on practice

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    The Encouragement Stick: 7 Views Paid Member

    The word kyosaku is found in modern Japanese, but is rarely used in its Buddhist sense outside the zendo. A glance at a standard Japanese dictionary will turn up various definitions for the characters kyo-saku, but not reference to the “encouragement stick” mentioned in English-language Buddhist reference works. The Stick in Zen Theory and Practice T. Griffith Foulk More »
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    Zen and the Art of Begging Paid Member

    It is the day for takuhatsu in Olympia, this small city in the State of Washington. After zazen and morning ceremony, we eat a modest breakfast of oatmeal and tea and still feel hungry. This is good, as one should not go begging on a full stomach. The rain has held off, but it is misty, windless, and raw. Streets and alleys are full of puddles. Only students who have requested this opportunity are participating, and two are doing takuhatsu for the first time. There will just be four of us. We are not trying to create a spectacle; we are practicing a tradition of Zen that dates to the time of Shakyamuni Buddha and has been passed down with the begging bowl to the lineages of the present day. More »
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    Listening to Philip Glass Paid Member

    The problem with listening, of course, is that we don't. There's too much noise going on in our heads, so we never hear anything. The inner conversation simply never stops. It can be our voice or whatever voices we want to supply, but it's a constant racket. In the same way we don't see, and in the same way we don't feel, we don't touch, we don't taste. More »
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    Where Do Sounds Come From? Paid Member

    Once, when Kang Xi, the second emperor of the Qing Dynasty, was a crown prince he went to Wu Tai Mountain to meditate. He usually practiced Chan (Zen). One day, as he was taking a walk around the temple grounds, he heard an evening bell toll. Suddenly, the ringing no longer came from the bell, but it peacefully resonated from deep within his mind. More »
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    Listening for Change Paid Member

    When talking about the different law in the universe and how they manifest themselves, one commonality is a kind of rhythmical vibration. You might say that all matter and energy obey these laws in particular ways. So when you chant Nam myoho renge kyo, for instance, the idea is that you are getting your whole life into rhythm with the fundamental law of life. It’s that sound, that vibration, that is bringing you into that rhythm. In some ways, it’s the entrance point. More »
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    When Rahula Rang the Bell Paid Member

    The Buddha then ordered Rahula to ring the bell and asked Ananda: “Do you hear it?” Ananda and the others in the assembly replied that they did. When the bell was no more heard, the Buddha asked again: “Do you still her it?” They all replied that they did not. Rahula again rang the bell and the Buddha asked: “Do you hear it?” They replied that they did. The Buddha then asked Ananda: “What do you mean by hearing and not hearing?” Ananda and the others replied: “If the bell is rung, we call it hearing and when the sound and its echo stop, we call it not hearing.” More »