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    Ananda Weeping at the Doorpost Paid Member

    THE TWELFTH-CENTURY stone carvings at Polonnaruwa in Sri Lanka of the dying Buddha attended by his favorite disciple, Ananda, are among the most luminous works of Buddhist art. Monumental in all senses of the word, the Buddha image is more than forty-six feet long, the image of Ananda nearly twenty-three feet in height. Perhaps surprisingly, the visitor doesn't feel that the makers of this vast ensemble—the patrons and artists who wished and labored here—were pointing to themselves. The conception and workmanship are immensely refined. The scale of the figures creates an encompassing environment, permitting one to enter into the moment and meaning of the Buddha's death; it also "places" one as very small indeed. More »
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    Milarepa Paid Member

    I bow down to all holy Gurus. I am the man called Milarepa,
For possessions I have no desire.Since I never strive to make money,First I do not suffer
Because of making it;
Then I do not suffer
Because of keeping it;
In the end, I do not suffer
Because of hoarding it.
Better far and happier is it
Not to have possessions. Without attachment to kinsmen and companions,I do not seek affection in companionship.
First I do not suffer
Because of heart-clinging;Then I do not suffer
From any quarreling;
In the end I do not suffer
Because of separation.
It is far better to have no affectionate companions. More »
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    Classic Zen Excerpts Paid Member

    Hakuin Japanese Rinzai Zen master (1689—1769) "Is That So?" More »
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    Kakacupama Sutta Paid Member

    FORMERLY, BHIKKHUS, in this same Savatthi there was a housewife named Vedehika. And a good report about Mistress Vedehika had spread thus: "Mistress Vedehika is kind, Mistress Vedehika is gentle, Mistress Vedehika is peaceful." Now Mistress Vedehika had a maid named Kali, who was clever, nimble, and neat in her work. The maid Kali thought: "A good report about my lady has spread thus: 'Mistress Vedehika is kind, Mistress Vedehika is gentle, Mistress Vedehika is peaceful.' How is it now, while she does not show anger, is it nevertheless actually present in her or is it absent? Or else is it just because my work is neat that my lady shows no anger though it is actually present in her? Suppose I test my lady."
So the maid Kali got up late. More »
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    Two Classic Zen Poems Paid Member

    Han-shan Chinese Buddhist hermit who lived on Mount Han-shan (Cold Mountain) around the middle of the 7th century I came once to sit on Cold MountainAnd lingered here for thirty years.Yesterday I went to see relatives and friends;Over half had gone to the Yellow Springs.Bit by bit life fades like a guttering lamp,Passes on like a river that never rests.This morning I face my lonely shadowAnd before I know it tears stream down. Today I sat before the cliff,
Sat a long time till mists had cleared.
A single thread, the clear stream runs cold;
A thousand yards the green peaks lift their heads.White clouds—the morning light is still;Moonrise—the lamp of night drifts upward;Body free from dust and stain,
What cares could trouble my mind?
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    Toward a Lightness of Being Paid Member

    HAN SHAN WEEPS at the passing of those he knew and loved. Ryokan sheds a tear at the fate of a wayward teenager. These are tears of compassion, not those of anger, rage, or betrayal. For in the face of life's travails, such beings are essentially unflappable—though their hearts may still break on seeing other people's suffering, their weeping is without attachment. Such, at any rate, is the emotional life of arhats, the Noble Ones of Buddhism, who have extinguished all passions. Theirs is an otherworldly equanimity; the Pali canon, the classic texts of Theravadin Buddhism, describes arhats as being so at peace that they easily "endure heat, cold, hunger, thirst, the touch of mosquitoes, gadflies, wind and creeping things, abusive language, and bodily feelings that are painful, sharp, severe, wretched, miserable, deadly."
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