On not serving tea – by a Zen master

shunryu_suzuki_by_robert_boni-wp

ON NOT SERVING TEA

Leave your front door and your back door open

Allow your thoughts to come and go.

Just don’t serve them tea.

Shunryu Suzuki

-0-

More about Shunryu Suzuki – HERE

 

 

A zen saying; “It is too clear, and so it is hard to see” – but later “I can see more clearly now”.

This is worth a separate post;

“It is too clear, and so it is hard to see. A dunce once searched for
a fire with a lighted lantern.

Had he known what fire was, he could have cooked his rice much
sooner.” ”

Zen saying – http://www.firedocs.com/carey/happen.html

Inevitably for me it reminds me of the song that starts;

I can see clearly now the rain is gone
I can see all obstacles in my way
Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind
It’s gonna be a bright (bright)
Bright (bright) sunshiny day
It’s gonna be a bright (bright)……….

Bill Carey: The Cornerstone of Reality is Consciousness & the Zen Gateless Gate

I came across an interesting insight by Bill carey on consciousness. Consciousness is a synonym for awareness for some writers on spirituality. My simple distinction is between the physical consciousness and the spiritual awareness. Awareness can be difficult to explain in a Nondual context. “Rupert Spira says;

“By ‘Awareness’ I mean whatever it is that is aware of our experience. By ‘mind’ I mean thoughts and images (although in a wider context I sometimes use the term to include feelings, sensations and perceptions as well.)”

The Bill Carey piece;

“Finally, I came to understand the nature of reality, whose cornerstone
is consciousness:

(a) it is created by the delimitation of perceptual chaos through agreement;

(b) it is unique to each individual; and

(c) we create a cultural consensus regarding the content of “reality”
using language as our tool.

Language is our willed abstraction of our experience, just as identity
is our willed abstraction of what some call “the ground of being.” A
visceral understanding and utilization of these insights constitutes,
in a real sense, the abandonment of all paradigms; at that instant,
one steps through what Zen calls “the gateless gate” (a one-way
passage, by the way.)

But everybody’s got to do it by themselves, because it isn’t teachable
in any current sense of the word, since language merely abstracts the
experience rather than describes it. Yet the experience is available
to everyone. Once again, Zen:

“It is too clear, and so it is hard to see. A dunce once searched for
a fire with a lighted lantern.

Had he known what fire was, he could have cooked his rice much
sooner.” ”

http://www.firedocs.com/carey/happen.html

Dear Paul Hedderman

Dear Paul Hedderman – you may well have a respectful, loving and compassionate attitude toward women but the term bitch-slap is still primarily a term for violence against women. Paul has named his site zenbitchslap.com

Can we use another term for the metaphor – just ‘zenslap’ – the ‘bitch’ element adds nothing positive.

Perhaps another name can be inspired by the following;

“In Zen Buddhism, the keisaku (Japanese: 警策, Chinese: 香板, xiāng bǎn; kyōsaku in the Soto school) is a flat wooden stick or slat used during periods of meditation to remedy sleepiness or lapses of concentration. This is accomplished through a strike or series of strikes, usually administered on the meditator’s back and shoulders in the muscular area between the shoulder blades and the spine. The keisaku itself is thin and somewhat flexible; strikes with it, though they may cause momentary sting if performed vigorously, are not injurious.

Purpose
The word “keisaku” may be translated as “warning stick”, or “awakening stick”, and is wielded by the jikijitsu. “Encouragement stick” is a common translation for “kyōsaku”. In Soto Zen, the kyōsaku is always administered at the request of the meditator, by way of bowing one’s head and putting the palms together in gassho, and then exposing each shoulder to be struck in turn. In Rinzai Zen, the stick is requested in the same manner, but may also be used at the discretion of the Ino, the one in charge of the meditation hall. Even in such cases, it is not considered a punishment, but a compassionate means to reinvigorate and awaken the meditator who may be tired from many sessions of zazen, or under stress, the “monkey mind” (overwhelmed with thoughts).” SOURCE – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keisaku

RYOKAN: poem 'The Lotus'

The Lotus

First blooming in the Western Paradise,
The lotus has delighted us for ages.
It’s white petals are covered with dew,
Its jade green leaves spread out over the pond,
And its pure fragrance perfumes the wind.
Cool and majestic, it rises from the murky water.
The sun sets behind the mountains
But I remain in the darkness, too captivated to leave.

