DECEMBER 6: SUNDAY SERVICE
Zen Buddhism is non-theistic, so its emphasis is on realizing our Buddha Nature, the nature of the self. Therefore, all of Zen's rituals point to the oneness of the self and the ten thousand things. Zen liturgy is upaya,- skillful means. Like meditation and all the areas of zen training, it functions as a way of uncovering the truth which is the life of each one of us.
Buddhism is a path of practice and spiritual development leading to Insight into the true nature of reality. Buddhist practices like meditation, are means of changing yourself in order to develop the qualities of awareness, kindness, and wisdom. The experience developed within the Buddhist tradition over thousands of years has created an incomparable resource for all those who wish to follow a path; a path which ultimately culminates in Enlightenment or Buddhahood. An enlightened being sees the nature of reality absolutely clearly, just as it is, and lives fully and naturally in accordance with that vision. This is the goal of the Buddhist spiritual life, representing the end of suffering for anyone who attains it.
Because Buddhism does not include the idea of worshipping a creator god, some people do not see it as a religion in the Western sense. The basic tenets of Buddhist teaching are straightforward and practical: nothing is fixed or permanent; actions have consequences; change is possible. So, Buddhism addresses itself to all people irrespective of race, nationality, caste, sexuality, or gender. It teaches practical methods which enable people to realise and use its teachings in order to transform their experience, and instead of being a victim or blaming, to be fully responsible for their lives.
Posted by Thich nu Tinh Quang at 11/17/2011 03:56:00 PM
November 22: ZEN STORIES
November 29: IF I'M NOT SPECIAL, THEN WHO AM I?
Everyone is welcome. (Registration is not required)
Wear loose, clean clothing, something that is comfortable and allows you to stretch. Sweat pants and shirt are fine. Avoid bright colours. Shirts with logos and writing can be distracting to a quiet, peaceful atmosphere. Warm socks are a good idea in the winter, as you will be asked to remove your shoes at the door. Perfume and jewellery are not worn in the meditation room.
At the end of the walk, there will be an opportunity to share your experience with others while enjoying some tea.
Posted by Thich nu Tinh Quang at 11/16/2011 01:13:00 PM
Thursday evenings at 7:30 p.m. (Please check for cancellation dates)
Important: Be seated 10 minutes before the beginning of the Bell Gatha.
Please confirm attendance 24 hours in advance.
Registration is required for all programmes, except Sunday morning sesshins. Please email to the address indicated in the programme outline on this site, with the following information.
- Register by emailing sistertinhquang (at) yahoo (dot) ca. (one registration per Contact).
- Full Name (Dharma name if you have taken Refuge)
- Address, including postal code
- Day & Evening telephone numbers
- Email address
- The programme in which you are interested, including dates.
Space is limited ... register early! Registrations must be received no later than 5 days before the intended programme.
Your registration will be confirmed by email.
Your Dana helps a lot. All Dana is suggested only. There is no wish to deprive anyone of the opportunity to attend a workshop or other sessions because of financial inability. Place Dana in an envelope and hand it directly to the teacher.
Friday, November 27, 2015
But this time the Buddha had no words. He reached into the muck and pulled up a lotus flower. And he held it silently before them, its roots dripping mud and water.
The disciples were greatly confused. Buddha quietly displayed the lotus to each of them. In turn, the disciples did their best to expound upon the meaning of the flower: what it symbollized, and how it fit into the body of Buddha’s teaching.
When at last the Buddha came to his follower Mahakasyapa, the disciple suddenly understood. He smiled and began to laugh. Buddha handed the lotus to Mahakasyapa and began to speak.
“What can be said I have said to you,” smiled the Buddha, “and what cannot be said, I have given to Mahakashyapa.”
Mahakashyapa became Buddha’s successor from that day forward.
The Flower Sutra is a sutra in the Zen (or Chan) tradition of Mahayana Buddhism. It's earliest versions date from the 11th century. Zen Buddhism stresses wordless insight more than most other types of Buddhism. This sutra exemplifies that very well.
In many versions of this sutra the Buddha doesn't walk around, he merely holds up the Lotus, roots and all, to a group of disciples. Most disciples are confused.
To Zen Buddhists this sutra shows the origins of the wordless teachings of Zen - its history started with the Buddha himself.
Bodhi Day or The Buddha's Enlightenment is celebrated by Mahayana Buddhists on 8th December each year. Among Mahayana Buddhists, this holiday celebrates the Buddha's attainment of understanding of the truth of existence, freeing himself from all human suffering, and finding perfect happiness.
