The Buddha, The Dharma, The Sangha

"Spiritual powers and their wondrous functioning--hauling water and carrying firewood." --Layman Pang, upon his realization

Monday, June 22, 2015

Summer Solstice Buddha

Once a man who practiced Ch'an asked the Master, "It is said that mind is identical with the Buddha, but which of these is really the Buddha?"

A:  "What do you suppose is not the Buddha?  Point it out to me."

As there was no answer, the Master added, "If you comprehend the mind, the Buddha is omnipresent to you; but, it you do not awaken to it, you will remain astray and distant from him forever."

--Hui Hai, (720-814)
from Tsung Ching Record of Hui Hai

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

All beings are from the very beginning Buddhas.
It is like water and ice:
Apart from water, no ice,
Outside living beings, no Buddhas.
Not knowing it is near, they seek it afar.
What a pity!
It is like one in the water who cries out with thirst;
It is like the child of a rich house who has strayed among the poor.
The cause of our circling through the six worlds
Is that we are on the dark paths of ignorance.
Dark path upon dark path treading,
When shall we escape from birth-and-death?

--Hakuin (1689-1769)
Song of Meditation

Early June Photographs, As Spring Fades Into Summer

My husband and I are spending time on the Dickinson College Farm this Summer, clearing and weeding an old patch of medicinal herbs, pulling reluctant weeds and grappling with black flies, which only seem to like me.  He likes to visit the new born lambs, who are actually growing like weeds.

Miso has always adored this wrist mala that I found in California several years ago.  It slips over her big head and looks very pretty when she wears it, but it confuses her to have the mala around her neck….so we toss it on the bed and she rolls around with it, happy.

And sitting, trying a new mudra, Aakesh Mudra, for clearing, emptying, providing space within the body and heart-mind.  I'm not sure, but this mudra may also be beneficial for clearing, emptying, providing space in attics, closets and under beds….If only it was that easy.

Finally, the sweetest treat of early June--Fresh Strawberries!! In this case, organic from the Dickinson College Farm.  Yes, that's vanilla bean gelato, and the strawberries didn't need any more sweet, but I'm afraid I did.  Fresh Strawberries will not last long here, but while they do, they will find their way onto our daily menu.  This morning I even imagined taking a bowl of whipped cream out to the field, sitting amongst the berries, picking a few, urging the bugs off, and simply indulging.

The practice of bowing, a bit of princess flair added, with the apple of my eye!

May you be well my little love
May you be free

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

There is nothing to practice.  To know yourself, be yourself.  To be yourself, stop imagining yourself to be this or that.  Just be.  Let your true nature emerge.  Don't disturb your mind with seeking.

--Sri Nisargadatta Hamaraj

Thursday, May 14, 2015

May Scenes from LeTort Spring Sangha

One night before meditation, I came into the Zendo to find that one of the sangha members had done a beautiful drawing in the incense bowl.  It reminded me that hearts abound!  Each of us contributes to the essence of love by giving and receiving love.

At our humble Hanamatsuri celebration last week, the flower offerings included everything from tulips to dandelions.  In the Buddha's eyes, all flowers are a blessing, even the humble violet with leaves of grass trailing, pulled from the yard outside the Zendo.

Happy Birthday Buddha!  And the baby Buddha there in front of the cake?  He ended up in the incense bowl/ sandbox.  The reason was simple: what child doesn't love to play in the sand?

This was the first time we celebrated our own Hanamatsuri as a sangha--because we are often a small group this time of year, we usually join Hanamatsuri at the House of Meditation in Harrisburg. But I wanted to begin the tradition here in Carlisle.  
Our usual Dickinson students were all taking exams and finishing up final papers, so our group consisted of community members this time. We sent our students blessings and good luck, then ate the whole cake!

As we sat around enjoying sweet tea and treats this lovely spring evening, no one was in any hurry to rush off.  It was the perfect time to consider the birth of the Buddha and the wonderful teaching around his first words: 

"This is the last birth.  There is now no more coming to be."