Sunday, October 18, 2015

禅宗大德故事 Zen School Bhadanta Tales - 小偷与月亮 The Thief & The Moon


良寬禪師(1758-1831, 良寛, Ryokan),日本曹洞宗僧。

Ryokan (1758–1831) is, along with Dogen and Hakuin, one of the three giants of Zen in Japan. But unlike his two renowned colleagues, Ryokan was a societal dropout, living mostly as a hermit and a beggar. 
He was never head of a monastery or temple. 
He liked playing with children. 
He had no dharma heir. 
Even so, people recognized the depth of his realization, and he was sought out by people of all walks of life for the teaching to be experienced in just being around him. 
His poetry and art were wildly popular even in his lifetime. 
He is now regarded as one of the greatest poets of the Edo Period, along with Basho, Buson, and Issa. 
He was also a master artist-calligrapher with a very distinctive style, due mostly to his unique and irrepressible spirit, but also because he was so poor he didn’t usually have materials: his distinctive thin line was due to the fact that he often used twigs rather than the brushes he couldn’t afford. 
He was said to practice his brushwork with his fingers in the air when he didn’t have any paper. 
There are hilarious stories about how people tried to trick him into doing art for them, and about how he frustrated their attempts. 
As an old man, he fell in love with a young Zen nun who also became his student. His affection for her colors the mature poems of his late period.

ZM Ryokan lives in a reed shed at the foot of the hill.

One night, a thief came paying a visit, but can't find anything of value to steal.

At this time, Ryokan just return and met the thief.

He calmly said to the thief: You might have come a long way, can't return empty handed. I gift you the clothes that I am wearing.

After saying these, he took off his clothes and handed them to the thief.

The thief don't know what to do, just took the clothes and slipped away.

The naked Ryokan went to sit at the stone platform at his front door, looking at the round of pure and bright white, sighing from his heart, said: Poor fellow, if possible, I wish to gift him this beautiful moon!

Night colors slowly fade and sky gradually brightened.

ZM walked out of his reed shed, to the stone platform.

Just as he sat down, he suddenly noticed the clothes he gifted to the thief the night before, were folded and stack neatly on the stone platform.

Ryokan's kind and compassionate mindset touched and influenced the thief.

What he gifted to the thief is not only clothes, also a bright moon.

This bright moon is Kind and Good mindset, that is realised True Path.

Only the bright moon inside our hearts, clear crystal moon then can shine on others' hearts and souls.

四無量心 - 慈悲喜舍 The 4 immeasurable heart - kindness, compassion, joy, selfless giving.

Practicing Boddhicitta!

Is Ryokan poor because he lacks sentient materials that many took for granted as necessities for their survival?

Remember that Sakyamuni Buddha said: Above and Below the Sky, I reign supreme! 

GM Lu is saying about vows of Boddhicitta now, speaking in Seattle temple's Saturday group cultivation session.

Are you also tuning in?

Cheers all

Om Guru Lian Sheng Siddhi Hom
Lama Lotuschef

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