Cause of Common Accidents–Story

February 21, 2010

A master gardener, famous for his skill in climbing and pruning the highest trees, examined his disciple by letting him climb a very high tree. Many people had come to watch. The master gardener stood quietly, carefully following every move but not interfering with one word. Having pruned the top, the disciple climbed down and was only ten feet from the ground when the master suddenly yelled: “Take care, take care!” When the disciple was safely down an old man asked the master gardener: “You did not let out one word when he was aloft in the most dangerous place. Why did you caution him when he was nearly down? Even if he had slipped then, he could not have greatly hurt himself.” “But isn’t it obvious?” replied the master gardener. “Right up at the top he is conscious of the danger, and of himself takes care. But near the end, when one begins to feel safe, this is when accidents occur.”

Comment: It certainly is the case that accidents tend to occur at the end of the working day when people are comfortable with their surroundings, tired, and let their attention down.

A more technical description is in the short article: Preventing Common Household Accidents

Source: Schloeal, Irmgard; The Wisdom of the Zen Masters, New Directions 1975, Pg 52

 

Additional Stories

This is a link to a Collection of Zen Stories     (usefulzenwords.com)


Unobstructed and Immediate

February 19, 2010

These verses are the remnants of short dharma talks. All of the commentary, examples, explications, context etc. have been stripped away so that the verses can be experienced individually. These teachers got to the heart of the matter succinctly (There are so many words these days that it is easy to be distracted by the presentation) References to the full work are made where possible.

Unobstructed and Immediate

I

Apply your spiritual energy before desire arises
The mind will be shining bright, alone and liberated
It will be clear everywhere and revealed in everything
(Ta-hui, Swampland Flowers, Zen Sourcebook 119)

II

The obstruction of the Path by the mind and its conceptual discrimination is worse than poisonous snakes or fierce tigers.  Why? Because poisonous snakes and fierce tigers can still be avoided, whereas intelligent people make the mind’s conceptual discrimination their home, so that there’s never a singe instant, whether they’re walking, standing, sitting or lying down, that they’re not having dealings with it.  (Ta-hui 121)

III

Like following a road where it is set and familiar, then we think that is all there is.

IV

A flash of lightning
Sparks of fire from flint.
If your eyes blink,
It’s already gone.
(Wu-men-kuan Case 21)

V

You don’t need fine phrases
Before you speak the answer is there
If you just chatter on
Knowing will become deceiving
(Wu-men-kuan Case 24)


Trust in Mind-Verses

February 19, 2010

These verses are the remnants of short dharma talks. All of the commentary, examples, explications, context etc. have been stripped away so that the verses can be experienced individually. These teachers got to the heart of the matter succinctly (There are so many words these days that it is easy to be distracted by the presentation) References to the full work are made where possible.

Trust in Mind

I

The Great Way is not difficult
Just don’t pick and choose
Cut off all likes and dislikes
And it is clear like space.

II

Outside don’t get tangle up in things.
Inside, don’t get lost in emptiness.
Be still and become One,
And confusion stops by itself.

III

Do not live in the world of opposites.
Be careful! Never go that way.
If you make right and wrong,
Your mind is lost in confusion.

IV

Nothing is left behind
Nothing stays with us.
Bright and empty,
The mind shines by itself.

(Trust in Mind Seng-ts’an (Sozan), from Zen Sourcebook, Addiss et al editor,2008)


Impermanence-Verses

February 19, 2010

These verses are the remnants of short dharma talks. All of the commentary, examples, explications, context etc. have been stripped away so that the verses can be experienced individually. These teachers got to the heart of the matter succinctly  (There are so many words these days that it is easy to be distracted by the presentation) References to the full work are made where possible.

Impermanence

I

One may ask, “How can thought and mental acts arise without an object?” To remove this doubt, there is comparison to a mirage.—Here thought and mental acts correspond to the mirage, and the object to the water. When a mirage makes it appearance, no real water is there, and yet the notion of real water arises. (2)

II

One may ask, “How in the absence of objects, can different verbal expressions arise?” In answer things are compared to an echo.—An echo is not a real sound, and yet it is heard. Similarly verbal expressions are not real things, and yet they are understood. (6)

III

One may ask, “ How, in the absence of an object, can the images apperceived in trance arise?” In answer, things are compared to the moon reflect in water,–The moon reflected in water is not really in the water, and yet, because the water is wet and limpid, the moon is seen in it. So with concentrated thought. The objects which form its range are not real things, and yet they are perceived, the state of trance playing the part of the water. (7)

