on practice

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    4'33'' Paid Member

    “…silence is not acoustic. It is a change of mind, a turning around.” —John Cage The most famous instance of silence in the American arts had its debut almost half a century ago, on August 29, 1952, a muggy night in Woodstock, New York, the artists’ colony two hours north of New York City. Pianist David Tudor stepped on stage at the Maverick Concert Hall and walked over to a grand piano. He closed the lid, silencing the instrument. Seating himself on the piano bench, he opened the score, set a stopwatch, and folded his hands. John Cage’s 4’33’’—the “silent piece”—was about to begin. More »
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    The Ten Oxherding Pictures Paid Member

    The ten oxherding pictures describe the, Zen training path to enlightenment, Folk images are accompanied by poems and commentaries. They depict a young oxherder whose quest leads him to tame, train, and transform his heart and mind, a process that is represented by subduing the ox. Even though these images are presented in a sequence, MARTINE BATCHELOR cautions us against thinking that self-development and Zen practice go in a straight line; It is more like a spiral, and we go back to different stages but with more understanding. You can see these pictures adorning the walls of Zen temples in China, Korea, and Japan. The following commentary by Batchelor is adapted from her new book, Principles of Zen (Thorsons/HarperCollins). The short pieces at the beginning of each commentary are poetic verses by MASTER KUSAN, first printed in his book The Way of Korean Zen. More »
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    Anger and Patience Paid Member

    "There is no error greater than hatred, And nothing mightier than patience. So I strive in every way to learn patience." —Shakyamuni Buddha   Think of anger. Anger is the mind that wishes to harm and hurt. Patience is the mind that holds back from harming or hurting. Anger is most difficult to deal with; patience is most difficult to develop. Patience is the only thing that defeats anger. Don't be disappointed if you can't do it right away. Even after years of practice you may find that you're still losing your temper. It's all right. But you will also notice that the power of anger has weakened, that it doesn't last as long, and does not as easily turn into hatred. If patience comes easily to you, wonderful. If not, how do go from anger to patience? More »
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    Death As A Mirror Paid Member

    A beloved father is tended by his daughter; a young man's partner dies of AIDS; an ex-lover cares for a victim of leukemia. In these and other stories, Buddhists talk about how their practice supported the as they cared for those they loved. With teaching from Judith L. Lief, Frank Ostaseski, Philip Kapleau, and Sogyal Rinpoche.Judith Lief on Beginning at the Beginning Raja Hornstein's A Caregiver's Story More »
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    On the Blessings of Atmosphere Paid Member

    How then do we most sensitively help ordinary spiritual practitioners who are dying? All of us will need the love and care that comes with emotional and practical support, but for spiritual practitioners the atmosphere, instensity, and dimension of spiritual help take on a special meaning. It would be ideal, and a great blessing, if their master were with them; but if this is not possible, their spiritual friends can be of enormous help in reminding the dying person of the essence of the teachings and the practice that has been closeset to their heart during life. For a practitioner who is dying, spiritual inspiration, and the atmosphere of trust and faith and devotion that will naturally arise from it, are essential. More »
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    On Breathing Together Paid Member

    For you to be composed and concentrated will help the dying person continue with equanimity on their journey into the after-death state. It can be both calming and otherwise helpful to the dying patient for you to share with them the counting of their breath for periods of about twenty minutes, perhaps several times a day, as they near the threshold of death. You might begin by holding the dying person's hand as the two of you join in counting. First, however, quietly suggest that they concentrate on relaxing one part of their body at a time, such as each arm, each foot, the neck, and so on, until their whole body has been relaxed. Then begin quietly counting aloud to them as they breathe in and out. Count "One" on the inhalation, "Two" on the exhalation, "Three" on the inhalation, and so on, synchronizing your counting with their breathing. Breathe yourself in unison with the counting and their breathing. After counting up to ten, begin with one again. More »