October 2011 Archives

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fruity talk returning to this passage of the XIN XIN MING ... a fundamental view of most Eastern religions in one way or another, as basic as "A is for Apple" ... really quite simple though the mind resists to see ...


When no discriminating thoughts arise, the old mind ceases to exist.
When thought objects vanish, the thinking-subject vanishes,
as when the mind vanishes, objects vanish.
Things are objects because of the subject;
the subject is such because of things (object).
Understand the relativity of these two
and the basic reality: the unity of emptiness.
In this Emptiness the two are indistinguishable
and each contains in itself the whole world.
If you do not discriminate between coarse and fine
you will not be tempted to prejudice and opinion.



... a description of the subject/object divisions created by the discriminating, divisive thoughts of the mind ... separating its own little 'self' from a perceived 'not the self', this from that ... creating a subject in relation to 'not self' objects, and objects in relation to subject. The mind is like a knife, slicing and dicing the unbroken wholeness of a juicy apple into countless pieces ... one of which you perceive as "you" standing in contrast to "not you" in the mind's eye

Halt the process of dividing, and Wholeness is again perceived. Cease all judgments and categorizations, and frictions cease, scars heal. The apple is restored, pristine.

As well, every bit contains and expresses the whole too, much like every bite of an apple contains the sweetness of the apple. 

How much clearer can such be laid out? An apple ripe for the plucking!


(and when life hands ya lemons ... make lemon-ade!) :wink: 


Today's Sit-A-Long video follows at this link. Remember: recording ends soon after the beginning bells; a sitting time of 15 to 35 minutes is recommended

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I FELT TO REDO (RE-NON-DO!) THIS TALK OFFERED A FEW DAYS AGO, TO BRING OUT SOMETHING LEFT A BIT HIDDEN ... 


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I said that, this week, among all the many horrible stories in the news, two particularly stuck out ... Tears were not enough. I wanted to scream! So sickening and heart breaking all at once!

A disturbing video caught by surveillance cameras shows a 2-year-old girl in China laying in the street bleeding, a victim of a hit and run. Even more shocking is that the toddler was then ignored by at least 18 people. Video of the incident, which took place Oct. 13, shows pedestrians and vehicles passing by the toddler, named Yueyue, after she was run over outside her family's shop in the Chinese city of Foshan. A single person stopped to help the child as she lay bloody on the narrow street. At least 18 people passed by on bikes, in vehicles, or on foot. 

... and ...

Philadelphia police showed on Monday the "dungeon" where four mentally challenged adults were held captive by three suspects accused of stealing their disability checks. The cramped, 6-foot-high, 15-foot-wide bomb shelter was hidden behind a steel door in the basement of a home in the city's Tacony section. The four adults were abused and kept in cellar since early October, where they were given only water to drink and fed just once a day by their captors, police said. Police also said that the wounds found on Beatrice Weston, the 19-year-old niece of the alleged ringleader, Linda Weston, where the worst wounds they had ever seen on a living person. Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey said, "I've never seen anything like this in a living person. It's remarkable that she is still alive. There is no penalty too harsh for the people that did this. The word horrific is not sufficient."


Nonetheless, even with all this, the Xin Xin Ming advices us to drop opinions and judgments and "things can no longer offend". 

Drop opinions and judgments, and these events will 'cease to offend'?

EVEN IN THE FACE OF SUCH TRAGEDY?!


When the mind exists undisturbed in the Way,
nothing in the world can offend ...

When no discriminating thoughts arise, the old mind ceases to exist.
When thought objects vanish, the thinking-subject vanishes,
as when the mind vanishes, objects vanish.
Things are objects because of the subject (mind);
the mind (subject) is such because of things (object).
Understand the relativity of these two
and the basic reality: the unity of emptiness.
In this Emptiness the two are indistinguishable
and each contains in itself the whole world.
If you do not discriminate between coarse and fine
you will not be tempted to prejudice and opinion.


Yes! Even then it is so! 

