deathbed zen

feather
 

At

all times just

remain free and uninvolved.

Never make any displays of clever tricks —

be like a stolid simpleton in a village of three families.

Then the gods will have no road on which to offer

you flowers, and demons and outsiders

will not be able to spy

on you.

 

Be

undefinable,

and do not reveal any conspicuous

signs of your special attainment. It should be as if

you are there among myriad precious goods locked up securely

and deeply hidden in a treasure house. With your face

smeared with mud and ashes, join in the work

of the common laborers, neither

speaking our nor

thinking.

 

Live

your whole life

so that no one can figure you out,

while your spirit and mind are at peace.

Isn’t this what it is to be imbued with

the Way without any contrived or

forced actions, a genuinely

unconcerned

person?

 

Among

the enlightened adepts,

being able to speak the Truth has nothing

to do with the tongue, and being able

to talk about the Dharma is

not a matter of

words.

 

Clearly

we know that the words

spoken by the ancients were not meant

to be passively depended on. Anything the ancients said

was intended only so that people would directly experience the

fundamental reality. Thus the teachings of the sutras are

like a finger pointing to the moon, and the

sayings of the Zen masters are

like a piece of tile used

to knock on a

door.

 

If you

know this, then rest.

If your practice is continuous and

meticulous and your application broad

and all-pervading, and you do not deviate

from this over the years, then you will mature

in your ability to handle the teachings, 

to gather up and to release, and you

will be able to see through petty

things and cut them off

without leaving a

trace.

 

Then

you when you come to

 the juncture of death and birth, where

all the lines intersect, you won’t get mixed up.

You will be clear and immovable, and you will

be set free as you leave this life behind.

This is deathbed Zen, for the

last day of your

life.

 

Yuanwu

 

the way of heaven is like the bending of a bow

bow
 

The way

of heaven is like

the bending of a bow.

What is high up gets pulled

down. What is low down

gets pulled

up.


Heaven

takes from what has

too much and gives to what doesn’t

have enough. Man is different: he takes from

those who have too little and gives

to those who have

too much.


Who has

a genuine abundance to

give to the world? Only a person of Tao.

He acts without expectation, accomplishes

without taking credit, and has no

desire to display his

merit.

 

The Tao te Ching of Lao Tzu,

Chapter 77


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respect the oneness of your light with all light

sofia sasha
 

Your 

spiritual light 

can be compressed into

a pinpoint, or it can flood and

wash the known and unknown universe.

The principal task of a master is to respect  the

oneness of her spiritual light with all 

spiritual light and to care for it

accordingly.

 

Where

is the best place

to do this? In quiet

simplicity.

 

Wei wu Wei Ching, Chapter 33

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the taming power of the great: keep still

heart love
 

A difficult

and challenging time

must be taken as an opportunity

to express in the outer world our highest

inner principles. This hexagram counsels us to keep

still under pressure and embody the virtues of

the I Ching. In this way even the most

arduous trials can be

successfully

met.

 

Others

are often tempted

to test the inner strength

that we have gained through

study and discipline. By pushing

and prodding they hope to reveal the

weakness of our connection to truth. If we

allow them to do this, we are undermined, and they

go on, unlearning and satisfied at having engineered

our downfall. On the other hand, if we keep still

and cling firmly to what is right — the power

of the great — then eventually we can tame

the negative energy and instill in

others the desire to grow

spiritually.

 

It is

just such challenges

to our strength and character that

enable us over time to embody in practice the

strength of the I Ching. A spiritual understanding that

is not practiced under fire is without value; only by

applying our knowledge in trying situations do

we come into genuine possession of it. So use

these tests as opportunities to purify your

thoughts and actions. By holding to what

is correct in the face of pressure,

you gain the strength and

peace of mind of

the spiritual

masters.

 

If you

deviate from the path

of the Sage and act to punish or condemn

others now, misfortune will result. Instead, meet attacks 

with stillness, acceptance, and fidelity to proper principles.

Treat others with gentleness, patience, and forgiveness.

If you are steadfast in this, good fortune

will ultimately be

yours.

 

from The I Ching, or Book of Changes

Hexagram 26, Ta Ch’u

Taming Power of

the Great

 

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kings and rulers are dust motes


 

I

consider the

positions of kings and rulers

as that of dust motes. I observe treasure

of gold and gems as so many bricks and pebbles.

I look upon the finest silken robes as tattered rags. I see myriad

worlds of the universe as small seeds of fruit, and the greatest lake

in India as a drop of oil on my foot. I perceive the teachings

of the world to be the illusion of magicians. I look upon

the judgment of right and wrong as the serpentine

dance of a dragon, and the rise and 

fall of beliefs as but traces

left by the four

seasons.

 

Gautama Buddha

(dean potter had
stopped flying with whisper
at the time of his
death)