Sunday, 17 May 2009

Prajnaparamita

Here is a copy of the Prajnaparamita Sutra below and you can hear the words on Youtube to get the feeling



摩 訶 般 若 波 羅 蜜 多 心 経
MA KA HAN NYA HA RA MI TA SHIN GYOU

観 自 在 菩 薩 行 深 般 若 波 羅 蜜 多 時 照 見 五
KAN JI ZAI BO SATSU GYOU JIN HAN NYA HA RA MI TA JI SHOU KEN GO

蘊 皆 空 度 一 切 苦 厄 舎 利 子 色 不 異 空 空 不
ON KAI KUU DO IS SAI KU YAKU SHA RI SHI SHIKI FU I KUU KUU FU

異 色 色 即 是 空 空 即 是 色 受 想 行 識 亦 復 如
I SHIKI SHIKI SOKU ZE KUU KUU SOKU ZE SHIKI JU SOU GYOU SHIKI YAKU BU NYO

是 舎 利 子 是 諸 法 空 相 不 生 不 滅 不 垢 不 浄
ZE SHA RI SHI ZE SHO HOU KUU SOU FU SHOU FU METSU FU KU FU JOU

不 増 不 減 是 故 空 中 無 色 無 受 想 行 識 無 眼
FU ZOU FU GEN ZE KO KUU CHUU MU SHIKI MU JU SOU GYOU SHIKI MU GEN

耳 鼻 舌 身 意 無 色 声 香 味 触 法 無 眼 界 乃 至
NI BI ZES SHIN NI MU SHIKI SHOU KOU MI SOKU HOU MU GEN KAI NAI SHI

無 意 識 界 無 無 明 亦 無 無 明 尽 乃 至 無 老 死
MU I SHIKI KAI MU MU MYOU YAKU MU MU MYOU JIN NAI SHI MU ROU SHI

亦 無 老 死 尽 無 苦 集 滅 道 無 智 亦 無 得 以 無
YAKU MU ROU SHI JIN MU KU SHUU METSU DOU MU CHI YAKU MU TOKU I MU

所 得 故 菩 提 薩 埵 依 般 若 波 羅 蜜 多 故 心 無
SHO TOK KO BO DAI SAT TA E HAN NYA HA RA MIT TA KO SHIN MU

罫 礙 無 罫 礙 故 無 有 恐 怖 遠 離 一 切 顛 倒 夢
KEI GE MU KEI GE KO MU U KU FU ON RI IS SAI TEN DOU MU

想 空 竟 涅 槃 三 世 諸 仏 依 般 若 波 羅 蜜 多 故
SOU KUU GYOU NE HAN SAN ZE SHO BUTSU E HAN NYA HA RA MI TA KO

得 阿 耨 多 羅 三 藐 三 菩 提 故 知 般 若 波 羅 蜜
TOKU A NOKU TA RA SAN MYAKU SAN BO DAI KO CHI HAN NYA HA RA MI

多 是 大 神 呪 是 大 明 呪 是 無 上 呪 是 無 等 等
TA ZE DAI JIN SHU ZE DAI MYOU SHU ZE MU JOU SHU ZE MU TOU DOU

呪 能 除 一 切 苦 真 実 不 虚 故 説 般 若 波 羅 蜜
SHUU NOU JO IS SAI KU SHIN JITSU FU KO KO SETSU HAN NYA HA RA MI

多 呪 即 説 呪 曰
TA SHU SOKU SETSU SHU WATSU

羯 諦 羯 諦 波 羅 羯 諦 波 羅 僧 羯 諦 菩 提 沙 婆 訶
GYA TEI GYA TEI HA RA GYA TEI HA RA SOU GYA TEI BO JI SO WA KA

般 若 心 経
HAN NYA SHIN GYOU

Shingyo Sutra

One of the most insightful of Gautama Buddhas teachings is called Shingyo which is the shortest of a series of 3 sutras or teachings called Prajnaparamita hridaya.
It puts in a nutshell the essence of many points of his teaching including the mdiddle way, duality and Sunya or emptyness.

The Prajna Paramita mantra,which goes with this teaching is;
Gate Gate Para Gate Para Sangate Boddhi svaha!

There is a version found on audio here. Note this has the added word teyyada in the beginning.Teyyada Gate Gate Para Gate Para Sangate Boddhi svaha!
To listen on Youtube go here. It is a very calming sound.

Here is a copy of it found here where you can also find notes halfway down the page and many links to Zen teachings.

ENGLISH TRANSLATION OF THE SHINGYO


When[1] the Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara was engaged in the practice of the deep Prajnaparamita, he perceived that there are the five Skandhas;[2] and these he saw in their self-nature to be empty.[3]

"O Sariputra, form is here emptiness,[4] emptiness is form; form is no other than emptiness, emptiness is no other than form; that which is form is emptiness, that which is emptiness is form. The same can be said of sensation, thought, confection, and consciousness.

