One day when P'ang layman (740-808)was selling bamboo baskets at the market place of Hung-chou. Seeing a monk begging alms, he took out a cash and said:
-Can you tell me how to appreciate alms?
The monk had nothing to say.
ZEN: HISTORY, PRACTICE, AND COMPASSION
1) Zen is one of the ten great sects of Buddhism. The Great Enlightenment of the Shakyamuni Buddha is the Source of all. Zen was first transmitted from the Buddha to Maha Kassapa, the first Patriarch of Zen, then it came down to Bodhidharma, the 28th Patriarch in India. He then brought it into China about the 5th century and he also became the first Patriarch of Zen in China. Then it was brought to Vietnam by Vinitaruci in the late 6th century. It was also brought to Japan by Eisai and Dogen in the 12th century,...
2) If you want to understand Zen correctly, the good and direct way to do is to practice zazen (sitting with breath counting, breath following with your mind's eye, working on koan, or shikantaza (sitting with alertness). Practicing zazen is a battle to overcome yourself and not a relax as you said. So in Zen practice, there is no room for laziness or relax as you think.
3) If you like to cultivate your compassion, you got to do every good thing even it is a little one, such as giving cloth, food, medicine, shelter, etc... to anyone who need them to survive. And don't do any bad thing even it is the tiny one. You also need to keep your mind and heart pure and clear.
Chon Tri 12/22/2011
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