Please visit the following site for a new systematic understanding of Zen Buddhism
(New interpretation of Dependent Co-origination, nirvana, etc.):
Please visit the following site for a new systematic understanding of Zen Buddhism
(New interpretation of Dependent Co-origination, nirvana, etc.):
We have a cool and clear Sunday, especially after sittings and service. We could see the renowned mid-fall full moon this morning, though we could not on the exact day due to clouds. We say Moon-face Buddha or Moon-light Bodhisattva, Sun-face Buddha or Sun-light Bodhisattva, who give life and light to living beings, even those existing before them.
Dogen made his last poem on the fifteenth of August in the lunar calendar. He had a premonition that his parinirvana, passing away or shifting nature (senge: 遷化, as a celestial bodhisattva like the Moon-light Bodhisattva in a wider community, or a universal sangha in four directions beyond separation), would come before long. It was actually thirteen days later:
Even in the autumn, when I’d expect to see it again,
I could not have slept with the moon tonight
We have a cool and calm Sunday after sitting and service together, supporting each other for all. Late last night I forwarded a link to an NHK ETV Special, Not Weapons, but Water of Life: M.D. Nakamura Tetsu and Afghanistan, to our listserv, along with a short English explanation of the video. Please watch it. Enmity never appeases enmity, but no enmity and peace-prognosis prospers!
Dr. Nakamura, sent to Pakistan in 1984 as part of an International Medical team, moved to Afghanistan in 1991 for medical service. In 2000, seeing sick and starving people facing a once-a-century drought with four million people straying near the starvation line, he decided to make a water intake to irrigate the Death Desert, Gamberi, into a “Great Green Land,” the key to their future.
In such a state, at such a time, the American air raid started. His notes said, “Bush roars of reprisal and Americans applaud. TVs feature an unknown country, Afghanistan. All seem to be charmed. Our civilization has floating feet from the great earth. It made me heartily sad.” He decided to take off his white uniform to work to provide water and food, beyond these in luxury.
The Great Green Land Project started in 2003, and seven years later it turned the Death Desert into a Life Land with the Malwarid Intake irrigating 3,000ha, green fields of wheat, rice, fruit, cattle, fish, etc., saving about 100,000 people (16,000ha, 600,000 people, 2% of the Afghan population in 2015). The people were more delighted with their traditional mosque and madrassa (school).
He noted, “They fly to kill; we dig earth to live…There is happiness and joy on the earth they don’t understand. We know the joy of getting water on dry land, the jumping life of children playing…and these are the base of peace.” “All living beings are living in harmony. This is proof of grace (of production). Even if this is in a corner of the world, I am thankful for witnessing it in front.
at the Thai Buddhist Temple
890 Lindsey Lane, Florissant, MO 63031
Sponsored by the Buddhist Council of Greater St. Louis
This half-day retreat is an opportunity for members of the various Buddhist groups, as well as the community-at-large, to come together to learn and practice the fundamental teaching that the Buddha gave on Satipaṭṭhāna, the Four Foundations of Mindfulness. Different teachers from our local centers will give a 20-minute Dharma talk, followed by a guided meditation. At the end of the day, we will divide into small groups to discuss our practice, and then come back together for a Q&A session with all the teachers. This promises to be a wonderful chance for us to both understand the teachings and to get to know each other better. Buddhism in St. Louis is unique because of the inter-cooperation of many of our groups and teachers. Interconnectedness is one of the main themes of the Buddha’s teachings. We welcome everyone to come and participate.
