A Buddhist Journal

August 31, 2006

Diamond Sutra Verse – 金剛經偈

162072575_70bf526e13
” /> Original Photo Courtesy by: Dearestfreshness/Flickr, For more great photos,
please click http://www.flickr.com/photos/mwlampkin/

爾時,世尊而說偈言:

若以色見我 , 以音聲求我 ,  是人行邪道 , 不能見如來 .

Then the World Honored One spoke in a verse:

“Someone who tries to discern me in form
Or seek me in sound
Is practicing non-Buddhist methods
And will not discern the Tathāgata.”

—– Diamond Sutra ——-

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August 30, 2006

Here Now VS The Past – 回首依依

回首依依,
酒綠燈紅歌舞繁華,
大夢場中誰識我.到此歇歇,
風清月白梵唄空靈,
高峰頂上喚迷徒.

(净业寺的对联)


“Here Now vs The Past”

Look back
to the blinking of fascinating neon lights,
People in that sensual life of vast prosperous dream-field
can hardly recognize me.

Rest here
on top of a mountain peak,
accompanied by the breeze and moonshine,

and chanting aloud
into the emptiness of still sky
trying to wake up those un-awakened.


净业寺位于陕西西安城西南终南山半峪口内,为中国佛教律宗祖庭。寺始建于隋末唐初,
是中国佛教律宗创始人、唐代高僧道宣长期布道传法的道场。
净业寺占地面积约十亩,殿宇规模不算太大,但因地处幽僻,历代战乱破坏较少。
据《长安县》记载,麟德二年
(665),诏令道宣于此建石戒坛,依新法为后续沙门再受具足戒。
唐以后寺渐陵夷。明正统二年
(1437),住持云秀曾加修葺。嘉靖三十四年(1555)地震塔倾,
隆庆年间重修。清康熙五十二年
(1713)诸山长老重建道宣律师塔。道光十二年(1832)又作大
修,并立规约碑记。现寺改为十方常住寺院,立十方碑记。每年结土净修。寺内正殿面宽五间,
形制古朴。两廊及檐额皆为彩绘。有东西学堂、法堂、伽蓝殿三间及僧舍等,寺外东北有道宣
律师舍利塔。寺内堂存有明代所制的《唐道宣律师遗迹》碑刻一方,详细记叙了道宣的生平历史。

Mind Is Like Full Moon In Fall – 吾心似秋月


The most beautful Full Moon of the year is in Fall. In the middle of Fall,
Chinese people celebrate it with “Moon Festival”.

吾心似秋月,碧潭清皎潔,無物堪比倫,教我如何說。
(寒山大士)


My mind is like the perfect full moon in Fall,

As reflected in the lake with serenity and clarity,

Nothing can compare with it.


How could I explain it? 
It is beyond words.
(Poem by a great Chinese Zen Master Han-Shan) 
Alternative Translation: 

My mind is like the Autumn moon 

Clear and Bright in a pool of jade 

Nothing can compare 

What more can I say. 

August 29, 2006

How To Get Enlightened – 道元禅師法語

所谓研究佛道,即为研究自己;

所谓研究自己,即为忘掉自己;

所谓忘掉自己,即会证悟万法;

所谓证悟万法,即会自他之身心究竟解脱。”

—–道元禅師法語(1200—1253),日本曹洞宗的鼻祖——-

道元禅師26岁,公元1225元,于天童山如净禅师的门下“身心脱落”,
道元解脱了出家求法以来一切宗教上的疑惑,完成了“一生参学的大事”,
即所谓完成对自己的研究,体认得“眼横鼻直”。

“To Be Enlightened” To study the Path is to study the self.
To study the self is to forget the self.
To forget self is to be enlightened by all things.
To be enlightened by all things is to remove the barriers between
one’s self and others.

——–Japanese Zen Master Dogen ———–

Introduction:

Zen master Dogen (1200 – 1253) went to China and was practised under another
famouse Chinese Zen mater Ru-Jing. Dogen get enlightened at his 26 years old (1225)
with total spiritual liberation. Thereafter he went to Japan and started his Zen school
and built up his Buddhist Zen Temples.

