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THE SUBTLE PATH: The subtle path of Buddha's & Zen masters is not an irrational creation of knotty problems,
nor is it eccentricity or weirder. & it is not something that is very lofty & hard to practice: it is just what you presently
use all the time in your everyday activities. If we have to give it a name, we might call it the natural real Buddha in
your own self. In everyday terms, at all times & in all places, you see & hear with Shakyamuni Buddha's eyes &
ears, you speak & breathe with Zen founder Bodhidharma's tongue & nose. In ultimate terms, the individual lives of
all the Buddha's & Zen masters of the ten directions are all in your grip whether to gather them together or let them
disperse is all up to you.
FREEDOM: The mighty ocean has but one taste, the taste of salt. Even so,
the true way has but one savor, the savor of freedom.
LIBERATION: This inconceivable door of great liberation in in everyone. It has never been blocked,
it has never been defective. Buddha's & zen masters have appeared in the world & provided expedient methods,
with many different devices, using illusory medicines to cure illusory illnesses, just because your faculties are unequal,
your knowledge is unclear, you do not transcend what you see & hear as you see & hear it, and you are tumbled about
endlessly in an ocean of misery by afflictions due to ignorance, by emotional views & habitual conceptions of
others & self, right & wrong. The various teachings & techniques of Buddha's & zen masters are only set forth so that
you will individually step back into yourself, understand your own original mind & see your own original nature,
so that you reach a state of great rest, peace, and happiness.
LIBERATION IN ALL PLACES: Don't seek a Buddha, don't seek a teaching, don't seek a community.
Don't seek virtue, knowledge, intellectual understanding, & so on. When feelings of defilement & purity are ended,
still don't hold to this non seeking & consider it right. Don't dwell at the point of ending, & don't long for heavens
or fear hells. When you are unhindered by bondage or freedom, then this is called liberation of mind & body in all places.
FREE FLOWING: All things are free flowing, untrammeled what bondage is there, what entanglement?
You create your own difficulty & ease therein. The mind source pervades the ten directions with one continuity;
those of the most excellent faculties understand naturally.
"CHAOS & SELF"
FREE SELF: Chaos seems to be everywhere a rising column of cigarette smoke breaks into wild swirls.
A flag snaps back & forth in the wind. With the flag you know that it's the wind that snaps the flag around.
But with out mind you wouldn't know that. & you would not know that the wind came from the weather,
& the weather came from the sun & moon. The moon & sun came from the beginning of life it's self.
Yet people live seeing only the flag snapping in the wind, with no idea what is going on.
Be true with your self you feel it, so believe what you feel. Not believing in your self only holds you back
& only gives you regrets. That's no freedom.
BEHIND A NAME: A name is imposed on what is thought to be a thing or a state, & this divides it from
other things & other states. But when you pursue what lies behind the name, you find a greater & greater subtlety
that has no divisions. Atoms of dust are not really atoms of dust but are merely called that. In the same way,
a world is not a world but is merely called that.
INDEPENDENCE: There is no other task but to know your own original face. This is called independence;
the spirit is clear & free. If you say there is some particular doctrine or patriarchy, you'll be totally cheated.
Just look into your heart; there is a transcendental clarity. Just have no greed & no dependency &
you will immediately attain certainty.
INTERRELATED: Every thing is interrelated. Nothing exists alone. Without my parents I would not be,
& without their parents they would not be. Without the sun & rain that nurtured the crops &
the farmer who cultivated them, & the baker who baked the bread, they would not have food.
Without the earth to support us & the air to breathe, how would we be sustained? Ultimately,
what can be said to exist without every other thing?
All things are parts of One Thing. This is not a clever idea, it is the Truth.
WHAT IS WRONG: For your part, obviously something is wrong with you that's why you
go to others for certainty. If you were all right, why would you ask others?
WHAT'S IS DISTURBING YOU: What is disturbing you & making you uneasy is that there are
things outside & mind inside. Therefore even when the ordinary & holy are one reality, there still remains
a barrier of view. So it is said that as long as views remain you are ordinary; when feelings are forgotten
you're a buddha. I advise you, don't seek reality, just stop views.
"B.F. SKINNER'S KAMIKAZE PIGEONS & FREE WILL"
PIGEONS & FREE WILL: Are pigeons intelligent enough
or dumb enough to be trained to fly suicide missions during wartime? The answer is yes.
Using the principles of positive reinforcement, skinner trained pigeons during W.W.II to peck at keys
that controlled the bomb they were riding. As the enemy ship moved, the pigeons would peck the controls
to maintain the missile on track of its target. The pigeon bomb never saw battle,
but simulated tests proved successful.
So humans being the only animal that possesses self awareness, imagination, & reason, humans are the
"freak of the universe" (R.FROMM)
You would think we would have the free will to not let our self's be trained to peck at a key,
dropping to our demise. "Are we man or pigeon"?
