the One mind

Street calligrapher’s hands are as beautiful as the characters he creates.

a hundred gourds:

yet they have all untwined

out of a single creeper’s seed of mind.

                                                    – Chiyo-ni

_______________ 

Reference – Text was acquired from a poster hanging in the offices of the Center for Korean Language Education at Dongguk University, Seoul, Korea.

Photograph by C. J. Schake – © Copyright 2010 – all rights reserved, quality prints available on request.

Leave a comment

Filed under October 2010

a heartfelt joy

It’s time for tea and cleaning the butter lamps in Camp #4, Mundgod, Karnataka State, India in a Tibetan Settlement and protected area for Tibetan people living in exile within India.

The goal of every act is happiness itself,

Though, even with great wealth, it’s rarely found.

So take your pleasure in the qualities of others.

Let them be a heartfelt joy to you.

_______________

Reference – The Way of the Bodhisattva, by Shantideva, Chapter 5 – Vigilance, Stanza 77; Shambala Dragon Editions, Translated by the Padmakara Translation Group

Photograph by C. J. Schake – © Copyright 2010 – all rights reserved, quality prints available on request.

Leave a comment

Filed under September 2010

Following in the Forest

There is a canopy of green, a carpet of dark leaves, a well-worn path and friends found on it in the forests that still surround the birthplace of Buddha, Lumbini, Nepal.

In the sandalwood forests of the Malaya mountains, when an ordinary tree falls, its wood is gradually impregnated with the sweet perfume of the sandal. After some years that ordinary wood comes to smell as sweet as the sandal trees around it. In just the same way, if you live and study with a perfect teacher full of good qualities, you will be permeated by the perfume of those qualities and in everything you do you will come to resemble him.

‘Just as the trunk of an ordinary tree

Lying in the forests of the Malaya mountains

Absorbs the perfume of sandal from the moist leaves and branches,

So you come to resemble whomever you follow.’

_______________

Reference – Words of My Perfect Teacher: Chapter 6, How to follow a spiritual friend, I. Examining the Teacher; A Complete Translation of a Classic Introduction to Tibetan Buddhism, by Partul Rinpoche, The Sacred Literature Series, translated by the Padmakara Translation Group, Vistaar Publications

Photograph by C. J. Schake – © Copyright 2010 – all rights reserved, quality prints available on request.

Leave a comment

Filed under August 2010

Garland of Wishes

Garlands of white jasmine and rich colored roses grace the inner markets of Varanasi, India.

It is said in the Jewel Garland:

‘As there are infinite kinds of beings

The wish to help them is infinite, too.’

_______________

Reference – Words of My Perfect Teacher: Chapter 1, Taking refuge, the foundation stone of all paths, I. Approaches to Taking Refuge, 2. Motivation, 2.3 The Refuge of Great Beings, Quote from Nagarjuna’s “Jewel Garland”; A Complete Translation of a Classic Introduction to Tibetan Buddhism, by Partul Rinpoche, The Sacred Literature Series, translated by the Padmakara Translation Group, Vistaar Publications

Photograph by C. J. Schake – © Copyright 2010 – all rights reserved, quality prints available on request.

1 Comment

Filed under August 2010

Beautiful as the Bright Moon

Delicate and light woman’s sarees draped over a slightly rough exposed brick wall drying in the warmth of a summer night in Sarnath village, India, the place where Buddha taught the Four Noble Truths.

‘Someone who has acted carelessly

But later becomes careful and attentive

Is as beautiful as the bright moon emerging from the clouds . . .’

_______________

References – Words of My Perfect Teacher: Chapter 3, Meditating and reciting on the teacher as Vajrasattva to cleanse all obscurations, I. How obscurations can be purified through confession, “The protector Nagarjuna says: . . .”; A Complete Translation of a Classic Introduction to Tibetan Buddhism, by Partul Rinpoche, The Sacred Literature Series, translated by the Padmakara Translation Group, Vistaar Publications

Photograph by C. J. Schake – © Copyright 2010 – all rights reserved, quality prints available on request.

