Monthly Archives: February 2019

Zen Koan #44: Parable of The Thief Who Became a Disciple – Buddhist Teaching on Cultivating Mindfulness

Zen Koan #44: Parable of The Thief Who Became a Disciple - Buddhist Teaching on Cultivating Mindfulness Much of life is dedicated to minimizing pain and maximizing ecstasy. We have become more and more sophisticated in our technology—we can live in space and map the human genome. Yet we have not been efficacious in our quest to culminate woefulness. Our age-old quandaries of prejudice, cruelty, and division persist, simply taking incipient forms over the centuries. With no exception everything will return to the Dharma Realm.”

Everything is generated by the one and will eventually return to the one. Don’t misinterpret this and cerebrate that since you are not supposed to affix to relishes and disrelishes, you should consequently not cultivate the Way. In addition, when you visually examine Zen monks walk, it’s very fascinating. They have a different kind of walk from everybody else in Japan. Most Japanese shuffle along, or if they wear Western habiliments, they race and hurry as we do.

Zen monks have a peculiar swing when they ambulate, and you have the feeling they ambulate rather the same way as a feline. There’s something about it that isn’t hesitant; they’re going along all right, they’re not remotely senescent around, but they’re ambulating just to ambulate. The reason for this is that it has never been separate from us.

Zen Koan: “The Thief Who Became a Disciple” Parable

One evening as Shichiri Kojun was reciting sutras a thief with a sharp sword entered, demanding wither his money or his life.

Shichiri told him: “Do not disturb me. You can find the money in that drawer.” Then he resumed his recitation.

A little while afterwards he stopped and called: “Don’t take it all. I need some to pay taxes with tomorrow.”

The intruder gathered up most of the money and started to leave. “Thank a person when you receive a gift,” Shichiri added. The man thanked him and made off.

A few days afterwards the fellow was caught and confessed, among others, the offense against Shichiri. When Shichiri was called as a witness he said: “This man is no thief, at least as far as I am concerned. I gave him the money and he thanked me for it.”

After he had finished his prison term, the man went to Shichiri and became his disciple.

Buddhist Insight on Cultivating Mindfulness

In Buddhism, one can find all the necessary advice, which can help one to lead a happy married life. Cultivating mindfulness can help craving verbal expressions to realize their meaning. You can sit up straight for hours when the breath is open and you’re concentrated. See if this practice makes your mind more alert throughout the day. In Zen Buddhism, an image that’s used is of these burdens or difficulties being the same as a poisoned tree. The Vietnamese Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh writes in Creating True Peace: Ending Conflict in Yourself, Your Family, Your Community and the World,

When you are in pain, remember to bring your mind back to your Buddha nature, your goodness and capacity for mindfulness, calm, and seeing deeply into the situation. If you allow yourself to be dominated by negative emotions, you will react in ways that will cause more suffering. You will want to punish the other person and say unkind things. We have all done this many, many times. To break out of this habit of suffering, this trap, we have to remember to practice mindfulness, to touch our Buddha nature. … We all have negative emotions and we also have Buddha nature within us, and it is possible for them to coexist in peace. The practice is to recognize our Buddha nature without running away from them. With mindfulness we can, maintain our peace, our stability, and our compassion in every moment and in every circumstance.

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Serve Life Than Fight Death

Positive Labor of Improving Health

Positive Labor of Improving Health The struggle against evil in. We and evil in our environment is often disheartening. We find these evils too firmly entrenched to prevail against. However, have you ever tried to alter the tactics you use in this struggle? Have you ever tried, instead of attacking evil to strengthen goodness, which is its opposite?

Our most effective defense against disease lies not in fighting germs and toxins, but rather in the positive labor of improving health. A well-nourished and well-rested body can automatically resist the challenging adversary. The scales are always swaying between life and death. We can tip them in favor of life by increasing the elements, which preserve life, so that the power of death is automatically curtailed.

