Zen Pencils by Gavin Aung Than for May 09, 2016

  1. Chainlightning
    electricshadow Premium Member over 7 years ago

    the strength of your promise versus the strength of your compassion — which is more important?

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  2. I yam who i yam
    Kind&Kinder  over 7 years ago

    This is a very famous Zen anecdote which points up the Buddhist idea of non-attachment. Live always in the Now, and do not allow yourself to be weighed down by carrying past emotion and judgment. It’s a very hard discipline to train yourself for, but it sure make life easier and more clearly focused

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  3. Crab hat rear
    Crabbyrino Premium Member over 7 years ago

    I am seeing family today at the funeral of my only sister. Much resentment abides in me toward my brother-in-law. I will carry this message with me to focus on his positive aspects—he adored my sister, he fathered three wonderful children. Thank you for a timely reminder.

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    clacou  over 7 years ago

    very few people are aware of the rampant discrimination against women in buddhist culture, in spite of the Buddha’s egalitarian views about Buddha nature. The attitude of the younger acolyte is more than metaphor.

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    StellaMaris  over 7 years ago

    There are fanatics everywhere. “Touching the flesh of a woman”, I think, is supposed to mean to have sex. That’s not what he did, is it? But there are always fanatics, in every single religion on earth, who take everything literally and are quick with judgement.

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  6. Shilo s first year 002  2
    MY DOG IS MY CO PILOT  over 7 years ago

    If he didn’t actually touch her flesh just her clothes and she only touched his clothes then he didn’t touch her flesh after all so he didn’t break any laws. There are always loopholes everywhere if you know where to look.

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  7. Meepo ii token
    Strider Keninginne Premium Member over 7 years ago

    The young acolyte has learned a very valuable lesson in what it means to touch a woman…his elder brother was able to touch the woman to carry her across the stream, then send her on her way to the festivities while he carried her in his heart in his indignation, hence he kept on touching her. The elder monk may have broken the letter of the law, but the acolyte truly broke the spirit in it.

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  8. Image
    Vet Premium Member over 7 years ago


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    Thehag  over 7 years ago

    One of my favorite Zen stories. I know it in a less detailed form from the book Zen Flesh Zen Bones.

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    Chrystos B Minot Premium Member over 7 years ago

    Love this. And if we can extrapolate to life at large — what other “baggage” are we still carrying around, from last week, last year, from a decade ago, from when we were a child? It’s easy to look at younger sibling, who is all caught up with propriety, and libido, but what about our own stuff, that keeps us from being in the magnificent now? Thank you, Gavin!

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    slsharris  over 7 years ago

    Men who only identify women as objects of desire and temptation and instruments of sin have only themselves to look to. We still live in a society that demands that women be superficially attractive as the major defining point of their worth and simultaneously excuses the actions of men who feel entitled to act on their sexual impulses…

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