February 2015

“Every Ordinary Moment” by William Martin

“Every Ordinary Moment”

We are learning to distinguish
between true and false power.
We see the clamoring of the young
for wealth and position
and we sadly smile and shake our heads.
We are less attached to our possessions and no longer dominated by great ambition. We are not enslaved by our desires and therefore not as vulnerable to the schemes of others.
Our thoughts are becoming clearer,
and our needs are becoming more simple.
Enough to eat,
a comfortable bed,
and the glow of friendship
suffice to delight us.

Isn't it wonderful to have friends visit
and to talk of gentle, hopeful things?
How pleasant to enjoy the aroma of morning coffee
and a sip of sherry before bed.
We have earned the right
to enjoy every ordinary moment.


"Beginnings" — Deng Ming Dao

---Deng Ming-Dao’s Book

This is the very first writing I encountered by Den Ming-Dao. My spirit soared!

This is the moment of embarking. All auspicious signs are in place.
In the beginning, all things are hopeful. We prepare ourselves to start anew. Though we may be intent on the magnificent journey ahead, all things are contained in the first moment: our optimism, our faith, our resolution, our innocence.
In order to start, we must make a decision. The decision is a commitment to daily self-cultivation. We must make a strong connection to our inner selves. Outside matters are superfluous. Alone and naked, we negotiate all of life's travails. Therefore, we alone must make something of ourselves, transforming ourselves into the instruments for experiencing the deepest spiritual essence of life.
Once we make our decision, all things will come to us. Auspicious signs are not a superstition, but a confirmation. They are a response. It is said that if one chooses to pray to a rock with enough devotion, even that rock will come alive. In the same way, once we choose to commit ourselves to spiritual practice, even the mountains and valleys will reverberate to the sound of our purpose.


"REALIZATION-WAY SONG " — Cheng-tao Ke, translated by Alan Watts in The Way of Zen

The Concept of The Power Beyond You

Like the empty sky
it has no boundaries,
Yet it is right in this place,
ever profound and clear.

When you seek to know it,
you cannot see it.

You cannot take hold of it,
But you cannot lose it.
In not being able to get it,
you get it.

When you are silent,
it speaks;
When you speak,
it is silent.

The great gate is wide open
to bestow alms,
And no crowd is blocking the way.

—From Cheng-tao Ke, translated by Alan Watts in The Way of Zen


"Not Ready to Be a True Teacher — Unknown

"Kasan, a Zen teacher and monk, was to officiate at a funeral of a famous nobleman.

As he stood there waiting for the governor of the province and other lords and ladies to arrive, he noticed that the palms of his hands were sweaty.

The next day he called his disciples together and confessed he was not yet ready to be a true teacher. He explained to them that he still lacked the sameness of bearing before all human beings, whether beggar or king. He was still unable to look through social roles and conceptual identities and see the sameness of being in every human. He then left and became the pupil of another master. He returned to his former disciples eight years later, enlightened."