Thursday, May 31, 2012

When I'm Happy

When I am happy, may my good fortune flow to others;
May its blessings fill the sky!
When I am unhappy, may the sorrows of all beings be mine;
May the ocean of suffering run dry!

~ from "Mind Training Taking Joys and Pains Onto the Path"

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Tiger's strength ~ Dragon's fluidity

Inhaling earth energy: strength, solidity, support, resources.

Exhaling sky energy: letting go, openness, fluidity, freedom.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Discussion On Making Things Equal

by Chuang tzu 

Joy, anger, grief, delight, worry, regret, fickleness, inflexibility, modesty, willfulness, candor, insolence -- music from empty holes, mushrooms springing up in dampness, day and night replacing each other before us, and no one knows where they sprout from. Let it be! Let it be! [It is enough that] morning and evening we have them, and they are the means by which we live. Without them we would not exist; without us they would have nothing to take hold of. This comes close to the matter. But I do not know what makes them the way they are. It would seem as though they have some True Master, and yet I find no trace of him. He can act -- that is certain. Yet I cannot see his form. He has identity but no form...
Once a man receives this fixed bodily form, he holds on to it, waiting for the end. Sometimes clashing with things, sometimes bending before them, he runs his course like a galloping steed, and nothing can stop him. Is he not pathetic? Sweating and laboring to the end of his days and never seeing his accomplishment, utterly exhausting himself and never knowing where to look for rest -- can you help pitying him? I'm not dead yet! he says, but what good is that? His body decays, his mind follows it -- can you deny that this is a great sorrow? Man's life has always been a muddle like this. How could I be the only muddled one, and other men not muddled?...
The torch of chaos and doubt -- this is what the sage steers by...
He who dreams of drinking wine may weep when morning comes; he who dreams of weeping may in the morning go off to hunt. While he is dreaming he does not know it is a dream, and in his dream he may even try to interpret a dream. Only after he wakes does he know it was a dream. And someday there will be a great awakening when we know that this is all a great dream. Yet the stupid believe they are awake, busily and brightly assuming they understand things, calling this man ruler, that one herdsman -- how dense! Confucius and you are both dreaming! And when I say you are dreaming, I am dreaming, too...
Once Chuang Chou dreamt he was a butterfly, a butterfly flitting and fluttering around, happy with himself and doing as he pleased. He didn't know he was Chuang Chou. Suddenly he woke up and there he was, solid and unmistakable Chuang Chou. But he didn't know if he was Chuang Chou who had dreamt he was a butterfly, or a butterfly dreaming he was Chuang Chou. Between Chuang Chou and a butterfly there must be some distinction! This is called the Transformation of Things.
~ from Chuang tzu, Chapter 2. English translation by Burton Watson.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

No Separation

But yield who will to their separation,
My object in living is to unite
My avocation and my vocation
As my two eyes make one in sight.
Only where love and need are one,
And the work is play for mortal stakes,
Is the deed ever really done
For heaven and the future's sakes.

~ from Two Tramps in Mud Time by Robert Frost

Two Poems for My Friend Bosai

by Ryokan

Yes, I'm truly a dunce
Living among trees and plants.
Please don't question me about illusion and enlightenment --
This old fellow just likes to smile to himself.
I wade across streams with bony legs,
And carry a bag about in fine spring weather.
That's my life,
And the world owes me nothing.

The gaudy beauty of this world has no attraction for me --
My closest friends are mountains and rivers,
Clouds swallow up my shadow as I walk along,
When I sit on cliffs, birds soar overhead.
Wearing snowy straw sandals, I visit cold villages.
Go as deep as you can into life,
And you will be able to let go of even blossoms.

~ from Dewdrops On A Lotus Leaf

Thursday, May 17, 2012

How many legs does a dog have?

Abe Lincoln: If you call the tail of a dog a leg, how many legs does that dog have?

Fool: Five.

Abe: No. Calling a tail a leg doesn't make it a leg.

Ryokan's rules

Take care not to:
talk too much
talk too fast
talk without being asked to
talk gratuitously
talk with your hands
talk about worldly affairs
take back rudely
smile condescendingly at others' words
use elegant expressions
avoid speaking directly
speak with a knowing air
jump from topic to topic
use fancy words
speak of past events that cannot be changed
speak like a pedant
avoid direct questions
speak ill of others
speak grandly of enlightenment
carry on while drunk
speak in an obnoxious manner
yell at children
make up fantastic stories
speak while angry
ignore people to whom you are speaking
speak sanctimoniously of gods and buddhas
use sugary speech
use flattering speech
speak of things of which you have no knowledge
monopolize the conversation

~ from Ryokan's Dewdrops On a Lotus Leaf
(translated by John Stevens)

Friday, May 4, 2012

Wish-fulfilling Jewel

Compassion and awareness united, each a seed bearing the fruit of the other, each fruit containing more seeds.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Everything Changes

The one thing to know is everything changes. 

Living in that knowing changes everything.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

No Sense

We ignore the direct evidence of our senses, and give too much credence to our stories.