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Zen Koan #41: Parable of Joshu’s Zen – Buddhist Teaching on Being with Disappointment

Zen Koan #41: Parable of Joshu's Zen - Buddhist Teaching on Being with Disappointment Our struggle is obligatory, but it is eventually just our inclination to be present that counts and that this is the true effort of the way. Glad to know that you have time to meditate. In a country like America, where people can do so many things, and where there are so many distractions, to meditate is not easy. One gets older doing this and that, finding no real satisfaction in anything. Coming to accept that there is nothing wrong with me has been a very important part of growing up.

How can one be certain that there was a Teacher known as the Buddha? We present everything to the object of our surrendering. The basic act of surrender does not involve the worship of an external power. Rather it means working together with inspiration, so that one becomes an open vessel into which knowledge can be poured. You may feel liberated. If you do this, you are grasping the false. For instance, suppose you endeavor to clear a blocked pipe by pushing another object into it.

You can see the tip of each blade of grass and the outline of every leaf. The person who is seeking to attain is separate from the attainment, the object of his search. All of your actions will boomerang back to you and you will have to take the consequences.

Zen Koan: “Joshu’s Zen” Parable

Joshu began the study of Zen when he was sixty years old and continued until he was eighty, when he realized Zen.

He taught from the age of eighty until he was one hundred and twenty.

A student once asked him: “If I haven’t anything in my mind, what shall I do?”

Joshu replied: “Throw it out.”

“But if I haven’t anything, how can I throw it out?” continued the questioner.

“Well,” said Joshu, “then carry it out.”

Buddhist Insight on Being With Disappointment

Wisdom is also this development of patience, love, or constancy that you go through so many cycles. Unfortunately, the truth dealt with by science is only a partial one. By looking for complexities of developing and perfecting within the primordial unstructured presence of the nature and disenchantment, the essence without accepting and rejecting will not be seen. The American Zen teacher Charlotte Joko Beck writes in Nothing Special: Living Zen,

When we refuse to work with our disappointment, we break the Precepts: rather than experience the disappointment, we resort to anger, greed, gossip, criticism. Yet it’s the moment of being that disappointment which is fruitful; and, if we are not willing to do that, at least we should notice that we are not willing. The moment of disappointment in life is an incomparable gift that we receive many times a day if we’re alert. This gift is always present in anyone’s life, the moment when “It’s not the way I want it.”

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Zen Koan #40: Parable of In Dreamland – Buddhist Teaching on Loving Our Humanness

Zen Koan #40: Parable of In Dreamland - Buddhist Teaching on Loving Our Humanness Just as gainsaying, the linear conception of time establishes an incipient area of ethical responsibility, so in taking up this responsibility we locate ourselves more entirely and firmly in history. On retreat, you are living with many people, which may create an uncomfortable environment. It is from this particular viewpoint that the rationale for this interpretation has developed. To paraphrase lines three and four: As soon as you discard your likes and dislikes, the Way will immediately appear before you.

At the end, recite some males while visualizing that the beams emitted from the prayer wheel purify all the sufferings and obscurations of the sentient beings of the six realms. These absorb into the prayer wheel and all sentient beings, including you, are then liberated, actualizing the whole path and becoming the Compassion Buddha. Others are too relaxed. There are two possible interpretations of the line “One thought for ten thousand years.”

One is that the mind simply does not move. Perhaps you are having a miserable time from day one. Eventually they are married and are very happy together. This concept can be found in both oriental and western philosophy. Indeed, practice can make you more mature, tranquil, and stable.

Zen Koan: “In Dreamland” Parable

“Our schoolmaster used to take a nap every afternoon,” related a disciple of Soyen Shaku. “We children asked him why he did it and he told us: ‘I go to dreamland to meet the old sages just as Confucius did.’ When Confucius slept, he would dream of ancient sages and later tell his followers about them.

“It was extremely hot one day so some of us took a nap. Our schoolmaster scolded us. ‘We went to dreamland to meet the ancient sages the same as Confucius did,’ we explained. ‘What was the message from those sages?’ our schoolmaster demanded. One of us replied: ‘We went to dreamland and met the sages and asked them if our schoolmaster came there every afternoon, but they said they had never seen any such fellow.'”