It is more efficacious to serve life than to fight death. He who is orientated to the negative task of fighting against evil, sickness, and death has anchored himself in the swamp, and its foul odors will often depress him, but he who has set his heart to the positive service of extending life, faces the clean, open spaces that will exhilarate his spirit.

This is theory, but it is theory justified by experience. If you have wronged your fellow man, you will regain his goodwill by making up for that misdeed with overtures of kindness and friendship. The effort to undo what has already been done would be ineffective, and to persist would only cause growing anxiety. The foul air is withdrawn automatically when the windows are opened and the dear air blows in. There is no need to mobilize our energies in a positive campaign to expel the foul air.

As I consider myself, as I look at my world, I am often depressed. How deeply entrenched are the evils which depress me! What shall I do? Shall I organize a campaign to undo every thoughtless word or deed of mine? Shall I set myself to disprove every lie, to answer every word of malice spread in the world? Shall I reach out to seize and restrain the hand of every evildoer?

It is an impossible task. However, I can serve my cause by positive deeds of goodness and truth. In addition, He who ultimately judges and weighs the actions of men will know how to balance the scales. The realm of evil will recede by itself as the realm of goodness extends its sway.

We do not need to fight against darkness. When we kindle a light, the darkness is automatically vanquished.

Our Emotional Circumstance Affects Our Social Life

Our Emotional Circumstance Affects Our Social Life Arranging a successful out-of-state hunt takes preparation. Nonetheless, life is grueling in the Arctic barren grounds, even for bears, and they cannot be fussy. Likewise, our emotional circumstance affects our social life. If we are depressed or angry, it makes it difficult to build healthy friendships. Conversely, if we have deep, meaningful friendships, it can contribute to our emotional well-being. David DeSteno, a professor of psychology at Northeastern University, writes,

There’s a very small difference between rational and rationale—one letter. … It’s rationality that can lead people to cheat and behave in immoral ways because they can justify for themselves why it’s okay for them. And, underlying that are emotional impulses that are pushing them to behave in the moral way that reason kind of tamps down and overrides.

Difficulty was, rather than having one large, consistent system, the induction was locally strong in some places, weak in others. This is where most groups go wrong. They settle on just getting warm bodies. I look for a dedication of purpose and a proven strength. Both these people are well known as confabulators among their friends and acquaintances. The curiosity of the evidence of numerical truths is that all the disputation is on one side. If you do not know how to practice selective watering in your own garden, then you will not have enough sapience to help water the flowers in the garden of your beloved. By penalizing old-fashioned ethics in this way, you do not make toleration of the new morality more likely.

By this contraption, the whole column of the bones acts directly against the load, and an immense weight is thus sustained. We have to discover the art of creating happiness. All the same, you keep your people healthy. In this enlarged sense of spiritual knowledge, to make its grandness to the happiness of humankind appear, let us consider man.

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Zen Koan #43: Parable of Zen in a Beggar’s Life – Buddhist Teaching on Buddha Nature

Zen Koan #43: Parable of Zen in a Beggar's Life - Buddhist Teaching on Buddha Nature According to Zen Buddhism, the only source of energy that can be subsidiary is commiseration, for the reason that it is safe. When you have commiseration, your energy is born from insight. It is not visually impaired energy. With commiseration, we practice in order to learn ways to bulwark the lives of people, animals, plants, and minerals. You will feel restless and think, “Today has gone by already and I’ve wasted my time.”

Some people have this attitude when, after a day or two, they feel they have not made any progress. Another case was a person who was required to take the English equivalency exam in order to apply for a U.S. You cannot practice this way. Once we see how we are hooked and how we are swept along by the momentum, there’s no way to be arrogant. The trick is to keep seeing. On the contrary, they are unable to practice. The master looked out of his hut and saw a man about to cross the river.

Can a Buddhist monk have a family? A true totality would not even be considered “one”; it can only be called “nothing.” It is only when a distinction is made that the one can subsist at all, and in that cases it will lead to two. They often make the mistake of exerting physical energy to fight against wandering thoughts.

Zen Koan: “Zen in a Beggar’s Life” Parable

Tosui was a well-known Zen teacher of his time. He had lived in several temples and taught in various provinces.

