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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 12:20 pm 
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I think that everybody here is overlooking the directly observable effects of an astorological phenomenon that is easily replicated and reproduced and by aeons of data: the effect of the sun (a star) upon nearly every single function of life on the earth.

As for the moon. Anybody with any experience of natural phenomena can tell you how important moon cycles are. Three examples of which I (and countless others) have personal experience with is: 1. The ovulation cycle of sea urchins. If you want to eat sea urchin caviar, the best time to gather the sea urchins is the full moon. This is when they have the most caviar 2. Planting fig trees. Effectively planting fig trees is based on moon cycles as well as seasonal cycles. 3. Tide cycles.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 1:42 pm 
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Here's an interesting bit of info to add here:

The Mātaṅga Sūtra 摩登伽經, translated into Chinese in 230 CE, contains both horoscopy and electional astrology.

So, quite early on astrology was a component of Mahāyāna, long before esoteric practices.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 2:07 pm 
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gregkavarnos wrote:
I think that everybody here is overlooking the directly observable effects of an astorological phenomenon that is easily replicated and reproduced and by aeons of data: the effect of the sun (a star) upon nearly every single function of life on the earth.

As for the moon. Anybody with any experience of natural phenomena can tell you how important moon cycles are. Three examples of which I (and countless others) have personal experience with is: 1. The ovulation cycle of sea urchins. If you want to eat sea urchin caviar, the best time to gather the sea urchins is the full moon. This is when they have the most caviar 2. Planting fig trees. Effectively planting fig trees is based on moon cycles as well as seasonal cycles. 3. Tide cycles.


That, I believe, is astronomical, rather than astrological.
The interactions between the Earth and the Sun and the Moon are very different
from some imagined influence from stars in other solar systems.
The lunar cycle may or may not influence the planting of crops
but that is different than suggesting that it makes one time or another
more auspicious for, say, preparing butter lamps, or staring a business venture.
.
.
.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 2:08 pm 
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Huseng wrote:
So, quite early on astrology was a component of Mahāyāna, long before esoteric practices.


While many esoteric practices promise only worldly benefits it's developed into a path to liberation. Has astrology ever had anything more to offer then good days for insuring a male heir and such?

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"Neither cultivation nor seated meditation — this is the pure Chan of Tathagata."
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“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T2076p461b24-26)


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 2:20 pm 
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Astus wrote:
Huseng wrote:
So, quite early on astrology was a component of Mahāyāna, long before esoteric practices.


While many esoteric practices promise only worldly benefits it's developed into a path to liberation. Has astrology ever had anything more to offer then good days for insuring a male heir and such?


If it works, then you perhaps optimize your schedule. Travel when it is auspicious, stay put when it is not.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 2:05 am 
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The justification for astrology has always been that the microcosm (man) mirrors the macrocosm (the planets). In particular, the Kalachakra says that the motions of the sun, moon, and planets are determined by the changes in the subtle energies within the body. So causation runs the other way than usually thought in astrology. How this can actually be so, I do not know, but that is how astrology is justified in the Kalachakra.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 3:08 am 
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Jinzang wrote:
The justification for astrology has always been that the microcosm (man) mirrors the macrocosm (the planets). In particular, the Kalachakra says that the motions of the sun, moon, and planets are determined by the changes in the subtle energies within the body. So causation runs the other way than usually thought in astrology. How this can actually be so, I do not know, but that is how astrology is justified in the Kalachakra.


I have always found the whole idea that, essentially everything within the universe is a microcosm of the universe to be very profound. I recall somebody once said "if you want to find the center of the Universe, cut open an avocado, slice an onion or break an egg". Wherever you are, that's the center.

The curious thing, to me, regarding "auspicious days"
is that days and nights don't actually exist, except due to a very limited perception.
They don't really start or end anywhere.
Likewise, the sun doesn't actually go up or down.
It would be more accurate to say
"the auspicious moments that we are not in the shadow of our own constantly rotating planet".
We are essentially spinning in one very long split second.
.
.
.

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The Chinese characters are Fo (buddha) and Ming (bright). The image is of a student of Buddhism, who, imagining himself to be a monk, and not understanding the true meaning of the words takes the sound of the words literally. Likewise, People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth.
Original painting by P.Volker /used by permission.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 3:33 am 
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PadmaVonSamba wrote:
Jinzang wrote:
The justification for astrology has always been that the microcosm (man) mirrors the macrocosm (the planets). In particular, the Kalachakra says that the motions of the sun, moon, and planets are determined by the changes in the subtle energies within the body. So causation runs the other way than usually thought in astrology. How this can actually be so, I do not know, but that is how astrology is justified in the Kalachakra.