Buddhist Insight on Loving Our Humanness

In Zen Buddhism, these thoughts can cause your discriminating mode of apprehension of the object, the mind’s being too tight, to lower or slacken somewhat whereby you are better able to stay on the object of observation in humanness. With respect to one object, therefore, as you get used to understanding its non-inherent nature, not only is it impossible at that time to generate love for humanness. The American clinical psychologist John Welwood, who frequently writes about the integration of psychological and spiritual concepts, writes in Perfect Love, Imperfect Relationships,

Although perhaps only saints and buddhas embody absolute love completely, every moment of working with the challenges of relative human love brings a hint of this divine possibility into our life. As the child of heaven and earth, you are a mix of infinite openness and finite limitation. This means that you are both wonderful and difficult at the same time. You are flawed, you are stuck in old patterns, you become carried away with yourself. Indeed, you are quite impossible in many ways. And still, you are beautiful beyond measure. For the core of what you are is fashioned out of love, the potent blend of openness, warmth, and clear, transparent presence. Boundless love always manages somehow to sparkle through your limited form.

Bringing absolute love into human form involves learning to hold the impossibility of ourselves and others in the way that the sky holds clouds – with gentle spaciousness and equanimity. The sky can do this because its openness is so much vaster than the clouds that it doesn’t find them the least bit threatening. Holding our imperfections in this way allows us to see them as trail makers of the work-in-progress that we are, rather than as impediments to love or happiness. Then we can say, “Yes, everyone has relative weaknesses that cause suffering, yet everyone also possesses absolute beauty, which far surpasses these limitations. Let us melt down the frozen, fearful places by holding them in the warmth of tenderness and mercy.”

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Books: Delights for the Heart and Mind

Books: Delights for the Heart and Mind

Books are Human Too

Books are Human Too Did you ever pause to marvel at the telephone, the phonograph, or the radio? I do not mean the intricate mechanism by which these devices operate, but the marvel of the service they render. These inventions enable you to escape from the limitations of time and space, so that you can hear and see people who are not physically present. Books are like that too. They are a recording of what some of the world’s greatest masters have to say to us.

We cannot bring back to life a Moses, an Isaiah, a Lincoln, or a Spinoza. Yet these great people can still speak to us; reveal to us some of their innermost thoughts, by means of the printed page. A book enables you to roam freely in space and time and enter the company of the greatest people who walked this earth.

Some of us are afraid of great people, lest they are superior to us and we are unable to feel at home in their presence. For the same reason many of us shy away from great books, but when you get to know them, great people are human. It once took a little girl great courage to ask Albert Einstein to help with her arithmetic. He not only agreed, but they began a firm friendship.

Books are human too. Not all books can entrance you with the very first page. You have to give them time. You have to live with them, and read them. Allow them to develop their thoughts. Gradually you will fed their power and fall in love with them. The treasures of the printed page are like the treasures hidden in the earth, you have to do a little digging before you can bring them up to the surface.

Some of the greatest delights for the heart and mind can come to you through books. If you have no books in your home, then bring them in. Every book is a window on the world, so why live in die dark when you can reach out for the light? In addition, if you have books in your home, resting on the shelf, take them down and use them; don’t let them collect dust. Books can be great friends. Take them with you on your journey through life.

Human Ingeniousness Can Make a Machine

Human Ingeniousness Can Make a Machine So every species and degree of pleasure, and of bodily and genial contentment which we enjoy in this world, are only the radiation or emanations of this elementary principle, namely, accord or health. This book is of so much real importance to the health and happiness of each individual among the populace, that though it contains more matter or reading than most Two-British shilling pamphlets, it is ordered to be sold for only two pence. He was always more interested in hiring somebody who wanted to learn more and work hard than someone who just sounded good. The greatest part of the food of a ship’s company is inevitably salt provision. Human ingeniousness can make a machine, which may simulate vision exactly; but nothing that the art of man can form is found to gain sounds so much in so small a compass as the human ear.

To which is added, an account of the composition, provision, and properties of the three great medicines prepared and dispensed at the temple of health, Adelphi, and at the temple of maidenhead, pall-mall, Greater London. American author and spiritual activist Stephen Jenkinson once said,

Our culture doesn’t know how to feel sad. …. The inability to be sad is a culture-wide dilemma. You try to get the word sadness into a conversation, you try to surface the idea of sadness. It’s dismissed very quickly. And why is that? … It’s determined as a kind of a useless thing to feel. You can’t do anything with it. You can’t turn it in to anything. But anger, hell yes, you can turn that into stuff, in a hurry. It’s very hard to act on sadness.

