Buddha’s teaching of looking at a pippala leaf helps us gain mindfulness and understanding of Tao Te Ching
Buddha’s teaching helps us gain understanding by looking a pippala leaf. With a pippala leaf in hand, looking deeply at the pippala leaf, we can clearly see the presence of the sun, stars, earth, water, cloud, rain, and space. Lacking any of these like lacking the sun, without light and warmth, the leaf could not exist.In fact, at that very moment, the entire universe existed in that leaf. The reality of the leaf is a wondrous miracle. If paying attention, you will see in your child, there are countless presences of you, your spouse, your teachers, your relatives, your place of birth, your education, your thoughts, your anger, your cheating, your mistakes, your wounds, your childhood, your books, your emotion, your friends, your countries, your managers, and your presidents. All of these presences are the dots that influence your life and your child’s life. We are living under the hologram of countless phenomena. Each small changing in each of countless phenomena, the hologram will change. It means we are not the same; we are the holograms of countless compounded phenomena. Our body embeds all information of these phenomena that we do not consciously know.
|You are the result of the thoughts you have. The more good thoughts you have the more your good life is.“ Good thoughts good fruitsBad thoughts bad fruits”Quality of life is measured by the quality of thoughts. The environment will shape the thoughts. Jim Rhon taught: “you are the average of the five people you spend with.” People you spend time with, the environment you live, the things you read will shape your thoughts.Show feed your mind with good thought by:+ Choosing good people to spend time with,+ Choosing the good stuff to read,+ And taking care of your thoughts with needed correction.|
Though we ordinarily think that a leaf is born in the springtime, Buddha taught us to see that it had been there for a long, long time in the sunlight, the clouds, the tree, and in ourselves. Seeing that the leaf had never been born, we could see that we ourselves too had never been born. Both the leaf and we have simply manifested—we have never been born and are incapable of ever dying. With this insight, ideas of birth and death, appearance and disappearance dissolved, and the true face of the leaf and our own true face revealed themselves. This insight is same as the insight of Lao Tzu.Practicing more, we can see that the presence of any one phenomenon made possible the existence of all other phenomena. One includes all, and all are contained in one. The leaf and our body are one. Neither possessed a separate, permanent self. Neither could exist independently from the rest of the universe. Seeing the interdependent nature of all phenomena, Buddha taught that we could see the empty nature of all phenomena—that all things are empty of a separate, isolated self.Buddha and Lao Tzu taught the key to liberation lay in these two principles of interdependence and non-self. With the practice of meditation, we can see these two principles. Clouds drift across the sky, forming a white background to the translucent pippala leaf. Clouds are one manifestation; rain is another. Clouds also are not born, so that it would not die. If the clouds understood that, Buddha taught, surely they will sing joyfully as they fall down as rain onto the mountains, forests, and rice fields.
We are interdependence for our happiness
“Long and short contrast each other,Above and below rest upon each other,High and low rest upon each other,Difficult and easy complement each other,Voice and sound harmonize each other,Front and back follow one another,Husband and wife complete each other,Father and son rest upon each other,Leaders and followers follow one another,No students no teachers,They rest upon each other.Things named and known based on its contrastsSynergize to create phenomenaCreating life and creating happinessThings are neither birth nor death,Neither production nor destruction,Neither one nor many,Neither inner nor outer,Neither large nor small,And neither impure nor pure.All concepts are distinctions created by the intellectTo support for thinking and interacting.Things are interdependent.Problems come from stubbornly attach to concepts.”Buddha taught with the illuminating the rivers of our body, feelings, perceptions, mental formations, and consciousness, we can understand that impermanence and emptiness of self which are the very conditions necessary for life. Our feelings, perceptions, mental formations, and consciousness are just the illuminating of surrounding phenomena with our senses in our brain; in return, we create many more phenomena by our thinking, speaking and behaving. Without impermanence and emptiness of self, nothing could grow or develop. If a grain of rice does not have the nature of impermanence and emptiness of self, it cannot grow into a rice plant. If clouds are not empty of self and impermanent, they cannot transform into rain. Without impermanent and non-ego, a child can never grow into an adult.