NO CONCERN: Just put thoughts to rest & don't seek outward anymore. When things come up, then give
them your attention; just trust what is functional in you at present, & you have nothing to be concerned about.
"JOSEPH CONRAD, TYPHOON"
A BAD DAY: What from the magnitude of the shock might have been a column of water running upright in the dark
butted against the ship, broke short and fell on her bridge crushingly, from on high, with a dead burying weight.
A flying fragment of that collapse, a mere splash, enveloped them in one swirl from their feet over their heads,
filling violently their ears, mouths, and nostrils with salt water. It knocked out their legs, wrenched in haste
at their arms, seethed away swiftly under their chins; and opening their eyes they saw the piledup masses of foam
dashing to and fro amongst what looked like the fragments of a ship.
"And you were thinking your day was bad"!
((( The raft of Medusa )))
MAHATMI: What is meant by nondeality, Mahatmi? It means that light & shade, long & short, black & white,
can only be experienced in relation to each other. Light is not independent of shade, nor black of white.
There are no opposites, only relationships. In the same way, nirvana & the ordinary world of suffering are not
two things but related to each other. There is no nirvana except where the world of suffering is, there is no world of
suffering apart from nirvana. For existence is not mutually exclusive.
ILLUMINATING PERCEPTION: When you illuminate your perception, your eyes are like a thousand suns,
so that nothing can escape notice. Ordinarily, people just never been so observant, but they should not give up in
frustration because of underestimating themselves.
MIND'S EYE: It is though you have an eye that sees all forms but does not see itself this is how your mind is.
Its light penetrates everywhere & engulfs everything, so why does it not know itself?
DON'T RUSH: Ying Shaowu said to Zen master Zhenjing Wen. Whatever is rushed to maturity will surely
break down early. Whatever is accomplished in a hurry will surely be easily destroyed.
What is done without making consideration for the long run, & is hastily finished, is not of a
far reaching & great character. Therefore it is said "When you want to be quick, you don't succeed;
act carefully & you won't miss!"
REFLECTION: In managing affairs one must weigh the heavy & the light; when speaking out one must first think
and reflect. Strive to accord with the middle way, do not allow bias. Hasty & careless actions seldom bring success.
Even if you can get done in this way, after all you cannot complete anything totally.
"A LETTER TO XIANG"
BEING IN A WORLD WITHOUT MISERY: What has been long neglected cannot be restored immediately.
Ills that have been accumulating for a long time cannot be cleared away immediately.
One cannot enjoy oneself forever. Human emotions cannot be just right. Calamity cannot be avoided by trying to
run away from it. Anyone who has realized these five things can be in the world with out misery.
MAKE THE WAY WIDE: Huanglong said to the great statesman Wang Anshi.
Whatever you set your mind to do, you always should make the road before you wide open,
so that all people may traverse it. This is the concern of a great man. If the way is narrow & perilous,
so that others cannot go on it, then you your-self will not have any place to set foot either.
LIVING AND DEAD WORDS: Study the living word of zen, not the dead word.
When you attain understanding of the living word, you never forget it.
When you attain understanding of the dead word, you can't ever save yourself.
OPENING THE MIND: Zen requires opening the mind & losing all false cognition & false views.
When nothing hangs on your mind & you have passed through cleanly, then you are ready for refinement.
SAVING ENERGY: Zen practice requires detachment from thought. This is the best way to save energy.
Just detach from emotional thought & understand that there is no objective world.
Then you will know how to practice Zen.
DON'T SEEK ZEN: If you want to attain intimate realization of Zen, first of all don't seek it.
What is attained by seeking has already fallen into intellection. The great treasury of Zen has always been open
& clear; it has always been source of power for all your actions. But only when you stop your compulsive mind,
to reach the point where not a single thing is born, do you pass through to freedom, not falling into feelings &
not dwelling on concepts, transcending all completely. Then Zen is obvious everywhere in the world, with the
totality of everything everywhere turning into its great function. Everything comes from your own heart.
STUMBLED PAST: As soon as you try to chase & grab Zen, you've already stumbled past it.
TALKING ABOUT ZEN: Talking about Zen all the time is like looking for fish tracks in a dry riverbed.
THE ZEN SHORTCUT: The shortcut of Zen is to leave the present & directly experience the state before birth,
before the division of wholeness. When you accomplish this, you are like a dragon in the water, like a tiger
in the mountains. You are very clear & calm everywhere, free to enliven or kill every where, spontaneously able to
"rouse the wind & stir the grasses" everywhere. You do not cling to any activity, you do not sit inactive.
This is like cutting a skein of thread, & dyeing a skein of thread when one is cut all are cut, when one is
dyed all are dyed. From top to bottom, the whole thing is a huge door of liberation. Now Buddhist truths &
things of the world have become one where is there any external thing at all to constitute an impediment?
SUBJECTIVE ZEN: Many intelligent people understand Zen subjectively, & are unable to let go of their subjectivity.