EVEN THEN! EVEN THEN! EVEN THEN! 

But what I wished to bring out more in today's talk is that so much still offends ... offends even beyond all offending! The vision of Wholeness which results does not make us numb and uncaring, but calls us to wish to fix what is broken! To lend a helping hand (as in the picture above of a Bodhisattva Good Samaritan aiding that little girl). Far from making our hearts cold and numb to such horrors, we open our hearts wider ... so wide and spacious that they hold all the broken pieces, the ugliness and tears. Wisdom and Compassion boundless.

I mention today the Jewish concept of Tikkun olam (Hebrew: תיקון עולם‎), a Hebrew phrase that means "repairing the world". Tikkun olam encompasses both the outer and the inner, both service to society by helping those in need and repairing the broken pieces within each of us too. It implies that each person has a hand in working towards the betterment of his or her own existence as well as the lives of future generations. Humanity's responsibility to change, improve, and fix its earthly surroundings is powerful. Tikkun olam forces people to take ownership of this world. 


Today's Sit-A-Long video follows at this link. Remember: recording ends soon after the beginning bells; a sitting time of 15 to 35 minutes is recommended


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SIT-A-LONG with Taigu: NO MIND

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This passage of the Xin Xin Ming instructs us to not remain divided, and to drop ... through and through ... this and that, good and bad, beautiful vs. ugly, all the divisions of little 'self' from this life and world ...

... yet don't be caught there either, do not remain emptied into Emptiness, and bring the One down into/as/right through-and-through the Many. 

When we do so, life's greatest obstructions and challenges, ups and downs, are not encountered quite as they were before. 


Do not remain in the dualistic state
avoid such pursuits carefully [chasing after, getting caught by things].
If there is even a trace of this and that, of right and wrong,
the Mind-essence will be lost in confusion.
Although all dualities come from the One,
do not be attached even to this One.
When the mind exists undisturbed in the Way,
nothing in the world can offend,
and when a thing can no longer offend, it ceases to exist in the old way.



True "Stillness" is not merely a matter of stilling the mind, or of sitting still, or of feeling a heart that's peaceful and still ... but of finding the Stillness which is all stillness or movement, the Silence which sings both quiet and noise through and through. If one believes that "stillness" is found only in a stilled mind and heart, it is a bit like saying that the moon vanishes when hidden by clouds. This realization is Shikantaza

To find the True Moon that shines when seen, when hidden, and right through-and-through the clouds ... Thus is Shikantaza

I am reminded of a recent trip I took to the Tohoku region of Japan hit by the Tsunami. In one neighborhood, there is a vacant lot filled with hills of smashed and broken glass shards, broken shards all over. One sees represented there broken lives, homes, broken families, much as the shattered glass in that field. So ugly, so tragic, so impossible to ever fully put back together. 

Suddenly, as I was standing to look at that vacant lot by night, the moon overhead glistened and was reflected on countless pieces, each fully reflecting a complete image of the moon expressed in its specific size and shape. It is much as Dogen writes of the moon in the puddles and dewdrops ...


Enlightenment is like the moon reflected on the water. The moon does not get wet, nor is the water broken. Although its light is wide and great, the moon is reflected even in a puddle an inch wide. The whole moon and the entire sky are reflected in dewdrops on the grass, or even in one drop of water.

Enlightenment does not divide you, just as the moon does not break the water. You cannot hinder enlightenment, just as a drop of water does not hinder the moon in the sky.

The depth of the drop is the height of the moon. Each reflection, however long of short its duration, manifests the vastness of the dewdrop, and realizes the limitlessness of the moonlight in the sky.



A field of countless jewels reflecting one into another, like the pearls of Indra's Net! 

And then ... suddenly as the sky grew cloudy, the moon was gone! The ugly and broken fragments returned. Shattered, yet not. 

If we think that "enlightenment" is only those moments when the moon is seen, when the field lights up like a glistening Buddha Field ... we miss the Truth. It is good to still the mind, to taste wholeness and quiet ... yet we must pierce the Wholeness and Quiet which dances the holes in life and the greatest din. As the Brits say, "Smashing!"

