Snow makes Mountain

All my life false and real, right and wrong tangled.
Playing with the moon, ridiculing the wind, listening to birds….
Many years wasted seeing the mountain covered with snow.
This winter I suddenly realize snow makes mountain.

~ Dogen, translated by Kaz Tanahashi in Moon in a Dewdrop

Jesus Teaches about Worry

1) Matthew 6:25-34

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?

Look at the birds in the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?

Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?

And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin.

Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was not dressed like one of these.
If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?

So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink’ or ‘What shall we wear?’
For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

2) The Serenity Prayer by Reinhold Niebuhr

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.
Amen.

Treasury of the Eye of the True Dharma

Treasury of the Eye of the True Dharma
Book 11
Principles of Zazen
(Zazen gi)

Studying Zen is zazen. For zazen, one should have a quiet place. Spread a thick sitting mat. Do not let in drafts or vapors; do not admit rain or dew. You should secure and maintain the spot where you place yourself. There are traces from the past of those who sat on a vajra [seat] or sat on a rock; they all spread a thick layer of grass to sit on. The place where you sit should be bright; it should not be dark either day or night. The technique is to keep it warm in winter and cool in summer.

Cast aside all involvements and discontinue the myriad affairs. Good is not thought of; evil is not thought of. It is not mind, intellect or consciousness; it is not thoughts, ideas or perceptions. Do not figure to make a buddha; slough off sitting or reclining.

You should be moderate in food and drink. Hold dear the passing days and nights, and take to zazen as though brushing a fire from your head. The Fifth Ancestor on Mt. Huangmei worked only at zazen, without any other other occupation.

During zazen, you should wear your kesa. Put down a cushion. The cushion is not placed completely under your crossed legs but only under the rear half, so that the mat is beneath the legs and the cushion beneath the spine. This is the way that all the buddhas and ancestors have sat during zazen.

Sit in either the half lotus or full lotus position. For the full lotus position, place your right foot on your left thigh and your left foot on your right thigh. The toes should be even with the thighs, not out of alignment. For the half lotus position, simply place your left foot on your right thigh.

Loosen your robe and underwaist, and arrange them properly. Place your right hand on your left foot and your left hand on your right hand. Put the tips of your thumbs together. With your hands in this position, place them against your body, so that that the joined thumb tips are aligned with your navel.

Straighten your body and sit erect. Do not lean to the left or right; do not bend forward or back. The ears should always be aligned with the shoulders, and the nose aligned with the navel. The tongue should be placed against the front of the palate. The breath should pass through the nose. The lips and teeth should be closed. The eyes should be open, neither too widely nor too narrowly.

Having thus regulated body and mind, take a breath and exhale fully. Sitting fixedly, think of not thinking. How do you think of not thinking? Nonthinking. This is the art of zazen.

Zazen is not the practice of dhyâna. It is the dharma gate of great ease and joy. It is undefiled practice and verification.

Treasury of the Eye of True Dharma, Principles of Zazen, Number 11.

Lighthouse Family – High

Lighthouse Family are a British musical duo that rose to prominence in the mid-1990s and remained active until the early 2000s. Vocalist Tunde Baiyewu and keyboard player Paul Tucker formed the act in 1993 in Newcastle upon Tyne, UK after meeting while studying at university. Their 1995 debut album Ocean Drive sold more than 1.8 million copies in the UK alone and established them as a popular easy listening duo throughout Europe.

They are well known for their songs: “Lifted”, “Ocean Drive”, “Raincloud” and “High”, which also reached number one on the Australian Singles Chart.

Avoiding gossip is secret to 113-year-old's long life

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An ex-Hongkonger, social worker known as ‘Mother Teresa of Singapore’ tries to keep a peaceful mind
Joyce Ng
SCMP Aug 08, 2011
Steering clear of gossip is the key to a long life, a 113-year-old Singaporean woman says.

Returning to Hong Kong in a wheelchair seven decades after she left the city, Teresa Hsu Chih said keeping a peaceful mind was her secret to longevity.

A well-known social worker in the Lion City, Hsu said she still occasionally did counselling work.

She was speaking as a guest at event held by the Hong Kong Health Care Association on Aging a few hours after flying in from Singapore.

Assisted by a care-giver, she can communicate slowly in Cantonese, Putonghua and English.

Daily meditation was also important, Hsu said.

“You just sit in peace. Think about what pain people suffer and what you can do to share your love,” she said.

Staying single may also have helped.

“I am not married. There’s no guy there to yell at me,” she said with a broad grin.

A vegetarian diet with lots of fruits is another secret to Hsu’s longevity. She starts a typical day by eating two raw eggs, with the yolk used as a facial mask. She likes soft fruits, such as melon, papaya and avocado.

Hsu said she did not have any disease common among the elderly, such as diabetes and osteoporosis.

Taking the flight yesterday, however, raised her blood pressure a little, as a doctor found when he measured it at the event.

Hsu is often referred to as the Mother Teresa of Singapore, where she started a non-governmental organisation to help the aged and sick in 1961.

She was born in 1898 in Guangdong and moved to Hong Kong aged 16, working as a cleaner while taking evening lessons in English.

During the second world war, she quit her job as a secretary and bookkeeper and went to Chongqing as a volunteer. At 47, she began to train as a nurse in Britain, where she worked for the next decade.

In 1961, she settled in Singapore and began her lifelong vocation of helping the needy.

Hsu returns to Singapore today.