Apr 24, 2009
In today’s sky
the charm of rain
pouring on the universe
imbues the heart
of each and everyone
Jien (Jichin-daikasho, 1155-1225), A Hundred Poems on the Essential Texts of the Lotus Sutra, as translated into English by Jean-Noel Robert
photo above: land art by Andy Goldsworthy, Rain shadow (St. Abbs, Scotland, June 1984); to see more from this artist please refer to:
Apr 18, 2009
To be thoroughly lazy is a tough job, but somebody has to do it. Industrious people build industry. Lazy people build civilization.
Kazuaki Tanahashi, Brush Mind, Parallax Press, 1990
to see and read more from Kazuaki Tanahashi, please refer to:
Apr 12, 2009
Nearly all of us are carrying our corpse as we walk around. We’re not truly alive, we’re not truly awake.
It’s very easy if we want to wake up and be a living person. In Christianity, they have the concept of resurrection. In Buddhism, resurrection is a practice, not a ceremony. When we hear the bell we can be resurrected. A single breath or step can resurrect us.
As we look around us, we can see if we’re among the living or among the dead. We may be right next to someone, but they don’t notice us, they are carried away by their memories, their anger, or sadness. Each moment can be a moment of resurrection, but they aren’t there to experience it.
Thich Nhat Hanh, Nothing to do, Nowhere to go - Waking up to who you are, Parallax Press, 2007
if you want to Wake Up...
Apr 8, 2009
Apr 2, 2009
There is another story that you may have read that has to do with what we call heaven and hell, life and death, good and bad. It’s a story about how those things don’t really exist except as a creation of our own minds. It goes like this: A big burly samurai comes to the wise man and says, “Tell me the nature of heaven and hell.” And the roshi looks him in the face and says: “Why should I tell a scruffy, disgusting, miserable slob like you?” The samurai starts to get purple in the face, his hair starts to stand up, but the roshi won’t stop, he keeps saying, “A miserable worm like you, do you think I should tell you anything?” Consumed by rage, the samurai draws his sword, and he’s just about to cut off the head of the roshi. Then the roshi says, “That’s hell”. The samurai, who is in fact a sensitive person, instantly gets it, that he just created his own hell; he was deep in hell. It was black and hot, filled with hatred, self-protection, anger, and resentment, so much so that he was going to kill this man. Tears fill his eyes and he starts to cry and he puts his palms together and the roshi says, “That’s heaven”.
Pema Chödrön, The Wisdom of No Escape (Shambala Publications, Boston/London, 2001)
illustration: Yoshitoshi Taiso (1839-1892), Mount Ji Ming moon (Keimeizan no tsuki), ukiyo-e print series One Hundred Aspects of the Moon; to see more of these wonderful prints please visit: