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  On one occasion, the Buddha said to the monks this:
"No other form do I know, O monks, that so persists in obsessing the mind of a man as the form of a woman.
The form of a woman persists in obsessing the mind of a man.

"No... continue...

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vertical line Posted on Nov.19.2008 @ 08:19AM EDT by ______

Why I Am Not a Zen Master 

Yin Yao Shakya


Recently I was asked how an ordinary Zen guy gets to be a Zen Master. "What's up with the whole 'Zen Master' deal, anyway?" she asked.


Patiently ignoring the single quotes in her voice, I explained that only a Zen Master knows how to become a Zen Master, that when a Zen Master meets another Zen Master (while comin' through the rye, for example) this knowledge flashes between them and they recognize each other immediately, and that the reason I'm not a Zen Master is that the last time I met a Zen Master he thought I was Dan Haggerty, star of The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams. Out of respect, I didn't refuse when he asked for my autograph - but I had to draw the line when he wanted me to demonstrate bear-wrestling with one of his disciples playing the bear. Zen disciples may be small, but they're crafty. 



The assembled worshipper appeared doubtful - ready to pelt me with another volley of gratuitous punctuation, in fact. So I continued by relating that each individual Zen Master is the result of billions of years of selective breeding - starting with the Buddha himself and achieving final perfection with the Lubavitcher Rebbe, of sacred memory. The succession is recorded in a book, whose Chinese name is Xin Dao Gua Nan - roughly translated as Jane's All the World's Zen Masters. Without this volume, the Zen family tree would be as twisted and paradoxical as that of the Kennedy's, the Carradines, or the Baldwins. 


I was about to go into some details on the prehistory of Zen Masters - starting with the mighty Masterdon, which became extinct approximately a trillion years BC - when the congregation ventured the opinion that my explanation thus far had not been quite so helpful as she had been led to expect. 


"Rev," she said, "You are so full of it." 


She had me there. It appeared the jig was up, the cat was out of the bag, the worm had turned, the die was cast, and the grouse was in the underpants. Summoning up a lifetime's worth of detachment and self-control I immediately spilled my guts, in re: How to Become a Zen Master. 


In keeping with the ancient secrets of the Orient, I told her, candidates are carefully screened at their local temples for the necessary degree of enlightenment, hat size, percentage of body fat, and table manners. Those who make the first cut are FedExed to the Central Zen Master Distribution Center (CZMDC) in St. Louis, where they are sorted, stacked on pallets, and placed in cold storage until there's a vacancy. When a position opens up, the required number of candidates are pulled and shipped to the offices of Learning Unlimited Corporation in Tulsa, Oklahoma (LUCTO). Upon arrival, the candidates are blindfolded and taken to a large room filled with incense smoke, and folding chairs. 


The actual Master-making procedure is known as the Zen Clap, and it works like this:  All candidates sit in a circle facing each other. One person starts the action by placing either hand, with fingers extended, on top of his head while saying, "Yin." 


The next person to go depends upon which way the starter's fingers were pointing. If he used his left hand, his fingers would be pointing to the person to his right and so that person would go next. Naturally, the person on his left would go if he placed his right hand on his head. 


Once the next person to go is determined, he places either hand flat on his stomach and says, "Yang." Again, the next person to go is determined by which way the fingers were pointing while placed on the stomach. 


See instruction Number 2 for explanation. 


The next person to go will perform a one-handed clap by pointing his fingertips towards anyone else in the circle while saying nothing. Whichever way his fingertips point indicates a new starter who gets the whole process rolling again by placing a hand on top of his head.

The game continues at a rapid pace until someone makes the wrong motion, says the wrong word, or goes out of turn. If this happens, he is out. The last three people left are declared the Zen Masters. 


It should be clear to even the most jaded skeptic that only one enlightened enough to figure out what the hell this means is worthy of the title "Zen Master." Anyone shameless enough to do this in front of other people is worthy of a free breakfast at Denny's and a spot on Survivor Baghdad. 


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Reply from ______
Nov.19.2008
08:27AM EDT 
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Misses Cheow was a successful businesswoman. Every day, at noon, she would leave her shop, go upstairs to her apartment, ring the gong and say her invocations to the Lord Buddha. Nothing was allowed to intrude.

Unfortunately, her prayers had not affected her personality. She was grumpy

and treated her employees badly. Still, every day, at noon, she rang the

gong and said her invocations for half an hour.


One day, an employee of hers, waited just until after noon, when Misses Cheow started ringing the gong and shouting out her invocations. He

went to her door and rang the bell. She continued loudly ringing the gong

and saying her invocations. He kept ringing the bell and after a while

started banging on her door.


Misses Cheow finally interrupted her prayers, opened the door, and in an

angry voice said "What is it that you want? How dare you interrupt me? You

know I am not to be disturbed!"


And the man said "I have only been calling on you five minutes, and

look how annoyed you are - you have been shouting your invocations for years - how do you think Lord Buddha must feel?"


~Hazrat Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan


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Reply from ______
Nov.19.2008
08:34AM EDT 
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The story of an enthusiastic servant:

The master had a headache, and he told the servant to go and fetch some medicine from the chemist. The servant thought it would not be sufficient only to fetch medicine from the chemist; so he also made an appointment with the doctor, and on his way home he visited the undertaker. The master asked, 'Why are you so late?' The servant said, 'Sir, I arranged everything.' 

