View Full Version : 8/26- Zen Seeds: Pgs 26-31

08-26-2011, 06:08 AM

Everyone is in the palm of the Buddha's hand & Four ways of seeing water

A couple of decades ago some one came up with Nuclear power, and later they used it to bomb two cities and in the process made an progess towards an end of some parts of the WWII.
Nuclear power was also used to make nuclear plants, and some time ago, we witnessed an nuclear incident in Japan, with an aftermath still unclear.

Its all interconnected, or as someone around here always says "Its all good practice."
What becomes of it is up to...

And only you can know what the taste of the orange in your mouth, be it a precious pearl, a palace, blood or just an orange .


1. A deed a day
With the Ango and Practicepartnerexcercises coming up, here's an assignment and a question.
Go out and make an good deed.
How did it feel?

2.Whats in a phrase?
Around Treeleaf there's an guy that has an catchphrase, ”Its all good Practice ”.
Another catchphrase is ”Just do it”
Now, write down and share an mantra or catchphrase that works for you or has done something for you.
What does it mean for you and why did you pick it?

And a treat (its Shundo Aoyama doing the ceremonies)...



08-26-2011, 02:38 PM
Thanks Fugen,
for disturbing the relaxed reading with the atom bomb. Indeed its
all in the buddha's palm. If there is any phrase I come up with, at
times, then its "I'm not different from a blade of gras". But no,
phrases are just phrases, not of much help for me. Once the
inspiring sparkle of some sentence has gone, it becomes a
phase, so not my cup of tea usually. I'll fetch my deed later,
serving the family dinner, and I'll carefully examine how it
feels ;-)

ps.: Later Note: Serving Dinner was nice, I prepared some fruit salad, cheese,
various breads and tomatoes and onions. While preparing was fine later on I
felt a bit disappointed no one said "thank you" or anything nice about what I
prepared. It was good to see that feeling coming, happening and vanishing.
Having said this, my family is not unfriendly, they were much in a (trivial
but catching their attention fully) conversation, so I guess they just appreciated
it silently :) Btw, this is a way I often start meals too, so reciting a meal gata
during ango will definitely help me (and thus myfamily) to being more aware

08-29-2011, 12:33 AM
Here is my mantra (Not very positive, but keeps me on the tips of my toes.)

"Always some shit."

08-29-2011, 11:35 AM
All together as one, unable to escape the expanse of Buddha's hand; we each taste a different taste. Or is that so? We each taste the same taste but interpret it differently. Water serves it's uses; To quench or to dilute, to extinguish or to soothe. It's all good.

May this offering bring peace to sentient beings everywhere.
May our thoughts and meditations contribute to the harmony of the Universe.
And may all hearts and minds be opened to the present.

08-29-2011, 11:59 PM
In the Palm of the Buddha's Hand:

We are never on the outside. Ever. Not outside of society, outside of family, outside of friends, outside of outside, outside of inside, outside of each other. We are always insideoutside.

Four Ways of Seeing Water:

Vowing to unknow, unlearn, receive is possibly one of the most powerful and important vows I know of. It's all fine and dandy to "save all beings though... blah blah blah" but we can't ever do it if we think we know! Future researcher that I am, the more I read, the more I look into how Nature functions, heals, burns, the more I realize that it's a humorous pathetic joke that we think we know. We'll never really know.

And that's beautiful. So that's my mantra "unknowunknowunknow"

Good deeds are nice too.

08-30-2011, 12:26 AM

An interesting thing I've never seen before...

A phrase that helps me is, "Act on the fact." I got it from Krishnamurti and it helps to fixate on the moment and what might be needed/ not needed within that moment. It ties in with another favorite of mine: "Think things through!" I call it, "TTT!" The T's together make a strong foundation.

"Always some shit."

Great one! :mrgreen:

08-30-2011, 09:04 PM
1. Deeds feel like practice.

2. I have no mantra, but "Just this" and "Mu" on exhale happen often. The other day, I met my first Kwan Um monk, and listening to how he said "Don't know" -- calm, reassuring, and humble -- made me smile.

08-31-2011, 02:03 AM
1. My two catchphrases that I say to myself sometimes:

1) Be Kind.
2) We still live in the United States, are healthy, and have each other. . .

(My husband and I say this to each other when many things go adversely. The reference to the United States is not meant to be nationalistic or jingoistic--it is just to remind us that there are many other places to live where cruelty and war are faced daily, where hunger is faced daily, and where women know no freedom. It puts everything else in perspective.)

