Essential Chan Buddhism Guo Jun

IN CHAN, YOU fall in love with your breath.
You think about the breath while you’re sitting, eating, and walking. After you finish your work, you think about the breath. The breath comes to your mind. You want to get close to the breath. There is a tenderness, sweetness, and intimacy that you want to share with the breath. You want to give your time to the breath; you want to give your whole self to the breath. You want to take care of the breath. The breath is very precious, just as the person you love is precious. You treat the breath with gentleness and care.

there is a tenderness, sweetness, and intimacy that you want to share with the breath

When you cannot find the breath, you don’t get angry, in the same way that when you cannot find the person you love, you don’t get angry; you just keep thinking: Where is she? Similarly, the breath, being your most loyal and loved one, will not desert you. It will not stop searching or looking for you when you are lost. It will find you; all you need to do is just be still, and it will come to you by your side.


Give yourself to the breath as if you are giving to the person you love. Give it your life. Your everything. Have this kind of intimacy, longing, and fondness for the breath. Forgive the breath when it becomes short and rough. Do not rise up in anger against it. Accept the breath as it is. Love and accept it.
Falling in love gives you energy. It is the same when you fall in love with your breath. You think about the breath when you wake up. You are enthusiastic. You have energy.

from the moment we are born until the moment we die, our most loyal friend is the breath

Falling in love with your breath is called the meditation of love. People sometimes think that in Buddhism love is something that is frowned upon and relationships are no good. This is because relationships necessarily involve attachment and grasping, and Buddhism often teaches us to detach. We should let go of intimate relationships because they are a constant struggle, and struggle is, inevitably, a source of suffering.
Chan teaches us to love with no attachment. To care without imposing. To love in the way we love the breath.
Czytaj dalej

Memories, Dreams, Reflections Carl Gustav Jung

Al­though we hu­man be­ings have our own per­sonal life, we are yet in large mea­sure the rep­re­sen­ta­tives, the vic­tims and pro­mot­ers of a col­lec­tive spirit whose years are counted in cen­turies.

The col­lec­tive un­con­scious is com­mon to all; it is the foun­da­tion of what the an­cients called the “sym­pa­thy of all things.”

The psy­che is dis­tinctly more com­pli­cated and in­ac­ces­si­ble than the body. It is, so to speak, the half of the world which comes into ex­is­tence only when we be­come con­scious of it. For that rea­son the psy­che is not only a per­sonal but a world prob­lem, and the psy­chi­a­trist has to deal with an en­tire world.
 Nowa­days we can see as never be­fore that the peril which threat­ens all of us comes not from na­ture, but from man, from the psy­ches of the in­di­vid­ual and the mass. The psy­chic aber­ra­tion of man is the dan­ger. Ev­ery­thing de­pends upon whether or not our psy­che func­tions prop­erly. If cer­tain per­sons lose their heads nowa­days, a hy­dro­gen bomb will go off.

Ide­al­ism had to be aban­doned, for there are higher things than the ego’s will, and to these one must bow.

I have fre­quently seen peo­ple be­come neu­rotic when they con­tent them­selves with in­ad­e­quate or wrong an­swers to the ques­tions of life. They seek po­si­tion, mar­riage, rep­u­ta­tion, out­ward suc­cess or money, and re­main un­happy and neu­rotic even when they have at­tained what they were seek­ing. Such peo­ple are usu­ally con­fined within too nar­row a spir­i­tual hori­zon. Their life has not suf­fi­cient con­tent, suf­fi­cient mean­ing. If they are en­abled to de­velop into more spa­cious per­son­al­i­ties, the neu­ro­sis gen­er­ally dis­ap­pears. For that rea­son the idea of de­vel­op­ment was al­ways of the high­est im­por­tance to me.

Memories, Dreams, Reflections carl jung

Among the so-called neu­rotics of our day there are a good many who in other ages would not have been neu­rotic — that is, di­vided against them­selves. If they had lived in a pe­riod and in a mi­lieu in which man was still linked by myth with the world of the an­ces­tors, and thus with na­ture truly ex­pe­ri­enced and not merely seen from out­side, they would have been spared this di­vi­sion with them­selves. I am speak­ing of those who can­not tol­er­ate the loss of myth and who can nei­ther find a way to a merely ex­te­rior world, to the world as seen by sci­ence, nor rest sat­is­fied with an in­tel­lec­tual jug­gling with words, which has noth­ing what­so­ever to do with wis­dom.

