It was warm and rained heavily at the night of the arrival . It continued to rain on the first day of the Sesshin. The following two days we lived in springtime , it was mild and sunny .
Seven people had applied for the retreat , but finally only four came to practice . It is interesting , amusing , to understand what makes people change their minds from wanting to participate on a Sesshin to hesitation at the last moment . One person had just fallen in love the days before and thought it would not be worth to make a retreat as he would think anyway the whole time on his loved one .
So the winds of emotion had striped the tree of its leafs . A bare trunk kept standing , unmoving .
Three days we could experiment in body and mind how necessary it is to cut off from social activities if we want to deepen our practice of self-understanding , of Zazen . We did not engage in small talks and spoke only if it was needed . We had long Zazens and the teachings were developing out of the present moment . Individually we experienced the same practice instead of sharing the same informations .
When I look at the parable of the man hanging between two tigers only holding a root of the vine , I understand today : it is not about to stay alive , it is about living .
There will be other possibilities to practice the way in 2013 in the Dojo Tai Ku An.
I wish you happy holidays and a joyful passing into 2013 .
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Buddha once told a parable in sutra:
A man traveling across a field encountered a tiger. He fled, the tiger after him. Coming to a precipice, he caught hold of the root of a wild vine and swung himself down over the edge. The tiger sniffed at him from above. Trembling, the man looked down to where, far below, another tiger was waiting to eat him. Only the vine sustained him.
Two mice, one white and one black, little by little started to gnaw away the vine. The man saw a luscious strawberry near him. Grasping the vine with one hand, he plucked the strawberry with the other. How sweet it tasted!
Certa vez, Buddha contou uma parábola:
Um homem ao atravessar um campo deparou-se com um tigre. Fugiu, correndo com o tigre atrás dele. Quando chegou a um precipício, conseguiu agarrar-se na raiz de uma videira selvagem e ficou pendurado, a salvo. O tigre cheirava-o de cima. Tremendo, o homem olha para baixo, e vê que no fim do precipício, outro tigre esperava-o. Apenas a videira o sustinha.
Dois ratos, um branco e outro preto, que ali estavam, aos poucos roíam a raiz da videira. Naquele momento, o homem reparou num vistoso e suculento morango que estava próximo. Agarrando a videira só com uma mão, tirou com a outra o morango, e o comeu. “Hum. Que delicia!”
After ZAZEN (siting meditation) we do a ceromony where we chant the Heart Sutra – MAKA HANNYA HARAMITA SHIN GYO, one of the main Sutras of MAHAYANA Buddhism.
MAKAHANNYAHARAMITA HEART SUTRA
When the Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara
Was coursing in deep Hannya Haramita,
He percieved that all five skandhas are empty ,
Thereby transcending all sufferings.