2. I tend to do a lot of good deeds and they do make feel like I contribute to making the world nicer for every living thing. Over the years, it has also taught me not to expect anything, either success or gratitude, when you act. Perhaps it will do good in the world, perhaps not, but I feel that you owe it to the universe to try to make things a little better, if possible. I know that here in Treeleaf, we try not to make distinctions such as better or worse. But still I feel things could be better, if they were kinder, and that I should still try to do kind things. I guess I do make a judgment on "better," and maybe it is something that can be addressed in Jukai, because I feel that you have to have some way to act. The only answer I have found about when or how to act was in the "Bhagavad Gita," where essentially you act, but without an attachment to a result. (That's the only thing I remember from reading it 25 years ago, anyway. :wink: )

On a side note: Aoyama’s several references to being "in Buddha’s palm," among other similar expressions, made me feel a little like Buddha is a God to her. Does anyone else get that feeling, or is it just a manner of expression?


08-31-2011, 03:03 AM
On a side note: Aoyama’s several references to being "in Buddha’s palm," among other similar expressions, made me feel a little like Buddha is a God to her. Does anyone else get that feeling, or is it just a manner of expression?

I also found myself getting such vibes, but I decided that what I thought I knew about Aoyama was silly, because I can't REALLY know :P Her words, her flavor, her wonderful soup coming into being. Maybe it's more our trappings of monotheism (and possibly translation) more so than her actual meaning?

08-31-2011, 11:32 AM
In the Palm of the Buddha's Hand...
...Or Indra's Net ...we still just are part of it all ...so not 'inside' nor 'outside'...just being 'here and now' with all things.

Four Ways of Seeing Water:
It is better not to second guess what others are feeling and thinking...just wait and see..or ask.

As for a mantra...will come back on that one.

08-31-2011, 12:54 PM
Thanks for that Nigel; always enjoy yourposts :D

08-31-2011, 01:33 PM
Shokai beat me to it. Gassho!

09-02-2011, 03:15 PM
Hi all,

Everyone Is in the Palm of the Buddha's Hand

Until I read Grace's comment about the similarities to God I didn't think of it that way, but it does sound a bit like Aoyama is referring to a diety here. However, if I had to guess I'd say it is much like the culture here in the States in that you don't have to be ultra religious to still have some very Christian ways of looking at the world. I haven't been to church a day in my life, but at times I still think of misdeeds as a potential one way trip to a hellscape in the afterlife. Rationally? No, I don't think so, but since when is religion based on being rational? So, I think thoughts like this are natural for us to have. So, do I think there is an actual buddha somewhere holding me in the palm of his or her hand? Nope. Does it give me some comfort to think of it that way, even as a metaphor. Sure does. And I don't think there is anything wrong with that. But, I think the basic idea here is that we are in the buddha's palm because it is our palm. Where else would we be? We so easily forget the teachings that it is good to have these words to remind us.

Four Ways of Seeing Water

This chapter had a profpund effect on me as I read it that was actaully a bit emotional. I am constantly looking at things from my own tiny perpsective on the world and making sweeping generalizations about the experiences of other people. And that is only going to cause me suffering and, depending on how much power or influence a particular person may have over others, disasterous consequences for so many people! Being truly able to walk in another person's shoes is so important in so many contexts that I really think the world would be a better place if we could do that. As parents, as children, as political leaders, as citizens, as husbands, as wives...to widen our perspective and have true empathy for those around us. And to lose a chip of that self we so often carry on our shoulder would undoubtedly make this world better.

And then there is doing a good deed. Something I do not do enough of! I actually find it sad in this day and age when just NOT being mean to someone can make their day! But we should do more than that and I will endeavour to do so. As for a catchphrase...none comes to mind, but I shall have to think about it. A mantra perhaps? ;)


09-02-2011, 09:41 PM
So, do I think there is an actual buddha somewhere holding me in the palm of his or her hand? Nope.

And even if we are just floating around in Brahma bubbles in a great soup of the gods, how does that take away or add to the Dharma? It doesn't.

09-03-2011, 06:01 PM
Dosho wrote:
I actually find it sad in this day and age when just NOT being mean to someone can make their day!
I have noticed this same phenomenon and I agree. Being mistreated or receiving terrible service has become so commonplace these days that people have come to expect, and further, accept this behavior. Then when someone actually shows even the slightest sign of niceness, for a change, it can make a big impact. Why could this behavior not just be standard? Honestly, I have found Japan to far exceed current trends in the states as far as service is concerned.


