Faith in the Way

Faith in the Way

 

In the Diamond Sutra the Buddha dismantles the world view of his followers. He pulls the rug out from one concept after another. With the sword of wisdom he cuts and cuts. And still it is very difficult to cut away our own beliefs –  the thoughts we replay again and again. If it was a movie we would have walked out a long time ago, but our thoughts and our beliefs are seductive.  So, we know all about the world and how it works- we know all about ourselves and others but really all this knowing is just manure. Manure spread on the clean and beautiful snow of reality.
So practice is cleaning what is already clean.  But this takes great faith and intention. Which one of us has the drive and courage to sincerely put our faith in the Way.

The Impeccable Warrior

The Impeccable Warrior

In Carlos Castenada’s encounters with his teacher Don Juan, Don Juan tells him that a warrior (adept) who trusts his personal power is always impeccable.  If you harness and trust your own spirit it doesn’t matter if you win or lose, accomplish or do not. What matters is being one with your intentions.
This oneness is impeccability. It is timeless and flawless. It is the understanding of all koans and is already enlightenment. There is nothing outside it, beside it, against it or for it.  It stands alone.

Gentling the Bull

Gentling the Bull


Gentling the Bull is the fifth of the Ox- herding pictures which is a series of paintings and associated  poems describing the terrain and steps of the Way.  The Ox-herding pictures go back to the 8th century and though the progression is presented in a linear fashion, this can never be quite the case. Nevertheless, they intuitively and accurately describe a journey which is timeless.
This practice represented by the fith Ox- herding picture is called  “Gentling or taming the Bull.”  This is the practice of becoming conscious of  the conditioned and mechanical aspects of the self that claim the realization process as theirs and turn buddha-hood into ego-hood.
This gentling stage in the training, which requires objectivity toward oneself  and discipline,  is difficult and often overlooked to the detriment of  students and teachers.

The third stanza of the poem that accompanies the fifth Ox- herding picture is:
In patient training the bull got used to the herdsman and is truly gentle.
Should he now walk into the dust, he no longer gets dirty.
Long and patient gentling! In one sudden plunge the
herdsman has won his whole fortune.
Under the trees, others encounter his mighty laugh.

Gentling the Ox is obtaining power over the conditioned self,  not power over others.  How sad it is, what folly to mistake this point.
Long and patient gentling.   A deep and profound  pleasure.
The Ox transforms into a magic horse.