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Reply from boopoom
Nov.19.2008
09:13AM EDT 
Email boopoom
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Photobucket

" your eyes only see what they want to see.....your hearts make it  true what you want to believe  ............................ "

:) you can't walk away from love.......

love, boopoom

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Reply from kelvintan
Nov.19.2008
10:24AM EDT 
Email kelvintan
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Retelling Us Stories Truly Is Contributing

Knowledge - what we know - means little

unless intelligently applied to serve others.

Appreciate your sharing

With Metta

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Reply from kelvintan
Nov.19.2008
11:06AM EDT 
Email kelvintan
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Photobucket

" your eyes only see what they want to see.....your hearts make it  true what you want to believe  ............................ "

:) you can't walk away from love.......

love, boopoom

"
.........

"
.........

Benevolent Ones Offer Peace Only Our Mind
is disturbed by our own defilments if not guarded.

With Metta

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Reply from ______
Nov.22.2008
08:29AM EDT 
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I saw an illustration of what may be called essence-suffering some time ago. A Buddhist teacher I knew in California, had an American pupil whom he loved very much. She died of cancer at a very early age, in her early thirties. I remember there was a memorial service for her. This was many years ago and I went to the service. The teacher was up on the platform and friends of the young woman came and spoke about her. I was wondering what a Buddhist teacher would say because Buddhism is about freedom from suffering.

Other people spoke as we would all speak, very understandably, very deeply. I was very touched by what then happened. The Buddhist teacher stood up, and he let out a roar, a groan, from deep down. From the bottom of the earth, a groan of sorrow that resonated through the whole hall, took everyone aback. It was very deep and very real. Then he sat down and was completely quiet. It was as though a storm was unleashed and then it was over. That was suffering. That was the expression of essence-suffering!

~Jacob Needleman

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Reply from ______
Nov.22.2008
08:58AM EDT 
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Gurdjieff remembers that when his grandfather was dying -- he was only nine years old -- the grandfather called him. He loved the boy very much and he told the boy, "I don't have much to give to you, but departing from the world I would like to give you something. I can only give you one piece of advice that has helped me; it was given to me by my father, and he was also dying when he gave it to me. I am dying. You are too young, you may not be able to understand it right now, but remember, a day will come when you will understand. Whenever you find yourself capable of following my advice, follow it, and you will never be in misery. You can avoid the hell of life."


And what was the advice? Just this sutra -- not exactly in these words. He said to Gurdjieff, "Remember one thing: if you want to do any bad thing, postpone it for tomorrow; and if you want to do something good, do it immediately -- because postponement is a way of not doing. And bad has not to be done, and good has to be done. For example," the old man said, "if somebody insults you and you feel angry, enraged, tell him that you will come after twenty-four hours and answer him."


Gurdjieff remembers, "That advice transformed my whole life. Although I was too young, only nine years old, I tried it just out of curiosity. Some boy would insult me or would hurt me or would say something nasty, and I would remember my old dying grandfather and I would tell the boy, 'I will have to wait; I have promised an old man. After twenty-four hours I will answer you.'


"And it always happened," Gurdjieff remembers, "that either I would come to conclude that he was right, that whatsoever he had said LOOKED nasty but it was true about me.... He was saying, 'You are a thief,' and that is true, I am a thief. He was saying, 'You are insincere,' and that is true -- I am insincere." So he would go and thank the boy: "You pointed out something true about me. You brought up a true facet of my being which was not clear to me. You made me more conscious about myself. I am immensely grateful."


Or, after twenty-four hours' thinking, he would come to conclude that, "That man or that boy is absolutely wrong. It has nothing to do with me." Then there is no point in answer-ing; he would not go back to the boy. If something is utterly wrong, why become enraged? This is a big world, millions of people are there; you cannot go answering everybody, otherwise your whole life will be wasted. And there is no need either.


This is half of the story. If you can postpone the bad for tomorrow you will be able to do the good immediately. And you will never repent -- because if you do bad immediately, you will repent tomorrow; if you do good today you will never repent, there is no question of repentance. This is a simple secret of transforming the hell that you live in into a lotus paradise.


~Osho

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Reply from ______
Nov.22.2008
11:45AM EDT 
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Once, when Bishr was a Sufi disciple still dependent entirely upon the comfort of men, he was on the Island of Abadan. There he came across a most unfortunate man. He was suffering from leprosy, was blind, and lay on the ground with nobody near him. Bishr went to him and raised his head on his knees, speaking some words of reassurance and humanity, feeling sorrow and compassion. The leper then spoke out, saying: 'What stranger comes here, to stand between me and my Lord? With or without my body, I have my love for Him.'
Bishr recounts that this lesson had remained with him throughout his days.

Mashghul says: 'This story can only be understood by those who realize how the leper was preventing Bishr from indulging his own sentimentality and ruining himself, through being turned into what humanity calls a "good man". "Good" is what you do voluntarily, and not in furtherance of an appetite for indulgence taught by others in the name of humanity.'

~Bishr Ibn El-Harith 

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Reply from ______
Nov.23.2008
08:46AM EDT 
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There is a fable that a donkey went to a camel and said, 'Uncle, we shall

be friends, we shall go grazing together.' The camel said 'Child, I enjoy my

walks alone.' Said the donkey, 'I am most eager to accompany you, uncle.'

