Monday, August 29, 2016

Spring Azures

Spring Azures - Mary Oliver

In spring the blue azures bow down
at the edges of shallow puddles
to drink the black rain water.
Then they rise and float away into the fields.

Sometimes the great bones of my life feel so heavy,
and all the tricks my body knows―
the opposable thumbs, the kneecaps,
and the mind clicking and clicking—

don’t seem enough to carry me through this world
and I think: how I would like

to have wings—
blue ones—
ribbons of flame.

How I would like to open them, and rise
from the black rain water.

And then I think of Blake, in the dirt and sweat of London—a boy
staring through the window, when God came
fluttering up.

Of course, he screamed,
and seeing the bobbin of God’s blue body
leaning on the sill,
and the thousand-faceted eyes.

Well, who knows.
Who knows what hung, fluttering, at the window
between him and the darkness.

Anyway, Blake the hosier’s son stood up
and turned away from the sooty sill and the dark city—
turned away forever
from the factories, the personal strivings,

to a life of the the imagination.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Thicket of views

I don't want to enter into the controversy and sectarianism of Japanese Buddhism. I did find a anit-SGI blog that is pure land:

A thought occurred to me reading The Buddha In Me, The Buddha In You, that perhaps I need to read up on Nichiren before I compare it to the SGI teachings. That brings up another question. Should I trust the SGI translation of Nichiren's Daishonin? I can't find another translation online.

And I could reread the Lotus Sutra.

"The teachings are endless, I seek to master them" is a Bodhisattva vow line, which I can't find a TBC version of at the moment.

My own opinion is that reducing Buddhism to chanting the name of the Lotus Sutra, well that just doesn't feel like the best practice. I think ethics, meditation and wisdom are very important. Chanting and faith are lovely too.

I am interested in a way about it because once on a solitary retreat, I had the thought that I would not get enlightened in the current circumstances of my life, which is basically Mappo, a basis for the Nichiren Buddhism. But just because I thought it doesn't mean it's true. And Nichiren meditated for 20 years. I can't believe that he got nothing more out of that than a mantra.

Pure Land Buddhism, which is not one thing really, is the most popular sect of Buddhism, mostly concentrated in Japan and China.

Monday, August 15, 2016


Finished Abundant, Exhalted, Immeasurable by Pasanno, a Theravadan from the lineage of Ajahn Chah, from the Thai Forest Tradition. It put Metta in the context of a Buddhist practice pretty well, in the tradition of the elders.

Started The Buddha in Me, The Buddha in You by David Hare.

Been thinking about my fear of success, what stops me from going deeper. I've been very itchy lately, I need to figure out what I'm allergic to.