Archive for March, 2014

The Stupendous Jeweled Stupa

At that time there appeared before the Buddha a seven-jeweled stupa, five hundred yojanas in height and two hundred and fifty yojanas both in length and width, which emerged from the ground and hovered in the air. It was adorned with various jewels, had five thousand railings, and thousands of myriads of chambers. It was decorated with innumerable flags and banners and hanging jeweled necklaces, and myriads of koṭis of jeweled bells hung from the top. The fragrance of tamāla leaves and sandalwood Read more [...]

THE Salvific Text

We’re mid-way through our Lotus Sutra series and are about to make a complete 180° turn in focus. Whereas the previous nine-chapters spotlighted “skillful-means” and the myriad ways the Tathagatas bring sentient beings to awakening, the limelight will now shine on the Lotus-Sutra Text itself as the one and exclusive salvific medium. Chapter 10 wastes no time in asserting right off the bat that this medium is meant to be the salvific tool for all lifeforms: Thereupon the Bhagavat by Read more [...]

The Hidden Jewel

“O Bhagavat! We have always thought we had attained complete nirvana. We now realize that we were ignorant. Why is this? We should have attained the wisdom of the Tathāgatas. Yet we were satisfied with little wisdom! “O Bhagavat! Suppose there were a man who came to the house of a close friend and went to sleep after becoming intoxicated with wine. The intimate friend, having to go out on official business, sews a priceless jewel into the inside of his friend’s garment and, giving Read more [...]

The pettiness of it all

The Buddha addressed the monks, saying: “Once upon a time, immeasurable, limitless, inconceivable, incalculable kalpas ago, there was a Buddha called Mahābhijnājnānābhibhū Tathāgata, an Arhat, Completely Enlightened, Perfect in Knowledge and Conduct, Well-Departed, Knower of the World, Unsurpassed, Tamer of Humans, Teacher of Devas and Humans, Buddha, Bhagavat. His land was called Susaṃbhavā in the kalpa called Mahārūpa.  “O monks, it has been an extremely long time since this Read more [...]

Does One Size Fit All?

“At that time innumerable thousands of myriads of koṭis of sentient beings approach the Buddha and listen to his teaching. Then the Tathāgata, perceiving the faculties of sentient beings—whether they are sharp or dull, diligent or idle—explains the teachings according to their capacities in a variety of immeasurable ways, gladdening and benefiting them all. “Having heard his teaching, all of these beings are at peace in this world and are born into a good existence in the future. Read more [...]

On the Spirit of Awakening

Those who long to overcome the abundant miseries of mundane existence, those who wish to dispel the adversities of sentient beings, and those who yearn to experience a myriad of joys should never forsake the Spirit of Awakening. When the Spirit of Awakening has arisen, in an instant a wretch who is bound in the prison of the cycle of existence is called a Child of the Sugatas and becomes worthy of reverence in the worlds of gods and humans. From Shantideva’s Bodhicaryavatara--The Read more [...]

The Prodigal Sons

The thing that strikes me most about the parable in Chapter 4, the “‘Buddhist’ Prodigal Son”, is that it is told to the Buddha (instead of vice-versa) by four of his most loyal disciples, Subhuti, Maha Katyayana, MahaMaudgalyayana and particularly by Mahākāśyapa. Two of them are well-known, Subhuti, who often plays a prominent role in sutras, in particular the Diamond Sutra, and of course, Mahākāśyapa, who was the first one to receive “Dharma-Mind transmission” from Gautama Read more [...]

A Fiery Situation

Chapter 3 includes perhaps the most famous of all Buddhist Parables, The Burning House: Then the Buddha said to Śāriputra: “Did I not previously tell you that all the Buddha Bhagavats explain the Dharma with various explanations and illustrations using skillful means, all for the sake of highest, complete enlightenment!? All of these teachings are for leading and inspiring the bodhisattvas. “Moreover, Śāriputra, I will now clarify what I mean with illustrations. Those with wisdom Read more [...]

The Essential Point

The Essential Point The essential point in learning Zen is to make the roots deep and the stem firm. Twenty-four hours a day, be aware of where you are and what you do. When no thoughts have arisen and nothing at all in on your mind, you merge with the boundless and become wholly empty and still. Then your actions are not interrupted by doubt and hesitation. This is called the fundamental matter right at hand. As soon as you produce any opinion or interpretation, and want to attain Read more [...]

A Lay-Out from the Dragon Mind of Zen Tarot Card Set

A Photo of the Dragon Mind of Zen Tarot shows how these can be made and completed as laminated sets. The actual cards look better than the pic (don’t have the best camera) and are great for daily meditation. The two Black Dragon-Eye Mandala cards portrayed are what appear on the back-side of all the cards. This is a nice arrangement in that once your meditation on the card is complete, the card can then be turned-over and you can engage in Pi-Kuan with the Black Dragon-Eye Mandala. It’s Read more [...]
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