parting words

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    Parting Words Paid Member

      One day P’u-hua went about the streets asking people he met for a one-piece gown. They all offered him one, but P’u-hua declined them all. Lin-chi had the steward of the temple buy a coffin, and when P’u-hua came back the Master said: “I’ve fixed up a one-piece gown for you.” P’u-hua put the coffin on his shoulders and went around the streets calling out: “Lin-chi fixed me up a one-piece gown. I’m going to the East Gate to depart this life.” All the townspeople scrambled after him to watch. More »
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    Countdown to the New Millennium: How Many Breaths Do You Have Left? Paid Member

    If you thought focusing on your breath to the count of ten was hard, consider the roughly 770,000 breaths you have left from Thanksgiving Day until the end of the millennium. A person breathes on average 15 times a minute, 900 times in an hour, 21,600 times a day—that’s 151,200 breaths drawn in a week. Here’s how many breaths you can expect to take depending on what you’re doing: 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 »