Interesting couple of weeks for me, I’ve been going into the State Prison a bit more recently because of special events; a Buddha Day, Asian Pacific Islander Celebration Day, and two days ago a visit from a monk associated with International Bodhisattva Sangha, which is sort of Western based but has strong international support, especially from Taiwan, and does a lot of out-reach to Prisons and homeless.
They refer to themselves as practicing “Humanistic Buddhism’ on their website. Sadly, the prisoners were not apprised of the change of timing with regard to this visit and there were just a few that showed up. Although the offerings made to the prisoners is not to be judged by numbers, if at all; I felt bad that more hadn’t shown up because this monk, Venerable Xianzhong-shi, is a very good, clear and direct teacher. I learned a lot from him, especially how to stay clear and on-topic when discussing the Dharma. Perhaps “learned” was not the right word, I saw, again, how one can be an effective teacher if one stick to basics, knows the basics from personal experience and can stay ‘within’ oneself.
I’ve always had a problem staying within myself, but I was encouraged by his example.
Then just a few minutes ago, I was reminded of two little teachings, in that they are partial lines from two differentSoto Zen scriptures (Sutras/chants), that like all ‘little’ teachings, go quite far and change as time goes on.
One of them is ”and- should you lost become, there will arise obstructing mountains and great rivers…”
and the other “—May we in the temple of our own hearts dwell—amidst the myriad mountains…”
There’s a lot there to look at,
Quietly, over period of time.
How much time does one have?
Yeah, it comes and goes so
Fast, I really need to be
Here to see it come and go.