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A Poem to Awaken the World
by Master Han Shan (date: Ming Dynasty)
In this world of boundless troubles and cares, It is advisable to be patient and gentle. Live according to circumstances wherever you may be, And do your part till the end of your life.

Never ignore your conscience, Nor disclose others’ faults.

Exercise prudence in social intercourse and you will have nothing to regret;

Practice patience at work and you will find no problem too difficult to solve. The string of a strong bow is always the first to break; The edge of a sharp knife is most likely to sustain damage.

Gossip brings misfortune; Cruelty incurs blame.

There is no need to argue over who is right, Nor is there need to dispute about who is better. The affairs of the world have always left much to be desired; How could the illusory body of yours last forever?

A little loss makes no matter; A minor concession does no harm.

No sooner have you seen green willows under the spring sun Then you see yellow chrysanthemums in the autumn wind. Honor is no other than a midnight dream; Wealth is the same as the autumn frost. Birth, senility, illness and death cannot be shifted to others; The sweets and the bitters of life are all to be experienced by yourself. People like to boast of their cleverness at tricks, But Heaven takes its time in making the final decision. Flattery, crookedness, greed and wrath lead to hell; Fairness and integrity make a paradise. Musk deer die early because of their valuable musk; Silkworms perish untimely because of their rich silk. Take a dose of mental relaxation to soothe your stomach; Have a drink of good nature to neutralize your temper. You will get nowhere with all your scheming while alive; You will have nothing left in your hands after death. The sorrows of partings and the joys of unions are daily occurrences;

Life, death, success and failure are everyday concerns.

Strive not to outdo others, For life is but a drama.

When the curtain falls suddenly and all is silent, Where do you go from here?



Three Heap Sutra

This prayer can be recited on any occasion to purify negative karma. Recite three times in
the morning and three times in the evening.
I and all sentient beings forever
Take refuge in the Lamas,
Take refuge in the Buddhas,
Take refuge in the Dharma,
Take refuge in the Sangha.
Prostrations to the Blessed One, Tathagata, Arhat, Perfectly and
Fully Enlightened Buddha Shakyamuni.
Prostrations to Completely Vanquishing Vajra Essence.
Prostrations to Precious Radiating Light.
Prostrations to King of the Naga Lords.
Prostrations to Bravest of the Forces.
Prostrations to Glorious joy.
Prostrations to Precious Fire.
Prostrations to Precious Moonlight,
Prostrations to Meaningful to Behold.
Prostrations to Precious Moon.
Prostrations to Immaculate One.
Prostrations to Glorious Giving.
Prostrations to Purity.
Prostrations to Pure Giving.
Prostrations to God of Waters.
Prostrations to God of the God of Waters.
Prostrations to Glorious Nobility.
Prostrations to Glorious Sandalwood.
Prostrations to Limitless Dignity.
Prostrations to Glorious Light.
Prostrations to Glorious Sorrowlessness.
Prostrations to Son of Detachment.
Prostrations to Glorious Flower.
Prostrations to Tathagata Manifest Clairvoyance of
Pure Light.
Prostrations to Tathagata Manifest Clairvoyance of
Lotus Light.
Prostrations to Glorious Wealth.
Prostrations to Glorious Mindfulness.
Prostrations to Glorious Name of Extreme Renown.
Prostrations to King Victory Banner Tipped with Power.
Prostrations to Extremely Overpowering Glory.
Prostrations to Complete Victor of the Battlefield.
Prostrations to Overpoweringly Gloriously Gone.
Prostrations to Glorious Arrangement of All Perception.
Prostrations to Glorious Overpowering with Precious Lotuses.
Prostrations to the Tathagata, Arhat, Perfectly and Fully
Enlightened Buddha, King of the Power of Mountains,
Well-Seated on a Precious Lotus.
May all these blessed Buddhas and all others dwelling in
the ten directions of the world of existence, the
Tathagatas, Arhats, perfectly and fully enlightened
Buddhas give heed to me.
In this life, and in all my lives without beginning and end,
Whatever unwholesomeness I did in each of these worldly lives
in samsara,
Whatever I caused others to do,
Or rejoiced in their doing.
I extorted offerings for stupas,
Offerings for the Sangha,
Offerings for the Sangha of the ten directions,
Caused others to extort,
Or rejoiced in others’ extortion.
I committed the actions of the five irredeemable sins,
Caused others to commit them,
Or rejoiced in others committing them.
I completely engaged in the path of the ten unwholesome actions,
Caused others to be engaged,
Or rejoiced in others’ engagement.
Obscured by these obscuring actions,
I and living beings will fall into hell,
Fall into the birthplace of animals,
Fall into the realm of hungry ghosts,
Be born in the land of barbarians,
Be born as savages,
Be born as long-lived gods,
Become one with defective senses,
Become one who holds wrong views,
Or become one whose obscuring actions displease the Buddha
when He appears.
I confess these and all others before the Blessed Buddhas,
Who are transcendent wisdom,
Who are eyes, who are witnesses,
Who are perfect,
Without hiding, or concealing,
Henceforth I will cease and refrain.
May all these blessed Buddhas give heed to me.
In this life, and in all my lives without beginning and end,
In each of these worldly lives in samsara.
Whatever roots of virtue arise from my gift of even a mouthful
of food to an animal,
Whatever roots of virtue arise from my preserving morality,
Whatever roots of virtue arise from my completely maturing
Whatever roots of virtue arise from my generating supreme
enlightenment thought,
All of these, gathered, combined, and added,
I completely dedicate to the highest,
Supremest of the supreme,
Highest of the high,
Unsurpassable, perfect, and full enlightenment.
However the blessed Buddhas of the past dedicated,
However the blessed Buddhas of the future will dedicate,
However the blessed Buddhas of the present are dedicating,
So do I completely dedicate.
I confess each and every sin.
I rejoice in all virtues.
I request and beseech all the Buddhas.
May I attain the unsurpassable transcendent wisdom which
is holy and supreme.
I fold my hands and reverently take refuge
In all those victorious supreme beings of the present,
Those who have passed, and those who have yet to come,
Whose good qualities are praised as a boundless ocean.
All Bodhisattvas who possess the power of compassion,
Heroes who benefit and protect living beings,
Protect me who is protectorless and full of sin.
All Bodhisattvas, grant me refuge.
The three forms of action of the body,
Four forms of the voice,
Three forms of the mind,
I confess each of these ten non-virtues.
From beginningless time until now,
With mind governed by negative emotions,
I have committed the ten non-virtues and five heinous crimes.
I confess all and each of these non-virtues.
All of whatever slight virtues that I may have gathered
through prostrating, offering, confessing, rejoicing,
requesting, and beseeching,
I dedicate to the attainment of enlightenment perfect and great.
Translated by Venerable Lama Kalsang Gyaltsen and Ane Kunga Chodron on the
auspicious day of the Great Sakya Pandita, 1993, in Washington D.C. By this merit
may all living beings purify negativity, accumulate virtue, and achieve perfect



Instruction in the Critical Essentials of Conjoint
“Mindfulness-of-the-Buddha” and Dhyana Meditation
By the Great Ming Dynasty Dhyana Master, Han-shan De-ch’ing
From The Record of Dream Wanderings (Syu-dzang Jing, 1.2.32 / 163b-164b)
Translation by Dharmamitra

As for [the practice of] mindfulness-of-the-buddha and the investigation of the hwa-tou (lit. “speech-source”), one should simply bring up the single phrase “Amitabha” to function as the hwa-tou and then right at that point where one brings it up one should apply the sentiment of doubt. As for what is being investigated, it is “Who is it that is mindful of the Buddha?” One then brings it up yet again and then investigates it yet again. One investigates it and then investigates once again. As for what is to be perceived, it is “Ultimately who is it that is being mindful of the Buddha?”

If one relies on and stabilizes the hwa-tou in this manner, then all false thinking and mental discursiveness is immediately cut off in a single stroke, just as if one were chopping off tangled strands of silk. One does not allow them to come forth again. Even the place from which they arose melts away. There remains only the singular mindfulness which is clear and distinct, solitary and bright, like the white sun dominating the [entire] sky.

False thoughts do not arise. Dimness and confusion naturally retreat. One is quiescent and alert. Great Master Yung-jya stated, “When there is quiescence with alertness, this is right. When there is quiescence with no recall, this is wrong. When there is alertness with quiescence, this is right. When there is alertness with discursive thinking, this is wrong.” This means to say that in one’s quiescence one does not fall into a drowsiness and “sinking” wherein one does not recall anything, nor does one maintain an alertness wherein one falls into false thinking. Alertness and quiescence flow along together whereas “sinking” and “floating” are both relinquished.

When one has looked into [the hwa-tou] to the point where not even a single thought arises, then both the past and the future are cut off leaving that which lies in between to abide naturally and solitarily. Then one suddenly breaks open and demolishes the “lacquer barrel.” One immediately perceives one’s original countenance. Then the body, mind and world are all leveled in a single stroke just as when images in a hallucination fall away [and disappear]. [Everything in] the ten directions appears as perfect and bright and becomes one great treasury of brilliant light.

When the situation comes to this point then this becomes the season of going home. That which manifests before one in daily actions is radiantly clear and perfectly bright. There is nothing more which can be doubted and one begins then to believe that one’s own mind is originally like this. Between the station occupied by the buddhas and patriarchs and that which one puts to use oneself, there is no duality and no distinction.

When one has arrived at this realm of experience, one must not seize upon a view which clings to emptiness. If one seizes upon a view clinging to emptiness one then falls into the evil views of the non-buddhists. Nor may one formulate a view which clings to existence. Nor may one take up knowledge and views [which cling to] the abstruse and marvelous. It is simply the case that wheresoever one retains a view, one then falls into an erroneous view.

If within the sphere of one’s application of meditative skill all sorts of experiential states manifest, one absolutely must not afford them any recognition or become attached to them. With a single scolding they immediately fade away. Bad experiential states need not be feared and good experiential states need not provoke joyfulness. These are just demonic [states] arising from the habitual propensities [of earlier karma]. If one becomes either distressed or joyful, one then [risks] falling into the sphere of the demons.

One should contemplate them as being only manifestations of one’s own mind and as not coming from outside at all. One should realize that within the mind there is originally not one single thing at all. Originally, there is neither confusion nor awakening. [The mind] does not belong to either the saints or the common person. Furthermore, how could one [actually] succeed in “obtaining” any off the different sorts of experiential states?

Now, on account of being confused with regard to this original mind, one engages in the application of meditative skill for the purpose of melting away one’s ignorance and habitual propensities, that’s all. If one awakens to the original mind’s originally being devoid of anything whatsoever, if one awakens to its originally being bright, vast, pure and tranquil, and if one carries on in this manner with the passage of time, then what further meditative skill would there be that one could apply?

People now need only trust that this mind is originally devoid of anything whatsoever while endeavoring in the application of meditative skill in a way such as has now been described. It is just that on account of having not yet perceived one’s original countenance, one cannot hold back from applying a course of intensively purposeful effort in meditative skill. Then one will be able to experience the season of going home. If from this point on one directly carries forth one’s endeavors, then one will naturally have that time when one suddenly perceives one’s own original countenance and becomes eternally devoid of any doubts that one will be able to go forth from the realm of birth and death.

December 2018
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Tao Te Ching

The Tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao. The name that can be named is not the eternal name. The nameless is the beginning of heaven and earth. The named is the mother of ten thousand things. Ever desireless, one can see the mystery. Ever desiring, one can see the manifestations. These two spring from the same source but differ in name; this appears as darkness. Darkness within darkness. The gate to all mystery.

Virtues of Kong-zi (Confucius)

道 tao; path, right way * 仁 ren, benevolent * 徳 de, virtuous * 禮 li, propriety * 義 yi, morality * 忠 zhong, loyalty * 恕 shu, reciprocity * 信 xin, trustworthy * 命 ming, destiny, fate * 天 tien, heaven, above * 理 li, principle *