“If you lose all differentiation between yourselves and others,
fit to serve others you will be.
And when in serving others you will win success,
then shall you meet with me;
And finding me, you shall attain to Buddhahood.”
A Beautiful day, before the scorchers coming…. low lying clouds over Portland, cool breezes. A strange summer. The weather goes up and down. The plants and the bees are all confused.
There are some notable contributions today, from Scott Taylor ‘Hiroshima Peace Bell Commemoration’ and from Victoria ‘Radiohead – The Rip’… Victoria’s contribution ended up with this wildly divergent stream. Somehow, I went from Radiohead, to Milarepa. I don’t remember how it quite happened, but happened it did.
If you get a chance, give Radio Free Earthrites a listen! Nice stuff on there today.
Well, I hope this finds you well. I know that this is one of those massive entries, but it was all cherry-picked with love!
On The Menu:
Hiroshima Peace Bell Commemoration
Portishead: The Rip
Rebirth of the Bodhisatta
Two Novel Short Films: ‘Doll Face’ & ‘Fluxis’
The Poems of Milarepa
Milarepa – The Movie!
Radiohead – The Rip (Portishead cover) (Thanks Victoria!)
From Scott Taylor in Australia…
Hiroshima Peace Bell Commemoration
Hello Friends of Peace,
Sixty three years ago on August 5th, 1945 at 5:15 in the afternoon, (New Mexico time), a B17 bomber flew over Hiroshima, Japan, carrying a payload that had originated in Los Alamos. It was August 6th in Hiroshima at 8:15 in the morning. The whole city had spent anxious hours in bomb shelters the night before – an air raid. It had been a false alarm. The relieved people had returned home to sleep out the night. They had awakened to a beautiful clear day. At 8:15 many were on the way to work. Children were in schools. My friend Takashi Tannemori was playing hide-and-go-seek with his classmates when the single B17 bomber released its payload. A parachute opened. Blithely it floated down. People on the street noted the plane and the parachute, but were not overly concerned. Suddenly the “Pikadon” flashed. A excruciating blinding light was followed by an enormous explosion beyond anyone’s experience or imagination. The horrors of human suffering that ensued were unspeakable and are enduring.
Every year, in Hiroshima Japan at 8:15 in the morning of August 6th, people of Hiroshima have been ringing a Peace Bell, sending out their fervent prayer for the end of war – all war. They knew that life on Earth would be annihilated in any war with weapons such as these. This particularly human dilemma can be only solved by the creation of a world where humans use words instead of weapons; where kindness and compassion for all beings are prevailing human values. Only by evolving human consciousness will war become obsolete.
In Santa Fe, on the 60th year since the bomb was detonated over Hiroshima, we unified Santa Fe with the Hiroshima with a satellite link up. We rang bells for peace simultaneous with the Peace Bell in Hiroshima. Churches all over Northern New Mexico also rang their bells. That evening the radio news programs stopped with a minute of silence. We have continued this practice of ringing bells and sending prayers on August 5th at 5:15 PM, ever since.
On Tuesday, August 5th, at 5:00 PM you are invited to come to the Tree of Peace at the Capitol Round House (Santa Fe – New Mexico) – to the Annual Hiroshima Day Peace Bell Commemoration. You are invited to participate with a ceremony – ringing a Shinto shrine bell at 5:15 – creating a prayer bridge with the Japanese people. You are invited to bring a heart stone to join the other heart stones around our Tree of Peace that was planted as part of the Hiroshima Peace Bell commemoration a few years ago. You are invited to also bring prayers, songs, poems, your words to share, and mostly your intention to find your own way to be an ever greater vehicle for the realization of world peace.
And you are invited to empower the prayer bridge from wherever you are – to encourage your places of worship to ring their bells – to gather with friends and include young people to remember this horrific moment in human history – and to make your commitments to engage in peace processes of all kinds on all levels of culture for the future of our precious blue planet.
The wisdom and the prayers of the 13 Indigenous Grandmothers and Corbin Harney, the spiritual leader of the Western Shoshone people (on whose land is the Nevada Test Site), have inspired in me a deepening commitment to the practice of and belief in the power of prayer. Corbin passed away last year.