The good-natured camel consented to it, and they both went together. Long

before the camel finished grazing the donkey had finished and was eager to

express himself. He said, 'Uncle, I would like to sing, if you don't mind.'

The camel said, 'Do not do such a thing. It will be a terrible thing for

both you and me. I have not yet finished my dinner.' The donkey had no

patience, he could not control his joy and began to sing. A husbandman,

attracted by his singing, came with a long bamboo. The donkey ran away, and all the thrashing fell upon the back of the camel. When next morning the donkey went again to invite Uncle Camel, the camel said, 'I am too ill, and your way is different and my way is different. From today we shall part.'


~Hazrat Inayat Khan

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Reply from ______
Nov.23.2008
08:49AM EDT 
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The truth about man


One day in the Garden of Eden, Eve calls out to God.

"Lord, I have a problem!"

"What's the problem, Eve?"

"Lord, I know you created me and provided this beautiful garden and all of these wonderful animals and that hilarious comedic snake, but I'm just not happy."

"Why is that, Eve?" came the reply from above.

"Lord, I am lonely, and I'm sick to death of apples."

"Well Eve, in that case, I have a solution. I shall create a man for you."

"What's a man, Lord?"

"This man will be a flawed creature, with many bad traits. He'll lie, cheat, and be vainglorious; all in all, he'll give you a hard time. But... he'll be bigger, faster, and will like to hunt and kill things. He will look silly when he's aroused, but since you've been complaining, I'll create him in such a way that he will satisfy your physical needs. He will be witless and will revel in childish things like fighting and kicking a ball about. He won't be too smart, so he'll also need your advice to think properly."

"Sounds great." says Eve, with an ironically raised eyebrow. What's the catch, Lord?"

"Well... you can have him on one condition."

"What's that, Lord?"

"As I said, he'll be proud, arrogant, and self-admiring... So you'll have to let him believe that I made him first. But remember, it's our little secret... You know, woman to woman."

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Reply from ______
Nov.23.2008
09:11AM EDT 
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Meanwhile I boldly or, if you like, impudently, take it upon myself in advance to advise you to absorb with, as might be said, an intensive-mobilization of all your perceptive organs, the information elaborating the rest of this story, in order that the crystallization in you of the new impression may proceed normally and not in the manner in which it has already become habitual for this to proceed, that is to say, as the great sage Mullah Nassr Eddin defines and expresses it: “One part is used up for one's own welfare, and that only for today, while all the rest going in at one ear, is exhausted in the process of trying to get out at the other.”

But as to the manner of their fasting - one cannot help recalling the saying of our dear Mullah Nassr Eddin in such cases: “Isn't-it-all-the-same-if-I-sing-like-a-donkey-as-long-as-they-call-me-a-nightingale?”

Concerning the destruction and transformation by contemporary beings of these good customs which were handed down from the ancient days of their wise ancestors, our incomparable Mullah Nassr Eddin has also a very apt and wise sentence: “Ekh! People, people! Why are you people? If only you were not people, you might perhaps be clever.”

~Gurdjieff

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Reply from ______
Nov.24.2008
08:31AM EDT 
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There are affinities among the wisecrack, ignorance, and the stream-of-consciousness approach that I do not yet find clearly understood in the West, though I came across a combination of all three when I last went to Jerusalem.


A man with a curio shop was trying to sell to a female tourist what he described as "a very important embossed-metal picture of the Last Supper." I stood riveted to the spot when I heard her say, "What's so wonderful about the Last Supper, anyway? Now if you had a picture of the First Supper, that might be something. Besides, when is the Next Supper?"


Ignorance is crippling, paranoia is ridiculous, right alignment and respect (for materials, for students and teachers) are essential; servility and vanity are harmful. The proper focus is almost everything. A comprehensive understanding is essential. Offering premature "enlightenment" is irresponsible. Paradoxically but inalienably, the fact is that only by wanting to serve each other can the two elements -- the teaching and the learning -- be harmoniously, and therefore correctly, brought together.


~Idries Shah


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Reply from ______
Nov.24.2008
08:35AM EDT 
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For I am knowledge and ignorance.
I am shame and boldness.
I am shameless; I am ashamed.
I am strength and I am fear.
I am war and peace.
Give heed to me.
I am the one who is disgraced and the great one. 


~The Thunder, Perfect Mind

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Reply from Lynnoh
Nov.24.2008
01:08PM EDT 
Email Lynnoh
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For I am knowledge and ignorance.
I am shame and boldness.
I am shameless; I am ashamed.
I am strength and I am fear.
I am war and peace.
Give heed to me.
I am the one who is disgraced and the great one. 


~The Thunder, Perfect Mind

"
.........

"
.........

I'd wondered where the shame came from

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Reply from Lynnoh
Nov.24.2008
01:19PM EDT 
Email Lynnoh
vertical line Rustic... thank you
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Reply from ______
Nov.25.2008
09:00AM EDT 
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Ninagawa-Shinzaemon called on Ikkyu and the following dialogue took place:


  IKKYU:  Who are you?

  NINAGAWA:  A devotee of Buddhism.

  IKKYU:  You are from?

  NINAGAWA:  Your region.

  IKKYU:  And what’s happening there these days?

  NINAGAWA:  The crows caw, the sparrows twitter.

  IKKYU:  And where do you think you are now?

  NINAGAWA:  In a field dyed violet.