(Asanga Mahayanasamgraha II, 27 in Buddhist Texts through the Ages (Conze et al editor, 1964)

IV

Forms don’t hinder emptiness; emptiness is the tissue of form.
Emptiness isn’t the destruction of form; form is the flesh of emptiness.
Inside the Dharma gates where form and emptiness are not-two
A lame turtle with brushed eyebrows stand in the evening breeze. (31)

V

A boundless unencumbered space, open, empty, still,
Earth, its hills and rivers, are only names, nothing more.
You can quarter the mind, lump all forms into one,
They’re still just echos murmuring through empty ravines. (42)

(Zen Words for the Heart, Hakuin’s Commentary on Heart Sutra, Waddell Editor.)

Dharma talks are often energy transmitted through words with the intention to help further the sitting and the  practice.   The talk may be non-discursive, having no progression from beginning to end.  Just simply sit with attention and listen.  If something resonates with you, allow it in to help with the zazen.  If there is no resonance, simply let it go without looking back or chasing after it. If attention strays during, simply come back to the present; there is no need to try to reconstruct it as a lecture   There is also no need for intellectual analysis as there is nothing to figure out. The energy in the room and the attention are essential to experiencing these talks.


Practice in the World–Zen Verses

February 19, 2010

These verses are the remnants of short dharma talks. All of the commentary, examples, explications, context etc. have been stripped away so that the verses can be experienced individually. These teachers got to the heart of the matter succinctly (There are so many words these  that it is easy to be distracted by the presentation. ) References to the full work are made where possible.

Practice in the World

I

Look and listen, touch and eat
Smell, wander, sit and stand.
Renounce the vanity of discussion
Abandon Thought and be not moved from singleness. (55)

II

Mindfulness is established (by him) precisely to the extent necessary just for knowledge, just for remembrance and he lives independently of and not grasping anything in the world.  (32)

III

Whatever pours forth from the mind
Possesses the nature of the owner
Are waves different from the water
Their nature, like that of space in one and the same  (72)

IV

Do not sit at home, Do not go to the forest.
Recognize mind wherever you are.
When one abides in perfect and complete enlightenment,Where is Samsara and where is Nirvana. (103)

V Capping Summary

He who clings to the Void
And neglects compassion
Does not reach the highest stage.
But he who practices only compassion
Does not gain release from the tools of ignorance.
He whoever is strong in the practice of both
Remains neither in delusion nor Nirvana (112)

Source: 32: The Dhamma,  All others from Saraha’s Treasury of Songs, from  Buddhist Texts through the Ages (Conze et al editor, 1964)

Dharma talks are sometimes experienced as energy transmitted through words with the intention to help further the sitting and the practice. The talk may be non-discursive, having no progression from beginning to end. Just simply sit with attention and listen. If something resonates with you, allow it in to help with the zazen. If there is no resonance, simply let it go without looking back or chasing after it. If attention strays during, simply come back to the present; there is no need to try to reconstruct it as a lecture There is no need for intellectual analysis as there is nothing to figure out. The energy in the room and the attention are essential to experiencing these talks.


The Parable of Me and Mine-Story

February 18, 2010

This parable is from the Yogacara Bhumi Sutra.  The text was translated from Sanskrit or Pali into Chinese 284 CE.  This translation is by Albert Waley found in Buddhist Texts through the Ages (Conze et al, editors, 1954).

Some children were playing beside a river.  They made castles of sand and each child defended his castle and said, “This one is mine .”  They kept their castles separate and would not allow any mistakes about which was whose.  When the castles were all finished, one child kicked over someone else’s and completely destroyed it.  The owner of the castle flew into a rage, pulled the other child’s hair, struck him with his fist and bawled out, “He has ruined my castle! Co and help me punish him as he deserves.  “me along all of us The others all came to his help.  They beat the child with a stick and then stamped on him as he lay on the ground. . .  Then they went on playing  in their sand-castles, each saying, “This is mine; no one else may have it. Keep away!  Don’t touch my castle!”

But evening came; it was getting dark and they all thought they ought to be going home.  No one cared what became of his castle.  One child stamped on his, another pushed his over with both his hands.  Then they turned away and went back, each to his home.

Behaviors resonate for centuries for both children and adults.   Today’s prized possessions and cherished ambitions are yesterday’s sand-castles.  What is left.

 

Additional Stories

This is a link to a Collection of Zen Stories     (usefulzenwords.com)