Tao Te Ching : Wu-Wei – non action – about duality and Unity

laotze

When everyone in the world sees beauty,

Then ugly exists.

When everyone sees good,

Then bad exists.

Therefore:

What is and what is not create each other.

Difficult and easy complement each other.

Tall and short shape each other.

High and low rest on each other.

Voice and tone blend with each other.

First and last follow each other.

 
So, the sage acts by doing nothing,

Teaches without speaking,

Attends all things without making claim on them,

Works for them without making them dependent,

Demands no honor for his deed.

Because he demands no honor,

He will never be dishonored.

from Tao Te Ching – Lao Tze – about Wu-Wei

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Jeanne de Salzmann : I am open to a new intelligence

Jeanne de Salzmann (1889-1990) in her hundredth year in New York

jeanne de SalzmannJeanne de Salzmann was one of the main disciples of G.I. Gurdjieff. She was responsible for transmitting his teaching through the Gurdjieff Institute of Paris, the Gurdjieff Foundation of New York City, the Gurdjieff Society in London and the Fundación Gurdjieff of Caracas, which she founded or helped founding, as well as other formal and informal groups throughout the world.

 

 

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Meister Eckhart : Temple of God is the Knowing

Maitre eckhart

“ Temple of God is the Knowing. Nowhere else God dwells more truly than in His temple, the Knowing … where never nothing touched Him, because in there He is alone in his stillness. God inside His very knowledge knows Himself in Himself.”

“ All that God created six thousand years ago and even earlier, when He created the world, He creates all of them right now.”

“ God flows inside creatures, yet He remains untouched by all of them, He has no need of them whatsoever.”

“ His divinity depends on His power to share Himself with whatever is able to receive Him. If He was not sharing Himself, He would not be God.”

“ If you take a fly inside God, this fly is more noble inside God than the highest angel is inside himself. All things inside God are equal, and they are God Himself.”

“ What has no essence, does not exist. There is no creature that has essence, because the essence of all is in the presence of God. If God went out of the creatures even for a single moment, they would disappear into nothingness.”

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Bardo Thodol

Thine own intellect, which is now voidness, yet not to be regarded as of the voidness of nothingness, but as being the intellect itself, unobstructed, shining, thrilling, and blissful, is the very consciousness, the All-good Buddha.

Thine own consciousness, not formed into antyhing, in reality void, and the intellect, shining, and blissful — these two — are inseparable. The union of them is the Dharma-Kaya state of Perfect Enligtenment.

Thine own consciouness, shining, void, and inseparable from the Great Body of Radiance, has no birth, nor death, and is he Immutable Light — Buddha Amitabha.

Recognizing the voidnes of thine own intellect to be Buddhahood, and looking upon it as being thine own consciousness, is to keep thyself in the state of the divine mind of the Buddha.

To those who have meditated much, the real Truth dawned as soon as the body and consciousness-principle part. The acquiring of experience while living is important : they who have (then) recognized (the true nature of their own being), and thus have had some experience, obtain great power during the Bardo of the Moment of Death, when the Clear Light dawneth.

Bardo Thödol p 95-96  translation W.Y. Evans-Wentz and lama Kazi Dawa Samdup, Oxford University Press.

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Edward Salim Michael : the quality and the intensity of one’s initial efforts

One day, when he was outside his bungalow to practice his daily concentration exercises, Salim saw on the ground, not far from him, an enormous eagle holding something in its talons. With his beak the eagle tore off a morsel of the prey that he was perching on, then he lifted his head and, with extraordinary dignity and at an impressively leisurely pace, he looked right and left before dropping his head back to his prey.

aigleSalim stayed still, fascinated by the formidable size of the bird of prey, and he wondered, in amazement, how a bird so large and heavy would be able to take off. He waited curiously, not daring to make a noise, when, suddenly, he saw the eagle pushing hard against the earth with his feet while unfurling his enormous wings which he beat so strongly that, very quickly, he rose into the air. He had climbed just a few meters when he slowed his wing beats considerably until, finally, he was able to hold himself completely immobile, his wings wide open, gliding and still climbing ever higher into the incandescent skies of India.

