parting words

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    Parting Words Paid Member

    What goes through the mind of the person who chooses to go to jail rather than betray his spiritual convictions? The person who, refusing to be swept up in the militant patriotism that precedes most wars, chooses loneliness and isolation instead? It is hard enough to imagine how such a person passes the days and weeks—what of the hours and minutes? Isn’t it conceivable that the resolve of the heart might collapse under the weight of even a single moment—a moment when all self-aggrandizing fantasies of heroism have eroded and nothing remains but the fact of confinement, plain and simple as the four walls of a prison cell. Such moments carry a weight that the days and weeks can never aspire to. It is the weight of choice, and choice is always of the moment. It is always here and now. 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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    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 »
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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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    The Path Paid Member

    from the Dhammapada More »