— Ryōkan – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ry%C5%8Dkan

from the book – ‘Dewdrops on a Lotus Leaf : Zen Poems of Ryokan’

TONI PACKER: articles and quotes by Toni (Joan Tollifson’s teacher)

ARTICLES are HERE – http://www.springwatercenter.org/toni-packer/articles/

Awareness

Striving

A Quiet Space

On September 11, 2001

Anger

What is my Innermost Core?

What is the “Me”?

Can Meditative Inquiry Be Carried On?

Openness

NB see also http://www.springwatercenter.org/toni-packer/dialogue/
-0-

QUOTATIONS: (there may be a few repititions)

“In the expectation of wonderful things to happen in the future, one doesn’t hear the sound of the wind and rain, the breath and heartbeat this instant.” ~ Toni Packer

-0-

Awareness cannot be taught. Awareness simply throws light on what is, without any separation whatsoever. Activity does not destroy it and sitting does not create it.

It is there, uncreated, freely functioning in wisdom and love, when self-centered conditioning is clearly revealed, in the light of understanding.

When the changing states of body-mind are simply left to themselves without any choice or judgment, a new quietness emerges by itself.

This new mind that is no-mind is free of duality—there is no doer in it and nothing to be done.

-0-

Life is a vast, unknowable movement of wholeness with no one separate from it and nothing outside of it.

-0-

Sitting quietly, doing nothing, not knowing what is next and not concerned with what was or what may be next, a new mind is operating that is not connected with the conditioned past and yet perceives and understands the whole mechanism of conditioning. It is the unmasking of the self that is nothing but masks – images, memories of past experiences, fears, hopes, and the ceaseless demand to be something or become somebody.

-0-

The emergence and blossoming of understanding, love, and intelligence has nothing to do with any tradition, no matter how ancient or impressive-it has nothing to do with time. It happens on its own when a human being questions, wonders, inquires, listens, and looks without getting stuck in fear, pleasure, and pain. When self-concern is quiet, in abeyance, heaven and earth are open.

-0-

What are we when there is no one doing anything, no one attaining anything, no place to go? There is no place to go. The whole foundation is already here in each one of us. It is the same in all of us. There is only one foundation, which is presence, wholeness, boundless love.

-0-

In truth we are not separate from each other or from the world, from the whole earth, the sun or moon or billions of stars, not separate from the entire universe. Listening silently in quiet wonderment, without knowing anything, there is just one mysteriously palpitating aliveness.

-0-

We are human beings, not ‘students’ and ‘teacher,’ coming together and questioning, looking together, not having made up our minds about what we’re looking at, but starting afresh.

-0-

The solution of the problem lies in seeing it—in the seeing, without wanting a solution, or dissolution—just seeing what’s there. . . .

-0-

Awareness cannot be taught, and when it is present it has no context. All contexts are created by thought and are therefore corruptible by thought. Awareness simply throws light on what is, without any separation whatsoever.

-0-

“What is personal death?

Asking this question and pausing to look inward – isn’t personal death a concept? Isn’t there a thought-and-picture series going on in the brain? These scenes of personal ending take place solely in the imagination, and yet they trigger great mental ad physical distress – thinking of one’s cherished attachments an their sudden, irreversible termination.

Similarly, if there is ‘pain when I let some of the beauty of life in’ – isn’t this pain the result of thinking, ‘I won’t be here any longer to enjoy this beauty?’ Or, ‘No one will be around and no beauty left to be enjoyed if there is total nuclear devastation.’

