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Your Favorite Dharma Gems

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Re: Your Favorite Dharma Gems

Postby desert_woodworker on Thu Aug 04, 2016 4:21 pm

.
Conze, on "emptiness".

--Joe

    "Roughly speaking, we may say that the word ["emptiness"] as an adjective (sunya)
    means 'found wanting' and refers to worldly things, and as a noun (sunyata)
    means inward 'freedom' and refers to the negation of the world.

    "It [emptiness] thus becomes a name for Nirvana, if only because that [Nirvana] lacks greed, hate and delusion; it is one of the doors to deliverance.
    "
--Edward Conze, Buddhist Thought In India (1962; 1967), Pp. 60-61.
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Re: Your Favorite Dharma Gems

Postby desert_woodworker on Mon Aug 08, 2016 3:22 pm

.
"The first five centuries of Buddhist history saw
the development of a number of schools, or sects,
which are traditionally counted as eighteen."


--Edward Conze, Buddhist Thought In India (1962; 1967), p.119.
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Re: Your Favorite Dharma Gems

Postby desert_woodworker on Mon Aug 08, 2016 9:53 pm

.
    “ -- Miss one day of practice, and I notice it; miss two, the critics notice; miss three, the audience [everybody... ] notices. -- ”
This is a famous quote, popular with anyone who practices, from pianists to ballet dancers to golfers. “If I miss one day’s practice, I notice it. If I miss two days’ practice, the critics notice it. If I miss three days’ practice, the public notices it.” The first to notice the drop in performance is the performer; then trained persons (such as professional critics or a teacher, spouse, or friends); and then the general public.

The Hungarian composer and pianist Franz Liszt (1811-1886) was credited with the saying in 1894. The Russian composer and pianist Anton Rubinstein (1829-1894) was credited with the saying in 1905. The German composer and pianist Hans von Bülow (1830-1894) was credited with the saying in 1910. The Polish composer and pianist Ignacy Jan Paderewski (1860-1941) was credited with the saying in 1911. Paderewski receives almost universal credit today, but the early citations of others (especially in a music publication such as The Etude) indicate that he very likely did not coin the saying.

I've heard some people late last century credit the Spanish cellist Pablo Casals with it, too. :)

--Joe
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Re: Your Favorite Dharma Gems

Postby desert_woodworker on Mon Aug 22, 2016 4:17 pm

.
"What others call 'Buddhism', the Buddhists themselves call 'Dharma' ".

    --E. Conze, Buddhist Thought In India (1962, 1967), p. 92.
--Joe
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Re: Your Favorite Dharma Gems

Postby desert_woodworker on Sun Aug 28, 2016 9:54 pm

I post this to poke just a bit of fun at our "sitting" in Zen Buddhist practice, but also for its serious message about health in our times of increasingly sedentary ways of living and working.

As such, it might be a communique from the blue-toned Medicine Buddha.

And helpful to our practice, besides.

--Joe
----------------------------------------------------------------------------

    "No amount of exercise can offset the harmful effects
    that prolonged sitting have on heart and blood vessels,
    the AHA [American Heart Association] cautions.

    "People should avoid sitting for too long -- even if they
    meet current physical activity recommendations and get
    at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise each week,
    the group advises.

    " 'Sit less, move more'."
    ( --Deborah Rohm, American Heart Association)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------

--from: THE WEEK, September 2, 2016; p. 21.

Medizin-Buddha-Zeichnung.jpg
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Re: Your Favorite Dharma Gems

Postby anka on Fri Sep 16, 2016 11:11 am

With the changing seasons.


A priest was in charge of the garden within a famous Zen temple. He had been given the job because he loved the flowers, shrubs, and trees. Next to the temple there was another, smaller temple where there lived a very old Zen master. One day, when the priest was expecting some special guests, he took extra care in tending to the garden. He pulled the weeds, trimmed the shrubs, combed the moss, and spent a long time meticulously raking up and carefully arranging all the dry autumn leaves. As he worked, the old master watched him with interest from across the wall that separated the temples.

When he had finished, the priest stood back to admire his work. "Isn't it beautiful," he called out to the old master. "Yes," replied the old man, "but there is something missing. Help me over this wall and I'll put it right for you."

