I hope you had a nice Samhain/Halloween…
Pictures of Ghoulies and Goblins probably later today with a new posting. We had a full house; between Rowan and his chosen clan and visitors… Tom C came by for dinner, and Colleen, Sanjay, and their 3 delightful kids came and hung out for awhile. Colleen and family have just moved to our neighborhood.
All in all a delightful evening. Rowan and his gang watched “Shadow of the Vampire”, one of the very good ones…
Well, must hop along. Lots to do today and I am like a bee in amber this morning… (send more coffee!)
On The Menu
The Wednesday Koan’s
Poems by Zen Master Hsu Yun
Illustrations: Tales of the Nations/STEFAN MART:
Herein lies a mystery.
Tales of the Nations was published in Germany in the early 30′s.
At one time it was the most popular children’s book in Germany but it is now largely forgotten.
The question is who actually was Stefan Mart?
He is listed as the illustrator, but there is no other works by him, and the person is untraceable…
A pseudonym perhaps? A mystery just the same.
The Wednesday Koan’s
A Mother’s Advice
Jiun, a Shingon master, was a well-known Sanskrit scholar of the Tokugawa era. When he was young he used to deliver lectures to his brother students.
His mother heard about this and wrote him a letter:
“Son, I do not think you became a devotee of the Buddha because you desired to turn into a walking dictionary for others. There is no end to information and commentation, glory and honor. I wish you would stop this lecture business. Shut yourself up in a little temple in a remote part of the mountain. Devote your time to meditation and in this way attain true realization.”
A Smile in His Lifetime
Mokugen was never known to smile until his last day on earth. When his time came to pass away he said to his faithful ones: “You have studied under me for more than ten years. Show me your real interpretation of Zen. Whoever expresses this most clearly shall be my successor and receive my robe and bowl.”
Everyone watched Mokugen’s severe face, but no one answered.
Encho, a disciple who had been with his teacher for a long time, moved near the bedside. He pushed forward the medicine cup a few inches. That was his answer to the command.
The teacher’s face became even more severe. “Is that all you understand?” he asked.
Encho reached out and moved the cup back again.
A beautiful smile broke over the features of Mokugen. “You rascal,” he told Encho. “You worked with me ten years and have not yet seen my whole body. Take the robe and bowl. They belong to you.”
Now for a revisit with one of our favourites….!
Poems by Zen Master Hsu Yun
Baoxi Tiefo Temple in Shanxi
If you walk deep into the forest,
At the edge of the white clouds,
You’ll find a temple.
The pines are old – as many years as there are wiggles on a dragon.
The cliffs are too steep even for tigers to sleep on.
As cold day starts to invade the heavens,
The sound of chanted sutras purifies your ears.
Dare I inquire after Old Pang Mei – Old Big Eyebrows?
How long has he managed to live here?
On visiting Longhua Temple in Rangoon
From this strategic point, one can control the Southern Seas.
And so a Buddhist Palace was built from a Dragon’s Illusion.
Incense floats out from the Golden Pagoda.
The Buddha, himself, seems to appear in the smoke.
The Courtyard buildings are now about to be locked.
The bridge to this place begins to support one end of a jade-like
Here, heaven and man can meet
To honor each other with one sound from the temple bell.
Passing the Winter at Yunhua but not meeting up with my friend
I came to this place where the trees are confusingly thick.
Suddenly in the arched vault of the forest I found a path.
I passed that stone… the one below the green pavilion.
There was frost on the leaves and the branch tips were bare and red.
Who was it who carved those emotional words in the rock?
I waited. Ah… All feelings,
Are they not just emptiness of “me”?
The Chan gates both rest quietly now
With the plum trees and the grasses
Awaiting the winds of Spring.
Given to Xing Jing, Fellow Member of the Sangha
My home can be anywhere, heaven or earth.
All I need is room in my heart.
And a good source of water, of course.
If I’m on a mountain, I can set my own pace.
Down here, I’m busy now putting away herbs.
But even when I’m not busy I still don’t read much.
You need room in your heart… a big empty space
To sort out what’s real from what’s not.
Crimson Stream Temple
At Crimson Peak the clouds are thickest;
But the mystic’s road is clear though it turns
Again and again.
The mountain flowers, glistening with frosty dew,
Reflect the moon;
And safe within the stands of bamboo, a kingfisher bird
At dawn, rain beats a tattoo on the rocks.
In a crazed sortie, the dragon strikes at distant retreats,
Making clouds come in so thick that morning turns to dusk.
By noon there’s Armistice!
Sun and peace and a world that’s fresh and new.