Contemplative Sojourn IV

Robert Masla Studios

Greetings from Vajragoni here at Unborn Mind Zen.

Once again it’s that annual-junction wherein my time apart from active blogging begins. Since last August in arriving back from Contemplative Sojourn III many new installments have been added over the course of this last season. Our most recent series, The Secret Golden Light of the Unborn, involved a re-visioning of the mystical-spiritual technique of turning-around-the light. Prior to that a series was offered on a sutra pertaining to Akshobhya’s Pure Land. An in-depth series on Māra and Satan was undertaken, a scholarly approach utilizing James W. Boyd’s excellent 1975 work, Satan and Māra: Christian and Buddhist Symbols of Evil, along with Robert Warren Clark’s excellent Dissertation, Māra: Psychopathology and Evil in the Buddhism of India and Tibet, which was also utilized in the series. At the turning of the New Year a three-fold series on selections from the Mahāratnakūṭa Sūtra began, initiated by the familiar Lion’s Roar of Queen Śrīmālā, followed by Mañjuśrī Teaches Prajñāpāramitā and culminating in the aforementioned The Dharma-Door of Praising Tathagāta Akṣhobhya’s Merits (a Sutra on Akshobhya’s Pure Land). Along with the Lion’s Roar of Queen Śrīmālā, another major Doctrinal Text, the very familiar Mahāyāna, The Awakening of Faith series was presented during the month of December. At the beginning of November a series on Zen Master Bassui, Mud and Water: Bassui Zen was offered. October was spent studying Julius Evola’s masterful work, The Doctrine of Awakening.

The season began in mid-August with an original Tantric work entitled, Notes from the Iron Stupa, a work focusing on inner-spiritual-alchemy and the Tibetan Bön practice of Chöd; this work was the last-part of a Trilogy, beginning with the Lankavatarian Book of the Dead in 2012 and The Tathāgatagarbhatārā Tantra from 2013. Tozen has also added to his fine teachings and our excellent library—covering vast resources in Buddhism—periodically updates with new titles. As was mentioned last year, for new readers there is a lot of material here to wet your spiritual appetite. For our regular readers this is a good time to review all that has been offered this season as well as from prior ones; as you know this kind of material isn’t meant to be read just once, but rather absorbed and digested over time, as each series offers new insights into the Buddhadharma and for spiritual growth in general.

As always, it is essential for me in terms of healthy holistic growth to wisely choose some time apart for recharging my spiritual batteries. So I am once again looking forward now to that good quality time spent apart for extra dharma-study and meditation in deep samadhis.

Be safe and well and Happy Reading!



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