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Clearing the Clutter January 05, 2006 6:13 PM

With all the noise, news & clutter burdening our True Zen Nature & Nature of True Self, I chose 3 very different teachings including one song...There is something very special about these words by the musical group "Enigma" that rings very true and helps me find my True Nature...very peaceful! Hope you enjoy these!

"Return To Innocence"

That's not the beginning of the end
That's the return to yourself
The return to innocence
Love - Devotion
Feeling - Emotion
Love - Devotion
Feeling - Emotion
Don't be afraid to be weak
Don't be too proud to be strong
Just look into your heart my friend
That will be the return to yourself
The return to innocence
If you want, then start to laugh
If you must, then start to cry
Be yourself don't hide
Just believe in destiny
Don't care what people say
Just follow your own way
Don't give up and use the chance
To return to innocence
That's not the beginning of the end
That's the return to yourself
The return to innocence
Don't care what people say
Follow just your own way Follow just your own way
Don't give up, don't give up
To return, to return to innocence.
If you want then laugh
If you must then cry
Be yourself don't hide
Just believe in destiny.

Listen to audio clip

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 January 05, 2006 6:18 PM

Just sitting - Black Mountain
by Fa Lian Shakya of Greece

Sitting on top of the waxen rock
mountain -
Looking nowhere, looking
Seeking rebirth.

I'll know the place when I see it
Even if clouds are hiding it
most of the time.

Life is like a dream in a dream
and nightmare too ...
The only Way out is to wake up.

Sitting on a rock at the edge
of the black mountain

Gazing nowhere and everywhere.
Time came to interfere and took
me away
to another sphere.

With blessings for another journey
for strength and resolves.

Namo Buddha and Masters
Namo DhammaNamo Sangha

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 January 05, 2006 6:23 PM

by Chuan Zhi Shakya, OHY
Presented October 4, 2005

"Daruma" by Kogaku Soen (1859-1917). Kogaku Soen was one of the first monks to bring Zen to the United States. He is well known for his brush paintings of Boddhidharma (known in Japan as Daruma).
"Self is the lord of self; what higher Lord could there be? When a man subdues well his self, he gains a mastery which is hard to obtain."

-- The Buddha
(Dhammapada, XII.4)

Those seeking to understand Chan often misunderstand the nature of ego transcendence, which is, itself, the Chan experience. While it's impossible to understand it from a purely intellectual vantage, a glimpse into its nature is possible, and with the right Chan practice, anyone can come to fully realize it.

To distinguish between the concept of ego-self and Buddha Self (the True Self - or ego-transcended Self), I will use the conventional lower case "s" when referring to the ego-self, and a capital "S" when referring to Buddha Self.

What is the nature of Self? In Chan, the answer is a spiritual one, dependent on self-reflection, and one that cannot come fully until we achieve a degree of spiritual awareness. In the secular domain, we can investigate Self in terms of what it is not - it is not the self we identify as our ego.

We all recognize the characteristics of ego - they manifest as arrogance, pride and conceit. While it's easy to see these characteristics in others, it's often difficult to see them within ourselves: when we look inward it's too painful to confront so we turn the other way and return to our usual ways of thinking, feeling and behaving. This is the immense power the ego has over us. The danger of succumbing to it is obvious: we, too, act in the way of an ego-dominated individual, convinced that our opinions are the right ones, that our experiences are more valid than another's, that our knowledge is more "correct." Turning away from self-reflection we become like those we admonish.

When we lose the ability, or courage, to self-reflect, our ego steps in for us; and the more we entrust to our ego, the stronger it becomes and the more distant we become from our Self. The result is all varieties of ego-centered convictions and behaviors, but most grievous is the loss of knowledge of who we are as human beings. And therein lies all the pain and suffering that comes when a spiritual life is neglected. Recognizing the ego for what it is, we can begin to let go of it.

The ego is first and foremost concerned about itself - it wants to be strong and dominant, and will manipulate us accordingly by engaging in deception to bend our Will to identify with it. When we identify ourselves with our thoughts and actions and beliefs (all ego-elements), in our minds we become that with which we identify. We are "a republican" or "a democrat" or a "religious person" or "a vegetarian" or "a nice person" or a "victimized person" or a "strong person" or a "spiritual person" or a "smart person" or a "sensitive person" . We become the center of our known universe. And a very small universe it is. What we fail to recognize is how limiting this state of being really is.

The ego will present numerous roadblocks on our spiritual journey. The Buddha warned about this in the numerous stories he told (the Jataka tales are often attributed to him but may have much more ancient origins) and in his sayings, collectively referred to as the Dhammapada.

The challenge for the spiritual traveler is to detach from the notion that we are what we think we are. In reality, we are everything except what we think we are, and if we take this viewpoint we can begin to undermine our attachment to ego and its influence over us and begin to learn about the nature of our Real Self. Depending on the amount of effort we put into it, ego-transcendence will come fast or slow, but once it does, we will truly be followers of the Chan path.