"O Sariputra, all things here are characterized with emptiness: they are not born, they are not annihilated; they are not tainted, they are not immaculate; they do not increase, they do not decrease. Therefore, O Sariputra, in emptiness there is no form, no sensation, no thought, no confection, no consciousness; no eye,[5] ear, nose, tongue, body, mind; no form,[6] sound, colour, taste, touch, objects; no Dhatu of vision,[7] till we come to[8] no Dhatu of consciousness; there is no knowledge, no ignorance," till we come to there is no old age and death, no extinction of old age and death; there is no suffering,[10] no accumulation, no annihilation, no path; there is no knowledge, no attainment, [and] no realization,[*] because there is no attainment. In the mind of the Bodhisattva who dwells depending on the Prajnaparamita there are no obstacles;[+] and, going beyond the perverted views, he reaches final Nirvana. All the Buddhas of the past, present, and future, depending on the Prajnaparamita, attain to the highest perfect enlightenment.

NOTES

1 There are two texts with the title of The Hridaya: the one is known as the Shorter and the other the Larger. The one printed above is the shorter sutra in general use in Japan and China.

The opening passage in the larger text in Sanskrit and Tibetan, which is missing in the shorter one, is as follows: [The Tibetan has this additional passage: "Adoration to the Prajnaparamita, which is beyond words, thought, and praise, whose

[* Nabhisamayah is missing in the Chinese translations as well as in the Horyuji MS.

+ For varana all the Chinese have "obstacle", and this is in full accord with the teaching of the Prajnaparamita. Max Muller's rendering, "envelop", is not good.]

self-nature is, like unto space, neither created nor destroyed, which is a state of wisdom and morality evident to our inner consciousness, and which is the mother of all Excellent Ones of the past, present, and future".] "Thus I heard. At one time World-honoured One dwelt at Rajagriha, on the Mount of the Vulture, together with a large number of Bhikshus and a large number of Bodhisattvas. At that time the World-honoured One was absorbed in a Samadhi (Meditation) known as Deep Enlightenment. And at the same moment the Great Bodhisattva Aryavalokitesvara was practising himself in the deep Prajnaparamita."

The concluding passage, which is also missing in the shorter text, runs as follows:

"O Sariputra, thus should the Bodhisattva practise himself in the deep Prajnaparamita. At that moment, the World-honoured One rose from the Samadhi and gave approval to the Great Bodhisattva Aryavalokitesvara, saying: Well done, well done, noble son! so it is! so should the practice of the deep Prajnaparamita be carried on. As it has been preached by you, it is applauded by Tathagatas and Arhats. Thus spoke the World-honoured One with joyful heart. The venerable Sariputra and the Great Bodhisattva Aryavalokitesvara together with the whole assemblage, and the world of Gods, Men, Asuras, and Gandharvas, all praised the speech of the World-honoured One."

2. From the modern scientific point of view, the conception of Skandha seems to be too vague and indefinite. But we must remember that the Buddhist principle of analysis is not derived from mere scientific interest; it aims at saving us from the idea of an ultimate individual reality which is imagined to exist as such for all the time to come. For when this idea is adhered to as final, the error of attachment is committed, and it is this attachment that forever enslaves us to the tyranny of external things. The five Skandhas ("aggregates" or "elements") are form (rupam), sensation or sense-perception (vedana), thought (samjna), confection or conformation (samskara), and consciousness (vijnana). The first Skandha is the material world or the materiality of things, while the remaining four Skandhas belong to the mind. Vedana is what we get through our senses; samjna corresponds to thought in its broadest sense, or that which mind elaborates; samskara is a very difficult term and there is no exact English equivalent; it means something that gives form, formative principle; vijnana is consciousness or mentation. There arc six forms of mentation, distinguishable as seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching, and thinking.

3. Hsuan-chuang's translation has this added: "He was delivered from all suffering and misery."

4. "Empty" (sunya) or "emptiness" (sunyata) is one of the most important notions in Mahayana philosophy and at the same time the most puzzling for non-Buddhist readers to comprehend. Emptiness does not mean "relativity", or "phenomenality", or "nothingness", but rather means the Absolute, or something of transcendental nature, although this rendering is also misleading as we shall see later. When Buddhists declare all things to be empty, they are not advocating a nihilistic view; on the contrary an ultimate reality is hinted at, which cannot be subsumed under the categories of logic. With them, to proclaim the conditionality of things is to point to the existence of something altogether unconditioned and transcendent of all determination. Sunyata may thus often be most appropriately rendered by the Absolute. When the sutra says that the five Skandhas have the character of emptiness, or that in emptiness there is neither creation nor destruction, neither defilement nor immaculacy, etc., the sense is: no limiting qualities are to be attributed to the Absolute; while it is immanent in all concrete and particular objects, it is not in itself definable. Universal negation, therefore, in the philosophy of Prajna is an inevitable outcome.

