Sunday, March 29, 2009

Mirror Pond on Mount Taibo in Shanxi

The water and my mind have both settled down
Into perfect stillness.
Sun and moon shine bright in it.
At night I see in the surface
The enormous face of my old familiar moon.
I don't think you've ever met the source of this reflection.
All shrillness fades into the sound of silence.
But now and then a puff of mist floats across the mirror.
It confuses me a little
But not enough to make me forget to forget my cares.

Hsu Yun

(1839 - 1959)

Monday, March 23, 2009

Morality is not something that you must force upon yourself; it is your natural quality. Therefore, first and foremost, cultivate morality. Only then will divinity blossom in you. The entire world will prosper when man adheres to morality. Wherever you are, whatever you do, consider morality as the basis of your life. Morality alone grants true and lasting reputation. You can earn divine grace and happiness only when you cultivate morality.



Friday, March 20, 2009

In my dreams:

I almost died three times.

First, I was driving along an overpass as my car lost control; I was forced onto the guard rail and eventually over it. Miraculously, I grasp hold of the rail and watch as my van plummets toward the ground.

Second near death was another car accident. This time, however, I am flung into tree tops and I fly Tarzan style until I am safe.

The third car crash, I am near a beautiful river with spring flowers and I glide happily, knowingly, to my near death death experience.

Am I grasping at life? Do I fear death or do I go towards death with elated spirit?

"At the moment of death, our state of mind is all-important. If we die in a positive frame of mind, we can improve our next birth, despite our negative karma. And if we are upset and distressed, it may have a detrimental effect, even though we may have used our lives well. This means that the last thought and emotion that we have before we die has an extremely powerful determining effect on our immediate future.

This is why the masters stress that the quality of the atmosphere around us when we die is crucial. With our friends and relatives, we should do all we can to inspire positive emotions and sacred feelings, like love, compassion, and devotion, and all we can to help them to "let go of grasping, yearning, and attachment."

~Sogyal Rinpoche

I massaged a woman recently who had the words Carpi Diem tattooed on her rear.

Seize the day!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

photo by Marko Beslac

We encountered the house of realization,

We encountered the house of realization,
we witnessed the body. The whirling skies, the many-layered earth, the seventy-thousand veils, we found in the body.

The night and the day, the planets,
the words inscribed on the Holy Tablets,
the hill that Moses climbed, the Temple,
and Israfil's trumpet, we observed in the body.

Torah, Psalms, Gospel, Quran --
what these books have to say,
we found in the body.

Everybody says these words of Yunus
are true. Truth is wherever you want it.
We found it all within the body.

Yunus Emre

Yunus Emre is considered by many to be one of the most important Turkish poets. Little can be said for certain of his life other than that he was a Sufi dervish of Anatolia. The love people have for his liberating poetry is reflected in the fact that many villages claim to be his birthplace, and many others claim to hold his tomb. He probably lived in the Karaman area.

His poetry expresses a deep personal mysticism and humanism and love for God.

He was a contemporary of Rumi, who lived in the same region. Rumi composed his collection of stories and songs for a well-educated urban circle of Sufis, writing primarily in the literary language of Persian. Yunus Emre, on the other hand, traveled and taught among the rural poor, singing his songs in the Turkish language of the common people.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Yesterday I bought a dream journal. It is beautiful with rainbow threads and light blue pleather. My dreams have been remarkable (to say the least) and I felt like recording them would be helpful in self-reflection. First off, I have a new appreciation for the vast genius and creative enormity of our subconscious minds. I might have to call it our super-conscious minds. Our ability to create magical works of art, or music or poetry is infinite. How many times a night so I lay dormant while my mind creates these elaborate scenarios to clue me in, just a little bit, to the makings of my reality.

This week I dreamed about my deepest fears of abandonment, of death and annihilation, of my inner child. Last night, I was in a large house and scrambling to close all the windows because a killer 'fog' was trying to get in. This 'fog' as it were, was dependent upon my thoughts and feelings. If I had a pleasant or uplifting thought, the fog would be less deadly. The house was floating through the sky and I watched as a almost Eastern European landscape emerged under the fog. When I awoke, I read this:

"Buddha sat in serene and humble dignity on the ground, with the sky above him and around him, as if to show us that in meditation you sit with open, skylike attitude of mind, yet remain present, earthed, and grounded. The sky is our absolute nature, which has no barriers and is boundless, and the ground is our reality, our relative, ordinary condition.

The posture we take when we meditate signifies that we are linking absolute and relative, sky and ground, heaven and earth, like two wings of a bird, integrating the skylike deathless nature of mind and the ground of our transient, mortal nature."

I had the feeling that the 'fog' was representative of the quality of my mind; I must focus on staying positive, clear and grounded.

There is no reason to hide from something that you alone are controlling. Mind control.
At least that is my interpretation for today.

Monday, March 02, 2009

When I consider the virtue of abusive words,
(from The Shodoka)

When I consider the virtue of abusive words,
I find the scandal-monger is my good teacher.
If we do not become angry at gossip,
We have no need for powerful endurance and compassion.
To be mature in Zen is to be mature in expression,
And full-moon brilliance of dhyana and prajna
Does not stagnate in emptiness.
Not only can I take hold of complete enlightenment by myself,
But all Buddha-bodies, like sands of the Ganges,
Can become awakened in exactly the some way.

Yoka Genkaku (Yongjia Xuanjue)