The journey of a 1000 miles begins with a single step

Sentient beings

One minute you are a Buddha, the next minute a sentient being

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Student: Sometimes I see my worldviews as illusions, and I feel wholeness. But then I become caught up again in separateness. What does it take to stop moving back and forth, to move from occasional moments of realization to constant realization?

Adyashanti: Dissolve the one who asks, “When will it go from moments of realization to constant realization?” Do you have a sense of the one who is asking that? It’s a particular movement of thought that is asking.

It’s all just a conceptual overlay. There is a saying in Zen: “One minute you are a Buddha, the next minute a sentient being.” Sometimes you are Buddha. Sometimes a sentient being. And it’s always Buddha because both are masks. Sentient being is a mask. Buddha is a mask, too. When the masks are dropped, both the sentient being and the Buddha are the same.

– Adyashanti, Emptiness Dancing p. 65


Source: All | Great Middle Way


Oct 2, 2017

22089708_845528662272900_3670614330712754409_nAll living beings —whether born from eggs,

from the womb, from division, or spontaneously;

whether they have form or do not have form;

whether they are aware or unaware,

whether they are not aware or not unaware—

eventually, I will lead all living beings to the final Nirvana,

the true ending of the cycle of birth and death.

And when all these living beings, in their unfathomable,

infinite number, have all been liberated,

in truth, not even a single being has actually been liberated.

—Buddha Shakyamuni, Diamond Sutra

No Power To Cleanse

Source: No Power To Cleanse | Great Middle Way


May 19, 2017

17992325_420630691644418_7444085101279218524_nBetter than the slaughtering of animals is the sacrifice of self.

Those who offer up their unwholesome desires

will see the uselessness of butchering animals at the altar.

Blood has no power to cleanse,

but the giving up of harmful actions will make the heart whole.

Better than worshipping gods is following the way of goodness.

—Buddha Shakyamuni, Digha Nikaya

How to benefit the whole universe

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 “If we are not happy, if we are not peaceful, we cannot share peace and happiness with others, even those we love, those who live under the same roof. If we are peaceful, if we are happy, we can smile and blossom like a flower, and everyone in our family, our entire society, will benefit from our peace.”

Thich Nhat Hanh,
Being Peace

Painting by Gustav Klimt

Healing Music: Enya – Shepherd Moons

Love has no culture, boundaries, race and religion (2 min)

Source: Love has no culture, boundaries, race and religion (2 min) | Talesfromthelou

The Fractal Nature of Reality

Source: The Fractal Nature of Reality | Creative by Nature

With permission

“Life is about floating on the seas of turbulence, drifting on the eddies and currents, flowing, and along the way, learning: whatever that may look like for each of us currently experiencing a mortal life.” ~Joanna Hunter


Each of us (the animate and inanimate, the sentient and the purely material) is part of one inconceivably large, unfurling fractal entity that constitutes everything, and when taken as a whole is the equivalent of what some may call “God”.

This entity does not exist within some surrounding vacuum but rather twists and folds back on itself so that it is boundless. The concept of “nothing” is therefore a logical fallacy, an impossibility.

We, as parts of this great unfurling fractal cosmic entity, are eternal, though the notion and form of “I” is temporary and in fact the “all” we are participating in exists outside of time.

“What you are basically, deep, deep down, far, far in, is simply the fabric and structure of existence itself.” ~ Alan Watts

Evolution is the fundamental process at work within this greater “all”, along with its opposite, entropy. Evolution utilizes energy to increase complexity and information over time, whereas entropy dissolves structural patterns, flattening everything out into evenness.

Evolution gives birth to difference, entropy soothes into sameness. Evolution is life, entropy is decay. They are two sides of the same coin and without them nothing would ever happen. Similarly, one cannot exist without the other.

“Nature is ever at work building and pulling down, creating and destroying, keeping everything whirling and flowing, allowing no rest but in rhythmical motion, chasing everything in endless song out of one beautiful form into another.” ~ John Muir

A System Governed by Flow Dynamics

The whole system of our universe is essentially governed by flow dynamics or the physics of turbulence. Turbulent systems are characterised by the eddies, currents and vortices of “flow”. Vortices are self-sustaining energy structures that occur everywhere naturally. They exist at the core of the Möbius torus shape.

995304_10153754891159299_7896220918376717454_nIf you think about almost any life form, you can see it is a variant of the Möbius torus and fractal dynamics. Equally, all life forms are holarchies of many lower level Möbius tori. E.g. apple seed, apple tree, apple. All are expressions of Möbius tori.

Atom, blood cell, human body, brain, womb, heart, lungs, eye: derivations of Möbius tori and fractal mathematics. Temporary, self-sustaining physical manifestations of vortices in the flow dynamics of the enormous unfurling cosmic fractal everything.