Those who have rigorously put those methods in practice know how effective and infallible they are, and exact attention is necessary, as a single infected man, or any part of his garment, will spread sickness through a whole ship’s company. I do not mind making mistakes. All the same, that is only because mistakes do not inevitably connote incompetency. In fact, competent people make them all the time, whether due to lack of attention, working too fast, or being too tired. Although one thing competent people do not do is make mistakes because they do not know what they are doing. If this, still, were the case, all bodies with a smooth surface would be capable of reflecting sounds, which we know, by experience, they are not.

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Zen Koan #39: Parable of Sleeping in the Daytime – Buddhist Teaching on Surrendering to what is

Zen Koan #39: Parable of Sleeping in the Daytime - Buddhist Teaching on Surrendering to what is The Dharma being the collection of Universal Laws, is worthy of knowing whether one is a Buddhist or not. However, to follow your own nature, in this sense, is not the same as following your personal habits or whims, as in the expression “be natural?” Nature here refers to your self-nature, or Buddha nature. Maybe the light will only stay on for a minute, but at least you can see some of the problem areas. You may be disturbed by the noise of children, visits of friends or stress at work.

Opposition implicatively insinuates duality. Everything has been decided already in store consciousness. At that moment, we are caught; we are not free people. Our sense of beauty, our sense of liking or disliking, has been decided very certainly and very discreetly on the level of store consciousness. The enlightened individual does not see things as bad, good, coarse, or fine. If so, why are we unable to attain it? Another reason why we cannot see our Buddha nature is that we are burdened with ideas.

Do not be fearful when your mind is scattered; just recognize that it is temporary. The unity of self and universe is a joyous experience. The next day there was heavy rain and the river rose to a higher level. Thus, we cannot verbalize of one or two.

Zen Koan: “Sleeping in the Daytime” Parable

The master Soyen Shaku passed from this world when he was sixty-one years of age. Fulfilling his life’s work, he left a great teaching, far richer than that of most Zen masters. His pupils used to sleep in the daytime during midsummer, and while he overlooked this he himself never wasted a minute.

When he was but twelve years old he was already studying Tendai philosophical speculation. One summer day the air had been so sultry that little Soyen stretched his legs and went to sleep while his teacher was away.

Three hours passed when, suddenly waking, he heard his master enter, but it was too late. There he lay, sprawled across the doorway.

“I beg your pardon, I beg your pardon,” his teacher whispered, stepping carefully over Soyen’s body as if it were that of some distinguished guest. After this, Soyen never slept again in the afternoon.

Buddhist Insight on Surrendering to What is

Giving with an expectation of reward is giving, but not the perfection of giving. Again, the prince Buddha began to think profoundly and ask himself if it really was so, that all the attractiveness and beauty of the shows of life all have something at the back of them that is not pretty and beautiful at all. This is the natural state, eternally unborn. Then out of our fear comes aggression through surrendering to what is. The American clinical psychologist John Welwood, who frequently writes about the integration of psychological and spiritual concepts, writes in Ordinary Magic, Everyday Life as Spiritual Path,

Hard as this may be to grasp, the Buddha, or awakened mind in each person, is whatever we are experiencing in the moment – the wind in the trees, the traffic on the freeway, the confusion we are feeling – if we but surrender to it. Surrendering to it means experiencing it fully, giving it our full attention, without struggling against it or trying to make it something other than it is. In opening to what is, without strategies or agendas, we touch what cannot be grasped – a moment of nowness, sharp and thin as a razor’s edge. And walking on this razor’s edge cuts through the struggle between self and other that separates us from a more immediate presence to life.

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The Ego Cannot Proceed Without Restraints

The Ego Cannot Proceed Without Restraints

Frustrations May Indeed Be Acts of Genuine Love

Frustrations May Indeed Be Acts of Genuine Love The greatest of all arts is the art of love. We seek the well-being of those who are the objects of our affection. But how can we achieve this? Showering gifts on a child and allowing him to have his way at all times will not serve his well-being. It may even corrupt him and make him a mean and contemptible creature. On the other hand, thwarting him unduly may destroy his sense of security and cripple him emotionally for the rest of his life.

We need affection and the things it provides. However, affection is not a green light permitting the ego to proceed without restraints. It expresses itself in giving, but also in denying, in caressing but also in rebuking. The instinctive self-seeking of the child will grow into the irrational compulsions of the adult unless as a child he learns that his will was meant to have reason as its master. By reason, I mean that which teaches a man to walk through life with humility.