August 25, 2006

The Deep Kindness Of Parents – 佛说父母恩重难报经

 

THE SUTRA ABOUT THE DEEP KINDNESS OF PARENTS AND
THE DIFFICULTY OF REPAYING IT
(Filial Piety Sutra)

Certified by: Venerable Abbot Hua and Bhikshuni Heng Tao

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During the tenth month of pregnancy, the body of the fetus is completed and ready to be born.
If the child is extremely filial, it will emerge with palms joined together in respect and the birth will
be peaceful and auspicious. The mother will remain uninjured by the birth and will not suffer pain.
However, if the child is extremely rebellious in nature, to the extent that it is capable of committing
the five rebellious acts, then it will injure its mother’s womb, rip apart its mother’s heart and liver,
or get entangled in its mother’s bones. The birth will feel like the slices of a thousand knives or
like ten thousand sharp swords stabbing her heart. Those are the agonies involved in the birth
of a defiant and rebellious child.

To explain more clearly, there are ten types of kindness bestowed by the mother on the child:

  • The first is the kindness of providing protection and care while the child is in the womb.
  • The second is the kindness of bearing suffering during the birth.
  • The third is the kindness of forgetting all the pain once the child has been born.
  • The fourth is the kindness of eating the bitter herself and saving the sweet for the child.
  • The fifth is the kindness of moving the child to a dry place and lying in the wet herself.
  • The sixth is the kindness of suckling the child at her breast and nourishing and bringing up the child.
  • The seventh is the kindness of washing away the unclean.
  • The eighth is the kindness of always thinking of the child when it has travelled far.
  • The ninth is the kindness of deep care and devotion.
  • The tenth is the kindness of ultimate pity and sympathy.

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For a complete sutra text, please visit here:

佛说父母恩重难报经

姚秦三藏法师鸠摩罗什奉诏译
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母怀胎时,第十月中,孩儿全体一一完成,方乃降生。若是决为孝顺之子,
擎拳合掌,安详出生,不损伤母,母无所苦。倘儿决为五逆之子,破损母胎,
扯母心肝,踏母跨骨,如千刀搅,又仿佛似万刃攒心。如斯重苦,出生此儿,
更分晰言,尚有十恩:

第一、 怀胎守护恩;第二、 临产受苦恩;第三、 生子忘忧恩;
第四、 咽苦吐甘恩;第五、回干就湿恩;第六、 哺乳养育恩;
第七、 洗濯不净恩;第八、 远行忆念恩;第九、 深加体恤恩;
第十、 究竟怜愍恩。

第一、怀胎守护恩 颂曰

累劫因缘重,今来托母胎,月逾生五脏,七七六精开。

体重如山岳,动止劫风灾,罗衣都不挂,装镜惹尘埃。

第二、临产受苦恩 颂曰

怀经十个月,难产将欲临,朝朝如重病,日日似昏沉。

难将惶怖述,愁泪满胸襟,含悲告亲族,惟惧死来侵。

第三、生子忘忧恩 颂曰

慈母生儿日,五脏总张开,身心俱闷绝,血流似屠羊。

生已闻儿健,欢喜倍加常,喜定悲还至,痛苦彻心肠。

第四、咽苦吐甘恩 颂曰

父母恩深重,顾怜没失时,吐甘无稍息,咽苦不颦眉。

爱重情难忍,恩深复倍悲,但令孩儿饱,慈母不辞饥。

第五、回干就湿恩 颂曰

母愿身投湿,将儿移就干,两乳充饥渴,罗袖掩风寒。

恩连恒废枕,宠弄才能欢,但令孩儿稳,慈母不求安。

第六、哺乳养育恩 颂曰

慈母像大地,严父配于天,覆载恩同等,父娘恩亦然。

不憎无怒目,不嫌手足挛,诞腹亲生子,终日惜兼怜。

第七、洗涤不净恩 颂曰

本是芙蓉质,精神健且丰,眉分新柳碧,脸色夺莲红。

恩深摧玉貌,洗濯损盘龙,只为怜男女,慈母改颜容。

第八、远行忆念恩 颂曰

死别诚难忍,生离实亦伤,子出关山外,母忆在他乡。

日夜心相随,流泪数千行,如猿泣爱子,寸寸断肝肠。

第九、深加体恤恩 颂曰

父母恩情重,恩深报实难,子苦愿代受,儿劳母不安。

闻道远行去,怜儿夜卧寒,男女暂辛苦,长使母心酸。

第十、究竟怜愍恩 颂曰

父母恩深重,恩怜无歇时,起坐心相逐,近遥意与随。

母年一百岁,长忧八十儿,欲知恩爱断,命尽始分离。

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August 24, 2006

Setting Forth Pure Lands – 莊嚴淨土

 

Photo shows Lord Buddha (Tathagata) was turning the wheel of Dharma.
His top disciples Ananda and Gaya stood next to him. two (Quan-Yin and  Pu-Hsien)
Boddhisattvas and two Devas were lined-up aside.