  IKKYU:  Why?

  NINAGAWA:  Miscanthus,  morning glories,  safflowers,    

  chrysanthemums,  asters.

  IKKYU:  And after they’re gone?

  NINAGAWA:  It’s Miyagino (field known for its autumn flowering).

  IKKYU:  What happens in the field?

  NINAGAWA:  The stream flows through, the wind sweeps over.


Amazed at Ninagawa’s  Zen-like speech, Ikkyu led him to his room and served him tea.  Then he spoke the impromptu verse:


  I want to serve

  You delicacies.

  Alas! the Zen sect

  Can offer nothing.


At which the visitor replied:


  The mind which treats me

  To nothing is the original void-

  A delicacy of delicacies.


.........................................


Among those who came to see him for guidance was Murata Shuko, the most eminent tea ceremony master of the day.  Visiting Ikkyu, he was asked what he thought of Master Joshu’s well-known reference to  tea drinking (in spite of their different responses, Joshu invariably said to three monks training under him, “Have a cup of tea”).  Shuko remained silent, and at last Ikkyu served him a cup of tea.  


As Shuko lifted the cup to his lips, Ikkyu let out with a Zen shout and smashed the cup with his iron nyoi.  


Shuko made a deep bow.


“What are you like,” Ikkyu said, “when you’ve no intention of taking tea?”  


Without answering, Shuko got up and moved toward the door.


“Stop,” Ikkyu called.  “What are you like when you’ve taken tea?”


“The willow is green,” Shuko said, “ the rose is red.”


Ikkyu, approving Shuko’s grasp of Zen, smiled broadly.


Throughout his life Ikkyu took his Zen responsibilities, the temple rituals and later, disciples , conscientiously, in spite of his marked independence, but he would suddenly get fed up with routine, heading for the hills:


  when I was 47 everyone came to see me

  so I walked out forever


~Stephen Berg

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Reply from ______
Nov.25.2008
09:25AM EDT 
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Once upon a time there was a young man called, Aurangzeb. He used to roam around from town to town selling hats for a living. One day he would be in Bangalore and the next day people would find him in Mysore.


One summer afternoon, Aurangzeb had just travelled across a vast plain, so he felt tired and wanted to take a nap in the jungle. He found a mango tree with lots of branches and cool shade. Placing his bag of hats beside him, he went to sleep.


Aurangzeb was fast asleep in no time. When he woke up after a refreshing nap, he found that there were no hats in his bag! "Oh, no!" he said to himself and shook his head sadly, "Of all the people, why did the thieves have to rob me?"


Suddenly, he looked up and noticed that the mango tree was full of cute monkeys wearing colorful hats. He yelled at the monkeys and they screamed back. He made faces at them and they returned the same funny faces. He threw a stone at them and they showered him with raw mangoes.


"Oh gosh, how do I get my hats back?" Aurangzeb pondered. Frustrated, he took off his own hat and threw it on the ground. To his surprise, the monkeys threw their hats also! Aurangzeb did not waste a second and hurriedly collected the hats and went on his way to the next town.


Fifty years later, young Habib, grandson of the famous Hat-Seller Aurangzeb, who worked hard to maintain the family business, was passing through the same jungle. After a long walk he was very tired and found a nice mango tree with lots of branches and cool shade. Habib decided to rest a while and very soon was fast asleep.


A few hours later, when Habib woke up, he realized that all the hats from his bag were gone! He started searching for them and to his surprise found some monkeys sitting on the mango tree wearing his hats. He was frustrated and did not know what to do, but then he remembered a story his grandfather used to tell him.


"Oh, I can fool these monkeys!" said Habib. "I will make them imitate me and very soon I will get all hats back!"


Habib waved at the monkeys and the monkeys waved back at him. He blew his nose and the monkeys blew their noses. He started dancing and the monkeys also danced. He pulled his ears and the monkeys pulled their ears. He raised his hands and the monkeys raised their hands.


Then, he threw his hat on the ground expecting all the monkeys to do so, but instead, one monkey jumped down from the mango tree, walked up to Habib, hit him on the shoulder and said, "Do you think only you had a grandfather?"


~Shariq Tariq


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Reply from ______
Nov.26.2008
09:42AM EDT 
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Note concerning the Ikkyu story:  although the couplet was translated by Stephen Berg, the rest of the story was translated by Lucien Stryk and Takashi Ikemoto.

..............................


.....His core, his “real self” as it has been called, the “true man of no rank” is an anonymous force whose successive conditions are the same moment-by-moment states of fluid nameless identity we can sense in ourselves.  Or say that Ikkyu’s nature and Nature are synonymous.  Listening to fishermen, playing with a lover, expounding a fleeting splinter of thought, the man is all there.  He is never a “half-filled mask”, Rilke’s term for us when we evade ourselves as we are.  Jung’s “The most terrifying thing is to accept oneself completely” is enacted by Ikkyu in the poems that track his life and the life of his mind.   Kawabata calls him “the most severe and profound” teacher, perhaps because he leaves no part of himself unrevealed; because of his attempt at moral, spiritual, and personal inclusiveness.  Wherever he is, whoever he is, he is relentlessly frank, naked, sincere, skilled in the uses of suffering.  The long explosion of his character continues with equal intensity to the end of his life.  Strangers at first, possibly we discovered a lost acquaintance - it happened in a flash, couplet after couplet.  They say everyone meets him/herself in Ikkyu, immediately, in his deep fund of passion. 