Deny yourself your opinions. Deny yourself your beliefs. Neti! Neti! Not this! Not This! Negate all those things that you have formed attachments to, one-at-a-time. Do this during every waking moment, unrelentingly, and enlightenment will come quickly. The Buddha Self -- which is you -- will pierce the veils of that slippery autonomous phantasm we call ego.
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Affirming Faith In Mind February 23, 2006 1:30 PM

Zen Nature

The Great Way is not difficult for those who do not pick and choose.
When preferences are cast aside the Way stands clear and undisguised.
But even slight distinctions made set earth and heaven far apart.
If you would clearly see the truth, discard opinions pro and con.
To founder in dislike and like is nothing but the mind's disease.
And not to see the Way's deep truth disturbs the mind's essential peace.
The Way is perfect like vast space, where there's no lack and no excess.
Our choice to choose and to reject prevents our seeing this simple truth.
Both striving for the outer world as well as for the inner void condemn us to entangled lives.
Just calmly see that all is One, and by themselves false views will go.
Attempts to stop activity will fill you with activity.
Remaining in duality, you'll never know of unity.
And not to know this unity lets conflict lead you far astray.
When you assert that things are real you miss their true reality.
But to assert that things are void also misses reality.
The more you talk and think on this the further from the truth you'll be.
Cut off all useless thought and words And there's nowhere you cannot go.
Returning to the root itself, you'll find the meaning of all things.
If you pursue appearances you overlook the primal source.
Awakening is to go beyond both emptiness as well as form.
All changes in this empty world seem real because of ignorance.
Do not go search for the truth, just let those fond opinions go.
Abide not in duality, refrain from all pursuit of it.
If there's a trace of right and wrong, True-mind is lost, confused, distaught.
From One-mind comes duality, but cling not even to this One.
When this One-mind rests undisturbed, then nothing in the world offends.
And when no thing can give offense, then all obstructions cease to be.
If all thought-objects disappear, the thinking subject drops away.
For things are things because of mind, as mind is mind because of things.
These two are merely relative, and both at source are Emptiness.
In Emptiness these are not two, yet in each are contained all forms.
Once coarse and fine are seen no more, then how can there be taking sides?
The Great Way is without limit, beyond the easy and the hard.
But those who hold to narrow views are fearful and irresolute; their frantic has just slows them down.
If you're attached to anything, you surely will go far astray.
Just let go now of clinging mind, and all things are just as they are. In essense nothing goes or stays.
See into the true self of things, and you're in step with the Great Way, thus walking freely, undisturbed.
But live in bondage to your thoughts, and you will be confused, unclear.
This heavy burden weighs you down-- O why keep judging good and bad?
If you would walk the highest Way, do not reject the sense domain.
For as it is, whole and complete, This sense world is enlightenment.
The wise do not strive after goals, but fools themselves in bondage put.
The One Way knows no differences, the foolish cling to this and that.
To seek Great Mind with thinking mind is certainly a grave mistake.
From small mind come rest and unrest, but mind awakened transcends both.
Delusion spawns dualities-- these dreams are nought but flowers of air-- why work so hard at grasping them?
Both gain and loss, and right and wrong-- once and for all get rid of them.
When you no longer are asleep, all dreams will vanish by themselves.
If mind does not discriminate, all things are as they are, as One.
To go to this mysterious Source frees us from all entanglements.
When all is seen with "equal mind," to our Self-nature we return.
This single mind goes right beyond all reasons and comparisons.
Stop movement and there's no movement, stop rest and no-rest comes instead.
When rest and no-rest cease to be, then even oneness disappears.
This ultimate finality's beyond all laws, can't be described.
With single mind one with the Way, all ego-centered strivings cease;
Doubts and confusion disappear, and so true faith pervades our life.
There is no thing that clings to us, and nothing that is left behind.
All's self-revealing, void and clear, without exerting power of mind.
Thought cannot reach this state of truth, here feelings are of no avail.
In this true world of Emptiness both self and other are no more.
To enter this true empty world, immediately affirm "not-two".
In this "not-two" all is the same, with nothing separate or outside.
The wise in all times and places awaken to this primal truth.
The Way's beyond all space, all time, one instant is ten thousand years.
Not only here, not only there, truth's right before you very eyes.
Distinctions such as large and small have relevance for you no more.
The largest is the smallest too-- here limitations have no place.
What is is not, what is not is-- if this is not yet clear to you, you're still far from the inner truth.
One thing is all, all things are one-- know this and all's whole and complete.
When faith and Mind are not separate, and not separate are Mind and faith, this is beyond all words, all thought.
For here there is no yesterday, no today, no tomorrow.

There is so much wisdom in basic Zen teachings! Clearing the clutter (noise) and non-discriminating (dualties) are such very basic Zen teachings and our biggest hurdle!
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anonymous Yes! March 30, 2006 11:50 PM

Especially when one is trying to get some sleep!  [report anonymous abuse]
 March 31, 2006 12:08 AM

Chapter 2. Contents of the Gita Summarized


ya nisa sarva-bhutanam
tasyam jagarti samyami
yasyam jagrati bhutani
sa nisa pasyato muneh


ya--what; nisa--is night; sarva--all; bhutanam--of living entities; tasyam--in that; jagarti--wakeful; samyami--the self-controlled; yasyam--in which; jagrati--awake; bhutani--all beings; sa--that is; nisa--night; pasyatah--for the introspective; muneh--sage.


What is night for all beings is the time of awakening for the self-controlled; and the time of awakening for all beings is night for the introspective sage.


There are two classes of intelligent men. The one is intelligent in material activities for sense gratification, and the other is introspective and awake to the cultivation of self-realization. Activities of the introspective sage, or thoughtful man, are night for persons materially absorbed. Materialistic persons remain asleep in such a night due to their ignorance of self-realization. The introspective sage remains alert in the "night" of the materialistic men. The sage feels transcendental pleasure in the gradual advancement of spiritual culture, whereas the man in materialistic activities, being asleep to self-realization, dreams of varieties of sense pleasure, feeling sometimes happy and sometimes distressed in his sleeping condition. The introspective man is always indifferent to materialistic happiness and distress. He goes on with his self-realization activities undisturbed by material reaction.

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