Donde Esta the Master?

Donde estar, where is? That’s a small morsel of Spanish retained from the early 1970′s when I attempted to learn the language. Where is the Master, Where is the Teacher? The problem is in the question. Seeking inwardly or outwardly and one is no closer to finding the answer in the deepest sense.

Contemplating Who is the Master. we seek and we search, and honorably too. As we go on the Way seeking mind invariably alights here and there and in that there is not a problem. Not a problem if the basic Buddhist endeavour is honoured. That’s to keep ones eyes open, yet not grasp with them (or any other of the senses.) while keeping to the sixteen Precepts as compass and guide. Love, Compassion and Wise Discernment flower naturally through this non grasping.

In small glimpses, and sometimes not so small, there is the dawning of a realization that the Teacher/Buddha/Master is identical with oneself. What’s more the rocks, trees, rivers and grasses are Buddha, identical with oneself. When we say all things teach that’s what I understand the teaching to be. Non separation. Not a whisper of a gap.

The verse previously quoted says:

You are your only master.
Who else?
Subdue yourself,
And discover your master.

When I read the word ‘subdue’ I think of the horses, ponies, donkeys and goats etc. I’ve soothed into cooperation. A number of those creatures have tested me with their stubborn, flighty, ornery ways. When looking within oneself all those characteristics are present to some degree.

Compassion/acceptance for animals is essential as is kindness, gentleness, tenderness all exercised with a firm hand and mind too. As with animals so too with ourselves. The master in this sense is the one who exercises these qualities with a loving heart. Over time, and now, one becomes ones own kindest master. One that wont let you down. Donde esta the master? Now!

The Ten Decisions – Scripture of Brahma’s Net

So as not to neglect my thought, which is still there, to talk about the Ten Decision here they are for your Sunday contemplations. The idea is not to measure oneself up against them. Please! More take them into your heart and make them your intention, which is a decision in itself. Renewing ones intention each day goes a very long way.

See the two previous posts referencing The Scripture of Brahma’s Net. The text within these two posts prepare the ground for Vairochana to state The Ten Decisions listed below. 1) )The Devas Also Felt Apprehensive and then 2) What Caused This Radiance?

Then Vairochana Buddha, enthroned upon His lotus pedestal which contains all worlds, responded in detail to what the ten billion Shakyamunis of the thousand Shakyamunis had asked concerning the various aspects of the Foundations of Training, saying, “Buddhas know that, within a disciple’s patience and equanimity born from resolute faith, the Ten Decisions will point the Buddhist trainee towards the fruition of Buddhahood, namely making the following decisions:

  1. to renounce everything worldly,
  2. to observe the Precepts,
  3. to practice equanimity,
  4. to make a diligent effort,
  5. to concentrate the mind through meditation,
  6. to cultivate wise discernment,
  7. to be resolute,
  8. to be protective of Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha,
  9. to be bright-minded,
  10. to strive towards That Which is the Highest

The Scripture of Brahma’s Net, Buddhist Writings, Shasta Abbey Press. With thanks.

Pointing Towards the Fruition of Buddhahood

The chimneys

The chimneys

Glad to get out for a walk with my long-time monastic walking companion. We set off with the sun shining out of a blue sky with the wind behind us. Striding out we had a brief Dharma debate on the meaning of renunciation and worldy. What exactly do we understand when we use these words in Buddhism? Fairly quickly the conversation moved on to other things.

Anyway more thoughts on the subject will have to wait until tomorrow when I’ll launch into the first of the ‘Ten Decisions’. The first being….Renounce the worldly.

Buddhas know that, within a disciple’s patience and equanimity born from resolute faith, the Ten Decisions will point the Buddhist trainee towards the fruition of Buddhahood….
From Buddhist Writings, Shasta Abbey Press

To Be Grateful…

Tea Treat delivered by courier

Tea Treat delivered by courier

Feelings of gratitude come and go in response to having been given something. A present, teaching, advice, the extended hand of friend. And as it has come this day, a tea treat delivered by a man with a van; a gift via a courier service on a clear sunny spring day. Moved to tears earlier in the morning, once again realizing that Sangha friendship is a gift well past what might be exchanged.

During formal meals traditionally taken during zen retreats, and at other times too, we recite the names of the Ten Buddhas out of gratitude. The first one is Vairochana Buddha:

The completely pure Buddha,
Vairochana Buddha,
Dharma itself;

Vairochana is associated with/representative of emptiness or Original Body. With clear eyes Vairochana is manifesting everywhere and at all times, a gift well past what is being made manifest in form.

Thank you Sangha Friends for pointing to the pure body of the Buddha. Tomorrow I’ll enjoy tea, scones and jam with a visiting friend.