For a number of years I had sort of a love/hate relationship with the Zen tradition. At times the Zen teachings seemed whimsical, humorous, direct and to the point. At other times they seemed so vague and frustrating that I sometimes felt that some of the various Zen teachers were just making stuff up just … Continue reading Jiriki or Tariki, who’s really in charge? Part III….
Most early forms of Buddhism were in the category of Jiriki. The earliest forms in a catagory called the Hinayana focused entirely on reaching enlightenment for the ”individual” by only the efforts of that same “individual”. There was no external force or power. The Buddha’s first disciples such as Ananda, Sariputra or Mahakasyapa understood that … Continue reading Jiriki or Tariki, who’s really in charge? Part II….
First of all I have to apologize for not actively posting over the past few weeks. All I can say is sometimes life gets in the way. If from time to time you do not see anything new I urge you to read some of my past postings. Often the concepts that they contain will … Continue reading Jiriki or Tariki, who’s really in charge? Part I….
“How long are the horns on a rabbit”? I first came across this saying when I was studying Soto Zen in Japan. I had long thought, mainly because it is sort of whimsical, that it was strictly a Zen saying. I just recently found out the source of this saying, i will get to that … Continue reading Where are the horns on that Screwy Wabbit?….
One aspect of Buddhism that is little understood is the metaphysical or what may seem by some to be on the verge of magical. Although throughout my life I have for some reason always been drawn to this sort of thing I have always been fairly skeptical. None the less cases of knowing past lives, … Continue reading Is there something in the water?….
The last time you sat down and lit some incense or performed some other Buddhist ritual did you ask yourself why you are doing this? Have you ever asked yourself why? Most likely if you are from the west after you had your initial interest in Buddhism you visited a local temple (if your one … Continue reading Truth or Consequences….
When you hear the term suffering what do you think of? The first thing that comes to my mind is some sort of physical pain. People suffer when they don’t have enough to eat, are physically beaten, tortured, or have some severe or terminal illness. These things all have a relationship to the physical body … Continue reading Suffering or not Suffering, that is the question?….
If you are old (and that is pretty old) enough to remember playing your favorite song on a record player you can surly relate to this happening. For those of you that don’t know, back then you could buy just your favorite song, which was on a 45 rpm (revolutions per minute) record, and it … Continue reading Mindfulness, A 45 on 33 1/3…
This is the last section of this series on Kongo-Zen. Doshin So continues... The Answer Lies in Man There are three known variables, the individual, nature, and society, that determine the conditions of mans survival as well as his fulfillment and happiness. But because it takes individuals to exploit nature and individuals to make societies, … Continue reading What is Kongo-Zen, Part III
This is a continuation of Doshin So's write up about Kongo-Zen. Kongo-Zen, which focuses its attention on man as an expression of and participant in the infinite circle of reality and as endowed with a share of its vast potentially for wisdom, strength, courage, and love that life can best be lived. It is … Continue reading What is Kongo-Zen? Part II
While I was living in Japan one of the Martial Arts I studied was Shorin-ji Kempo. Shorin is the Japanese pronunciation for Shaolin and Ji is temple. Kem (Ken) means fist and po (do) means way. So altogether it means “Way of the Shaolin Fist”. Shorin-ji was founded by a man named Michiomi Nakano also … Continue reading What is Kongo-Zen?
