28 September 2010

Contemplation: "Evening Gatha"

Review the guidelines for practicing contemplation and consider the following:

Let me respectfully remind you:
Life and death are of supreme importance.
Time swiftly passes by and opportunity is lost.
Each one of us should strive to awaken.
Take heed. Do not squander your life.

(from the Daily Service of the Tendai Buddhist Institute)

21 September 2010

Contemplation: Happy and Inspired

Review the instructions for practicing contemplation, still the mind, and consider the following:

When I practice the Arising Yoga of the Patron Buddha
I see my body, vivid like a rainbow yet void,
Of which no substance whatsoever can be found.
So I have freed myself from all desires.

All talk is like an echo in a deserted valley.
For it I have neither fancy nor aversion.
So have I exhausted all likes and dislikes.

The Illuminating-Void of Mind
Is like the radiance of the sun and moon,
Without limit or attribute.
Dissolved into it, my ego-clinging becomes nought.

The common human body, word, and mind
Are themselves the Body, Speech, and Wisdom of the Self-Buddha.
Being free from all that's vulgar,
I always feel great happiness and joy.

I am happy because my deeds are in accord with Dharma,
I am inspired because I follow
The right Dharma Path.

(from The Hundred Thousand Songs of Milarepa, Trans. by Garma C.C. Chang, p. 376-377).

16 September 2010

Blue Mountain Sage Sangha

My friend and colleague Doko O'Brien leads a Tendai sangha in Denver called the Blue Mountain Sage Sangha. He has recently launched a blog that will be of interest. Find it here.

14 September 2010

Contemplation: The fundamental, wondrous mind

Calm the mind, review the instructions for practicing contemplation, and consider this teaching of the Buddhas:

All in the Assembly became aware that their minds pervaded the ten directions and they could see everything throughout space in all ten directions as clearly as one might see an object such as a leaf in the palm of one's hand. They saw that all things in all worlds are the wondrous, fundamental, enlightened, luminous mind that understands, and that this mind, pure, all-pervading, and perfect, contains the entire universe. They looked back upon their own bodies born of their parents and saw them to be like minute particles of dust drifting about everywhere in the air, arising and perishing, or like solitary bubbles floating on vast, calm seas, appearing and then vanishing without a trace. They fully understood that the fundamental, wondrous mind is everlasting and does not perish.

Surangama Sutra (2009 Buddhist Translation Society edition), p. 135

May all beings enjoy the merit.

07 September 2010

Contemplation: Like the Man in the Dream

Review the guidelines for practicing contemplation and reflect on the following:

It is like the man in the dream
Who has nothing to grasp upon awakening.
Awareness is like space
Equal, changeless.
Enlightenment pervading the worlds of the ten directions
Is none other than the attainment of the Buddha-way.
All illusions cease at no-place
And in accomplishing the way there is nothing attained.
That's because the original nature is complete, perfect.
In it, bodhisattvas
Are able to produce bodhicitta.
All sentient beings of the degenerate age
Practicing this, will avoid erroneous views.

Sutra of Perfect Enlightenment, p. 251, trans. A. Charles Muller.

06 September 2010

Programming Notice

I will be posting less frequently to this blog from here on out. This is because much of what needed to be said earlier this summer has been said, and there's a record of it; because more of my time is committed to preparing for regular sangha meetings now that we are meeting in person as a sangha once more; and because the academic year is underway again, meaning that I am once more teaching and writing and... surviving, even thriving sometimes.

The weekly contemplations will continue, as will other occasional announcements and whatever else seems useful to put up here.