I have always found the whole idea that, essentially everything within the universe is a microcosm of the universe to be very profound. I recall somebody once said "if you want to find the center of the Universe, cut open an avocado, slice an onion or break an egg". Wherever you are, that's the center.

The curious thing, to me, regarding "auspicious days"
is that days and nights don't actually exist, except due to a very limited perception.
They don't really start or end anywhere.
Likewise, the sun doesn't actually go up or down.
It would be more accurate to say
"the auspicious moments that we are not in the shadow of our own constantly rotating planet".
We are essentially spinning in one very long split second.
.
.
.


I was going to make a post today tongue-in-cheek.
After these last 2 posts, I feel that this info may be relevant.
The first point is that Quantum Physics has shown that electrons with related orbits will continue to have related orbits even after being spread across vast differences.
The second point is that Astrophysics & Chemistry show us that all elements on the periodic table heavier than helium likely came from an exploding star some where, also when stars explode they scatter debris all across the cosmos.
Who's to say that the heavier elements that make up our bodies are not in some way linked to planets & stars in far off cosmoses, and that those elements don't somehow influence our behavior here on a periodic basis? mind bottling :rolleye:


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 3:54 am 
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PorkChop wrote:
I was going to make a post today tongue-in-cheek.
After these last 2 posts, I feel that this info may be relevant.
The first point is that Quantum Physics has shown that electrons with related orbits will continue to have related orbits even after being spread across vast differences.
The second point is that Astrophysics & Chemistry show us that all elements on the periodic table heavier than helium likely came from an exploding star some where, also when stars explode they scatter debris all across the cosmos.
Who's to say that the heavier elements that make up our bodies are not in some way linked to planets & stars in far off cosmoses, and that those elements don't somehow influence our behavior here on a periodic basis? mind bottling :rolleye:


“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.”
― Carl Sagan, Cosmos

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The Chinese characters are Fo (buddha) and Ming (bright). The image is of a student of Buddhism, who, imagining himself to be a monk, and not understanding the true meaning of the words takes the sound of the words literally. Likewise, People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth.
Original painting by P.Volker /used by permission.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 11:24 am 
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PorkChop wrote:
The first point is that Quantum Physics has shown that electrons with related orbits will continue to have related orbits even after being spread across vast differences.
The second point is that Astrophysics & Chemistry show us that all elements on the periodic table heavier than helium likely came from an exploding star some where, also when stars explode they scatter debris all across the cosmos.
Who's to say that the heavier elements that make up our bodies are not in some way linked to planets & stars in far off cosmoses, and that those elements don't somehow influence our behavior here on a periodic basis? mind bottling :rolleye:


Can someone identify the quantum connections in people's body? Can someone show how molecular things in one's blood influence traffic? No. But it always sounds good to say something about quantum physics.

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"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

"Neither cultivation nor seated meditation — this is the pure Chan of Tathagata."
(Mazu Daoyi, X1321p3b23; tr. Jinhua Jia)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T2076p461b24-26)


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 1:26 pm 
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Astus wrote:
Huseng wrote:
So, quite early on astrology was a component of Mahāyāna, long before esoteric practices.


While many esoteric practices promise only worldly benefits it's developed into a path to liberation. Has astrology ever had anything more to offer then good days for insuring a male heir and such?

Astrology is a discipline leaning on the side of wisdom and understanding, not method and practical application. As an astrologer, I feel the greatest benefit has been in understanding myself and my relationships better. I've always thought its of more benefit to the astrologer than to the people who consult them, unless they have great trust in the astrologer and are willing to follow their advice. (I wouldn't advise it though, most astrologers are winging it big time.)
Its often very difficult to explain to someone just what it is I see in a chart. I think of the scene in the Matrix where Neo is talking to Cipher, and Cipher explains how he can read the code, which remains unintelligible to Neo.

There are important principles to learn from astrology, besides the benefit of learning maths and keeping the mind sharp. Astrology teaches that everything works in cycles. It reminds us that we're not as original as we'd like to think we are, and allows us to accept who we are and work with what we've got. It teaches that types, or stereotypes, are important to understand, but they can and should be refined.

There are some problems in astrology like a complete lack of agreement on important topics, which does damage to the perception of astrology as a whole. For instance, the 12 Chinese animals were originally based on Jupiter in a twelfth of the ecliptic (the zodiac). But Jupiter doesn't complete a revolution in exactly 12 years. At some points it even goes backwards. Since they're not going to change the length of a year to suit the movement of Jupiter against the ecliptic, we end up with 'Year of the Dragon' not always being Jupiter in Taurus. To date, I have not seen this problem exposed by anyone else.

