Friday, December 31, 2010

Friday, December 24, 2010

Monday, December 20, 2010

Myoan Temple Sign #2

Blow Sui Zen One United

Myoan Temple Sign #1

Kyorei (Void Spirit) Mountain

Monday, December 13, 2010

Contemplation of our Natures

D. T. Suzuki, when I was studying with him, said the ego has the capacity to cut itself off from experience--whether it comes through the senses or dreams--and it can flow with the experience.  It has that capacity.

In other words, we can change our minds, so that rather than concentrating on our selves in self-conscoiusness, we can become attentive to enviroment--outside like today, or it can be, so to speak, zero in the contemplative setting.

I thought that instead of taking the conventional discipline of sitting cross-legged that I would take this other way.  If I approach the world of relativity free of my likes and dislikes, so that when something happens that I don't like, instead of continuing to say I don't like it, I ask myself why don't I like it? then here is a clear possiblity of changing my mind.

I proceed from one composition to another in a similar way.  And then you can take all kinds of things as guides.  In other words, you can become an observer of your work and the effect of your work both on yourself and to a lesser extent on other people.

                                                                  --John Cage

Riding Home

Taking a winding path you ride the ox home.
The tune of your rustic flute permeates the evening
Each note, each song: feeling unbounded
knowing the sound is beyond lips and mouth.

Zen Telegram

Sound of flute
has returned
to bamboo

                     --Paul Reps

Hitori Mondo (Self Dialogue)

A good player of shakuhachi is one who makes the bamboo shaft come alive.  A master naturally and effortlessly brings forth something inconceivable.  However, without study it is impossible to enter the boundaries of mastery.

You become the bamboo.  The bamboo becomes you.  A master lives in emptiness while working in form.  Then playing each piece becomes the ultimate piece "Kyorei (Void Spirit)."  Emptiness is taking the name of Kyorei as the essence of each piece.  Emptiness is calling oneself void.  The Zen practice of living in emptiness and working in form applies to the self and heart.

                              --Fuyo Hisamatsu, 18th century samurai and komuso

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Cowra Sound and Vision

within the senses
all out of reach
stone memorial;
the sound of shakuhachi,
sun glints from his watch.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Giving Thanks-- Words from Zen Master Kyong Ho

Zen Master Kyong Ho

1.Don't wish for perfect health. In perfect health there is greed and wanting. So an ancient said, "Make good medicine from the suffering of sickness."

2.Don't hope for a life without problems. An easy life results in a judgmental and lazy mind. So an ancient once said, "Accept the anxieties and difficulties of this life."

3.Don't expect your practice to be always clear of obstacles. Without hindrances the mind that seeks enlightenment may be burnt out. So an ancient once said, "Attain deliverance in disturbances."

4.Don't expect to practice hard and not experience the weird. Hard practice that evades the unknown makes for a weak commitment. So an ancient once said, "Help hard practice by befriending every demon."

5.Don't expect to finish doing something easily. If you happen to acquire something easily the will is made weaker. So an ancient once said, "Try again and again to complete what you are doing."

6.Make friends but don't expect any benefit for yourself. Friendship only for oneself harms trust. So an ancient once said, "Have an enduring friendship with purity in heart."'

7.Don't expect others to follow your direction. When it happens that others go along with you, it results in pride. So an ancient once said, "Use your will to bring peace between people."

8.Expect no reward for an act of charity. Expecting something in return leads to a scheming mind. So an ancient once said, "Throw false spirituality away like a pair of old shoes."

9.Don't seek profit over and above what your work is worth. Acquiring false profit makes a fool (of oneself). So an ancient once said, "Be rich in honesty."

10.Don't try to make clarity of mind with severe practice. Every mind comes to hate severity, and where is clarity in mortification? So an ancient once said, "Clear a passageway through severe practice."

11.Be equal to every hindrance. Buddha attained Supreme Enlightenment without hindrance. Seekers after truth are schooled in adversity. When they are confronted by a hindrance, they can't be overcome. Then, cutting free, their treasure is great.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Song for my Father

Play it loud Dad said, it's very soothing that way...

the window view from the hospital room

Friday, November 26, 2010

Monday, November 22, 2010

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Their Day in the Sun

Autumn Blue Moon Today

The far side of the full moon.

A Blue Moon can be the second full moon in a calendar month. Or it can be the third of four full moons in a single season. The November 21, 2010 Blue Moon is the third of four full moons between the September 2010 equinox and December 2010 solstice.  This celestial event occurs only 7 times within a 19 year cycle...Happy Blue Moon!

Earthshine on dark side of moon.

joyful mind and big mind and kind mind

As the rays of the sun struck the bamboo on the hill, the air heated quickly and the stalks expanded, emitting sharp, pinging noises of different pitches, a strange little song of farewell in the still morning.

We get no letters from the world of emptiness, but when you see the plant flower, when you hear the sound of bamboo hit by the small stone, that is a letter from the world of emptiness.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Chiku Za (Kodama Hiroyuki

2.0 Kodama (left), 2.4 Mujitsu (right)

Monday, November 15, 2010

Hamamatsu Museum of Musical Instruments

Shakuhachi Section

escalator to nirvana

Monday, November 8, 2010

Wind Bell

My whole being is like the mouth of a bell suspended in empty space:
It does not ask whether the wind blows east or west, north or south.
Impartial to all, it sounds the Wisdom for the sake of others:
“Bong bong bong,” says the wind bell, “bong bong bong.”
One time, upon hearing a temple bell that was hanging in a hall being rung by the wind, he asked Kayashata, “Is it the wind we hear or is it the bell we hear?”
Kayashata replied, “It is beyond the sounding of the wind and beyond the sounding of the bell: it is the sounding of my own Mind.”
The Venerable Sōgyanandai asked, “And, say, just what is your own Mind?”
Kayashata replied, “It is equivalent to saying that everything is altogether tranquil in its stillness.”

Shakuhachi Haiku

Shakuhachi ya

the sound of autumn

in my valley.

One note of the shakuhachi

resounds endlessly

piercing the winter clouds.

                            --Soen Nakagawa (1907-1984)

Song of spring -

the flute of Daruma

in my valley.

Fifth Month rain--

in the town how long

this flute ban?

Lightning showers~

lonely beggar plays

the bamboo flute.

Fluttering down

a cadence --

the softness of flutes.

A chevron of mountains peek through mist

-- bamboo flute.

Bamboo flute -

the blind monk plays

with the autumn winds.

Suma Temple -

hearing a silent flute

under dark trees.
                          -- Matsuo Basho

Suma Temple . . .

I hear the unblown flute

in the shade of a tree.

in Fudo Myo-O's sanctum,

blowing bamboo as an offering

summer's day- a duet of frog and shakuhachi!

floating on the summer wind, the sound of shakuhachi.

Spring passes and one remembers

one's innocence.

Summer passes and one remembers

one's exuberance.

Autumn passes and one remembers

one's reverence.

Winter passes and one remembers

one's perseverance.

                               --Yoko Ono