Calculating World Peace… #B4Peace

Here’s an easy peasy way to practice peace by numbers! Zen Master Seung Sahn simplifies this technique so that the child in us can understand. A brilliant little except from: Wanting Enlightenment is a Big Mistake.

A student at the New Haven Zen Center once asked Zen Master Seung Sahn, “You say that one must return to the mind of a child. Also Jesus talks like this. Then what is the role of intelligence in spirituality? What is the role of intelligence in understanding Zen?”

“What do you want, right now?” Zen Master Seung Sahn replied.

“I want peace and quiet.”

“Peace? What is peace?”

“No turbulence. No movement, I guess.”

“Yah, that’s not bad,” Zen Master Seung Sahn said. “Peace is a very good word. But what exactly does it mean? What is true peace?

“Sometimes we use calculators. If there is already a number on the screen, you cannot make another calculation with the calculator. The answer will not come out right. So this is why there is a button marked ‘C’. If you push ‘C’, the screen becomes clear: it returns to zero. Then any kind of calculation is possible.

“If you keep a clear mind, then you will get happiness everywhere. This is complete peace, like a child’s mind, holding nothing whatsoever. So always just push ‘C.’ If your mind is angry, push ‘C,’ and it will become clear. If your mind is sad, push ‘C’, and your mind will become clear. Don’t-know mind is push-‘C’ mind. If you have a lot of thinking, only go straight, don’t know; then your thinking will disappear.

“But when you do not return to ‘zero’ mind, from moment to moment, you cannot see this universe as it is. If you are thinking, then even if a mountain appears before you, you do not see this mountain; you only see your suffering thinking. If you keep a sad mind, and hold your sad mind, then even if a beautiful view appears, you cannot perceive it. You are only following your thinking. So you lose this world, from moment to moment. I always say, ‘When you are thinking, you lose your eyes.’ You have eyes, but when you look at something with a mind full of thinking, you do not see that thing. Also, you do not hear completely, smell completely, taste completely, or feel completely. It is like a calculator where the numbers stay stuck on the screen: you cannot do any new calculations. This is why Zen teaches that you must return to your original mind, from moment to moment. This is pushing ‘C’. We call this ‘only don’t know.’ Continue reading

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♪Lucia di Lammermoor

I was fortunate to attend a most enchanting opera: Lucia di Lammermoor by composer Gaetano Donizetti. It was performed by a very talented theatre troupe from The New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts.

Although I don’t speak Italian, I did appreciate the dramatic delivery, the evocatively raw emotional scenes held me spellbound, grasping ever so tightly onto my chair, totally enthralled by the whole experience. Nothing quite compares to the energy of live opera! Here’s a popular clip from Utube:

Natalie Dessay – Lucia di Lammermoor: Eccola…Il dolce suono – LIVE at the Met 2007

One of the most compelling arias  taken from Act III,  scene 2 – Il Dolce Suono, “the sweet sound” – also commonly known as the “mad scene” sung by the leading soprano, Lucia.

The leading soprano, Casey Davenport’s portrayal of Lucia is just heavenly. The depth of her madness is simply transcendent and total. As the story goes, Lucia falls mad after being forced to forsake her true love Edgardo, after which her family arranged her marriage to a guy she didn’t care for.  On her wedding night, while the festivities are still being held in the Great Hall, she stabs her new husband, Arturo, in the bridal chamber. Disheveled, unaware of what she has done, she wanders in the Great Hall, recalling her meetings with Edgardo and imagining herself married to him. The whole melody of this recitative is chillingly morose and haunting. I especially enjoyed Casey’s interpretation of this piece, making us understand her character’s plight, her fear and mental foibles.

The whole cast was absolutely stunning, as was the staging, costumes and lighting.  In the end, it was Ms. Davenport’s lyrically nimble  coloratura soprano that captivated the audience, making this a very successful production.  ❤ Continue reading

Kozo, this has got to be one of the most inspiring, unifying post for peace I’ve ever had the pleasure of sharing. If blogging is not your profession, it should be! It’s wonderful to experience real inner peace from practical everyday events as you have shown us. You certainly lead a blessed life, especially when seen through the eyes of your little Buddhas. I’m humbled and deeply grateful we are BBFs; along with the rest of the blogosphere, we honestly appreciate you as the beautiful “prince of peace” that you are. ♥
P.S. You had me at the floaters and flotsam… LMAO! 😀

everyday gurus

Avengers

My five year old son has tons of friends. Part of the reason why he is so blessed is because he calls anyone he likes, plays with, talks to, or looks at his friend.

“My friend is digging a hole to bury Darth Vader in,” Jett mentions as we leave the park.

“Which friend is that? What is his name?”

“I don’t know his name. He is just my friend.” Looking at me like I don’t know what friend means.

The look might be justified. Maybe as we grow older we forget what a friend is. I can’t tell you how many people have questioned me about my friendships. I am/used to be friends with some pretty famous people. Other “friends” would always say things like, “you’re not really friends with so-and-so. Just because you met someone does not mean that they are your friend.” I would counter, “Well, I’m…

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The True Way

The True Way

One morning, during Yong Maeng Jong Jin at the Providence Zen Center, a student
walked into the interview room and bowed to Seung Sahn Soen-sa.