|“To accept life means to accept impermanence and emptiness of self. The source of suffering is a false belief in permanence and the existence of separate selves”|
Thus, Buddha taught, “to accept life means to accept impermanence and emptiness of self. The source of suffering is a false belief in permanence and the existence of separate selves. Seeing this, one understands that there is neither birth nor death, neither one nor many, neither inner nor outer, neither large nor small, and neither impure nor pure. All such concepts are false distinctions created by the intellect. If one penetrates into the empty nature of all things, one will transcend all mental barriers, and be liberated from the cycle of suffering.” This teaching of Buddha is very similar to the teaching of Lao Tzu, I think that there were many other teaching had the same insight into human history. Fortunately, Buddha pointed the way for people to meditate and train to gain such insight. Reaping knowledge and enlightenment from direct experience; these are the fruits that Lao Tzu showed us with just one single poem: “Te-Tao Ching”.
The real world around us
1. Phenomena are constant:They are described in teaching of Lao TzuLook, it cannot be seen – it is beyond form.Listen, it cannot be heard – it is beyond sound.Grasp, it cannot be held – it is intangible.These three are indefinable;Therefore, they are joined in one.It returns to nothingness.The form of the formless,The image of the imageless,It is called indefinable and beyond imagination.2. How do we know phenomena?By its outstanding charactersOutstanding characters areYield and overcome,Bend and be straight,Empty and be full,Wear out and be new,Have little and gain,Have much and be confused.That which shrinksMust first expand.That which failsMust first be strongThat which is cast downMust first be raised.Before receivingThere must be giving.Begin by sciencesBut masters love arts.3. As above so blowAs within so withoutAs the causes, so the effectsAs the effect, therefore, the causeThis is called the perception of the nature of things.Soft and weak overcome hard and strong.Inside and outside has a strong bond.4. It is two faces of appearance and essenceOne gets by seeing, hearing and sensingWith cognitive thinkingAnd logical thinking.Other is get by feeling like gut feelingWith emotional thinkingAnd rational thinkingThey have a close relation.Like Yin and Yang.
5. In fact, things are oneSeparated by thinking of human beingsCrystallizing phenomena into simple specific thingsWords and definitions are born.Good for thinking and developingUnderstanding and communicating6. Unfortunately:Same words have different perceptionsSame events have deferent understandingAnd different feelingsBy all peopleEmployers and employeesGenerals and soldiersBrothers and sistersThe blind and the deafThe rich and the poorThe young and the oldYou and me.7. Therefore: Extreme danger goes with the attachmentSelf-destruction goes with possessing or egotizing.Problems are bornWars and fightings are inevitableConstantly and endlessly Diseases and illnesses are flourishingConstantly and endlesslyIn spite of hopeless actionsAnd vigorous quick-fixes. 8. Life is funny Life is great Live closely And in mindfulness for understanding.
Yin and Yang theory
This phenomenon has characters same as energy. To understand it, it is better to be felt than grasped, use unconscious mind rather than conscious mind. In Eastern philosophy, the characters of these phenomena and energy are well described in Yin and Yang theory. In Chinese philosophy, the rhythm of life, which pulsates through the universe, is the action of complementary principles Yin and Yang. The symbol for Yin Yang is called the Taijitu. Yin and Yang can be seen as the two opposite characters in one phenomenon; Yin and Yan rest upon each other, Yin and Yan interchange to each other. In Yin there is the seed of Yan, in Yan, there is the seed. The taijitu symbol has been found in more than one culture and over the years has come to represent Taoism. The symmetrical disposition of the dark Yin and the light Yang suggests cyclical changes.Yin is the below, within, inside, invisible, quiet, female, intuitive, receiving the force that is associated with earth. The earth is the source of life; it provides us with what we need to survive.Yang is the above, without, outside, appearance, strong, male, creative, giving force that is associated with heaven. The heaven above us is always in motion and brings about change.When Yin reaches its climax, it recedes in favor of Yang, then after Yang reaches its climax it recedes in favor of Yin. This is the eternal cycle. The dots inside the white and black halves indicate that within each is the seed of the other. Yin cannot exist without Yang and vice versa.Basic Concepts Defining the Nature of Yin YangNeither Yin nor Yang is absolute. Nothing is completely Yin or completely Yang. Each aspect contains the beginning point for the other aspect. For example, day becomes night and the night becomes day…Yin and Yang are interdependent upon each other so that the definition of one requires the definition for the other to be complete.Yin Yang is not static. The nature of Yin and Yang flows and changes with time. A simple example is thinking about how the day gradually flows into the night. However, the length of day and night are changing. As the earth ages, its spin is slowing causing the length of day and night to get longer. Day and night are not static entities. Sometimes changes in the relationship between Yin and Yang can be dramatic where one aspect can literally just transform into the other. As an example: some species of fish have females that transform quickly into males when the population of males isn’t enough.The summation of Yin and Yang form a whole. One effect of this is: as one aspect increases the other decreases to maintain the overall balance of the whole.The balance of Yin-Yang can be skewed due to outside influences. Four possible imbalances exist:Deficiency YangDeficiency YinExcess YangExcess YinThese imbalances can be paired: so an excess of Yin can also simulate a Yang deficiency and vice versa. An example this concept is especially important for Chinese healing practicesYin Yang can be subdivided into additional Yin and Yang aspects. For example, a Yang aspect of Heat: can be further subdivided into a Yin warm or Yang burning.This is only the start. You can dig into Yin Yang in an infinite manner due to its relative nature.The ideal state of things in the physical universe, as well as in the world of humans, is a state of harmony represented by the balance of Yin and Yang in body and mind.
