Kobo never chooses the brush

The people who are throwing the bombs are not physically starved, but they’re starved spiritually. They’re longing to hear something which will expand the spirit; because they can’t find it and can’t hear it, they are taking to these imprisoning thoughts and actions, and therefore anybody who practises meditation with a right life (rings bell) the dharma will speak through them.

Understanding the meaning of the word OM, and sitting in a secluded place

Understanding the meaning of the word OM, and sitting in a secluded place, if you repeat this holy word rhythmically and slowly and concentrate your mind on it, then after a practice, in some cases of a few months and in some cases a few years, your mind passes into a state of consciousness which …

Read moreUnderstanding the meaning of the word OM, and sitting in a secluded place

Fatalists twist the doctrine of karma to excuse themselves from making efforts

Fatalism – Apathetics Anonymous  My teacher, Hari Prasad Shastri, brought out particularly strongly that we must not be fatalists.   Some holy texts can be used to support fatalism, to make people members of apathetics anonymous. “Whatever will be, will be”, they echo the rich gentry and aristocrats in the last act of the Viennese Opera …

Read moreFatalists twist the doctrine of karma to excuse themselves from making efforts

Spiritual inspirations and revelations can be put together and rearranged in a new pattern

A string of jewels, a string of pearls, is an image used in the Gita. The fact is that if pearls individually and scattered all over the place in dusty corners, have no beauty.    They are of no ornamental value, and of little other value.  But when they are brought together in a string they …

Read moreSpiritual inspirations and revelations can be put together and rearranged in a new pattern

To have inner voices is regarded as a symptom of dysfunction

To have inner voices telling one something is regarded as a symptom of dysfunction. There have been some notable exceptions, however. In the 1920’s there was a case where a woman went to her doctor complaining of voices in her head – voices and other noises, even including music. He referred her to what was …

Read moreTo have inner voices is regarded as a symptom of dysfunction

Some scholars study texts in which they have no interest whatever in the real meaning

In the early days of Hi-fi, one would be invited, sometimes, to a little concert in a room surrounded by speakers of various kinds. Listening to the music, the host would be constantly jumping up and making some adjustment, and then sitting down and listening intently. He was disturbing the enjoyment of the music, but …

Read moreSome scholars study texts in which they have no interest whatever in the real meaning

In Sojiji temple there is a picture of Nansen killing a cat

In Sojiji temple near Tokyo, there is a picture of the Chinese patriarch Nansen killing a cat. It illustrates a famous koan riddle. With his right hand he is holding aloft the glaring spitting cat, while his other hand grasps the sword. The Japanese master Dogen, founder of the Soto Zen line of which Sojiji …

Read moreIn Sojiji temple there is a picture of Nansen killing a cat

Why haven’t we been converted to good thinking and behaviour?

QUESTION:  If there is a benevolent God or a Vairochana Buddha endowed with compassion and skilful means, how is it that we human beings have not been simply converted to good thinking and behaviour? ANSWER:  If these transcendent powers symbolised with the various titles were to bring this about by their omnipotence, it would convert …

Read moreWhy haven’t we been converted to good thinking and behaviour?

Categories Q&A

Have texts to be interpreted to suit modern people and condition?

QUESTION:  Surely the old texts, and the comments of the later masters on them, have to be interpreted to suit modern people and condition? After all, instructions given to Indians or Chinese centuries ago are inevitably out of date; they were doubtless appropriate for the conditions of their times, but not now. For instance, the …

Read moreHave texts to be interpreted to suit modern people and condition?

Categories Q&A

Meditation itself will take over and then it will begin to shine forth

A Japanese poem – Shizukasa ya Iwa ni shimiiru Semi no koe The translation could be – ‘Oh, the quietness. The shrill voice of the cicada Is soaked up by the stones.’ This is a temple scene. Suddenly in the quiet there is the bursting force of the shrill note of the cicada. It’s ear …

Read moreMeditation itself will take over and then it will begin to shine forth

His mind had not yet been loosened to recognise the cosmic plane

Learning a Language When we begin to learn a foreign language, we may learn a few words by the so-called Direct Method. But for anything more than simple meanings, we have to construct an English sentence in our heads, and then search for equivalents and structures in the foreign language. This can go on for …

Read moreHis mind had not yet been loosened to recognise the cosmic plane

Bristles of egoism and pride and self-satisfaction and conceit and ambition

When someone who has a hope of getting some advantage lavishes praise and compliments on us, we feel quite unaffected, because we know that it’s simply turned on like a tap, to get something from us. It might as well be a tape recording. We think “Words, words, what do words matter? Nothing at all.” …

Read moreBristles of egoism and pride and self-satisfaction and conceit and ambition

A vigorous spiritual vitality is the spring that waters all the fields

In Judo there are hundreds of different throwing techniques and manoeuvres and students in the early months of training hope to learn a new one every week or so. Some teachers refuse, and tell then to keep practising away at just a couple. Other teachers do in fact demonstrate many different tricks. The fact is …

Read moreA vigorous spiritual vitality is the spring that waters all the fields

Pride and Egoism are supposed to be the biggest obstacles in yoga

QUESTION:  Pride and Egoism are supposed to be the biggest obstacles in yoga, but then, directions are given for doing things that are right, and not doing things that are wrong. If these instructions are faithfully carried out, there is bound to be the feeling of self-satisfaction, leading to pride. So it is best not …

Read morePride and Egoism are supposed to be the biggest obstacles in yoga

Categories Q&A

When individuality is transcended there is a cosmic effect

A pupil heard a teacher say that when by long training the individuality is transcended there is a cosmic effect. This effect is far greater than anything produced on the individual plain by individual words and actions. So this pupil asked the teacher: “It is clear to us sir, when we face you, that your …

Read moreWhen individuality is transcended there is a cosmic effect