Archive for March, 2013

How to Be a Householder-Bodhisattva

  This affair is a matter of people of sharp faculties and superior wisdom who do not consider it difficult to understand a thousand when hearing one. It requires a stand that is solid and true and faith that is thoroughgoing. First in a perpetual-series of teachings from the Zen Masters; today’s lesson is from Yuanwu (1063-1135). Yuanwu’s take on Bodhisattvahood was an all-inclusive one: consisting of advanced adepts as well as seasoned lay-folk. All it requires, says Yuanwu, Read more [...]

The Surangama Mantra

  “Ananda bowed at the Buddha's feet and said, "After I left the home-life, I relied on the Buddha's affectionate regard. Because I sought erudition, I still have not been certified to the unconditioned. "When I encountered that Brahma Heaven Mantra, I was captured by the deviant spell; though my mind was aware, I had no power to free myself. I had to rely on Manjushri Bodhisattva to liberate me. Although I was blessed by the Thus Come One's spiritual mantra of the Buddha's summit Read more [...]

Dharma Tools for Silencing the Skandhic Demons

Of course the most meritorious means for dispelling the effects of the Skandhic Demons is The Heart Sutra. Chanted daily by millions in the Buddhist milieu it serves as a mantra that diurnally reminds one of the efficaciousness of the very heart of Noble Wisdom: Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva, when deeply practicing prajna-paramita, clearly saw that the five skandas are all empty, and was saved from all suffering and distress. Sariputra, form is no different to emptiness, emptiness no Read more [...]

The Demons of Mortal Consciousness

"Ananda, when that good person, in cultivating samadhi, has put an end to the formations skandha, the subtle, fleeting fluctuations – the deep, imperceptible, pivotal source and the common foundation from which all life in the world springs – are suddenly obliterated. In the submerged network of the retributive karma of the pudgala, the karmic resonances are interrupted. Pudgala: means “that which continues through repeated reincarnations,” The Sentient, Karmic Body. As the 2009 translation Read more [...]

The Demons of Volition

"Ananda, when the good person who is cultivating samadhi has put an end to the thinking skandha, he is ordinarily free of dreaming and idle thinking, so he stays the same whether in wakefulness or in sleep. His mind is aware, clear, empty, and still, like a cloudless sky, devoid of any coarse sense impressions. He contemplates everything in the world – the mountains, the rivers, and the earth – as reflections in a mirror, appearing without attachment and vanishing without any trace; they Read more [...]

Tozen: The great mystery of the everlasting

The great mystery of the everlasting What is everlasting is healing to the soul. Nothing made by sentient beings or offered by sentient beings, has an everlasting value. Pursuing, what is not everlasting, is a cause to great suffering. The mind seeking the everlasting, should turn completely into itself as One and not two. It is after all its birthright which no-one, Demon or god can claim. If this happens for even a split second, there is the samadhic bliss of right view. In Read more [...]

The Demons of Thought

  "Ananda, when the good person who is cultivating samadhi has put an end to the feeling skandha, although he has not achieved freedom from outflows, his mind can leave his body the way a bird escapes from a cage. From within his ordinary body, he already has the potential for ascending through the Bodhisattvas' sixty levels of sagehood. He is now able to use his mind to create a spiritual-body and can roam freely without obstruction. "This is like someone talking in his sleep. Although Read more [...]

The Demons of Sensation

  "Ananda, when the good person who is cultivating samadhi and shamatha has put an end to the form skandha, he can see the mind of all Buddhas as if seeing an image reflected in a clear mirror. "He seems to have obtained something, but he cannot use it. In this he resembles a paralyzed person. His hands and feet are intact, his seeing and hearings are not distorted, and yet his mind has come under a deviant influence, so that he is unable to move. This is the region of the feeling Read more [...]

The Demons of Form

  "Ananda, you should know that as a cultivator sits in the Bodhimanda, he is doing away with all thoughts. When his thoughts come to an end, there will be nothing on his mind. This state of pure clarity will stay the same whether in movement or stillness, in remembrance or forgetfulness. "When he dwells in this place and enters samadhi, he is like a person with clear vision who finds himself in total darkness. Although his nature is wonderfully pure, his mind is not yet illuminated. This Read more [...]

They’re Here….

  At that time, the Tathagata was preparing to leave the Dharma seat. From the lion throne, he extended his hand and placed it on a small table wrought of the seven precious things. But then he turned his body, which was the color of purple golden mountains, and leaned back, saying to everyone in the assembly and to Ananda: "Those of you with More to Learn, those Enlightened by Conditions, and those who are Hearers have now turned your minds to pursue the attainment of supreme Bodhi the Read more [...]
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