“The stone has no un­cer­tain­ties, no urge to com­mu­ni­cate, and is eter­nally the same for thou­sands of years,” I would think, “while I am only a pass­ing phe­nom­e­non which bursts into all kinds of emo­tions, like a flame that flares up quickly and then goes out.” I was but the sum of my emo­tions, and the Other in me was the time­less, im­per­ish­able stone.

The Tao Is Silent Raymond M. Smullyan

At all costs, the Chris­tian must con­vince the hea­then and the athe­ist that God ex­ists, in or­der to save his soul. At all costs, the athe­ist must con­vince the Chris­tian that the be­lief in God is but a child­ish and prim­i­tive su­per­sti­tion, do­ing enor­mous harm to the cause of true so­cial progress 1)↓. And so they bat­tle and storm and bang away at each other. Mean­while, the Taoist Sage sits qui­etly by the stream, per­haps with a book of po­ems, a cup of wine, and some paint­ing ma­te­ri­als, en­joy­ing the Tao to his hearts con­tent, with­out ever wor­ry­ing whether or not Tao ex­ists. The Sage has no need to af­firm the Tao; he is far too busy en­joy­ing it!


A math­e­ma­ti­cian friend of mine re­cently told me of a math­e­ma­ti­cian friend of his who ev­ery­day “takes a nap”. Now, I never take naps. But I of­ten fall asleep while read­ing — which is very dif­fer­ent from de­lib­er­ately tak­ing a nap! I am far more like my dogs Peek­a­boo, Peeka­too and Trixie than like my math­e­ma­ti­cian friend once re­moved. These dogs never take naps; they merely fall asleep. They fall asleep wher­ever and when­ever they choose (which, in­ci­den­tally is most of the time!). Thus these dogs are true Sages.
 I think this is all that Chi­nese phi­los­o­phy is re­ally about; the rest is mere elab­o­ra­tion! If you can learn to fall asleep with­out tak­ing a nap, then you too will be­come a Sage. But if you can’t, you will find it not as easy as you might think. It takes dis­ci­pline! But dis­ci­pline in the East­ern, not West­ern style. East­ern dis­ci­pline en­ables you to fall asleep rather than take a nap; West­ern dis­ci­pline has you do the re­verse. East­ern dis­ci­pline trains you to “al­low your­self” to sleep when you are sleepy; West­ern dis­ci­pline teaches you to force your­self to sleep whether you are sleepy or not. Had I been Laotse, I would have added the fol­low­ing maxim — which I think is the quin­tes­sence of Taoist phi­los­o­phy:

The Sage falls asleep not be­cause he ought to
Nor even be­cause he wants to
But be­cause he is sleepy.

Czytaj dalej

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1. Lawrence Krauss & Richard Dawkins

Capra at Fukuoka’s hut from "Sawing Seeds in the Desert"

It’s true that I have writ­ten sev­eral books,” I re­sponded, “but you seem to have writ­ten your books be­liev­ing they would be use­ful to other peo­ple. I’ve writ­ten mine with the idea that books are not use­ful at all.