May Peace Prevail,
If any of you ceremonialists would like to participate in the creation of this year’s ceremony, please do contact me (info below).
Please Disseminate Widely All Over the World
For a different view of the history of the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima than what you learned about in school: Los Alamos Peace Project
Mankind must put an end to war,
or war will put an end to mankind…
John F. Kennedy
Promote the Abrogation of Xenophobia
Los Alamos Peace Project
PO Box 9509
Santa Fe, NM 87504
Telefax (505) 989-4482
Portishead: The Rip
Rebirth of the Bodhisatta
Once upon a time in the city of Mathila, there was a king who had two sons. The older one was named Badfruit, and his younger brother was called Poorfruit.
While they were still fairly young, the king made his older son the crown prince. He was second in command and next in line to the throne. Prince Poorfruit became commander of the army.
Eventually the old king died and Prince Badfruit became the new king. Then his brother became crown prince.
Before long, a certain servant took a disliking to Crown Prince Poorfruit. He went to King Badfruit and told a lie – that his brother was planning to kill him. At first the king did not believe him. But after the servant kept repeating the lie, the king became frightened. So he had Prince Poorfruit put in chains and locked up in the palace dungeon.
The prince thought, “I am a righteous man was does not deserve these chains. I never wanted to kill my brother. I wasnt even angry at him. So now I call on the power of Truth. If what I say is true, may these chains fall off and the dungeon doors be opened!” Miraculously the chains broke in pieces, the door opened, and the prince fled to an outlying village. The people there recognised him. Since they respected him `they helped him, and the king was unable to capture him.
Even though he lived in hiding, the crown prince became the master of the entire remote region. In time he raised a large army. He thought, “Although I was not an enemy to my brother at first, I must be an enemy to him now.” So he took his army and surrounded the city of Mithila.
He sent a message to king Badfruit – “I was not your enemy, but you have made me so. Therefore I have come to wage war against you. I give you a choice – either give me your crown and kingdom, or come out and fight.” Hearing of this, most of the city people went out and joined the prince.
King Badfruit decided to wage war. He would do anything to keep his power. Before going out with his army, he went to say goodbye to his number one queen. She was expecting a baby very soon. He said to her “My love, no one knows who will win this war. Therefore, if I die you must protect the child inside you.” Then he bravely went off to war and was quickly killed by the soldiers of his enemy brother.
The news of the kings death spread through the city. The queen disguised herself as a poor dirty homeless person. She put on old rags for clothes and smeared dirt on herself. She put some of the kings gold and her own most precious jewellery into a basket. She covered these with dirty rice that no one would want to steal. Then she left the city by the northern gate. Since she had always lived inside the city, the queen had no idea where to go from there. She had heard of a city called Campa. She sat down at the side of the road and began asking if anyone was going to Campa.
It just so happened that the one who was about to be born was no ordinary baby. This was not his first life or his first birth. Millions of years before, he had been a follower of a long-forgotten teaching “Buddha” – a fully “Enlightened One”. He had wished with all his heart to become a Buddha just like his beloved master.
He was reborn in many lives – sometimes as poor animals, sometimes as long-living gods and sometimes as human beings. He always tried to learn from his mistakes and develop the “Ten Perfections”. This was so he could purify his mind and remove the three root causes of unwholesomeness – the poisons of craving, anger and the delusion of a separate self. By using the perfections, he would some day be able to replace the poisons with the three purities – non-attachment, loving-kindness and wisdom.
This “Great Being” had been a humble follower of the forgotten Buddha. He goal was to gain the same enlightenment of a Buddha – the experience of complete Truth. So people call him “Bodhisatta”, which mans “Enlightenment Being”. No one really knows about the millions of lives lived by this great hero. But many stories have been told – including this one about a pregnant queen who was about to give birth to him. After many more rebirths, he became the Buddha who is remembered and loved in all the world today.
At the time of our story, the Enlightenment Being had already achieved the Ten Perfections. So the glory of his coming birth caused a trembling in all the heaven worlds, including the Heaven of 33 ruled by King Sakka. When he felt the trembling, being a god he knows it was caused by the unborn babe inside the disguised Queen of Mithila. And he knew this must be a being of great merit, so he decided to go and help out.