“I seem, like everything else, to be a center, a sort of vortex, at which the whole energy of the universe realizes itself. Each one of us, not only human beings but every leaf, every weed, exists in the way it does, only because everything else around it does. The individual and the universe are inseparable.” ~ Alan Watts

Finding One’s Life Purpose as a Part of the Flow

1557447_10153754891624299_9049969763946365018_nSo if that is what reality looks like and how it works, what is our purpose within it? Our purpose is to participate consciously and continue the journey of evolution and entropy.

To be expressions of creativity that keep the whole thing unfurling rather than descending into a flat field of sameness.

Life is about floating on the seas of turbulence, drifting on the eddies and currents, flowing, and along the way, learning: whatever that may look like for each of us currently experiencing a mortal life.

946440_10153754879274299_7106295096275738917_nOut of this universal process, meaning emerges. In this way, we are all meaning-making entities, part of a boundless unity, which is itself a system of creativity, evolution and meaning.

So the purpose of our mortal lives is to flow, to wonder and to learn – to “spin out” this meaning into ever more beautiful shapes and forms.

All contributing, all dancing as part of this one, unfurling, fractal whole. And so it will go on, and has always gone on, eternally.

by Joanna Hunter


“To have faith is to trust yourself to the water. When you swim you don’t grab hold of the water, because if you do you will sink and drown. Instead you relax, and float” ~ Alan Watts


“We are travellers on a cosmic journey, stardust, swirling and dancing in the eddies and whirlpools of infinity. Life is eternal. We have stopped for a moment to encounter each other, to meet, to love, to share. This is a precious moment. It is a little parenthesis in eternity.” ~ Paulo Coelho
“Wholeness does not mean perfection: it means embracing brokenness as an integral part of life. Knowing this gives me hope that human wholeness — mine, yours, ours — need not be a utopian dream, if we can use devastation as a seedbed for new life.” ~ Parker Palmer

“…from out of the sexual organ of every woman there came another cord, with another woman or man at the end of each one, and all of that, millions and millions of times over, turned into an enormous tree, a tree formed from the infinity of bodies, a tree whose branches reached to the sky.” ~ Milan Kundera



Bodhisattvas should abstain from eating the flesh of any and all sentient beings

migrating-birds1Contributed by Vasu Murti

Oct 13 2015

“They [Bodhisattvas] should not be closely associated with… persons engaged in raising pigs, sheep, chickens or dogs, or of those who engage in hunting or fishing or other evil activities.”
(The Lotus Sutra, translation by Burton Watson, Columbia University Press, New York, 1993, p. 197)

“Also he [the Bodhisattva] must not associate with slaughterers or flesh-carvers, those who hunt animals or catch fish, or kill or do harm for profit. Those who peddle meat for a living or display women and sell their favors – all persons such as this one should never associate with.”
(Lotus Sutra, p. 199)

The Buddha Utterly Condemns Meat-Eating.
The primary objection to eating animals is that it involves the killing of those creatures. Non-killing is the minimum that can be expected of an aspirant Bodhisattva and is the very first of the Buddhist precepts or prohibitions. The Buddha states in the Brahmajala Sutra:
“Disciples of the Buddha, should you yourself kill, willfully cause another to kill, encourage someone to kill, extol killing, take pleasure seeing killing take place, deliberately wish someone dead, intentionally cause death, supply the instruments or the means for killing, cut off a life even when sanctioned by law, that is, participate in any way in killing, you are committing a serious offense warranting exclusion from the sangha (association or community).
“Pray, do not intentionally kill anything whatsoever which has life. As a Bodhisattva, awaken within yourself a heart that is unending in its mercy and compassion, respect and dutifulness, and use your skillful means to help and protect all sentient beings.”
(The Scripture of Brahma’s Net, in Buddhist Writings, translated by Reverend Hubert Nearman, OBC, Shasta Abbey, CA, 1994, pp. 127-28)

heron-3“Disciples of the Buddha, should you yourself willingly and knowingly eat flesh, you defile yourself… Pray, let us not eat any flesh or meat whatsoever coming from living beings. Anyone who eats flesh is cutting himself off from the great seed of his own merciful and compassionate nature, for which all sentient beings will reject him and flee from him when they see him acting so. This is why all Bodhisattvas should abstain from eating the flesh of any and all sentient beings. Someone who eats flesh is defiling himself beyond measure…”
(The Scripture of Brahma’s Net, in Buddhist Writings, translated by Reverend Hubert Nearman, OBC, Shasta Abbey, CA, 1994, p. 138)