The last temple he visited accumulated so many adherents that Tosui told them he was going to quit the lecture business entirely. He advised them to disperse and to go wherever they desired. After that no one could find any trace of him.

Three years later one of his disciples discovered him living with some beggars under a bridge in Kyoto. He at one implored Tosui to teach him.

“If you can do as I do for even a couple of days, I might,” Tosui replied.

So the former disciple dressed as a beggar and spent a day with Tosui. The following day one of the beggars died. Tosui and his pupil carried the body off at midnight and buried it on a mountainside. After that they returned to their shelter under the bridge.

Tosui slept soundly the remainder of the night, but the disciple could not sleep. When morning came Tosui said: “We do not have to beg food today. Our dead friend has left some over there.” But the disciple was unable to eat a single bite of it.

“I have said you could not do as I,” concluded Tosui. “Get out of here and do not bother me again.”

Buddhist Insight on Buddha Nature

Transgressions are classified either depending on the essence or on time. In addition, it happened that the Buddha came along the road as he was waiting thus. He thought it was just a conventional ascetic, and he meant to kill Him and get the hundredth finger he wanted. That is Buddha Nature. What probably happens is that his mind flickers with incredible rapidity between the two ideas; the agony is still there but may be reduced to endurable dimensions. The American Zen and spirituality teacher Dennis Genpo Merzel wrote in The Path of the Human Being: Zen Teachings on the Bodhisattva Way,

True nature is Buddha nature, unfixed and able to adapt to any container, so we will all express Buddha nature differently. Every person is a unique container and what is appropriate in one bowl may not be appropriate in another bowl. Our lives, too, are made up of different containers. Your body-mind is one container, and your family is another. Your work and living situations are containers, and our Earth is a container. For each situation a different manifestation is appropriate. Practice is all about learning how to recognize and manifest our true nature in everything we do. To become confident, free and joyful in manifesting our true nature takes a lot of attention and practice. Zazen is the way we accomplish this. Through zazen, we learn how to be who we really are.

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Highest Variety of Religious Belief

Subtle Forces Contribute to Our Freedom

Subtle Forces Contribute to Our Freedom A number of subtle forces contribute to our freedom. One of them is the fact of our limitations.

There is a common notion that to be free means to have the capacity of moving in any direction, without impediment or interference. However, this is not altogether true. The young man, who stands before the crossroads of his life, with many vocational opportunities beckoning him, is not free. Too many pressures are crushing him. He becomes free when he has resolved his dilemma and has accepted some limitation upon his life.

True freedom lies in expanding sufficiently to allow the fulfillment of one’s possibilities. However, growth can occur only in a particular direction. Among the conditions of freedom is the elimination of diversions, of distracting influences that would detour us away from the main course of our lives. Marriage commits a man to a particular woman. In that sense, it is a limitation, which contributes to freedom, for it, releases a man from pursuing every attractive woman who crosses his path.

Life offers too many possibilities. The attempt to pursue them all would spell a tragic dissipation of our strength and frustrate our hope of great achievement. The elimination of alternatives, the reduction of our goals to manageable proportions, is a true prerequisite of freedom. Life can be free only when it is lived within a boundary.

Pleasures of a More Immaterial Kind

Pleasures of a More Immaterial Kind That is why exercise is about turning around, reconditioning, getting out of that mind-state, and discovering a radically dissimilar kind of happiness that is not so vulnerable, that does not lead to endless dissatisfaction. Even so, moral philosophy is simply a basis for making individual decisions, and to each his own. Ramon Alcoberro, Professor of Ethics at the Universitat de Girona, once wrote,

In addition (apparently this is known as the “Pareto optimum’), it turns out that from a certain level of use of a good, the pleasure to be obtained from that good begins to decline dangerously, to the extent that an increase in accumulation does not necessarily lead to greater happiness. In other words, if we have one jumper, buying or otherwise obtaining another one will double our sense of well-being; but when someone has thirty jumpers, getting a new one does not make them any happier and, at most, means they will have problems finding somewhere to put it. ….