5. No eye, no ear, etc., refer to the six senses. In Buddhist philosophy, mind (manovijnana) is the special sense-organ for the apprehension of dharma, or objects of thought.

6. No form, no sound, etc., are the six qualities of the external world, which become objects of the six senses.

7. "Dhatu of vision etc." refer to the eighteen Dhatus or elements of existence, which include the six senses (indriya), the six qualities (vishaya), and the six consciousnesses (vijnana).

8. "Till we come to" (yavat in Sanskrit, and nai chih in Chinese) is quite frequently met with in Buddhist literature to avoid repetition of well-known subjects. These classifications may seem somewhat confusing and overlapping.

9. "There is no knowledge, no ignorance, etc." is the wholesale denial of the Twelvefold Chain of Causation (pratityasamutpada), which are ignorance (avidya), deed (samskara), consciousness (vijnana), name and form (namarupa), six sense-organs (sadayatana), contact (sparsa), sense-perception (vedana), desire (trishna), attachment (upadana), being (bhava), birth (jati), and old age and death (jaramarana). This Chain of Twelve has been a subject of much discussion among Buddhist scholars.

10. The allusion is of course to the Fourfold Noble Truth (satya): 1. Life is suffering (duhkha); 2. Because of the accumulation (samudaya) of evil karma; 3. The cause of suffering can be annihilated (nirodha); 4. And for this there is the path (marga).

Bibliography
http://www.terebess.hu/english/heart.html

Thursday, 14 May 2009

Wu Wei; Action in Non Action

In Zen painting it is important to learn a practice which puts one in the best possible position to relax.  If we are in a relaxed and free attitude then our painting will reflect this. They will have a spirit of calm and spontaneity, freedom and abandonment.  Also the painting will take on a childlike innocence sometimes because we have not worked from our ego. 

If one works to Zen principles of letting go, non attachment, thankfulness, appreciation and being in the moment then our art will take on a new quality free from ego.  Having said this it not an easy task because we often start from a standpoint of wanting to fulfill some goals and desires.  This is not necessarily bad but it often gets us in conflict with the goal of living in the moment and being NOW, prime Zen principles of living fully.

So when we start to paint we have to give up ourselves and our painting efforts from the very beginning.  We have to act with abandon, do without trying like a naught boy or girl.  Most of all one has to enjoy being in the moment and do what we are doing now regardless of anything before or after this moment, free of any ulterior reason for not being here and now.  It takes a disciplined mind to be like this.  That is why my teacher always said SumiE is a powerful mental training. 

The Taoists often use the idea of Wu Wei or doing by not doing.  It does not mean that one doesn’t try but one has to let go of the tension in our mind and body while we are doing and to do the task with little mental of physical tension.  There will always be some tension needed but it will be a well directed and focused energy full of creativity and joy.

Lao Tsu used to use the metaphor of the baby who cries all night and still can get up in the morning and smile at his mum.  It can do this because the Ki is not obstructed from flowing up and down the spine and in the Tanden or Hara (below the navel) freely. Also the child only knows the NOW. If the Hara is relaxed then the mind will be also and the body too.  If the breath is flowing freely the Ki will flow around the body well in the channels of energy called meridians. 

If we work from this empty position in relation to our ego then our spirit will change and our True Nature will be revealed.  The technique we learn will be useful and the mind is needed to focus but the most important development is that of the spirit or character within.  In Zen its called our True Nature.  Each person has his or her special Nature.  This will give our art a special taste or flavour like nothing else in the universe.  Most of all we can appreciate the joy of action for the sake of themselves only.  This is very childlike but also wise.  As Jesus said, “Be like a little child and the kingdom of heaven awaits.”

Sunday, 10 May 2009

Sumie Painting Books

Sumie Books

Sumie An intro to ink painting;
Momiyama, Nanae, Tuttle 1967

The Art of Sumie Appreciation Techniques and application
Sato Shozo, Kodansha Tokyo1984

Sumie Appreciation in Ink
Suidinsky Paul, Drake NY 1976

Japanese Brush Painting Techniques
Suidinsky Paul, Drake NY 1983

Complete Sumie Techniques
Yamada S, Japan Pub 1966

Intro. to Sumie; The Zen way of the Brush
Andre Sollier, Humphrey and Formul Press Vic Aust 1972

The Wandering Brush
Andre Sollier, Wilke & co Vic Aust 1977

Sumie
Hiriyama Hakuho
Kodansha Tokyo 1979

Ink Painting
Matshushita Takaaki, Weatherhill N.Y.

