A Buddhist Journal

September 28, 2006

What Can We Gain? – 蜗牛角内争何事?

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What Can We Gain?    

What can we gain from within the tiny tentacles of snail?
We should deposit the flaming and flash-like illusion in this shell.   
Always be delighted either in rich or in poverty.
One who does not know laughing out loud is an idiot.
——– Poem by a great ancient poet Bei Ju-Ye (772 – 846) ———-    
 

蜗牛角内争何事?  
石火光中寄此身,   
随富随贫且欢喜,   
不开口笑是痴人。
白居易(772─846年)     

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To Share With Zen Practitioners – 報汝修道者 (Zen Poem)

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Photo courtesy by a great photographer: changhg/Flickr 
http://flickr.com/photos/changhg/

To Share With Zen Practitioners – 報汝修道者

Here is my report to share with practitioners,
Apprehending your desires is a waste of efforts.

Everyone has an object of spirit,
No labelled letter and text.

It responds whenever you call,
It hides where you can not find.

Remind you to protect it with good care,
Do not let it be scratched with any trace mark. —- Poem by Chinese Tang Dynasty Ancient Zen Master Han-Shan —–   

報汝修道者寒山詩選

報汝修道者,進求虛勞神,

人有精靈物,無字復無文,

呼時歷歷應,隱處不居存,

叮嚀善保護,勿令有點痕。   

A Prayer To Practice

 
Wall paper downloaded from:http://www.geocities.com/SouthBeach/Pointe/5640/wall02.html

“A Beautiful Prayer To Practice”

At the foot of the Bodhi tree,
beautifully seated, peaceful, and smiling,
the living source of understanding and compassion,
to the Buddha I go for refuge.

The path of mindful living,
leading to healing, joy, and enlightenment,
the way of peace,
to the Dharma I go for refuge.

The loving and supportive community of practice,
realizing harmony, awareness, and liberation,
to the Sangha I go for refuge.

I am aware that the Three Gems are within my heart.
I vow to realize them.
I vow to practice mindful breathing and smiling,
looking deeply into things.
I vow to understand living beings and their suffering,
to cultivate compassion and loving kindness,
and to practice joy and equanimity.

I vow to offer joy to one person in the morning
and to help relieve the grief of one person in the afternoon.
I vow to live simply and sanely,
content with just a few possessions,
and to keep my body healthy.
I vow to let go of all worry and anxiety in order to be light and free.

I am aware that I owe so much to may parents, teachers, friends, and all beings.
I vow to be worthy of their trust,
to practice wholeheartedly,
so that understanding and compassion will flower,
and I can help living beings
be free from their suffering.

May the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha support my efforts.

Thich Nhat Hanh

More information can be found from the following link which is devoted

by CyberMonks:

http://www.interluderetreat.com/index.html

September 26, 2006

Original True Dharma – 真法本無性

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Photo courtesy by a great photographer: changhg/Flickr 
http://flickr.com/photos/changhg/

“Original True Dharma Has No Characteristics Of Its Own”
——- a famous Zen poem

The original True Dharma has no characteristics of its own,   

the purity of mind gets stains by dependent arising.  

Unawareness is called ignorance    

whereas the Awareness is the wisdom of Buddha.   

Ignorance leads to illusion.   

Realizing and Awakening leads to truth.   

The present very mind has no past and no future.    

Go straight down to its root one searches no beginning and no ending.   

It is beyond literal explanation.    

To distinguish it is to stick on the duality of birth and death.   


—— Poem by a famous Zen Master
Jue-fan Hui-hong (1071~1128)

真法本無性
慧洪覺範禪師

真法本無性,隨緣染淨起。

不了號無明,了之即佛智。

無明全妄情,知覺全真理。

當念絕古今,底處尋終始。

本自離言詮,分別即生死。  

Introduction of Author:

Given the place of Chan Buddhism within Song Dynasty literati
culture, a Chan master during the Song Dynasty found excellence
in literary expression a major asset.  Dahui Zonggao (1089~1163)
was arguably the Song Dynasty’s most important Chan monk. 

