Quotes and Reflections

Page Two




I have seen some incredible sights: lightning spreading over the Pacific, the Aurora Australis lighting up the entire visible horizon with the cityglow of Australia below, the crescent moon setting over the limb of the Earth, the vast plains of Africa and the dunes on Cape Horn, rivers breaking through tall mountain passes, the scars of humanity, the continuous line of life extending from North America, through Central America and into South America, a crescent moon setting over the limb of our blue planet.
Mount Fuji looks life a small bump from up here, but it does stand out as a very distinct landmark.

Thanks to many of you who have supported me and my adventures throughout the years. This was definitely one to beat all. I hope you could feel the positive energy that beamed to the whole planet as we glided over our shared planet.
Love to all,

Laurel Clark - Astronaut



Although you may understand the explanations,
if you are still suffering because of problems,
you clearly do not understand the true nature of your mind,
your body, and your senses.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche



Many people are afraid to empty their minds
lest they may plunge into the Void.
They do not know that their own Mind is the Void.

The ignorant eschew phenomena but not thought;
the wise eschew thought but not phenomena.

Master Huang Po



Any state you can be in
like today's weather will pass.

Trying to hold onto the state's
like trying to change the weather.

You, like the rock, entertain
the weather in constant flux.




Things are things because of the Mind;
The Mind is the Mind because of things.

If you wish to know what these two are,
They are originally one Emptiness.

The Hsinhsinming

The birds have vanished into the sky.
Now the last cloud drains away.

We sit together, the mountain and me,
until only the mountain remains.

Li Po (701-762)

Feelings come and go
like clouds in a windy sky.

Conscious breathing is my anchor.

Thich Nhat Hanh

Doing nothing,
but leaving nothing undone

Zen Koan

Wisdom sun makes the sky become red
Mind moon is always white
Red and white never end
Everything - great peace in spring

Chan Master Man Gong

Dualism will never end.
Endless we transcend it with equanimity from practice.

If you touch one thing with deep awareness,
you touch everything.


Thich Nhat Hanh

Every thing,
Every place is real,
Each particle makes up
the Original Person.

Still, the absolutely real
Is voiceless,
The true body's
Majestically out of sight.


Chosha (9th century)



"I am That I Am"
sums up the whole truth;
the method is summarized in
"Be Still."


Ramana Maharshi (d.1950)



By plucking her petals,
you do not gather the beauty of the flower.


Zen Saying



I will continue to be.
But you will have to be very attentive to see me.

I will be a flower or a leaf.
I will be in these forms and I will say hello to you.
If you are attentive enough,
you will recognise me,
and you may smile to me.

I will be very happy.


Thich Nhat Hanh



The Way is beyond language,
for in it there is no yesterday
no tomorrow
no today.





Taohsin came and bowed to Sengtsan, and said,

"I ask you for your merciful teaching.
Please show me how to be released".

Sengtsan answered,

"Who has bound you?"
"No one", he replied.

Sengtsan said,

"Why then do you ask to be released?"

Taohsin immediately came to a profound realisation.


(Chuantenglu, 3)



Well versed in the Buddha way,
I go the non-Way
Without abandoning my
Ordinary person's affairs.

The conditioned and
All are flowers in the sky.

Nameless and formless,
I leave birth-and-death.


Layman P'ang (740-808)



The moon reflected in the stream,
the wind blowing through the pines
In the cool of the evening, in the deep midnight,
what is it for?

It is all for nothing, for itself, for others.
This is the suchness of things.





Just detach from all sound and form,
And do not dwell in detachment,
And do not dwell in intellectual understanding,

This is practice.





Awake or asleep
In a grass hut,
What I pray for is
To bring others across
Before myself.


Dogen (1200-1253)



How I wish to kill!
How I wish
Not to kill!

The thief I have caught
Is my own son.


Yamazaki Sokan



In my hut this spring,
There is nothing,
There is everything.


Sodo (1641-1716)



Rain, hail and snow,
Ice too, are set apart,

But when they fall, --
The same water
Of the valley stream.


Zen Master



The mind, the Buddha, living creatures,
these are not three different things.


Avatamsaka Sutra



Moving/resting is meaningless.
Traceless, leaving/coming.

Across moonlit mountains,
Howling wind!





Not twice this day
Inch time foot gem.

This day will not come again.
Each minute a priceless gem.


Takuan (1573-1645)




See anything
Brought about by causes
As like a star,
An obstruction of the eye,
A lamp, an illusion.

