parting words

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    May I Become an Island Paid Member

    To the Buddhas residing in all directionsWith my palms pressed together I make this requestPlease continue to shine the lamp of DharmaFor living beings lost and suffering in the darkness of ignorance.May I become an island for those seeking dry landA lamp for those needing light,A place of rest for those who desire one,And a servant for those needing service. More »
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    Parting Words Paid Member

    Thus have I Heard: When the time had come for Gampopa to part from his teacher Milarepa, Milarepa placed the soles of his feet on the top of Gampopa’s head, symbolizing that their work together was done. As Gampopa was about to depart, however, Milarepa added, “There is one particularly profound teaching I have yet to impart to anyone, but it is too precious to give away just like that, so you may go.” After this, the two embraced and Gampopa went on his way.More »
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    Black Teapot Paid Member

    When I say “the black teapot” I’m surprised that everyone knows what I’m talking about. So little of it is black. And yet you and I know which teapot I mean. We’ve agreed to call this thing a black teapot. If you ask me to get the black teapot from the kitchen, chances are I won’t come back empty-handed saying that there was a black teapot until I turned the light on and then it went away. If I were clever I’d turn the light off and grab it while it was still black. But halfway down the hall to your room I’d pass a light and it would no longer be black. Yet being persistent I’d put it into a pillowcase and if it stayed there it stayed black. More »
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    What Is The Sound Of Ice Melting? Paid Member

    “Respect simple, humble materials.” —Paul Kos What does ice sound like as it melts? It sounds absurd. But it’s not, as Paul Kos demonstrated in his 1970 installation “The Sound of Ice Melting,” based on the famous Zen koan “What is the sound of one hand clapping?” It’s just that any attempt to hear it is inevitably carried to an absurd extreme. The installation consisted of two twenty-five-pound blocks of ice set side by side on the floor, tightly ringed by eleven state-of-the-art, highly sensitive boom microphones, which fed into a powerful amplifier. Positioned just inches from the melting ice, the microphones detected even the faintest sound emitted. More »
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    Loads On The Road Paid Member

    Stu's stubby head tough old yellow dump truckparked by his place            "For Sale"he's fine, but times and people change. Those loads of river-run and crushed blue mime rockin our roadbed            Stu and mestanding talking            engine idlingthose days gone now, days to come. From Danger on Peaks, © 2004 by Gary Snyder. Reprinted with permission of Shoemaker & Hoard. More »
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    FAQ Paid Member

    The wanderer vacchagotta once asked the Buddha what became of the Tathagata (the “Enlightened One”) after death. But no matter how Vacchagotta phrased the inquiry, the Buddha explained that his question did not apply. Finally, he asked Vacchagotta to imagine a fire. “Suppose someone where to ask you, Vaccha, 'This fire burning in front of you, on what does it depend for its burning?’” Vacchagotta answered, “I would reply that it is dependent upon the wood.” “And suppose that the fire were to go out. What would you answer the person who asked you, 'This fire that was burning in front of you—in which direction has it gone? East? West? North? South?’ How would you reply?” More »