Caterpillars and Polliwogs

Caterpillars weave cocoons, polliwogs form from cells; eventually the cocoons break open to produce moths, the cells develop to produce frogs.

What I realize as I observe this is the Tao of liberative transformation of the spiritual embryo.

Those who cultivate reality assemble the five forces, join the hundred spirits, merge with the ultimate; one energy coalesces, whole and pure, not consciously cognized. Now the spiritual embryo has form, like when the caterpillar weaves its cocoon or the polliwog forms its cell.

Store the spirit and energy away in mystical darkness, and the bit of spiritual root will grow from faintness to clarity,
from softness to strength. When the process is complete, suddenly you will break through space to reveal the pure spiritual body, leaping beyond the worlds. This is like when the caterpillar, having transformed into a moth. Breaks out of its cocoon and flies away, or like when the polliwog becomes a frog and leaps. There is a body beyond the body, another world.

Therefore the aftermath of accomplishment of the Way is sometimes referred to as developing the power of flight, and sometimes called shedding the shell and becoming real. These expressions mean that you reproduce a real body inside your physical body. This real body is inherent in everyone, but people are fooled by the objects of their senses, deluded by illusory appearances, so they do not recognize the real body, even though it is right there.

Anyone who can recognize the real body and earnestly cultivate it can produce substance where there was none, produce form where there was none, undergo liberative transformation and become an immortal with an indestructible body.

Awakening to the Tao Liu I-Ming translated by Thomas Cleary p. 76-77

The Crane and the Tortoise

The crane is good at nurturing the spirit, so it lives for a thousand years. The tortoise is good at nurturing energy, so it can survive a century without food.

What I realize as I observe this is the Tao of prolonging life. If people are able to humbly lower themselves, to be yielding, plain, and sincere, not wasting energy but always nurturing energy, then they will be full of energy. If people can be free from cogitation and rumination, have few desires and little ambition, not belabor their spirit but always maintain their spirit, then their spirit will be complete. When energy is full and the spirit is complete, the root is stable and the foundation is secure. Thus you can extend your life span, prolonging life without deterioration. The crane and the tortoise can live long, even though one only keeps its spirit complete and one only keeps its energy complete; how much the more so when both spirit and energy are kept complete – how could you fail to live long?

Awakening to the Tao Liu I-Ming translated by Thomas Cleary p. 12

I am like the clear blue sky

I am like the clear blue sky
Standing on the earth
I look up into the sky

Suspended in mid air
Time is of no importance
My mother is always near

Resting in the clear blue sky
How can I loose heaven
When we never depart.

All truths wait in all things

All truths wait in all things,
They neither hasten their own delivery nor resist it,
They do not need the obstetric forceps of the surgeon,
The insignificant is as big to me as any,
What is less or more than a touch?

Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman 1855.

Suchness

In Buddhism,the word “suchness” is used to mean “the essence or particular characteristics of a thing or a person, its true nature.” Each person has his or her suchness. If we want to live in peace and happiness with a person, we have to see the suchness of that person. Once we see it, we understand him or her, and there will be no trouble. We can live peacefully and happily together.

When webring natural gas into our homes for heating and we know the suchness of gas. We know that gas is dangerous – it can kill us if we are not mindful. But we also know that we need the gas in order to cook, so we do not hesitate to bring it in to our homes.The same is true of electricity. We could get electrocuted by it, but when we are mindful, it can help us, and there is no problem, because we know something about the suchness of electricity. A person is the same. If we do n o t know enough about the suchness of that person‘, we may get ourselves into trouble. But if we know,then we can enjoy each other very much and benefit a lot from one another. The key is knowing a person’s suchness. We do not expect a person always to be a flower. We have to understand his or her garbage as well.

Reference: Peace Is Every Step p. 68-69 by Thich Nhat Hanh

Our Life Is a Work of Art

After a retreat in southern California, an artist asked me,“What is the way to look at a flower so that I can make the most of it for my art?” I said, “If you look in that way, you cannot be in touch with the flower. Abandon all your projects so you can be with the flower with no intention of exploiting it or getting something from it.” The same artist told me, “When I am with a friend, I want to profit from him or her.” Of course we can profit from a friend, but a friend is more than a source of profit. Just to be with a friend, without thinking to ask for his or her support, help, or advice, is an art.

It has become a kind of habit to look at things with the intention of getting something. We call it “pragmatism,” and we say that the truth is something that pays. If we meditate in order to get to the truth, it seems we will be well paid. In meditation, we stop, and we look deeply. We stop just to be there, to be with ourselves and with the world. When we are capable of stopping, we begin to see and, if we can see, we understand. Peace and happiness are the fruit of this process. We should master the art of stopping, in order to really be with our friend and with the flower.

How can we bring elements of peace to a society that is very used to making profit? How can our smile be the source of joy and not just a diplomatic maneuver? When we smile to our- selves, that smile isnot diplomacy; it isthe proofthat we areour- selves, that we have full sovereignty over ourselves. Can we write a poem on stopping, aimlessness, or just being? Can we paint something about it? Everything we do is an act of poetry or a paintingifwe do it with mindfulness. Growing lettuce is poetry. Walking to the supermarket can be a painting.

When we do not trouble ourselves about whether or not something is a work of art, if we just act in each moment with composure and mindfulness, each minuteofour life is a work of art. Even when weare not paintingor writing, we are still creating. We are pregnant with beauty, joy, and peace, and we are making life more beautiful for many people. Sometimes it is better not to talk about art by using the word “art.” If we just act with awareness and integrity, our art will flower, and we don’t have to talk about it at all. When we know how to be peace, we find that art is a wonderful way to share our peacefulness. Artistic expression will take place in one way or another, but the being is essential.So we must go back to ourselves, and when we have joy and peace in our selves, our creations of art will be quite natural, and they will serve the world in a positive way.

Reference: Peace Is Every Step p. 39-40 by Thich Nhat Hanh

Realising our full potential

Realising our full pontential

Realising our full potential – Saturday 18th May – Day Course Retreat

To achieve true happiness, we must understand what is holding us back and learn to develop the mind to achieve its full potential. In this day course retreat we will look into our life purpose and learn practical methods to overcome obstacles and to achieve our deepest wishes. Kelsang Tubchen will teach and Kelsang Lobon will guide the meditations.

Please book in advance – Thank you!

The Clear Light Kadampa Buddhist Centre
St. Kongensgade 40H, st. tv.
København K
Denmark

Details, price and booking:
Realising our full potential meditateincopenhagen.org

NB! Guest teacher Kelsang Tubchen who is the principal teacher in Oslo will also be in Copenhagen on the 17th. of May for the evening event “Food for Thought” which includes a meditation and meal in a peaceful and open environment!

Revival of Kings Gambit

The romantics of chess has reason to rejoice. There has been a revival of the Kings Gambit in modern chess. GM’s like Hector, Short and Nakamura plays the Kings Gambit from time to time.

Here is a wonderful example of the Kings Gambit from Reykjavik Open 2013 were white, S. Jensen, with a mere 1909 in rating, plays IM Urkedal, with a rating of 2474. S. Jensen demolishes IM Urkedal in 21 moves! The rating difference is 564 rating points.

Links:
Kings Gambit Accepted chessgames.com

Short demolished in Bangkok

GM Nigel Short was thoroughly outplayed by the young leading indian IM Roy Saptarshi in Bangkok Chess Club Open 2013.

Bangkok Chess Club bangkokchess.com