They still their minds without experiencing their real nature, & think this is emptiness.
They try to abandon existence to cling to emptiness. This ia a serious malady.
PEACE & QUIET: When you have attained mental & physical peace & quiet, don't get stuck in peace & quiet.
Be independent & free, like a gourd rolling & bobbing on a river.
ZEN MIND: The mind of Zen adepts is straight as a bowstring, like a long sword against the sky cutting through
confusion wherever they may be. Worldly wealth & status, hauteur & extravagance, mundane desires, & all the ups
& downs of life, cannot affect them. Fame & profit, judgments of right & wrong, & all the possible states of being,
cannot trap them.
WORRY & TROUBLE: The ancient saints governed their minds before sprouting, stopped feelings before confusion.
In general. preparing beforehand means no trouble. Therefore "the alarm is beaten at the outer gate to deal with the thugs,"
& preparations are made beforehand. When the task is done beforehand, then it is easy. If you do it hurriedly & carelessly,
it must be hard. The fact that the ancient sages had not a worry all their lives & not a day's trouble truly lies in this.
PASSING THE TEST: In private teaching, Huanglong used to give 3-barrier sayings, but few comprehended this device.
When someone occasionally made a reply, he would just close his eyes & sit still without any particular approval or disapproval.
The recluse Pan Yanzhi inquired further about this. Huanglong said, "One who has already passed the barrier goes on freely.
The one who asks the gate man whether it is all right or not is the one who has not yet gone through the pass."
KNOW YOURSELF: I tell people to get to know themselves. Some people think this means what beginners observe,
& consider it easy to understand. Reflect more carefully, in a more leisurely manner, what do you call your self?
TRUE SELF: How do you understand your true self? What are you? Do you know? If you don't know, only go straight
don't know. Then this don't know mind mind cuts off all thinking, & your online situation, online condition, & online opinion
disappear. Then your correct situation, correct condition, & correct opinion appear very simple.
THE FREE SELF: If you want to be free, get to know your real self. It has no form, no appearance, no root, no basis,
no abode, but is lively & buoyant. It responds with versatile facility, but its function cannot be located.
Therefore when you look for it you become further from it, when you seek it you turn away from it all the more.
"Are we, are we ourselves?" (THE FIXX--1984)
CONFUSION: Due to confusion, people mistake things for themselves; covetousness flares up,
& they get into vicious cycles that cloud perceptions & enshroud them in ignorance.
The vicious cycles go on & on, & people cannot be free.
PROCEED FROM THE TOP OF THE POLE: "How can you proceed on from the top of a hundred foot pole?"
Another Zen teacher said: "One who sits on top of a hundred foot pole has attained a certain height but still is not
handling Zen freely. He should proceed on from there & appear with his whole body in the ten parts of the world."
SAFETY & DANGER: Nothing is more essential to leadership & teacher ship than carefully discerning what to take
& what to leave aside. The consummation of taking or leaving is determined within; the beginnings of safety & danger are
determined without. Safety is not the safety of one day, nor is danger the danger of one day. Both safety & danger come
from gradual development. It is imperative to examine the matter of leadership.
To uphold leadership by means of enlightened qualities accumulates enlightened qualities, to uphold leadership with courtesy
& justice accumulates courtesy & justice.
Exploitative leadership accumulates resentment & enmity. When resentment & enmity build up, inside & outside are
estranged & opposed. When courtesy & justice build up, inside & outside are harmonious & happy.
When enlightened qualities accumulate, inside & outside are sensitive & compliant.
So where there is a plenitude of enlightened qualities, courtesy & justice, then inside & outside are happy.
When exploitation & resentment are extreme, inside & outside are miserable. It is the feelings of misery
& happiness to which calamity & blessing respond.
THREE DON'TS: In leadership there are three don'ts: when there is much to do, don't be afraid; when there is nothing to do,
don't be hasty; & don't talk about opinions of right & wrong. A leader who succeeds in these three things won't be confused
or deluded by external objects.
WORLDLY AFFAIRS: Men of affairs who are in positions of wealth & rank yet are not trapped by wealth & rank, &
are also able to break through the iron face of the mortal being & focus their minds on this path, must already have the
seed of wisdom; otherwise, how could they reach this?
The trouble is not being able to do real true work in deadly earnest. We see many who think & compare, consciously
anticipating enlightenment, trying deliberately to achieve cessation, rejoicing when others privately acknowledge them,
wanting people to praise them. As soon as you give rise to these thoughts, this is the root of birth & death.
NO DOGMA: When the ancients uttered a word or half a phrase, it was to resolve sticking points, untie bonds, pull out nails,
& remove stakes; how could they have any dogma to bind people? We see many students who cling to the pointing finger,
taking it for the moon; they seek mystery & marvel, they seek intellectual understanding, instead of a way to the source.
They are to be deeply pitied.
