27.4.05

White Paper - Human rights

Introduction

Over 1.2 million Tibetans have died as a direct result of the Chinese invasion and occupation of Tibet. Today, it is hard to come across a Tibetan family that has not had at least one member imprisoned or killed by the Chinese regime. According to Jigme Ngabo, "after the suppressions of 1959 and 1969, almost every family in Tibet has been affected in some way". These facts speak volumes about the "democratic reform" China claims to have brought to the "dark, feudal exploitative society" of Tibet.

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26.4.05

This fleeting world

Thus shall ye think of this fleeting world:
A star at dawn, a bubble in a stream;
A flash of lightning in a summer cloud;
A flickering lamp, a phantom, and a dream.


Diamond Sutra

25.4.05

Help thy brother's boat

Help thy brother's boat across and thine own has reached the shore.

Hindu Proverb

18.4.05

Ghandi

Non-violence is the greatest force at the disposal of mankind. It is mightier than the mightiest weapon of destruction devised by the ingenuity of man.

Mahatma Ghandi

zen

The living eye of Zen sees clearly through the heavens: the livelihood of the six senses takes place everywhere, without borrowing the form or appearance of another.


Tzu-te

11.4.05

zen

Make me one with everything...
- said the Zen practitioner to the Hot Dog Vendor...

via~ ol

8.4.05

It is better to spend one day contemplating the birth and death of all things than a hundred years never contemplating beginnings and endings.

-Buddha

7.4.05

Whatever is not yours, abandon it. When you have abandoned it, that will lead to your welfare and happinesss.

Buddha, "Connected Discourses of the Buddha"

4.4.05

Not Always So

"People say that practicing Zen is difficult, but there is a misunderstanding as to why. It is not difficult because it is hard to sit in the cross-legged position, or to attain enlightenment. It is difficult because it is hard to keep our mind pure and our practice pure in its fundamental sense. The Zen school developed in many ways after it was established in China, but at the same time, it became more and more impure. But I do not want to talk about Chinese Zen or the history of Zen. I am interested in helping you keep your practice from becoming impure.

"In Japan we have the phrase shoshin, which means "beginner's mind." The goal of practice is always to keep our beginner's mind. Suppose you recite the Prajna Paramita Sutra only once. It might be a very good recitation. But what would happen to you if you recited it twice, three times, four times, or more? You might easily lose your original attitude towards it. The same thing will happen in your other Zen practices. For a while you will keep your beginner's mind, but if you continue to practice one, two, three years or more, although you may improve some, you are liable to lose the limitless meaning of original mind.

"For Zen students the most important thing is not to be dualistic. Our "original mind" includes everything within itself. It is always rich and sufficient within itself. You should not lose your self-sufficient state of mind. This does not mean a closed mind, but actually an empty mind and a ready mind. If your mind is empty, it is always ready for anything; it is open to everything. In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities; in the expert's mind there are few.

"If you discriminate too much, you limit yourself. If you are too demanding or too greedy, your mind is not rich and self-sufficient. If we lose our original self-sufficient mind, we will lose all precepts. When your mind becomes demanding, when you long for something, you will end up violating your own precepts: not to tell lies, not to steal, not to kill, not to be immoral, and so forth. If you keep your original mind, the precepts will keep themselves.

"In the beginner's mind there is no thought, "I have attained something." All self-centered thoughts limit our vast mind. When we have no thought of achievement, no thought of self, we are true beginners. Then we can really learn something. The beginner's mind is the mind of compassion. When our mind is compassionate, it is boundless. Dogen-zenji, the founder of our school, always emphasized how important it is to resume our boundless original mind. Then we are always true to ourselves, in sympathy with all beings, and can actually practice.

"So the most difficult thing is always to keep your beginner's mind. There is no need to have a deep understanding of Zen. Even though you read much Zen literature, you must read each sentence with a fresh mind. You should not say, "I know what Zen is," or "I have attained enlightenment." This is also the real secret of the arts: always be a beginner. Be very very careful about this point. If you start to practice zazen, you will begin to appreciate your beginner's mind. It is the secret of Zen practice."

Shunryu Suzuki, Roshi

2.4.05

Technical knowledge is not enough

Technical knowledge is not enough.
One must transcend techniques so that the art becomes an artless art,
growing out of the unconscious.

Daisetsu Suzuki