| Schedule for Mini-Retreat12:45 pm Arrival and Sign-in
1:00 Introduction to the Mini-Retreat and to Satipaṭṭhāna (Dr. Kongsak, Thai Temple)
1:10 Mindfulness of the Body – part 1 of Satipaṭṭhāna (Gage Winterton, Midwest Moon Sangha)
1:30 Guided Meditation
1:50 Mindfulness of Feeling – part 2 of Satipaṭṭhāna (Ven. Jue Huang, Abbot, Fo Guang Shan, St. Louis)
2:10 Guided Meditation
2:30 Mindfulness of Mind – part 3 of Satipaṭṭhāna (Xiankuan Don Shushu, MABA)
2:50 Guided Meditation
3:10 Mindfulness of Phenomena – part 4 of Satipaṭṭhāna (Ven. Master Jiru, Abott, MABA)
3:30 Guided Meditation
3:50 Small Group Discussions
4:10 Q&A with everyone
4:30 Dedication of Merit
Pre-Registration is required.
Please Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to pre-register
This is a free event. Donations to the Buddhist Council are welcome.
We hope that many people form the 21 Buddhist Groups will attend, as well as others from the Community-at-large
Groups are welcome to bring materials about their activities, meeting times, and retreats to share with everyone.
We have here a cool and clear world with fall weather. We now have a peaceful harmonious world, especially after sittings and service. In other parts of the world, however, extreme weather is taking place with hurricanes, typhoons, heat, torrents with land slides, etc. Scientists say a new anthropo-cene age has begun, as humans leave the remains of radiation, pollution, disaster, global warming, mass extinction, etc., dooming the fate of the planet.
So, we must have a Paradigm Shift, individually, socially, and ecologically. In essence we must advance from ego to eco, sin (separated suffering) to holiness (wholly wholesomeness), karma to dharma through nirvana (no wind, of karma). Individually we must cultivate ourselves by sitting, stilling karma, shifting to nirvana, seeing dharma, serving, and saving all. We must know that we are karma machines with the Triple Poisons causing samsara suffering.
Socially we must shift from our artificial uni-directional pyramidal civilization (urbanization) of power and matter in the fivefold calamity (delusion, bondage, discrimination, exploitation, extermination) to a natural cyclical Indra-net culture (cultivation) of life and heart in the fivefold bliss (awakening, freedom, equality, love, peace). We must become the clear crystal of the Indra-net to reflect each other limitlessly as awakening beings, as Mitra, et al.
Eco-logically and eco-nomically we must shift from nature as a resource to be exploited to nurture to be enriched. We must cultivate our eco (oikos, home, integral, inseparable, intimate living sphere or life system, holy home before separation into elements) as culture like that of the Indian Nation, enhancing eco (cultivating all-together as family members) as a global system with 5 Ss, global ethic with 5 Ls, material flow with 5 Rs, and information flow of 5 As.
Note 1. Religion (from Latin re-ligare, re-union, with holiness: wholesome whole, from sin: separation: selfishness) in Spiritual Revolution has been to revolutionize (revolve) the previous one, the Civilization Revolution (civilization, from Latin civitas: city, cf. citadel, discriminating outsiders – peasants, other citizens, other species, forests, etc. by city walls) with slavery, class, war, etc. for fame and fortune to reunify societies and ecology for/in (?) friendship (the ideal figure: future savior: everyone’s potential: Mitra, Mithra, Maitreya, Massiah, Messiah, et al means friend) and freedom ( = Sanskrit priya-dhāman, beloved domain).
The 5 Ls are the five essential principles of the global ethic: Law (of Dependent Co-origination, i.e., all phenomena are interdependently co-originated), Life, Love, Liberation, and Lieless-ness.
The 5 Rs are the five principal ways to manage material flow: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Rearrange, and Restore.
The 5 As are the five principal ways to manage information flow: Access, Assess, Agree, Act, and Advise.
After a long spell of hot and dry weather we had a brief thunderstorm yesterday, giving life to all. Sesshin (摂・接心) means embracing and touching the heart, which gives life to all. We live the long night of nescience of our life like heartless karma-automatons, unless we sit, still karma, and embrace and touch the heart of ourselves and all, the awakened heart, not a karmic one.
