Thursday, March 31, 2011

What Is So

"The core  is (being) without-thought, the basis is without-characteristics, and the root is without-abiding.

Without-characteristics is being free of characteristics while in the midst of characteristics.

Without-thought is not thinking in regard to thoughts.

Without-abiding is the true nature of being human."

The above is a loose translation from the Platform Sutra attributed to Huineng, the Sixth Ancestor of Ch'an.

Our choice this moment is to be what is so - or to skillful respond when we are not being what is so, despite being what is so.

(c) 2011 Elihu Genmyo Smith

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

"Pretty Patterns That Camouflage a Poison"

Before using any recently purchased Chinese-made pottery (as well as Mexican-made pottery) for food, please check the following story regarding a sampling of those bought in the Philadelphia area in which "more than a quarter of the samples tested positive" for lead.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


Here is a list of some vetted charities that don't require sending a check but only a quick click:

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Notes For A Dharma Talk:

We are not conditions and circumstances nor other than conditions and circumstances.

Because we are truly free of conditions and circumstances, we can be conditions and circumstances.

Not clearly seeing conditions and circumstances as they are, we believe thoughts and feelings about conditions and circumstances.

Believing conditions and circumstances, we are hindered by conditions and circumstances, limited in conditions and circumstances, suffer as a result of conditions and circumstances.

Actually, because we are free we must be conditions and circumstances. Otherwise, we are not free.

Being conditions and circumstances, we are free of conditions and circumstances.

Here is an appropriate verse I came across after jotting down the above notes. 

This is Hakuin’s verse on a painting of Manjusri:

“I venerate this painted image of the flawlessly
Pure Dharma-body of the Great Sage Manjusri;
If you see him there on the surface of the paper,
You are digging a well-shaft to find white clouds;
If you seek him apart from the painted image,
You are traveling eastward in pursuit of the sun.
Do you see!
I venerate the Great Sage Manjusri."

(c) 2011 Elihu Genmyo Smith

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Buddha's Face Cream

"They do not sorrow over the past,
Nor do they hanker for the future.
They maintain themselves with what is present:
Hence their complexion is so serene."

Buddha, Devatasamyutta 10:18