Soen-sa said, “What is the true way?”
The student shouted “KATZAAHH !!!”
Soen-sa said, “That answer is neither good nor bad. It has cut off all thinking, so there is
no speech, no Buddha, no mind, no way. Tell me then: what is the true way?”
The student said, “The sky is blue.”
Soen-sa said, “That’s true enough, but it is not the way.” Then, holding up his Zen stick,
“What color is this?”
“Brown.”
“Yes. When I ask you what color is the stick, you don’t answer, “The bell is yellow,”
even though that’s perfectly true. It would be scratching your left foot when your right
one itches. It’s the same when I ask you what is the true way and you answer, “The sky
is blue.”
“Go ask a child about the true way. A child will give you a good answer. Zen mind is
children’s mind. Children have no past or future, they are always living in the truth,
which is just like this. When they are hungry, they eat; when they are tired, they rest.
Children understand everything. So let me ask you again: what is the true way?”
The student stood up and bowed.
Soen-sa said, “This is the Great Way, the Buddha Way, the Tao. It is not the true way.
Do you hear the sounds outside the window?”
“Yes.”
“What are they?”
“Cars.”
“Where are these cars driving?”
“Over there.”
“What is the name over there?”
The student was confused and said nothing.
Soen-sa said, “It is Route 95. That is the true way. Hope Street is the true way. Doyle
Avenue is the true way. The way is only the way. There is nothing beyond.”
The student bowed and said, “I understand. Thank you.”
Soen-sa said, “You’re welcome. Now what is the true way?”
The student said, “Route 95 goes from Providence to Boston.”
Soen-sa closed his eyes.

After he had returned to Cambridge, the student went up to two children – a six year old
girl and a four year old boy – who were playing in the driveway by the Cambridge Zen
Center. He asked the girl, “What is the true way?”
The girl pointed down the street towards Main.
He then asked the boy, “What is the true way?”
The boy gave him a fierce look, turned around, and walked away.
LOL! Life is a perfect circle. We are all born Zen, acquire logical mind and grow out of
Zen, only to mature and realize we are already/ always were “Ahh, this.”
Just look: every grandmother sees the wisdom of children, so fresh and innocent.

What is your true way?

The Sufi Map of the Seven Valleys

Osho’s allegory of  Sufi Mystic Al-Ghazzali’s 7 Valleys. It’s about man’s journey of finding oneself and
understanding the paradox of the human condition. Enjoy this masterpiece of story telling.
MAN is a paradox. And man is the only animal, the only being, that is paradoxical – that is man’s
uniqueness. Man’s special being is his innermost paradox. All other animals are non-paradoxical.
A tree is a tree, and a dog is a dog, but man is never in a state of isness. He is always becoming,
growing. Man is always surpassing himself; that is his paradox. And it is at his very core of being.
It is not accidental, it is very fundamental. Once you understand this paradox you have your first
glimpse about human-ness – what man is.
Man is always a project, a becoming. His being consists of becoming – this is the paradox. He is
always between that which he was and that which he is going to be. He is always between his past
and future – a bridge hanging between two eternities, the past and the future. He is a surpassing, a
continuous surpassing. Man is never content with that which he is; he is trying to go beyond, always
trying to go beyond. Whatsoever he is doing, all his effort is basically how to become something
more, something higher, something better.
Man is a progress, a wayfarer, a pilgrim – and his life is a pilgrimage, a non-ending pilgrimage, that
goes on and on. A dog is born, a tree is born…. The tree is born with all its tree-ness and the dog is
born with all its dog-ness. Man is not a given fact; man is born only with a possibility, with a potential.
Man is born as a blank, as a nothingness; nothing is written.
All other beings have a certain essence, a certain soul. In man it is just the reverse. His existence
comes first and then he starts seeking for his essence. In other animals essence comes first, then
existence. They already bring a built-in programme; they never grow, they remain the same. That’s
why they look so innocent, so unworried, so non-tense. Look into the eyes of a cow – how peaceful,
calm, tranquil she is. There is no anxiety no anguish, no clouds. Look into the eyes of a man. They
are always cloudy. They always have anguish, there is always trembling: the trembling of. ’Whether
I am going to make it or not?’ – the trembling of, ’Whether I will be able to find myself or not?’ – the
trembling of, ’Whether I will be fulfilled or remain unfulfilled?’ Continue reading

Israel and Iran: A love story? B4Peace

Finally there’s hope for peace – and it’s happening first in the middle east! The video is so touching, I’m gonna cry!  Thank you Tomas for bringing this love story to our attention.   ❤ ❤ ❤

New Earth Heartbeat

Peace Flower Mandala mediumWhen war between Israel and Iran seemed imminent, Israeli graphic designer Ronny Edry shared a poster on Facebook of himself and his daughter with a bold message: “Iranians … we [heart] you.” Other Israelis quickly created their own posters with the same message — and Iranians responded in kind. The simple act of communication inspired surprising Facebook communities like “Israel loves Iran,” “Iran loves Israel” and even “Palestine loves Israel.”

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