parting words

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    The Duck Call Paid Member

    The following story is based on a Chinese Buddhist scripture called Bayu-jing, or The One Hundred Parable Sutra. It was originally translated from Sanskrit into Chinese in 492 C.E. by Gunavriddi, a Buddhist teacher from central India. Translated into English for the first time by Kazuaki Tanahashi and retold by Peter Levitt, this story is part of their manuscript, "The One Hundred Parable Sutra: Stories of Ancient Fools for Today." The Duck Call More »
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    Some Things You Can't Let Go Of Paid Member

    In his mid thirties, the artist Frank Moore learned that he was HIV positive. His paintings took a new direction: “AIDS came to the fore,” he explained, “simply because it was affecting every aspect of my life.” When he was very near death, after a long struggle with the illness, Moore painted two works (“Everything I Own I” and “Everything I Own II”) based on the Buddhist mandala mudra, in which the entire physical universe is symbolically offered to the enlightened Buddhas and teachers. Traditionally, the practitioner holds a handful of rice in his palms and releases the mudra, symbolizing the relinquishment of all attachments. In Moore’s two paintings, the rice grains are replaced by the actual objects he held dear: his New York farmhouse, his clothes, his refrigerator. More »
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    Parting Words Fall 2005 Paid Member

    A religious act is performed out of good motivation with sincere thought for the benefit of others. Religion is here and now in our daily lives. If we lead that life for the benefit of the world, this is the hallmark of a religious life. This is my simple religion. No need for temples. No need for complicated philosophy. Your own mind, your own heart is the temple; your philosophy is simple kindness. — His Holiness the Dalai Lama From How to Expand Love, © 2005 by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Jeffrey Hopkins. Reprinted with permission of Atria Books. Image 1: © Don Farber, taken at Bokar Monastery, Mirik, India, 1997 More »
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    The Cloud of God Paid Member

    It's just a little Shinto shrine: a strong woman could pick it up and carry it away. It sits in a niche in a wall on a nondescript corner of an alley in Kyoto that I pass by every morning, in an otherwise soulless neighborhood of the kind often seen around train stations in cities, especially that early in the day: monolithic apartment blocks, closed-up shops, empty streets. More »
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    Brushing Up Against the Buddha Paid Member

    I am not a Buddhist although I have enjoyed Buddha’s company for many years. Cast in cement, he sits quietly on the deck outside my painting studio surrounded by lumpy concrete animals all purchased at Pizzarilli’s Lawn Decoratives, Inc. on Long Island. According to Pizzarilli Jr., Buddha was not a popular item. The pond frogs, he explained, kept the family business going. I got Buddha and two guard dogs at half price and loaded my menagerie - encased in bubble wrap - into the trunk of a rented car. My wife shook her head, not believing I’d actually bought these objects-not-art, and we headed back to New York City. More »
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    Mind of Embracing All Things Paid Member

    Reading an early passage of the Kegon Sutra, I came across a poem by the Ho-E Bodhisattva which made me want to cry out, “How Wonderful!” Here it is: More »