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dcarter

English

Looking Forward

Happy New Year! A new year is like a new chapter in life. It marks a time to reflect and abandon old habits, and start anew. People always seem to have this mentality: "I am looking forward to the New Year or I am looking forward to this or that."  On the surface this mentality implies optimism and a positive outlook. However on a subtler level, this mentality hints at dis-satisfaction with the present and hope for a better future. Why can't we be happy right now? Why delay happiness for later? The future is unattainable; the present is completely…
dcarter
July 11, 2019
English

There is No I

As a followup to the "Real I" post a couple days a go, I've been trying to figure out how to put it into practice in daily life. To understand in theory is one thing; to put it into practice is much more life changing. And so, lately I have been contemplating this gong'an "There is no I." It is very powerful practice! Whenever my mind starts giving arise to opinions, likes or dislikes, feelings and emotions, I just simply hold this one thought: "There is no I." This one thought is able to cut off all other thoughts based on…
dcarter
July 11, 2019
English

Dewy Grass

An eternity shrouded in darkness, fearless and unmoving Dawn breaks, rays of light cascade warmly over a sea of green Harsh freeze receding, blades of grass rise resiliently Rewarded, each tip of grass is crowned with a bead of dew A bright pearl on the forehead Where is your pearl? Without braving the bitter cold winter, you will never find it Strive on. Strive on. Look Within. Look Within. Who am I? Just a blade of grass Spring is almost here A time for new beginnings
dcarter
July 11, 2019
English

Four Star Day

Encounters with certain people, for example, may tend to trigger confrontational interactions. While we can easily justify our dislike of another person, the real question worth asking is why does this person manifest in our reality in the first place? From Just Use This Mind As enlightened as I'd like to be, I have some habits that are harder to let go of than others. Take my morning routine: Wake up, let dogs out, make tea, read a few comics--Pearls Before Swine, Dilbert, Baby Blues--and my horoscope. How many stars are projected for the day? If there are four or…
dcarter
July 11, 2019
English

Zen Music

Hello, everyone. I have just returned from a brief visit to Vairocana Zen Monastery and my friend, Venerable Master Miao Tsan. Like each visit before it, this was an important step in my learning process, and like certain visits it was a bit emotional. I attribute that to the confluence of memory and the present moment, or a meeting of the past and the future. Now, you might say there is no past and no future; you'll say there is only the present. That is true, but one must identify the past and future--look at them directly, and call them by…
dcarter
July 11, 2019
English

Meet Larry Payne

When you pick up a book, it seems to have a power that goes beyond the passivity of ink on paper. It emanates energy, beckoning you to read, promising entertainment, education or enlightenment. Much like a prayer shawl that holds the intention of the creator, a book, well-done, holds the intention of each individual who has worked on it. The author, first and foremost, but then a team of individuals: editors, proofers, designers, copywriters, printers, distributors, sales people and eventually other readers. A book, well-done, has been cared for and nurtured at every stage since it left its creator's mind.…
dcarter
July 11, 2019
English

Endless Sequels

I haven't seen a movie in awhile but lately movies that have been coming out seem to be part of a series. Even movies that are already in a series have individual books broken up into two or three parts. And now that I am older I realize old movies keep being remade again and again. While obviously the movie industry is thriving, how come we rarely step back and think about why we are caught in such a meaningless entertainment cycle? The simple truth is that our desires and attachments are getting stronger. We are trapped by our own…
dcarter
July 11, 2019
English

eWisdom

I was feeling sorry for myself this morning, and I opened my email, dreading what I might find. At the top of the Sisyphean list was the Wisdom of the Week. These little nuggets are sent out to people on a distribution list who have indicated that they are interested in getting a bit of wisdom from Master Miao Tsan in their in-box. The thoughts are certainly not hand-selected for the individual recipients. "Our habitual mental tendency is the direction our thoughts take when we don't consciously overcome this inertia to free them from the path of least resistance." From "Just…
dcarter
July 11, 2019
English

Radiant Beings

We are pure Light, that is our true nature. We are radiant beings because this inner Light shines through everything we see, hear, and do. To radiate and expand is our nature. This Light is neutral by itself but always takes on the coloration of our thoughts. Complaint is an energy field. To complain about something or to hear complaint are both choices we made because we have created an energy field of darkness and violence. When we choose to radiate only pure Light, there is no complaint to be made or to be heard.
dcarter
July 11, 2019
English

A Cup of Tea

My mother always told me a watched pot never boils. She said I would always find what I was looking for in the last place I looked. I wanted to understand what she meant, but the truth of her statements eluded me. Of course the pot would boil. Of course I could find what I was seeking if I knew where to look. I just didn't know when or where. I'm making tea tonight after a long week. I'm watching the pot, thinking of my mother and her wisdom. I'm also thinking about Miao Tsan, and the wisdom he has…
dcarter
July 11, 2019