Apart from the horrendous tragedy of human warfare – why is there this fear of ‘me’ not continuing? Is it because I don’t realize that all my fear and trembling is for an image? Because I really believe that this image is myself?

In the midst of this vast, unfathomable, ever-changing, dying, and renewing flow of life, the human brain is ceaselessly engaged in trying to fix for itself a state of permanency and certainty. Having the capacity to think and form pictures of ourselves, to remember them and become deeply attached to them, we take this world of pictures and ideas for real. We thoroughly believe in the reality of the picture story of our personal life. We are totally identified with it and want it to go on forever. The idea of “forever” is itself an invention of the human brain. Forever is a dream.

Questioning beyond all thoughts, images, memories, and beliefs, questioning profoundly into the utter darkness of not-knowing, the realization may suddenly dawn that one is nothing at all – nothing – that all one has been holding on to are pictures and dreams. Being nothing is being everything. It is wholeness. Compassion. It is the ending of separation, fear, and sorrow.

Is there pain when no one is there to hold on?

There is beauty where there is no “me”.”
― Toni Packer, The Work of This Moment

“The solution of the problem lies in seeing it—in the seeing, without wanting a solution, or dissolution—just seeing what’s there. . . .”
― Toni Packer, The Light of Discovery

“In the expectation of wonderful things to happen in the future, one doesn’t hear the sound of the wind and rain, the breath and heartbeat this instant.”
― Toni Packer, The Light of Discovery

When the great Zen master Fa-ch’ang was dying, a squirrel screeched

When the great Zen master Fa-ch’ang was dying,
a squirrel screeched out on the roof.
“It’s just this, he said, and nothing more.”

—Ken Wilber

Two teachings from Shri Ramana Maharshi + Poem by Li Po + Zen proverb – juxtapositions

1

That in which all these worlds seem to exist steadily, that of which all these worlds are a possession, that from which all these worlds rise, that for which all these exist, that by which all these worlds come into existence and that which is indeed all these – that alone is the existing reality. Let us cherish that Self, which is the reality, in the Heart.

2
Question
How can I attain Self-realisation?

Answer
Realisation is nothing to be gained afresh; it is already there. All that is necessary is to get rid of the thought ‘I have not realised’.


Stillness or peace is realisation. There is no moment when the Self is not. So long as there is doubt or the feeling of non-realisation, the attempt should be made to rid oneself of these thoughts. They are due to the identification of the Self with the not-Self.

When the not-Self disappears, the Self alone remains. To make room it is enough that objects be removed. Room is not brought in from elsewhere.

http://www.beshara.org/principles/selected-reading/ramana-maharshi.html

-0-

Listen to the 8thC Chinese poet known as Li Po;

“The birds have vanished from the sky,
and now the last clouds slip away.
We sit alone, the mountain and I,
until only the mountain remains.”

-0-

First there is a mountain,
then there is no mountain,
then there is.
~ Zen Proverb [19587]

-0-

The words of impermanence and perception trace back to Zen scholar Qingyuan Weixin, who explained:

“Before I had studied Zen for thirty years, I saw mountains as mountains, and rivers as rivers. When I arrived at a more intimate knowledge, I came to the point where I saw that mountains are not mountains, and rivers are not rivers. But now that I have got its very substance I am at rest. For it’s just that I see mountains once again as mountains, and rivers once again as rivers.”

Finally I came to understand the nature of…

Finally, I came to understand the nature of reality, whose cornerstone is consciousness: (a) it is created by the delimitation of perceptual chaos through agreement; (b) it is unique to each individual; and (c) we create a cultural consensus regarding the content of “reality” using language as our tool.

Language is our willed abstraction of our experience, just as identity is our willed abstraction of what some call “the ground of being.” A visceral understanding and utilization of these insights constitutes, in a real sense, the abandonment of all paradigms; at that instant, one steps through what Zen calls “the gateless gate” (a one-way passage, by the way.)