~Stephen Berg


..............................


Hearing a crow with no mouth

   Cry in the deep

Darkness of the night,

   I feel a longing for

My father before he was born


~Ikkyu

 Translated by Soiku Shigematsu


..............................


Void in Form

When, just as they are,

White dewdrops gather

On scarlet maple leaves,

Regard the scarlet beads!


  *               *               *  


Form in Void

The tree is stripped,

All colour, fragrance gone,

Yet already on the bough,

Uncaring spring!


................................


South of Mount Sumeru

Who understands my Zen?

Call Master Kiko over - 

He’s not worth a cent.


~Ikkyu

  Translated by Lucien Stryk and Takashi Ikemoto


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Reply from ______
Dec.18.2008
06:44AM EDT 
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There was a man who wandered through the world, seeking his deepest desire. He wandered from city to city, from realm to realm. One day, tired from his travels, he sat down under a tree, not knowing that this was the great wish-fulfilling tree. “I wish I had a home here”, the traveller said. And immediately, he had a home. “I wish I had a partner to be with me. Then my happiness would be complete.” Immediately the traveller had a beautiful wife. “I am hungry”, he thought, and the most exquisite food appeared. He began to eat and thought, “I wish I had a servant to serve me all this wonderful food”, and there was a servant. The traveller started to reflect. “There must be some mysterious force. There must be a demon, and the demon will probably eat me”, he thought. And so there was a demon, and that is just what he did.

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Reply from ______
Dec.18.2008
06:50AM EDT 
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The Gnat and Solomon 

A gnat came in from the garden and fields,

And called on Solomon for justice,

Saying, "O Solomon, you extend your equity

Over demons and the sons of Adam and fairies.

Fish and fowl dwell under the shelter of your justice;

Where is the oppressed one whom your mercy has not sought?

Grant me redress, for I am much afflicted,

Being cut off from my garden and meadow haunts."

Then Solomon replied, "O seeker of redress,

Tell me from whom do you desire redress?

Who is the oppressor, who, puffed up with arrogance

Has oppressed you and smitten your face?"

The gnat replied, "He from whom I seek redress is the Wind,

'Tis he who has emitted the smoke of oppression at me;

Through his oppression I am in a grievous strait,

Through him I drink blood with parched lip!"

Solomon replied to him, "O sweet voiced one,

You must hear the command of God with all your heart.

God has commanded me saying, 'O dispenser of justice,

Never hear one party without the other!'

Till both parties come into the presence,

The truth is never made plain to the judge."

When the Wind heard the summons, it came swiftly,

And the gnat instantly took flight.

In like manner the seekers of God's presence-seat,

When God appears, those seekers vanish.

Though that union is life eternal,

Yet at first that life is annihilation.

~Rumi [Masnavi]

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Reply from ______
Jan.12.2009
03:38PM EDT 
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Paradise of Song

Ahangar was a mighty swordsmith who lived in one of Afghanistan's remote eastern valleys. In time of peace he made steel ploughs, shoed horses and, above all, he sang.

The songs of Ahangar, who is known by different names in various parts of Central Asia, were eagerly listened to by the people of the valleys. They came from the forests of giant walnuts trees, from the snowcapped Hindu-Kush, from Qataghan and Badakhshan, from Khanabad and Kunar, from Herat and Paghman, to hear his songs.

Above all, the people came to hear the song of all songs, which was Ahangar's Song of the Valley of Paradise.

This song had a haunting quality, and a strange lilt, and most of all it had a story which was so strange that people felt they knew the remote Valley of Paradise of which the smith sang. Often they asked him to sing it when he was not in the mood to do so, and he would refuse. Sometimes people asked him whether the Valley was truly real, and Ahangar could only say:

"The Valley of the Song is as real as real can be."

"But how do you know?" the people would ask, "Have you ever been there?"

To Ahangar, and to nearly all the people who heard him, the Valley of the Song was, however, real, real as real can be.

Aisha, a local maiden whom he loved, doubted whether there was such a place. So, too, did Hasan, a fearsome swordsman who swore to marry Aisha, and who lost no opportunity of laughing at the smith.

One day, when the villagers were sitting around silently after Ahangar had been telling his tale to them, Hasan spoke:

"If you believe that this valley is so real, and that it is, as you say, in those mountains of Sangan yonder, where the blue haze rises, why do you not try to find it?".

"It would not be right, I know that," said Ahangar.

"You know what it is convenient to know, and do not know what you do not want to know!" shouted Hasan. "Now, my friend, I propose a test. You love Aisha, but she does not trust you. She has no faith in this absurd Valley of yours. You could never marry her, because when there is no confidence between man and wife, they are not happy and all manner of evils result."

"Do you expect me to go to the valley, then?" asked Ahangar.

"Yes," said Hasan and all the audience together.

"If I go and return safely, will Aisha consent to marry me?" asked Ahangar.

"Yes," murmured Aisha.

So Ahangar, collecting some dried mulberries and a scrap of bread, set off for the distant mountains.

He climbed and climbed, until he came to a wall which encircled the entire range. When he had ascended its sheer sides, there was another wall, even more precipitous then the first. After that there was a third, then a fourth, and finally a fifth wall.

Descending on the other side, Ahangar found that he was in a valley, strikingly similar to his own.