The dew, or a bubble;
A dream, or lightning,
Or else a cloud.


Chone Lama Drakpa Shedrup (1675-1748)



Nowhere-attached mind
is the Buddha mind.


Hui Hai



The Buddhist doctrine for this world
Is not to be separated from worldly knowledge.

To search for enlightenment apart from this world
Is equivalent to seeking horns on a rabbit!


Hui Neng



The clouds emerge from the Mountain of Chung
And then return to the Mountain of Chung.
I would like to ask the dweller in this mountain,
"Where are the clouds now?"

Clouds emerge from No mind
And then return to No mind.
No mind is nowhere to be found.
We need not seek the home of no mind.


Wang An-shih (1068-1076)



No thinking, no reflecting
Perfect emptiness:
Yet therein something moves,
Following its own course.


Shinkage-ryu - sword school



Though night after night
The moon is stream-reflected,
Try to find where it has touched,
Point even to a shadow.


Takuan (1573-1645)



The non-discriminating light
In a moment of awareness
In your mind is the Buddha's
Wisdom within you.

The undifferentiated light
In a moment of awareness
In your mind is the Buddha's
Manifestation within you.


Lin Chi (d.867)



The temple bell stops --
But the sound keeps coming
Out of the flowers.


Matsuo Basho (1644-1694)



The river of Zen is quiet,
Even in the waves;

The water of stability is clear,
Even in the waves.





No one really knows
The nature of birth
Nor the true dwelling place.

We return to the source
And turn to dust.


Ikkyu (1394-1481)



This is the only moment
This is the only day.


Thich Nhat Hanh



Earth, mountains, rivers
Hidden in this nothingness.
In the nothingness
Earth, mountains, rivers revealed.

Spring flowers, winter snows:
There's no being nor non-being,
Nor denial itself.


Saisho (15th century)



Keep to unity without shifting.
With constant presence,
Whether active or still,
The student can see the
Buddha nature clearly.


Tao-hsin (580-651)



So high you cannot
Climb or get close to it;
Raindrops scatter in the flying wind.
The gate is barred with green moss.

Suddenly forgetting thought,
Without attainment,
Only then will you be sure
The gate has been open all along.


Zen Master T'aego (1301-1382)



Learned friends,
Our self-natured Bodhi
Is fundamentally pure
And clean.

Use only this mind of yours
For direct understanding
And attainment of Buddhahood.


Altar Sutra



People in the world cannot
identify their own mind.
They believe that what
they see, or hear, or feel,
or know, is mind.

They are blocked by the visual,
the auditory, the tactile, and the mental,
so they cannot see the
brilliant spirit of their
Original Mind.





Here in Hsueh-t'ou Mountain
a rapid waterfall dashes
down thousands of feet.

Here nothing stays,
not even the tiniest chestnut.
An awesome cliff rises
up thousands of feet
with no space for you to stand.

My friends, may I ask:
Where do you proceed?


Yung-ming (904-975)



The fundamental teaching of Buddhism is nothing but the doctrine of One Mind. This Mind is originally perfect and vastly illuminating. It is clear and pure, containing nothing, not even a fine dust.

There is neither delusion nor enlightenment, neither birth nor death, neither saints nor sinners. Sentient beings and Buddhas are of the same fundamental nature.

There are no two natures to distinguish them. This is why Bodhidharma came from the west to teach the Ch'an method of "direct pointing" to the original true Mind.


Han-Shan Te-Ch'ing



Who would have expected that
Self-nature is fundamentally
Pure and clean?

Who would have expected that
Self nature is fundamentally
Beyond birth and death?


Altar Sutra



Hui Neng, the Sixth and last Patriarch of our Chan Path, once came upon two monks who were arguing about a banner that was waving in the wind.
The first monk said, "It is the banner that is moving " The other monk said, "No! It is the wind that is moving."
The Sixth Patriarch admonished them both. "Good Sirs," he said. "It is your mind that is doing all the moving!"

Comment by Master Xu Yun:

In the world of Samsara, Man is the measure of all things. Everything is relative. Everything is changing. Only in the real world, the world of Nirvana, is there constancy.
In Chan our task is to discriminate - not between the false and the false, but between the false and the real. Differences in outward appearance do not matter at all. The real world is inside us. It is even inside our mind.


Comments of Master Xu Yun



Life, death and peace
Are coming together beautifully
Human relationships are nice
In so many ways.

A moment you come
A moment of love and care
Turning everything into
Eternal light


Thay Giac Thanh



It has no shape or form;
It is not square or round.
There are no things in words;
There are no words in things.

