Jan 28, 2009

the Buddha eye

This is the story of Plum Village: how to transmit the Buddha eye, not build a big institution and become famous

Thich Nhat Hanh

in Twenty Years of Plum Village Life, Parallax Press (May 2003)

Jan 21, 2009

around the mind


less mind
ness mind
full mind
single mind
empty mind
beyond mind
no mind
never mind


Kazuaki Tanahashi, Brush Mind, Parallax Press, 1990

above, one-brush paint by Kazuaki Tanahashi; to see more from this artist please refer to:

Jan 17, 2009

the mirror

How grateful he was, after all, to his visitor's! -- for each of them left him something to clarify his situation. He was choosing, yes, and treading back through the woods, welcomed by the calls of unseen birds and the gestures of unnamed plants, he sought for some further choice, some addtional dismissal with which he could atone for the night's parasitic ecstasy. He smashed the mirror. He held it squarely above the hearthstone, so the last thing it reflected was a slice of blue zenith, and let it drop. The fragments he swept up and buried in a place far from the house, covering the earth with leaves so he could not find the spot again. But from that sector of woods, for a while, he felt watched, by buried eyes. The sensation passed in daylight but persisted at night, when it gave his sleep depth, as had the knowledge when he was a child that an unknown hour his mother, though still downstairs, on her way to bed would come into his room and touch his forehead and tuck the kicked covers around him.

excerpt from The Hermit, short story by John Updike in The Music School, First Vintage Books Editions, 1980

Jan 12, 2009

a clod of earth

Upon Love's face gaze, that you may be considered a man.
Don't sit with cold people; their breath will chill you.

Seek from Love's face something other than beauty;
It's time you associated with a genuine friend.

A clod of earth, you'll not rise in the air
Unless you break and become mere dust.

If you don't break, he who made you will;
When death does, will you remain separate?

A fresh root makes green again a leaf that yellows;
So don't blame Love at your increasing paleness.

O friend,if you attain perfection among us,
This throne will be yours, your every desire gained.

But if you remain too long on this earth,
You will be as dice, passing from place to place.

If Shems of Tabriz, O Wild One! draws you to his side,
On your escape from gaol, you'll re-enter his orbit.


in Rumi's Dıvan of Shems of Tabriz, a new ınterpretation by James Cowan

Jan 8, 2009

highest goal

[Buddhism] teaches us to serve others, to sacrifice our own comfort for the sake of suffering humanity, and to observe religious precepts or disciplines voluntarily, but not as commandments imposed by some unseen power. By observing such good principles according to our own conviction not only do we ge the chance to be perfect but we also help others to live in peace.

This perfection is the highest goal which a person must attain in order to gain his salvation. It cannot be obtained through the influence of any god or mediator.


That is why the Buddha always welcomes people to come and see His teachings but not to come and believe at once. He also advised people to choose a proper religion by considering, and investigating in various ways without accepting anything through emotion or blind faith. This is why Buddhism is called a doctrine of analysis.

Why Buddhism, by Ven. Dr. Sri Dhammananda, in Gems of Buddhist Wisdom

Jan 4, 2009


The winter tempest
Hid itself in the bamboos
And grew still


Jan 1, 2009

seek unity

In my mind’s eye I still have the image of my first night flight in Argentina. It was a dark night, with only occasional scattered lights glittering like stars on the plain.

Each one, in that ocean of shadows, was a sign of the miracle of consciousness. In one home people were reading, or thinking, or sharing confidences. In another, perhaps, they were searching through space, wearying themselves with the mathematics of the Andromeda nebula. In another they were making love. These small flames shone far apart in the landscape, demanding their fuel. Even the most unassuming of them, the flame of the poet, the teacher or the carpenter. But among these living stars, how many closed windows, how many extinct stars, how many sleeping men...

We must surely seek unity. We must seek to communicate with some of these fires burning far apart in the landscape.

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Wind, Sand and Stars (Terre des Hommes, 1939), Penguin Classics