A valuable part of his education as a future Chan master took place
when he visited several times the already famous Chan poet and
literatus Juefan Huihong (1071~1128); Juefan assisted him on at
least two literary projects. Juefan Huihong (also known as Dehong)
was a member of a circle of monks and laymen belonging to the
Huanglong school of Chan centering on Baofeng Monastery at Mt.
Shimen in the northern part of Jiangxi province to which Dahui also
belonged for a number of years.

Dahui’s writings include a number of comments about Juefan Huihong’s
enlightenment, his expulsion from the Zhenjing Kewen’s (1025~1102)
monastery immediately following his awakening, and understanding of
Chan.  These are helpful in understanding Huihong’s complex relation
to the Chan school, as well as in illuminating Dahui’s view of Chan
enlightenment and training.

詩僧覺範慧洪禪師:

 一名宋朝禪師發現,良好的文學表達,對於禪宗立足於宋朝的
文人文化,扮演著重要的角色。大慧宗皋(10891163)或許可
說是宋朝最重要的禪師,之前曾數度參訪當時已成名的文人詩僧
覺範慧洪(10711128),這樣的養成教育對於他日後成為禪師
幫助很大。覺範在至少兩個文案上幫助過他。覺範慧洪(或稱德洪)
隸屬臨濟宗黃龍派,此派是以江西北部的西門山寶峰寺為活動中心,
大慧也曾在此依止數年。

大慧的作品裡有一些針對覺範開悟的評論,覺範是在被真淨克文
10251102)逐出寺廟時開悟。這些評論有助於瞭解慧洪與禪宗
的複雜關係,同時也有助於釐清大慧對於禪宗開悟與訓練的見解。

For more information about Zen culture in Song Dynasty, please click here:

http://ccbs.ntu.edu.tw/FULLTEXT/JR-BJ001/93610.htm

September 25, 2006

Backward is Actually Forward – 退步原來是向前

手把青秧插满田

低头便见水中天

身心清静方为道

退步原來是向前

Planting a handful of green rice shoots allover
paddy field,

While bending my head down, I saw the sky in
the paddy water.

The path to practice is to keep oneself mentally
and physically in peace and serene.

Realize that while walking backward is actually
practice forward.

Paddy field 

          —— People working in the paddy field—–

Photo courtesy by Mr. Aneez Ahmed/Flickr

September 21, 2006

Flower Was Prettier Last Year – 花是去年红 (a Zen Poem)

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花是去年红
法眼  文益禪師 (885 – 958)

拥毳对芳丛,由来趣不同。
发从今日白,花是去年红。
艳冶随朝露,馨香逐晚风。
何须待零落,然后始知空。

Flower Was Prettier Last Year

Wearing my hairy woolen robe and staring at the floral bushes,

The delight is different from the worldly interest.

My hair turns into grey from today.

The flowers last year is comparably deeper in red shade.

The beauty comes alone with morning dew,

The fragrance follows after the evening breeze.

One ought not to wait until the flowers withered and fallen,

then to realize its emptiness.

—– Poem by Zen master Wen-Ye (885 – 958) ———

 The patriarch of Dharma Eye Zen Linage

Zen poem study:

The author was wearing a hairy woolen monk robe, and was staring at the
floral bushes in the winter. He smells the fragrant as sent by the breeze. He
enjoyed the wonderful moment with delight which is very different from the
interest of worldly life.

All of sudden, he got himself awakened and mindfully found his hair became
grey while as the relentless flowers were still the same as last year except that
the  flower of last year is comparably prettier in red shade.

However the beauty of flower will be gone unavoidably after sunset. The
delight fragrance can not be shared far away even is conveyed by the breeze.
Why should we wait until the flowers withered and fallen when all the beauty
and fragrance are gone.  We then realize it as a dreamlike emptiness.

Reflection:   

While we appreciate the illusion of delightful floral scene as a true existence
in the worldly life, we will get lost in the reality of our true mind and Ego.

