Your Daily Zen Meditation for February 6th
The realm of enlightenment of all the Buddhas and
patriarchs is the same as that of you monks. If you
have a head full of Buddhas and patriarchs, how will
you ever get to see what is your own?
But if you see what is your own, at that time there
cannot be any Buddhas, patriarchs, other people or
dharma established…The patriarch is not another
person separate from yourself, and the Buddha is
miraculous, pure awakening.
Daily Zen Meditation for June 15
“One who speaks does not know; one know knows does not speak.”
Thus I have been instructed by the Old Master. If you tell me the Old Master was one who knew,
Why did he write five thousand words to explain it?
– Po Chu-I (772-846)
If you want to go to the pure land,
Then purify your mind.
When your mind is pure,
Then whatever you see will be pure
And wherever you go
You will find the Buddha realm.
– Vimalakirtinirdesa Sutra
Empty the Cup
A western scholar once visited a Zen master and asked to receive teachings. The master invited the scholar to tea, then proceeded to pour a cup for him. He did not stop when the cup was full but continued pouring until the tea overflowed. His point was that if a seeker’s mind is preoccupied, there is no room for wisdom. To gain in insight we must empty the cup of the mind, rather than pour precepts into it.
The world is unstable, like a house on fire. This is not a place where you stay long. The murderous haunt of impermanence comes upon you in a flash, no matter whether you are rich or poor, old or young. If you want to be no different from a Zen master or a buddha, just do not seek outwardly.
– Lin Chi (d 867?)
If you can see a thought as it arises
This awareness will at once destroy it.
Whatever state of mind should come,
Sweep it away, put it down.
Both good and evil states
Can be transformed by mind.
Sacred and profane appear
In accordance with thoughts.
– Han Shan Te Ch’ing (1546-1623)
A miniature Zen garden provides an excellent focus for meditation. To make one you will require a shallow dish, some sand, and some natural objects for the “features” (such as stones, leaves or small twigs). Choose these objects with care, bearing in mind that natural forms are sacred in Zen. Place the sand in the dish and position the features in a pleasing formation. Use your fingers to create wave-like patterns around each object, echoing the way in which water eddies around rocks and islands. When you meditate on your Zen garden, notice the paradoxical suggestion of stillness and movement that the effect creates.