Sunday, June 24, 2007

Failing to make progress?

"When students today fail to make progress, where's the fault? The fault lies in the fact that they don't have faith in themselves!

If you don't have faith in yourself, then you'll be forever in a hurry trying to keep with everything around you, you'll be twisted and turned by whatever environment you're in and you can never move freely. But if you can just stop this mind that goes rushing around moment by moment looking for something, then you'll be no different from the patriarchs and buddhas.

Do you want to know the patriarchs and buddhas? They are none other than you, the people standing in front of me listening to this lecture on the Dharma!

Students don't have enough faith in themselves, and so they rush around looking for something outside themselves. But even if they get something, all it will be is words and phrases, pretty appearances. They'll never get at the living thought of the patriarchs!"

Master Lin-Chi

This passage is taken from "The Zen Teaching of Master Lin-Chi" translated by Burton Watson.

If you wish to know more about this book, you can click here to connect with

Lin-Chi's lectures were a mixture of the conventional and the iconoclastic. He is particularly famous for encouraging his students to free themselves from the influence of masters and doctrinal concepts, in order to be able to better discover their own Buddha-nature. Famed examples of Lin-Chi's iconoclasm include the following:

"Followers of the way [of zen], if you want to get the kind of understanding that accords with the Dharma, never be misled by others. Whether you're facing inward or facing outward, whatever you meet up with, just kill it!

If you meet a buddha, kill the buddha. If you meet a patriarch, kill the patriarch. If you meet an arhat, kill the arhat. if you meet your parents, kill your parents. If you meet your kinfolk, kill your kinfolk.

Then for the first time you will gain emancipation, will not be entangled with things, will pass freely anywhere you wish to go."

This excerpt is taken from the free encyclopedia Wikipedia. To be connect with the page on Lin-Chi and learn more about him, here.
If you wish to learn more about the Zen teaching of master Lin-Chi through 'A Buddhist Library', here.

"Stop! Stop! Don't try to expound the Dharma."

Vimalakirti Sutra

Thursday, June 7, 2007

"Give me freedom to fly without a shadow,

Give me freedom to sing without an echo,

and to love without leaving traces."

Monday, June 4, 2007

Bodhisattva's Vow

I am only a simple disciple, but I offer these respectful words:

When I regard the true nature of the many dharmas, I find them all to be sacred forms of the Tathagata's never-failing essence. Each particle of matter, each moment, is none other than the Tataghata's inexpressible radiance.

With this realization, our virtuous ancestors, with compassionate minds and hearts, gave tender care to beasts and birds.

Among us, in our daily lives, who is not reverently grateful for the protection of life: food, drink and clothing! Though they are inanimate things, they are nonetheless the warm flesh and blood, the merciful incarnations of Buddha.

All the more, we can be especially sympathetic and affectionate with foolish people, particularly with someone who becomes a sworn enemy and persecutes us with abusive language. That very abuse conveys the Buddha's boundless loving-kindness. It is a compassionate device to liberate us entirely from the mean-spirited delusions we have built up with our wrongful conduct from the beginningless past.

With our open response to such abuse we completely relinquish ourselves, and the most profound and pure faith arises. At the peak of each thought a lotus flower opens; and on each flower there is revealed a Buddha.


Everywhere is the Pure Land in its beauty. We see fully the Tathagata's radiant light right where we are.

May we retain this mind and extend it throughout the world so that we and all beings become mature in Buddha's wisdom.

Torei Zenji

Torei Zenji, a Rinzai Master, lived in Japan in the XVII th century.
He is remembered as a Zen historian and an eminent literary man.
His frail health and stay-at-home nature prevented him from being a man of the people or having the common touch, he was therefore never publicly acclaimed.

His Bodhisattva's Vow is part of the traditional Rinzai sutra collection and has been recited daily down the centuries by groups connected to him.

I found this information on Master Torei Zenji in A Buddhist Library, a site well worth keeping in our 'favorites' for our own research. It is a wonderful Buddhist educational resource.

They are offering more than 400 books and 6,000 articles. A real library!

Most of the material that is offered comes from the main Buddhist Traditions but you'll also find interesting material from the main world religions.
To connect with to A Buddhist Library, here.