Friday 23 January 2015

Some Zen....

Some Zen....

Some fifteen years ago David Bell wrote a funny inspirational book of Zenisms.
Great book.

A young monk walked up and down the bank of a wide swiftly flowing river deciding how to cross.
He noticed a great Zen master on the other side.
He cried out to the wise master;
"Great teacher, how shall I get to the other side of the river?"
The master called back;
"You are already on the other side of the river!"

Thanks David.

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With love

Wednesday 21 January 2015

My calendar....

My calendar....

I have a Zen calendar that gives daily inspiration.
Today is particularly apt.

"A Hasidic Rabbi, talking about daybreak, the time for morning prayers, asked his students how they knew when night ends and day begins.

'It is when you can see an animal in the distance and tell if it is sheep or a dog.'
'No' said the Rabbi.
'Is it when you can see the lines on your hand?'
'No' came the answer.
'Is it when you see a tree and can tell if it is a fig or pear?'
'No' said the Rabbi.
"You are all wrong."

"It is when you can look on the face of any man or woman and see that they are your brother or sister.
Until then it is still night."
Hasidic Mondo

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Friday 16 January 2015

"A Monks power"....

"A Monks power"....

I don't know if this story is true, or not.
The Monks that I am privileged to know do not have any of the powers in this story.
On the other hand,
maybe they do,
and maybe I need to talk to a few of them about my dreams.....

A most worthy follower of Buddha, who was compassionate and loving, explained to a Monk his most dire financial problems.
He had been very wealthy, but through bad investments had lost the lot.
Now, he explained, he was in big trouble as he not only had to pay back his creditors, but also marry off his daughter.

"My advice is that you should buy a lottery ticket," the Monk told him.
The follower told the Monk that he didn't doubt for a moment that he could arrange anything including a lottery win, and he would wait till the end of the month to pick up his winnings. However he was slightly skeptical of how he would organize the win.

The Monk told him he would fix everything through the Grace of the Universe.

So he bought the ticket and told the ticket seller that the Monk had guaranteed him a win and he would be back for the money.
He then went to the local inn to stay the night before going home.

Staying at the same inn was a wealthy merchant.
That night the merchant had a dream about a Monk having guaranteed a lottery win and that he should exchange his worthless ticket with the winning one.
The merchant asked his servant to find the Buddhist to swap tickets.

The merchant's deal was refused even when offered a few gold coins as well as the ticket.
After much talk the merchant finally offered one thousand gold coins.
Our friend of course had to accept, and so the tickets changed hands.

Our Buddhist friend returned home and married off his daughter in grand style.
At the end of the month the ticket that the merchant swapped won the lottery.

The compassionate Buddhist decided to visit the Monk and ask what happened, and how a worthless ticket could win so much money.
The Monk explained that he had asked the Master of Dreams to visit the merchant and convince him to swap tickets.
"I also saw the merchant give you a thousand coins to marry off your daughter, and after paying your creditors you also donated a great deal of your winnings to the Temple",
said the Monk.

The Buddhist went home most pleased with his donation to the Temple and he became more prosperous than he had ever been before.

"Thank you to the Universe for showing us that even our dreams can be organized by an enlightened Monk."


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Sunday 11 January 2015

A story of re birth:..

A story of re birth:..

(My thanks to Fred whose birthday bought back memories of our time together in Fang)

Everything we say,
think and do,
effects our future.

An old man came to the Temple with two ladies.
One was aged about sixty five, the other fifteen.
It was assumed the elder woman was his wife and the child his daughter.

The man then began to discuss with the head Monk his plans to build a meditation hall.
He said he needed to build this hall within one day of his death.
He said that his death was not far off and he had been told this by his first wife.
When he said this,
he pointed to the young girl.

"One moment,"
said the Monk,
"How can this girl be your first wife and the old woman your second?"

And so the old man began to tell the following Dharma:

"This young girl was my first real love and we married when she was fifteen.
I was a wealthy merchant and we were very happy.
I loved her dearly and she was most beautiful and I cared for her every need.
There was however a problem.
She liked to steal things.

We would go out to friends houses and she would steal from them.
I did not know of course as the saying "love is blind" is true.

She would also go into our rice fields and when the harvest was ready and the bundles of rice were placed neatly, she would send our workers next door to steal their rice."

After a moment of silence, he was too upset to continue and the girl

"I was happy with him for some twelve years, but one day when walking to the fields, I had a feeling I was about to die.

I was wearing two heavy gold chains my husband had given to me as a wedding present.

I decided to bury them under the foot of a large tree beside the workers hut by the rice field.

And so I died and went to hell.

In hell they told me I had been so bad I had to spend one hundred years before I could be reborn.
My husband of course did not know I had gone to hell.

He missed me so badly he gave a large donation to the Temple in my name.

The head of the hell realm told me that because of his merit I had been given twenty years off my time in hell.

My husband then built a school in my name and again I received a twenty year deduction.

This happened twice more and the head of hell said I had to only serve twenty years for my wrong doing,
not one hundred.

My husbands merit had earned me eighty years off my sentence.

When I finished the twenty years,
I was told I was to be reborn in a town near my husbands home.
When I turned fifteen I was to marry him again and look after him in his old age.

I was told that he was to build a meditation hall in one day after his death.

And so I was reborn.

When I turned twelve,
I started to remember the past and I would go and stare at my husband.

He had now remarried and it made his second wife uncomfortable to have a beautiful young girl stare at her husband.

They thought me mad.
It became worse when I started to tell the people at the village and my school, that I am here to marry an old man who is already married.

On my fifteenth birthday,
I went to see my husband and told him of the gold chains.

Of course I looked and sounded familiar to him and when he finally decided to dig, I was happy to say not only found the chains, but said he would re marry me.

So now we are here to offer and gain merit by building the hall."

The merchant passed away a few years later, and a day after he passed, the meditation hall was built.

The girl died within the week and both were sent straight to heaven.
She to be ordained and to continue to help those afflicted and he to become an Arhat .
(perfect person or saint)

This story was told to me by my Dharma Master,
as was told to him,
as the truth,
by his Master who met the merchant and his two wives at his Temple.


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With love