These statues were created by monks at High Tang Dynasty and were
discovered in Mogao caves, DunHuang, China.
DunHuang is an acient busy city located on the silkroad. Buddhism was
brought into China through this passage from India.

金剛般若波羅蜜經
 
 
Diamond Sutra, Chapter 10.      

Setting Forth Pure Lands

Buddha said, “Subhuti, what do you think?
In the past, when the Tathagata was with Dipankara, the Fully
Enlightened One, did He learn any doctrines from him?”

“No, Lord. There is no such thing as a doctrine to be learned.”

“Subhuti, know also that if any Bodhisattva would say,
‘I will create a paradise,’ he would speak falsely.
And why?
Because a paradise cannot be created nor can it not be uncreated.“Know then, Subhuti, that all Bodhisattva lesser and greater,
should experience the pure mind which follows the extinction of ego.
Such a mind does not discriminate and make Judgment upon sound,
flavor, touch, odor, or any quality.


A Bodhisattva should develops a mind which forms no attachment
or aversion to anything.
“Suppose that a man were endowed with a huge body,
so huge that he had a personal presence like Sumeru,
king of mountains.Would his personal existence be great?”
“Yes, Lord. It would be great but ‘personal existence’ is just a name.
In reality, he would neither exist nor not exist.
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August 21, 2006

Zen Poem Study – Small Pond 小塘

177722803_d76301405c
” />   Countryside in Thailand

Photo Courtesy by a Great Young Photographer ZiFeng/Flickr
http://flickr.com/photos/zifeng/sets/72057594070643917/

小塘  
永覺元賢禪師(1578-1657)

窗前閑半畝,開做小方塘。

雲過暫留影,月來時有光。

灌花借春色,洗硯流墨香。

唯有塘中水,澹然卻自忘。

Small Pond

Window front has a half acre of land there unused.
Dug it out and a square water pond was made.

Temporary shadows of moving clouds visited.
Moonlight shines whenever moon appears.

Plants were watered for cultivating the beauty lent by spring blossom,
Ink fragrant spreaded out after inkslab was washed with pond water.

There just be the water in pond,
I almost forgot it, from my calm and tranquil mind.

————-Ancient Chinese Zen poem
by Zen master Yung-Chuie Yuen-Xien (1578-1657) —————

Zen Poem Study:

The first 2 paragraphs use 10 Chinese words to describe
the pond location, size and its independent arisen cause.
The land left unused there, so he makes good use of it in a natural way.


The 3rd and 4th paragraphs describe what happens in pond.
Clouds are the visitor in the daytime. Moonlight is the invited guest in the
night. There are so many beautiful changes on the surface of water pond
from daylight to dark in a day. However there is no attachment to the nature
of water itself.
The 5th and 6th paragraphs:
The author’s life is very easy and free. He starts using the pond water to
cultivate his own garden, meantime he takes the advantage in observing
how the upcoming seasonal beauty of spring blossom will bring to him.
He practiced the same way for his spiritual liberation as how he follows
the law of natural world for his gardening. He cultivates in a easy natural
way and he deserves a good harvest at the end.

He uses Chinese brush pens for writing his poems. Chinese calligraphic
writing needs inkstick and inkslab. Inkslab has to be maintained and cleaned
from time to time. He uses the pond water to wash it. There is Ink fragrant 
spreads off when he washes it.

 
Reflection from this Zen poem:

The author lives himself into the natural world. He carefully observes what
is happening around him and senses it by his bodily organs. He also writes
and puts his hands-on for the gardening works as part of his practicing life.
He practices with his full-mindfulness and always remains awakening for
his doing.
A simple small water pond brought him a joyful life. Although clouds come
and go, moonlight comes and goes. It changes the reflection from daylight
to dark on the water, but the water in pond is till the water and has not change
the character. It can also be utilized for gardening and for washing other things.
Here in this poem, the author conveys his message that for a Zen practitioner 
whose mind shall always remains calm and tranquil just like this water pond
no matter what he does. In fact, the small pond water in this poem represents
the mind status of author through Zen practice.

August 19, 2006

A Famous Zen Quote

 

A Dharma friend of mine sent me this card with a famous Zen quote. I would like
to share it with you.