So for people of superior faculties & keen insight, this matter is not hard to see. As for those of lesser potential &
capacity who are also lazy & pursue trivia in neglect of the fundamental, they have no hope of attainment. In reality,
they exclude themselves.
GENUINE SEEKERS: Genuine seekers of true enlightenment should first question themselves & discover their inherent
spiritual light. Then they must meet others to find out the handle of going beyond. As they penetrate the subtle crux of being
& non being, grasping & rejection are both empty; as they pass through the dark machinations of gain & loss, they devote no
energy to matters of glory & disgrace.
CURING MADNESS: The teachings of the whole vast canon are all prescriptions for curing the mad.
If you see through the origin, the mad mind abruptly stops, & you may spontaneously burst out in a laugh.
CLARIFYING MIND: What is most essential to Buddhism is based on clarifying the mind. If you want your mind
to be clear, it is important to put opinions to rest. If opinions are not stopped, then wrong & right are confused;
if the mind is not clear, reality & illusion are mixed up. If you stop opinions & clear the mind, then reality & illusion are
both empty, wrong & right do not stand.
THE GREAT WAY: The great way is right before our eyes, but it is still hard to see what is right before our eyes.
If you want to know the true substance of the great way, it is not apart from sound & form, words & speech.
AWAKEN ON YOUR OWN: Learning the path of Zen study has no special mysterious gateway or essential road:
it requires individuals to awaken on their own. If you have awakened correctly once, you see mountains are not mountains
& rivers are not rivers; then after that you see mountains are mountains & rivers are rivers. If you are not awakened,
when you see things you are obstructed by seeing, influenced by things, confused by objects,
This is what is called restlessness of habit ridden consciousness, in which there is no reliable basis.
THE FIRE OF ZEN: This thing is like an enormous fire, fierce flames pervading the sky, with never the slightest
interruption. Everything in the world is thrown into it, immediately evaporating away like a fleck of snow.
"ZEN----FO-HSING T' AI"
THE IMPASSABLE BARRIER: Even if you attain realization of the emptiness of persons & things,
this does not measure up to the way of Zen. Even if you embody complete function & complete perception,
this is still not the essential wonder of Zen. You must break through the impassable barrier & get to know the opening
GOING BEYOND: When you get to the point where even a thousand people, even ten thousand people, cannot trap you,
that is still not expertise. You must go on to the beyond & activate the transcendental key, never injuring your hand against
the sharp edge, bringing everyone in the world to life.
INDIVIDUAL REALIZATION: This thing cannot be learned, cannot be taught, cannot be transmitted, it can only
be attained by individual realization. Once you've attained realization, you are content, unpreoccupied, thoroughly lucid,
clear & at ease. All spiritual capacities & miracle working are inherent endowments & need not be sought elsewhere.
EYES & FEET: If you only understand your self & not the environment, you have eyes but no feet.
If you understand the environment but not your self, you have feet but no eyes. In either case there is something on your
chest all the time. Since there is something on your chest, uneasiness is always present, & you get stuck along the way.
How can you attain peace? A spiritual ancestor said, "If you cling to it, you lose measure & inevitably fall into a false path.
Let it go & be natural, essence neither goes nor stays."
DOORS: When the perfect wisdom is first seen, a new perception comes into being that does not depend on any structure.
The great quest of the seeker now blossoms as various vast & mysterious doors swing open at the mere touch of the
new perception. There is the door that opens to a vista of the essence less essence, that which is the real nature of the
manifested world. There is the door of liberation from a merely partial perception of muddled perspective of this real nature.
& there is the door that opens directly into the authentic realization of this true nature.
There is the wonderful door that opens into an intensity of sights & sounds, color & beauty. & there is the door of balance &
ease through which one looks in awe at all the limitless structures of the world as one looks at the star studded night sky.
& there is the door to the exquisite happiness that would never want to own any worldly treasures or to possess even
that same happiness. Finally there is a door of total awakening itself.
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"IF YOU LOVE, LOVE OPENLY"
Twenty Monks & one nun, who was named Eshun, were practicing meditation with a certain Zen master.
Eshun was very pretty even though her head was shaved & her dress plain. Several monks secretly fell in love with her.
One of them wrote her a love letter, insisting upon a private meeting. Eshun did not reply. The following day the
master gave a lecture to the group, & when it was over, Eshun arose. Addressing the one who had written her,
she said: "If you really love me so much, come & embrace me now."
A man traveling across a field encountered a tiger. He fled, the tiger after him. Coming to a precipice,
he caught hold of the root of a wild vine & swung himself down over the edge. The tiger sniffed at him from above.
Trembling, the man looked down to where, far below, another tiger was waiting to eat him. Only the vine sustained him.
Two mice, one white & one black, little by little started to gnaw away the vine. the man saw a luscious strawberry near
him. Grasping the vine with one hand, he plucked the strawberry with the other. How sweet it tasted!
(birth & death is a grave event; How transient is life! Every minute is to be grasped. Time waits for nobody.)
