Dharma Message for 2Q11 and 3Q11

Laozi Sculpture Be completely empty.
Be perfectly serene.
The ten thousand things arise together;
in their arising is their return.
Now the flower,
and in their flowering
sink homeward,
returning to root.

The return to root
is peace.
Peace to accept what must be,
to know what endures.
In that knowledge is wisdom.
Without it, ruin, disorder.

To know what endures
is to be open-hearted,
following the Tao,
the way that endures forever.
The body comes to its ending,
but there is nothing to fear.

Available from Shambhala

Dharma Message for 1Q11

Zhuangzi Butterfly Dream Alan Watts on  the Wisdom of the Body:

“Because I speak of the wisdom of the body, and of the necessity for recognizing that we are material, this is not to be taken as a philosophy of ‘materialism’ in the accepted sense. I am not asserting that the ultimate reality is matter. Matter is a word, a noise, which refers to the forms and patterns taken by a process. We do not know what this process is, because it is not a “what” — that is, a thing definable by some fixed concept or measure. If we want to keep the old language, still using such terms as “spiritual” and “material,” the spiritual must mean “the indefinable,” that which, because it is living, must ever escape the framework of any fixed form. Matter is spirit named.
After all of this, the brain deserves a word for itself! For the brain, including its reasoning and calculating centers, is a part and product of the body. It is as natural as the heart and stomach, and rightly used, is anything but an enemy of man. But to be used rightly, it must be put in its place, for the brain is made for man, not man for the brain. In other words, the function of the brain is to serve the present and the real, not to send man chasing wildly after the phantom of the future.” — Alan Watts, Excerpted from Wisdom of Insecurity

The Wisdom of Insecurity


Dharma Message for 4Q10

Ramana Marharshi Q: Different teachers have set up different schools and proclaimed different truths and so confused people. Why?

Bhagavan: They have all taught the same truth but from different standpoints. Such differences were necessary to meet the needs of different minds differently constituted, but they all reveal the same truth.

Q: Since they recommended different paths, which is the one to follow?

Bhagavan: You speak of paths as if you were somewhere and the Self somewhere else and you had to go and attain it. But in fact the Self is here and now and you are always it. It is like being here and asking people the way to Ramanasramam and then complaining that each one shows a different path and asking which to follow.

Excerpt from Teachings of Ramana Maharshi In His Own Words, Edited by Arthur Osborne, Rider and Company, 1962

Dharma Message for 3Q10

The Voice of Silence cover The opening lines of H.P. Blavatsky’s Voice of The Silence:

“He who would hear the voice of Nada, ‘the Soundless Sound,’ and comprehend it, he has to learn the nature of Dharana.

Having become indifferent to objects
of perception, the pupil must seek out the rajah of the senses, the Thought-Producer, he who awakes illusion.

The Mind is the great Slayer of the Real.

Let the Disciple slay the Slayer.

For —

When to himself his form appears unreal, as do on waking all the forms he sees in dreams;

When he has ceased to hear the many, he may discern the ONE — the inner sound which kills the outer.

Then only, not till then, shall he forsake the region of Asat, the false, to come unto the realm of Sat, the true.

Before the soul can see, the Harmony within must be attained, and fleshly eyes be rendered blind to all illusion.

Before the Soul can hear, the image (man) has to become as deaf to roarings as to whispers, to cries of bellowing elephants as to the silvery buzzing of the golden fire-fly.

Before the soul can comprehend and may remember, she must unto the Silent Speaker be united just as the form to which the clay is modelled, is first united with the potter’s mind.

For then the soul will hear, and will remember.

And then to the inner ear will speak —


Voice of Silence by H.P. Blavatsky, available from Quest Books

Dharma Message for 2Q10

Taungpulu Sayadaw Taungpulu Sayadaw on “What Makes Meditation?”
(Translated by Rina Sircar)

“When you know that you are having greed, you are no longer in ignorance, but possess knowledge.
If you know that you are angry, and have hatred, you are no longer in ignorance but possess knowledge.
When you know that you are having ignorance, that knowing becomes knowledge and it is meditation.
Even if you become aware of the feeling, ‘I don’t want to meditate,’ that means that you have the insight that you don’t want to meditate. Since you know that you do not want to meditate, that knowing becomes the meditation — the mindfulness and awareness that you know what you don’t want to do.”

(Excerpted from Blooming in the Desert, Favorite Teachings of the Wildflower Monk Taungpulu Sayadaw, Edited by Anne Teich, North Atlantic Books, 1996)

Dharma Message for 1Q10

Nyogen Senzaki’s Prayer

(Excerpted from Like A Dream, Like A Fantasy, Japan Publication, Inc., 1978)

Nyogen Senzaki Dharmakaya is the Buddha’s holy body.  It is the everlasting sea of noumena. It is the eternal reality of the universe.  From this transcendent point of view,  there is no coming of the Buddha, and so there is no going of the Buddha. Yet in the endless sea of phenomena arise the waves of charity and loving-kindness, to enlighten the ignorance of all fellow beings.  The eternal reality reveals its loving-kindness in the manifestation of the waves of phenomena. Thus, there is coming of Buddha, and so there is going of Buddha, from the phenomenal viewpoint of life.

