15 September 2014

Contemplation: The Buddha Appears in This World

After reviewing the guidelines for practice, take the following as your contemplation:
The Tathagatas of past, present, and future intrinsically lead sentient beings to be exposed to the Buddha's knowledge and insight and attain the patience which comes from realizing the truth of non-arising.  The Buddha appears in this world through the conditioned co-arising of his great deeds.
Chih-i, Fa Hua Hsuan I, translated and published in Paul Swanson's Foundations of T'ienTai Philosophy, p. 248; punctuation altered.

08 September 2014

Contemplation: Tathagata's Chamber, Robe, and Seat

After reviewing the guidelines for practice, take the following as your contemplation:
If people want to expound this Sutra,
They should enter the Tathagata's chamber,
Put on the Tathagata's garments
And sit on the Tathagata's seat.
They then should face the people without fear,
So that they may extensively
Illuminate and explain it to the assembly.
The Tathagata's chamber is great compassion,
His garments are gentleness and perseverence,
And his seat is the emptiness of all existent things.
from Lotus Sutra, Chapter 10, as chanted at the Tendai Buddhist Institute


01 September 2014

Contemplation: Labor

After reviewing the guidelines for practice, take the following as your contemplation:

Just as the rich elder,
Knowing his son's inferior disposition,
By his skillfulness
Trains his mind,
And afterward gives him
All his wealth,
So it is with the Buddha
In his display of rarities.

Threefold Lotus Sutra, p. 123, translation altered slightly.  Posted in honor of Labor Day. Lotus Sutra Chapter 4 is an extended parable invoking the role of labor in everyday life and in the Buddhist path.

25 August 2014

Contemplation: "Unfindability"

After reviewing the guidelines for practice, take the following as your contemplation:
If one observes the mind and searches for where a thought arises, where it remains, and where it goes, no matter how much one researches and investigates this, one will find nothing.  It is this very 'unfindability' of the arising, the abiding, and the passing away of all thoughts which is the greatest of all finds.
The Golden Letters, John M. Reynolds, p. 75; text altered slightly

20 August 2014

Potluck for Sangha Togetherness!

We're getting together at 6pm on Saturday, 13 September for a potluck.  This is an exercise in making connections on a virtuous basis.  In Japanese, this is called go-en, and it goes a long way toward building sustainable Buddhist practice for oneself and for our local community.  I hope you'll join us.  Please bring something meatless to share.   We're coming together at a private residence in North Arlington, about a mile from the East Falls Church metro station.  Email me to RSVP, and I'll give you the address (it's jikananderson at gmail.com).

18 August 2014

Contemplation: Don't be Self-Indulgent

After reviewing the guidelines for practice, take the following as your contemplation:
Today's sun is passing, our life is getting older and today, what joyfulness remains, is like a fish living in a teaspoon of water.  Now everyone endeavor diligently to rescue the burning intellect; be mindful that life is suffering, empty and transient.  Don't be self-indulgent.  Follow the mindful path.


"Kokon," as recited at Tendai Buddhist Institute

04 August 2014

Contemplation: Free of Bonds

After reviewing the guidelines for practice, take the following as your contemplation:
[The bodhisattva] is not bound by the conditions of his birth, and hence he is able to teach the Dharma for living beings and liberate them from their bonds.  As the Buddha has said, if one is in bonds himself, to suppose he can free others from their bonds is hardly reasonable.  But if one is himself free of bonds, it is perfectly reasonable to assume he can free the bonds of others.  Therefore, the bodhisattva must not conjure up bonds for himself.
Vimalakirti Sutra, trans. Burton Watson, p. 70; diction altered slightly