Pure Land…

The Buddhas and Zen masters of all times and places have emerged only on account of search for truth. Present day seekers are also in search of truth. Only when you attain truth will you be done; until you have attained it, you will repeat your former ways.

– Lin Chi (d 867?)

Meant to get this out yesterday… but added a couple of items. Rowan’s last night at his play is tonight, followed by the cast party… Then he is off to Outdoor School as a Cabin Counselor for a week.
We attended Doris Gunn’s Wake last night. So many great stories, and laughter, and some tears. Truly an amazing woman. She ran as vice-Governor of Oklahoma back years ago, and had her finger in so many different movements. Her sense of engagement was breath-taking when you heard the stories. A good part of the family was there and many friends. They are having a second one tonight. More people, and more stories I am sure.
My Art show has been extended for 4 weeks, and I am putting up a series of different images this next week… so stay tuned!
Bright Blessings,
On The Menu:

The call of Cthulhu

Zen Quotes…

Pure Land Teachings of Master Chu-hung

Poems Of Li Bai

Art: Pure Land Mandalas

The call of Cthulhu

More Here….. At last, the stars are finally right…

Zen Quotes:
In the still night by the vacant window,

Wrapped in monk’s robe I sit in meditation.

Navel and nostrils lines up straight;

Ears paired to the slope of the shoulders.

Window whitens – the moon comes up;

Rain’s stopped, but drops go on dripping.

Wonderful – the moon of this moment,

Distant, vast.
– Ryokan (1758–1831)

She is like white clouds rising from the mountains,

No-mind from the start.

She is like the roosting bird who feels no longing

For the woods of home.

Because this person of the Way happens to enjoy

The mountains and streams,

She wanders among them unconcerned about how deep

Into the lakeside mountain peaks she goes.

She has gone to the empty cliffs to pay respect to

The hundred thousand forms of the Buddha.
– Su Dongpo (1037–1101)

It is the one who is without obsession who is noble. Just do not act in a contrived manner; simply be normal. When you go searching elsewhere outside yourself, your whole approach is already mistaken. You just try to seek buddhahood, but buddhahood is just a name, an expression. Do you know the one who is doing the searching?
– Lin Chi (d 867?)

Natural mind like the Autumn moon

Reflected on a clear jade lake.

Nothing like it

How to explain it?
– Han Shan (627–649)

To be able to be unhurried when hurried;

To be able not to slack off

When relaxed; to be able not to be

Frightened and at a loss for what to

Do when frightened and at a loss;

This is the learning that returns us

To our natural state and

Transforms our lives.
– Liu Wenmin (early 16th cent)

Holding my sweater and

Facing the fragrant peony,

I sense how different our viewpoints are.

Someday our hair will turn gray,

Yet the flowers will be this red each year;

Following the morning dew,

Each blooms gorgeously

Then their sweet scent is

Chased by the evening winds.

Why wail till they have withered and fallen

To understand such emptiness?
– Fa Yen (885–958)


Pure Land Teachings of Master Chu-hung
Master Chu-hung (1535-1615)

Break Through Delusion
This is the way people are in the world. When they encounter pleasing situations, they feel happy and content. When they encounter situations that go against them, they feel worried and endangered.
Nevertheless, pleasing things should not be considered lucky, and adversity should not be considered unlucky. If you are sunk in things that your conceptual mind considers convenient, the intention of transcending the world will never arise. If you are sad and do not get what you aim for, then you will grow weary of the fetters of the world of physical existence, and therefore seek to transcend the world.
Thus, when myriad sufferings extend before you, just contemplate them with correct wisdom.
Ask yourself: Where does the suffering come from? It is born from physical existence. Where does physical existence come from? From karma. Where does karma come from? It is born from delusion. On the basis of delusion, you create karma. On the basis of karma, physical existence forms. On the basis of physical existence, you incur suffering. Just manage to break through delusion, and all of this is empty and still.
You may venture to ask, “What is the method for breaking through delusion?”
Just go to the fundamental meditation point and understand: Who is reciting the buddha-name? Who is mindful of the buddha?
Take hold of your doubts over this, take hold and defeat them: then all delusion will be smashed. Think this over! Don’t neglect it!
Pure Land and Zen Methods
There are many ways to enter the Path, but for directness and simplicity, none matches reciting the buddha-name.

