On the Music Box: Nick Drake/Time Of No Reply
First, a Blessing on You and Yours this Imbolc under the full moon!
Blessing For Hearth-Keepers
Brighid of the Mantle, encompass us,
Lady of the Lambs, protect us,
Keeper of the Hearth, kindle us.
Beneath your mantle, gather us,
And restore us to memory.
Mothers of our mother,
Guide our hands in yours,
Remind us how
To kindle the hearth.
To keep it bright,
To preserve the flame.
Your hands upon ours,
Our hands within yours,
To kindle the light,
Both day and night.
The Mantle of Brighid about us,
The Memory of Brighid within us,
The Protection of Brighid keeping us
From harm, from ignorance, from heartlessness.
This day and night,
From dawn till dark,
From dark till dawn.
Have a good weekend, and if you can visit the radio this weekend, we will have a host of new music and on the spoken word, poetry.
On The Menu
From The Diamond Sutra
What’s Happening In Philadelphia Next Week
Three Zen Parables
Poems of Stéphane Mallarmé
From The Diamond Sutra…
Subhuti said to Buddha: World-honored One, will there always be men who will truly believe after coming to hear these teachings?
Buddha answered: Subhuti, do not utter such words! At the end of the last five-hundred-year period following the passing of the Tathagata, there will be self-controlled men, rooted in merit, coming to hear these teachings, who will be inspired with belief. But you should realize that such men have not strengthened their root of merit under just one Buddha, or two Buddhas, or three, or four, or five Buddhas, but under countless Buddhas; and their merit is of every kind. Such men, coming to hear these teachings, will have an immediate uprising of pure faith, Subhuti; and the Tathagata will recognize them. Yes, He will clearly perceive all these of pure heart, and the magnitude of their moral excellences.
Wherefore? It is because such men will not fall back to cherishing the idea of an ego-entity, a personality, a being, or a separated individuality. They will neither fall back to cherishing the idea of things as having intrinsic qualities, nor even of things as devoid of intrinsic qualities.
Wherefore? Because if such men allowed their minds to grasp and hold on to anything they would be cherishing the idea of an ego-entity, a personality, a being, or a separated individuality; and if they grasped and held on to the notion of things as having intrinsic qualities they would be cherishing the idea of an ego-entity, a personality, a being, or a separated individuality. Likewise, if they grasped and held on to the notion of things as devoid of intrinsic qualities they would be cherishing the idea of an ego-entity, a personality, a being, or a separated individuality. So you should not be attached to things as being possessed of, or devoid of, intrinsic qualities. This is the reason why the Tathagata always teaches this saying: My teaching of the Good Law is to be likened unto a raft. [Does a man who has safely crossed a flood upon a raft continue his journey carrying that raft upon his head?] The Buddha-teaching must be relinquished; how much more so mis-teaching!
What’s Happening In Philadelphia Next Week…
Templeton Research Lectureship Program on the Constructive Engagement Between Science and Religion (2005-2008)
A Special Presentation in Association with the Spirituality, Religion, and Health Interest Group:
Entheogens, Enlightenment, and Experimental Humanities
Thomas B. Roberts, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus at Northern Illinois University
Author: Psychoactive Sacramentals
Wednesday February 7th, 2007,
10:00 a.m. -12:00 noon
Medical Alumni Hall
(pizza will be provided after the lecture)
Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
3400 Spruce Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
1st Floor Maloney
For questions, please contact 215-614-0332 or go to www.mindreligion.com
Three Zen Parables
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.”
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 and 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, and whenever he expressed sorrow, sorrow was all I heard.”
In the early days of the Meiji era there lived a well-known wrestler called O-nami, Great Waves.
O-nami was immensely strong and knew the art of wrestling. In his private bouts he defeated even his teacher, but in public he was so bashful that his own pupils threw him.
O-nami felt he should go to a Zen master for help. Hakuju, a wandering teacher, was stopping in a little temple nearby, so O-nami went to see him and told him of his trouble.
“Great Waves is your name,” the teacher advised, “so stay in this temple tonight. Imagine that you are those billows. You are no longer a wrestler who is afraid. You are those huge waves sweeping everything before them, swallowing all in their path. Do this and you will be the greatest wrestler in the land.”
The teacher retired. O-nami sat in meditation trying to imagine himself as waves. He thought of many different things. Then gradually he turned more and more to the feeling of the waves. As the night advanced the waves became larger and larger. They swept away the flowers in their vases. Even the Buddha in the shrine was inundated. Before dawn the temple was nothing but the ebb and flow of an immense sea.
In the morning the teacher found O-nami meditating, a faint smile on his face. He patted the wrestler’s shoulder. “Now nothing can disturb you,” he said. “You are those waves. You will sweep everything before you.”
The same day O-nami entered the wrestling contests and won. After that, no one in Japan was able to defeat him.
Poems of Stéphane Mallarmé
At The Tomb of Verlaine
Anniversary – January 1897
The black rock, angered
that the blast should make it roll
shall not pause between
pious hands hoping to sense
resemblance to human ills,
as if to bless some
dire moulding. Almost always
if here the ring-dove
coos, this immaterial
mourning burdens with many
nubile folds the star
nourished by tomorrows, whose
silver the crowd. Who, gazing
on the solitary flight
in external form
seeks our vagabond – Verlaine?
He is hidden in
the grass, Verlaine, so as not
to take by surprise without
a naive consent
the lip that is drinking there,
inhaling his breath
from a brook less than profound,
and calumniating death.
When The Shades Threatened
When the shades threatened
with their fatal law, as in
some past Dream, desire
and disease of vertebra,
grieving to perish under
they folded up within me
Luxury, O ebon hall
where, to ensnare a king,
the garlands of
a celebration intertwined
their deaths, you are but
an arrogance belied by
the darknesses in eyes of
the lone one blinded
by his faith. – Yes, I know that
far off in this night
the Earth casts, in a great flash,
the strangest of mysteries
from centuries of
horror that darken it less.
Space all its own, and
whether increased or denied
revolves in that ennui
that takes the vilest
fires as witnesses to prove
it was a great star
in all its festive radiance
lit the flames of genius.
The fevered spring has sped regretfully
Clear-eyed winter, season of tranquil art,
My being, governed by a phantom heart
Gives one long yawn, and stretches lazily.
Within my skull, bound like an ancient tomb
With iron belt, a snowy half-light breathes.
Through fields that chant the vast refrain of leaves
Forlorn, I chase a faint and lovely dream.
Weary, and prostrate with the scent of trees,
I press my dream face-downwards into death,
Biting the warm soil where the lilac grows;
Half-buried, wait release from tedious earth …
– Meanwhile the blue beams on the hedgerow dawn,
And flower-birds that chirrup in the sun.