He who has never been frustrated will become an insufferable brat whatever his age. Occasional frustrations are good for the soul. We cannot live in a civilized society and give vent to all the impulses that exist in our natures. Some of them must be vetoed; some of them must be frustrated; and some must be vetoed and frustrated at particular moments. Thus parents who frustrate their children’s whims are not necessarily violating their love for them. In the right proportion, such frustrations may indeed be acts of genuine love.

What you will not find, all the same, is the one thing you are looking for your own happiness, peace of mind, and educated nature.

Politeness Should Be Reciprocally Valued

Politeness Should Be Reciprocally Valued We ourselves also have moments when our mental attitude to life is like this-moments when our profound humanity is awakened and manifests itself. A body weighed nicely before it is put into the fire, and then weighed again, will be found to be increased in weight very reasonably. Thus the old man, even against the vehemence of this regretful commotion of his life, and all the rest, will live happy: and be ought to value that happiness the more because he will owe it to his own discernment. So that any lady or gentleman of sense and liberalness, may, thus assisted, become self-governing physicians, and often save not only their own, but the life of a friend or of a fellow creature, when manifestly at the point of death—and when given over by even the best physicians. British author, editor, and social entrepreneur Dougald Hine once wrote,

A harnessing of desire such that to be a good economic citizen became to work hard today for a deferred reward and in that you lose the festive culture where a surplus is an excuse for an animal experience of a feast rather than a surplus being something that is rationally reinvested. … Victorian morality … is the playing out …. of the relationship between time and desire which is inaugurated by a economic culture which is orientated around deferred gratification. And then at a certain point of time in the developed countries to be a good economic citizen begins to shift from being a good producer to being a good consumer, so what you have is that you spend on your credit card today and worry about how you are going to pay for it tomorrow …. an abstract contortion between desire and time

Nobody learns anything if politeness is not reciprocally valued. Many arts have been tried to make saltwater fresh and potable; the welfare of which would be, that in long voyages, when a ship’s company wanted fresh water, they might make use of seawater as a very easy interchange, by freshening it according to art. Sometimes being modest about our ability to genuinely operate oeuvre every facet of our life is good; it means we can focus instead on reacting vigorously to life’s stochasticity. Therefore, humanity is awakened to serious rumination. The greatest object lesson in life is to know that even fools are right on sometimes. We tend to equate ourselves with others and to wonder if we have enough to proffer in a relationship. However, were the knowledge of religious belief merely wondering, though’ the conjecture must be allowed to be noble, yet less could be said of its importance. Much of this work is conducted without much cognizance of its particular failings, difficulties, and critiques.

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Zen Koan #38: Parable of Gisho’s Work – Buddhist Teaching on Healing Presence

Zen Koan #38: Parable of Gisho's Work - Buddhist Teaching on Healing Presence Zen Buddhism stresses intimacy, while in Theravada and Tibetan forms of Zen Buddhism you will find “mindfulness” and “compassion” to be the salient terms. Yet the ultimately mindful is personally most intimate some of us close space by hammering our point through; others do it by trying to smooth the waters. Recedes are like road repair. We should carry our patience around as if the hermit crab carries its shell.

Our patience will also protect us and help us survive! Please understand that the hermit crab does not live like a parasite, it lives like an orchid. Some Westerners question whether Zen Buddhism is a religion at all. It is identically tantamount with the mind. Probably Zen Buddhism, although the evidence is circumstantial. There is a suggestion that the most likely arrival of the first Buddhists in this continent may have been with the armada of Cheng Ho in the 15th century.

The spiritual friend who teaches the instructions of the four immeasurable is the dominant condition. This is difficult to accomplish without practice. Breath should be smooth, natural, and deep in the belly. When we think we have gotten something, we have not really gotten it and when we think we have lost something, we have not really lost it.

Zen Koan: “Gisho’s Work” Parable

Gisho was ordained as a nun when she was just ten years old. She received training just as the little boys did. When she reached the age of sixteen she traveled from one Zen master to another, studying with them all.

She remained three years with Unzan, six years with Gukei, but was unable to obtain a clear vision. At last she went to the master Inzan.

Inzan showed her no distinction at all on account of her sex. He scolded her like a thunderstorm. He cuffed he to awaken her inner nature.

