Feb 27, 2012

A warning from Hakuin

It frequently happens that someone will take up Zen and spend three, five, perhaps seven years doing zazen, but because he does  not apply himself with total devotion he fails to achieve true single-mindedness, and his practice does not bear fruit.  The months and years pass, but he never experiences the joy of nirvana, and samsaric retribution is always there waiting if he stops or regresses.

... Anxious to cover up their own failure and lessen their sense of shame, they are quick to cite [various examples of religious Buddhism, i.e. reciting mantras, performing pujas, burning incense, bowing to an image of Guan Yin, etc.], and from their examples draw the conclusion that practising zazen is ineffective.


The great teacher Huang-Po said,

"The Dharma preaching of the Dharma-body cannot be found in words, sounds, forms, or appearances; it cannot be understood by means of written words. It is not something you can preach; it is not something you can realise.  It is self-nature and self-nature alone, absolutely empty, and open to all things. Hence the Diamond Sutra says, "There is no Dharma to preach. The preaching of that unpreachable Dharma is what is called preaching the Dharma." "


The Meditation Sutra's preaching is perfectly clear: "The height of the buddha's body is ten quadrillion miles multiplied by the number of sand particles in sixty Ganges rivers." .... If I had to say anything about it at all, it would be that the sand in those sixty Ganges rivers alludes to the colors and forms, the sounds, and the rest of the six dusts that appear as objects to the six organs of sense.  Not one of all the myriad dharmas exists apart from these six dusts. When you fully awaken to the fact that all the dharmas perceived in this way as the six dusts are, in and of themselves, the golden body of the Buddha of Boundless Life in its entirety, you transcend the realm of samsaric suffering right where you stand and become one with supreme perfect enlightenment.

... What possible basis could there then be for that foolish talk about Zen practice being ineffective?

Feb 7, 2012

Essay by Oscar Wilde

The following is, to my thinking, the best of Oscar Wilde's writings, where his intellect climbs a step higher than the sardonic moral protests of his witty plays or the sentimental and teenagerish worship of aesthetics in his stories:
It is titled, "The Soul of Man", an essay in startling contrast with the mountains of modern misfits insightlessly mouthing on political systems.