Friday Vespers

frinight

Friday
Vespers

Blessed One, come to my assistance

O’ Lord, make haste to help me

Glory be to the Blessed Buddha and to the Divine Dharma and to the Hallowed Sangha, both now and forever and ever. Swaha.

Come, Bless the Lord, all you supplicants of Holy Gnosis. You who reside in the house of the Noble One, in the sanctum sanctorum of the Unborn Mind.

Blessed One, be merciful to me, a transgressor of your ways. Oh Lord, create in me a mind and heart that is worthy of your Divine Precepts. I have fallen out of your favor, turn-me about O’ Lord, so that I may again rest secure in the hidden light of thy holy Countenance.

Loving mother of all Buddhas,
imageless gate of the Dharmakaya,
assist those who seek safe-haven in you.
To the bewilderment of all the composed you conceived
in the darkened womb of Bodhi a fetus so singular in nature,
Yet remained a virgin after as before.
You have received Mañjuśhrī’s Wisdom Stamp,
Arya Tara, may we be indivisible from you.

Your name is Our Lady of the Void. You alone are Holy Mother of all Buddhas
and are raised on high over all spheres. O’ Spouse of the Unborn, we honor you as the Mediatrix of the Divine Mercy of the Tathāgatas. At all times we
reverently proclaim you Blessed for you conceived the Holy Garbha Child of
supreme auspiciousness.

 

From Vimalakirti series: Out on a Limb: Part 2

The venerable Sariputra then asked the Buddha, “Lord, in which buddha-field did the noble Vimalakirti die, before reincarnating in this buddha-field?” The Buddha said, “Sariputra, ask this good man directly where he died to reincarnate here.” Then the venerable Sariputra asked the Licchavi Vimalakirti, “Noble sir, where did you die to reincarnate here?” Vimalakirti declared, “Is there anything among the things that you see, elder, that dies or is reborn?” Sariputra: There is nothing that dies or is reborn. Vimalakirti: Likewise, reverend Sariputra, as all things neither die nor are reborn, why do you ask, “Where did you die to reincarnate here?” Reverend Sariputra, if one were to ask a man or woman created by a magician where he or she had died to reincarnate there, what do you think he or she would answer? Sariputra: Noble sir, a magical creation does not die, nor is it reborn. Vimalakirti: Reverend Sariputra, did not the Tathagata declare that all things have the nature of a magical creation? Sariputra: Yes, noble sir, that is indeed so. Vimalakirti: Reverend Sariputra, “death” is an end of performance, and “rebirth” is the continuation of performance. But, although a bodhisattva dies, he does not put an end to the performance of the roots of virtue, and although he is reborn, he does not adhere to the continuation of sin.

[Commentary from the series]

Sariputra is essentially asking Vimalakirti, “What was your former-life before this one?” Vimalakirti reminds him that even within his own dharma-ken that there is neither birth nor death—birthlessness. If that is indeed his foundation, then why even ask a silly question like “what was your former-birth like”, it’s like asking a phantom-mirage “what is your parentage?” Vimalakirti also asserts that apparent death is the end of a soma’s performance; rebirth is a perpetual re-genesis of that performance. The Bodhisattva, although donning the sheath of death is not extinguished; by the same token, while entering into the re-genesis for the sake of sentient beings is not held-bound by it.

Abhisanda Sutta (Rewards)

“Monks, there are these eight rewards of merit, rewards of skillfulness, nourishments of happiness, celestial, resulting in happiness, leading to heaven, leading to what is desirable, pleasurable, and appealing, to welfare and happiness. Which eight?

“There is the case where a disciple of the noble ones has gone to the Buddha for refuge. This is the first reward of merit, reward of skillfulness, nourishment of happiness, celestial, resulting in happiness, leading to heaven, leading to what is desirable, pleasurable, and appealing; to welfare and to happiness.

“Furthermore, the disciple of the noble ones has gone to the Dhamma for refuge. This is the second reward of merit…

“Furthermore, the disciple of the noble ones has gone to the Sangha for refuge. This is the third reward of merit…

“Now, there are these five gifts, five great gifts — original, long-standing, traditional, ancient, unadulterated, unadulterated from the beginning — that are not open to suspicion, will never be open to suspicion, and are un-faulted by knowledgeable contemplatives and priests. Which five?

