parting words

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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 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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    Becoming Unbound Paid Member

    FOR NEARLY TWO THOUSAND YEARS, these brittle birch bark scrolls and others like them sat in clay pots in Afghanistan. In the mid-1990s, smuggled out from under the nose of the Taliban, they made their way onto the European antiquities market and eventually into the care of wide-eyed Western scholars. Their excitement was well-founded: recent carbon dating tells us that these are the oldest Buddhist texts ever discovered, the earliest of them dating to 130 C.E. Written in the ancient Kharoshthi script, they are remnants of Gandhara, a kingdom that covered parts of modern-day Pakistan and Afghanistan and where Buddhism flourished from the first through fifth centuries C.E. The texts contain a variety of works, from sutras known in other languages to never-before-seen fables. Indicated below are lines thirteen and fourteen of a Dhammapada-like text, a verse also found in the Sutta Nipata of the Pali Canon and translated here from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu. More »
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    Leonard Koan Paid Member

               From Book of Longing, by Leonard Cohen, a collection of his poems and drawings from the last twenty years. Reprinted by arrangement with Ecco, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishing, ©2006 by Leonard Cohen More »
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    Easy Practice Paid Member

    Honen's "One-Page Document": In China and Japan, many learned masters have taught that the nembutsu is to meditate deeply on Buddha. But that is not my understanding. Nembutsu is not meditation, nor does it come from study. It is nothing but reciting namu-amida-butsu and believing in our birth in the Pure Land. The Three Minds and Four Modes of Practice are all contained in this. If I am withholding any deeper knowledge than simple recitation of namu-amida-butsu, may I be lost to the compassion of the two buddhas and slip through the embrace of Amida’s original vow. Those who accept this in faith, though they master all the teachings of Shakyamuni, ought to avoid putting on airs and simply recite namu-amida-butsu alongside illiterate followers of little understanding, no matter whether they be women or men.More »