Tag: Buddha Dharma

The Monkey in the moment….

The Monkey in the moment….

When I was practicing Zazen at Chou-ji (ji is temple in Japanese) in Sapporo Japan many years ago I was surprised at the difficulty of just simply sitting, focusing, and quieting my mind.  When you sit Zazen you suddenly realize how much internal dialog we have going on in our minds throughout the day.  You … Continue reading The Monkey in the moment….

Don’t point that finger at me!….

Don’t point that finger at me!….

Most people that have any interest in Buddhism have come across the Zen story about the finger pointing at the moon.  If you are into martial arts movies you would have heard this story at the beginning of “Enter the Dragon” when Bruce lee recounts it. This story originated in the Surangama sutra, an important … Continue reading Don’t point that finger at me!….

Your Evil Ways….

Your Evil Ways….

One thing for certain when people begin their interest in Buddhism their mind is full of all manner of misconceptions about what Buddhism is and what it teaches.   This is natural and there isn’t anything wrong with it.   We all enter into this thing called Buddhism with our own life experiences, which are unique to … Continue reading Your Evil Ways….

The dark side of Charity….

The dark side of Charity….

The “Ten Paramita’s” play a big part in Buddhist practice.  One of the ten is Dana (generosity) or giving freely.  This can be giving alms to the monks, monetary support of the monastics, giving of the teachings of the Dhamma, or charitable giving.  The point behind Dana is that it is supposed to be where … Continue reading The dark side of Charity….

Morality, Why is it such a difficult word to define?….

Morality, Why is it such a difficult word to define?….

Morality is a funny thing.  What is right for one person is wrong for another.  What is wrong for one can be perfectly acceptable by another.  This especially comes into play when you move from culture to culture.  In one culture it can be perfectly acceptable for a man to have multiple wives, for example, … Continue reading Morality, Why is it such a difficult word to define?….

Death and the day the music died….

Death and the day the music died….

I have been a musician for some 40 odd years now.  I have always had a love for music so if I am not playing it I am usually listening to it.  I have always been amazed by how if you are listening to the music that happens to match your mood that it can … Continue reading Death and the day the music died….

Jiriki or Tariki, who’s really in charge? Part III….

Jiriki or Tariki, who’s really in charge? Part III….

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….

Jiriki or Tariki, who’s really in charge? Part II….

Jiriki or Tariki, who’s really in charge? Part II….

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….

Mindfulness, A 45 on 33 1/3…

Mindfulness, A 45 on 33 1/3…

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…

Milo, Money, and Cat Karma

Milo, Money, and Cat Karma

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

Buddhism, Its Elemental my dear Watson….Part VIII

Buddhism, Its Elemental my dear Watson….Part VIII

“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

Buddhism, Its Elemental my dear Watson….Part VII, Visualization

Buddhism, Its Elemental my dear Watson….Part VII, Visualization

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

Buddhism, Its Elemental my dear Watson….Part VI, The Mantra

Buddhism, Its Elemental my dear Watson….Part VI, The Mantra

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

Buddhism, Its Elemental my dear Watson….Part V,The Mandala

Buddhism, Its Elemental my dear Watson….Part V,The Mandala

“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

Buddhism, Its Elemental my dear Watson….Part IV, Maha Vairocana

Buddhism, Its Elemental my dear Watson….Part IV, Maha Vairocana

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

Buddhism, Its Elemental my dear Watson….Part III, The Symbols

Buddhism, Its Elemental my dear Watson….Part III, The Symbols

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

Buddhism, Its Elemental my dear Watson….Part II, The “self”

Buddhism, Its Elemental my dear Watson….Part II, The “self”

“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”

Buddhism, Its Elemental my dear Watson….

Buddhism, Its Elemental my dear Watson….

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….

Death, it isn’t what it’s cracked up to be Part III…..

Death, it isn’t what it’s cracked up to be Part III…..

“There's a thought in my mind and there's nothing not far behind there's a road there's a path there's a freeway and there's a map There are flies and blue skies and the just and the unjust all walk side by side” Flies and Blue Skys, Kings X   So death is not an ending … Continue reading Death, it isn’t what it’s cracked up to be Part III…..

Death, it isn’t what it’s cracked up to be Part II…..

