The world is really great!

The world is really great!

There is room for

the Sun, the Moon and the Stars,

the Earth, its Mountains and Rivers, every Plant and Tree

bad People and good People.

All of this exists in space.

The emptiness of our nature is also like this.

 

Inspired by Hui-Neng

 

 

The teaching of a Sage

Someone who understands the teaching of sages is a sage. Someone who understands the teaching of mortals is a mortal. A mortal who can give up the teaching of mortals and follow the teaching of sages becomes a sage. But the fools of this world prefer to look for sages far away. They don’t believe that the wisdom of their own mind is the sage. The sutras say, “Among men of no understanding, don’t preach this sutra.” And the sutras say, “Mind is the teaching.” But people of no understanding don’t believe in their own mind or that by understanding this teaching they can become a sage. They prefer to look for distant knowledge and long for things in space, buddha—images, light, incense, and colors. They fall prey to falsehood and lose their minds to insanity.

The most essential method, which includes all other methods, is beholding the mind.

The mind is the root from which all things grow. If you can understand the mind, everything else is included. It’s like the root of a tree. All a tree’s fruit and flowers, branches and leaves depend on its root. If you nourish its root, a tree multiplies. If you cut its root, it dies. Those who understand the mind reach enlightenment with minimal effort. Those who don’t understand the mind practice in vain. Everything good and bad comes from your own mind. To find something beyond the mind is impossible.

When a great bodhisattva delves deeply into perfect wisdom he realizes that the four elements and five shades are devoid of a personal self. And he realizes that the activity of his mind has two aspects: pure and impure.” By their very nature, these two mental states are always present. They alternate as cause or effect depending on conditions, the pure mind delighting in good deeds, the impure mind thinking of evil. Those who aren’t affected by impurity are sages. They transcend suffering and experience the bliss of nirvana. All others, trapped by the impure mind and entangled by their own karma, are mortals. They drift through the three realms and suffer countless afflictions, and all because their impure mind obscures their real self.

If you can simply concentrate your mind’s inner light and behold its outer illumination, you’ll dispel the three poisons and drive away the six thieves once and for all. And without effort you’ll gain possession of an infinite number of virtues, perfections, and doors to the truth. Seeing through the mundane and witnessing the sublime is less than an eye-blink away. Realization is now. Why worry about gray hair? But the true door is hidden and can’t be revealed. I have only touched upon beholding the mind.

The Zen Teachings of Bodhidharma Translated by Red Pine

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

So Many Responsibilities

How many of us are swept away by what I have come to call an “active laziness”? Naturally there are different species of laziness: Eastern and Western. The Eastern style consists of hanging out all day in the sun, doing nothing, avoiding any kind of work or useful activity, drinking cups of tea and gossiping with friends.

Western laziness is quite different. It consists of cramming our lives with compulsive activity, so that there is no time left to confront the real issues.

If we look into our lives, we will see clearly how many unimportant tasks, so-called “responsibilities” accumulate to fill them up. One master compares them to “housekeeping in a dream.” We tell ourselves we want to spend time on the important things of life, but there never is any time.

Helpless, we watch our days fill up with telephone calls and petty projects, with so many responsibilities – or should we call them “irresponsibilities”?

Sogyal Rinpoche

Reference: http://www.rigpaus.org/Glimpse/Glimpse.php

Watsu – Water Shiatsu

Origins of Watsu

Watsu® (Water Shiatsu) began in 1980 in the warm pool at Harbin Hot Springs when Harold Dull started floating people while applying the stretches and principles of the Zen Shiatsu he had studied in Japan. In the Orient, stretching as a way to open channels through which our Chi energy flows is even older than acupuncture. Stretching strengthens muscle and increases flexibility. Warm water, which many associate with the body’s deepest states of waking relaxation, is the ideal medium. The support of water takes weight off the vertebrae and allows the spine to be moved in ways impossible on land. Gentle, gradual twists and pulls relieve the pressure a rigid spine places on nerves and helps undo any dysfunctioning this pressure can cause to the organs serviced by those nerves. The Watsu receiver experiences greater flexibility and freedom. During Watsu a range of emotions can come up and be released into the process of continuous flow. This reprograms receivers to face life out of the water with greater equanimity and flexibility.

Another principle of Zen Shiatsu, that of connecting with the breath, takes on a new dimension in Watsu. On land, the breathing is coordinated with leaning into points. In water, our most basic move is the Water Breath Dance, in which we float someone in our arms and let them sink a little as they breathe out and let the water lift us as we both breathe in. Repeated over and over at the beginning of a Watsu, this creates a connection that can be carried into all the stretches and moves. This Water Breath Dance, and its stillness, is returned to throughout the session.

Experiencing both giving and receiving this most nurturing form of bodywork can help heal whatever wounds of separation we carry and renew in us our sense of connection and oneness with others. For this reason Watsu is Rebonding Therapy. Watsu is used around the world by professional bodyworkers, physical therapists, psychologists, as well as the general public.

Watsu, and the way it is taught, has evolved over the years. In the beginning the focus was primarily on stretching. With the Waterbreath Dance and the greater connection of moves to the breath, a more meditative stillness entered in. The use of flotation devices on legs that would otherwise sink has widened the possibilities and the ease of a Watsu.

Once a practitioner has reached the level of presence and connection that the carefully evolved Watsu Forms instill, they are taught and encouraged to explore the creative potential in Watsu Free Flow.

Reference: www.watsu.com

No I

Despite dwelling in a material body of four elements, your nature is basically pure. It can’t be corrupted. Youre real body has no sensation, no hunger or thirst, no warmth or cold, no sickness, no love or attachment, no pleasure or pain, no good or bad, no shortness or length, no weakness or strength. Actually, there’s nothing here. It’s only because you cling to this material body that things like hunger and thirst, warmth and cold, and sickness appear.
Once you stop clinging and let things be, you’ll be free, even of birth and death.

Bodhidarma, Bloodstream Sermon.