stone, river, mountain zen

Three Zen Buddhist monks discuss life and practice

Gratitude: Silent Recitation for Falling Asleep

by Dogo

Thank you, pillows. Thank you, mattress. Thank you, sheets. Thank you, duvets. Thank you, floor. Thank you, ceiling. Thank you, walls. Thank you, windows. Thank you, door. Thank you, electricity. Thank you, water. Thank you, gas. Thank you, neighbourhood. Thank you, city. Thank you, country.

Continue, with or without words.

#zen #buddhism #gratitude #mindfulness #meditation #animism #dogobarrygraham

palm of the hand teachings

by daishin

as practice deepens, we fade away.

#zen #buddhism #mindfulness #life #daishinstephenson

Palm of the Hand Teachings

by Dogo

We are conditioned to live our entire life in the belief that it will be better someday.

#zen #buddhism #dukkha #samsara #suffering #palmofthehandteachings #dogobarrygraham

Translation of The Kannon Sutra (Enmei Jukku Kannon Gyo)

by Dogo

More than ten years ago, I realised I had never seen a good English translation of The Kannon Sutra, a.k.a. Enmei Jukku Kannon Gyo, so I decided to attempt one that was both accurate and easy to chant. This is the result, Romaji followed by English. (Note: in our sangha, we still chant it in Japanese.)

ENMEI JUKKU KANNON GYO

KAN ZE ON NA MU BUTSU YO BUTSU U IN YO BUTSU U EN BUP PO SO EN JO RAKU GA JO CHO NEN KAN ZE ON BO NEN KAN ZE ON NEN NEN JU SHIN KI NEN NEN FU RI SHIN

TEN-LINE LIFE-PROLONGING KANNON SUTRA

Kanzeon Veneration to the Buddha The Buddha is my origin The Buddha and me — no separation The Three Treasures and me — no separation Bliss outside of time, pure freedom from self First morning thought: Kanzeon Last nighttime thought: Kanzeon Thoughts, thoughts arise from the mind Thoughts, thoughts are nothing but the mind

#zen #buddhism #chanting #liturgy #kannonsutra #enmeijukkukannongyo #dogobarrygraham

palm of the hand teachings

by daishin

only when you accept that one day you will die, can you start living.

#zen #buddhism #death #mindfulness #life #palmofthehandteachings #daishinstephenson

connections

by daishin

a tug boat horn pulls me out of sleep. it is still dark out, the wind blows. the trees are mostly bare as only leaf buds dot the boughs. the sound of the wind, a low whistle, as opposed to the wrestling of leaves as if it were full summer.

my thoughts drift: a brief conversation with a homeless man, a chittering sparrow, my grams's progression towards death, a woman who miscarried.

“i am hungry, do you have any spare change? i'm not lying about being homeless. let me show you what's in my bag—all i have is a blanket and a pair of socks. please, believe me.”

“thank you for talking to me. people don't like talking to homeless.”

the young sparrow, the corners of its beak maturing from a yellow colour to cream, perched atop a wooden sign post, chittered at its brethren before shitting, then flying away.

my grams, no longer able to chew food, can only eat pureed meals.

a woman who miscarried is surprised by how much grief she feels for the fetus.

the closing line of philip larkin's poem, The Mower, came to mind while the coffee steeped:

…we should be kind While there is still time.

everything in the cosmos is interconnected. our separation is bridged through compassion and kindness; to others, ourselves, and the world around us. it travels further than the pealing of a temple bell.

by the by, The Mower can be read in its entirety here

#interdependence #compassion #netofindra #zen #philliplarkin #daishinstephenson

Two People

by Dogo

10th floor flat human being sitting in meditation on cushion on floor facing window

window shelf potted plant sitting leaning bending reaching for sunlight

#poetry #zen #life #dogobarrygraham

Poem

by Jikan

Seams of ice atop the branch A crimp of powder underfoot Through the door a fireside seat Window looking in Window looking out

#poetry #zen #Jikan

reminders

by daishin

image of tattooed june bug

when i was very young, say three or four, my grams tied a thread around the abdomen of a live june bug. after tying the knot, she passed me a living kite.

the june bug died from exhaustion (and possibly fear, for sentience is everywhere) from not being able to escape and rest. i kept its carcass for years till it finally crumbled after being jostled in its box.

this is why i have a june bug tattoo; to always be reminded that our actions have impacts.

#causeandeffect #cruelty #dharma #karma #sentience #zen #daishinstephenson

Reading Yourself as a Map

by Dogo

I used to hike with a friend who was a map enthusiast, and I told him maps didn’t seem to help me to avoid getting lost. He told me, “That’s because you want the map to show you where to go, but that’s not what maps do. What they do is show you where you are.”

I didn’t understand what he meant, but, more than twenty years later, I think I finally have an idea of how knowing the route to where we think we want to go is not the same thing as knowing where we are. We might know where we’re trying to go, but we rarely know where we are.

Nearly all of our thoughts are comparative — comparing how we’re doing to how we perceive other people to be doing, comparing life to how it used to be, or how we hope it will be in the future, or how we think it ought to be now. We compare ourselves, who we are and how we are, to who and how we think we ought to be, or we compare ourselves to other people. We’re not reading the map skilfully, and so we’re lost.

What if we stop thinking about where we should be, and just read the map? What if we let it show us where we are right now? Can we take that instruction as it is? What if we look at who we are, how we are, the situation we’re in, without comparison or story? Then we might find that we have what we need. If we look at what is, rather than what isn’t, at who we are rather than who we’re not, it may be interesting and it may be wondrous and it will certainly be perfect, because we find out where we are. We are no longer lost.

#zen #buddhism #mindfulness #meditation #dogobarrygraham