The fascinating Lankavatara Sutra is perhaps the most insistent of all the Buddhist scriptures that meat-eating is to be condemned. There is a whole chapter (Chapter Eight) in the Lankavatara devoted to this subject:
“…wherever there are living beings, let people cherish the thought of kinship with them, and, thinking that all beings are [one’s] child, let them refrain from eating meat. So with Bodhisattvas whose nature is compassion, meat is to be avoided by him. Even in exceptional cases, it is not of a Bodhisattva of good standing to eat meat…
“For fear of causing terror to living beings… let the Bodhisattva who is disciplining himself to attain compassion, refrain from eating flesh… let the Bodhisattva, who is disciplining himself to abide in great compassion, because of its terrifying living beings, refrain from eating meat…
“…let the Bodhisattva, whose nature is pity and who regards all beings as his only child…refrain from eating meat…”
(The Lankavatara Sutra, translated by Dr. D.T. Suzuki, Prajna Press, Boulder, CO, 1978, pp. 212-216)

zf road 4The Buddha was well aware that by sponsoring the meat-trade through eating meat we are implicated in the killing of animals. He says in the Lankavatara Sutra:
“If meat is not eaten by anybody, there will be no destroyer of life.”
(The Lankavatara Sutra, translated by Dr. D.T. Suzuki, Prajna Press, Boulder, CO, 1978, p. 217)

The Buddha firmly states that he does not permit any meat-eating, nor will he at any time in the future:
“It is not true that meat is proper food and permissible when [the animal] was not killed by himself, when he did not order others to kill it, when it was not specifically meant for him…there may be some unwitted people in the future time, who… under the influence of the thirst for [meat]-taste, they will string together in various ways some sophistic arguments to defend meat-eating… meat-eating I have not permitted to anyone, I do not permit, I will not permit.”
(The Lankavatara Sutra, translated by Dr. D.T. Suzuki, Prajna Press, Boulder, CO, 1978, p. 217-219)

An exchange between one of the Buddha’s disciples, Kasyapa, and the Buddha found in the Mahaparinirvana Sutra:
“O World-honoured One! Why is it that the Tathagata [the Buddha] does not allow us to take flesh?”
“O good man! One who takes flesh kills the seed of great compassion.”
(The Mahayana Mahaparinirvana Sutra, in Three Volumes, translated by Kosho Yamamoto, The Karinbunko, Ube City, Japan, 1973 – 1975, p. 91)

One of the pre-eminent aims of Buddhism is to purify one’s heart. It is evident from the above words that by eating or advocating meat one is forsaking what is pure and committing a crime against Dharma. From a Buddhist point of view, that is a most serious offense…when Kasyapa asks what a Buddhist should do if offered a meal which contains meat. Is it permissible to eat such a meal and yet remain pure? Kasyapa wonders. The Buddha’s reply is unambiguous:
“Use water, wash off the meat [from the plate], and then take it [the rest of the meal]… If one sees that there is much meat, one must not accept such a meal. One must never take the meat itself. One who takes it infringes the rule. I now set this rule of segregating one’s own self from taking meat.”
(The Mahayana Mahaparinirvana Sutra, in Three Volumes, translated by Kosho Yamamoto, The Karinbunko, Ube City, Japan, 1973 – 1975, p. 94)

SAM_1722The Buddhist precepts for moral living include prohibitions not to slander others nor drink alcohol. The Buddha himself refers to the vinaya [monastic] rules in the sutras of Mahayana Buddhism.
Some Buddhists have argued that a monk should accept and eat whatever food is offered – but this is clearly rejected by the Buddha here, who states that if there is a lot of meat on a preferred dish, the whole meal should be refused. And if there is only a small amount of meat with the rest of the food – then the meat must be washed clean away before the other food can be touched. It could not be more apparent how defiling and impure meat was in the Buddha’s eyes.
Not only meat is prohibited by the Buddha, but likewise the keeping of animals or the attending of animal ‘shows’ or fights. Speaking of what is not permissible for his brethren (and nuns), he says:
“One does not keep the elephant, horse, vehicle, cow, sheep, camel, donkey, hen, dog, monkey, peacock, parrot… jackal, wolf, cat, raccoon, dog, wild boar, and pig… nor does he enjoy himself looking at the fights of elephants, horses, vehicles, soldiers, men, women, cows, sheep, cocks, pheasants, parrots, etc. He does not look at— the fights of lions and elephants… and all kind of amusements.”
(The Mahayana Mahaparinirvana Sutra, in Three Volumes, translated by Kosho Yamamoto, The Karinbunko, Ube City, Japan, 1973 – 1975, pp. 284-85)

Circle of compassion

Source: Tao & Zen – Timeline Photos

My dear heart

My dear heart..never think you are better than others.
Listen to their sorrows with compassion.
If you want peace, don’t harbor bad thoughts
do not gossip and don’t teach what you do not know.

~ Rumi

Source: Rumi