This is a 3 hour sitting. The bell will ring every 20 minutes to allow people to do a walking meditation if they wish, use the washroom, or remain sitting. The bell, a gentle version of being hit with a stick, also brings us back to the moment.
A celebratory meal of the day is of milk and rice (rice pudding). Sujata offered this to the Buddha upon his awakening to help him regain strength. This will be offered immediately after the meditation session, along with a non-caffeinated tea.
Telephone Quang Vien
Please remember to bring, your own cutlery, cup, bowl, and plate
AND (for dietary restrictions,
list of ingredients in your recipe.
Mark your Calendars NOW!!!
- The Buddha is the guide.
- The Dharma is the path.
- The Sangha are the teachers.
Register by emailing sistertinhquang (at) yahoo (dot) ca, by December 8.
The Path of a Buddhist begins when you are ready to take this step.
Little Heron Zen Hermitage
74 Alpine Avenue
Practicing mindfulness meditation reveals and develops the qualities of wisdom and compassion, the twin virtues of the discipline.
Everyone can benefit from this practice. It helps free us from illusion so that we can look at ourselves with greater clarity and make appropriate changes in our lives. We become aware of the depth of selfishness and the real intent that can motivate actions that are thought to be altruistic.
Taught by Thich nu Tinh Quang, based on the Buddha's style of Vipassana (Insight) Meditation, the original techniques used are for increasing your awareness and freeing yourself of painful mental habits. Vipassana meditation is based on the Four Foundations of Mindfulness as mentioned in the Satipatthana Sutra. Your understanding and experience of meditation will deepen. Sister Tinh Quang will give teachings on Walking Meditation, The Three Poisons, Karma, Four Brahma Viharas, Metta, Karuna, The Five Hindrances, Dukkha, Intention, and Equanimity. Vipassana meditation is a lifelong process that requires daily practice, discipline, and patience.
Fee: Suggested Dana - $20 per week
To register for complete Course, email: sistertinhquang (at) yahoo.ca by January 6, 2016.
(Last class on March 14, 2016)
To register: email: firstname.lastname@example.org by January 4, 2016
Suggested Dana: $20/week
Verses on the Faith Mind by The 3rd Zen Patriarch, Seng-ts'anThe Great Way is not difficult for those who have no preferences.
When love and hate are both absent everything becomes clear and undisguised.
Make the smallest distinction, however, and heaven and earth are set infinitely apart.
If you wish to see the truth then hold no opinions for or against anything.
To set up what you like against what you dislike is the disease of the mind.
When the deep meaning of things is not understood the mind's essential peace is disturbed to no avail.
The Way is perfect like vast space when nothing is lacking and nothing is in excess.
Indeed, it is due to our choosing to accept or reject that we do not see the true nature of things.
Live neither in the entanglements of outer things nor in inner feelings of emptiness.
Be serene in the oneness of things and such erroneous views will disappear by themselves.
When you try to stop activity to achieve passivity your very effort fills you with activity.
As long as you remain in one extreme or the other you will never know Oneness.
Those who do not live in the single Way fail in both activity and passivity, assertion and denial.
To deny the reality of things is to miss their reality; to assert the emptiness of things is to miss their reality.
The more you talk and think about it, the further astray you wander from the truth.
Stop talking and thinking, and there is nothing you will not be able to know.
To return to the root is to find the meaning, but to pursue appearances is to miss the source.
At the moment of inner enlightenment there is a going beyond appearance and emptiness.
The changes that appear to occur in the empty world we call real only because of our ignorance.
Do not search for the truth; only cease to cherish opinions.
Do not remain in the dualistic state -- avoid such pursuits carefully.
If there is even a trace of this and that, of right and wrong, the Mind-essence will be lost in confusion.
Although all dualities come from the One, do not be attached even to this One.
When the mind exists undisturbed in the Way, nothing in the world can offend, and when such a thing can no longer offend, it ceases to exist in the old way.
When no discriminating thoughts arise, the old mind ceases to exist.
When thought objects vanish, the thinking-subject vanishes, as when the mind vanishes, objects vanish.
Things are objects because of the subject (mind); the mind (subject) is such because of things (object).
Understand the relativity of these two and the basic reality: the unity of emptiness.
In this emptiness the two are indistinguishable and each contains in itself the whole world.
If you do not discriminate between coarse and fine you will not be tempted to prejudice and opinion.
To live in the Great Way is neither easy nor difficult, but those with limited views are fearful and irresolute; the faster they hurry, the slower they go, and clinging (attachment) cannot be limited; even to be attached to the idea of enlightenment is to go astray.
Just let things be in their own way and there will be neither coming nor going.