Many pupils were studying meditation under the Zen master Sengai. One of them used to arise at night,
climb over the temple wall, & go to town on a pleasure jaunt. Sengai, inspecting the dormitory quarters,
found this pupil missing one night & also discovered the high stool he had used to scale the wall. Sengai removed the stool
& stood there in it's place. When the wanderer returned, not knowing that Sengai was the stool, he put his feet on the
master's head & jumped down into the ground. Discovering what he had done, he was aghast. Sengai said:
"It is very chilly in the early morning. Do be careful not to catch cold yourself."
The pupil never went out at night again.
"OPEN YOUR OWN TREASURE HOUSE"
Daiju visited the master Baso in China. Baso asked: "What do you seek?" "Enlightenment," replied Daiju.
"You have your own treasure house. Why do you search outside?" Baso asked. Daiju inquired:
"Where is my treasure house?" Baso answered: "What you are asking is your treasure house."
Daiju was enlightened! Ever after he urged his friends:
"Open your own treasure house & use those treasures."
"THE VOICE OF HAPPINESS"
After Bankei had passed away, a blind man who lived near the master's temple told a friend:
"Since I am blind, I cannot watch a person's face, so I must judge his character by the sound of his voice.
Ordinarily when I hear someone congratulate another upon his happiness or success, I also hear a secret tone of envy.
When condolence is expressed for the misfortune of another, I hear pleasure & satisfaction,
as if the one condoling was really glad there was something left to gain in his own world.
"In all my experience, however, Bankei's voice was always sincere. Whenever he expressed happiness,
I heard nothing but happiness, & whenever he expressed sorrow, sorrow was all I heard."
Keichu, the great Zen teacher of the Meijiera, was the head of Tofuke, a cathedral in Kyoto. One day the governor of
Kyoto called upon him for the first time. His attendant presented the card of the governor, which read: "Kitagaki, Governor
of Kyoto. "I have no business with such a fellow," said Keichu to his attendant. "Tell him to get out of here."
The attendant carried the card back with apologies. "That was my error," said the governor, & with a pencil he scratched
out the words Governor of Kyoto. "Ask your teacher again." "Oh, is that Kitagaki?" exclaimed the teacher when
he saw the card. "I want to see that fellow."
"THE THIEF WHO BECAME A DISCIPLE"
One evening as Shichiri Kojun was reciting sutras a thief with a sharp sword entered, demanding either his money
or his life. Shichiri told him: "Do not disturb me. You can find the money in the drawer."
Then he resumed his recitation. A little while afterwards he stopped & called:
"Don't take it all. I need some to pay taxes with tomorrow."
The intruder gathered up most of the money & started to leave. "Thank a person when you receive a gift,"
Shichiri added. The man thanked him & made off. A few days afterwards the fellow was caught & confessed,
among others, the offence 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 & he thanked me for it."
After he had finished his prison term, the man went to Shichiri & became his disciple.
A Nun who was searching for enlightenment made a statue of Buddha & covered it with a gold leaf.
Wherver she went she carried this golden Buddha with her. Years passed & still carrying her Buddha,
the nun came to live in a small temple in a country where there were many Buddhas, each one with it's
own particular shrine. The nun wished to burn incense befor her golden Buddha.
Not liking the idea of the perume straying to the others, she devised a funnel through which the smoke
would ascend only to her statue. This blackened the nose of the golden Buddha, making it especially ugly.
"THE MOST VALUABLE THING IN THE WORLD"
Sozan, a Chinese Zen master, was asked by a student: "What is the most valuable thing in the world?"
The master replied: "The head of a dead cat." "Why is the head of a dead cat the most valuable thing in the world?"
inquired the student. Sozan replied: "Because no one can name it's price."
"LEARNING TO BE SILENT"
The pupils of the Tendai school used to study meditation befor Zen entered Japan. Four of them whowere intimate
friends promised one another to observe seven days of silence. On the first day all were silent. Their meditation had
begun auspiciously, but dim one of the pupils could not help exclaiming to a servant: "Fix those lamps."
The second pupil was suprised to hear the first one talk. "We are not supposed to say a word," he remarked.
"You two are stupid. Why did you talk?" asked the third. "I am the only one who has not talked,"
concluded the fourth pupil.
"TIME TO DIE"
Ikkyu, the Zen master, was very clever even as a boy. His teacher had a precious teacup, a rare antique.
Ikkyu happened to break this cup & was greatly perplexed. Hearing the footsteps of his teacher, he held the pieces
of the cup behind him. When the master appeared, Ikkyu asked: "Why do people have to die?" "This is natural,"
explained the older man. "Everything has to die & has just so long to live." Ikkyu, producing the shattered cup, added:
"It was time for your cup to die."
Zen teachers train their young pupils to express themselves. Two Zen temples each had a child protege.
