Posts Tagged ‘solitude’

A Tale of Two Solitaries

4:5 (35) The Nāga Elephant (Nāga Sutta) Thus has it been made known. At one time the Blessed One was dwelling near Kosambī, in Ghosita's Resort. During this interval the Blessed-One was living in over-crowded conditions, with monks and nuns, both men and women lay followers, by royal ministers and sectarians and their followers. Living under such harried circumstances, the Dharma Lord spoke thusly to himself: “Here I am being hemmed-in from all sides, by people of sundry walks of life, Read more [...]

Ah, what bliss!

2:10 (20) Bhaddiya (Bhaddiya Sutta) Thus has it been made known. At one time the Blessed One was dwelling near Anupiyā in the Mango Grove. There was a story circulating that the venerable Bhaddiya, Kāḷigodhā's son, would frequent a wooded-area near the base of a tree or an empty-place and exclaim to himself, “Ah, what bliss! What bliss!” It happened that a number of monks in the deep wood would hear him exclaiming, “Ah, what bliss! What bliss!” The thought dawned on them, “There Read more [...]

Why Suffer?

Abandoning punishment for all living beings, not hurting even a single one of them, one should not wish for a son, not to mention a companion! one should live alone, like the horn of a rhinoceros. After refusing to strike-out against another sentient being, thus harming-none, why would you want to inflict injury upon yourself by desiring the worldly path with its plethora of suffering?  Desiring children or an intimate companion appears comforting on the surface, but upon taking the plunge Read more [...]

The Khaggavisāṇa Sutta: A Rhinoceros Horn

Dhivan Thomas Jones has written an excellent article concerning the sutta entitled, Like the Rhinoceros, or Like Its Horn? The Problem of Khaggavisāṇa Revisited. The Pāli expression khaggavisāṇakappo may either mean ‘like the rhinoceros’ or ‘like the horn of the rhinoceros’. It occurs in the refrain eko care khaggavisāṇakappo at the end of each stanza of the Khaggavisāṇa-sutta and its parallels, and the refrain has been translated by some as ‘one should wander alone like Read more [...]

Nada and Silence in John of the Cross

We have extensively covered the rich apothatic spirituality of John of the Cross in a prior series. Our focus now is on the significance of this Nadayana and its twin sister, Silence. John’s negative path is a cradle of nothingness in that no-thing can withstand the awesome splendor of the Unborn Absolute: To reach satisfaction in all Desire satisfaction in nothing. To come to possess all Desire the possession of nothing. To arrive at being all Desire to be nothing. To come to the knowledge Read more [...]


Muccalinda Sutta (Trans: Ṭhānissaro Bhikkhu) I have heard that on one occasion, the Blessed One was staying at Uruvelā on the bank of the Nerañjarā River at the root of the Muccalinda tree, newly awakened. And on that occasion he sat for seven days in one session, sensitive to the bliss of release. And on that occasion a great, out-of-season storm-cloud rose up, with seven days of rainy weather, cold winds, & intense darkness. Then Muccalinda the nāga king—leaving his dwelling Read more [...]

Contemplative Sojourn

  Greetings from the blogger here at Unborn Mind Zen It’s that annual-junction wherein my time apart from active blogging begins. Since my last contemplative sojourn a lot of new material has been blogged: the Diamond, Heart, Platform, and the Surangama Sutras have been covered. Series on the Zen Masters Huang Po and Bankei have been offered, along with the beginning of a perpetual-series on the Wisdom from the Masters. Teachings from Tozen have been added as well. This last blogging-season Read more [...]

The Aloneness of the Long-Distance Mystic

  From time to time one reads the half-hearted and veiled recalcitrant attacks on mystics by those who are still trapped within their pseudo-intellectualism. They claim that mystics are somehow alien to scientific methodologies, like some form of isolated dharma-freaks. In reality, they are far from the truth. Sisirkumar Ghose has written eloquently in his book, “Mystics as a Force for Change”, that such unwarranted attacks are far off the mark: “The mystic belongs to the Family Read more [...]


Writing about Colin Wilson’s, The Outsider, recently reinforced for me a main pericope within its pages—that this “Outsider” is someone who sees “too deep and too much” into the nature of reality and as a result suffers from a lingering existential crisis. Wilson’s main protagonists are prominent figures in literature like the early Romantics, Blake, Keats and Wordsworth; also with philosophers like Nietzsche, and artists like the dancer Nijinsky and Van Goth the painter and visionaries Read more [...]


As the dying embers of 2011 fade away into the rising horizon of January and the increasing frigid temperatures experienced in northern climes, it is a good opportunity to turn-about from all the crazed excessiveness of the holiday turmoil and just gently settle-in to the contemplative dimension that Winter Stillness can offer, namely Solitude itself. Usually when one considers solitude, images of locations that offer seclusion and solace from all sensory stimulations—like monasteries, temples, Read more [...]
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