Most of the controversy surrounds the pan-Indian habit of using the sidereal zodiac – a mistake repudiated in the Kalacakra Tantra. If you followed the link to Edward Hennings page you'll see the Kalacakra Tantra has problems of it's own in its implementation in Tibet and Bhutan.

I think it will take time to iron out these problems, but there is little energy in that direction. At the end of the day it doesn't change anything. Astrology is a vidya, a wisdom. I hope everyone can learn from astrology, but at the moment there are other more popular and corporate-acceptable methods of personality profiling like Enneagram or Myer-Briggs which can better validate themselves.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 4:54 pm 
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Astus wrote:
Can someone identify the quantum connections in people's body? Can someone show how molecular things in one's blood influence traffic? No. But it always sounds good to say something about quantum physics.


First question: No, I doubt it'll ever be possible.
Second question: Yes, what are feelings of anger but a molecular compound in the blood stream?
Last statement: It always sounds good to say anything about science.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 7:50 pm 
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Transference of merits...Lets not see it in terms of transference but in terms of "there is this, there is that." So we do things to create merits because of the person who died. If the person did not die, then we would not have done things to create merits. Then it makes sense that the death should receive some too. But these merits are disposable/earthly/materialistic/temporary/samsaric/impermanent merits. There is another type of merits that comes from cultivation which is the direct result of our practice for example wisdom is a merits of cultivation.

As for astrology, some predictions can be made because there is relationship and connection amongst all that exists. But how accurate are these predictions? Lets say I lift my hand to hit a rock; if the rock is moved before my hand lands, then I will not hit the rock. So causes and effects, but I if I do something to interfere with causality then the effects will not be observed because it lacks conditions. So that's why when we start practicing Buddhadharma, we are starting to turn away from samsara.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 10:25 pm 
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PorkChop wrote:
Second question: Yes, what are feelings of anger but a molecular compound in the blood stream?


In Buddhism samskara are not rupa, i.e. anger, etc. are not molecular compounds.

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"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

"Neither cultivation nor seated meditation — this is the pure Chan of Tathagata."
(Mazu Daoyi, X1321p3b23; tr. Jinhua Jia)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T2076p461b24-26)


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2013 12:22 am 
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Astus wrote:
PorkChop wrote:
Second question: Yes, what are feelings of anger but a molecular compound in the blood stream?


In Buddhism samskara are not rupa, i.e. anger, etc. are not molecular compounds.


And yet science has shown definitively that chemical compounds get dumped into the blood, heart rate quickens, and other physiological changes that make it tough to keep/regain control occur when anger arises.
Actually, to posit otherwise would be positing a self that exists separate from the body.
Saying there are physiological changes that perform a feedback loop that make it harder to keep/regain control once anger arises is not the same as saying that all anger is only a product of the body - which would be identifying a self that is the same as the body.
It's only natural that a change in body would have an effect on the mind, otherwise why the precept on intoxicants?

Some better examples might be geomagnetic storms caused by solar flares, odd pet behavior around full moon time (that greg kinda touched on), or the odd effects on physiology from living near power lines.

EDIT: I should probably point out that I said "feelings of anger", which would require a sense organ.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2013 1:37 am 
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Let's follow then the idea of chemically influenced/generated emotions that can be then be controlled to some extent by constellations. The body of an arhat should change its chemical elements or even the body since a liberated person has neither anger nor desire. And that means a medically definable nirvana. One might even find a pill to gain enlightenment. Of course, you said that not all anger is a corporeal product. Do you mean there are bodily and mental anger at the same time or they are different kinds of anger? I'm no doctor but I think higher blood pressure and heavier breathing can show anything between overwhelming desire and burning hate, or even just good acting.

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"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

"Neither cultivation nor seated meditation — this is the pure Chan of Tathagata."
(Mazu Daoyi, X1321p3b23; tr. Jinhua Jia)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T2076p461b24-26)


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2013 2:29 am 
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Astus wrote:
Let's follow then the idea of chemically influenced/generated emotions that can be then be controlled to some extent by constellations. The body of an arhat should change its chemical elements or even the body since a liberated person has neither anger nor desire. And that means a medically definable nirvana. One might even find a pill to gain enlightenment. Of course, you said that not all anger is a corporeal product. Do you mean there are bodily and mental anger at the same time or they are different kinds of anger? I'm no doctor but I think higher blood pressure and heavier breathing can show anything between overwhelming desire and burning hate, or even just good acting.