One child, going to obtain vegetables each morning, would meet the other on the way. "Where are you going?"
asked the one. "I am going wherever my feet go," the other responded. This reply puzzled the first child who went to
his teacher for help. "Tomorrow morning," the teacher told him, "when you meet that little fellow, ask him the
same question. He will give you the same answer, & then you ask him: Suppose you have no feet,
then where are you going? That will fix him.
The childeren met again the following morning. "Where are you going?" asked the first child.
"I am going wherever the wind blows," answered the other. This again nonplussed the youngster,
who took his defeat to his teacher. "Ask him where he is going if there is no wind," suggested the teacher.
The next day the children met a third time. "Where are you going?" asked the first child.
"I am going to market to buy vegetables," the other replied.
Hakuin used to tell his pupils about an old woman who had a teashop, praising her understanding of Zen.
The pupils refused to believe what he told them & would go to the teashop to find out for themselves.
Whenever the woman saw them coming she could tell at once whether they had come for tea or to look into her grasp of Zen.
In the former case, she would serve them graciously. In the latter, she would beckon to the pupils to come behind her screen.
The instant they obeyed, she would strike them with a fire-poker. Nine out of ten of them could not escape her beating.
"TEACHING THE ULTIMATE"
In the early times in Japan, bamboo-&-paper lanterns were used with candles inside. A blind man, visiting a friend one night,
was offered a lantern to carry home with him. "I do not need a lantern," he said. "Darkness or light is all the same to me."
"I know you do not need a lantern to find your way," his friend replied, "But if you don't have one, someone else may run into you.
So you must take it." The blind man started off with the lantern & before he had walked very far someone ran squarely into him.
"Look out where you are going!" he exclaimed to the stranger. "Can't you see this lantern?" "Your candle has burned out,
brother," replied the stranger.
One day there was an earthquake that shook the entire Zen temple. Parts of it even collaspsed. Many of monks were terrified.
When the earth quake stopped the teacher said, "Now you hane had the opportunity to see how a behaves in a crisis situation.
You may have noticed that I did not panic. I was quite aware of what was happening & what to do. I led you all into the kitchen,
the strongest part of the temple. It wasa a good decision, because you see we have all survived without any injuries. However,
despite my self-control & composure, I did feel a little bit tense, which you may have deduced from the fact that I drank a large
glass of water, something I never do under ordinary circumstances." One of the monks smiled, but didin't say anything.
"What are you laughing at?" asked the teacher. "That wasn't water," the monk replied, "it was a large glass of soy sauce."
A renowned professor once visited Zen Master Nan-in to learn about Zen. The master politely poured him some tea,
but didin't stop pouring & the cup overflowed all over his guest. The professor shouted in distress for him to stop.
The master replied, "The cup is full of tea & can contain no more unless I first empty it. In the same way your mind is
full of ideas & there is no room for my teachings, unless you empty it."
"THE GATES OF PARSDISE"
A Soldier named Nobushige came to Zen Master Hakuin & asked: "Is there really a paradise & a hell?"
"Who are you?" inquired Hakuin. "I am a Samurai," the warrior replied. "You, a soldier!" exclaimed Hakuin.
"What kind of ruler would have you as his guard? Your face looks like that of a beggar." Nobushige became so angry
that he began to draw his sword, but Hakuin continued: "So you have a sword! Your weapon is probably much to
dull to cut off my head." As Nobushige drew his sword Hakuin remarked: "Here open the gates of hell!"
At these words the samurai, perceiving the master's discipline, sheathed his sword & bowed. "befor the master.
Hakuin said "Here open the gates of paradise," said Hakuin.
A Zen student came to Bankei & complained: "Master, I have an ungovernable temper. How can I cure it?"
"You have something very strange," replied Bankei. "Let me see what you have." "Just now I cannot show it to you,"
replied the other. "When can you show it to me?" asked Bankei. "It arises unexpectedly," replied the student. "Then,"
concluded Bankei, "it must not be your own true nature, If it were, you could show it to me at any time.
When you were born you did not have it, & your parents did not give it to you. Think that over."
One day a master was just about to give a sermon when a bird started to sing. The master said nothing & everyone listened
to the bird. When the song stopped, the master announced that the sermon had been preached & went on his way.
"TO HIS SENSES"
Liang-sui was studying Zen with master Ma-ku who called out his name three times. Each time Liang-sui answered "yes,"
wherupon the master announced, "You are such a stupid fello." This brought Liang-sui to his senses & he understood Zen.
Once three scholars on the way to the civil service examination stopped to buy refreshments from a woman who sold
pastries by the wayside. One man was calm & quiet, while the other two argued over literature.
The woman asked where they were going. The latter two told her they were going to take the civil service examination.
She said, "You two scholars won't pass the exam; that other man will." The two men swore at her & left.
When the results of the examination turned out as the woman had predicted, the two scholars who had failed went back
to find out how she had known they would not pass, while the third man would. They asked her if she knew physiognomy.
