“I have always taught that things arise due to the conjunction of causes and conditions not that they arise without a cause.” – Red Pine
The Great Tao
大道無形 Daidõ mugyõ, The Great Tao is without form,
眞理無對 Shinri mutai, The Absolute is without opposite;
等空不動 Hitoshiku kû fudõ, It is both empty and unmoving,
非生死流 Shõji no nagare ni arazu; It is not within the flow of Samsara;
三界不攝 Sangai fushõ, The Three Realms do not contain it,
非古夾今 Koraikon ni arazu. It is not within past, future, or present.
Nan-ch’üan P’u-yüan (Nansen Fugan 南泉普願)
Here is an entry that I have been working off and on for over a year it seems. (11 months if truth be told) I have been busy on printing projects, and trying to keep the boat afloat.
So much sadness in the world of late, I hope this posting may alleviate that, if even for just a little while.
On The Menu:
The Temple of Perseus…
Shakuhachi – Kohachiro Miyata
Rebirth of the Bodhisattva
Excerpt: The Diamond Sutra
That Beckoning Blue Light!
Back To The Land
You’ll Soon Love The Tax Cuts!
“Remember the clear light, the pure clear white light from which everything in the universe comes, to which everything in the universe returns; the original nature of your own mind. The natural state of the universe unmanifest. Let go into the clear light, trust it, merge with it. It is your own true nature, it is home.”
– Bardo Thodol
I have taken to reading the Bardo Thodol after 45 years of not doing so. Perhaps it is my age, and the passing of dear friends and family.
As I have stated before: “Half our lives we are saying hello, half our lives we are saying goodbye.” Perhaps this is an exercise in learning to let go. We all walk down this path. The party goes on, but the guest are ever changing…
“Change alone is eternal, perpetual, immortal.”
Here is the Link!
The Temple Of Perseus At Panopolis:
I am working through this a second time. It is indeed a time capsule, with various texts going back 2500 years. You find yourself submerged in a syncretic dream of competing and complementary threads swirling around the temples and times that was once Panopolis. Egyptian, Greek, Syriac, Christian and even more various streams of consciousness well up in this delightful text.
It is a keeper. I will be doing a fuller review in the forth coming edition of The Invisible College Magazine #9.
“Book as magpie s nest or mosaic made up of bits of other books, this work aims to give a thick impression of a single Egyptian city, Akhmim, called by the Greeks Panopolis, city of Pan. As a time machine, this book will take the reader back to the 5th century A.D., when the last champions of Paganism were battling against the coming triumph of Christianity. Alchemy, Magic, Gnosticism, Greco-Egyptian religion, psychotropic ritual and other syncretistic elements mingled to give birth to Hermeticism, a still-living tradition which provides us with the means to appreciate the voyage we will make into a Past that is not dead.” From the review….
This is the Link…
The Temple At…
Had this album years ago, vinyl. Will try and find it for the radio station…
Shakuhachi [The Japanese Flute] – Kohachiro Miyata
Beyond This World
通玄峯頂 Over the crest of the T’ung-hsuan-feng,
不是人間 The human world is no more.
心外無物 Nothing is outside the Mind;
満目青山 And the eye is filled with green mountains.
– T’ien-t’ai Te-chao (天台德昭 Tendai Tokushõ; 891-972), most prominent disciple of Fa-yen (法眼 Hõgen), and abbot of a temple on Mount T’ung-hsuan-feng (通玄峯).
幽鳥語如篁 A bird in a secluded grove sings like a flute.
柳搖金線長 Willows sway gracefully with their golden threads.
雲歸山谷静 The mountain valley grows the quieter as the clouds return.
風送杏花香 A breeze brings along the fragrance of the apricot flowers.
永日蕭然坐 For a whole day I have sat here encompassed by peace,
澄心萬虞忘 Till my mind is cleansed in and out of all cares and idle thoughts.
