01 September 2014

Contemplation: Labor

After reviewing the guidelines for practice, take the following as your contemplation:

Just as the rich elder,
Knowing his son's inferior disposition,
By his skillfulness
Trains his mind,
And afterward gives him
All his wealth,
So it is with the Buddha
In his display of rarities.

Threefold Lotus Sutra, p. 123, translation altered slightly.  Posted in honor of Labor Day. Lotus Sutra Chapter 4 is an extended parable invoking the role of labor in everyday life and in the Buddhist path.

25 August 2014

Contemplation: "Unfindability"

After reviewing the guidelines for practice, take the following as your contemplation:
If one observes the mind and searches for where a thought arises, where it remains, and where it goes, no matter how much one researches and investigates this, one will find nothing.  It is this very 'unfindability' of the arising, the abiding, and the passing away of all thoughts which is the greatest of all finds.
The Golden Letters, John M. Reynolds, p. 75; text altered slightly

20 August 2014

Potluck for Sangha Togetherness!

We're getting together at 6pm on Saturday, 13 September for a potluck.  This is an exercise in making connections on a virtuous basis.  In Japanese, this is called go-en, and it goes a long way toward building sustainable Buddhist practice for oneself and for our local community.  I hope you'll join us.  Please bring something meatless to share.   We're coming together at a private residence in North Arlington, about a mile from the East Falls Church metro station.  Email me to RSVP, and I'll give you the address (it's jikananderson at gmail.com).

18 August 2014

Contemplation: Don't be Self-Indulgent

After reviewing the guidelines for practice, take the following as your contemplation:
Today's sun is passing, our life is getting older and today, what joyfulness remains, is like a fish living in a teaspoon of water.  Now everyone endeavor diligently to rescue the burning intellect; be mindful that life is suffering, empty and transient.  Don't be self-indulgent.  Follow the mindful path.


"Kokon," as recited at Tendai Buddhist Institute

04 August 2014

Contemplation: Free of Bonds

After reviewing the guidelines for practice, take the following as your contemplation:
[The bodhisattva] is not bound by the conditions of his birth, and hence he is able to teach the Dharma for living beings and liberate them from their bonds.  As the Buddha has said, if one is in bonds himself, to suppose he can free others from their bonds is hardly reasonable.  But if one is himself free of bonds, it is perfectly reasonable to assume he can free the bonds of others.  Therefore, the bodhisattva must not conjure up bonds for himself.
Vimalakirti Sutra, trans. Burton Watson, p. 70; diction altered slightly

28 July 2014

Contemplation: A Star at Dawn

After reviewing the guidelines for practice, take the following as your contemplation
Thus shall ye think of all this fleeting world:
A star at dawn, a bubble in a stream;
A flash of lightning in a summer cloud,
A flickering lamp, a phantom, and a dream.
Buddha Shakyamuni, The Diamond Sutra (trans. Price & Wong), p. 53

14 July 2014

Contemplation: Beginningless Purity

After reviewing the guidelines for practice, take the following as your contemplation:
Because our nature is beginningless purity [...], we don't need to do anything to it or take anything from it, enhance it or reduce it, to make it manifest.  Rather, using the methods that are the path, we simply reveal it as it is.  Then our lack of understanding of this nature, our mind's ordinary habits and delusions, which are reflected in the impure samsaric experience we call reality, are completely resolved into the absolute nature.
Chagdud Tulku, Gates to Buddhist Practice, p. 147