"No," she said." All I know is that when a pastry is thoroughly cooked, it sits there quietly, but before it's
finished it keeps on making noise."
"THE REAL MIRACLE"
When Zen master Bankei was preaching at Ryumon temple, a Shinshu priest, who believed in salvation through the
repetition of the name of the Buddha of Love, was jealous of his large audience & wanted to debate with him.
Bankei was in the midst of a talk when the priest appeared, but the fellow made such a disturbance that Bankei stopped
his discourse & asked about the noise. "The founder of our sect," boasted the priest,
"had such miraculous powers that he held a brush in his hand on one bank of the river,
& the teacher wrote the holy name of Amida through the air. Can you do such a wonderful thing?"
Bankei replied lightly: "Perhaps your fox can perform that trick, but that is not the manner of Zen.
My miracle is that when I feel hungry I eat, & when I feel thirsty I drink."
"ARRESTING THE STONE BUDDHA"
A merchant bearing fifty rolls of cotton goods on his shoulders stopped to rest from the heat of the day beneath a shelter
where a large stone Buddha was standing. There he fell asleep, & when he awoke his goods had disappeared.
He immediately reported the matter to the police.
A judge named O-oka opened court to investigate. "That stone Buddha must have stolen the goods," concluded the judge.
"He is supposed to care for the welfare of the people, but he has failed to perform his holy duty. Arrest him."
The police arrested the stone Buddha & carried it into the court. A noisy crowd followed the statue, curious to learn what
kind of sentence the judge was about to impose. When O-oka appeared on the bench he rebuked the boisterous audience.
"What right have you people to appear befor the court laughing & joking in this manner? You are in contempt of court &
subject to a fine & imprisonment."
The people hastened to apologize. "I shall have to impose a fine on you," said the judge,
"but I will remit it provided each one of you brings one roll of cotton goods to the court within three days.
Anyone failing to do this will be arrested." One of the rolls of cloth which the people brought was quickly recognized
by the merchant as his own, & thus the thief was easily discovered. The merchant recovered his goods, &
the cotton rolls where returned to the people.
"SOLDIERS OF HUMANITY"
Once a division of the Japanese army was engaged in a sham battle, & some of the officers found it necessary to make
their headquarters in Gasan's temple. Gasan told his cook, "Let the officers have only the same simple fare we eat."
This made the army men angry, as they were used to very deferential treatment. One came to Gasan & said,
"Who do you think we are? We are soldiers, sacrificing our lives for our country. Why don't you treat us accordingly?"
Gasan answered sternly, "Who do you think we are? We are soldiers of humanity, aiming to save all sentient beings."
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WHAT DOES BUDDHA MEAN:
Subhuti asked: "What does buddha mean?
Buddha answered: "Buddha is reality. One who thoroughly comprehends all the factors of existence is a buddha."
Then Subhuti asked: "What does enlightenment mean?" Buddha replied:
"Enlightenment is a way of saying that all things are seen in their intrinsic empty nature, their suchness their
ungraspable wonder. Names or words are incidental, but that state which sees no division, no duality, is enlightenment."
Subhuti asked: "If one wants to know emptiness, how should one do it?"
Buddha's reply: "The one who wants to realize emptiness should adore reality, develop a skill in living in the world,
& cultivate friends of the same mind. Skill can only be developed in the presence of reality, not otherwise.
Endowed with skill, the person gives without the idea of a giver & lives in the realization that all the factors of
existence have no ultimate substance."
INFINITY OF SPACE
Empty & calm & devoid of self is the nature of all things. No individual being in reality exists.
There is no end or beginning, nor any middle course. All is illusion, as in a vision or dream.
All beings in the world are beyond the realm of words. Their ultimate nature, pure & true, is like the infinity of space.
Subhuti was Buddha's disciple. He was able to understand the potency of emptiness, the viewpoing that nothing exists
except in it's relationship of subjectivity & 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 on emptiness, we have not heard emptiness," responded the gods.
"This is the true emptiness," & blossons showered upon Subhuti as rain.
The concept of "nothing" had been noticed by Eastern philosophy for thousands of years, but like dark holes in space,
it was not understood. Early mathmaticians did not have a term for it. They knew that the absence of any quantity was
present, but they were at a loss as to what it was. They could not account for it.
The Hindus were the first to recognize zero, which they called sunya, meaning void or empty.
Once they discovered sunya, mathematics as we know it became possible.
All computations were revolutionized by the recognition that "nothing was "something." Suddenly, zero existed.
Then came the mid point on arithmetical number line: minus one, zero, plus one. Number systems developed from
this, but the important evolutionary jump was the discovery of nothingness. Binary arithmetic based on one & zero,
has made computers possible. Without "nothingness," what is canot be.
Mahayana Buddhisim's emptiness, known as sunya, was the springboard for zen. If originally "not a thing is" (Ma-tsu),
then there is no reason to objectify or make an object of what we perceive or know.