More Inspiring E-cards can be found here:

http://www.beliefnetgreetings.com/index.php

Please enjoy your visiting, and take your instant action to send a card to
someone you love, or just send a “Thank You” card in practicing your Gratitude.

Your Happiness will never be decreased by Sharing.

Never be too late.

August 18, 2006

Essential Dharma for Zen Practice – Heart Sutra 心經

aaa 
                Bodhasattva Avalokitesvara

Heart Sutra is very essential for a Buddhist Practitioner. It is my daily
routine in chanting this sutra prior to pricticing meditation for many years.
It is very useful and powerful Dharma teaching  in upholding a right view and
awareness in contemplation.

Haert sutra in chinese
       Heart Sutra in Chinese Version

The Heart of Prajna Paramita Sutra

Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara,
while deeply immersed in Prajna Paramita,
clearly perceived the empty nature of the five skandhas,
and transcended all suffering.
Sariputra! Form is not different from emptiness,
emptiness is not different from form.
Form is emptiness, emptiness is form.
So it is with feeling, conception, volition, and consciousness.
Sariputra! All dharmas are empty in character;
neither arising nor ceasing,
neither impure nor pure,
neither increasing nor decreasing.
Therefore, in emptiness, there is no form;
there is no feeling, conception, volition, or consciousness;
no eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, or mind;
no form, sound, smell, taste, touch, or dharmas;
no realm of vision, and so forth, up to no realm of mind-consciousness;
no ignorance or ending of ignorance, and so forth,
up to no aging and death or ending of aging and death.
There is no suffering, no cause, no extinction, no path.
There is no wisdom and no attainment.
There is nothing to be attained.
By way of Prajna Paramita,
the bodhisattva’s mind is free from hindrances.
With no hindrances, there is no fear;
freed from all distortion and delusion,
ultimate nirvana is reached.
By way of Prajna Paramita,
Buddhas of the past, present, and future,
attain anuttara-samyak-sambodhi.
Therefore, Prajna Paramita
is the great powerful mantra,
the great enlightening mantra,
the supreme and peerless mantra.
It can remove all suffering.
This is the truth beyond all doubt.
And the Prajna Paramita mantra is spoken thus:

    Gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi svaha

This English version of Heart Sutra is used by:
Buddha Gate Monastery:
http://www.buddhagate.org/teachings.html

Mountain Life in Early Fall – 早秋山居

Mountain hut in thailand
” />    ——- Mountain Huts in Thailand ——-
Photo Courtesy by a Great Photographer ZiFeng/Flickr.
http://flickr.com/photos/zifeng/

早秋山居 
溫庭筠 (晚唐詩人)

山近覺寒早,草堂霜氣晴。樹凋窗有日,池滿水無聲。
果落見猿過,葉乾聞鹿行。素琴機慮靜,空伴夜泉清。


 

Mountain Life in Early Fall

Living close to the mountain will find the autumn coldness early.

A sunny weather but is with humid rooms.

Look out the sun and decaying trees through windows.

Pond is filled full with water without noise.

Fruits fall when you see monkey passing by.

Cracked sounds from dried leaf remind you the walking deer.

Playing a plucked instrument in the serene moment,

Emptiness in dark night is accompanied with silent water flow,
my mind stays in tranquility.

—-Zen Poem by Wen Tin-Yun (812–867)—–


Zen poem helps to examine our practice:

A Zen poem normally describes the status of awakened mind,
the insight and the phenomena of meditation through a daily life.
The life of a Zen practitioner during his waking hours, no matter
he is standing or walking, sitting or lying down, he practices the
way with full-mindfulness and with gratitude.

Reflection from this poem:

The author uses his bodily senses of feeling, visual and hearing
to observe the mountain life with seasonal weather change, sunny,
temperature, humidity.

He also observed from fruit falling, trees decaying, dry leaves
cracked, monkey, deer, waters, pond, etc. to describe where the
quiet mountain he lives and what happens around him. He observed
from sunny daylight with noises to quiet night. He observes from
external materialized world to his inner purified world, from existence
to emptiness.

The echoes of music instrument played in the peaceful dark night
sky will help to eliminate the burdens of daytime works. The serenity
with peace in the mountain demonstrates the law of nature. The author
melts himself into the nature and practices to purify his mind with less
desires, clinging and delusions.

Conclusion:

Not holding to the fixed views,
Endowed with insight,
Freed from sense appetites,

One who achieves the way
will be freed from the duality of Birth and Death.

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