Obey the nature of things (your own nature), and you will walk freely and undisturbed.
When thought is in bondage the truth is hidden, for everything is murky and unclear, and the burdensome practice of judging brings annoyance and weariness.
What benefits can be derived from distinctions and separations?
If you wish to move in the One Way do not dislike even the world of senses and ideas.
Indeed, to accept them fully is identical with true Enlightenment.
The wise man strives to no goals but the foolish man fetters himself.
There is one Dharma, not many; distinctions arise from the clinging needs of the ignorant.
To seek Mind with the (discriminating) mind is the greatest of all mistakes.
Rest and unrest derive from illusion; with enlightenment there is no liking and disliking.
All dualities come from ignorant inference.
They are like dreams or flowers in air: foolish to try to grasp them.
Gain and loss, right and wrong: such thoughts must finally be abolished at once.
If the eye never sleeps, all dreams will naturally cease.
If the mind makes no discriminations, the ten thousand things are as they are, of single essence.
To understand the mystery of this One-essence is to be released from all entanglements.
When all things are seen equally the timeless Self-essence is reached.
No comparisons or analogies are possible in this causeless, relationless state.
Consider movement stationary and the stationary in motion, both movement and rest disappear.
When such dualities cease to exist Oneness itself cannot exist.
To this ultimate finality no law or description applies.
For the unified mind in accord with the Way all self-centered striving ceases.
Doubts and irresolutions vanish and life in true faith is possible.
With a single stroke we are freed from bondage; nothing clings to us and we hold to nothing.
All is empty, clear, self-illuminating, with no exertion of the mind's power.
Here thought, feeling, knowledge, and imagination are of no value.
In this world of suchness there is neither self nor other-than-self.
To come directly into harmony with this reality just simply say when doubt arises, 'Not two.'
In this 'not two' nothing is separate, nothing is excluded.
No matter when or where, enlightenment means entering this truth.
And this truth is beyond extension or diminution in time or space; in it a single thought is ten thousand years.
Emptiness here, Emptiness there, but the infinite universe stands always before your eyes.
Infinitely large and infinitely small; no difference, for definitions have vanished and no boundaries are seen.
So too with Being and Non-Being.
Don't waste time with doubts and arguments that have nothing to do with this.
One thing, all things: move among and intermingle, without distinction.
To live in this realization is to be without anxiety about non-perfection.
To live in this faith is the road to non-duality, because the non-dual is one with trusting mind.
The Way is beyond language, for in it there is
Enjoy the video on the 10 Ox Herding Pictures. This is a classic Zen explanation of our journey.
Posted by Thich nu Tinh Quang at 9/23/2011 11:04:00 AM
Can be recited when doing daily 108 prostrations.
1. Our needs are few; our wants are many.
2. To be grateful and repay kindness - this is first; to benefit others is to benefit ourselves.
3. Devote wholehearted effort without calculating who does or gains more.
4. Kindness and compassion have no enemies; wisdom engenders no vexations.
5. The busy make the most of time; the diligent enjoy the best of health.
6. Those who give selflessly are blessed; those who do good deeds are happy.
7. Cultivate a big heart, but a small ego.
8. To take on anything, one must first be able to let go. One is truly free who can take on and let go of anything in peace.
9. Know yourself and others, and the ways of the world, so as to have a peaceful body and mind. Recognize, cherish, and nurture your blessings, and seize every chance to be of service.
10. For those who can take things on and let them go in peace, every year is an auspicious year. For those who can sow with wisdom the seeds of blessings, every day is a good day.
11. Maintain a relaxed body and mind, and meet and greet with a smile. Relaxation enhances physical and mental health, and a smiling face promotes friendship.
12. Before you open your mouth to speak, think twice and chew your words carefully. The point is not to hold your peace, but to speak skilfully, with discretion and prudence.
13. Try to cultivate this attitude in life: if I can have what I want, that's good; if I can't, that's fine too. This will help us turn our suffering into joy and live a happier life.
14. To uplift our character, begin with cultivating peace in mind, body, family, and activity.
15. In dealing with your heart's desire, ask yourself these questions: Do I need it, or do I want it? Can I acquire it? Should I acquire it?
16. To get along with others, we must feel grateful for events that help us grow, feel thankful for chances to hone ourselves, reform ourselves through the Dharma, and inspire others through exemplary behavior.
17. When faced with any difficulty of life, resolve it by following these four steps: face it, accept it, deal with it, and then let it go.
18. To increase our blessings, we need to recognize blessings, cherish blessings, nurture blessings, and sow the seeds of blessings.
