song of the skin bag

olivia hsu

 

Renounce riches and jewels.

Look lightly on body and life.

Reject them as spit and phlegm, and do not hesitate!

Hold precepts purely,

Be blemishless!

In four comportments be clear as ice and pure as jade.

When scolded, don’t be angry;

When beaten, do not hate.

Bear what is hard to bear. Forget about mockery. Overlook sarcasm.

Oblivious to winter and summer,

Be ceaselessly relentless.

From start to finish, hold Amitabha Buddha’s name in mind.

Do not lapse into torpor;

Refrain from getting scattered.

Be like the pine and the cypress, never withering, evergreen.

Doubt not the Buddha.

Doubt not the Dharma.

Inherent awareness lets us know clearly what we see and hear.

Bore through the paper,

Pierce the cowhide.

Make your mind perfectly bright and free from error.

Return to the origin;

Reach liberation.

Go back to the source, retrieve your inherent innocence.

Nothing’s not nothing;

Emptiness isn’t empty:

The divine potential’s revealed; its wonder hard to imagine.

When you arrive,

You haven’t toiled in vain.

The impacts of your causal ground are finished.

Now you are known

As a Great Hero,

All ten titles fit perfectly. You are a teacher of many generations.

Ah! The same leaking shell can now manifest

As a complete body pervading ten directions!

With good and evil distinguished clearly, no more mistakes occur. 

So why rely on the false alone and fail to practice the true?

Hsu Yun

do not attempt to intervene now


 
A period has been entered when inferior influences will prevail. Even a superior person who seeks to act now will be undermined by the time. There is no reason to resist this state of affairs; indeed, it is natural that the inferior elements periodically come to the fore. Adversity is often a stimulant to our spiritual growth, and what is important is the spirit in which we meet it.

When challenging situations come to call, we are often overwhelmed with feelings of anxiety, doubt, and fear. We fear that if we do not act immediately and vigorously, we will be ruined, we doubt the power of the Creative to resolve the situation favorably. It is when we act upon these feelings that we engage in “splitting apart”: we split apart from our spiritual path, our devotion to the Higher Power, and the wisdom of patient nonaction in the face of difficulty. If you take this course now, you will prevent the Creative from coming to your aid and unnecessarily increase your own misfortune.

The guide to proper behavior at such times lies in the image of the hexagram, which is “mountain over earth”. By keeping as still and quiet as a mountain, by resting firmly on your foundation of proper principles, by accepting the nature of the time and not resisting it, you weather all storms. By trusting in nonaction, acceptance, and patience, you gain the strength of the very earth.
 

from The I Ching, or Book of Changes

Hexagram 23, Po / Splitting Apart

 

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this is what you shall do


 

This

is what you

shall do: Love the earth

and sun and the animals, despise riches,

give alms to every one that asks, stand up for

the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor

to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have

patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat

to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men,

go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young

and with the mothers of families, read these leaves in the open

air every season of every year of your life, reexamine all you

have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss

whatever insults your own soul; and your very flesh shall

be a great poem and have the richest fluency not only

in its words but in the silent lines of its lips and

face and between the lashes of your eyes

and in every motion and

joint of your

body.

 


Walt Whitman

 

we’re human beings


 

A rat race

is for rats. We’re not rats.

We’re human beings. Reject the insidious

pressures in society that would blunt your critical faculties

to all that is happening around you, that would caution silence

in the face of injustice lest you jeopardise your chances of

self promotion and self advancement. This is how it

starts and, before you know where you are,

you’re a fully paid up member

of the rat pack. The price

is too high.

 

Jimmy Reid