The question …. is very simple: once you have obtained a certain level of well-being or happiness, is it worth striving for more, or would it not be better to live a more relaxed life devoted, perhaps, to pleasures of a more immaterial kind or, at least, to ones which are difficult to express in quantifiable terms?

When I am trusting and being myself as fully as possible, everything in my life reflects this by falling into place easily, often miraculously. All my life through, the new sights of nature made me triumph like a child. Voting is like a step function its differential coefficient is zeroing so fringy behavior is irrelevant.

Hence, it is exactly among the heretics of every age that we find men who were filled with this highest variety of religious belief and were in many cases considered by their contemporaries as atheists, sometimes too as saints. It makes everyone feel well heeled. The one conversation rule provides just tolerable structure that people know where they fit. They know what is expected and do not feel the need to strike or grandstand.

As persona to be used for timelessness must be formed in time and in good time, so good habits to be used for happiness in this lifespan must be formed early on; and then they will be a treasure to be sought after in the house of the wise, and an oil of life in their home. Everything was turned upside down. More money will be raised in this fashion than by the common method of compensating for the short allowance account, by making it collectable at bone, and the humble extra expense is no thoughtfulness in comparing to the wellness of the men.

They cannot comprehend what it is to do for them: how should they? If they could see what it would do for them, it could not be originality. While taking the word in the sublimated sensation we shall maintain images and meanings, which are associated with the substantial sense.

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Belur’s Chennakeshava Temple, The Exemplar Hoysala Architecture and Sculpture in Karnataka

Chennakeshava temple at Belur, the best specimen of Hoysala architecture and sculpture

The Chennakeshava temple at Belur is perhaps the best specimen of Hoysala architecture and sculpture. The place was known as Velapura or Velapuri.

Hoysala King Vishnuvardhana defeated the Cholas at Talakad and to commemorate this great event built many temples in 1117 CE, of which Chennakeshava temple at Belur is the most important and beautiful. The entire temple is built of soapstone and stands on a platform also of star shape of 32 angles.

The outer wall of the temple from bottom onwards has tiers of minute sculptures consisting of rows of elephants, lion faces, creepers, ornamental frieze, dancers in small niches, female sculptures in between pillars, and the stories of Ramayana and Mahabharata. Above the friezes are wall sculptures of gods and goddesses in various poses under finely carved canopies. These sculptures are so varied and finely ornamented, it looks like an open air museum.

Hoysala Architecture and Sculpture

Sculptures of Beautiful Damsels at Chennakeshava Temple, Belur The ornamented windows called jalandhras which were added at a later date allow sufficient light and air to enter the interior of the temple. Over the sculptures and on the level of the roof are bracket figures known as silabalikas or madanikai sculptures. They represent beautiful damsels in various moods representing feminine charm and grace and perhaps these are the best creations of the Hoysala sculptors of the Belur temple. Vishnuvardhana’s queen Shantaladevi is associated with these sculptures.

The interior of the temple consisting of a garbhagriha, sukhanasi, navaranga and a mandapa takes us to a new world of sculptures with lathe turned pillars of various designs. One of the pillars known as Narasimha pillar could be turned on its axis. There are many delicately carved ceilings and they represent the best specimens of that type. The doorway of the garbhagriha is another specimen of delicate carvings unsurpassed for intricate designs.

Tiers of Minute Sculptures at Chennakeshava Temple, Belur

Sculptures of Shilabalika celestial maidens at Chennakeshava Temple, Belur Inside the garbhagriha is the sculpture of Chennakeshava or Vijayanarayana of about nine feet in height holding sankha, chakra, gada and padma in his hands, with a karanda makuta (crown) at the head. Bhudevi and Sridevi are standing at the bottom. Famous sculptors like Dasoja, his son Chavana, Nagoja, and others made this beautiful temple, the pride of Karnataka.

Besides this temple, the prakara has many more temples like Kappe Chennigaraya temple, Devi temple, and others with a mahadvara and a gopura.

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