Table 9: Yin and Yang in all phenomena
|Body Mind Spirit Health Art of living: as… so…|
|Receiving force||Giving force|
|Subconscious mind||Conscious mind|
|Irrational thinking||Rational thinking|
|Peace inside||Peace outside|
|Spiritual life||Physical life|
|Passive, Static||Active, Dynamic|
|Astral World||Visible World|
|PHENOMENA IN UNIVERSE ENVIRONMENT|
|Night, Dark||Day, Light|
|Rain, Water, Cold||Fire, Heat|
|Winter, Autumn||Summer, Spring|
|Odd Numbers||Even Numbers|
|The Moon||The Sun|
|North, West||South, East|
|Right, Down||Left, Up|
|Liver, Lungs||Intestines, Skin|
All things else are changing. All things else are the illuminating of specific phenomena. Nothing is constant, in static, there is the seed of motion. The source of suffering is a false belief in the permanence and the existence of separate selves. Wrong pursuing the permanence of separate self-has created vicious phenomena in the world. The bodies with the selves have disappeared but the created phenomena are still constant. To understand these, let use your imagination to play the game with the question of if then.
First is Socrates:1. Who is Socrates?“He was a philosopher two centuries ago” – it means he died. So who is the owner of theories, the knowledge that philosophers in the university are studying?“Socrates’s ideas, concepts” – but he died?2. What is the image of Socrates’ face?The fact is his face dissolved in the dust, but all philosophers can perceive his face in mind, which influenced by his picture on the book.3. What we will call Socrates if his mother named him Sacramento? Or when he was matured he changed his name to Sacramento? All the works he has done were the same, perhaps human beings will be recorded in all books with the name of Sacramento without any concern.4. How could friends of Socrates perceive exactly about Socrates?· When Socrates was one year old, how did he look like, how his neighbors thought about him?· When Socrates was five years old, how did he look like, how his neighbors thought about him?· When Socrates was twenty years old, how did he look like, how his neighbors thought about him?· When he was fifty years old, how did he look like how his neighbors thought about him?They may saw him in the appearance, his voices, his thinking, his feelings, his characters, his attitude, his work, the feeling he made for them. These were changing day after day.If we could ask the people who lived same time with Socrates, we would get thousand different answers about him, these lead to thousand perceptions about him. From his wife, his disciples, his governors, and the rich in Athens, we would find out some people loved, some people protected, some people hated, some people did not care, and some people killed him when he was old.We will never get the concreted perception about Socrates even if we ask the two philosophers in one university.
