Friday, May 25, 2018

The Sayings of Old Man Tcheng


The sayings of old man Tcheng convey a Sense which is dependent neither on time nor place, nor on the words and he who uttered them, nor on signs or letters and those who have transcribed them.
Since old man Tcheng looks on himself as but a block of resounding wood, it would be vain to seek to know who he is or to give oneself to commenting, comparing or speculating concerning his sayings and, thus, remain at the level of historicism and intellectualism, as well as proving that nothing had been understood of his sayings and that one’s heart was closed to the Sense they bear.
It is therefore important to keep these sayings in their unspoiled freshness so as to preserve the fullness of their power and ensure that their Sense will ever remain untainted.


 In my youth, I went all round the land giving myself up to study and practices. I associated with those who had strayed and, imagining they had found the light, did nothing but cause others to stray. Then, I met him who enabled me to see all the useless mud I bore with me. The way of truth appeared to me and original spirit became my sole occupation. 
And, one day, everything suddenly collapsed into awareness.
I, old Tcheng, do not imitate so and so, or such and such a one. I hold to no belief, no school of thought do I follow, no one’s disciple am I. In my true nature I know nothing, I own nothing, I am nothing… for there is no old Tcheng there! In the ordinary way, the things in which I take part, of themselves, just flow by, pass away on their own. Even original spirit is no longer my concern.
The words I speak to you come not from that which is learnt.


Regarding the words traced on this scroll, which I have just read:
if I tell you they are from the Buddha, 
you look upon them as sacred, and you are filled with veneration and fear
if I tell you they are from Bodhidharma or from a great patriarch, 
you are filled with admiration and respect
if I tell you they are by an unknown monk, 
you no longer know what to think, and you are filled with doubt
if I tell you they come from the monk in the kitchens, 
you burst out laughing, thinking I have just played a trick on you.
Thus, what counts for you is not the truth that these words bear but only the importance to be granted them according to the fame of the one from whom they are said to have come. You are incapable of seeing for yourselves but only feel what you think should be felt, and think according to the opinion of those you have placed on a pedestal; you are forever adding to things, tainting them, falsifying them .That is why you are powerless to see original spirit without reference to who or whatever it might be. Nincompoops, you are nothing but fakes and tricksters. 
Your case is hopeless.
And old man Tcheng left the room
Old man Tcheng spoke:
You have heard it said that in order to see original spirit your puny mind must be empty. So, there you sit, rigid as a bamboo stick, looking at the wall, your tongue against your palate, striving to put a stop to your thoughts. You thus come to an absence of thoughts which you take for the vacuity or original spirit. The very next moment, the turmoil of your petty mind starts up again just as it does when you come out of sleep. In the absence of thought, what profit is there? And if a flash of light shakes you, there you go prancing like a young horse, bellowing that you have seen original spirit, that you have experienced something immense and that you were greatly privileged. 
What advantage is there in being struck as by thunder? 
All of that is a nice performance, just good enough for a circus.
Baldies, if you persist in your mania and your pretence at wanting to attain and possess whatever it might be, yours is a lost cause.

 Read more HERE


Thursday, May 24, 2018

Rabindranath Tagore - Friend

Art thou abroad on this stormy night
on thy journey of love, my friend?
The sky groans like one in despair.

I have no sleep tonight.

Ever and again I open my door and look out on
the darkness, my friend!

I can see nothing before me.

I wonder where lies thy path!

By what dim shore of the ink-black river,
by what far edge of the frowning forest,
through what mazy depth of gloom art thou threading
thy course to come to me, my friend?


