torsdag 26 november 2009

Dogen and teaching/learning


If we value the Teachings we can learn from a post, a lantern, all Buddhas, a fox, a demon, a man or a woman. ... Long ago, Great Master Zhaozhou of the Tang Dynasty aroused the mind that seeks the Way. Setting out on a pilgrimage he vowed,

“If I encounter someone wiser than myself I shall ask for instruction from him or her, even if they are only seven years old. If someone is a hundred years old, if they are inferior to me, I shall teach them."

-Dogen, Rahai Tokuzui

He makes an interesting point about teaching and what/who you can learn about, but has he missed the point or directly found it?


torsdag 12 november 2009

Dalai Lama and teachers...


Some dubious people with little real spiritual training call themselves teachers, but actually take advantage of others in the name of taking care of peace of mind. This is unfortunate. It happens because, when it comes to spirituality, people are still very gullible.

-His holiness the Dalai Lama, imagine all the people

He makes an excellent point, but still misses the target.
What is a teacher?
Something that teaches something to something.

Is it the teachers fault if the student isn't learning?


torsdag 5 november 2009

dogen sailing


... when you sail out in a boat to the middle of an ocean where no land is in sight, and view the four directions, the ocean looks circular, and does not look any other way. But the ocean is neither round or square; its features are infinite in variety. It is like a palace. It is like a jewel. It only look circular as far as you can see at that time. All things are like this.

Though there are many features in the dusty world and the world beyond conditions, you see and understand only what your eye of practice can reach. In order to learn the nature of the myriad things, you must know that although they may look round or square, the other features of oceans and mountains are infinite in variety; whole worlds are there. It is so not only around you, but also directly beneath your feet, or in a drop of water.

Seeing this, that you, the sea, the vessel is not separate, is a good confirmation that you are on the right path.
But don't forget that there is still depths of the sea, land undiscovered.
Or is there?


onsdag 4 november 2009

Bookreview: Wake up to your life


Wake Up To Your Life begins by introducing Buddhism, covering basic topics such as the four noble truths, the three disciplines of morality, meditation, and understanding, and the cultivation of mindfulness. It continues with contemplations on death and impermanence, karma, reactive emotions, and the four immeasurables, and ends with practices for mind training, insight, and direct awareness. All the while he discusses the topics, he gives methods of meditating over the current Topic, giving it yet another base to stand on.

Ken Mcleod is an Buddhist trained in the Tibetan way. Some may say that this is an disadvantage when coming to speak about awareness.
I disagree. When speaking about awareness and “being in midst of life” this is for the better.
He views the matter from another perspective than usual, not from the perspective of mindfulness, awareness, and attention but more on “active attention”.
This leads to en perspective who is wider than usual, although it doesn’t miss the point.
I can’t say I agree with everything he says, like when he speaks about a teacher having to be an person, and that he strikes down on some sort of teacher he apparantly has met, who didn’t do as he thought he would deal with things…

This being said, I think it is important to see that Mcleod is an “Buddhist lighthouse” for beginners and those been on the path a while as he displays and discusses things in a manner suitable for the current generation, Giving everybody something they need/can use.

Is this a book I recommend then?
Even though he sometimes may seem a bit hard to handle. He still cuts through to the point with the skill of an surgeon. And I also do think this will be an important book in the future, who will find it’s home in many people’s bookshelves and hearts.