Second is Jim Rhon:
1. Who is Jim Rhon?“He was a philosopher of business and personal development, he was born 1930 and died 2009” – it means he died, it means ended. So who is the owner of the theories, knowledge that people all over the world are studying from him?“Socrates’s ideas, concepts” – but he died?2. What is the image of Jim Rhon’s face?The fact is his face dissolved in the dust, but many people could perceive his face in mind based on the recording video about him when he was 40 years old, 60 years old, 70 years old. Most of the time, the perception of his face changed.3. What we will call Jim Rhon if his mother named him Jimmy Ron? Or when he was matured he liked that name so much that he changed his name to Jimmy Ron before was successful? All the works he has done were the same, perhaps human beings will be recorded in all books with the name of Jimmy Ron without any concern.4. How could friends of Jim Rhon perceive exactly about him?· When Jim Rhon was one year old, how did he look like, how his neighbors thought about him?· When Jim Rhon was five years old, how did he look like, how his neighbors thought about him?· When Jim Rhon was twenty years old, how did he look like, how his neighbors thought about him?· When Jim Rhon was fifty years old, how did he look like how his neighbors thought about him?They may know him in the appearances, his voices, his thinking, his feelings, his characters, his attitude, his works, the feeling he made for them. These things are changing day after day.If we ask the people who lived with Jim Rhon, we would get thousand different answers about him, these lead to thousand perceptions about him. From his wife, his ex-wife, his disciples, his governors, the businessmen, we would find out some people loved, some people protected, some people hated, some did not care about him.We will never get the concreted perception about Jim Rohn even if we ask his two children, his two students, and his ex-wife. Even with sophisticated technology, we will never have the concrete perception of him.
The third is Adolf Hitler.
1. Who is Adolf Hitler? (1889 – 1945)He was a German politician from 1933 to 1945. He was a dictator”. Most people did not agree with the concept that he died in 1945. Even the name Adolf Hitler had its old history, if some factors changed in his family, humankind would be had different dictators name. Why so many people still have a full perception about the name Adolf Hitler? They still have perception about his appearance, actions, and emotions with the name.2. What is the image of Adolf Hitler’s face?What was the exact image of him when he was an infant (1889-19890), an adolescence, a soldier during World War I, or the politician. There will be no exact images. It is the continuous perceptions about him.3. How could friends of Adolf Hitler perceive exactly about him?· When Adolf Hitler was one year old, how did he look like, how his neighbors thought about him?· When Adolf Hitler was five years old, how did he look like, how his neighbors thought about him?· When Adolf Hitler was twenty years old, how did he look like, how his neighbors thought about him?· When Adolf Hitler was fifty years old, how did he look like how his neighbors, his soldiers thought about him?Nobody had the same perception about him, even the historians living during the war. The boys played with him, the soldiers fought with him in World War I. The German soldiers fought for him in World War II, the soldiers died for him, and the soldiers fought against him. We will get a flow of perceptions, which changes constantly and depends on so many varieties.The fact is that when he was four years old, he nearly drowned in an icy river; he saved by the son of his house owner. Would four-year-old Hitler become a dictator? Nobody could know. I think that even the innocent four-year-old Hitler did not know he would become a dictator also.We will never get the concreted perception about Adolf Hitler. Even with sophisticated technology, we will never have the concrete perception of him. Most people have had the bad feeling with disgusting and fear during and after World War II. Even hearing the word Adolf Hitler has created a lot of fear in listeners. What would happen to the world if Adolf Hitler had given a different name to his parents?
Fourth is Michael Jackson.
1. Was he a black man or a white man?2. Was he happy or not happy?3. What about his property when he was alive: trousers, pants, hats, houses, cars, pictures, images…are these still on his own?We will never get the concreted perception about the name Michael Jackson. All we know about him is just the hologram of all our perception of the phenomena he created.
Fifth are the kings and warriors
Who are Pharaoh, Emperor Qin Shi Huang, Adolf Hitler, Napoleon Bonaparte, Alexander III, and Genghis Khan?1. Were they great kings, to you, to their peoples, to their slaves, to their spouses, to their children?2. Which did they leave? Was it legacy or tragedies for life, admiration or fear, peace or war, happiness or stress?3. Were they really representative of God? Where did the God, Holy Spirits stand for when the war has taken place?To the victims, slavers, the poor, the sufferers… the God, Holy Spirit were stood for the good belief that they stand for or hope for, to keep them safe, to make them feel sure or certain about life, to make them have hope, the power to suffer the tragedy put on them.To the warriors, the kings, and the rulers… they believed the representative of God, they had the right to kill or save anybody. The fights, killed or murdered someone else for the God’s side or their Holy Spirit’s side.4. What did the things they think eternity? From which they had sacrificed thousand or million people to create and protect for their eternity.The fact all of us have the relative specific perception about these characters in history, this perception changing gradually. They were visible of million phenomena; they were the effects of million causes. In return, they created millions other phenomena or causes in life. Each phenomenon happened to them was the effect of previous phenomena, also the cause of changing inside them; and then create thoughts, words, and actions. Each of this can cause many phenomena in life.