An astounding silence suddenly pervaded Salim who stood transfixed and filled with wonder. He had just realized something vital to his spiritual practices. This remarkable bird had, effectively, just taught him that it is the quality and the intensity of one’s initial efforts that prove decisive in allowing a seeker to detach from himself in order to be able to ascend to higher and higher states in the sky of his being. He needs to learn the delicate art of knowing when and how to relinquish his effort in order to be able to, so to speak, “glide” like an eagle.

from The Price of a Remarkable Destiny by Michèle Michael

 

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Opening the heart by Ayya Khema

Ayya_khema-1

 

 

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Gurdjieff : One must learn to pray

Gurdjieff13-1-24_3ONE MUST LEARN TO PRAY, JUST AS ONE MUST LEARN EVERYTHING ELSE. Whoever knows how to pray and is able to concentrate in the proper way, his prayer can give results. But it must be understood that there are different prayers and that their results are different. This is known even from ordinary divine service.

But when we speak of prayer or of the results of prayer we always imply only one kind of prayer—petition, or we think that petition can be united with all other kinds of prayers.… Most prayers have nothing in common with petitions.

I speak of ancient prayers; many of them are much older than Christianity. These prayers are, so to speak, recapitulations; by repeating them aloud or to himself a man endeavors to experience what is in them, their whole content, with his mind and his feeling.

In Search of the Miraculous

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Ajahn Jayasaro : Chanda, the right motivation

Venerable-Ajahn-Jayasaro-Buddhist-monk-miniThe Buddha spoke of two kinds of desire: desire that arises from ignorance and delusion, which is called tanha, craving, and desire that arises from wisdom and intelligence, which is called kusala-chanda, or dhamma-chanda, or most simply chanda. Chanda has a range of meanings, but in this case I’m using it to mean wise and intelligent desire and motivation, which the Buddha stressed as being absolutely fundamental to any progress on the eightfold path.

 In the presence of chanda, effort, or viriya, arises. Effort is in many ways the characteristic dhamma of this whole school of buddhism. In fact, the Buddha referred to his teachings not as Theravada but as viriya-vada. It is a teaching of effort, a teaching that there is such a thing as effort, that effort can be put forth, effort should be put forth, and that effort is what is needed for progress on the path. (…/)

The ability to put forth effort depends a great deal on chanda. When you start any meditation period, it’s important to recog­nize that chanda is not always there. Even for monks and nuns, people who are giving their lives to this practice, the sense of chanda fluc­tuates. If you lack that sense of interest and chanda—that uplift and enthusiasm for prac­tice—the meditation can very quickly grind to a halt or run into quicksand. You have serious problems. That’s why I think it’s worth check­ing the amount of interest at the beginning of a meditation, and if it’s lacking, you need to be willing to spend some time cultivating it, bring­ing it up. The more you apply yourself in this way, the more fluent you will be in cultivating chanda, and the more easily you can do it, until it becomes almost automatic.

One of the simplest ways of doing this is to reflect on two subjects. The first is the suffering inherent in the lack of mindfulness, inner peace, and wisdom. We can draw upon particular areas or events in our lives that have caused us great distress, or distress to others, and see very plainly their results, such as a lack of inner awareness, mindfulness, and inner discipline. We can also draw upon the experiences of the people we know and how they have particularly affected us.

The second way of using the thinking mind is to reflect upon all the blessings of mindfulness, inner peace, wisdom, and compassion. Perhaps we can call to mind the examples of great monks, nuns, and teachers whom we admire, and how much we revere their peace, calm, kindness, com­passion, and wisdom. We can remind ourselves that they are not the owners of these qualities, that they weren’t born with these qualities, but rather that these qualities manifested in them through effort and that great teachers are ves­sels for beautiful, noble qualities. And just as they are vessels, so too can we be vessels. Having been born as a human being, we have within us the capacity to manifest every noble quality and must try to do so.

Buddhadharma 2014

 

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Thomas a Kempis : The Imitation of Christ

Thomas a kempisAccording to our resolution so is the rate of our progress, and much diligence is needful for him who would make good progress.  For if he who resolveth bravely oftentimes falleth short, how shall it be with him who resolveth rarely or feebly?  But manifold causes bring about abandonment of our resolution,  yet a trivial omission of holy exercises can hardly be made without some loss to us.