Gisho remained with Inzan thirteen years, and then she found that which she was seeking!

In her honor, Inzan wrote a poem:

This nun studied thirteen years under my guidance.
In the evening she considered the deepest koans,
In the morning she was wrapped in other koans.
The Chinese nun Tetsuma surpassed all before her,
And since Mujaku none has been so genuine as this Gisho!
Yet there are many more gates for her to pass through.
She should receive still more blows from my iron fist.

After Gisho was enlightened she went to the province of Banshu, started her own Zen temple, and taught two hundred other nuns until she passed away one year in the month of August.

Buddhist Insight on A Healing Presence

We each create our own misery and unhappiness, and even regulate the degree to which we suffer by the prospects we set up, and by the strength and inflexibility with which we hold those expectations. The healing presence is a step in renunciation. Don’t worry about this, try to keep your mind in the present. If everything seems to become indifferent, arouse kindness and meditate on that. The American clinical psychologist John Welwood, who frequently writes about the integration of psychological and spiritual concepts, writes in Ordinary Magic, Everyday Life as Spiritual Path,

In opening to our experience, without holding onto any story about it, we create a compassionate space that allows new parts of ourselves to unfold, and old parts that were cut off to enter the stream of awareness and be included. We can only be healthy and whole when our awareness circulates freely through all aspects of our being. Unconditional presence promotes this kind of circulation, which is the essence of health.

When children are in pain, what they want is this kind of presence, rather than band-aids or consolations. They want to know we are with them in what they are experiencing. That’s what our wounded places most need from us as well – just to be there with them. They don’t need us to say, “Things are getting better every day.” The full presence of our being is healing in and of itself.

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19 Inspiring Quotes by Yogacharya B.K.S. Iyengar

19 Inspiring Quotes by Yogacharya B.K.S. Iyengar

Yoga, an ancient discipline, has become popular worldwide. The selling of yoga and debate over its origins have led to discuss as to whether yoga should be branded at all. Some yoga instructors have gone so far as to patent their variations of yoga; others in the yoga community declare it is a religious and/or spiritual practice and as such should not be declared as intellectual property.

Yogacharya (Yoga Expert Guru) B.K.S. Iyengar was born in India to a family of thirteen children, ten of whom lived. His brother-in-law Tirumalai Krishnamacharya, introduced Iyengar to yoga through the yoga school he ran. Iyengar was not successful in the beginning, and it was only in 1952 when Iyengar met Yehudi Menuhin that he became internationally known.

Menuhin was suffering from sleeplessness and Iyengar showed him an asana which caused him to fall asleep, and wake up so rested that he spent several hours with the yoga teacher and later came to believe that yoga assisted his violin-playing. Iyengar paid frequent visits to the west where his system of yoga was adopted by schools and centers. Iyengar yoga is known for its use of such props as straps, chairs, or blocks in empowering students to accomplish the traditional asanas, or body postures. One of Iyengar’s earliest books, Light on Yoga (1966), is a clarification for Westerners of Patanjali’s thought.

Iyengar is specifically linked with the idea of yoga as a spiritual activity, and a discipline that he explained as “the quest of the soul for the spark of divinity within us.” In every movement, students should be psychologically aware, as yoga is more than a system of aerobic or flexibility exercises.

Iyengar yoga teachers are among the most meticulously trained in the field of yoga. A teacher must finish two full years of training and supervision to be certified at the introductory level. The New York Iyengar organization requires teacher candidates to be experienced in practicing Iyengar yoga up to Level III and to uphold a home practice.

