This is how it is 2: Whatever arises must pass away

File:Lacquer buddha.jpg

Sometimes I’d go to see old religious sites with ancient temple buildings, designed by architects, beautifully built by skilled craftsmen. In some places they would be cracked. Maybe one of my friends would remark, “Such a shame, isn’t it? It’s cracked. ” I’d say: “If that weren’t the case then there’d be no such thing as the Buddha, there’d be no Dharma. It’s cracked like this because it’s perfectly in line with the Buddha’s teaching.

Ajahn Chah

photo sookie

This is how it is 1: No here, no there, no liking and disliking

File:Canne di bambù (Roma 2005).jpg

The 9th Century Zen Master Siubi was asked “What is the secret of Zen”

“Come back when there is no-one around and I shall tell you”

The inquirer returned and Siubi took him to a bamboo-grove, pointed to the bamboos and said 

“See how long these are. See how short these are”

Suddenly the questioner had a flash of awakening. What did he see? He had a revelation of sheer existence. Where there is revelation, explanation becomes superfluous. Curiosity is dissolved in wonder.

John Welwood: Ordinary magic: Everyday life as Spiritual Path

 

The beauty of the new

How frightened we are of the new, of the unknown! We like to remain enclosed in our daily habits, routines, quarrels and anxieties. We like to think in the same old way, take the same road, see the same faces and have the same worries. We dislike to meet strangers, and when we do we are aloof and distraught.  We move within the walls of our own thought; and when we do venture out, it is still within the extension of those walls. We have never an ending, but always nourish the continuous. We carry from day to day the burden of yesterday;

Can the joy of yesterday ever be repeated today? The desire for repetition arises only when there is no joy today; when today is empty, we look to the past or to the future. The desire for repetition is desire for continuity, and in continuity there is never the new. There is happiness, not in the past or in the future, but only in the movement of the present.

Krisnamurti, Commentaries on Living Series 1

Clean out the corners

File:CI boardwalk Sandy sweepers jeh.jpg

Suzuki Roshi used to say that what was needed most in the monastery were people who were good at cleaning out the corners. The most perverting ideas are the ones that lie for years and years in the dark corners of our mind. Like spiders, they creep out while we are sleeping and spin their webs of illusion. Only when the mind is clean, in order, and uncluttered can the present moment be fully realized. If we hang onto past memories, trophies of our good-old-days, in time our mind and our home will be a museum instead of a place to encounter the present reality. The relationship between house cleaning, garden cleaning, and mental caretaking is not just symbolic. It is very direct

Marian Mountain, 1923 –  2013, artist and student of Suzuki Roshi, The Zen Environment

photo jim henderson

Sunday Quote: We do not always need to know what is happening

File:IMG 2403 - Washington DC - Tidal Basin - Cherry Blossoms.JPG

Another quote on accepting that there are reasons we cannot see and that we do not always have to be in control.

Prompted by the swallows returning yesterday : 

Break open the cherry tree:

But where are the blossoms?

Wait for spring time and see how they bloom!

Ikkyu, Zen Buddhist monk and poet, 1394 – 1481

photo andrew bossi

Radiate joy

This is the primary…affirmation within all of Scripture…
To believe that we and our world are good, very good; 

to take delight in our lives and in each other; 

 to live lives that radiate joy rather than depression, boredom, and resentment;

well … that sounds simple and easy, but remains a rare thing that’s seldom accomplished.

The most important challenge that all of us face in life is to….bless rather than to curse!

Ron Rolheiser, Blessing and Cursing Life