Be a Lamp (Nirvana Sutra)
World Honored One Flicks Dirt with His Toe (Vimalakirti Sutra)
Order of Enlightenment (Maka Shikan)
Calming and Contemplation of Anger (Maka Shikan)
Effect of Thunderbolts on Ivory (Maka Shikan)
Blind Heir of a Wealthy Merchant (Maka Shikan)
Mongolian Wisdom (ancient sayings)
Mighty Bodhisattva Warriors (13th Dalai Lama)
Seeing Ourselves as Suchness (Shinnyo kan)
Wu-lung and I-lung (Writings of Nichiren Daishonin)
The Parable of the Zither
"Sona, you cannot produce a good sound on the zither if you tighten the strings too much, can you?"
"That is correct, man of great virtue."
"And at the other extreme, you cannot produce a good sound either if you loosen the strings too much, can you?"
"What you said is precisely right, man of great virtue."
"Then what would you do?"
"Man of great virtue, it is vital to tune the strings properly and neither tighten nor loosen them too much."
"Sona, you should realize that the
practice of the Way, which I preach, is exactly the same. If you are too
assiduous in your practice, you will strain your mind and become too tense.
However if you relax your mind too much, then you will be overwhelmed by
laziness. You must strike a balance in your practice of the Way as well."
I met a woman at a slow gongyo session recently who has been practicing for two months. When I asked her about her practice, she told me:
"When I do gongyo in the morning the gongyo calibrates my life, so I can be the person that I need to be that day. The words I stumble over are like reminders of the challenges that I will face in the course of the day. When I say a part without stumbling it is like my life is singing to the universe."