Rassouli - Union of opposites

Thich Nhat Hanh - On Not Getting Caught in the Buddha's Teachings

"It's the same with the [the Buddha's] teachings. If you are caught by the teachings you cannot be transformed, you cannot practice. You have to be very intelligent and very careful about receiving the teachings. So, the teachings that I give now, please do not be caught by them. "All teachings must be abandoned, not to mention non-teachings." It says in the Sutra on the Better Way to Catch a Snake that if we are caught by the non-teaching it is very dangerous. So the Diamond Sutra has taken the teaching from that sutra and tells us we should not be caught by the Dharma and we should not be caught by the non-Dharma either, in both the meanings of the word dharma: objects and teachings.
We say that the Dharma is very precious. But if we are caught by ideas then the Dharma becomes an obstacle to our practice. Just like someone who wants to cross the river. He needs to make a raft. But if he thinks the raft is so beautiful that he carries it on his head and does not want to cross the river, or if after he crosses the river he puts the raft on his head and walks away with it, that is ridiculous. The raft has served its purpose, it's no longer useful. The same with the teachings. The teachings are helping us. If we keep the teaching, if we boast about it, then it does not have any use. We should use the teaching like a raft to bring us across the river. And then when we've crossed the river we can leave the raft there for someone else to use.
If we look at ourselves we see we are more or less like that person. We learn a little bit of the teaching, we think we understand it, and we are proud that we are able to get in touch with the teaching. We think that the teaching is number one, the best. But if we don't want to use the teaching to cross the river, then we are that stupid person, nothing less. After I'd been studying the Diamond Sutra for twenty years I got in touch with the Sutra on the Better Way to Catch a Snake. Then I knew that the Diamond Sutra has it's origin in the Sutra on the Better Way to Catch a Snake. The French publisher has just put the two sutras together to make the book Thundering Silence.
So we should not be caught by the raft, and we shouldn't pursue the non-Dharma either. If we get caught in the non-teachings then we are also caught, we are not liberated. Being caught in the idea of non-Dharma is even more dangerous than being caught in the idea of the Dharma. For example when we are caught in the idea of "being" the Buddha taught many ways for us to overcome and transcend the idea of "being". But when we get caught in the idea of "non-being" then that is even more dangerous. In the Ratnakuta Sutra the Buddha says that it's better to be caught in the idea of being than to be caught in the idea of non-being. When you are caught in the idea of being you can use the idea of non-being to cure that sickness, but once you are caught in the idea of non-being you cannot overcome it with the idea of being. So you have to overcome both the idea of being and the idea of non-being. You should not be caught in the idea of a sign, a mark. But you also should not be caught in the idea of signlessness. Even if the Buddha has taught that if you can see the signless nature of signs, then you can see the Tathagata. We have a tendency to grasp at the signless when we leave the sign…"


Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Eric Baret - A bottomless bag

 One day, you will see deeply that everything you need to do will tire you. You're going to be too tired to do anything, including being light, including being sad. You will see that all this is an activity that comes only when you claim to have a story, have a past and have a future. We can see all of this as a concept. It is a maturation that does not depend on any doing and that does not depend on time. So the word maturation is wrong. Avoid wanting to understand it, because you can not you can only understand that in time and that's wrong; maturation is in the moment. You are doomed to this maturation. The only postponement possible is to try to be mature, by thought, by action, or by emotion. That's a bottomless bag. You will be wiser every day, more free every day: it is a constant misery. You are constantly adjourning the essential.

At some point, you no longer seek to be less this and more that, to be without fear, to be without desire: you seek nothing. This can be called a form of respect, a respect for the reality, for what is there in the moment. It's respect for the essential. The essential is not something that is hidden behind the appereance - these are beautiful Indian stories -
the essential is what is there, it is what you feel in the moment. There is nothing else than that. There is nothing to understand, there is simply nothing. That's what is reflected as lightness that
apparently arises when the situations suit your ideology and which apparently disappears when the situations do not correspond to your plan for the humanity. At one time
you stop taking yourself for God and want to solve the problems of humanity - or yours, because it's the same. It's a story in both cases.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Tsoknyi Rinpoche - Sometime go outside and sit

Sometime go outside and sit,
In the evening at sunset,
When there’s a slight breeze that touches your body,
And makes the leaves and the trees move gently.
You’re not trying to do anything, really.
You’re simply allowing yourself to be,
Very open from deep within,
Without holding onto anything whatsoever.
Don’t bring something back from the past, from a memory.
Don’t plan that something should happen.
Don’t hold onto anything in the present.
Nothing you perceive needs to be nailed down.
Simply let experience take place, very freely,
So that your empty, open heart
Is suffused with the tenderness of true compassion.

Kavi Jezzie Hockaday - A New Landlord

When love moved in
And took up permanent residence
It caused a lot of trouble
It told all the old dwellers to move out
Fear, regret, grievance
Self hate, even shame and intolerance
Were given notice
Of course they fought for a while
And hung on for dear life
But eventually they had to admit
The new landlord was ruthless
And set new standards
Love cleaned up the whole house
Threw out all the old and unwanted stuff
At first it was strangely quiet
And I almost missed the old inhabitants
With their crazy ways
But I soon got used to it
And it became quite ordinary.

And then truth moved in…..