Some years ago, Fritjof Capra, a pro­fes­sor of the­o­ret­i­cal physics at the Uni­ver­sity of Cal­i­for­nia who also lec­tures on sci­ence as a holis­tic dis­ci­pline, vis­ited my hill­side hut. He was trou­bled that the cur­rent the­o­ries of sub­atomic par­ti­cles ap­peared to be in­com­plete. There ought to be some fun­da­men­tal prin­ci­ple, Capra said, and he wanted to ex­press it math­e­mat­i­cally.
 In search­ing for this elu­sive fun­da­men­tal prin­ci­ple, he had found a hint in the Taoist con­cept of yin and yang. He called it the sci­ence of the Tao, but he added that this alone did not solve the puz­zle.
 He had likened the lively dance of sub­atomic par­ti­cles to the dance of the In­dian god Shiva 1)↓, but it was dif­fi­cult to know what the steps of the dance were, or the melody of the flute. I had learned about the con­cept of sub­atomic par­ti­cles from him, so of course I had no words that could di­rectly dis­pel his frus­tra­tion.
 It is one thing to think that within the con­stant changes of all things and phe­nom­ena there must be some cor­re­spond­ing fixed laws, but hu­mans can­not seem to be sat­is­fied un­til they have ex­pressed these laws math­e­mat­i­cally. I be­lieve there is a limit to our abil­ity to know na­ture with hu­man knowl­edge. When I men­tioned this might be the source of his prob­lem, Capra coun­tered, say­ing, “I’ve writ­ten more than ten books, but haven’t you writ­ten books, too, think­ing knowl­edge was use­ful?”
 “It’s true that I have writ­ten sev­eral books,” I re­sponded, “but you seem to have writ­ten your books be­liev­ing they would be use­ful to other peo­ple. I’ve writ­ten mine with the idea that books are not use­ful at all. It ap­pears that both of us, from the West and the East, are in­ves­ti­gat­ing na­ture and yearn­ing for a re­turn to na­ture, so we are able to sit to­gether and have a meet­ing of the minds. But on the point of af­firm­ing or negat­ing hu­man knowl­edge, we seem to be mov­ing in op­po­site di­rec­tions, so we prob­a­bly will not ar­rive at the same place in the end.”
 In the end, it will re­quire some courage and per­haps a leap of faith for peo­ple to aban­don what they think they know.
Masanobu Fukuoka, „Sawing Seeds in the Desert”


This draw­ing shows the “cave of the in­tel­lect,” which is de­scribed below.
Czytaj dalej

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1. A ma­jor Hindu de­ity, Shiva is of­ten de­picted as danc­ing on Apas­mara, the de­mon of ig­no­rance.

Dharma Wheel Masanobu Fukuoka

All things were de­signed so that one is many, the in­di­vid­ual is the whole, the whole is per­fect, there is no waste, noth­ing is use­less, and all things per­form their best ser­vice.

I would like to pro­pose a dharma wheel the­ory of bi­o­log­i­cal de­vel­op­ment as an al­ter­na­tive to Dar­win’s flat, sin­gle-plane the­ory of nat­u­ral se­lec­tion. I will call it the Dharma Wheel The­ory of Flux in All Things. The dharma wheel can be seen as a rep­re­sen­ta­tion of nat­u­ral law. Na­ture ex­pands in all di­rec­tions, three-di­men­sion­ally, and at the same time, as it de­vel­ops, it con­verges and con­tracts. We can see these changes of ex­pan­sion and con­trac­tion as a kind of wheel. It is like the uni­verse—three-di­men­sional, al­ways ex­pand­ing and con­tract­ing, spin­ning in space, and head­ing in an un­known di­rec­tion.
 At the cre­ation, along with the birth of the rest of the uni­verse, the earth and all the liv­ing things on it were born as a sin­gle, uni­fied body with a com­mon fate. Ev­ery­thing re­gard­ing the roles, the aims, and the work of each of them orig­i­nated and was con­cluded in the same in­stant. All things were de­signed so that one is many, the in­di­vid­ual is the whole, the whole is per­fect, there is no waste, noth­ing is use­less, and all things per­form their best ser­vice.
 There is an­other as­pect to this dy­namic, spin­ning, ex­pand­ing, and con­tract­ing three-di­men­sional and mul­ti­fac­eted dharma wheel. Its cen­ter, the hub, is for­ever mo­tion­less and for­ever one. In­stead of see­ing the dis­tinc­tions among the things of this world, if we look at the base, it is all one, and the pur­pose of all things is the same.
Masanobu Fukuoka, „Sawing Seeds in the Desert”


Two peo­ple are sit­ting by the fire in­side an earth­en­ware jar. The jar rep­re­sents the world cre­ated by hu­man thoughts. The three char­ac­ters around the peo­ple are wind, light, fire. The char­ac­ter in the smoke that has man­aged to rise out of the jar is mu, or empti­ness. The third per­son, who is not in­side the jar, is re­lax­ing and en­joy­ing him­self.

The hearth is the uni­verse
the uni­verse is also a mid-day dream.