Words are not used as concepts in Zen. We can expand this understanding when we realize that objects are interrelated
to our perceptions of them. The experience of perception is primary.
In Zen, emptiness is not a concept or goal, nor is it an ultimate state. This is different from the Western scientifc
concept that defines emptiness as a state, a vacuum consisting, always in flux.
The founder of Gestalt therapy, Fritz Perls, noted that the void implies no-thingness, only process.
Perls believed the void was a source of creativity & therapeutic change.
"Saved By Zero" (THE FIXX-1983)
Zen masters discourage immersion in any kind of empty state. Instead, they help students to discover the process.
Hakuin strongly urged students of Zen not to get stuck in the swamp of nothingness.
When you have attained mental & physical peace & quiet, don't get stuck in peace & quiet.
Be independent & free, like a gourd rolling & bobbing on a river.
When Yamaoka Tesshu (1836-1888) was a young Zen student, he searched for enlightenment by visitng one
Zen master after another. He tried to show each teacher that he knew a great deal about Buddhism.
Talking with Master Dokuon of Shokoku he said, "I know that the mind, the Buddha, all beings & everything
in the world does not exist. In fact, the nature of all things is emptiness."
Dokuon watched the young student silently, calmly smoking. Without warning, he lifted his bamboo stick & struck Tesshu.
Tesshu felt himself fill with anger. Then Dokuon said, "If nothing exists, where did that anger come from?"
Everyday life must continue as always. Tesshu needed to learn to let go of even the concept of nothing as a thing.
Instead of trying to make yourself nothing, make nothing your true self. If you get too caught up in trying to be nothing,
you are making just as big a mistake as those who are trying to be something. Do not try to be nothing or something;
meditate to discover enlightenment.
Many intelligent people understand Zen subjectively, & are unable to let go of their subjectivity.
They still their minds without experiencing their real nature, & think this is emptiness.
They try to abandon existence to cling to emptiness. This is a serious malady.
If you cling to emptiness & linger in quiescence, you will bob & sink herein: the buddhas & bodhisattvas do not rest
their minds this way. Great people sattvas do not rest their minds this way. Great people who clarify the mind understand
this mystic message; body & mind naturally sublimated, their action is unchanging.
Therefore the wise release the mind to be independent & free.
First set aside all involvements & concerns; do not remember or recollect anything at all, whether good or bad,
mundane or transcendental. Do not engage in thoughts. Let go of body & mind, setting them free.
When the mind is like wood or stone, you do not explain anything, & the mind does not go anywhere,
then the mind ground becomes like space, wherein the sun of wisdom naturally appears. It is as though the clouds had
opened & the sun emerged. Just put an end to all fettering connection, & feelings of greed, hatred, craving. defilement
& purity, all come to an end. Unmoved in the face of inner desires & external influences, not choked up by perception
& cognition, not confused by anything, naturally endowed with all virtues & the inconceivable use of spiritual capacities,
this is someone who is free. Not being bound by any good or evil, emptiness of existence, defilement or purity,
striving or nonstriving, mundanity or transcendence, virtue or knowledge, is called enlightened wisdom.
Once affirmation & negation, like & dislike, approval & disapproval, & all various opinions & feelings come to an end
& cannot bind you, then you are free wherever you may be. This is what is called a bodhisattva at the moment of
inspiration immediately ascending to the stage of buddhahood.
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1 OR MORE PINTS OF ANY BASED ALOE VERA SHAMPOO
1 TEA BAGS OF REGULAR GREEN TEA OR 1 BAG OF CHAMOMILE TEA.
AFTER SHAMPOO USE A GOOD CONDITIONER &
WASH OUT IN COOL WATER.
Open the tea then pour the tea on a sheet of wax paper, then carefully role up the wax paper into a funnel
& put the ingredients in the shampoo & shake it all up.
Then you want to put the bottle with the lid open in hot but not to hot, water until every thing is hot.
Take out carefully & close the lid & shake bottle.
Then carefully open the lid pointing it away from you, then let it cool with the lid open.
I also make soap with green tea, in kind of the same way. In a plastic container I put in the mix.
I chop up any green colored soap then I add one bag of tea & about a tea spoon of water to the container.
Next I microwave for 15 to 20 secs at a time till is gets hot enough to mix well. If you microwave
for too long the soap will start to foam up making a mess. Just take your time making the soap.
After it all melted well mix it up then get a small round container & put wax paper in it, then pour the soap mix in it
& put it in the freezer to let cool do not freeze it.
The shampoo works good on my hair, I use the shampoo 2 times a week, with a conditioner afterward.
Green tea does dry things out so it is best to not use it all the time.
Be sure to rinse out the conditioner with cool water!
If you are blond do not use the shampoo! It might turn your hair green, over time.
The soap works good on me too. It does not realy look that good but If it works it works.
The soap also makes a good joke to pull on some one just place it on the floor & wait for someone to say
"What's wrong with the dog ?"
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