Death, it isn’t what it’s cracked up to be Part II…..

“Dear friend, please practice together with Ananda and myself as follows.   Breathing in I see that this body is not me.  Breathing out I am not caught in this body.  I am life without limit.  I have never been born and I will never die” Shariputa, speaking to his dying friend the monk Anathapindika   … Continue reading Death, it isn’t what it’s cracked up to be Part II…..

Death, it isn’t what it’s cracked up to be…..

Death, it isn’t what it’s cracked up to be…..

“There is life, there is death and the difference between either one is one single breath” Kings X, Flies and Blue Skies   When I first heard that lyric I was struck with how powerful the meaning is.  We do not think of death in this way.   How can something as a single breath separate … Continue reading Death, it isn’t what it’s cracked up to be…..

Metta, It’s simple right?….

Metta, It’s simple right?….

Metta in Pali means Loving Kindness.  The Metta Sutta is an easily accessible Sutta both in terms of translations available in English and many other languages and what seems to be the simple message it contains. Because it does not seem abstract or contain loads of Buddhist technical terms it is often read over quickly … Continue reading Metta, It’s simple right?….

Don’t hide behind your Karma….

Don’t hide behind your Karma….

In my blog “Karma, maybe it doesn’t mean what we thought it did….?” I challenged the conventional interpretation of Karma.  This wasn’t a flight of fancy on my part where I just made up my own idea of what it means.  I think that in that blog I sufficiently showed that there was something wrong with … Continue reading Don’t hide behind your Karma….

Yana, Yana, What you Yana know about the Yana’s….

Yana, Yana, What you Yana know about the Yana’s….

When you have your first contact with Buddhism (as someone from the west) there are numerous obstacles to overcome before any of it can start to make sense.  The cultural trappings are very confusing because even though they all refer to it as Buddhism it looks very different on the surface based on where the … Continue reading Yana, Yana, What you Yana know about the Yana’s….

Sunita, the nightsoil carrier….

Sunita, the nightsoil carrier….

The Buddha walked his own path, you could say that he was a rebel of sorts. He was a Hindu when he first started his spiritual journey but along the way he found his own Dharma that conflicted with the Hinduism of the time. These conflicts were both in the way he changed or reinterpreted … Continue reading Sunita, the nightsoil carrier….

Hey bud, do you got the “Time”? Part IV….

Hey bud, do you got the “Time”? Part IV….

When a man goes off in a boat and looks back to see the shoreline, he mistakenly thinks the shore is moving. If he keeps his eyes closely on his boat, he realizes that it is the boat that is advancing. In like manner, when a person tries to discern and affirm the myriad dharmas … Continue reading Hey bud, do you got the “Time”? Part IV….

Hey bud, do you got the “Time”? Part III….

Hey bud, do you got the “Time”? Part III….

“The significance of the Avatamsaka and it’s philosophy is unintelligible unless we once experience a state of complete dissolution where there is no more distinction between mind and body, subject and object. We look around and perceive that every object is related to every other object not only spatially, but temporally. As a fact of … Continue reading Hey bud, do you got the “Time”? Part III….

Hey bud, do you got the “Time”? Part II….

Hey bud, do you got the “Time”? Part II….

“Modern Physics has confirmed most dramatically one of the basic ideas of Eastern Mysticism; that all concepts that we use to describe nature are limited, that they are not features of reality, as we tend to believe, but creations of the mind; parts of the map, not of the territory. Whenever we expand the realm … Continue reading Hey bud, do you got the “Time”? Part II….

Hey bud, do you got the “Time”?….

Hey bud, do you got the “Time”?….

I practiced Zazen at the Soto Zen temple Chuo-ji in Sapporo, Japan.  When I first started I had to get used to all the aches and pains of sitting in the half lotus position (for, what to me, were long periods of time), to my legs becoming numb, and that irritating itch that develops just … Continue reading Hey bud, do you got the “Time”?….

Running on Empty Part III….

Running on Empty Part III….

The most vivid description of Shunyata (Emptiness) and interdependence is Indras Net.  In the Avatamsaka sutra there is a story about the Hindu deity Indra.  Indra had a net hanging on the side of his palace on Mt. Meru that was infinite in size.   Now imagine that every point where the strings of the net … Continue reading Running on Empty Part III….