Farewell – Tan Dun & Yo-Yo Ma


Seek Understanding Beyond Words

Master Po – Where is evil? In the rat whose nature it is to steal the grain. Or in the cat, whose nature it is to kill the rat?
Caine – The rat steals. Yet, for him, the cat is evil.
Master Po –  And to the cat, the rat.
Caine – Yet, Master, surely one of them is evil.
Master Po – The rat does not steal, the cat does not murder. Rain falls, the stream flows, a hill remains. Each acts according to its nature.
Caine – Then is there no evil for men? Each man tells himself that what he does is good, at least for himself.
Master Po – . . . a man may tell himself many things but is a man’s universe made up only of himself?

Diamond Like Vision

– Lama Surya Das, Awakening the Buddha Within

“Develop a mind that clings to nothing” is a meditative maxim that comes from the Diamond Sutra, one of the wisdom scriptures of Mahayana Buddhism. The original Sanskrit name for this sutra refers to the diamond that can cut anything but cannot itself be cut. In this case, the word “diamond” refers to the keen discriminating edge of penetrating wisdom.

A large part of clear vision and diamond like wisdom is seeing everything exactly as it is with all its magical but ephemeral beauty. The wise mind understands the limits in hanging on to that which is transient and dreamlike. The awakened mind is free flowing, natural, and well rounded. It’s like Teflon – nothing sticks. On the other hand, the unawakened, ordinary mind is rigid, limited, and sticky like fly paper; the ordinary mind has corners and sharp jagged edges on which ideas get caught, hanging us up. Dualistic thinking is like Velcro; it takes two to tangle. Unitary vision is more like a crystal though which all forms of light can pass unimpeded.

In life this is played out when we find it difficult to shake off our thoughts or worries, as well as unable to get off our fixed positions and entrenched opinions. Even insignificant emotional memories don’t roll off; instead they get attached and stuck; sometimes they fester and rot in place. The unawakened mind tries to grasp and hold on to emotions and things, which by their very nature are fleeting; it’s like trying to grasp water between your hands.

If we understand that the cause of suffering and dissatisfaction is attachment, then it’s obvious that the remedy is simply letting go. This is an absolutely essential ingredient in the Buddhist recipe for wisdom and enlightenment. Why are we afraid to let go and let the natural mind just be as it is, radiant, free, and aware? Why do we hold on to the past and resist the fresh current of newness? Neurotic behavior is sometimes defined as a frozen pattern. It’s very therapeutic to thaw our frozen patterns and develop spontaneity and awareness of “what is” and the joy of the present moment. If you cling to nothing, you can handle anything. This is wisdom. Try to grasp this but lightly.

Let your mind flow, free from attachment to your belongings, ideas, agendas, schedule, passions – your very self identity, and develop the wisdom, self-detachment, and equanimity that realizes that all things are essentially equal. Each of us is unique, but we are not especially special; we are all interconnected notes in the same cosmic symphony. We may be differently shaped clay pots, but we are all made from the same mortal clay. Develop a god’s eye view and appreciate the wisdom of clear vision.

The Bridge – Anzan

The Now of Pooh

– The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff

In the morning sunshine, in the evening twilight, a small Bear travels through a Forest. Why did we follow him when we were so much younger? He is, after all, only a Bear of Little Brain. But is Brain all that important? Is it really Brain that takes us where we need to go? Or is it all too often Brain that sends us off in the wrong direction, following the echo of the wind in the treetops, which we think is real, rather than listening to the voice within us that tells us which way to turn?

A Brain can do all kinds of things, but the things that it can do are not the most important things. Abstract cleverness of mind only separates the thinker from the world of reality, and that world, the Forest of Real Life, is in a desperate condition now because of too many who think too much and care too little. In spite of what many minds have thought themselves into believing, that mistake cannot continue for much longer if everything is going to survive. The one chance we have to avoid certain disaster is to change our approach, and to learn to value wisdom and contentment. These are the things that are being searched for anyway, through Knowledge and Cleverness, but they do not come from Knowledge and Cleverness. They never have, and they never will. We can no longer afford to look so desperately hard for something in the wrong way and in the wrong place. If Knowledge and Cleverness are allowed to go on wrecking things, they will before much longer destroy all life on earth as we know it, and what little may temporarily survive will not be worth looking at, even if it would somehow be possible for us to do so.

The masters of life know the Way, for they listen to the voice within them, the voice of wisdom and simplicity, the voice that reasons beyond Cleverness and knows beyond Knowledge. That voice is not just the power and property of a few, but has been given to everyone. Those who pay attention to it are too often treated as exceptions to a rule, rather than as examples of the rule of operation, a rule that can apply to anyone who makes use of it.

Within each of us there is an Owl, a Rabbit, an Eeyore, and a Pooh. For too long, we have chosen the way of Owl and Rabbit. Now, like Eeyore, we complain about the results. But that accomplishes nothing. If we are smart, we will choose the way of Pooh. As if from far away, it calls to us with the voice of a child’s mind. It may be hard to hear at times, but it is important just the same, because without it, we will never find our way through the Forest.

To know the Way,
We go the way;
We do the way,

The way we do
The things we do.
It’s all there in front of you,
But if you try too hard to see it,
You’ll only become Confused.

I am me,
And you are you,
As you can see;
But when you do
The things that you can do,
You will find the Way,
And the Way will follow you.