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Zen

Outline of Practice

Bodhidharma’s Outline of Practice There are many roads for entering the Way, but essentially there are only two:  entering through the Principle  and entering through practice. Entering Through the Principle ‘Entering through the Principle’ is awakening to the essential by means of direct transmission. It requires a profound trust that all living beings, whether deluded […]

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Zen

He Saved Everyone Before He Was Born

From the Collected Works of Korean Buddhism, Vol. 7-1 Gongan Collections 1: Case 1 TITLE: The Greatly Enlightened, World Honored One, Śākyamuni Buddha The World Honored One, without having yet departed Tusita (heaven),had already descended into the palace and,without having yet left his mother’s womb,had already completed the task of saving people. From the Collected […]

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Zen

Zen & The Conundrum of Words

Zen is… “A special transmission outside the scriptures,not founded upon words and letters.by pointing directly to one’s mind,It lets one see into one’s own true natureand thus attain buddhahood.” The above statement from Zen Master Bodhidharma is an interesting one. It alludes to what most people believe is the fundamental essence of Zen: That Zen […]

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Zen

Faith Mind Inscription

Verses on the Faith Mindby Chien-chih Seng-ts’anThird Zen Patriarch [d. 606 AD]Tr. by Richard B. ClarkeZen teacher at the Living Dharma Centers, Amherst, Mass. The Great Way is not difficultfor those who have no preferences.When love and hate are both absenteverything becomes clear and undisguised.Make the smallest distinction, however,and heaven and earth are set infinitely […]

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Zen

Three Approaches to Zen

The Three Divisions of Ch’an Buddhism by Zen Master Zongmi (Tsung-mi) There are various schools of Ch’an mutually conflicting with each other. The doctrines preached by these established sects are contradictory and obstructive to each other. Some of them Regard Emptiness (sunyata) as the foundation Some regard Wisdom (prajna) as the source. Some say that […]

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Zen

Mind Is Buddha

The master Huangbo said to [Pei] Xiu: “All the Buddhas and all sentient beings are nothing but the One Mind, beside which nothing exists. This Mind, which IS without beginning, is unborn and indestructible. It is not green nor yellow, and has neither form nor appearance. It does not belong to the categories of things […]

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Zen

No-Thought Is the Central Doctrine

Zen Master Hui-Neng said, “Good friends, since the past this teaching of ours has first taken no-thought as its central doctrine. To be enlightened to the Dharma of no-thought is to arrive at the stage of buddhahood. What do we mean by no-thought? The teaching of no-thought means:To see all dharmas without being attached to […]

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Zen

Zen Farts

Su Dongpo (a famous Buddhist poet) of the Song Dynasty was assigned to an official post at Guazhuo. Across the river, on its southern shore, was Jinshan (Golden Mountain) Temple where Zen Master Foyin presided. One day, Su Dongpo, feeling quite advanced in his practice, wrote a poem and asked his attendant to send it […]

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Zen

The Three Essentials of Zen Practice

There are three essentials of zen practice: Faith Curiosity Determination First of the Three Essentials is FaithFirst we must have faith. Faith that there’s a tremendous potential within us. We all can feel it. That’s there’s something more to us. That there’s this untapped power inside. We must believe in this feeling.We must believe in […]

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Zen

There Is No Tree

There Is No Tree To start… Light hits the retina (a light-sensitive layer of tissue at the back of the eye), special cells called photoreceptors turn the light into electrical signals. These electrical signals travel from the retina through the optic nerve to the brain. Then the brain turns the signals it received into an […]