King Sakka made a covered carriage with a bed in it, and appeared at the roadside in front of the pregnant queen. He looked just like an ordinary old man. He called out, “Does anyone need a ride to Campa?” The homeless queen answered, “I wish to go there, kind sir.” “Come with me then,: the old man said.
Since the birth was not far off, the pregnant queen was quite large. She said, “I cannot climb up into your carriage. Simply carry my basket and I will walk behind.” The old man, the king of the gods, replied, “Never mind! Never Mind! I am the cleverest driver around. So dont worry. Just step into my cart!”
Lo and behold, as she lifted her foot, King Sakka magically caused the ground under her to rise up! So she easily stepped down into the carriage. Immediately she knew this must be a god, and fell fast asleep.
Sakka drove the cart until he came to a river. Then he awakened the lady and said, “Wake up, daughter, and bathe in this river. Dress yourself in this fine clothing I have brought you. Then eat a packet of rice.” She obeyed him, and then lay downs and slept some more.
In the evening she awoke and saw tall houses and walls. She asked, “What is this city, father?” He said, “This is Campa.” King Sakka replied, “I took a short cut. Now that we are at the southern gate of the city, you may safely enter in. I must go on to my own far-off village.” So they parted and Sakka disappeared in the distance, returning to his heaven world.
The queen entered the city and sat down at an inn. There happened to be a wise man living in Campa. He recited spells and gave advice to help people who were sick or unfortunate. While on his way to bathe in the river with 500 followers, he was the beautiful queen from a distance. The great goodness of the unborn one within gave her a soft warm glow, which only the wise man noticed. At once he felt a kind and gentle liking for her, just as if where were his own youngest sister. So he left his followers outside and went into the inn.
He asked her, “Sister, what village are you from?” She replied, “I am the number one queen of King Badfruit of Mithila.”
He asked, “Then why did you come here?” “My husband was killed by the army of his brother, Prince Poorfruit,” she said. “I was afraid , so I ran away to protect the unborn one within me.” The wise man asked, “Do you have any relatives in this city?” She said, “No sir.” Then he said, “Dont worry at all. I was born in a rich family and I myself am rich. I will care for you just as I would for my own young sister. Now you must call me brother and grab hold of my feet and cry out.”
When she did this, the followers came inside. The wise man explained to them that she was his long lost youngest sister. He told his closest followers to take her to his home in a covered cart. He told them to tell his wife that this was his sister, who was to be cared for.
They did exactly as he had said.
The wife welcomed her, gave her a hot bath, and made her rest in bed.
After bathing in the river the wise man returned home. At dinnertime he asked his sister to join them. After dinner he invited her to stay in his home.
In only a few days the queen gave birth to a wonderful little baby boy. She named him fruitful. She told the wise man this was the name of the boys grandfather, who had one been King of Mithila.
Two Novel Short Films:
A study on Desire…
The affairs of the world will go on forever. Do not delay the practice of meditation.
Hasten slowly and ye shall soon arrive.
Though you youngsters of the new qeneration dwell in towns infested with deceitful fate, the link of truth still remains.
‘Veiled by ignorance,
The minds of man and Buddha
Appear to be different;
Yet in the realm of Mind Essence
They are both of one taste.
Sometimes they will meet each other
In the great Dharmadhatu.’
The Poems of Milarepa
According to a blessing Milarepa uttered towards the end of his life, anyone who but hears the name Milarepa even once attracts an instant blessing and will not take rebirth in a lower state of existence during seven consecutive lifetimes. This was prophesied by Saints and Buddhas of the past even before his lifetime.
The Song on Reaching the Mountain Peak
Hearken, my sons! If you want
To climb the mountain peak
You should hold the Self-mind’s light,
Tie it with a great “Knot,”
And catch it with a firm “Hook.”
If you practice thus
You can climb the mountain peak
To enjoy the view.
Come, you gifted men and women,
Drink the brew of Experience!
Come “inside” to enjoy the scene –
See it and enjoy it to the full!
The Incapable remain outside;
Those who cannot drink pure
Beer may quaff small beer.
He who cannot strive for Bodhi,
Should strive for superior birth.
I Have Forgotten
May I be far removed from contending creeds and dogmas.
Ever since my Lord’s grace entered my mind,
My mind has never strayed to seek such distractions.
