Archive for February, 2012

The Universe Between

This seems to be the week for me reminiscing about all things ’60-ish. I recollect in the 5th grade awaiting anxiously to receive and read Alan E. Nourse’s marvelous sci-fi thriller—The Universe Between. As there was only one copy in the school library, it seemed an endless wait to finally be able to relish the feel of holding this little masterpiece (for the boys in the class this was, at the time, the piece de resistance). I’ve included here a little pic showing our class—I’m the Read more [...]

Born Free

Flipping through the channels on the ol’ tele the other day I came across a golden oldie from 1966: Born Free. A memorable flick about a lioness cub named Elsa who was raised by humans, neither of whom could bring it into their hearts to allow her to be relegated to a zoo; in fact, one of the top scenes for me was when Joy, the cub’s human mother, says that she would never stand for Elsa just rotting away, fat and dopey-like, behind the bars of a cage. No, she would always remain free. What Read more [...]

The Buddhasoul

Quite contrary to contemporary Buddhist and Zennist incomprehension…there is a Supreme Buddhasoul, or Buddhacitta. Soul is synonymous with Self and Mind and really speaks to the flowering quintessence (the soul is likened to the opening of a lotus) of the unnamable and unknowable Primordial-Monistic Negativa—in essence, the via-positiva emerging from the via-negativa. It is what swells up inside you when struck by something profound (De Profundis: when the Original Recognition turns back Read more [...]

Paladin of the Way

Coming to the realization of just what constitutes the Alaya vijnana and all of its ramifications can really be overpowering, as if there is nothing that can curb its dominate dominion over sentient reality—like an incurable cancer. The reason for this stems from the fact that the majority of the inhabitants in this saha-realm who attempt to quell its effects are looking for a solution in all the wrong places. There is too-much emphasis in this dharma-ending age upon cultivating ways or techniques Read more [...]

A Movable Feast

Mardi Gras is fast approaching with its vast array of spectacular shapes and colors all manifesting into one great orgy, indulging and gorging (Fat Tuesday) oneself before the solemn season of Lent begins on Ash Wednesday. After studying the Lanka, it’s apparent that this event serves as a metaphor to the greatest movable feast of them all—the Alaya vijnana. You will find in the archive here numerous references to two contrasting principles: The Unmoving Principle and the Moving Principle. Read more [...]

That’s a Wrap!

This past month studying and commentating on the new Red Pine edition of the Lankavatara Sutra has truly been an auspicious time for me; my hope is that this may prove of some benefit for present and future students of the Buddhadharma. At the beginning of this blog series I remember writing how I hoped that this new translation would be the definitive Lanka for new generations of dharma-students. Red Pine is to be highly commended for rendering this new and vibrant translation for readers Read more [...]

The Long and Winding Road

As the Lanka winds-down, we are left with some very constructive impressions. Red Pine masterfully translates the great malady that affects all sentient beings—the diurnal wheel of samsara and its accompanying dependent origination: “Fools let their thoughts wander among the names and appearances of convention to which they are attached. And as they wander among the multitude of shapes that appear, they fall prey to views and longings concerning a self and what belongs to a self, and they Read more [...]

The Other

Section LXXXII of the Lanka delineates the nature of the Tathagata-garbha and the Alaya vijnana (repository consciousness). This can be quite confusing because although apparently different—one pure, one defiled—they are also essentially synonymous in nature. A good analogy to break this down is the nature of “twins”; while they may be different in temperament and personality, they are a product of the same seed-bed, or womb. In UnbornMind Zen the bodhichild is the developing light-bearer, Read more [...]

Mind Games

Sections LXXX-XC entitled “Final Questions” by Red Pine actually combines the former Suzuki chapters 4-9 into one chapter, 4. At the beginning of this Lanka series mention was made concerning the various stages that comprise the Bodhisattva path, and that “stages are provisional and are meant to be transcended if not abandoned.” Section LXXX reveals these stages to be just that—provisional—in that it provides the developing bodhisattva a focusing device to measure their ascent Read more [...]

Instant Karma

The Lanka once again makes reference to not equating words with meaning: “Mahamati, if one person points to something with their finger, and a foolish person looks at their finger, they won’t know what they really mean. In the same manner, foolish people become attached to the finger of words. And because they never look away from it, they are never able to discover the true meaning beyond the finger of words.” (Red Pine, pg. 220) Love the allusion, “finger of words”, reminiscent Read more [...]
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