  • 'Light on Yoga: The Classic Guide to Yoga' by B. K. S. Iyengar (ISBN 8172235011) “The union of nature and soul removes the veil of ignorance that covers our intelligence.”
  • “Yoga allows you to find an inner peace that is not ruffled and riled by the endless stresses and struggles of life.”
  • “Yoga is a means and an end.”
  • “When you see a mistake in somebody else, try to find if you are making the same mistake.”
  • “By drawing our senses of perception inward, we are able to experience the control, silence, and quietness of the mind.”
  • “Yoga does not just change the way we see things, it transforms the person who sees.”
  • “My body is my temple and asanas are my prayers.”
  • “Know your capacities and continually improve upon them.”
  • “It is through your body that you realize you are a spark of divinity.”
  • “Your body exists in the past and your mind exists in the future. In yoga, they come together in the present.”
  • “As animals, we walk the earth. As bearers of divine essence, we are among the stars. As human beings, we are caught in the middle.”
  • “Yoga teaches us to cure what need not be endured and endure what cannot be cured.”
  • 'B.K.S. Iyengar Yoga: The Path to Holistic Health' by B. K. S. Iyengar (ISBN 1465415831) “Words cannot convey the value of yoga—it has to be experienced.”
  • “The supreme adventure in a man’s life is his journey back to his Creator.”
  • “Change is not something that we should fear. Rather, it is something that we should welcome. For without change, nothing in this world would ever grow or blossom, and no one in this world would ever move forward to become the person they’re meant to be.”
  • “The art of teaching is tolerance. Humbleness is the art of learning.”
  • “Be inspired but not proud.”
  • “Change leads to disappointment if it is not sustained. Transformation is sustained change, and it is achieved through practice.”
  • “It is while practicing yoga asanas that you learn the art of adjustment.”
  • “Body is the bow, asana is the arrow, and the soul is the target.”
  • “When you inhale, you are taking the strength from God. When you exhale, it represents the service you are giving to the world. When you exhale, it represents the service you are giving to the world. When you inhale, you are taking the strength from God.”
  • “Life means to be living. Problems will always be there. When they arise navigate through them with yoga—don’t take a break.”
  • “True concentration is an unbroken thread of awareness.”
  • “Action is movement with intelligence. The world is filled with movement. What the world needs is more conscious movement, more action.”
  • “Yoga allows you to find a new kind of freedom that you may not have known even existed.”
  • 'Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali' by B. K. S. Iyengar (ISBN 0007145160) “When I practice, I am a philosopher. When I teach, I am a scientist. When I demonstrate, I am an artist.”
  • “Focus on keeping your spine straight. It is the job of the spine to keep the brain alert.”
  • “How can you know God if you don’t know your big toe?”
  • “Do not stop trying just because perfection eludes you.”
  • “Breath is the king of mind.”
  • “Spirituality is not some external goal that one must seek, but a part of the divine core of each of us, which we must reveal.”
  • “Your body is the child of the soul. You must nourish and train that child.”
  • “There is no difference in souls, only the ideas about ourselves that we wear.”
  • “It is through the alignment of the body that I discovered the alignment of my mind, self, and intelligence.”
  • “Illuminated emancipation, freedom, unalloyed and untainted bliss await you, but you have to choose to embark on the Inward Journey to discover it.”
  • “The hardness of a diamond is part of its usefulness, but its true value is in the light that shines through it.”
  • “Yoga is a light, which once lit, will never dim. The better your practice, the brighter the flame.”
  • 'Iyengar Yoga: Classic Yoga Postures For Mind, Body And Spirit' by Judy Smith (ISBN 0754830764) “One’s spiritual realization lies in none other than how one walks among and interacts with one’s fellow beings.”
  • “Health is a state of complete harmony of the body, mind and spirit. When one is free from physical disabilities and mental distractions, the gates of the soul open.”
  • “Willpower is nothing but willingness to do.”
  • “Yoga is like music. The rhythm of the body, the melody of the mind, and the harmony of the soul creates the symphony of life.”
  • “You exist without the feeling of existence.”
  • “Confidence, clarity and compassion are essential qualities of a teacher.”
  • “You must purge yourself before finding faults in others.”
  • “Do not aim low, you will miss the mark. Aim high and you will be on a threshold of bliss.”
  • “You do not need to seek freedom in a different land, for it exists with your own body, heart, mind, and soul.”
  • “Yoga allows you to rediscover a sense of wholeness in your life, where you do not feel like you are constantly trying to fit broken pieces together.”
  • “Yoga is the golden key that unlocks the door to peace, tranquility and joy.”
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Zen Koan #37: Parable of Publishing the Sutras – Buddhist Teaching on Silence and Simplicity

Zen Koan #37: Parable of Publishing the Sutras - Buddhist Teaching on Silence and Simplicity Zen Buddhism is not a religion according to the dictionary meaning of the word religion for the reason that it has no center in god, as is the case in all other religions. Rigorously verbalizing, Zen Buddhism is a system of philosophy co-ordinated with a code of morality, physical and pyretic. The goal in view is the extinction of suffering and death. To be attached to the one can either take the form of pure materialism or monotheism.

