The three poisons

The ignorant mind, with its infinite afflictions, passions and evils, is rooted in the three poisons: greed, anger, and delusion.

These three poisoned states of mind themselves include countless evils, like trees that have a single trunk but countless branches and leaves.

Yet each poison produces so many more millions of evils that the example of a tree is hardly fitting for comparison.

~ Bodhidharma

Consider the world light

Consider the world light,
And the spirit is not burdened;
Consider the myriad things slight,
And the mind is not confused.
Consider life and death equal,
And the intellect is not afraid;
Consider change as sameness,
And clarity is not obscured.

~ Lao-tzu

True nature is not lost

Your true nature is not lost in moments of delusion, nor is it gained at the moment of enlightenment.
It was never born and can never die.
It shines through the whole universe, filling emptiness, one with emptiness.
It is without time or space, and has no passions, no people, and no buddhas; it contains not the smallest hairbreadth of anything that exists objectively; it depends on nothing and is attached to nothing.
It is all-pervading, radiant beauty: absolute reality, self-existent and uncreated.
How then can you doubt that the Buddha has no mouth to speak with and nothing to teach, or that the truth is learned without learning, for who is there to learn?
It is a jewel beyond all price.

~ Huang-po

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Deathless state

For those who are ready, the door
To the deathless state is open.
You that have ears, give up
The conditions that bind you,
And enter in.

~ Majijhima Nikaya

Closed out the old year

Fireworks at Southbank
Fireworks at Southbank
Closed out the old year
And held a dream of spring behind
Eyes shut, till now
This morning I open them to see
It’s really come into the world

~ Saigyo

Watch the moss thicken

William Jolly Bridge at night
William Jolly Bridge

Sitting before the silent, burning incense
I watch the moss thicken on the stone bridge.
Don’t ask me why.
I’ve been out of step with the world since my youth.

~ Wonkam Chungji

It’s like riding a cow to return home

buffalo rider
buffalo rider (Cebu, 1981)

Finding a teacher to learn the truth
Is nothing special
It’s like riding a cow to return home.
If you can stride freely atop
A hundred foot pole
Countless buddhas will only be
Sparks in your eyes.

~ Buhyu Sunsoo (1543-1615)