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Saturday, June 29, 2019

In Place: An Album 58


To and from this hut
daily she has walked,
leaning on her old apple stick,
learning a way to live

To counter greed, hatred and delusion, she has read, one must learn non-greed, non-hatred, and non-delusion.

Okay; where to begin? In this hut she has realized that she can live relatively free of greed, by keeping it simple -- not needing much. She can live relatively free of hatred, by keeping it simple -- no ambition (for one hates those who prevent or delay the attainment of one's ambitions). She can live relatively free of delusion, by keeping it simple (observation without judgment clouded by greed or hatred).

And nothing is simpler than to sit, walk, eat, and rest without judging.

To be aware of the observer, his movement, his self-centered activity, his assertions, his prejudices, one must be aware of all these unconscious movements which build the separatist feeling that he is different. It must be observed without any form of evaluation, without like and dislike; just observe it in daily life, in its relationships. When this observation is clear, isn't there then a freedom from the observer?
-- J. Krishnamurti, The Urgency of Change 138

One day, the literary giant Bai Juyi paid a visit to Chan Master Niaoke Daolin. He saw the Chan Master sitting upright by a magpie’s nest, so he said, “Chan Master, living in a tree is too dangerous!”

The Chan Master replied, “Magistrate, it is your situation that is extremely dangerous!”
Bai Juyi heard this and, taking exception, said, “I am an important official in this imperial court. What danger is there?”

The Chan Master said, “The torch is handed from one to another, people follow their own inclinations without end. How can you say it’s not dangerous?” The meaning is to say that in officialdom, there are rises and falls, and people scheming against one another. Danger is right before your eyes. Bai Juyi seemed to come to some sort of understanding. Changing the subject, he then asked, “What is the essential teaching of the Dharma?”

The Chan Master replied, “Commit no evil. Do good deeds!” Hearing this, Bai Juyi thought the Chan Master would instruct him with some profound concept. Yet, they were just ordinary words. Feeling very disappointed, he said, “Even a three-year-old child knows this concept!”

The Chan Master said, “Although a three-year-old child can say it, an eighty-year-old man cannot do it.

Hsing Yun
(tr. Pey-Rong Lee and Dana Dunlap)

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