I think you're reading a bit much into what I said.
Can there be a pill for enlightenment? I don't know about that.
What I do know is that there are pills that prevent you from feeling depression (or any emotion for that matter).
I know this from personal experience.
A sad thought that at one time felt like it would literally tear me apart, on the antidepressant, it was like internal Novocaine.
I could feel the rush of chemicals that would usually signify the start of a painful emotion, but the antidepressant would block the receptors so I wouldn't feel the effect.
Eventually, I started feeling detached, almost like a robot. I got off of them pretty quickly.
Sometimes I wonder if enlightenment would feel something like that, but more likely it would be a complete uprooting of whatever would initiate the sadness in the first place.

To answer your questions on anger:
The physical becomes a reflection of the mental, it is not separate from the mental, and it can in turn influence the mental - but the mental usually kicks off the process.
http://stress.lovetoknow.com/What_Is_th ... _Are_Angry
The chemical cocktails for each emotion are slightly different, that's why they each feel different.
Stress doesn't feel the same as anger. Though infatuation and fear seem like they might be related. :)

Don't get me wrong though, I don't really put much stock in astrology working as the result of the spins in the electrons of celestial bodies having an effect on the spins of the electrons of earth bound bodies. I just find it interesting that science might have a somewhat applicable explanation, no matter how unrealistic. Similarly, we know gravity can have an effect at a distance - it's how we spin around the sun and how the moon spins around us, but I think at those vast distances the stars in constellations have been shown to have a negligible effect.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2013 4:24 am 
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Astus wrote:
Let's follow then the idea of chemically influenced/generated emotions that can be then be controlled to some extent by constellations.


The Abhidharma-kośa-bhāsya states, "The collective force of the actions of beings produces the winds which create (nirmā) the moon, the sun and the stars in heaven."

The cosmos are a reflection of beings' actions in this sense rather than a causative force.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2013 5:49 am 
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I once had the good fortune to meet an astronomer who had a job working for the National Park Service (United States) who had set up a rather large but portable telescope in a parking lot just across the street from a Tibetan Buddhist Monastery in The Catskills, in upstate New York. It was a very clear night, and his telescope was focused on Saturn.

A Tibetan who lived there, who had grown up as a monk and lama,
came over to see what was going on,
and had a chance to look through the telescope as well,
and asked a lot of good questions.

He was amazed to learn that our moon does not give off its own light,
but only reflects the light from the Sun.
He was also amazed to learn that Saturn had moons too, seven in fact,
and just for reassurance, he asked how many moons the Earth had.
There was so much that he had never been taught.

There is an incredible amount that the west has yet to learn from the teachings that were preserved in Tibet,
Great stuff from great thinkers in India, written more than a thousand years ago,
about the nature of consciousness, the mind, and about the reality--or unreality--
of things which appear to exist before our eyes.

The Buddha made remarkable references to things
such as life forms born from the moisture in the air,
things that were not provable
until just a couple hundred years ago, or less.

And while it is true that star gazers in ancient India
were able to make very accurate charts, timetables, and predictions
regarding what they could see,
Still, the knowledge passed down about the nature of our solar system,
much less the Universe, is not one of their strong points. Philosophically, perhaps.

But compared to what is now not only known,
but potentially knowable, very rudimentary,
and outside of philosophy, often wrong.
And, I think that's okay.
The purpose of Dharma isn't to set up a planetarium.
If we realize that, for example, that no "western direction" can be found anywhere in the universe,
This does not negate Sukhavati, called Amitabha's Pure Land in the west.
If we get defensive when beliefs are challenged,
isn't that just more ego clinging?

.
.
.

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The Chinese characters are Fo (buddha) and Ming (bright). The image is of a student of Buddhism, who, imagining himself to be a monk, and not understanding the true meaning of the words takes the sound of the words literally. Likewise, People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth.
Original painting by P.Volker /used by permission.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2013 12:50 pm 
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PorkChop,

The mutual influence between mind and matter is quite obvious even on the everyday level, since people are mostly attached to and moved by stimuli in the five physical senses. At the same time one can also learn to be free from them. Related to this is that different people cling to different things, and even medication has to be adjusted to the individual. Considering that level of complexity in body chemistry and the large variety of responses to pills and such, astrology appears overly simplistic. And as already mentioned, the astrological systems are based on pre-modern cosmologies that don't exactly match the current state of astronomical knowledge.

_________________
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

"Neither cultivation nor seated meditation — this is the pure Chan of Tathagata."
(Mazu Daoyi, X1321p3b23; tr. Jinhua Jia)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T2076p461b24-26)


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