Accustomed long to contemplating love and compassion,
I have forgotten all difference between myself and others.
Accustomed long to meditating on my Guru as enhaloed over my head,
I have forgotten all those who rule by power and prestige.
Accustomed long to meditating on my guardian deities as inseparable from myself,
I have forgotten the lowly fleshly form.
Accustomed long to meditating on the secret whispered truths,
I have forgotten all that is said in written or printed books.
Accustomed, as I have been, to the study of the eternal Truth,
I’ve lost all knowledge of ignorance.
Accustomed, as I’ve been, to contemplating both nirvana and samsara as inherent in myself,
I have forgotten to think of hope and fear.
Accustomed, as I’ve been, to meditating on this life and the next as one,
I have forgotten the dread of birth and death.
Accustomed long to studying, by myself, my own experiences,
I have forgotten the need to seek the opinions of friends and brethren.
Accustomed long to applying each new experience to my own spiritual growth,
I have forgotten all creeds and dogmas.
Accustomed long to meditating on the Unborn, the Indestructible, the Unchanging,
I have forgotten all definitions of this or that particular goal.
Accustomed long to meditating on all visible phenomena as the Dharmakaya,
I have forgotten all meditations on what is produced by the mind.
Accustomed long to keeping my mind in the uncreated state of freedom,
I have forgotten all conventions and artificialities.
Accustomed long to humbleness, of body and mind,
I have forgotten the pride and haughty manner of the mighty.
Accustomed long to regarding my fleshly body as my hermitage,
I have forgotten the ease and comfort of retreats and monasteries.
Accustomed long to knowing the meaning of the Wordless,
I have forgotten the way to trace the roots of verbs, and the
sources of words and phrases.
You, 0 learned one, may trace out these things in your books…
Upon this earth
Upon this earth, the land of the Victorious Ones,
Once lived a Saint, known as the second Buddha;
His fame was heard in all the Ten Directions.
To Him, the Jewel a’top the eternal Banner of Dharma
I pay homage and give offerings.
Is He not the holy Master, the great Midripa?
Upon the Lotus-seat of Midripa
My Father Guru places his reliance;
He drinks heavenly nectar
With the supreme view of Mahamudra;
He has realized the innate Truth in utter freedom.
He is the supreme one, Jetsun Marpa.
Undefiled by faults or vices,
He is the Transformation Body of Buddha.
He says: “Before Enlightenment,
All things in the outer world
Are deceptive and confusing;
Clinging to outer forms,
One is ever thus entangled.
After Enlightenment, one sees all things and objects
As but magic shadow-plays,
And all objective things
Become his helpful friends.
In the uncreated Dharmakaya all are pure;
Nothing has ever manifested
In the Realm of Ultimate Truth.”
He says: “Before Enlightenment,
The ever-running Mind-consciousness within
Is shut in a confusing blindness
Which is the source of passions, actions, and desires.
After Enlightenment, it becomes the
Self-illuminating Wisdom –
All merits and virtues spring from it.
In Ultimate Truth there is not even Wisdom;
Here one enters the Realm where Dharma is exhausted.”
The coproreal form
Is built of the Four Elements;
Before one attains Enlightenment,
All illness and all suffering come from it.
After Enlightenment, it becomes the two-in-one Body
Of Buddha clear as the cloudless firmament!
Thus rooted out are the base Samsaric clingings.
In Absolute Truth there is no body.
The malignant male and femal demons
Who create myriad troubles and obstructions,
Seem real before one has Enlightenment;
But when one realizes their nature truly,
They become Protectors of the Dharma,
And by their help and freely-given assistance
One attains to numerous accomplishments.
In Ultimate Truth there are no Buddhas and no demons;
One enters here the Realm where Dharma is exhausted.
Among all Vehicles, this ultimate teaching
Is found only in the Tantras.
It says in the Highest Division of the Tantra:
“When the various elements gather in the Nadis,
One sees the demon-forms appear.
If one knows not that they are but mind-created
Visions, and deems them to be real,
One is indeed most foolish and most stupid.”
In time past, wrapped up in clinging blindness,
I lingered in the den of confusion,
Deeming benevolent deities and malignant
Demons to be real and subsistent.
