Sunday, June 21, 2009

Reflections: Linked Allusions

I can’t seem to get enough of Red Pines’ translations and commentary on the poems of Han Shan these days. His ancient Eastern wisdom seems applicable to nearly everything. Apply the following, for instance, to the message of yesterday’s post:


People think the body’s their root
and the mind they think is its stem
the mind mustn’t stray from the root
when it does the root’s life ends
still unable to avoid this fate
don’t be too lazy to look in the mirror
unless you read the Diamond Sutra
you’ll make bodhisattvas sick

In the Nirvana Sutra; 34, the Buddha likened his sermons to a mirror in which one’s true nature is visible. The Diamond Sutra ends with this gatha: “All Created things / are like a dream, an illusion, a bubble, or a shadow / like dew or like lightening / regard them like this.” According to this sutra, only by not grasping form can we see our true mind. Meanwhile, Vimilakirti told Manjushri: “I’m sick because other beings are sick. If they weren’t sick, my illness would vanish. Where we find birth and death, we find sickness. When beings are able to get free of sickness, bodhisattvas will no longer be sick.” (Vimilakirti Sutra: 5) A bodhisattva is someone who works for the liberation of others.

Check it out: It's about our relationship to the Other.