People came out to welcome him, and as he saw them, Ahangar realized that something very strange was happening.

Months later, Ahangar the Smith, walking like an old man, limped into his native village, and made for his humble hut.

As word of his return spread throughout the countryside, people gathered in front of his home to hear what his adventures had been.

Hasan the swordsman spoke for them all, and called Ahangar to his window.

There was a gasp as everyone saw how old he had become.

"Well, Master Ahangar, and did you reach the Valley of Paradise?"

"I did."

"And what was it like?"

Ahangar, fumbling for his words, looked at the assembled people with a weariness and hopelessness that he had never felt before. He said:

"I climbed and I climbed, and I climbed. When it seemed as though there could be no human habitation in such a desolate place, and after many trials and disappointments, I came upon a valley. This valley was exactly like the one in which we live. And then I saw the people. Those people are not only like us people: they are the same people. For every Hasan, every Aisha, every Ahangar, every anybody whom we have here, there is another one, exactly the same in that valley."

"These are likenesses and reflections to us, when we see such things. But it is we who are the likeness and reflection of them -- we who are here, we are their twins..."

Everyone thought that Ahangar had gone mad through his privations, and Aisha married Hasan the swordsman. Ahangar rapidly grew old and died. And all the people, every one who had heard this story from the lips of Ahangar, first lost heart in their lives, then grew old and died, for they felt that something was going to happen over which they had no control and from which they had no hope, and so they lost interest in life itself.

It is only once in a thousand years that this secret is seen by man. When he sees it, he is changed. When he tells its bare facts to others, they wither and die out.

People think that such an event is a catastrophe, and so they must not know about it, for they cannot understand [such is the nature of their ordinary life] that they have more selves than one, more hopes than one, more chances than one -- up there, in the Paradise of the Song of Ahangar, the mighty smith.

~Hazrat Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan

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Reply from ______
Jan.15.2009
02:08PM EDT 
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One day Joshu fell down in the snow, and called out, “Help me up! Help me up!” A monk came and lay down beside him. Joshu got up and went away.



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Reply from lehish
Jan.15.2009
04:06PM EDT 
Email lehish
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Reply from ______
Jan.17.2009
08:33AM EDT 
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Once, when Joshu was still with Nansen, Nansen took an ox into the Monk’s Hall, and led him around. The head monk whacked the ox on the back three times, and Nansen took a sheaf of grass and put it in front of the head monk, who said nothing.




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Reply from ______
Jan.17.2009
08:44AM EDT 
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A monk asked Kisu, “What is the Buddha?” “If I tell you,” said Kisu, “will you believe me?” The monk replied “The master’s words are so momentous, how could I not believe them?” Kisu said, “Simply – You are it.” The monk asked, “How can we maintain this state?” Kisu said, “If your eye is just a little clouded, flowery illusions are rampant.” 



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Reply from ______
Jan.17.2009
08:32PM EDT 
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Goats and the Tiger 

   

A fable tells of a tigress, pregnant and starving, who comes upon a little flock of goats and pounces on them with such energy that she brings about the birth of her little one and her own death. 


The goats scatter, and when they come back to their grazing place, they find this just-born tiger and its dead mother. Having strong parental instincts, they adopt the tiger, and it grows up thinking it's a goat. It learns to bleat. It learns to eat grass. And since grass doesn't nourish it very well, it grows up to become a pretty miserable specimen of its species. 


When the young tiger reaches adolescence, a large male tiger pounces on the flock, and the goats scatter. But this little fellow is a tiger, so he stands there. The big one looks at him in amazement and says, "Are you living here with these goats?" "Maaaaaaa" says the little tiger. Well, the old tiger is mortified, something like a father who comes home and finds his son with long hair. He swats him back and forth a couple of times, and the little thing just responds with these silly bleats and begins nibbling grass in embarrassment. So the big tiger brings him to a still pond. 


Now, still water is a favorite Indian image to symbolize the idea of yoga. The first aphorism of yoga is: "Yoga is the intentional stopping of the spontaneous activity of the mind-stuff." Our minds, which are in continual flux, are likened to the surface of a pond that's blown by a wind. So the forms that we see, those of our own lives and the world around us, are simply flashing images that come and go in the field of time, but beneath all of them is the substantial form of forms. Bring the pond to a standstill, have the wind withdraw and the waters clear, and you'll see, in stasis, the perfect image beneath all of these changing forms. 


So this little fellow looks into the pond and sees his own face for the first time. The big tiger puts his face over and says, "You see, you've got a face like mine. You're not a goat. You're a tiger like me. Be like me." 


Now, that's guru stuff: I'll give you my picture to wear, be like me. It's the opposite to the individual way. 


So the little one is getting that message; he's picked up and taken to the tiger's den, where there are the remains of a recently slaughtered gazelle. Taking a chunk of this bloody stuff, the big tiger says, "Open you face." The little one backs away, "I'm a vegetarian." "None of that nonsense," says the big fellow, and he shoves a piece of meat down the little one's throat. He gags on it. The text says, "As all do on true doctrine." 


But gagging on the true doctrine, he's nevertheless getting it into his blood, into his nerves; it's his proper food. It touches his proper nature. Spontaneously, he gives a tiger stretch, the first one. A little tiger roar comes out—Tiger Roar 101. The big one says, "There. Now you've got it. Now we go into the forest and eat tiger food." 