The Moon is shining all along, seen or unseen. A Peace of One Piece that holds all the broken pieces. 

Today's Sit-A-Long video follows at this link. Remember: recording ends soon after the beginning bells; a sitting time of 15 to 35 minutes is recommended

 
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We encounter again the instruction neither to become entangled in circumstances, nor fall into emptiness ... neither remaining in one extreme or the other, finding that which embraces and expresses both.

But it is not something merely to talk or philosophize about experiencing life this way, like some "ARMCHAIR BUDDHA". Rather, it is to pierce the wholeness of Zazen, carve such into one's bones, bring such to life in this ordinary life. 

Thus, the Xin Xin Ming tells us ...


The more you talk and think about it,
the further astray you wander from the truth.
Stop talking and thinking,
and there is nothing you will not be able to know.

To return to the root [of emptiness] is to find the meaning,
but to pursue appearances is to miss the source.
At the moment of inner enlightenment
there is a going beyond appearance and emptiness.
The changes that appear to occur in the empty world
we call real only because of our ignorance.



The passage closes with a simple reminder that finding truth is not a matter of searching for truth. Rather ... dropping opinions, preferences, aversions and attractions ... neither caught in circumstances nor in emptiness, but knowing the wholeness of one as the other ... Truth is found.



Do not search for the truth;
only cease to cherish opinions.


D.T. Suzuki translates and expresses the wordless words of the passage this way:

Wordiness and intellection -
The more with them the further astray we go;
Away therefore with wordiness and intellection,
And there is no place where we cannot pass freely.
When we return to the root, we gain the meaning;
When we pursue external objects, we lose the reason.
The moment we are enlightened within,
We go beyond the voidness of a world confronting us.
Transformations going on in an empty world which confronts us,
Appear real all because of Ignorance:
Try not to seek after the true,
Only cease to cherish opinions.

Today's Sit-A-Long video follows at this link. Remember: recording ends soon after the beginning bells; a sitting time of 15 to 35 minutes is recommended


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Continuing from last time's passage of the Xin Xin Ming ... 


Live neither in the entanglements of outer things,
nor in inner feelings of emptiness.
...
As long as you remain in one extreme or the other
you will never know Oneness.


Those who do not live in the single Way
fail in both activity and passivity,
assertion and denial. 
To deny the reality of things
is to miss their reality.
to assert the emptiness of things
is to miss their reality.



Neither entangled in things, nor a captive of sweet emptiness. Rather, encountering each as one ... stillness in motion ... the sweetness in the bitterness ... the silence which speaks assertions and denials ... the things of the world as a dream, yet as real ...

This echoes other chants and writings ... The Heart Sutra ...

Form is not other than emptiness, emptiness no other than form 

... The Identity of Relative and Absolute ... 

To be attached to things is primordial illusion; 

To encounter the absolute is not yet enlightenment. 


... The Platform Sutra of the Sixth Patriarch reminds us how to live with Wisdom in a world of good and bad, beautiful and ugly: Do not throw them aside, nor cling to them or be stained by them ... 

Do not sit with a mind fixed on emptiness. If you do you will fall into a neutral kind of emptiness. Emptiness includes the sun, moon, stars, and planets, the great earth, mountains and rivers, all trees and grasses, bad men and good men, bad things and good things, heaven and hell; they are all in the midst of emptiness. The emptiness of human nature is also like this. Self-Nature contains the ten thousand things..."

"Although you see all men and non-men, evil and good, evil things and good things, you must not throw them aside, nor must you cling to them, nor must you be stained by them, but you must regard them as being just like the empty sky.
 ...


Seeing through-and-through this dusty world, even as we live and roam this dusty world.



Today's Sit-A-Long video follows at this link. Remember: recording ends soon after the beginning bells; a sitting time of 15 to 35 minutes is recommended


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