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Sunday, August 28, 2011

Master Sheng Yen: attachments

picture by Joanne Carscadden















"We all have attachments, or to use a contemporary term, addictions. They may be material or mental; they may be worldly, philosophical, or physical. Attachments may be superficial and transient or deeply ingrained and stubbornly fixed. Attachments have one thing in common, however: they all create aggravation, turmoil in our lives.

Through practice, it is possbile to separate yourself from attachments. Gradually, step by step, you can drop attachments, until all vexations are eliminated. The sutra* speaks of four levels of attachment to transcend. Some teachers speak of the process as 'separation', but this is misleading because it implies that one is escaping or running away from attachment. This is not the case; rather, recognizing attachment is itself separating from attachment.

Recognizing attachment usually proceeds sequentially:
First, we detach ourselves from the illusions of worldly phenomena.
Secondly, we regard our own minds as illusory, and in so doing, detach ourselves from it.
Third, we realize that the thought of being free from the mind is also an attachment, and in so doing cease clinging to that concept as well.
Fourth, we detach ourselves from separation itself." *Sutra of Complete Enlightenment; quotation from Master Sheng Yen's Complete Enlightenment, pg. 113-114.

Also check out these Chan sites of interest:
 

2. How to chan meditate:
 
3. Master Sheng Yen in Facebook

4. The Western Chan Fellowship at http://www.westernchanfellowship.org/


Call Adrian at 250 898 8201,
email adrian2@shaw.ca
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Sunday, August 21, 2011

Zen Master Shunryu Suzuki: "Don't be lost in resistance."
















"We practice zazen like someone close to dying. There is nothing to rely on, nothing to depend on. Because you are dying, you don't want anything, so you cannot be fooled by anything.

Most people are not only fooled by something, they are also fooled by themselves, by their ability, their beauty, their confidence, or their outlook. We should know whether or not we are fooling ourselves. When you are fooled by something else, the damage will not be so big, but when you are fooled by yourself, it is fatal.

You may feel some resistance to this Zen way of life or to your life in the world, but don't be lost in resistance. Do you understand? If you are deeply involved in resistance or fight, you will lose yourself. You will lose your strength, lose your friends and your parents. You will lose everything, your confidence, the brightness of your eyes. You are a dead body! And no one will say, "Oh, I am sorry." No one will say so. Look at your face in the mirror to see if you are still alive or not. Even though you practice zazen, if you don't stop being fooled, it won't help at all. Do you understand?

Let's practice hard, while we are still a little bit alive."  ...from Not Always So, Practicing the True Spirit of Zen,  Shunryu Suzuki, pg 98
















Also check out these Chan sites of interest:
 

2. How to chan meditate:
 
3. Master Sheng Yen in Facebook

4. The Western Chan Fellowship at http://www.westernchanfellowship.org/




Call Adrian at 250 898 8201,
email adrian2@shaw.ca
Please notify me if you wish to be removed from the email list.




Monday, August 15, 2011

But how can beholding the mind be called understanding?


















The Sutra of Ten Stages says, "In the body of mortals is the indestructible buddha-nature. Like the sun, its light fills endless space, but once veiled by the dark clouds of the five shades, it's like a light inside a jar, hidden from view." And the Nirvana Sutra says, "All mortals have the buddha-nature. But it's covered over by darkness from which they can't escape. Our buddha-nature is awareness: to be aware and to make others aware. To realize awareness is liberation." Everything good has awareness for its root. And from this root of awareness grow the tree of all virtues and the fruit of nirvana. Beholding the mind like this is understanding...from The Zen Teaching of Bodhidharma, translated by Red Pine, pg. 79







 








Also check out these Chan sites of interest:
 

2. How to chan meditate:
 
3. Master Sheng Yen in Facebook

4. The Western Chan Fellowship at http://www.westernchanfellowship.org/




Call Adrian at 250 898 8201,
email adrian2@shaw.ca
Please notify me if you wish to be removed from the email list.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Mortals liberate buddhas and buddhas liberate mortals


















"Mortals liberate buddhas and buddhas liberate mortals. This is what is meant by impartiality. Mortals liberate buddhas because affliction creates awareness. And buddhas liberate mortals because awareness negates affliction. There can't help but be affliction. And there can't help but be awareness. If it weren't for affliction, there would be nothing to create awareness. And if it weren't for awareness, there would be nothing to negate affliction. When you're deluded, buddhas liberate mortals. When you're aware, mortals liberate buddhas. Buddhas don't become buddhas on their own. They're liberated by mortals. Buddhas regard delusion as their father and greed as their mother. Delusion and greed are different names for mortality. Delusion and mortality are like the left hand and the right hand. There's no other difference.

When you're deluded, you're on this shore. When you're aware, you're on the other shore. But once you know your mind is empty and you see no appearances, you're beyond delusion and awareness. And once you're beyond delusion and awareness, the other shore doesn't exist. The tathagata isn't on this shore or the other shore. And he isn't in midstream. Arhats are in midstream and mortals are on this shore. On the other shore is buddhahood."  ...from Wake-up Sermon in The Zen Teaching of Bodhidharma, translated by Red Pine, pg. 69-70.





 











Also check out these Chan sites of interest:
 

2. How to chan meditate:
 
3. Master Sheng Yen in Facebook

4. The Western Chan Fellowship at http://www.westernchanfellowship.org/





Call Adrian at 250 898 8201,
email adrian2@shaw.ca
Please notify me if you wish to be removed from the email list.