September 20, 2006

Spiritual Liberation by Encountering The Peach Blossom – 桃花悟道

桃花悟道   

靈雲志勤禪師       

三十年來尋劍客,
  
幾回落葉又抽枝。    

自從一見桃華後,    直至如今更不疑。   

  
Spiritual Liberation by Encountering the Peach Blossom   

Being a sword seeker for over 30 years, and      

Having experienced so many cycles of falling leaves and breeding new branches during the course.   Ever since my liberation once by encountering the peach blossom,      

There is no more doubts about the path of enlightenment as of today.    
—— Poem by ancient Zen Master Zi-Chin of Ning-Yuen Monastery ——    

 灵云志勤禅师悟道因缘   


  灵云志勤禅师,长庆大安禅师之法嗣,福州长溪人。初礼大沩,久未契悟。时长庆大安禅师
于沩山充当典座。

  
一日经行,灵云禅师见桃花灼灼,因而悟道,平生疑处,一时消歇。于是作偈曰:

    三十年来寻剑客,几回落叶又抽枝。
     自从一见桃华后,直至如今更不疑。
  沩山禅师看了他的悟道偈之后,反复诘问,遂与之印可,并教诲道:从缘悟达,
永无退失。善自护持。

  古人讲,开悟的契机因人不同而千差万别。有言下荐得,有从缘悟得,有读经明得。
诸般悟处,以从缘悟得,得力最大。因为从缘悟得需要有长期的修行作基础,是量变到一定
的程度而发生的质变,而且完全是无心而得。因此,一旦从缘悟得,便永不退失。从灵云志勤
禅师的悟道偈中,可以看出,他在睹桃花悟道之前,整整苦修了三十年。没有这三十的功夫,
纵然天天见桃花,亦不得悟入。

  志勤禅师悟道后,不久即回福州灵云山传法。
  其座下曾有僧问:如何得出离生老病死?
  志勤禅师道:青山元(原)不动,浮云任去来。

  这一答语,对于我们这些怖畏生死的凡夫来说,应该说是一个很好的安慰。生死是什么?
原本是人的妄想。究实而言,无生死可得。若悟本来面目,生死不过如浮云一般,而我们的
自性何曾减损过一毫,何曾移动过一步!

  志勤禅师在灵云山驻锡期间,与雪峰义存禅师之间多有机锋往来。
  雪峰禅师曾作偈送双峰古禅师,最末一句是:雷罢不停声。志勤禅师知道后,
另作一句云:
雷震不闻声。雪峰禅师听说后,遂赞叹道:灵云山头古月现。     
 

Zen poem study: 

Zen master Zi-Chin was popular in late Tang Dynasty (around 860-880). He practiced very hard
for 30 years on the path to spiritual purification and liberation. He called himself as a “Sword Seeker”
because a proper sharp sword can cut off the illusion and attachment. That means he was always
trying to find appropriate ways to break through in his Zen meditation and has accumulated over
30 years solid ground of practice.   

 There were many peach trees around him in the garden of monastery. He saw it for 30 years but
has never paid his attention to it at all. However, one day in the Spring during his walking
meditation, he saw the peach blossom and got enlightened on the spot.    

By the law of nature, the peach tree grows new branches, leaves and flowers on the season each
year. These flowers and leaves will fall after season. The same cycle constantly repeated every
year but the law of nature has never been changed. He suddenly realized that his true mind is just
like the law of nature which remains unchanged although the seasons kept changing it self. He thus
got enlightened by this occasion of encountering the peach blossom. He therefore made this
famous poem.   

