May 8, 2018

If a man carries too many worldly burdens, his body will soon wear out. If he worries about too many worldly problems, his mind will soon collapse. To be so occupied with material things is a dangerous way to live, a foolish waste of energy. A man ought to simplify his needs and use his strength to attain spiritual goals. Nobody ever ruined his mind or body by exercising self-restraint. -Han Shan Deqing We can simplify our lives. Han Shan… Read more

May 3, 2018

 In polite society everybody notices if a man’s hands are dirty. He’ll be stared at contemptuously. Why, the fellow will be wretched until he can wash his hands. But isn’t it funny how a man can have character that’s defiled by greed and hate and nobody will pay the slightest attention? He’ll move about in perfect ease. Evidently, a dirty character isn’t worthy of notice as a dirty hand. -Han Shan Deqing   Don’t judge a book by it’s cover?… Read more

May 1, 2018

Those who pursue money are always rushed, always busy with urgent matters. Those who pursue the Dharma, go slow and easy. “Boring” you say? Maybe. Maybe it’s downright dreary to stop and smell a flower or listen to a bird. Maybe a glint of gold is really more dazzling than the sight of one’s Original Face. Maybe what we need is a better definition of “treasure”. -Han Shan Deqing Han Shan is talking about money. Our jobs sure do own… Read more

April 26, 2018

Everything in the universe is subject to change. There’s only one exception: death always follows life. Isn’t it strange that people haven’t noticed this, that they conduct their lives as though they’re going to live forever, that death is nothing to worry about? Of course if they really want to live as long as they obviously expect, they’d better pursue the Dharma. Life, death, and change itself are transcended in the Dharmakaya. -Han Shan Deqing   I think we know… Read more

April 24, 2018

This is a passage from a teaching by Master Han Shan called “The Maxims.” What are the two most common goals for people who live in the world? Wealth and fame. To gain these goals people are willing to lose everything, including the health of their body, mind and spirit. Not a very good exchange, is it? Worldly wealth and fame fade so quickly that we wonder which will last longer, the money, the fame or the man. But consider… Read more

April 20, 2018

I had a very vivid dream recently. In the dream I was leading a retreat. I was in a place that I had never been before. There were a lot of people in attendance, some I knew and some that I didn’t. It all seemed to be going very well. Obviously if you’re leading a retreat you want it to be well attended. When no one comes to a retreat it feels like a disappointment. If just one person comes it can… Read more

April 18, 2018

This is a passage from a teaching by Master Han Shan called “The Maxims.” People are always looking for the easy way. The hard way – the way learned by difficult experience and painful realizations – doesn’t interest them. They want a short-cut. True Dharma seekers are afraid of short-cuts. They know better. They know that without effort, there’s no sense of accomplishment. It’s that sense that keeps them going. People who don’t appreciate the struggles of climbing lack understanding… Read more

April 16, 2018

This is a passage from a teaching by Master Han Shan called “The Maxims.” It is easier to do the right thing when we know what the right thing to do is. We can’t rely on instinct to find the Way. We need guidance. But once we’re shown the path and begin to climb it, we find that with each step up we grow in wisdom and fortitude. Looking down we see how many of our old desires have fallen… Read more

April 12, 2018

This is a passage from a teaching by Master Han Shan called “The Maxims.” Why are certain material objects so treasured? A gem is virtually useless and a gilded scabbard is no better than a plain one. Man decides that gold is valuable because it is rare and enduring and brilliant. He then thinks that if he possesses gold he, himself, will become rare or unique, that his individual worth will endure, and that he also will be considered a… Read more

April 5, 2018

This is a passage from a teaching by Master Han Shan called “The Maxims.” The heart’s weather should always be clear, always sunny and calm. The only time the weather could turn bad is when clouds of lust and attachment form. These always bring storms of worry and confusion. This comes from the concept of Buddha Nature. The core of our being is wakefulness. Our natural state is full of love, kindness, and wisdom. We have an original goodness that… Read more

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