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

13 October 2014

Contemplation: To Understand the Principle of Dependent Arising


After reviewing the guidelines for practice, take the following as your contemplation:
To understand the principle of dependent-arising. This is to say that gold has no inherent nature of its own [i.e., no Svabhāva]. It is owing to the artistry of the skillful craftsman that the form of the lion arises. This arising is the result solely of the cause-conditioning; therefore it is called the arising through dependent-arising.
From Fazang's Treatise on the Golden Lion

06 October 2014

Contemplation: Now or Never

After reviewing the guidelines for practice, take the following as your contemplation:
The Pure Land is now or never
a famous calligraphy by Thich Nhat Hanh


22 September 2014

Contemplation: Good and Virtuous Friendship

After reviewing the guidelines for practice, take the following as your contemplation:
It is all due to the good and virtuous friendship of Devadatta
That I attained complete enlightenment
And extensively saved innumerable sentient beings.
Lotus Sutra, Chapter 12, as chanted at Tendai Buddhist Institute

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.