Here are the first two paragraphs of the Flower Ornament Sutra. Titled
The Wonderful Adornments of the Leaders of the World
Thus have I heard. At one time the Buddha was in the land of Magadha, in a state of purity, at the site of enlightenment, having just realized true awareness. The ground was solid and firm, made of diamond, adorned with exquisite jewel discs and myriad precious flowers, with pure clear crystals. The ocean of characteristics of the various colours appeared over an infinite extent. There were banners of precious stones, constantly emitting shining light and produced beautiful sounds. Nets of myriad gems and garlands of exquisitely scented flowers hung all around. The finest jewels appeared spontaneously, raining inexhaustible qualities of gems and beautiful flowers all over the earth. There were rows of jewel trees,their branches and foliage lustrous and luxuriant. By the Buddha’s spiritual power, he caused all the adornments of this enlightenment site to be reflected therein.
The tree of enlightenment was tall and outstanding. Its trunk was diamond, its main boughs were lapis lazuli, its branches and twigs were of various precious elements. The leaves, spreading in all directions, provided shade, like clouds. The precious blossoms were of various colours, the branching twigs spread out their shadows. Also, the fruits were jewels containing a blazing radiance. They were together with the flowers in great arrays. The entire circumference of the tree emanated light; within the light there rained precious stones, and within each gem were enlightening beings, in great hosts like clouds, simultaneously appearing.
Read it once, then again – slower. Then again even slower. In so doing one can’t help but join this expanded jewelled world. Not ‘join’ as one might imagine a desirable holiday destination! Born of desire.
For me, when I am prepared to slow down, read every word, I find myself IN the bejewelled lands. Or better to say – at peace. The discriminating faculty having faded, almost, out of consciousness.
This for me is spiritual reading. Not reading to feed the intellect, just letting the teaching seep in through one’s ‘pores’. Just as when listening to a Dharma Talk – spiritual listening?
AND you might say, ‘Who, is going to do the washing up’?!!! Can we not get rather too over involved, concentrating on, daily life, as what spiritual practice REALLY IS. The Sutra has quite a bit to say on the matter.
6 thoughts on “Spiritual Reading”
This post is for Ross, another Reading Priory regular from the early 1990’s. In my absence, he has been reading Jade posts from the beginning (2005 Pilgrimage to East Asia). He has read up to 2008!
Gold stars for you Ross, dripping with light!
Prof. Robert Thurman of TIBET HOUSE US/ MENLA has been reading this Sutra, page by page on Saturdays over the last couple of years. Thomas Cleary, the, a, translator of what amounts to a very thick book indeed, was his friend and his reading is a kind of homage.
You can pay $20 to access the live event and so many recordings.
Robert is very funny and was part of the 60s and a close friend of the Dalai Lama and Tibet in its exile and estranged existence.
He, Robert, is a scholar, prolific author and a Buddhist in the Tibetan way/fashion.
Thank you for these quotations, Mugo. So timely/timeless…
I love your commentary RM Mugo. Let’s allow a beautiful reality now and again.
Thank you so much for this, Rev. Mugo. I can’t find the words to express how much I appreciate both the reading and your insightful commentary. I do hope you are keeping well. _/\_
This is dazzling. Thank you. Got to go and wash up now.
It WAS different the second time. :-)