Like those who have narrow views and only optically discern what is in front of their ocular perceivers, it is a shallow and circumscribed perspective. However, for the reason that you have a concept of emptiness, your mind is still subtly present. This is for the reason that in the reality of totality, there is no gain and no loss. Many psychological traits were associated with having longer telomeres, including greater mindfulness skills, life satisfaction, and subjective happiness.

How do you return to the root? By letting go of all words, thoughts, eliminating all grasping, and rejection. If you spend your time hoping that a pleasant experience will return, or trying to avoid pain, you will become more aware of the passing of time. A tree should be watered very gradually as it is growing.

Zen Koan: “Publishing the Sutras” Parable

Tetsugen, a devotee of Zen in Japan, decided to publish the sutras, which at that time were available only in Chinese. The books were to be printed with wood blocks in an edition of seven thousand copies, a tremendous undertaking.

Tetsugen began by traveling and collecting donations for this purpose. A few sympathizers would give him a hundred pieces of gold, but most of the time he received only small coins. He thanked each donor with equal gratitude. After ten years Tetsugen had enough money to begin his task.

It happened that at that time the Uji Rive overflowed. Famine followed. Tetsugen took the funds he had collected for the books and spent them to save others from starvation. Then he began again his work of collecting.

Several years afterwards an epidemic spread over the country. Tetsugen again gave away what he had collected, to help his people. For a third time he started his work, and after twenty years his wish was fulfilled. The printing blocks which produced the first edition of sutras can be seen today in the Obaku monastery in Kyoto.

The Japanese tell their children that Tetsugen made three sets of sutras, and that the first two invisible sets surpass even the last.

Buddhist Insight on Silence and Simplicity

Buddhists maintain the freedom of the individual to choose. You could look into the situation in terms of cause and effect and gain some understanding of it through simplicity. In that, way much that is to be surpassed will be transcended and good dharma that are true and superb will be established. The intention is gentle, silence, but the practice is very harsh. The British meditation teacher Christina Feldman writes in The Buddhist Path to Simplicity,

In the search for simplicity we can learn to explore the space between thoughts. Listening closely to our mind, the thoughts begin to slow down. We discover that just as the out-breath is followed by a pause before the in-breath, there is also space between the thoughts. We learn to seek the gaps – the space between sounds, between sensations, between thoughts, and to explore the nature of these gaps. The gaps are the home of the mind, the limitless silence of the mind. Thoughts arise in that silence and fall back into silence. Exploring the nature of silence we begin to understand that it is not dependent on the absence of thought but is the prevailing sound that permeates all thought. Silence is profoundly simple – resisting nothing, wanting nothing, lacking in nothing yet present and complete in all moments.

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Zen Koan #36: Parable of Flower Shower – Buddhist Teaching on Cultivating Respect

Zen Koan #36: Parable of Flower Shower - Buddhist Teaching on Cultivating Respect People relish verbalizing, especially if they feel solitary. Those who incline to verbalize non-stop generally have arduousness with practice, and withal make it arduous for others to practice. In our Zen recede, verbalizing is verboten, but there are still some people who cannot resist covertly saying a few words. Others accolade the rule and abstain from verbalizing, but that does not designate that they are not verbalizing with themselves.

All day long, while they are sitting, they come up with a theme, and then carry on a conversation with themselves. They ruminate over all sorts of issues. There is still a duality. However, someone who is hit by an adept monitor will feel very good and consider the board a great help. If this is so, it should be very facile to progress in the practice. You should keep your attention entirely on practice, without trying to attain any results. Even if there seems to be very little we can do, we can still help people by our presence of mind and by what we project out. We can affect the environment for the better.

Even though the method is not real, it is even worse to be suspended in a nebulous frame of mind. In the owner’s mind, this was a grave defect. You are truly tired and uncomfortable.

Zen Koan: “Flower Shower” Parable

Subhuti was Buddha’s disciple. He was able to understand the potency of emptiness, the viewpoint that nothing exists except in its relationship of subjectivity and objectivity.

One day Subhuti, in a mood of sublime emptiness, was sitting under a tree. Flowers began to fall about him.

“We are praising you for your discourse on emptiness,” the gods whispered to him.

“But I have not spoken of emptiness,” said Subhuti.

“You have not spoken of emptiness, we ahve not heard emptiness,” responded the gods. “This is the true emptiness.” And blossoms showered upon Subhuti as rain.

