THE RIVER

Two Zen monks, Tanzan and Ekido, traveling on pilgrimage, came to a muddy river crossing. There they saw a lovely young woman dressed in her kimono and finery, obviously not knowing how to cross the river without ruining her clothes. Without further ado, Tanzan graciously picked her up, held her close to him, and carried her across the muddy river, placing her onto the dry ground. Then he and Ekido continued on their way. Hours later they found themselves at a lodging temple. And here Ekido could no longer restrain himself and gushed forth his complaints: “Surely, it is against the rules, what you did back there…. Touching a woman is simply not allowed…. How could you have done that? … And to have such close contact with her! … This is a violation of all monastic protocol…” Thus he went on with his verbiage. Tanzan listened patiently to the accusations. Finally, during a pause, he said, “Look, I set that girl down back at the crossing. Why are you still carrying her?”

PRAYER FLAG

Some monks were sitting quietly in the garden of a Buddhist monastery on a calm, beautiful day. The prayer flag on the roof started fluttering and flapping in a breeze. A young monk observed: “Flag is flapping.” Another monk said: “Wind is flapping the flag.” The Chan master Hui-neng (whom Southern School Chan regards as 6th Patriarch), overhearing the two monks talking, declared: “It is your minds that are flapping.” Centuries later another famous Chan monk, Wu-men Hui-k’ai (1183-1260), commented on this episode: “Flag, wind, minds flapping. Several mouths were flapping!”

Song of our season together

Poetry speaks for itself ♥

I Feel Shadows

image

I woke up next to you
Golden sun rays shining from your face
Warm my smile
Your hands all over me
Wantingly, wantonly
As though you didn’t think it was too early for foreplay
Meanwhile it was only my cheeks you touched
Today is gonna be a good day I thought
I could get used to everyday being like this

I am not taking off my smile
The light is warm
The atmosphere is romantic
And music is in the air
Talking with you as you possessively hold my arm
As though you didn’t want me to stray from your side at dinner
Meanwhile we were only strolling to work
I am gonna enjoy work today I thought
I could get used to everyday being like this

I am not taking the bus tonight
I am looking forward to crying
Tears of pure ecstasy on my cheeks
As I let…

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O fortuna


A Japanese girl whose parents owned a food store lived near Zen master Hakuin, who at that point was still young, evidently in his 30s or 40s. One day the girl’s parents suddenly discovered she was pregnant and were very angry when she refused to confess the man’s identity. After much harassment she at last named the monk Hakuin. Furious, the parents went to confront the master. He would only say, “Is that so?”

Shortly after the child was born it was brought to Hakuin. By this time he had lost his reputation, all his disciples and students, which did not trouble him.

But he took very good care of the child, obtaining milk from neighbors and all else the child needed. A few months later the girl could not stand it any longer. She told her parents the truth—the child’s real father was a young man working at the fish market. At once the girl’s parents rushed to see Hakuin, apologetically explaining and begging forgiveness, and humbly asking to bring the child back to its mother and real father. Hakuin happily yielded the child to them, saying only: “Is that so?”

They’re just words, they ain’t worth nothing
Cloud your head and push your buttons
And watch how they just disappear
When we’re far away from here

And everybody knows where this is heading
Forgive me for forgetting
Our hearts irrevocably combined
Star-crossed souls slow dancing
Retreating and advancing
Across the sky until the end of time

Oh who put all those cares inside your head
You can’t live your life on your deathbed
And it’s been such a lovely day
Let’s not let it end this way

And everybody knows where this is heading
Forgive me for forgetting
Our hearts irrevocably combined
Star-crossed souls slow dancing
Retreating and advancing
Across the sky until the end of time

Like sisters and brothers we lean on each other
Like sweethearts carved on a headstone
Oh why even bother, it’ll be here tomorrow
It’s not worth it sleeping alone

And look at you and me still here together
There is no one knows you better
And we’ve come such a long long way
Let’s put it off for one more day

And everybody knows where this is heading
Forgive me for forgetting
Our hearts irrevocably combined
Star-crossed souls slow dancing
Retreating and advancing
Across the sky until the end of time

 

http://heartflow2013.wordpress.com/2013/08/11/verbal-teachings-and-silence-ramana/

http://heartflow2013.wordpress.com/2013/08/15/introduction-to-ramana-maharshi/

NAME OF AMIDA BUDDHA

When, earlier in his ministry as a famous Zen roshi, Takuan was asked by a monk whether he ever performed the sacred Nembutsu recitation of the holy Name of Amida Buddha, he replied, “No, never.” “Why not?” “Because I don’t want my mouth polluted!” Yet it’s funny: Takuan had spent years in his youth involved in chanting Amida’s name as a member of the Pure Land devotional Buddhist sect!

 

Later, in his little text Reiroshu, Takuan told the following story:

When Ippen Shonin (13th cent.; later a father of Pure Land Buddhism) met Zen master Hotto Kokushi, the founder of the Kokokuji Temple in Yura village, he said, “I have composed a poem.” Master Kokushi said, “Let’s hear it.” Ippen recited:
When I chant,
Both Buddha and self
Cease to exist,
There is only the voice that says,
Namu Amida Butsu.

Kokushi said, “Something’s wrong with the last couple of lines, don’t you agree?” Ippen then confined himself in Kumano and meditated for twenty-one days. When he passed by Yura again, he said to the Master, “This is how I’ve written it”:
When I chant,
Both Buddha and self
Cease to exist.
Namu Amida Butsu,
Namu Amida Butsu.

Kokushi nodded his enthusiastic approval, “That’s it!”

 

Only chant: Namu Amida Butsu         Until no chant: Namu Amida Butsu         Only: Namu Amida Butsu

♥☼♥

 

IMPRESSED BY THE MONKS

When Catholic missionary St. Francis Xavier was touring Japan, he was graciously hosted in 1549 by the extraordinarily friendly master Ninshitsu of Fukusho-ji Soto Zen monastery, near Kagoshima. Strolling through the temple grounds one day, Xavier saw monks meditating in great repose and dignified appearance. “What are they doing?” he asked Ninshitsu. The master laughed, “Some are calculating contributions received the past month, others are wondering how to get better clothing, and still others are thinking of vacation and past-times. In short, no one here is doing anything of importance!”

THE KANSHIKETSU

Rev. Shundo Aoyama relates (in her book Zen Seeds): “The Zen term kanshiketsu literally means ‘shit-stick.’ In China, a monk calling on Zen Master Yun-men asked, ‘What is a buddha?’ Yun-men replied, ‘A dried shit-stick.’ When the abbot or any of the teachers is away from a temple for a week or so, the novices think nothing of it. But if there were no toilet paper, they would quickly feel its absence! Shit-sticks, which were used in former days for the same purpose, could be washed and re-used any number of times. Shit-sticks become dirty to clean us. If these are not buddhas, what is? Out of gratitude for them, I recognize the shit-stick as a buddha.”