Lets Try Sumie
Mikami T. Shifunotomo Tokyo

Japanese Ink Painting
Saito R. Tuttle Pub.Tokyo

Sumie; the Art and technique of Japanese ink painting
Kay Morrissey Thompson, Tuttle Tokyo

Japanese Ink Painting; the Art of Sumie
Naomi Okomoto, Sterling N.Y.1995

Saturday, 9 May 2009

Haiku

roses on pond

One hundred rose petals

Dancing in a pond

Rays of morning sun



To watch a video on Haiku and Basho go Jane Reichhold

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Yoga means Union & Mantra is sacred sound

Hatha Yoga

Private classes and groups
Payment  Private lesson $60 for 2 persons
Cost $15 / $12 per class


Contact me with your expression of interest

This is suitable for new students. It is a general hatha yoga class.

A minimum group of 6 needed. I will ring or email to discuss further.

It will focus on the general yoga principles including asana, pranayama, bundha, meditation.

See my general attitude plus my teachers concepts at www.gobindsadan.org

How To enrol.
Send an email to me with your contact details or phone.
Read the liability conditions here
Read the indemnity and liability form on this site then fill it in and print in off and email or give it to me at the class.


gmenzel@hotmail.com
Ph.0407734479

Mantra or Naam in Punjabi

We will use this mantra to cool our mind and create a state of calm so practice it in your Yoga time.

Mantra

Ek Onkar Sat Nam Sirre Wahe Guru

Translation and meaning;
one world Truth is its name praise the dispeller of darkness

Anecdote
Baba Virsah Sing passed away on 25.12.07
His students would assemble in a beautiful garden with flowers,trees,lawns and ponds near his residence and often listen to his teachings in the warm evenings at Gobind Sadan South of Delhi. Here is a clip of one of those precious moments that one can only dream of when onemeets and is touched by an enlightened being, one of the rare opportunities one has in ones karmic cycle of birth and rebirth.

Baba was a totally selfless being whose one goal was to teach love and give love.
The stories of his positive interventions in thousands of peoples loves are endless. Although he has left his body his power is still available to those who can focus on his love just by giving love to him and love to the whole of creation.



video




Here is the Nam or mantra.

Tabla, harmonium and vocals Gerard Menzel Copyright

Friday, 1 May 2009

3. Ordinary everyday enlightenment

Looking at Sumie we see that often simple everyday things are the subject, a fly on the table, a kettle on the stove, women strolling in the rain, a mountain with cloud, in fact everyday events and things.

This is the real topic of the study of Zen in as much as we begin to note and observe, take interest in and witness in a fresh and new way our daily life. We realize that our normal and repetitive life can be a fascination and a source of spiritual enlightenment only if we take the time to observe it and see it in a way consistent with the teaching of Zen.

For example Sumie teaches one to observe and appreciate, to respect and to interact without judgement or demanding from our immediate environment. If we do this we start to share more and feel much more as we slow down, steady our rattling mind and think clearly by focusing without distractions.

Sumie asks one to pay attention to the subject and to drink with our eyes, draw it up with our pores, breathe in as one inhales, to listen to it sing and touch it with our skin. We are not afraid to experience the world around us because there are no longer barriers to this experience of viewing the world AS IT IS. This way of seeing and experiencing the world is called SUCHNESS. As we do this we also begin to know ourselves and our TRUE NATURE as well.

How does this process of seeing the world Just as it is, work?
Well as with sumie and painting everyday things we no longer feel the need so much to think and idealize spiritual experiences outside our normal environment or range of experiences. Why? Because we know that every tiny thing is imbued with the same life ESSENCE called KI. Our mind and body only exists due to that same Ki that enters our body at birth. There are fewer and fewer divisions in our preferences as we view the world and our experiences.

The categories of our mind diminish for example there is no need to have special, precious, holy, intellectual or boring and normal ideas and experiences because we realize life is one. Our mind no longer needs to categorize the world into segments. We see that CHANGE and seeing the whole rather that the segment is needed and useful. In our painting we attempt to make the horse run and the river flow and the flower glow as we recreated the world around us in black and white images.

That is the difference between ordinary unenlightened painting and Zen painting. I often watched my teacher Andre whose kindness and love flowed to all his students just like the ink from his brush, produce time and time again such works of art that were always alive with the spirit of the object. My observation of him was to witness a man who took great care and who profoundly enjoyed what he did and did it very well.

Andre summed up ordinary everyday enlightenment when he wrote in The Wandering Brush (Pub.Wilkie and Co. 1977)

Does a snail meditate?
Does a stone take exercise?
Does a tree recite sutras?
Is wisdom the fruit of man?



When I look at the cartoons of Michael Leunig and Mr Curly whose duck is ever present in his cartoons bringing him back to reality and the real.