Now, through the Holy One’s grace and blessing
I realize that both Samsara and Nirvana
Are neither existent nor non-existent;
And I see all forms as Mahamudra.
Realizing the groundless nature of ignorance,
My former awareness, clouded and unstable
Like reflections of the moon in rippling water,
Becomes transparent, clear as shining crystal.
Its sun-like brilliance is free from obscuring clouds,
Its light transcends all forms of blindness,
Ignorance and confusion thus vanish without trace.
This is the truth I have experienced within.
Again, the foolish concept “demons” itself
Is groundless, void, and yet illuminating!
Oh, this indeed is marvelous and wonderful!
Response to a Logician
I bow at the feet of my teacher Marpa.
And sing this song in response to you.
Listen, pay heed to what I say,
forget your critique for a while.
The best seeing is the way of “nonseeing” –
the radiance of the mind itself.
The best prize is what cannot be looked for –
the priceless treasure of the mind itself.
The most nourishing food is “noneating” –
the transcendent food of samadhi.
The most thirst-quenching drink is “nondrinking” –
the nectar of heartfelt compassion.
Oh, this self-realizing awareness
is beyond words and description!
The mind is not the world of children,
nor is it that of logicians.
Attaining the truth of “nonattainment,”
you receive the highest initiation.
Perceiving the void of high and low,
you reach the sublime stage.
Approaching the truth of “nonmovement,”
you follow the supreme path.
Knowing the end of birth and death,
the ultimate purpose is fulfilled.
Seeing the emptiness of reason,
supreme logic is perfected.
When you know that great and small are groundless,
you have entered the highest gateway.
Comprehending beyond good and evil
opens the way to perfect skill.
Experiencing the dissolution of duality,
you embrace the highest view.
Observing the truth of “nonobservation”
opens the way to meditating.
Comprehending beyond “ought” and “oughtn’t”
opens the way to perfect action.
When you realize the truth of “noneffort,”
you are approaching the highest fruition.
Ignorant are those who lack this truth:
arrogant teachers inflated by learning,
scholars bewitched by mere words,
and yogis seduced by prejudice.
For though they yearn for freedom,
they find only enslavement.
Not out yet on DVD… but I am excited to see this!
Milarepa – The Movie!
Milarepa (often referred to as Jetsun Milarepa, meaning Milarepa the Revered One) is the central figure of early Tibetan Buddhism. He was a Buddhist saint, a yogi, a sorceror, a trickster, a wanderer, and a poet. He is both folk hero and cultural preceptor, the embodiment of the ideal in Tibetan Buddhism.
The Hundred Thousand Songs of Milarepa, an extensive collection of stories and poetry from the life of Milarepa, is a central text of popular Tibetan Buddhism, comparable to the Bhagavad Gita in Hinduism and the New Testament within Christianity. His life stories and poetry are read devoutly even today to inspire determination in meditation and spiritual pracitce.
Milarepa’s father died when he was still a boy, and the land that should have passed to him was seized by relatives who treated the young Milarepa and his mother and sister as slaves. After several years of this cruelty and hard labor, Milarepa’s mother convinced the teenaged boy to study magic with a local sorceror in order to take revenge on their relatives. Milarepa was so successful in this purpose that, it is said, a great hailstorm occured, destorying the house during a wedding ceremony, killing several members of the family. In the aftermath of this incident, Milarepa felt such guilt for his actions that he vowed to cleanse himself of the evil karma he had accumulated.
In his search for a pure spiritual teacher, Milarepa eventually met his guru, the Buddhist yogi and translator, Marpa, who was himself a disciple of the famous Indian Buddhist master Naropa. Marpa, seeing Milarepa’s great potential mixed with dark karma, put Milarepa through many years of severe trials and tests before he would formally accept Milarepa as a student.
Milarepa then spent several years meditating in seclusion in remote mountain caves, struggling, at times, against the demonic forces of the mind, until he achieved the ultimate enlightenment.
Rejecting the formalism of religious position and the endless squabbles of theological discourse, he adopted the life of a mendicant, travelling from village to village, speaking directly with the people he met, singing spontaneous songs of enlightenment and wisdom.
Thanks to Victoria for this!
Radiohead – The Rip (Portishead cover)