week on Shobogenzo, and instructor to hundreds of young monks as well as the lay persons' group there (including quite a number of foreigners who would wander in). I may not have stayed with this practice without him. He was always so kind, down to earth.When I came here 20 years ago, my Japanese was pretty bad the first few years, and he lectured in Japanese ... but always took time to summarize each comment in broken English so that I would get the gist. Later, he returned to his temple of Jikouji in Kyushu. 

To mark Rev. Azuma's passing, I am chanting today the SHARIRAIMON (Verse of Homage to Buddha's Relics) (once in Japanese ... the words are below if you wish to follow along) ... then, we shall continue in our usual way with the HEART SUTRA in English and according to the schedule below. 


OUR SITTING SCHEDULE IS AS FOLLOWS (90 MINUTES):


00:00 - 00:20 CEREMONY (SHARIRAIMON in Japanese; HEART SUTRA in English) and Dedication
00:20 - 00:45 ZAZEN
00:45 - 00:55 KINHIN
00:55 - 01:25 ZAZEN
01:25 - 01:30 FOUR VOWS, & VERSE OF ATONEMENT


PRESS PLAY TO JOIN TODAY'S ZAZENKAI ...



JUNDO ONLY WILL CHANT THE SHARIRAIMON (Verse of Homage to Buddha's Relics) first in Japanese, then in English, then in Japanese ... 

Verse of Homage to Buddha's Relics
舎利礼文 (Shariraimon)

一心頂禮
IS-SHIN CHŌ RAI

萬德圓滿
MAN DOKU EN MAN

釋迦如來
SHA KA NYO RAI

眞身舍利
SHIN JIN SHA RI

本地法身
HON JI HŌS-SHIN

法界塔婆
HŌ KAI TŌ BA

我等禮敬
GA TŌ RAI KYŌ

爲我現身
I GA GEN SHIN

入我我入
NYŪ GA GA NYŪ

佛加持故
BUTSU KA JI KO

我證菩提
GA SHŌ BO DAI

以佛神力
I BUTSU JIN RIKI

利益衆生
RI YAKU SHU JŌ

發菩提心
HOTSU BO DAI SHIN

修菩薩行
SHU BO SATSU GYŌ

同入圓寂
DŌ NYŪ EN JAKU

平等大智
BYŌ DŌ DAI CHI

今將頂禮
KON JŌ CHŌ RAI

With wholehearted reverence we bow to the relics of the true body of the Tathagata Shakyamuni, who is fully endowed with myriad virtues; to the dharma body, which is the fundamental ground; and to his stupa, which is the whole universe. With deep respect we venerate the one who manifested a body for our sake. Through the sustaining power of the Buddha, which enters us even as we enter it, we verify awakening. By means of the Buddha's spiritual power, we benefit living beings, arouse the thought of awakening, cultivate Bodhisattva practice, and together enter perfect peace, the knowledge of the equality of all things. Now let us reverently bow.



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SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: LIVING DEVIL

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Image For the next few "sit-a-longs", I'm going to revive a series from awhile back on WHATSA BODHISATTVA, looking a some of the greats ... Avalokiteśvara (Kannon), Samantabhadra and others. Before, we looked at each of the traditional Virtues, the 'Perfections' of a Bodhisattva ... 

http://www.treeleaf.org/cgi-bin/mt/mt-s ... 2&limit=20

Today, though, let's talk about the Devil, Satan, Mara, Evil ... 

Oh, I believe in the Devil! Bodhisattvas too.  

Today's Sit-A-Long video follows at this link. Remember: recording ends soon after the beginning bells; a sitting time of 20 to 35 minutes is recommended.
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SIT-A-LONG with Taigu: Koku 4

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The Nishijima Cross translation goes as follows:

Daibutsu would like to tell Shakkyō the following: "Before, when you grabbed Seidō's nostrils, if you wanted to grasp space, you should have grabbed the nostrils of yourself, Shakkyō, and you should have understood how to grasp the fingertips with the fingertips." Even so, Shakkyō does know a bit about the dignified behavior of grasping space. Even a good player at grasping space needs to research the interior and exterior of space, needs to research the deadening and vitalization of space, and needs to know the lightness and weight of space. We should maintain and rely upon [the teaching] that the effort in pursuit of the truth, the establishment of the mind, the practice and experience, and the assertions and questions of buddhas and of patriarchs are just the grasping of space. 
My late master, Tendō Nyojō, the eternal buddha, says: "The whole body like a mouth, hanging in space."Clearly, the whole body of space is suspended in space.


Grasping space is extra. This reality in this reality, this space in this space practice, teach and preach the Dharma. Like the empty mouth of a bell, space moves in space. 


SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: Waters

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Rivers, sea, cloud, dew, tears, rain, mist, ice, frost, snow ... flowing, still, rippling, turbulent, swirling, clear ... Zen stories and poetry are awash in the imagery of water.

What Sutras do the waters preach?



This is a longer talk offered during our February 4-Hour Zazenkai, available online for sitting 'Any Where, Any Time'

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The video of today's talk follows: