the secret of the matter

May 6, 2016 – month of photos of flowers and buddhas – day 6

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“If you want to be free to be born or die, to go or stay as one would put on or take off a garment, then you must understand right now that the person here listening to the Dharma has no form, no characteristics, no root, no beginning, no place he abides, yet he is vibrantly alive. All the ten thousand kinds of contrived happenings operate in a place that is in fact no place. Therefore the more you search the farther away you get, the harder you hunt the wider astray you go. This is what I call the secret of the matter.

“Followers of the Way, don’t take up with some dream or phantom for a companion, sooner or later you’re headed for the impermanence that awaits us all. While you are in this world, what sort of thing do you look to for emancipation? Instead of just looking for a mouthful of food and spending time patching up your robe, you should go around hunting for a teacher. Don’t just drift along, always trying to take the easy way. Time is precious, moment by moment impermanence draws nearer! The elements of earth, water, fire, and air are waiting to get the coarser part of you, the four phases of birth, continuation, change, and extinction press on your subtle side. Followers of the Way, now is the time to understand that from the ultimate nondual experience of reality the four types of environment are  without characteristics. Don’t just let the environment batter you around.”

— Zen Master Lin-chi (Rinzai, d.866)                                                                                                         (Linji Yixuan Línjì Yìxuán; Lin-chi I-hsüan; Japanese Rinzai Gigen; died 866 AD/CE)           founder of the Linji school of Chán (Zen) Buddhism, Tang Dynasty China

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Nirmanakaya — “Body of Manifestation.” The form kaya (body) of a buddha that can appear to both impure and pure beings. It is the fruition that is achieved for the benefit of other sentient beings. Therefore, this kaya is closely associated with compassion. It is also said that it is the mind, thus free from arising and ceasing, that manifests in various ways, or that is is the unceasing appearances of the experessive power of mind. From the triad of body, speech, and mind, it is taught as the body quality of buddhaood. According to history that is held in common, the most recent nirmanakaya buddha was Shakyamuni Buddha. However, in the Tibetan tradition, Guru Padmasambhava is also considered a nirmanakaya buddha.

–Dzogchen Ponlop, Wild Awakening

© photos:  May 2016 embroidery blue flower, detail from my yoga mat carrying bag. India, 2012

May 2016 glazed ceramic buddha head, China. Photo shot at a discount goods store, US Desert Southwest.

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