as they race by-
as they race by-
new trees growing
from old stump-
the stick of Buddhism
teaches a hard lesson-
Today at the Buddhist Temple of Chicago Rev Nakai gave a talk and during this talk she said a phrase. The phrase was “stick of Buddhism” and it hit me, well like a stick.
It reminded of a discussion with my wife about how the path of a Buddhist is not an easy one and it is easy to just settle into complacency and not delve into your own psyche and short comings. I remember reading stories where the Zen Master would hit students with a stick, not to punish them but to jolt them into a new awareness.
So the next time you are stuck try and find a way to jolt yourself out of your mental myopia.
As I approach my surgery date I plan on living each day as mindful as I can up until the anesthesia alters my awareness.
During past surgeries I have memories of talking during the surgery, hearing conversations and even smelling things in the OR. I hope that this time, since I have been meditating more perhaps I can be more lucid and experience new things while my body is repaired. Stay tuned to see what happens.
even Shinran’s pine
seems to know
choo yuku ya shinran matsu mo shitta kao
by Issa, 1818
Shinran founded the Jo^doshinshu^ (True Teaching Pure Land) Buddhist
sect to which Issa belonged. This haiku has the prescript, “Zenko^ji”
(Zenko Temple), the major Pure Land temple in Issa’s home province. At
that temple, Shinran left a gift of a pine tree in a great pot,
centuries ago. Shinji Ogawa notes that Issa is punning in this haiku.
Shinran matsu (“Shinran’s pine”) is close to shiran matsu
(“not-knowing pine”), which contrasts with shitta kao: the “knowing
face” of the butterfly. Thus, Shinji writes, the haiku might be
translated: “butterfly departs/ Shinran’s pine/ acknowledges.” Or:
“butterfly departs/ even the not-knowing pine/ [has a] knowing face.”
Tr, David Lanoue
More about the pine and Saint Shinran
smiling faces in
the cars as they pass-
hawk their faux labels-
When the Siddhartha was born he was simply human. When he reached enlightenment he was STILL human. The title Buddha is a descriptor of a state of being. It contains two aspects: “accomplished one” and “awakened one” they mean that he removed all defilements and attained knowledge.
We all have this “state” within. The question is…
How do we get to that state?
through the storm
shines the lighthouse-
Ponder for a moment how a sailor lost in a storm feels when they catch a glimpse of the lighthouse beacon shining through the storm guiding them to safety…
Now try and realize that your own Buddha nature is like that beacon within yourself. This too can guide you through your own storms.
Yesterday was a special day for my family. We observed Hatsu Mairi. This is the equivalent to a baptism or confirmation in christian churches. Our family waited until our daughter was old enough to participate in the decision. We chose the age of eight as she entered, according to current psychological understanding, the age of reason. It was a very lovely service and also confirmed our families commitment to the Buddhist path. Another item that made it special was that our oldest daughter played the piano during the service.