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.