Strive as earnestly as we may, we shall still fall short in manythings.  Always should some distinct resolution be made by us; and, most of all, we must strive against those sins which most easily beset us.

If thou canst not be always examining thyself, thou canst at certain seasons, and at least twice in the day, at evening and at morning.  In the morning make thy resolves, and in the evening inquire into thy life, how thou hast sped to-day in word, deed, and thought;

All cannot have one exercise, but one suiteth better to this man and another to that.  Even for the diversity of season different exercises are needed.

Book one – chap XIX

Thomas A Kempis 1380-1471

 

 

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Empty Cloud : In the pure single-mindedness of my meditation

Empty Cloud  A Chinese Zen Master (1840-1960)

Long before the time of his death in 1959 at the venerable age of 120 on Mount Yun-ju, Jiangxi Province, Master Xu-yun’s name was known and revered in every Chinese Buddhist temple and household, having become something of a living legend in his own time. His life and example has aroused the same mixture of awe and inspiration in the minds of Chinese Buddhists as does a Milarepa for the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, remarkable in view of the fact that Xu-yun lived well into our own era, tangibly displaying those spiritual powers that we must otherwise divine by looking back through the mists of time to the great Chan adepts of the Tang, Song and Ming Dynasties. They were great men whose example still inspires many today, but in many cases, we have scant details as to their lives as individuals, outside their recorded dialogues or talks of instruction.

 My 56th year (1895/96) : Abbot Yue-Iang of the Gaomin Monastery at Yangzhou came to Jiu-hua and informed us that one of his patrons by the name of Zhu had promised to give financial support for twelve weeks of meditation, including the current four weeks. He also informed us that the old Master Fa-ren of Chi-shan had returned to his monastery and that he hoped all of us would go there to assist him in supervising the meditation weeks. When the opening date drew near, I was asked to leave the mountain fírst. When I reached Digang Harbour at Da-tong, I walked following the river bank. The river was rising and I wanted to cross it but the boatman asked me for six coins; as 1 was penniless, the boat left without me. Walking on, I suddenly slipped and fell into the water and thus bobbed on the current for one day and night until I drifted to Cai-shi Jetty, where a fisherman caught me in his nets by chance.

 As I wore a monk’ s robe, he called a monk from Bao-ji Temple who recognised me as we had previously stayed together at the Jin-shan Monastery.He was frightened for my life and exclaimed, ‘This is Master De-qing!’ (ie. Xu-yun, ordained as De-qing). I was subsequently carried to the temple where I was revived. As a result of the battering which I had received in the swift current, I bled from the mouth, nose, anus and genital organ.

After a few days’ stay at Bao-ji Temple, I went on to the Gao-min Monastery. When I saw the director of duties (karmadana) there, he saw that I looked pale and thin, and asked if I was well, I replied that I was not. He then called on Abbot Yue-Iang who, after inquiring about Mount Jiu-hua where I had been, immediately asked me to take up a temporary post at the forthcoming meditation-weeks. I politely declined his request, saying nothing about my fall into the water, asking only that I be allowed to attend the meditation meeting.

According to Gao-min Monastery’s rules of discipline, to reject a post given by the Abbot was regarded as an affront to the whole monastic community. Thus, I was found to be an offender and punished by being beaten with a wooden ruler. While I willingly accepted this punishment, it did aggravate my illness. I bled continuously and also passed drops of seminal fluid in my urine. Waiting for my end, I sat firmly in the meditation hall day and night with increasing zeal. In the pure single-mindedness of my meditation, I forgot all about my body and twenty days later, my illness vanished completely.

 When the Abbot of Cai-shi Jetty carne with an offering of garments for the assembly, he was reassured and delighted to see that my appearance was radiant. He then spoke of my fall into the water and all the monks held me in great esteem. I was thus spared the trouble of working in the hall and could continue my meditation.

Henceforth, with all my thoughts brought to an abrupt halt, my practice-took effect throughout day and night. My steps were as swift as if I were flying in the air. One evening after the set meditation period, I opened my eyes and suddenly perceived a great brightness similar to broad daylight wherein everything inside and outside the monastery was discernible to me.

The autobiography of the chinese zen master Xu Yun (elements books)

 

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