Leave a comment

Filed under August 2010

Defining Buddha

Statue of the baby or child Buddha found in the gardens of Lumbini, Nepal, the birthplace of Prince Guatama, Sidhartha, Buddha Shakyamuni.

Buddha: (Sanskrit, lit., the ‘awakened’ or ‘enlightened’ one) According to Buddhist teachings there have been four ‘historical Buddhas’ over the aeons of past history. The last was the Indian prince Guatama (circa sixth century BC), known in Tibetan as Shakyamuni, or ‘sage of the Sakyas’. The next, who will appear at some unspecified time in the future, is Maitreya, the ‘Buddha to come’.

Buddha Nature (1) – de gshegs snying po, Skt. tathagatagarbha, the potential of Buddhahood present in every being. AT: essence of Buddhahood.

Buddha nature (2) – The natural state of all sentient beings, which is infinitely aware, infinitely compassionate, and infinitely able to manifest itself.

Enlightenment (1) – byang chub, Skt. bodhi, purification  (byang) of all obscurations and realization (chub) of all qualities.

Enlightenment (2) – In Buddhist terms, the firm and unshakable recognition of one’s Buddha nature.

Natural mind – The mind in its natural state, free from conceptual limitations.

Tathagatagarbha – Sanskrit: “The nature of one who has gone that way,” a way of describing someone who has attained complete enlightenment; also translated as “Buddha nature”, “enlightened essence,” “ordinary nature,” and “natural mind.”

Nirmanakaya (Skt.): emanation body; of the two aspects of the form body (rupakaya) of a Buddha, the one that can be seen by ordinary beings.

_______________

References –

‘Buddha’, The Dance of 17 Lives, The Incredible True Story of Tibet’s 17th Karmapa, by Mick Brown, Bloomsbury Publishing

‘Buddha Nature’ (1), ‘Enlightenment’ (1), Words of My Perfect Teacher, A Complete Translation of a Classic Introduction to Tibetan Buddhism; by Partul Rinpoche, The Sacred Literature Series, translated by the Padmakara Translation Group, Vistaar Publications

‘Buddha nature’ (2), ‘Enlightenment’ (2), ‘Natural mind’, ‘Tathagatagarbha’, The Joy of Living, Unlocking the Secret & Science of Happiness, Chapter 7, Compassion: Survival of the Kindest; Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche, Three Rivers Press

‘Nirmanakaya’, The Four Noble Truths, The Foundation of Buddhist Thought, Vol. I, by Geshe Tashi Tsering, Wisdom Publications

Photograph by C. J. Schake – © Copyright 2010 – all rights reserved, quality prints available on request.

Leave a comment

Filed under August 2010

Seeing No Distinction

Freshly thrown clay cups drying in the sun found in the village walkways of Sarnath, India the place of Buddha’s first public teaching commonly know as “The Four Noble Truths”.

‘Whatever good or useful things you want for yourself, others want them just as much. So, just as you work hard at bringing about your own happiness and comfort, always work hard for others’ happiness and comfort, too. Just as you would try to avoid even the slightest suffering for yourself, strive too to prevent others having to suffer even the slightest harm. Just as you would feel pleased about your own well-being and prosperity, rejoice from your heart when others are well and prosperous, too. In short, seeing no distinction between yourself and all living creatures of the three worlds, make it your sole mission to find ways of making every one of them happy, now and for all time.’

_______________

References – Words of My Perfect Teacher: Chapter 2, III. Training in the Bodhichitta Precepts, Training in the Precepts of the Bodhichitta of Aspiration, 1.1 Considering Others as Equal to Oneself; A Complete Translation of a Classic Introduction to Tibetan Buddhism, by Partul Rinpoche, The Sacred Literature Series, translated by the Padmakara Translation Group, Vistaar Publications

Photograph by C. J. Schake – © Copyright 2010 – all rights reserved, quality prints available on request.

1 Comment

Filed under August 2010