The Compass of Zen (Shambhala Dragon Editions) by Seung Sahn

By Seung Sahn

The Compass of Zen is a straightforward, exhaustive—and frequently hilarious—presentation of the essence of Zen by means of a latest Zen grasp of substantial renown. In his a long time of educating in the course of the international, the Korean-born Zen grasp Seung Sahn has turn into recognized for his skill to chop to the guts of Buddhist educating in a fashion that's strikingly transparent, but freed from esoteric and educational language. during this booklet, established principally on his talks, he provides the fundamental teachings of Buddhism and Zen in a manner that's splendidly available for beginners—yet so wealthy with tales, insights, and private studies that long-time meditation scholars also will locate it a resource of proposal and a source for examine.

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The tempter, Mara, and his forces attack the Buddha; the Buddha successfully repels their attack by calling the Goddess of Earth (Thai, Nang Thorani) to witness on his behalf; the Goddess of Earth drowns the forces of Mara by wringing the water from her hair that collected there every time the Buddha performed an act of virtuous generosity (dana) 10. The attainments that occur immediately prior to the Buddha’s enlightenment: the eight trance states; knowledge of his previous births; clairvoyance (seeing all beings as they are reborn in accordance with their kamma); perceiving the cycle of interdependent co-arising (paticca-samuppada); the Buddha’s enlightenment 11.

Keng Tung, Shan State, Myanmar. The actual presentation of robes, money, and other offerings for the livelihood of the monks is the highlight of the kathina. It frequently involves a procession that varies in size and constituency according to the nature of the community. Included might be musical groups with traditional instruments—drums, cymbals, and horns—or school bands playing Western musical instruments. Traditional dancers may be part of the processional entertainment and the marchers often wear traditional northern dress.

O house-builder! Thou art seen. Thou shalt build no house again. All thy rafters are broken, thy ridge-pole is shattered. 54 The image consecration ceremony dramatizes one of the fundamental polarities in Theravada Buddhism, and also provides insight into the meaning of the syncretic reciprocity that characterizes Theravada merit-making rituals. This polarity is between virtuous wisdom and power. The Buddha embodies wisdom and virtuous perfections, but he is also endowed with supernatural powers such as the divine eye and divine ear.

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