One of the few places that I actually practiced Buddhism in a formal setting was at the Soto Zen temple Chuo-ji in Sapporo, Japan. Before this I had heard about Zen but had no idea that there were different flavors of Zen or what the differences were. Being relatively new to Buddhist practice the simplicity … Continue reading The Zen of Master Bassui
Did you ever wonder why systems of fighting are named Martial Arts? The Martial part is obvious. Where does the term Art fit in to throwing a punch or swinging a sword? When I first asked about this I got the answer that it was the Kata's or Forms that we practiced that made it … Continue reading Martial Melodies
To be capable or skilled in the Martial Arts is not an easy thing to come by. It can take years of struggle, time, and practice. People often look for the easy way or short cuts to reach what they perceive as a sign or badge of their proficiency. There is much more to martial … Continue reading The Martial strategy of Sun Tzu….Tactical Dispositions
If you read my previous post “Karma, maybe it doesn't mean what we thought it did” you know my view of Karma differs somewhat from the way Karma is traditionally taught. This is not just based on an opinion that I created myself but one that I developed by correlating the Buddha’s core teachings of … Continue reading Milo, Money, and Cat Karma
“Each deity is possessed of the Three Mysteries (as innumerable as) the dust motes of (countless) lands, and they mutually empower each other and encompass one another. The three mysteries of sentient beings are also like this. Therefore, it is called empowerment by the three mysteries. If a Mantra practitioner should examine the meaning of … Continue reading Buddhism, Its Elemental my dear Watson….Part VIII
I have noticed that some readers are reading one part of this series or another. While of course you are free to do what you like I would suggest that you will get more out of this series if you read them from start to finish as references are made back to earlier posts. Also … Continue reading Buddhism, Its Elemental my dear Watson….Part VII, Visualization
In the past few posts in this series we have looked at many symbols (signs). The diversity of these symbols is vast but the purpose of all these visual systems is to convey truths beyond language. This is to help prevent misconceptions or false understandings like terms, “self”, “universe” “empty” and false notions of duality … Continue reading Buddhism, Its Elemental my dear Watson….Part VI, The Mantra
“In Buddhism, knowledge in any form is subservient to transcendental wisdom. Values, which arise from knowledge, are similarly subservient to wisdom. If we could overcome the tendency to confer fixed values upon things the separateness between them would disappear. We could begin to regard things as they actually are.” Nagaboshi Tomio, The Bodhisattva warriors … Continue reading Buddhism, Its Elemental my dear Watson….Part V,The Mandala
The historical Buddha was a man, the Prince Siddhartha, Shakyamuni, Gautama. The Buddha Maha Vairocana (Dainichi in Japanese) represents both the historical Buddha’s Enlightenment and the universe that it contains. The Great Six Elements represents not only us but all phenomena in the whole universe. It represents how through interdependence (Dependent Origination) all phenomena through … Continue reading Buddhism, Its Elemental my dear Watson….Part IV, Maha Vairocana
A central part of Buddhism that is often over looked is the symbolism. If you thought the Free Masons used a lot of symbolism they are certainly rivaled by the Buddhist. Before the Buddha died he expressed his wishes that his followers did not make images of him. So the first Buddhist tried to honor … Continue reading Buddhism, Its Elemental my dear Watson….Part III, The Symbols
“The Mahayana schools that acknowledge a distinctive mental relationship to body senses also described it in other terms, differentiating between mental activity that receives and organizes sense impressions (the Mano) and that which is cognized (the Manas)- in other words” the mind which “spoke” to the body and the mind which spoke to itself. The … Continue reading Buddhism, Its Elemental my dear Watson….Part II, The “self”
Early on my Buddhist path I came across the teaching of Anatta (Not-self). I have to say that I didn’t (or couldn’t) understand the concept at all at first. If there was one thing I was sure of it was “me”! 🙂 If the Buddha was teaching that I didn’t really exist then who or … Continue reading Buddhism, Its Elemental my dear Watson….
ig·no·rance /ˈiɡnərəns/ noun 1. lack of knowledge or information: "he acted in ignorance of basic procedures" synonyms: incomprehension of, unawareness of, unconsciousness of, unfamiliarity with, inexperience with, … I live in Asia and one of the challenging things that a foreigner must go through is dealing with the language and the differences in culture. One … Continue reading 4+1=6, Ignorance, it isn’t just a Buddhist issue…
“In the practical art of war, the best thing of all is to take the enemy’s country whole and intact; to shatter and destroy it is not good.” Sun Tzu In this passage it is clear to see that Sun Tzu is saying to have restraint in your attack. For his purposes he is … Continue reading The Martial strategy of Sun Tzu…Attack by Stratagem Part II
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” 1st Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of … Continue reading Politics, Oh the tangled web we weave….Part V
John F. Kennedy was a great president. It certainly wasn’t for his ability to control his urges! It wasn’t for the Bay of Pigs either, that was pretty much a disaster. If you applied today's media standards to him, they would say that instead of stopping the Soviet threat in Cuba that he brought the … Continue reading Politics, Oh the tangled web we weave….Part IV
Now I need you pause take a deep breath and open your mind a little bit. Try to block out the endless drone of propaganda that has be bellowed into your ears none stop 24/7. I come from a place in Michigan where, while I was growing up, there was not a minority living within … Continue reading Politics, Oh the tangled web we weave….Part III
Money. Money is the root of all evil, you have heard that before right? Well in relation to politics this is particularly true. Behind every successful politician is a big pile of MONEY! Republicans are well known for cozying up to the big corporations and Wall St. So if you were against that kind of … Continue reading Politics, Oh the tangled web we weave….Part II
**NOTE** "The Nazi imagery is for educational purposes only related to this post. It in by no means is meant to spread, condone, or justify Nazi ideals. I renounce anything related to Nazi ideology." “Propaganda must not investigate the truth objectively and, in so far as it is favorable to the other side, present it … Continue reading Politics, Oh the tangled web we weave….