欲言言不及 I wish to tell you how I feel, but words fail me.
林下好商量 If you come to this grove, we can compare notes.
– Ch’an master Fa-yen (法眼 Hõgen)
Old P’ang requires nothing in the world:
All is empty with him, even a seat he has not,
For absolute Emptiness reigns in his household;
How empty indeed it is with no treasures!
When the sun is risen, he walks through Emptiness,
When the sun sets, he sleeps in Emptiness;
Sitting in Emptiness he sings his empty songs,
And his empty songs reverberate through Emptiness:
Be not surprised at Emptiness so thoroughly empty,
For Emptiness is the seat of all the Buddhas;
And Emptiness is not understood by the men of the world,
But Emptiness is the real treasure:
If you say there’s no Emptiness,
You commit grave offence against the Buddhas.
– P’ang “Who flourished in the Yüan-ho period (806-821) and thereabout, and was a younger contemporary of Ma-tsu.”
欲識永明旨 You wish to know the spirit of Yung-ming Zen?
門前一湖水 Look at the lake in front of the gate.
日照光明至 When the sun shines, it radiates light and brightness,
波夾波浪起 When the wind comes, there arise ripples and waves.
Yung-ming Yen-shou (永明延壽 Yõmyõ Enju; 904-975) disciple of T’ien-t’ai Te-chao (天台德昭 Tendai Tokushõ; 891-972).
“There is a time for peaceful contemplation; there is a time for dynamic action; and all the time the lake remains itself.”
Yen-shou’s Poem of Enlightenment
扑落非他物 Something dropped! It is no other thing;
縱横不是塵 Right and left, there is nothing earthy:
山河并大地 Rivers and mountains and the great earth,—
全露法王身 In them all revealed is the Body of the Dharmarâja.
Ch’an master Yung-ming Yen-shou (永明延壽 Yõmyõ Enju) (904-975)
Variant of the line 3 山河及大地
“His realization took place when he heard a bundle of fuel dropping on the ground.”
Gathas of Shen-hsiu and Hui-neng
身是菩提樹 This body is the Bodhi-tree,
心如明鏡台 The soul is like a mirror bright;
時時勤拂拭 Take heed to keep it always clean,
莫使惹塵埃 And let no dust collect on it. Shen-hsiu
菩提本無樹 The Bodhi is not like the tree,
明鏡亦非台 The mirror bright is nowhere shining;
本夾無一物 As there is nothing from the first,
何處惹塵埃 Where can the dust itself collect? Hui-neng
Gâthâs of Shen-hsiu (神秀 Jinshû) and Hui-neng (慧能 Enõ)
From Hui-neng’s Platform Sûtra (T’an-ching 壇經/Dankyõ,
full title Liu-tsu Ta-shih Fa-pao-t’an-ching 六祖大師法寶壇經 Rokuso Daishi
Rebirth of the Bodhisattva
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 wasn’t 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 king’s 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 king’s 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 “Bodhisattva”, 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 don’t 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 boy’s grandfather, who had one been King of Mithila.
Excerpt: The Diamond Sutra
“Subhuti, someone might fill innumerable worlds with the seven treasures and give all away in gifts of alms, but if any good man or any good woman awakens the thought of Enlightenment and takes even only four lines from this Discourse, reciting, using, receiving, retaining and spreading them abroad and explaining them for the benefit of others, it will be far more meritorious. Now in what manner may he explain them to others? By detachment from appearances-abiding in Real Truth. -So I tell you-Thus shall you think of all this fleeting world:A star at dawn, a bubble in a stream;A flash of lightening in a summer cloud,A flickering lamp, a phantom, and a dream.When Buddha finished this Discourse the venerable Subhuti, together with the bhikshus, bhikshunis, lay-brothers and sisters, and the whole realms of Gods, Men and Titans, were filled with joy by His teaching, and, taking it sincerely to heart they went their ways.”
― Gautama Buddha, Diamond Sutra