Friday, October 30, 2015

Leaving It To You

Leaving It to You 

by Wu Pen (Chia Tao) (779-843)

Self evident, truth mistakes no thing.
But my heart's a long way from there
and nothing's very clear.
Yellow gold is almost burned up
by my desire.
White hair grows beside the fire.
Bitter indecision: choose This, or maybe That.
Even the spirit speaks in riddles
and makes it hard to harvest
the essence of a single day.
Catch the wind while you tether shadows.
Faith, or a man who'll stand by his word, is
all there is. There is no disputing.

English translation by J.P. Seaton
from The Poetry of Zen
edited by Sam Hamill and J.P. Seaton

Out of These Branches the Path

"Conveyed from mouth to ear, there is no tradition, There are no textbooks. There is only direct meeting, direct experience. There is no practice without a teacher. There is no teacher without a community. There are souls destined to meet -- and free will and commitment, and loving-kindness and fellowship. And out of these branches the path."

~ Perle Besserman

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Anyone can be a teacher

"Just as an acorn can only become an oak tree when it receives nourishment from the soil, water and sun, we need to be open to 'nourishment' from our teachers in order to receive the Buddhist insights. Anyone can be a teacher to us; the person I hate, the homeless person...everyone and everything everywhere nurtures me."

~ Taitetsu Unno

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Lost in the Woods

If I'm wandering lost in the woods, but don't know I'm lost, that's ignorance.

If I've seen or been told that I'm lost, but won't admit the possibility, that's denial.

If I know I'm lost, that's clarity.

If I accept the fact that I'm a human capable of getting lost, that's humility.

If I'm willing to experience my confusion and fear, that's courage.

If I know and accept being lost and fearful, and am willing to do something in response, that's clarity and responsibility -- and freedom.