19. Pursue only what you can and should acquire. Never pursue what you can't and shouldn't acquire.
20. Gratitude can make us grow, and the resolve to return favors can help us succeed.
21. Feel thankful for the chances to hone ourselves: both good and ill fortune are our benefactors.
22. When good things happen, we should rejoice in, praise, encourage, and then learn from them in modesty.
23. To criticize less and praise more is a good way to avoid creating negative karma of speech.
24. An ordinary mind is a mind of utmost freedom and unsurpassed joy.
25. A solid step forward speaks louder than a hundred empty, fair words.
26. The more weaknesses you discover in yourself, the faster you will develop, and the more self-confident you will be.
27. Keep your ears and eyes wide open, but mouth tight shut; be quick with your hands and legs, but slow to spend.
28. Only after encounters with hardships will one be roused to vigorous diligence.
29. Be a down-to-earth person with a broad mind; be a sure hand with piercing foresight.
30. Be busy without being disorganized, and weary without being dispirited.
31. Be busy but happy, and tired but joyful.
32. It is fine to be busy: just don't let it get on your nerves.
33. Work swiftly, but don't tense up; relax your body and mind and never tighten up.
34. Work swiftly in an orderly fashion; never compete with time in a nervous flurry.
35. Don't measure success and gain by wealth and rank: to benefit ourselves and others as best we can is all that matters.
36. To take on tough tasks, one must prepare to tough out complaints, and to be in charge is to be in for criticism. Yet complaints help foster compassion and patience, and criticism often holds golden advice.
37. Stay at ease under all circumstances, and give whenever conditions allow.
38. The tripartite formula for success is: go with the causes and conditions, seize them as they come, and create them when they don't.
39. Grasp opportune conditions when they come, create them when there are none, and ere conditions ripen, never force a thing to be done.
40. All the ups and downs of life are nourishing experiences for our growth.
41. Deal with matters with wisdom, and care for people with compassion.
42. Rectify deviations with wisdom; accommodate others with compassion.
43. The deeper our compassion, the greater our wisdom and the fewer our vexations.
44. Simply deal with matters with wisdom and treat people with compassion, without worrying about personal gain or loss. Then we'll never be plagued by vexations.
45. To let the circumstances dictate one's state of mind is human; to let the mind dictate the circumstances is sage.
46. A big duck cuts a big wake; a small duck cuts a small wake. Big or small, each duck will paddle its own way to the other shore … but only if it paddles.
47. If the mountain won't move, build a road around it. If the road won't turn, change your path. If you are unable to even change your path, just transform your mind.
48. Diligence doesn't mean stretching beyond our limits. It means displaying unremitting persistence.
49. A passing boat leaves no trace upon the waters; a bird's flight leaves no trace in the sky. When fleeting success, failure, gain, or loss leaves no trace upon the heart, the great wisdom of liberation has been achieved.
50. To be accommodating to others is to be accommodating to ourselves.
51. Who is willing to be openly exploited is noble-minded; who is insulted and insidiously exploited is dim-witted.
52. Pressure usually stems from caring too much about externals and other people's opinion.
53. Offer your service with a heart of gratitude, as if repaying a kindness, then you won't feel weary or tired.
54. Always feel gratitude in your heart, and give unstintingly of your wealth, physical strength, mental effort, and wisdom.
55. The meaning of life lies in serving; the value of life in giving.
56. The purpose of life is to receive karmic results, fulfill old vows, and make new ones.
57. Our value depends not on how long we live, but on how much we contribute.
58. As the past has faded into misty memories, and the future remains a dream unrealized, seizing the present is most important.
59. There's no need to be concerned about the past or the future. Live fully in the present, and you are connected with both the past and the future.
60. Wisdom is not knowledge, nor experience, nor dialectical excellence, but a selfless attitude.
61. A positive life pivots on modesty; the bigger the ego, the greater the insecurity.
62. The noble pursue the path, the average pursue their duties, and the misguided pursue fame and fortune.
63. Live up to your role and status, and fulfill your required duties.
64. In peace and harmony, seize the promise of today, and live out a fresh tomorrow.
65. While worry fuels unnecessary torment, carefulness breeds security.
66. Wealth is like running water, and giving like digging a well. Just as the deeper the well, the more water it holds, the more you give the more wealth you have.
67. In life, we must make the best preparations, and be ready for the worst.
68. As long as we still have breath, we have boundless hope, and the breath we have is the greatest wealth.
69. Those who aid and deliver the suffering are bodhisattvas, and those in the throes of suffering are great bodhisattvas.
70. To transcend the sufferings of birth, old age, and sickness, keep to the three principles: live happily, face illness with a healthy mind, and embrace old age with hope.
