Category Archives: Transmission Lineage

Being Compassion

Shunyata Karuna Garbham
Emptiness is in essence Compassion.

Nagarjuna, Fourteenth Ancestor after Shakyamuni Buddha in our Transmission Line

Sit still and then get up and be Compassion.

Note: Garbham translates as Womb or Embryo. The use of ‘in essence’ above helps to make the point that Shunyata is not an vacuity or ‘negative emptiness’. As my Master would say It is the fullest emptiness you will ever know.

Many thanks to the Reverend who pointed me to this teaching.

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Honouring the Buddha

When I am gone.
And the house seems empty.
Do not thou.
O plum tree by the eaves.
The spring forget.

The above verse appears on the side of the stupa at Shasta built in memory of Rev. Master Jiyu-Kennett.

Gathered in the gloaming last evening the community at Shasta circumambulated the stupa three times, all the while singing exquisitely. A new chant I was not familiar with. Simply walking and listening surrounded by the gathering night, in the presence of this magnificent white marble stupa, was yet another treat I wish to mark here. The circling of the stupa three times, a Buddhist way of showing respect and honour, was part of a ceremony performed on the fifth day of each month. On the sixth day there is a ceremony in remembrance of Rev. Kennett’s death; sixth November 1996.

This evening I found out the route of this poem, which is essentially a death poem. I felt sure that Helen Waddell was part of the picture and I was right. At the very end of her biography there is an excerpt from a letter written 9th April 1918. It reads thus:

H.W. to Dr. George Taylor
A scrap of Japanese verse from an old book of my father’s that I turned up the other day.
When I am gone,
And the house desolate,
Yet do not thou, O plum tree by the eaves,
The spring forget.

(My camera has died. So until it is resurrected, or I get another one, photos will be absent. Sorry about that.)

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Hidden Treasure

Getting out is a welcomed break from work on Jade Mountains. At the moment I’m adding categories to all of my postings, as well as poking around the OBC web sites for teaching material link to. I found hidden treasure!

Found on the Lions Gate Buddhist Priory website an extract from a letter Rev. Master Jiyu-Kennett sent in 1979 in answer to one from a lay trainee.

I cannot explain how to keep the mind bright except to say that it is an internal looking up, a raising of one’s aspirations in the midst of it all. Faith is essential here.

And here’s another treasure in the form of a Journal article published on the OBC web site.
The River is the Ocean; The how is as important as the why.

It is when we are spiritually on hands and knees that we learn the deepest meaning of bowing, of true gratitude and of asking for help. When the call of the Eternal is heard clearly, we must not stifle the uprising within in our heart, and “quickly, quietly and obediently say ‘yes’.”

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Now and Then Postings

Dear Readers and Friends,

Postings are going to be somewhat irregular during January, February and possibly March. This is due to a number of factors the main ones being I need to organize my year, which will include a trip to North America, and to (Uh!) write something which is well over due.

In Gassho, _/\_

That said the publication on the Internet of the entire Shobogenzo should keep everybody happy for some months. The file is 8.6 MB’s.

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Illuminate, Shine Light On

The main altar this morning.

Shakyamuni Buddha in earth witness mudra.

When Shakyamuni was enlightened, He said, “I was, am and will be enlightened instantaneously with the universe” and now, as we hear these words, we are assured anew of our own Buddha Nature and our ability to enter the path of Truth. When Shakyamuni died, He told His followers to make His teaching the light of their lives and to make their own lives shine as brilliantly as the sun; the light of Shakyamuni and His followers has shone through many centuries and has been Transmitted to countless people. We must follow in the footsteps of those who have gone before us so that our own light shall shine in the same way, and we must Transmit it, even as they did, so that it may shine brightly in countless worlds and for thousands of lives to come.
This text from the offertory sung at the very end of the Festival of the Buddha’s Enlightenment at Throssel.

Apparently last evening, as a parting comment at the end of a conversation about training, I encouraged somebody to write down some of the insights which had come during the week-end retreat. It was clear that the light of insight had illuminated segments of her life and others would benefit from what she had come to understand. We’ll see what she produces.

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