09-04-2011, 04:08 PM
Shokai and Chris.... _()_ .... I think Treeleaf is making an impact here! :D

09-05-2011, 12:00 PM
As far as phrases go, I heard this one recently:

“Nou Met Led Me Nou La!” which translates as “We may be ugly, but we are here.”

It sounds a bit rough, and I suppose one could take it that way. For me, it's an expression of things as they are versus things as I would like them to be. I don't always have my best days. Sometimes I feel like a soup sandwich. The important thing, for me, is to remember to make a sincere effort towards being in those times. Of course I also have great days, times when I feel like things are perfect. I don't need as much help accepting those days, however. :)


09-05-2011, 12:41 PM
Everyone Is in the Palm of the Buddha's Hand

When I read her words about being in the palm of Buddha's hand and Buddha always looking out for us, I felt it was more about the Buddha that innately exists in each of us. Not something outside of us or a deity. The Buddha within is always there for patiently waiting for us to wake up to it. The Buddha mind is perfect by nature and can't be destroyed or distorted. Clinging to our ego filled with delusion and aversion blinds us from seeing our true Buddha nature. Letting go of our ego allows us to see who we truly are and lets it shine through our entire being.

Catch phrase: My mother-in-law handles stressful moments very well by simply saying "So What". So simple and easy. I've tried and it works.


09-05-2011, 11:03 PM
I think the basic idea here is that we are in the buddha's palm because it is our palm. Where else would we be?

Ah, so, Dosho. (As I said in the Tea Party!) Gassho, Grace.

Myozan Kodo
09-06-2011, 07:12 AM
Thanks Fugen. Very much.

I don't have a manta. As for being in the Buddha's palm: I know how little control we have in life. However, I also know how much control we have. That's where the good deed comes in.

As usual, zen reflections breed contradictions and blow open binaries.


09-06-2011, 02:12 PM
"doesn't mean shit to a tree ... I didn't originate any of these ...

This one wasn't an original? Love it anyway! Gassho, Grace.

09-08-2011, 04:10 PM
Hello all,

1. Good deed

A few days ago I got some people together who had been at odds. As they were both working on a "problem" and the one party had information to share, which may have got lost if nothing was done. It felt good, but I felt more like a catalyst than the one solving the problem....I liked that as it didn't draw so much attention to "me" but the problem at hand and the relationship between the parties.

2. What's in a phrase?

Many...many years ago I read Being Peace by Thich Nhat Hahn and in the book there is a gatha:

Flower - Fresh
Mountain - Solid
Water - Reflecting
Space - Free

I have pretty much recited it to myself every morning since I read the book.

Chugai and Grace, First time I heard the "tree" quote was in a Jefferson Airplane song "Eskimo Blue Day" ...not sure if it is original to them either, but always loved the song. Points to how small our "me" is in comparison to the natural world.



09-15-2011, 07:55 PM
My most favorite mantra is "who knows what is good or bad?" from the old Taoist tale of the farmer. It makes me stop and think about these "bad" or "good" things that happen. It's all in the reception. Also in tough times, "Just keep swimming...just keep swimming"--what else can you do?

01-16-2012, 11:33 AM
Thanks, everyone, for all your comments on the phrase about being in the Buddha's palm, Buddha watching over us, etc.

When I read these statements in "Zen Seeds" I was a little disturbed. I wondered where Shundo Aoyama was coming from and whether she and I were traversing the same landscape. Your comments have helped me to see things more clearly.

Indeed, I might be better not to try and put my head on Aoyama's shoulders, but just to let her head stay there and for me to refrain on judging her expression. What harm is there, after all, in saying that we are in the palm of the Buddha's hand and that he is watching over us? She's not instructing us to adopt a fixed and prescribed perspective on these metaphors.

I find Zen perspectives helpful, but every so often I realize that I'm not "there" - not where it's at Zenwise. I'm pretty much into analysis and judgment. I feel the sangha here is on a different wave-length from me - a good one, but just not one I'm tuned in to yet, so each of your individual perspectives are helpful to me, even if I haven't integrated them. One day it'll all come together, I'm sure. I can feel it.



01-16-2012, 11:48 AM
The Funeral Director i did my apprenticeship with had a very simple but effective mantra, "Well !"