Blue pines and green bamboos

Blue pines and green bamboos

Postby Ngawang Drolma » Thu Jun 18, 2009 5:35 am

Blue pines and green bamboos
Shade my window,
Flowers smile,
Warblers sing by my hermitage.
As I climb the stone steps,
I see the strengths of cedars;
At the pure cool mountaintop,
Buddha is bright and vivid.

- Deiryu
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Re: Blue pines and green bamboos

Postby Luke » Thu Jun 18, 2009 4:35 pm

Hmm, very pretty, but I think it's important not to be overly attached to serenity and the countryside. Samsara and Nirvana are not separate. Enlightenment can be found in loud, noisy, dirty cities as well.

Here's my urban version:

Grey skyscapers and neon billboards
Illuminate my window,
Passersby don't smile,
Police sirens wail near my apartment.
As I climb up the stairwell,
I see graffiti on the walls;
On the roof of my building,
Buddha is bright and vivid.
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Re: Blue pines and green bamboos

Postby Ngawang Drolma » Thu Jun 18, 2009 4:51 pm

Luke, I like it. I live in the city too. I like to imagine I can hear mantra in the buzz of cars zipping by...

:bow:
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Re: Blue pines and green bamboos

Postby Luke » Thu Jun 18, 2009 6:41 pm

Ngawang Drolma wrote:Luke, I like it. I live in the city too. I like to imagine I can hear mantra in the buzz of cars zipping by...

:bow:


Yes, and a honking horn that startles you can be as effective as shouting "Phet!" to dispel sleepiness while meditating.

A Tibetan lama once told me that if you feel too sleepy to meditate effectively you could go down by a rushing river and listen to the sounds to wake you up. He also said that if you don't have a river nearby, you could simply go near a highway and let the noise wake you up.

The city where I live is fairly small and peaceful (for a city), but occasionally drunks make a lot of noise and smash things.
Last edited by Luke on Sat Jun 20, 2009 8:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Blue pines and green bamboos

Postby dumb bonbu » Thu Jun 18, 2009 10:19 pm

beautiful Ngawang! can i ask the source - website or book?

i love your modification too Luke! do you write your own as well? i agree, it's important not to get to hooked on this romantic image of hermits treeking into the wilderness amongst the pines and mountain mists...besides which, the reality of that life must be a great deal harder than i'd care to imagine!

it's as you say, the Dharma is to be found and cultivated in any environment...reminds me very much of something someone shared on another forum of how 'the lotus grows in the mud'....still, i do wonder if serenity and the wilderness can be more conducive to cultivation than the saha world of noise and endless distractions - leisure, buisness etc. most us live in?
Although I too am within Amida's grasp,
Passions obstruct my eyes and I cannot see him;
Nevertheless, great compassion is untiring and
illumines me always.
- Shinran


Namu Amida Butsu
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Re: Blue pines and green bamboos

Postby Ngawang Drolma » Fri Jun 19, 2009 5:51 am

Hi dumb bonbu,

I found the poem at a website, and now I can't find it again. Sorry!
If I run across the site again I'll let you know.

Kindly,
Laura
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Re: Blue pines and green bamboos

Postby dumb bonbu » Fri Jun 19, 2009 11:17 am

Ngawang Drolma wrote:I found the poem at a website, and now I can't find it again. Sorry!
If I run across the site again I'll let you know.


hey, no problem :smile:
Although I too am within Amida's grasp,
Passions obstruct my eyes and I cannot see him;
Nevertheless, great compassion is untiring and
illumines me always.
- Shinran


Namu Amida Butsu
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Re: Blue pines and green bamboos

Postby Luke » Sat Jun 20, 2009 9:22 pm

dumb bonbu wrote:i love your modification too Luke! do you write your own as well?

Hehe, not really. I once wrote some kind of weird Zen-inspired poems when I was in high school, but I've never considered myself a poet. Modifying an existing form is easy, though. It's like coloring in a coloring book. In fact, it would interesting to see other members modify the poem for the environment in which they live.

dumb bonbu wrote:it's as you say, the Dharma is to be found and cultivated in any environment...reminds me very much of something someone shared on another forum of how 'the lotus grows in the mud'....still, i do wonder if serenity and the wilderness can be more conducive to cultivation than the saha world of noise and endless distractions - leisure, buisness etc. most us live in?


Well, any shamatha meditation instructions I've read either from the Zen or Tibetan traditions say that the place where you meditate should be free from distractions. However, I've heard both Zen and Tibetan sources say that later, when your concentration and meditation ability have improved, it is possible to meditate almost anywhere.

I don't think the wilderness matters so much as being free from distractions does(although the fresh air in the wilderness is a nice bonus). It's certainly easier to first learn to meditate in a peaceful, quiet environment for most people, and periodically going to a meditation retreat in a very peaceful location can make it easier to get more out of meditation (although I honestly prefer meditating at home to a retreat because I have my cushions set up the way I like them at home and I have more space to myself, instead of being squeezed behind a low table with puja texts on it and between two of my sangha members whom I try to avoid touching by accident with my knees).

I live next to an old woman who likes to listen to her TV at a high volume setting. Some days, this bothers me and I take my cushions and go and meditate in my bedroom instead. Some days, I'll hear the noise and simply think, "I don't care. Why should this bother me?" and I focus on my meditations without feeling any aversion to the noise. More important than what is taking place in the environment around you is what you do with your mind and how you react to it. In fact, my lama once told me that if you're doing tonglen and you experience the negative thought "That noise is annoying. I don't think I can meditate here," you can simply breathe it in and imagine it disappearing, just like you would do with any other negative thoughts while doing tonglen.

So, I think peaceful, idyllic places can be periodically helpful for deeping one's practice, but I think it's important to then be able to take that inner peace and be able to maintain it in the face of adversity and benefit others.
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Re: Blue pines and green bamboos

Postby Ngawang Drolma » Tue Jan 05, 2010 8:33 am

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