“Demon” is an old word, an ancient idea conjuring up images of devils and other fiercely intimidating embodiments of the forces of evil. Perhaps you, like I, instinctively recognize your own demonic nature. We all have within us the capacity to think speak and act in ways that are harmful. What we do with these demons, our demons, is a central project of the spiritual path.
Category: Essays by Yao Xiang Shakya
Complete concentration is required in order to stay with the instructions…When I lose track, float off into thought, I often don’t discover the harm until the end
Vows by Fly 2019 This week has been particularly difficult. The daemons of the mind sometimes take us by […]
Fashi Lao Yue asks us to look at the Second Rank of Zen as another step in ending our misery. It begins with a quote and ends with a chant – it resounds the two teachings of Zen. Begin and continue – don’t give up. The Dharma Gates are gateless and ever-present – ready for everyone to enter.
The first rank in zen is to see the relative in the absolute – we call it change. When things are going the way we want – we can see change as the relative in the absolute. But anytime all h*ll breaks loose in our life – when things don’t go our way – we go wild with suffering. BUT – Buddha tells us there is an end to suffering – You may ask – where is it? And how do I find it? Fashi Lao Yue suggests you take a look here.
We are inseparable from the Truth and yet we seem to be fumbling around in something unreal and not true. We seem to get caught in our ignorance (stupidity), in scattered distractions and in our self-interest. Each one of these traps keeps us from knowing that we, you and me, are the Dharma – the Truth. Do you know what keeps you trapped? Fashi Lao Yue offers some help.
The basics of practice are protections – protecting ourselves from doing harm to ourselves and protections for others by not doing harm to them. Many of us see ourselves as OLD HANDS at this business of spiritual work – but in reality all that has happened is we have gotten comfortable and secure in the world of material stuff – maybe even smug? We forget what choices we follow – in this essay, we are asked to re-examine our choices – and our sincerity. It, hopefully, challenges us to return to the Dharma with awareness and our full attention.
DON’T OVERLOOK THE BASICS.
IN LESSONS, Lesson 3, PART A we return to the foundations – to realize them in our lives, not just memorize them. Fashi Lao Yue gives us examples of what we do and examples of those who have realized the truth in the first Noble truth. There is suffering – it’s really true…what do we do about it?
Lessons Lesson 2. Aim – Boots and Feet Boots and Feet by FLY 2019 It was a hard day […]
This short piece is for all those who need a review or a new beginning with their practice. It is a lesson we often overlook – especially when we find ourselves confused and restless. It’s a brief piece that presses you to ask “where do I begin?” over and over again. It asks you to review and examine where you are and make a commitment – to embrace a path and follow it with surety of purpose as our dear one Hui Neng is alleged to have done.
Although enlightenment is sudden and strikes without warning there are preliminary strikes along the path that give us a glimpse at the absolute. The glimpse encourages us to continue the work knowing that encountering the absolute is not yet enlightenment. Lao Huo Shakya’s experience is an encouraging glimpse.
Watch out for the poop!
These alarm words came into my head about three-quarters of the way down the path to the gate. Annoying…just one more thing to pay attention to…I’ve got two full trash bags…heavy and banging up against the fence…I may have already stepped in the poop…