Troubled and confused is life in the three worlds
It’s not just the way things are today
Things have always been like this
Because you fail to realize the truth
You spend a lifetime chasing about
Reading the Buddhist scriptures, you become
caught up in names and forms
and never return
Practicing Zen, you become attached to nirvana
and end up being mired there
It reminds me of Master Tung-shan’s apt words:
“The moment you set foot outside the gate
Grasses are sprouting everywhere”
According to the Buddha, my teacher, life is only available in the here and now. The past is already gone, and the future is yet to come. There is only one moment for me to live in — the present moment. So the first thing I do is go back to the present moment. By doing so, I touch life deeply. My in-breath is life, my out-breath is life. Each step I take is life…
Many of us think that happiness is not possible in the present moment. Most of us believe that there are a few more conditions that need to be met before we can be happy. This is why we are sucked into the future and are not capable of being present in the here and now. This is why we step over many of the wonders of life. If we keep running away into the future, we cannot be in touch with the many wonders of life — we cannot be in the present moment where there is healing, transformation, and joy. ~ Thich Nhat Hanh
Praise of Awakening Mind, verse 1 (24 seconds long)
I am testing a new type of post (for TBLC): an Audio post. This idea has been tumbling around in my mind for a few weeks.
‘The Bodhicaryavatara’ by Santideva (Shantideva) is a most wonderful jewel. I hope to write a review in the next few weeks, but for now….I can only hope my voice does some justice to this treasure.
Om Mani Padme Hum
A little known secret: I enjoy quotes especially ones that take you deep within. Yes, I know, what a surprise! 🙂 It seems I am not the only one. most of my twitter contacts enjoy quotes also. Maybe like attracts like? Hmm.
365 Nirvana Here and Now: Living Every Moment In Enlightenment, edited and with commentary by Josh Baran is one of those quote books that you can let the book fall open and you have your ‘gem’ for the day or if you are me, for the week. (Barnes & Noble/Amazon do not have this book in stock at this moment…your local well-loved book store might though!)
Given the title, you would think 365 Nirvana is entirely comprised of Buddhist quotes, yet it is not so…. Examples: “With ‘I’ eliminated…this is Nirvana here and now. ~ The Buddha, ‘It is right in your face. This moment, the whole thing is handed to you. ~ Yuanwu, ‘You search for God in heaven and earth, but you don’t know the one who is right before your eyes, because you don’t know how to search into this very moment. ~ Jesus.’
And this from the Introduction by Josh Baran…’This treasury of insights, a chorus of the present moment sung by ancient and modern voices that span time, distance, religion, tradition, and culture – is an invitation’ … I could not have said or written it better. This little book has become a constant source of reflective material that sits on my nightstand within easy reach.
So tonight…I let 365 Nirvana ‘pick’ the quote ending this post…see where it takes you.
Just One Time
Where you are going
and the place you stay
come to the same thing.
What you long for
and what you’ve left behind
are as useless as your name.
Just one time, walk out
into the field and look
at the towering oak —
an acorn still beating at its heart. Peter Levitt
When it comes to reading books, I rarely choose historical fiction. In fact, this was my first spiritual historical fiction. (At least that I remember!) So I will admit some reluctance in starting this book.
Mr. Chopra does a fine job of storytelling with this ‘possible’ tale of how Siddhārtha Gautama became The Buddha. He outlines Siddhārtha’s separateness before birth and how human he was. And how different he was from others around him. Yet he was the same, for he felt pain, suffered, and enjoyed pleasures as all humans do. Siddhārtha’s difference is what made him seek out the answers to the questions we all ask.
I will not say much more about the book for fear of telling too much. I will say I felt what Siddhārtha felt and at times had to put the book away until my eyes were not clouded with tears. (Maybe I was just tired and thus the watery eyes?) And the end is not quite what I had envisioned but it was great.
Now for the not so good: I felt the story plodded much of the time. Sometimes the scene changed abruptly which caused me to go back over what I had read to make sure I hadn’t missed a line or so. I also felt there was not always a clear reason for the main character to make a decision when he did.
All this taken into consideration, I say…..read this book. Glean from it as you may or not.‘Buddha: A Story of Enlightenment’ is worth your time. ~ Debra Saturday