What is the Way? asked Chao-Chou Nan-Ch’uan. Nan-Ch’uan answered, “Ordinary mind is the Way.”
(by Steve Hagen)
The book “Buddhism Plain and Simple” (by Steve Hagen) shares the fundamental teachings of the Buddha, explains the twelvefold path, and includes Zen stories.
At Amazon: Buddhism Plain and Simple
At that moment Aos realized he was not alone; and a voice asked:
“Hast thou no fear?”
Laughing aloud, Aaos answered:
“Hidden from thy small susceptibilities, monstrous enormities are commited! On the day my wind bloweth a little the cow-dust away-thou O fool, shalt vomit hot blood at thine own prostitution and incest. When thou knowest not, the lust wills non-rationally, the belief bindeth with modest Ideas; the body is subject and suffers. What man can prevent his belief from incarnating? Who is free of filth and disease? All men are servile to the great unconsciousness of thier purpose in desire. The I thinks, the Self doth. There is no salvation from desire, neither day nor night does it cease its lengthy procreation of cause and effect: penetrating all things inexplicably. Endless are its elements and nothing whatsoever escapes its embrace-but its own Self-love. . . . Should I fear my I?”
Coming back to Burned Norton, the whole Poem reminds me about the mystic state of Neither-Neither as the manifestation of non- manifestation. Neither-Neither, is a concept from the great Artist and Master Austin Osman Spare.
From The Focus Of Life by Austin Osman Spare:
Reality exists but not in consciousness of such: this phenomenal ‘I’ is noumenal and neither-neither. Now thus is concentration explained: “The will, the desire, the belief; lived as inseparable, become realization.” Truth concerns exactitude of belief, not reality.
He who has no law is free. In all things there is no necessity.
“Behold thou hoary, white headed, thou silent watcher of night and day: thou death-clutch on the smallnesses of Time! This neither-neither I, shall transvalue ennui, fear, and all diseases to my wish. Dead is my misery in suffering! How could it exist in my Zodiac, unwilled? I, who transcend ecstasy by ecstasy meditating Need not be in Self-love! Verily, this constant ecstasy I indraw from Self-creation. By castrating ‘of,’ my belief is balanced: my arbitrary automatism serving its diverse self-pleasure.”
Then Aos meditated and murmured: “All things exist by me: all men exist in me, yet who doth not turn away from his own superabundance while realizing? All desire is for unity: thus my vision seeth through mine ears. Let my unity be realized sufficiently, thus shall my sexuality be convenient unto itself and escape the conceivable . . . Where is lust when the tests wither? Verily these senses have a further pupose beyond their own: thus shall thou steal the fire from Heaven. All things return to their earliest functions.”
Non-Volitional Living – Wei Wu Wei
What am I ? As far as I can understand I am the absence of my presence and the absence of the presence of my absence.
Little is known of the mysterious Wei Wu Wei, and yet his contribution to the body of modern mystical literature is profound. Using examples from the writings of the great sages of Taoism, Zen and Advaita, in a most captivating and erudite original style, a sense of the noumenal presence, which is what everything is before thought, is conveyed to the reader with irreducible clarity and precision.
While much of what is written around the subject of enlightenment and the nature of reality as presented in the esoteric traditions of the East is couched in narrative or dialogue form, Wei Wu Wei goes straight for the jugular, espousing ancient wisdom in a penetrating philosophical language, including nothing superfluous and leaving nothing out. Quoting Huang Po
The nature of the Absolute is neither perceptible nor imperceptible; and with phenomena it is just the same. But to one who has discovered his real nature, how can there be anywhere or anything separate from it?…
…Therefore it is said: ‘The perception of a phenomenon IS the perception of the Universal Nature, since phenomena and Mind are one and the same.
“Nothing is the great mystery. It cannot be described. Words can try to touch it. Zen may be such a word and Tao, Christ, Allah, Buddha, and others. There is a word called ‘God.”
Janwillem van de Wetering in A Glimpse of Nothingness
Janwillem Van de Wetering writes in his great book “The Empty Mirror” about his experiences in a Japanese Zen Monastery. He does this in a verry nice, funny self reflecting way. I enjoyed this book so much that I will start reading the sequel (?) book about his Zen experience, A Glimpse of Nothingness, today. I found The Empty Mirror verry inspiring and you get to know much about Zen-Buddhism and a glance at the daily life in a Zen monastery. Funny to read that serene Zen-masters also like to watch baseball on TV, drink and smoke and laugh about stupid jokes like everybody else.
As a Dutch I am verry familiar with his writings, the famous Grijpstra & de Gier Mystery’s, which I always really liked. Probally I will read those again sooner or later.
This was posted on a mailing list. Some people have way to much
time on there hands:
Bedbugs. They’re now in the best hotels in North America and Asian.
And they are really terribly horribly hard to get rid of – especially
if you bring them home. A tenant down the hall from me did that on one
of his trips and it resulted in me having to toss out my entire bed and
guest bed, doing more than 40 loads of laundry, sticking a *lot* of my
stuff in clear plastic bags for months on end (including daily-use
clothes, towels, unused pillows, etc.) and it was *months* of agonizing
sleepless nights because I would get, literally, eaten at night by the
things. And this wasn’t even considered an ‘infestation’ because *I*
caught on to what the bites were long before the other signs (marks on
bedsheets and along mattress seams).
Oh, my household insurance didn’t cover the costs (opver $1,000),
either. The only blessing is that my landlord was quick and the
exterminators must have done really well in ‘calm clients down’
So now when I travel, I make sure everything gets zipped up in those
zip-loc bags, the luggage is *never* around the bed or put *on* the bed
(since that’s always the epicentre of bedbugville), I only take out
when I need when I need it and everything stays packed in those
zip-locs… including knapsacks, camera bags, etc. before things get
dark at night or if there’s not a lot of light in the room during the
day. Bedbugs move around at night mostly and darned if I’m going to be
giving them a lift when they crawl into seams and the interiors of
If I have even the remotest thought that I’ve been bitten, I notify the
hotel staff and check out and TAKE PRECAUTIONS before checking into a
new hotel (I won’t bore you with those).
Zip-locs! They come in a variety of sizes (including some big enough
for mid-sized backpacks) and they’re sanity-savers.