Sixth are you.
1. Who are you? Which of the following are constant in you: the appearance, the voices, the thinking, the feelings, the characters, the attitude, the work?2. Which of you is constant: body, feelings, perceptions, mental formations, and consciousness? Are they the same between you, your spouse, and your children?3. What is your possession? Your children, your houses, your cars, your name, your address, your position in work, your job, your money, your fame, your idols, your God, your Holy Spirit, your spiritual costume, etc… which of these are constant over time?- What is your response if someone makes harm to each of these?- Why do you have this response?
Seventh is an imagined story.
Imagine a story happen to characters. Please answer the questions: who are they? What do they have? Why do they have that, and why not?In a Miss USA contest, three candidates for the crown standing to wait for the results are Elizabeth Brown, Elizabeth Maxwell, and Victoria Tracy. The master of ceremonies slowly announces loud “The Miss USA is …. Elizabeth… Brown….” (Who is the most anxious and disappointed during hearing the announcement?) Elizabeth Brown is walking to the center of stadium to taking crown, suddenly the there is a loud voice from Sarah Williams – who has just released from prison – in the front row of audiences: “She is not Elizabeth Brown, she is my daughter. Her name is Elizabeth Williams.” The conference hall is quiet to let her explain. She explains: “it was the mistake of the doctors and nurses in the hospital where I delivered my child twenty years ago that make me lost her, a beloved child. I have found her for twenty years.” Audiences start to bandy about Miss Elizabeth Brown and the bad reputation she may make because of her bad unknown origin. A rich and powerful man takes advantage of this chaos to give the title of Miss USA for Victoria Tracy; because of his influence, the board of examiners agrees with him. The perceptions about everything in the contest of all people have changed since Sarah Williams raised her voice.All the perception about a title, an individual may change because of million phenomena. The illuminating of these phenomena created our perception. Because all the things we think we know about the situation is the hologram of relating phenomena, there are no definite things in that situation. Thousands of people in stadiums or billions of people watching The 2014 FIFA World Cup Final match between Germany – Argentina had the different point of views about the game, players, and decision of referees. Because of million different accumulated phenomena during lifetime, so that no one had the same view, emotion or the same frequency of emotion when watching the game.The fact is there have been a lot of withdrawing the rewards, the Olympic medals, or the degrees of many people because of the later investigation found out they have cheated in the contest. In corrupt countries, some men can have the influence on the result of the investigation. I do not care about the act of investigation or contest. I only care about the perception of relating people, the titles, the fame, and the names of these people; what is its characters, is it constant or changing with the perception of other people? What made the rewards, who made the rewards and what affected the rewards? With a lot of imagining question: If… then…I find that these titles, fame, possession, and names are the meeting of phenomena caused by the mind of human being. It is the result of illuminating of countless phenomena, it is not constant; in return, rewards, fame, and medals is the cause of countless other phenomena that effect to other people.Nothing is certain, nothing is static; things are the solidifying and dissolving of countless phenomena; the decreasing and increasing of phenomena. Thing is not born, also not died, they are constantly changing from perceivable to unperceivable of the human mind. We are in the hologram with the seamless web phenomena.
Hanh, Thich Nhat.(1987).Old path white clouds: Walking in the footsteps of the Buddha. Parallax press.Hitler, Adolf. In Wikipedia. Retrieved July 17, 2017, from http://en.wikipedia-.org/wiki/Adolf_HitlerIs our universe a Hologram? In 1982 a little known but epic event occurred at the University of Paris [Web log post]. (2011, September 29). Retrieved July 19, 2017, from http://www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog/2011/09/is-our-universe-a-holo -gram-in-1982-a-little-known-but-epic-event-occurred-at-the-University-of-paris.htmlLao Tsu. The Tao Te Ching. Translated by Gia-Fu Feng and Jane English. Vintage Books, 1972.Talbot, Michael (n.d.). The Holographic universe. Retrieved July 19, 2017, from http://www.rense.com/general69/holoff.htmTalbot, Michael (n.d.). The Universe as a Hologram. Retrieved July 19, 2017, from http://www.mindbodyneurofeedback.com/content/resources-articles/universe-hologramWhat is Yin Yang?. (n.d.). Retrieved July 19, 2017, from http://personaltao.com /teachings /questions/what-is-yin-yang/
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