“There is the case where a disciple of the noble ones, abandoning the taking of life, abstains from taking life. In doing so, he gives freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, freedom from oppression to limitless numbers of beings. In giving freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, freedom from oppression to limitless numbers of beings, he gains a share in limitless freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, and freedom from oppression. This is the first gift, the first great gift — original, long-standing, traditional, ancient, unadulterated, unadulterated from the beginning — that is not open to suspicion, will never be open to suspicion, and is un-faulted by knowledgeable contemplatives and priests. And this is the fourth reward of merit…

“Furthermore, abandoning taking what is not given (stealing), the disciple of the noble ones abstains from taking what is not given. In doing so, he gives freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, freedom from oppression to limitless numbers of beings. In giving freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, freedom from oppression to limitless numbers of beings, he gains a share in limitless freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, and freedom from oppression. This is the second gift, the second great gift… and this is the fifth reward of merit…

“Furthermore, abandoning illicit sex, the disciple of the noble ones abstains from illicit sex. In doing so, he gives freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, freedom from oppression to limitless numbers of beings. In giving freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, freedom from oppression to limitless numbers of beings, he gains a share in limitless freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, and freedom from oppression. This is the third gift, the third great gift… and this is the sixth reward of merit…

“Furthermore, abandoning lying, the disciple of the noble ones abstains from lying. In doing so, he gives freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, freedom from oppression to limitless numbers of beings. In giving freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, freedom from oppression to limitless numbers of beings, he gains a share in limitless freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, and freedom from oppression. This is the fourth gift, the fourth great gift… and this is the seventh reward of merit…

“Furthermore, abandoning the use of intoxicants, the disciple of the noble ones abstains from taking intoxicants. In doing so, he gives freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, freedom from oppression to limitless numbers of beings. In giving freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, freedom from oppression to limitless numbers of beings, he gains a share in limitless freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, and freedom from oppression. This is the fifth gift, the fifth great gift — original, long-standing, traditional, ancient, unadulterated, unadulterated from the beginning — that is not open to suspicion, will never be open to suspicion, and is un-faulted by knowledgeable contemplatives and priests. And this is the eighth reward of merit, reward of skillfulness, nourishment of happiness, celestial, resulting in happiness, leading to heaven, leading to what is desirable, pleasurable, and appealing; to welfare and to happiness.

It is through your intercession, O’ Virgin-Void Mother, that our mind and heart shall find peace and rest. Aware of our vexations we trust in your Blessed Womb that houses the Immaculate Seed that offers the promise of ultimate freedom. Make us fervently one with your Child of Light.

From the Blog Seven-Heads Villainous Low:

The monk Huike had come a long way, hoping to learn from Bodhidharma. But Bodhidharma sat facing a wall at the Shaolin Monastery all day, ignoring him. It was getting dark and beginning to snow. Huike thought to himself, “Men of ancient times have sought the Way by smashing their bones to the marrow, feeding the hungry with their blood, spreading their hair to cover the muddy road for the master … what is my little suffering in comparison?” He stood firm and by the next day snow had buried him up to his knees.

Finally Bodhidharma took pity on him and asked, “What are you seeking?”

Huike sobbed and begged the master, “Please, have mercy, open the gate of nectar that can liberate sentient beings!”

The master said, “The supreme, profound Way of the Buddhas is attainable only after innumerable eons of striving, achieving the impossible, bearing the unbearable. How could a man like you, of little virtue and wisdom, filled with contempt and arrogance, ever hope to grasp it? You’re just wasting your time.”

Hearing the master’s scolding, Huike took out a sword and cut off his left arm.

Bodhidharma saw that Huike had the capacity to carry on the Dharma and said to him, “The Buddhas of the past have also disregarded their bodies to seek the Truth. You do have the potential.”

Huike asked, “May I hear the Dharma seal of the Buddhas?”

The master said, “The Dharma seal cannot be obtained from others.”

Huike said, “My mind is not at peace.”

The master answered “Bring me your mind, I will set it at peace it for you.”

After a long silence Huike said, “I cannot find the mind anywhere.”

Bodhidharma said, “I have already set your mind at peace.”

[Commentary: Putting on the Bodhi-mind comes at a great price! One’s eyes and ears and nose and mouth and arms and legs need to be discarded. The last devilry to sever is the demon’s own head. Headless, where is the villainous mind to creep?]