But everybody’s got to do it by themselves, because it isn’t teachable in any current sense of the word, since language merely abstracts the experience rather than describes it. Yet the experience is available to everyone. Once again, Zen:

“It is too clear, and so it is hard to see.
A dunce once searched for a fire with a lighted lantern.
Had he known what fire was, he could have cooked his rice much sooner.”

http://www.firedocs.com/carey/happen.html

JUXTAPOSITION Fancy that 1 Whereas riches may become…

JUXTAPOSITION

Fancy that!

1) Whereas riches may become a mighty barrier between man and God, and rich people are often in great danger of attachment, yet people with small worldly possessions can also become attached to material things. The following Persian story of a king and a dervish illustrates this. Once there was a king who had many spiritual qualities and whose deeds were based on justice and loving-kindness. He often envied the dervish who had renounced the world and appeared to be free from the cares of this material life, for he roamed the country, slept in any place when night fell and chanted the praises of his Lord during the day. He lived in poverty, yet thought he owned the whole world. His only possessions were his clothes and a basket in which he carried the food donated by his well-wishers. The king was attracted to this way of life. Once he invited a well-known dervish to his palace, sat at his feet and begged him for some lessons about detachment.

The dervish was delighted with the invitation. He stayed a few days in the palace and whenever the king was free preached the virtues of a mendicant’s life to him. At last the king was converted. One day, dressed in the garb of a poor man, he left his palace in the company of the dervish. They had walked together some distance when the dervish realized that he had left his basket behind in the palace. This disturbed him greatly and, informing the king that he could not go without his basket, he begged permission to return for it. But the king admonished him, saying that he himself had left behind his palaces, his wealth and power, whereas the dervish, who had preached for a lifetime the virtues of detachment, had at last been tested and was found to be attached to this world—his small basket.
(Adib Taherzadeh, The Revelation of Bahá’u’lláh v 1, p. 76-77)

2) Zen Buddhist story

http://users.skynet.be/lotus/story/story-en.htm

Two monks, going to a neighbouring monastery, walked side by side in silence. They arrived at a river they had to cross. That season, waters were higher than usual. On the bank, a young woman was hesitating and asked the younger of the two monks for help. He exclaimed, ‘Don’t you see that I am a monk, that I took a vow of chastity?’

‘I require nothing from you that could impede your vow, but simply to help me to cross the river,’ replied the young woman with a little smile.

‘I…not…I can…do nothing for you,’ said the embarrassed young monk.

‘It doesn’t matter,’ said the elderly monk. ‘Climb on my back and we will cross together.’

Having reached the other bank, the old monk put down the young woman who, in return, thanked him with a broad smile. She left her side and both monks continued their route in silence. Close to the monastery, the young monk could not stand it anymore and said, ‘You shouldn’t have carried that person on your back. It’s against our rules.’

‘This young woman needed help and I put her down on the other bank. You didn’t carry her at all, but she is still on your back,’ replied the older monk.

3) A rich man and a poor man lived in the same town. One day the poor man said to the rich man, “I want to go to the Holy Land.” The rich man replied, “Very good, I will go also,” and they started from the town and began their pilgrimage. But night fell and the poor man said, “Let us return to our houses to pass the night.” The rich man replied, “We have started for the Holy Land and must not now return.” The poor man said, “The Holy Land is a long distance to travel on foot. I have a donkey, I will go and fetch it.” “What?” replied the rich man, “are you not ashamed? I leave all my possessions to go on this pilgrimage and you wish to return to get your donkey! I have abandoned with joy my whole fortune. Your whole wealth consists of a donkey and you cannot leave it!” You see that fortune is not necessarily an impediment. The rich man who is thus detached is near to reality. There are many rich people who are severed and many poor who are not.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Divine Philosophy, p. 134)

More versions of the Zen story are here – http://spiritsinharmony.blogspot.co.uk/2008/02/two-monks-carry-woman.html