After hesitating, the priest lifted the old fellow over and set him down. Slowly, the master walked to the tree near the center of the garden, grabbed it by the trunk, and shook it. Leaves showered down all over the garden. "There," said the old man, "you can put me back now."
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Re: Your Favorite Dharma Gems

Postby desert_woodworker on Fri Sep 16, 2016 4:49 pm

As in Christianity, where synods or councils were held in which to decide on which writings and teachings of the tradition were to be considered orthodox and "canon", Buddhist representatives after the Buddha's death held such synods and councils, too, in India, centuries before Christians came to do so elsewhere.

The third such Buddhist council or synod, held at Pataliputra in about 250 BC, had much to do with paring down the diversity of interpretation of the early writings by the eighteen schools to a smaller number of those considered to be orthodox by figures who came to be known as the Theravadins.

An excerpt here is the start of Chapter 4, "Third Buddhist Synod of Pataliputra", in Buddha and Buddhist Synods In India and Abroad, by Amarnath Thakur (b. 1958), Abhinav Publications, 1996, New Delhi; p. 179.

----------------------------

    "The Buddha made it clear to his disciples that after his death, his words will guide the followers in their righteous path. He did not nominate any one of his disciples as his successor to head the order and as such the absence of a central authority proved to be instrumental in the development of ecclesiastical cleavage in Buddhism and the Buddhist order. For want of a central authority, it was possible for the monks to interpret the expressions for the Teacher in different ways, introduce additional materials and pass them in the name of the Buddha. As such owing to such differences in the interpretations, the Buddhist order was divided into eighteen schools by the second century of Buddha's demise.

    "...As a result, when the Theravada school sensed the danger of their existence, they held a synod, which was patronized by King Asoka, wherein the orthodox teachers refuted all the doctrines of the different schools which the orthodox school considered as alien, heretical and non-Buddhist."
--Joe
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Re: Your Favorite Dharma Gems

Postby desert_woodworker on Sat Oct 29, 2016 5:29 pm

    "Change [according to the Buddhist system of 'dharmas'], is not a transformation of pre-existing material, but a succession of ever new dharmas, disparate in their being though linked by conditions." --Edward Conze, Buddhist Thought In India, 1962,1967; p. 101.
--Joe
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Re: Your Favorite Dharma Gems

Postby desert_woodworker on Sat Dec 24, 2016 4:10 pm

.
"The metaphysics of the Mahayana expresses a state of intoxication with the Unconditioned, and at the same time attempts to cope with it, and to sober it down."

    -- Edward Conze
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Re: Your Favorite Dharma Gems

Postby christopher::: on Fri Dec 30, 2016 1:55 pm

Mind

You don't have to do anything with your mind,
just let it naturally rest in it's essential nature.
Your own mind, unagitated, is reality.
Meditate on this without distraction.

Know the Truth beyond all opposites.
Thoughts are like bubbles that form and dissolve in clear water.
Thoughts are not distinct from the absolute Reality,
so relax, there is no need to be critical.

Whatever arises, whatever occurs,
simply don't cling to it, but immediately let it go.
What you see, hear, and touch are your own mind.
There is nothing but mind.

Mind transcends birth and death.
The essence of mind is pure Consciousness that never leaves reality,
even though it experiences the things of the senses.
In the equanimity of the Absolute, there is nothing to renounce or attain.

~Niguma

:<.<:
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"You are the sky. Everything else, it’s just the weather.” ~Pema Chodron
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Re: Your Favorite Dharma Gems

Postby desert_woodworker on Fri Jan 06, 2017 3:29 pm

.

"...difficulties only become problems when we separate ourselves from them instead of dealing with them directly and wholeheartedly."

--John Daishin Buksbazen Roshi, Zen Meditation in Plain English (2002); p. 38.

I think the Roshi is correct. In fact, I can feel pretty clearly the difference between a difficulty, and an undealt-with difficulty that I've allowed to progress to the stage of being a problem. Indeed, there's a lot of space and separation left between myself and the difficulty, and there's the wish for further space and distance to be developed. But space and distance do not metabolize or deconstruct difficulties, only "dealing" with them does. It's actually easy to transmute again a problem into a difficulty, and that happens the instant that one begins dealing with it. No regrets!, about not dealing with it when it was at first a difficulty. Such regret is one factor that can cause a difficulty to remain a "problem".

But enough of my narration: let me simply post again the words of the Roshi, who states in pure declarative prose a wise observation:

"...difficulties only become problems when we separate ourselves from them instead of dealing with them directly and wholeheartedly."