Vegetarianism 

Is the first turning away from life, 

Because life lives on lives. 

Vegetarians are just eating 

Something that can't run away. 


Now, of course, the moral is that we are all tigers living here as goats. The right hand path, the sociological department, is interested in cultivating our goat-nature. Mythology, properly understood as metaphor, will guide you to the recognition of your tiger face. But then how are you going to live with these goats? 


Well, Jesus had something to say about this problem. In Matthew 7 he said, "Do not cast your pearls before swine, or they will trample them under their feet and turn and tear you." 


The function 

Of the orthodox community 

Is to torture the mystic to death: 


His goal. 


You wear the outer garment of the law, behave as everyone else and wear the inner garment of the mystic way. Jesus also said that when you pray, you should go into your own room and close the door. When you go out, brush your hair. Don't let them know. Otherwise, you'll be a kook, something phony. 


So that has to do with not letting people know where you are. But then comes the second problem: how do you live with these people? Do you know the answer? You know that they are all tigers. And you live with that aspect of their nature, and perhaps in your art you can let them know that they are tigers. 


~A Joseph Campbell Story   


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Reply from ______
Jan.17.2009
08:58PM EDT 
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[addendum]

What you will have learned is through all the forms of the world, the one radiance of eternity shows itself. You can regard the appearance of the miracle of life in all these forms. But don't let them know that you are a tiger!


When al-Hallaj or Jesus let the orthodox community know that they were tigers, they were crucified. And so the Sufis learned the lesson at that time with the death of al-Hallaj, around AD 900.


~Joseph Campbell

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Reply from ______
Jan.17.2009
09:11PM EDT 
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Joseph Campbell had a slight stutter which came out, paradoxically, as part of his eloquence, as part of the drama in his voice. It was occasionally noticeable in words beginning with the letter “G.” I can hear him saying, “People ask me: ‘What about all the evil and suffering in the world?’ And I say, ‘It’s great just the way it is.” That slight stutter of his on the word “great,” and the force with which he spoke behind it, have the word sound almost like the cartoon advertising character Tony the Tiger. "It's g-g-g-great!"


And that’s precisely the meaning of Joe’s "spirituality of joyful participation in the sorrows of the world." This is the Mahayana Buddhist mythology of the Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara who saves the world by becoming every one of us. He is the One Being incarnating in everybody. His is the "Tiger Face" in every sentient being. Recognizing that is intended to inspire us to love the world, to love life--just the way it is, with no judgment, no resistance--to throw ourselves into life like a tiger going after its prey.


~Philip Cousineau

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Reply from Woodsman
Jan.17.2009
09:35PM EDT 
Email Woodsman
vertical line Joe is my miracle man. : ) So is Rustic. : ) So is shayne, if I don't have to think about it : )  
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Reply from Woodsman
Jan.17.2009
11:35PM EDT 
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vertical line Post some that have to do with synchronicity, like what Osho wrote about it, that would be cool.
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Reply from -----0
Jan.18.2009
03:07AM EDT 
vertical line you think it is about analyzing?
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Reply from IZIZIZ
Jan.18.2009
07:02AM EDT 
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This here is a piece of hard rock candy.

It aint for eatin. Its for lookin through.

Chief Lone Waddy. The Outlaw Josey Wales.

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Reply from ______
Jan.18.2009
05:48PM EDT 
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I’m having a phone conversation with a woman about dragons and the meaning of dragon myths in different cultures.  I have asked her about the role of dragon-myths in western culture.  The conversation embraces the Gaia hypothesis, serpent power, kundalini, Mother Goddess stories.  At this point, I hear a soft rumbling, it becomes louder, then the house begins to tremble and shake and then what feels like a living entity travels under my feet and away - it’s the only way I can describe it - I feel it moving under my feet.  I look down at the floor and my eyes follow the direction of its movement through the house.  While this is happening I can’t speak and the woman says, “Hello?”  Then it tails off, literally, a dragon’s tail snaking about its business.  The tail disappears and I say to the woman, “Did you hear that?”She says, “What happened?”  I say, “You’re not going to believe this.”  She doesn’t feel or hear anything where she is.  When I recover my speech and start babbling about what happened, she laughs and says, “There’s your answer.” 


It was reported that there had been a small earth tremor measuring 3 on the richter scale.


Some years later . . .


After sending a copy of Easwaran’s translation of Bhagavad Gita to a friend, we have a conversation about Gnostic texts, the Thomas Gospel [could it be categorised as Gnostic, or mystic, or was it an example of the wisdom tradition? blah blah blah], and the crucifixion of Jesus, the discrepancies in the gospel stories, whether Jesus ate the flesh of animals, the suppression of gnostic texts by the Christian orthodoxy and whether Jesus had lived in India.  

Later, I’m sitting up in bed and I hear a noise, it comes closer, getting louder and louder, like a train, a plane, a huge juggernaut heading for the house.  The thought occurs to me that this could be it. Then the house starts to shake, really shake, the walls are rippling, everything just seems to be dancing!  Stuff is rattling.  I’m aware that my breathing is no longer anything to do with me.  For what seems like an eternity, while the house shakes, rattles and rolls, my bed becomes as a magic carpet flying on jelly.  I’m aware that mental processes are trying to fit the experience into something known, acceptable, recognisable, trying to make sense of it. I’m waiting, waiting for something to hit the house.  I feel disorientated, I don’t know whether a bomb has exploded. 