Buddhist Insight on Cultivating Respect

One who seeks the true perfection of happiness must also attend to the cultivation of the mind and cultivate respect, according to Zen Buddhism. Repeatedly they would have to go through a course of desolation endured on earth to get happiness in heaven, and then the same again, always and always, lacking any end. Insanity in this case is giving up logical arguments, giving up concept. The American vipassana teacher Jack Kornfield writes in The Wise Heart, Buddhist Psychology for the West,

Whether practiced in a forest monastery or in the West, Buddhist psychology begins by deliberately cultivating respect, starting with ourselves. When we learn to rest in our own goodness, we can see the goodness more clearly in others. As our sense of respect and care is developed, it serves us well under most ordinary circumstances. It becomes invaluable in extremity…

When we bring respect and honor to those around us, we open a channel to their own goodness. I have seen this truth in working with prisoners and gang members, When they experience someone who respects and values them, it gives them the ability to admire themselves, to accept and acknowledge the good inside. When we see what is holy in another, whether we meet them in our family or our community, at a business meeting or in a therapy session, we transform their hearts.

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Egocentric Space and Sympathies

Egocentric People are Troubled with a Deep Inner Unrest

Egocentric People are Troubled with a Deep Inner Unrest Those who find themselves cloistered in too narrow a space often suffer from an affliction known as claustrophobia. It is the morbid dread of being shut in.

There is another kind of claustrophobia, which occasionally afflicts people—a claustrophobia not of space but of sympathies. It is just as pernicious. Some people live only for themselves, all their thoughts, all their emotions are centered on their own egos. The house they live in may be a mansion of immense size, yet these people will suffer from the shut-in feeling.

A person expands or contracts the world to the dimensions of his own spirit. He whose sympathies reach out to other people finds his world enlarged to the measure of those sympathies. Through our broadened interests, we can make ourselves part of all humankind, and rejoice in its past triumphs, struggle in its present dilemmas, and anticipate its future hopes. People who do this are blessed; they live in the vast open spaces of the spirit.

Egocentric people are invariably troubled with a deep inner unrest. They feel that their lives are empty, as indeed they are. For they do not take enough of life into the circle of their interests. No one ego is sufficient to fill life with the meaning and purpose which is required to keep it going.

Egocentric people usually think they are being kind to themselves. They refuse to bestow themselves on others so that they may have more with which to serve themselves. However, this is one of life’s great illusions. For too much concentration on the self-begets a shadow that obscures the rest of the world, and when we live with the image of that shadow constantly in our eyes, our spirit rises in revolt against its confinement.

When you estimate the odds of being harmed by the flu shot and compare them to the odds of needing it and being helped by it, there’s no question that just about everyone should get it. Being unable to find your mind when you look for it might be thought of as a moment of massive incertitude, yet this is precisely what frees you. How much greater felicitousness must we enjoy, upon whom the sun of science shines so bright as at this day?

The Need to Be Loved

The Need to Be Loved Psychologists have called attention to a person’s need to be loved. This is a valid need. However, there is another truth, which is occasionally overlooked. A person must not only receive love, he must also give it A person who is concerned with himself alone will be truly miserable. Our interests must turn in both directions, out as well as in. Spoiled people are unhappy even though they are the recipients of love, because not enough of their love flows back into the world. A gift carries more blessing for the giver than for the recipient.

Our world is as big as our outlook. We crave to live in the larger world, not only of space but also of sympathies.

Open-mindedness, which is the fruit of mindfulness, forms the basis for the disciplines of insight. This open-mindedness produces the space in which our apprehension, our discriminating awareness, operates and can be active. The ten kinds of wholesome actions lead to the higher realms. The American social psychologist Jonathan Haidt wrote in The Happiness Hypothesis,

Our life is the creation of our minds, and we do much of that creating with metaphor. We see new things in terms of things we already understand: Life is a journey, an argument is a war, the mind is a rider on an elephant. With the wrong metaphor we are deluded; with no metaphor we are blind.

Since sun-sensitive people are at a higher jeopardy of developing skin cancer and are prone to sunburn, they are more likely to weary sunscreen. The helplessness of their circulation makes them cold, and their faint and sluggish pulse knows this. Interesting thought process on optimizing for dissimilar things during dissimilar life stages. Were art to redeem man, it could do so only by saving him from the earnestness of life and restoring him to an unexpected boyishness. At the postsecondary degree, the student alone is responsible for self-identification as someone with a disablement, presenting documentation to support that arrogate and requesting post school accommodations from employers or education personnel.

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