--Joe
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Re: Your Favorite Dharma Gems

Postby Linda Anderson on Sat Jan 07, 2017 6:34 am

beyond zen:

Not last night,
not this morning;
Melon flowers bloomed.
~ Bassho
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Re: Your Favorite Dharma Gems

Postby desert_woodworker on Sat Jan 07, 2017 4:27 pm

Linda,

I'll call it...

"Taiwan Ch'an and the Art of Health Maintenance and Motorcycle Riding!"

(Robert Pirsig, eat your silly heart out).

A nice commercial for the Taiwan bank! Thanks, Linda. It's actually inspirational.

--Joe
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Re: Your Favorite Dharma Gems

Postby Linda Anderson on Sat Jan 07, 2017 5:48 pm

I'm always inspired by it too Joe. It's laughter all the way down.
take care
linda
Not last night,
not this morning;
Melon flowers bloomed.
~ Bassho
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Re: Your Favorite Dharma Gems

Postby desert_woodworker on Sat Jan 07, 2017 10:37 pm

Linda Anderson wrote:It's laughter all the way down.

And now that sounds like me drinking an Ale. Gurgle, gurgle, gurgl-le... . :heya:

--Joe
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Re: Your Favorite Dharma Gems

Postby Sparkle on Thu Jan 12, 2017 4:25 pm

Had this emailed through today and it seemed to strike a chord (the boldness is my addition)

For some, to slow down looks like 'losing the edge' and risk becoming irrelevant. In reality, slowing down is probably the very thing needed before we can let go of all our confusion and find true peace. Slowing down might even be needed for our survival. If we can't stop clouding our minds with compulsive thinking and constricting our hearts with irrational fears, we will continue to compromise intelligence and keep making the same mistakes. Slow or fast, though, is not really the point; seeing clearly is what matters. However, before we can see clearly we do need the subtlety of mind that recognizes it is selfishness which causes all this confusion and suffering. Sitting for hours in samadhi may not be necessary, but when we are always in 'fast mode' we miss essential details.
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Re: Your Favorite Dharma Gems

Postby desert_woodworker on Thu Jan 12, 2017 5:00 pm

hi, Sparkle,

Tai Chi Chuan can be a good tool to acquire, for its effects and the way it teaches (trains) us, and brings out the natural. Then, we can be fast, or slow.

--Joe
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Re: Your Favorite Dharma Gems

Postby Sparkle on Fri Jan 13, 2017 1:32 am

Hi Jo,

How would you expect this to affect a "bad back"?

My initial thoughts are increased mobility and perhaps some extra pain and stiffness?
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Re: Your Favorite Dharma Gems

Postby desert_woodworker on Fri Jan 13, 2017 4:36 pm

Sparkle wrote:How would you expect this to affect a "bad back"?

My initial thoughts are increased mobility and perhaps some extra pain and stiffness?

Dunno. Best is to ask the tai chi teacher (you can't learn it from a book).

But because the forms and the practice of the forms develop good posture, and strengthen skeletal-supporting muscles, I suspect that tai chi will help.

The movements and load-bearing and load-switching are so S-L-O-W in tai chi, that I don't see any occasion or opportunity to wrench the spine.

Also... OBSERVE!... tai chi is practiced mainly by "old" people. And, er-r, "old" people are ones who most likely have had back-complaints arising as they age(d), and so they turned to tai chi for health, and relief.

Younger people want to do kung fu, or other hard forms. Older people take to tai chi.

BTW, sitting (chairs... ) is bad for the back because the stomach muscles are not engaged, and so the abdominal contents are not enlisted to help support the back. Note that NONE of the "forms" in tai chi have to do with sitting.

But a tai chi teacher will know all about what's what, and no doubt the teacher will have taught to many people arriving with "back" issues of one kind or another. Good to talk with the students as well as the teacher (hmm, that's true at Zen centers, also, come to think of it), and see how they cotton to the training from within their variegated situations and histories.

best!, in the new year,

--Joe
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Re: Your Favorite Dharma Gems

Postby desert_woodworker on Sat Jan 14, 2017 2:53 am

.
"Not seeing a single dharma; this is the Tathagatha."

    --Chan Master Yung-chia Hsuan-chueh (665-713); the Cheng-Tao-Ko [Zhengdaoge] (J.: Shodoka); poem in 64 verses. Yung-chia was a Dharma-heir of the Sixth Ancestor, Hui-neng.
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