The Buddha advised us to protect our senses (dvāra-gutta: doors guarded, from karma consequences) and strive in the Awakened Way. The Awakened Way consists of awakening (bodhi)-nirvana or prognosis (prajňā)-cultivation (bhāvanā). Bhāvanā (cultivation, wakeful life, cf. Fourfold Efforts, etc.) is the causative form of bhava (becoming, blind karma-conditioned ordinary life).
The Eightfold Holy Way is to cultivate right view (sammā-dițțhi, seeing as it is), etc. Right (sammā) relates with the prefix sam (syn), the Holy Way, which leads to the cessation of suffering (nirvana) in the Four Holy Truths. Buddhist faith (pasāda, prasāda, from sad: sit, settle in truth, sacca, sat-ya, being-ness) is in contrast to belief (credo: saddhā, fervent devotion to personal doctrines).
Our karma creates the Triple Poisons of delusion, divisiveness, and desire, resulting in suffering. The constant cultivation or practice of sitting, stilling karma (conception, emotion, volition), perfects prognosis in peace (nirvana), making an awakened life in holy harmony, health, and happiness for anyone here and now. Let’s cultivate our karma living “a good day, every day,” for all.
Note: 1. Our ordinary life is karma-conditioned leading to the Triple Poisons, resulting in sin (=separated sickness: selfishness, self-righteousness, etc.) in suffering. Thus, we need to cultivate our karma led by the Triple Learning (sīla, samādhi, prajňā: morality, concentration, prognosis), resulting in holiness (=wholly wholesomeness: harmony, health, etc.) in happiness of all.
We have very good weather with crisp, clear, cool air breezes like autumn today. We have especially holy harmony and happiness after sittings and service. I watched the NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation) Special, “1945-1946, A Blank Year: How ‘the base island’ was born.” It revealed that two strands of the State Department and Joint Chiefs of Staff, represented by the Okinawa Naval and Army governing bodies (the former liberating Okinawa with the people’s Okinawa Advisory Council and the latter continuing military bases), moved to the latter due to communist expansion.
The members of the Okinawa Advisory Council was thinking of their own constitution and even presidential system, but GHQ commander McArthur abolished Naval rule there and fortified bases, considering Okinawans not Japanese. He even sent Okinawans in the mainland back to Okinawa where there were no jobs but base construction. Communism, allowing violent revolution, must have moved even partially to such move, inciting an arms race and cold war. Wars never end, unless we end the sinful karmas of the triple poisons (delusion, divisiveness, and desire), which lead to conflict and catastrophe.
Therefore, we should not justify ourselves with them and must make our Paradigm Shift from sinful karma suffering to holy nirvana happiness and that from artificial uni-directional pyramid civilization (=urbanization) for matter and power to natural cyclical Indra-net culture (=cultivation) for life and heart to save life and the life system from destruction and demise. The Buddha said,
Enmity is never appeased by enmity here,
But by non-enmity. This is the truth forever.
– The Dhammapada 5
Better than the one conquering thousands upon thousands in wars Is the one conquering oneself. He is the greatest of war conquerors.
-The Dhammapada 103
Conquering oneself requires conquering one’s sin (=separation), coming from karma (action, habit, heredity). Before we are nationals, we are human, living beings, life, universe, truth. If we can become Tathāgata, Thus-being or being in Thusness, truth, we transcend selfish, sinful egoism, nationalism, etc. Whatever political, economic systems we may have, we must undergo the suffering of birth, sickness, aging, death, loss, parting, etc. If we conquer karma questions, we solve sinful suffering, individual, social, and environmental, at once for all forever. Come and see it!
Rain made the dry summer scene into the rainy season. This may be a part of global warming. Yesterday I saw our grandchildren, just over two years old, carrying big cantaloupes, holding them firmly from farm to home, and thought about human potential promising, to private property or public propriety.