The method of buddha-remembrance through reciting the buddha-name brings salvation to those of the most excellent capacities, and reaches down to the most stupid and dull. In sum, it is the Path that reaches from high to low. Do not be shaken or confused by vulgar views that Pure Land is only for those of lesser abilities.
Since ancient times, the venerable adepts of the Zen school have taught people to contemplate meditation topics (koans), to arouse the feeling of doubt, and thus to proceed to great awakening. Some contemplate the word “No.” Some contemplate “The myriad things return to the one: what does the one return to?” The meditation topics are quite diverse, and there are quite enough of them.
Now I will try to compare Zen and Pure Land methods.
Take for example the koan “The myriad things return to one: what does the one return to?” This is very similar to the koan “ Who is the one reciting the buddha-name?” If you can break through at this “Who?” then you will not have to ask anyone else what the one returns to: you will spontaneously comprehend.
This was precisely what the ancients meant when they said that those who recite the buddha-name and wish to study Zen should not concentrate on any other meditation topic but this.
Recite the buddha-name several times, turn the light around and observe yourself: who is the one reciting the buddha-name? If you employ your mind like this without forgetting, without any other help, after a long time you are sure to have insight.
If you cannot do this, it is also alright simply to recite the buddha-name. Keep your mindfulness from leaving buddha, and buddha from leaving your mindfulness. When your mindfulness of buddha peaks, your mind empties: you will get a response and link up with the Path, and buddha will appear before you. According to the inner pattern, it must be so.
Master Chu-hung (1535-1615)


Poems Of Li Bai

Endless Yearning (I)
I am endlessly yearning

To be in Changan,

Insects hum of autumn by the gold brim of the well

A thin frost glistens like little mirrors on my cold mat,

The high lantern flickers, and deeper grows my longing

I lift the shade and, with many a sigh, gaze upon the moon,

Single as a flower, centered from the clouds

Above, I see the blueness and deepness of the sky

Below, I see the greenness and the restlessness of water…

Heaven is high, Earth wide, bitter between them flies my sorrows

Can I dream through the gateway, over the mountain?

Endless longing

Breaks my heart.

Endless Yearning (II)
The sun has set, and a mist is in the flowers

And the moon grows very white and people sad and sleepless,

A Zhao harp has just been laid mute on its phoenix holder

And a Shu lute begins to sound its mandarin-duck strings…

Since nobody can bear to you the burden of my song

Would that it might follow the spirit wind to Yanran Mountain,

I think of you far away, beyond the blue sky

And my eyes that once were sparkling, are now a well of tears,

Oh, if ever you should doubt this aching of my heart

Here in my bright mirror come back and look at me!

A Visit to Sky-Mother Mountain in a Dream
So, longing in my dreams for Wu and Yue

One night I flew over Mirror Lake under the moon,

The moon cast my shadow on the water

And traveled with me all the way to Shanxi,

The lodge of Lord Xie still remained

Where green waters swirled and the cry of apes was shrill,

Donning the shoes of Xie

I climbed the dark ladder of clouds,

Midway, I saw the sun rise from the sea

Heard the Cock of Heaven crow,

And my path twisted through a thousand crags

Enchanted by flowers I leaned against a rock

And suddenly all was dark,

Growls of bears and snarls of dragons echoed

Among the rocks and streams,

The deep forest appalled me, I shrank from the lowering cliffs,

Dark were the clouds, heavy with rain

Waters boiled into misty spray,

Lightening flashed, thunder roared

Peaks tottered, boulders crashed,

And the stone gate of a great cavern

Yawned open,

Below me, a bottomless void of blue

Sun and moon gleaming on terraces of silver and gold,

With rainbows for garments, and winds for horses

The lords of the clouds descended, a mighty host,

Phoenixes circled the chariots, tigers played zithers

As the immortals went by, rank upon rank.

On the Way Back to the Old Residence

Traveling to Heaven in dreams

There is another space and dimension in the kettle

Overlook the human Earth,

That is easily withered and rotten.

Ling Xu Mountain
Leaving the human world

Going toward the path to Heaven;

Upon Consummation through cultivation,

Then follow the clouds to Heaven,

Caves hidden under pine trees,

Deep and unseen among the peach blossoms…

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