71. To transcend the suffering of death, keep to the three principles: never seek death, never fear death, and never wait for death to come.
72. Death is an occasion for neither mourning nor celebrating, but one for solemn Buddhist practice.
73. Every child is a little bodhisattva that helps the parents grow.
74. With adolescents, we should care, but not worry about them; guide, but not control them; and communicate with, but not command them.
75. To love your children, rather than worry about them, just give them your blessings!
76. The relationship between a husband and wife is governed by ethics, not logic.
77. By just picking up litter and refraining from littering, we are doing meritorious deeds.
78. Vision is derived from wisdom; luck, from blessings.
79. To crave your likes but reject your dislikes will plunge you into constant anxiety. Once there, you are prey to vexations.
80. Those content with few desires will never want.
81. Bodily ailments do not necessarily constitute suffering. An unsettled mind does.
82. To eliminate the suffering induced by an unsettled mind, just start reciting Guan The Am's (Avalokiteswara, Kuan Yin) name to restore your inner peace.
83. What we have now is the best. He who can never be satisfied is a poor man, no matter how much he owns.
84. Don't try to control your negative emotions by suppressing them. Rather, dissolve them through contemplation, reciting the Buddha's name, or praying.
85. May good words be spoken by all; may good deeds be done by all; then may the fortunes of all be transformed.
86. May all speak good words; may all do good deeds; then all may transform their fortunes.
87. If everyone can just say one more good word or do one more good deed every day, all the small good will add up to a great good for society.
88. If an urgent task is waiting to be done, come forward and say, "I'll do it!"
89. In harmony with self and so with others, both in mind and in speech, one is full of joy and happiness.
90. In harmony with the inner and so with the outer, with causes in harmony with conditions, in peace and well-being one is truly free.
91. To seek inner peace is to enjoy peace in life; to care for others is to attain happiness.
92. Virtues are equal to fortunes, and giving is equal to saving.
93. To give of oneself is to cultivate the path; to achieve inner peace is to succeed on the path.
94. Possessing much won't necessarily make one satisfied; possessing little won't necessarily make one want.
95. What you have results from karmic causes that you created, and what you'll gain hinges on karmic causes that you're creating.
96. The good are never alone, and the kind-hearted are the most content. Those who help others and so benefit themselves are the happiest.
97. To develop good interpersonal relationships, one needs to broaden the mind, and be more affable and tolerant.
98. Change your mind-set, and you will see the world differently: there is no absolute good or bad in this world.
99. Building good interpersonal relationships requires communication. When communication fails, try compromise. And if attempts at compromise also fail, then forgive and tolerate.
100. The larger should tolerate the lesser; the lesser should understand the larger.
101. Put your heart and soul into the family, and your whole life into your career.
102. The best way to abstain from greed is to give more, contribute more, and share more with others.
103. Tolerance is the best solution to differences.
104. Buddhists have two great missions: one is to awaken the buddha-mind, and the other is to bring sentient beings to spiritual maturity.
105. Be a bottomless trash can that can never be choked by others' mental junk; be a dustless mirror that reflects the world as it is with no distortion.
106. To dissolve vexations within the heart is wisdom; to share interests with others is compassion.
107. Scrutinize ourselves with a sense of humility, but view the world with a sense of gratitude.
108. To purify the mind, start by reducing desires and knowing contentment; to purify society, start by extending loving care to others.
The Library is available to practitioners who can borrow the books for a three week period, with an option to renew.
When we respond to social problems, there is no need to think that we are involved in such activities because we are Buddhist. We do them because we are responding compassionately to the situation, as should anyone who is sensitive to what that situation calls for.
The Little Heron Zen Hermitage is re-launching a food bank collection. So, I'm asking all of you to please donate non-perishable food items to the drop-off box at the front door. The food will alternately be delivered to Neighbour to Neighbour and to The Good Shepherd.
Volunteers would be appreciated to help deliver the boxes, when they are full. This is a great opportunity to introduce your children or grandchildren to the importance of volunteerism.
While fresh foods are an important part of anyone's diet, non-perishables are also a vital resource . You can make the most of your non-perishable food donation when you consider three things: nutrition, usefulness, and quality vs. quantity.
Most needed items include:
- whole grain foods, pastas, rice, cereal
- baking goods, sugar, salt, flour
- canned beans, vegetable soup/noodles, fruits, and vegetables
- lentils and beans
Stop. Hear. See. Feel. Breathe. This moment is what you make it.
Posted by Thich nu Tinh Quang at 4/02/2011 12:23:00 PM