Deliberate exploitation is
Contrary to true function;
When meditating with no intention,
Everything is Zen.


Tung-shan (807-869)




An empty autumn
Under empty sky
Walking freely
Among colors.


Thay Giac Thanh



When you hear your inner voice,
forget it.


Hyoen Sahn



Cast off what has been realized.
Turn back to the subject
That realizes
To the root bottom

And resolutely
Go on.


Bassui (1338-1500)



Although active and functioning,
There is no motion.
Although quiescent,
It is not fixated.

The pure breeze blows
Over the grasses,
But the grasses do not sway.
The bright moon fills the sky,
Yet there is no shining.


Dongshan Liangjie (807-869)



What is this mind?
Who is hearing these sounds?

Do not mistake any state for
Self-realization, but continue
To ask yourself
Even more intensely,

What is it that hears?


Bassui (1338-1500)



Hell is not punishment,
it's training.


Shunryu Suzuki



Not believing in anything
I just sit,
listening to my breathing.

After thirty years
It still goes in and out.


Albert Coelho



If you want to take away the I-my-me mountain,
you must get a cane made of rabbit horn.

If you want to cross the ocean of suffering,
you must take the ship with no bottom.

1. Where do you get a cane made of rabbit horn?
2. Where is the ship with no bottom?


Master Hyo Bong



The one who bows and pays respect,
And the one who receives the bow and the respect,
Both of us are empty.
That is why the communion is perfect.


Thich Nhat Hanh,
The Heart of Understanding



When the mind is transparent and pure
As if reflected on the
Mirror-like surface of the water,
There is nothing in the world
That you would dislike.

When it is serene as the
Light breeze in the sunshine,
There will be no one
Whom you would like to forget.


Pa-ta Shan-jen (1626-1701)



The empty hand holds the hoe
Feet walking, riding the water buffalo.

The man walks over the bridge
The bridge flows, the water does not flow.


Fu Shan-hui (487-569)



Eye cannot see It,
Tongue cannot utter It,
Mind cannot grasp It.

There is no way to learn or to teach It.
It is different from the known,
Beyond the unknown.

In this all the ancient masters agree.





To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And Heaven in a Wild Flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour.


William Blake (1757 - 1827)
Auguries of Innocence.



To return to the root
Is to find the meaning,
To pursue appearances
Is to miss the source.

At the moment of inner enlightenment
There is a going beyond
Appearance and emptiness.

The changes that appear
To occur in the empty world
We call real only
Because of our ignorance.


S'eng T'sang (d.606)



Calling out to Buddha is
Calling your own heart.
The heart is Buddha, no place else.

Look to the forests,
The pools, the ponds.
Let day and night
Sing Dharma's song.


Tai An (d.1403)



The true person is
Not anyone in particular;

But like the deep blue color
Of the limitless sky,

It is everyone,
Everywhere in the world.


Dogen (1200-1253)



Every moment there is birth,
every moment there is death.

The arising of one thought-moment [in breath] means
the passing away of another thought-moment [out breath]

And vice versa.


(Dharma Teacher)



Right now mind is Buddha;
Right now Buddha is mind.

The shining mind Knows the Buddha;
The enlightened one Knows the mind.

Apart from mind, no Buddha;
Apart from Buddha, no mind.


Master Fu (497-569)



If the eye never falls asleep,
All dreams cease by themselves.

If the spirit retains its unity,
All things are of one essence.

When this essence is seen,
In an instant we are free.


Seng-ts'an (d.606)



This one word "awareness" is the source of all wonders.
Because of delusion concerning this awareness, the marks of self arise.

When it is assumed that there is "I" or "mine,"
liking and disliking automatically appear.


Chinul (1209)



Subhuti, does it occur to you that I believe that through me living beings are led to liberation?
Never think that way, Subhuti.

Why? Because there is no separate being to lead to liberation.
If I were to think there was, I would be caught in the notion of a self or a person or a life span.

Subhuti, what I call a self is essentially not a self in the way that an ordinary person thinks of it. But neither do I think of anyone as an ordinary person.
However, knowing the essence, I can use the name "ordinary person".


Diamond Sutra



If we happen to receive the instructions of a good friend
and suddenly awaken to this void and calm awareness,
the calm awareness becomes free of thought and formless.

Who then would assume that there is "self" or "person"?


Chinul (1209)



Inscription over Taoist hermitage

The recluse's heart is
a placid lake
unruffled by the winds
of circumstance.









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