Another cantaloupe had a hole and corn ears were eaten by ants, squirrels, rabbits, or deer, whose recent appearance may also be due to global warming? A watermelon kept for children was already overripe and empty. Overladen plums and peaches a few years ago, boughs broken due to it, stand fruitless.
I saw You Tube pictures of a thousand riot policemen sent from prefectures outside Okinawa removing protesters against osprey, widow-maker, helipad construction near Takae with 150 villagers, in Okinawa. The Abe administration restarted it a day after his cabinet member failed in the election.
Public servants (prime minister, representatives, officials, policemen, etc.) must follow the constitution of people’s sovereignty, human rights, and peace, but they try to destroy it. Everyone must sit, still the karma-machine, see truth/ethic, serve and save the dignity of all life and the integral life system.
We have a peaceful and harmonious Sunday morning after sittings and service as usual. We don’t, however, know what will happen next. About this time on a hot summer morning seventy-one years ago the first A-bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, claiming tens of thousands of people’s lives instantly, creating a hell scene with ghosts screaming and straying everywhere. The second one fell on Nagasaki and the dead mounted to more than scores of thousands by the end of the year. The radiation still tortures and deaths continue even today.
The most imminent catastrophe we can have is nuclear holocaust any moment, even by a man by mandate, madness, mistake, terrorism, or by natural disaster. Human civilizations have never realized equality and democracy, but are rather vested with the fivefold calamity of delusion, bondage, discrimination, exploitation, and destruction. Obama recently visited Hiroshima and said, “Death fell from the sky.” Humans create Death and conquer it by conquering karma with the five blisses of awakening, freedom, equality, love, and peace.
This year’s Hiroshima Peace Proclamation quoted Obama’s address there: “We must have the courage to escape the logic of fear,” a world free from that “absolute evil,” that ultimate inhumanity. The fear comes from the delusion of a separate self, individually or collectively, which comes from karma. Anyone can sit still, still karma, see dharma, serve and save all with the fivefold bliss, living limitless light, liberation, love, likeness, and life, making every day a good day, freed from fallacy, fear, and failure.
Lt. General Leslie Groves, head of the Manhattan Project, acted on fear of failure of the Project and planned the success of the bombs’ effectiveness against Truman and Stimson, who feared outdoing Hitler’s atrocities. We must make ourselves free from fear personally as well as making the paradigm shift from the pyramidal power civilization to a cyclical life-net culture socially. Please read the free resourceful book Nuclear War by Raymond Wilson, whose chapter, “Workable World Peace Plan” I forwarded to our listserv.
Note: Raymond G. Wilson, NUCLEAR WAR: Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and A Workable Moral Strategy for Achieving and Preserving World Peace is available free in pdf format here:
We have a calm clear Sunday morning after sittings and service. We are in sesshin, which means touching the heart (接心) and embracing it (摂心). The heart expresses an integral psycho-physical system and function, which we usually divide into mind and body. The best sitting, breathing, and mental state reintegrate into one holy (wholly wholesome) world in peace and truth.
Continued sitting practice can reach nirvana (unconditioned peace, lit. no wind of karma) and bodhi (awakening) of the Dharma of Dependent Co-origination (truth/law of all forms/phenomena that all are dependently co-originated on causes and conditions). This leads to the fourfold Brahma-vihāra (disport, monastery) or limitlessness of friendship, compassion, joy, and equanimity.
The present Vihara (in ancient Magadha) state in northern India had many Buddhist monasteries (originally disport place, recluses’s hut, developed into their meeting and then practice place), where they practiced sitting meditation and lived in limitless light, love, liberation, and life, concretely in the fourfold embracing matters of giving, loving speech, beneficial action, and sameness.
These lead to the eightfold awakening of the awakened way of great people of little desire, satisfaction, serenity, striving, mindfulness, concentration, prognosis, and no idle talk, which the Buddha, Dogen, et al. gave as their last admonition. Equanimity is literally renunciation (letting go of karmas of conception, emotion, volition, etc.) leading to harmony, health, and happiness.