Zen Sickness, by Zen Master Hakuin

Buddhism now

Hakuin Zenji (1689-1769)  describes the “Zen sickness” he contracted in his latter twenties and the methods he learned from the recluse Hakuyu in the mountains outside Kyoto that enabled him to cure the ailment.

Virtue, by Hakuin Ekaku. www.metmuseum.orgOn the day I first committed myself to a life of Zen practice, I pledged to summon all the faith and courage at my command and dedicate myself with steadfast resolve to the pursuit of the Buddha Way. I embarked on a regimen of rigorous austerities, which I continued for several years, pushing myself relentlessly.

Then one night, everything suddenly fell away, and I crossed the threshold into enlightenment. All the doubts and uncertaint­ies that had burdened me all those years suddenly vanished, roots and all—just like melted ice. Deep-rooted karma that had bound me for endless kalpas to the cycle of birth-and-death vanished like foam on the water.

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The Bodhisattva Heart

The Dōgen Institute

Extract from Boundless Vows, Endless Practice
German version of this post

I firmly believe that the heart of the world is a bodhisattva heart. I believe that we find bodhisattvas in the three times and in the ten thousand directions as well as in every spiritual and religious tradition. I believe that bodhisattvas quietly and serenely, and maybe some other times more noisily, all according to their lives, culture, time, and causes and conditions, have worked, are working and will continue to work for the sake of all existences beyond space and time into infinity. I believe that the whole universe, the infinitesimal one as well as the macrocosmic one not yet discovered, pulsates with the heart of all bodhisattvas. That is how strong and boundless this faith is ingrained in my body/mind, one with the five skandhas allowing me to feel, think, and share this wonderful path in this…

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No Matter

Great Middle Way

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Don’t hate the arising of thoughts or stop the thoughts that do arise. Simply realize that your original mind, right from the start, is beyond thought.

No matter what, you never get involved with thoughts. Illuminate the original mind, and no other understanding is necessary.

—Bankei Yotaku

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