From The Denkōroku (The ninth ancestor, Fudamitta):

Fudamitta heard Butsudanandai say in verse,
“When your speech is congenial with the LORD of your heart,
Even the tender affection of parents cannot begin to compare
with it;
When your actions are in accord with the WAY,
The hearts and minds of all the Buddhas will be so also.
Should you seek outside yourself for some flesh-and-blood
Buddha,
He will bear no resemblance to you;
Should you wish to perceive your own BUDDHA NATURE,
IT will be neither comparable to, nor separate from, His.”
Thereupon Fudamitta had a great awakening to his TRUE SELF.

Do not say that speech or silence
is the way to manifest the wondrousness of the HEART
For how can your sense organs and their objects
ever possibly defile your own SELF NATURE?

From Blog-post Two Fundamentals:

Within the lore of Buddhism, rebirth as a human is considered very rare for someone located within the lower regions of the unwholesome, like a hell-dweller or a hungry ghost. In fact, there is a marvelous allegory found in the Majjhima Nikaya (129 Balapandita Sutta) that states it would be easier for a blind aged tortoise, rising from the depths of the ocean once every 100 years, to pass its head through a bobbling yoke on the tumultuous surface waves than for someone in these lower regions to experience rebirth as a human being. This is quite impossible, because as it states in the sutta, one is completely devoid of the Dharma within these damnable regions and hence no chance of ever gaining the proper buddha-gnosis to be reborn under favorable circumstances.

Consider the following variation revolving around that same splendid apologue: it would be easier for this singular blind tortoise, arising from the subterranean depths of the human psyche once every 100 kalpas, to pass its aged head through a bobbling lifesaver-mint amidst the turbulent waves of samsara than for the icchantika (those who turn a deaf-ear to the Buddhadharma) to transcend these vast created realms of life and death and cross over to the other, uncreated shore of deathlessness. Such is the sorry state of purported Buddhism today. The once noble path (ariyasavaka) to nibanna has been sidetracked by the swift moving current of spiritual materialism that has desecrated the former primordial conduit that alone can reroute and awaken the dreaming dungeon mind that is in a perpetual state of regenesis (endless re-becoming). Today, sadly, the materialistic dungeon dwellers are in complete control of the keys that can unlock the nirvanic entrance to freedom and liberation in the unborn, uncreated, and uncomposed, supramundane-stature of nibanna itself. The key to breaking free from the chains of the spiritual materialists resides in the gnosis of the “word”, hidden from view of the icchantikas—yet revealed (within the Lankavatara Sutra) to those noble ariyans who have acquired the Dharma-ears (Dhammasota) that are attuned with the soundless sound of deathless suchness.

Jesus the Christ, the world-transcending one—in essence, an anointed light-bearer bodhisattva—this “word” made flesh, also expounded upon the wisdom of unlocking the narrow gateless gate to Noble self-realization. “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.” (Matt 7:13) A trillion constellations can safely pass through the narrow gateless gate of the “word”, yet countless wordlings bustle through the wide-gate that leads to perdition in the vast expanse of endless phenomenal dependent origination. Again, “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” (Mark 10:25) The import of the Christ’s message here cannot be underscored enough, as it occurs in all three synoptic gospel accounts; its revelation is clear for those with eyes that hear and ears that see—spiritual materialists are missing the markless mark and leading Buddhism down the long and winding road to self-annhilation.

Unborn Magnificat
My soul magnifies the Unborn.
And my spirit rejoices in the Buddhadharma,
For the Blessed One has anointed me;
Behold! All generations shall call me blessed,
For the Mighty Lord has bestowed His Immaculate Bodhi-Seed within me;
And hallowed is His Dharma-realm.
His mercy and compassion are conferred upon all who revere Him.
He has scattered the darkness of ignorance,
And has cast-down Mara from his throne.
He has filled the restless with peaceful repose,
And has turned the haughty-minded away in their delusions.
His Spirit enlightens the resolute in their Recollective Resolve,
Being thus mindful of His Divine-Mercy,
The promise He made to our fathers of old,
To Bodhidharma and his disciples forever.

Glory be to the Blessed Buddha and to the Divine Dharma and to the Hallowed Sangha, both now and forever and ever. Swaha.

May all the Buddhas and Dharma-Guardians bless us, protect us from all harm, and awaken us to the Light of Truth in the Unborn. Swaha

Peaceful vajrapani

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