My first prayer is to make myself a mirror of Dharmakaya, and reflect the whole world and the beings therein …

My last prayer is that the everlasting waves will carry us all to emancipation, so that we may enter the flowery door of Buddhahood. My adoration is for the knowledge of all Buddhas, and I will devote my life to enlighten myself and have others enlightened.

NOTE: Sensaki was a dear friend and mentor to two members of the SFTS Lodge, Samuel Lewis and Agnes Kast. His teacher Soyen Shaku was one of the first Zen teachers to come to the United States. Senzsaki’s dharma brother was the renown D.T. Suzuki. Soyen Shaku said that Suzuki’s mission was to become famous and influence the course of Western culture, and that Senzaki’s mission was to live the simple life of a monk, and be like a seed planted in the earth.

Dharma Message for Q309 & Q409

Meister Eckhart via Matthew Fox
Meister Eckhart “God is creating the entire universe, fully and totally, in the present now.”
(Wrestling with the Prophets)

“God is a great underground river that no one can dam up and no one can stop.”
(Wrestling with the Prophets)

“The outward work can never be small if the inward one is great, and the outward work can never be great or good if the inward is small or of little worth.”
(The Reinvention of Work)

“Every creature is full of God and a book about God.”
(The Reinvention of Work)

“A person works in a stable.
That person has a breakthrough.
What does he do?
He returns to work in the stable.”
(Meditations with Meister Eckhart)

Meditations with Meister Eckhart


Dharma Message for 2Q09

Excerpts from The Key to Theosophy, by H.P. Blavatsky

Q: Having told me what God, the Soul and Man are not, in your views, can you inform me what they are, according to your teachings?
A: In their origin and in eternity the three, like the universe and all therein, are one with the absolute Unity, the unknowable deific essence I spoke about some time back. We believe in no creation, but in the periodical and consecutive appearances of the universe from the subjective onto the objective plane of being, at regular intervals of time, covering periods of immense duration.

Q: Can you elaborate the subject?
A: Take as a first comparison and a help towards a more correct conception, the solar year, and as a second, the two halves of that year, producing each a day and a night of six months’ duration at the North Pole. Now imagine, if you can, instead of a Solar year of 365 days, eternity. Let the sun represent the universe, and the polar days and nights of six months each — days and nights lasting each 182 trillions and quadrillions of years, instead of 182 days each. As the sun arises every morning on our objective horizon out of its (to us) subjective and antipodal space, so does the Universe emerge periodically on the plane of objectivity, issuing from that of subjectivity — the antipodes of the former. This is the “Cycle of Life”. And as the sun disappears from our horizon, so does the Universe disappear at regular periods, when the “Universal night” sets in. The Hindus call such alternations the “Days and Nights of Brahm” , or the time of Manvantara and that of Pralaya (dissolution). The Westerns may call them Universal Days and Nights if they prefer. During the latter (the nights) All is in All; every atom is resolved into one Homogeneity.

The Key to Theosophy
The Key to Theosophy; H. P. Blavatsky


Dharma Message for 1Q09

Excerpt from The Precious Treasury of The Basic Space of Phenomena, Longchen Rabjam

“Awareness expresses itself through its dynamic energy as consciousness that involves conceptual elaboration, marked by myriad dualistic habitual patterns that such consciousness generates. Since what are not objects are misconstrued as objects, there are five kinds of sense objects, and since what has no identity is invested with identity, there are the five afflictive emotions. These constitute all possible confused perception — of the universe and the beings within it. Even what manifests as samsara arises due to that dynamic energy, but when this is not realize, the manifestation itself is one of erroneous perception.

Through realization, within the vast expanse of being, of the true nature of phenomena — coming from nowhere, going nowhere, and abiding nowhere at all — there is “the enlightened intent of the total freedom of the three realms.” This is the transmission of ati — spontaneous presence, the vajra heart essence, arising from the wholly positive expanse of supreme spaciousness.”

Dharma Message for 4Q08

Saint Francis from Assisi St. Francis of Assisi, Canticle of the Creatures

Most high, all powerful, all good Lord!
All praise is yours, all glory, all honor, and all blessing.

To you, alone, Most High, do they belong.
No mortal lips are worthy to pronounce your name.

Be praised, my Lord, through all your creatures,
especially through my lord Brother Sun,
who brings the day; and you give light through him.
And he is beautiful and radiant in all his splendor!
Of you, Most High, he bears the likeness.

Be praised, my Lord, through Sister Moon and the stars;
in the heavens you have made them bright, precious and beautiful.

Be praised, my Lord, through Brothers Wind and Air,
and clouds and storms, and all the weather,
through which you give your creatures sustenance.

Be praised, My Lord, through Sister Water;
she is very useful, and humble, and precious, and pure.
[Read more…]