25 November 2014

Buddhist Weddings In Virginia

It is true:  I am available to perform wedding ceremonies for couples in Virginia who are interested in Buddhism.  I am willing to travel with adequate notice.  Interested persons should first inquire within, and then contact me by email or in person (jikananderson at gmail dot com).

I bring this up because, after the recent changes in Virginia's marriage laws, I have had an increase in the number of inquiries about weddings.  I am happy to help people in committed relationships to seal their vows in a way that is meaningful to them and will orient their best intentions toward the benefit of all beings. 

May love prevail.

--Jikan

24 November 2014

Contemplation: The Ten Mysteries

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

The first: the gold and the lion are simultaneously established, all-perfect and complete. This is called the principle of simultaneous completeness.

The second: if the eyes of the lion take in the complete lion, then the all [the whole lion] is the eyes. If the ears take in the complete lion, then the all is the ears. If all the organs simultaneously take in the whole lion and all are complete in their possession, then each and every organ is "mixed" [involving others] as well as "pure" [being itself]. This is called the principle of full possession of the purity and mixture by the various storehouses.

The third: the gold and the lion both establish and include each other in harmony. There is no obstruction between one and many. [In this complete mutual inclusion,] the Li [noumenon] and the Shih [phenomena], the one and the many, remain in their own positions. This is called the mutual inclusion and differentiation of one and many.

The fourth: all the parts of the lion, down to the tip of each and every hair, take in the whole lion in so far as they are all gold. Each and every one of them permeates the eyes of the lion. The eyes are the ears, the ears are the nose, the nose is the tongue, the tongue is the body. They all exist in total freedom without obstruction or impediment. This is called the mutual identity of all dharmas in freedom.

The fifth: if we look at the lion [as a lion], there is only lion and no gold. This is the disclosure of the lion but the concealment of the gold. If we look at the gold [as gold], there is only gold and no lion. This is the disclosure of the gold but the concealment of the lion. If we look at both simultaneously, they are both manifest or hidden. Being hidden they arc secret, being manifest they are revealed. This is called the simultaneous establishment of disclosure and concealment in secrecy.

The sixth: the gold and the lion may be manifest or hidden, one or many, pure or mixed, powerful or powerless. The one is the other. The principal and the companion interchange their radiance. Both Li and Shih simultaneously come into view. Being mutually compatible, they do not impede one another's existence. This is true even in the case of the minute and the subtle aspects and is called the peaceful co-existence.. of the minute and the subtle.

The seventh: in each of the lion's eyes, in its ears, limbs, and so forth, down to each and every single hair, there is a golden-lion. All the lions embraced by each and every hair simultaneously and instantaneously enter into one single hair. Thus in each and every hair there are an infinite number of lions. Furthermore, each and every hair containing infinite lions returns again to a single hair. The progression is infinite, like the jewels of Celestial Lord lndra's Net; a realm-embracing-realm ad infinitum is thus established, and it is called the realm of lndra's Net.

The eighth: the lion is spoken of in order to indicate men's ignorance; the gold is spoken of in order to reveal the true nature. By jointly discussing Li and Shih the Ālaya Consciousness is described so that a correct understanding [of the doctrine] may be reached. This is called the creation of understanding by revealing the Dharma through facts.

The ninth: the lion is a transient and conditioned thing [samskrta dharma]; it arises and fades away at every moment, and each moment can be divided into past, present, and future. Each of these three periods again contains three sections of past, present, and future; therefore, altogether there are three-times-three units, thus forming the nine ages; grouping them together we have a total gate to the Dharma-truth. Although there are nine ages, each is different from the other, and yet their existences are established because of one another. They are harmoniously merged without the slightest obstruction in one identical [eternal] moment. This is called the different formation of separated dharmas in ten ages.

The tenth: the gold and the lion may be manifest or hidden, one or many, but they are both devoid of a Self-being [Svabhāva]. They manifest in various forms in accordance with the turning and transforming of the Mind. Whether we speak of them as Li or Shih, there is [the Mind] by which they are formed and exist. This is called the universal accomplishment through the projection of Mind-Only.
from Fazang's Treatise on the Golden Lion , courtesy of The Zen Site

17 November 2014

Contemplation: The Five Doctrines

After reviewing the guidelines for practice, take the following as your contemplation:
To discuss the five doctrines.

The first: although the lion is a dharma produced through dependent-arising, it undergoes generation and destruction in each and every moment. Since nothing in the phenomenal world endures, no form of the lion can ever be found. This is called the teaching for the Śrāvakas.

The second: all things, being the product of dependent-arising, are devoid of Selfhood [Svabhāva], and in the final analysis, are nothing but Emptiness. This is called the preliminary teaching of Mahāyāna.

The third: although all things are Emptiness through and through, this does not impede the vivid appearance of the Māyā/becoming. All that which is of dependent-arising is fictitiously existent and therefore it is truly void. This co-existence of both being and non-being is called the final teaching of Mahāyāna.

The fourth: inasmuch as these two characters [that of Emptiness and that of form] mutually annul each other, they are both abolished. Here, no imaginings or false presuppositions exist; neither the concept of Emptiness nor the idea of existence retains any influence. This is the sphere in which the ideas of both being and non-being vanish. It is a realm that names and speech cannot reach. Here the mind rests without any attachment. This is called the instantaneous teaching of Mahāyāna.

The fifth: when all false feelings and wrong ideas are eliminated, and the true substance is revealed, everything becomes merged into one great mass. Great functions then arise in abundance, and whatever arises is absolutely true. The myriad manifestations, despite their variety, interpenetrate without confusion or disarray. The all is the one, for both are empty in substance. The one is the all, for cause and effect clearly manifest themselves [without fail]. In their power and functions [the one and the all] embrace each other. They spread out and roll up in utter freedom. This is called the Round Doctrine of the One Vehicle.
Adapted from Fazang's Treatise of the Golden Lion.

10 November 2014

Contemplation: The Truth of The Unborn


After reviewing the guidelines for practice, take the following as your contemplation:
To explain the truth of the unborn: This means that at the very moment when we see the lion come into existence, it is actually the gold that comes into existence. There is nothing apart from the gold. Although the lion may come into and go out of existence, the substance of gold in fact never increases or decreases. This is called the truth of the unborn.
From Fazang's Treatise of the Golden Lion (punctuation altered).

03 November 2014

Contemplation: Reveal the non-existence of forms

After reviewing the guidelines for practice, take the following as your contemplation:
To reveal the non-existence of forms. This is to say that when the gold completely takes in the lion, there is no form of lion to be found. This is called the non-existence of forms.
 from Fazang's Treatise on the Golden Lion

27 October 2014

Contemplation: The Three Characters

After reviewing the guidelines for practice, take the following as your contemplation:
3. To summarize the three characters. Because of humanity's delusory perceptions, the lion seems to exist in a concrete manner; this is called the character of universal imagination [parikalpita]. The manifestation of the lion appears to be existing, this is called the character of dependency on others [paratantra]. The nature of gold never changes, this is called the character of perfect reality [parinispanna].
From Fazang's Treatise on the Golden Lion (minor adaptations made)

20 October 2014

Contemplation: To Distinguish Form and Emptiness

After reviewing the guidelines for practice, take the following as your contemplation:
To distinguish form and emptiness. This means that the form of the lion is unreal; what is real is the gold. Because the lion is not existent, and the body of the gold is not non-existent, they are called form/emptiness. Furthermore, Emptiness does not have any mark of its own; it is through forms that [emptiness] is revealed. This fact that emptiness does not impede the illusory existence of forms is called form/emptiness.
From Fazang's Treatise on the Golden Lion