I look around the house to check if everything is ok.  A couple of things have fallen from shelves in the bathroom with no structural damage that I can see.  In the study, a book, one book, has fallen from many books on many shelves.  A book I had not looked at for some time.  There it is, in the middle of the floor as I open the door: Jesus lived in India: His Unknown Life Before And After The Crucifixion.


[The following day, I learn the tremor had measured 5.2 - small by global standards but the biggest one recorded in this country for 25 years - a great deal of structural damage to old and tall buildings - affected many people.]

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Reply from Woodsman
Jan.18.2009
08:18PM EDT 
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vertical line Dis be da place of numinosity. 
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Reply from ______
Mar.20.2009
08:46PM EDT 
vertical line A jinn wanted to amuse himself, but when about to do so, he brought upon himself a problem. For the jinn was powerful, and he said to himself, 'Be thou a rock,' and the jinn turned into a rock. But by becoming a rock, he began to feel solitary, left in the wilderness; he felt the loss of action, loss of movement, lack of freedom and lack of experience. This was a terrible captivity for the jinn. For many years, this jinn had to have patience, to change into something else. It did not mean that through the rock he did not realize life. For even the rock is living, even the rock is changing, and yet a rock is a rock. A rock is not a jinn. It was through the patience of thousands of years that the rock began to wear out and crumble into earth. And when, out of that earth, the jinn came out as a plant, he was delighted that he had grown out as a tree. The jinn was so pleased to find that out of a rock he could become a plant, that he could enjoy the air more fully, that he could swing in the wind. He smiled at the sun and bathed happily in the rain. He was pleased to bring forth fruits, to bring forth flowers.

But at the same time his innate desire was not satisfied. It kept him hoping some day to break through this captivity of being rooted in a particular place and of this limitation of movement. For a long, long time the jinn was waiting to come out of this limitation. This was better, yet it was not the experience the jinn desired. But at last the fruit became decayed and part of that fruit turned into a little worm. The jinn was even more delighted to feel that he could move about. Now he was no longer rooted to one place and unable to move. As this worm breathed and was in the sun, it grew wings and began to fly. The jinn was still more delighted to see that he could do this. From one experience to another he flew through the air and experienced the life of a bird, now sitting upon the trees, now walking on the earth. And as he enjoyed life on the earth more and more, he became a heavy bird. He could not fly, he walked. And this heaviness made him coarse, and he turned into an animal. He was most happy, for then he could oppose all the other animals that wanted to kill birds, because he was no longer a bird.

Through a process of gradual change, the jinn arrived at becoming man. And when a man, the jinn looked around and thought, 'This is something that I was destined to be. Because, how, as a jinn, could I see all these different bodies that I have taken? In order to become more free, in order to become perceptive, sensitive, in order to know things, in order to enjoy things more fully, there could not have been any vehicle more fitting than this.' And yet, he thought, 'Even this is not a fitting vehicle, because when I want to fly, I have no wings, and I feel like flying also. I walk on the earth, but I have not the strength of the lion. And now, I feel that I belong to heaven, and where it is I don't know.' This made the jinn search for what was missing, until in the end, he realized, 'I was a jinn, just the same, in the rock, in the plant, in the bird, in the animal. But, I was captive and my eyes were veiled from my own being. It is by becoming man that I am now beginning to see that I was a jinn. And yet I find in this life of man also a great limitation, for I have not that freedom of expression, that freedom of movement, that life which is dependable, that knowledge which is reality.' And then this thought itself took him to his real domain, which was the jinn life. And there he arrived with the air of a conqueror, with the grandeur of the sovereign, with the splendor of a king, with the honor of an emperor, and realizing, 'After all, I have enjoyed myself, I have experienced though I have suffered, and I have known Being, and I have become what I am.'

~Hazrat Inayat Khan
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Reply from ______
Mar.26.2009
10:02AM EDT 
vertical line It was in the seventh year of Hsien-tung [867 A.D.] that I for the first time took up the study of the Tao [that is, Zen].

Wherever I went I met words and did not understand them.
A lump of doubt inside the mind was like a willow-basket.
For three years, residing in the woods by the stream, I was altogether unhappy.
When unexpectedly I happened to meet the Dharmaraja [Zen master] sitting on the rug,
I advanced towards him earnestly asking him to dissolve my doubt.
The master rose from the rug on which he sat deeply absorbed in meditation;
He then baring his arm gave me a blow with his fist on my chest.
This all of a sudden exploded my lump of doubt completely to pieces.
Raising my head I for the first time perceived that the sun was circular.
Since then I have been the happiest man in the world, with no fears, no worries;
Day in day out, I pass my time in a most lively way.
Only I notice my inside filled with a sense of fullness and satisfaction;
I do not go out any longer, hither and thither, with my begging bowl for food.


What is of the most significant interest in his verse-story of Rakan Osho's experience is that "he for the first time perceived that the sun was round." Everybody knows and sees the sun and Osho also must have seen it all his life. Why then does he specifically refer to it as circular as if he saw it really for the first time? We all think we are living, we really eat, sleep, walk, talk. But are we really? If we were, we would never be talking about "dread," "insecurity," "fear," "frustration," "courage to be," "looking into the vacant," "facing death."

~D.T.Suzuki
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