Life At 40 – 四十自壽圖

四十自壽圖
Self-Painting of a great artist Tang Yin at his 40th birthday

Self painting of tang-yin 
Tang Yin (Tang Baihu) 唐寅 (1470-1523)
http://www.chinapage.com/main2.html

四十自壽圖


 
魚羹稻衲好終身
彈指流年到四旬
善亦懶為何況惡
富非所望不憂貧
僧房一局金縢著
野店三杯石凍春
自恨不才還自慶
半生無事太平人

Self-celebrating the 40th Birthday
Thickened fish soups, rice and simple robes are my 
favorite for a livelong.
Time flies through finger gaps, 
Suddenly enters the age of 40.
Lazy enough to do any good deed, not even talk about 
doing any bad.
Un-expect being wealth and un-worry being poor either.
Sit with my noble knees in a guest room prepared 
in monastic fashion.
Enjoy myself with few drinks of spirits at a 
countryside hawker.
Hate myself being incapable for a great carrier, 
yet feel myself being very blessed afterall.
Half of my live journey has gone in peace and safe.

唐伯虎,奇颖天授,才锋无比,本名唐寅,字伯虎,生于明朝
(1470—1523年)苏州吴县,科举失败后一撅不振,整日沉醉
于花、酒之中,以卖字、画为生。我们为唐伯虎痛心,因为他
怀才不遇、一生坎坷,我们为唐伯虎庆幸,因为若他一生仕途
顺达,充其量中国历史上又多一个无名小官而已,而唐伯虎这
个名字及其所造就的艺术颠峰将在中华文明史上永远的消失!
唐伯虎,诗、字、画俱精,是中华历史上非常难得的艺术家,
唐伯虎的画在他生前即名声远播,他死后更是声名大振,至清
乾隆年间,由于乾隆大帝对唐伯虎的字画情有独钟,把唐伯虎
的画名推到极度至。

唐伯虎的画,不论山水、人物、花鸟,都有卓越的成就,画艺
上绝不囿于前人已具有的笔墨气格,而是融会贯通,吸取诸家
精华,自融化机,他是中华历史上非常罕见的一位极具创造能
力的大画家。

唐伯虎的书法造诣很深,只是被其画名所掩,世人知之不详,
他的书法学出多门,又能透出自己的本来面目,笔势丰润灵活,
俊逸秀挺。唐伯虎传世的书法墨迹不多,以《落花诗》为最重
要,纵观全诗挥运纵横、舒展豪放,可以体察到唐伯虎创作该
作品时已进入心手两忘的绝佳境地,从中可看出唐伯虎书法造
诣之高深。

今长城出版社广罗唐伯虎字、画,得128件,弥足珍贵,其中不
乏世人罕见的极品,已逝世483年的唐伯虎也当在地下欣然有知
吧!

September 19, 2006

Poem supplementing to a given painting –

 

【李颀秀才善画山, 以两轴见寄, 仍有诗, 次韵答之】

平生自是个中人,欲向渔舟便写真。
诗句对君难出手,云泉劝我早抽身。
年来白发惊秋速,长恐青山与世新。
従此北归休怅望,囊中收得武林春。
 

Poem supplement to a giving painting:   

It naturally be familiar with my life experience, which
always motivate me to paint it whenever approaching to the fishing boat.  
 

My humble poetry is shamed (hard) to show-off to you.   It seems to me that the nearby clouds and streams suggest my early departure.    

My grey hair reminds me the surprisingly fast arrival of Fall this year.   

My early worry for the green mountain be refreshed soon by the seasonal change.    

I would better heading back north home now without staring at it further.     

A good wine is already stuffed in my traveling tote bag.      ——- Chinese ancient poem by Su Shi ——-    

A Zen Life of Dogen – 道元禅師法語 -2

 

道元禅師法語 

時有客來,烹茶聊天,胸中新竹去舊俗;
閑無俗事,洗缽品泉,回甘起舞弄落花 

—–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   
 

A Zen Life     

Once upon a time
There often comes my guests,  
Chatted while tea keeps cooking,
Mind is inspired by the new born bamboo which helps eliminating the old habits.  

Life is easy and care-free,
The bowl is cleansed for sipping the fountain water,
Tasty flavor lasts thus could joyfully dance around and play with falling flowers.    

——–Japanese Zen Master Dogen ———–      

Introduction:

Zen master Dogen (1200 – 1253) went to
China and was practiced 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.      

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