Zen Share ..

the story of Huai-Jang, who had been a disciple of Hui-Neng, paying a visit to the young Ma-Tsu:

excerpt from “The Golden Age of Zen — John C. H. Wu”

“Before he [Ma-tsu] was twenty, he was already a professed monk. After his profession, he went to the Nan-yueh Mountain, where he practiced by himself sitting-in-meditation. At that time Huai-jang was the Abbot of the Prajna Temple on Nan-yueh Mountain. Seeing Ma-tsu, he recognized him by intuition as a vessel of the Dharma. So he visited him in his cell, asking, ‘In practicing sitting-in-meditation, what does Your Reverence aspire to attain?’ ‘To attain Buddhahood!’ was the answer. Huai-jang then took up a piece of brick and began to grind it against a rock in front of Ma-tsu’s cell. After some moments Ma-tsu became curious and asked, ‘What are you grinding it for?’ ‘I want to grind it into a mirror,’ Huai-jang replied. Greatly amused, Ma-tsu said, ‘How can you hope to grind a piece of brick into a mirror?’ Huai-jang fired back, ‘Since a piece of brick cannot be ground into a mirror, how then can you sit yourself into a Buddha?’

“‘What must I do then?’ Ma-tsu inquired. Huai-jang replied, ‘Take the case of an ox-cart. If the cart does not move, do you whip the cart, or do you whip the ox?’ Ma-tsu remained silent. ‘In learning sitting-in-meditation,’ Huai-jang resumed, ‘do you aspire to learn the sitting Ch’an or do you aspire to imitate the sitting Buddha? If the former, Ch’an does not consist in sitting or in lying down. If the latter, the Buddha has no fixed postures. The Dharma goes on forever, and never abides in anything. You must not therefore be attached to nor abandon any particular phase of it. To sit yourself into Buddha is to kill the Buddha. To be attached to the sitting posture is to fail to comprehend the essential principle.’

“When Ma-tsu heard these instructions, he felt as though he were drinking the most exquisite nectar. After doing obeisance to the master according to the rites, he further asked, ‘How must one apply one’s mind to be attuned to the formless Samadhi?’ The master said, ‘When you cultivate the way of interior wisdom, it is like sowing seed. When I expound to you the essentials of the Dharma, it is like the showers from Heaven. As you are happily conditioned to receive the teaching, you are destined to see the Tao.’

“Ma-tsu again asked, ‘Since the Tao is beyond color and form, how can it be seen?’ The master said, ‘The Dharma-eye of your interior spirit is capable of perceiving the Tao. So it is with the formless Samadhi.’ ‘Is there still making and unmaking?’ Ma-tsu asked. To this the master replied, ‘If one sees the Tao from the standpoint of making and unmaking or gathering and scattering, one does not really see the Tao. Listen to my gatha:

The Ground of the Mind contains many seeds.
Which will all sprout when heavenly showers come.
The flower of Samadhi is beyond color and form:
How can there be any more mutability?

“At this point Ma-tsu was truly enlightened, his mind being transcended from the world of phenomena. He attended upon his master for full ten years. During this period he delved deeper and deeper into the inner treasury of mystical truth. It is said that of six outstanding disciples of Huai-jang, Ma-tsu alone got the mind of the master.”

special thanks to this website http://www.selfdiscoveryportal.com/ChanMasters.htm for letting me discover and delve deeper into Zen


Picture by bvdb (whoisbert) august 2014 – @home – Canon Ixus HS230 – IMG_7802

mindful share (11)


my body needed rest
my mind needed silence
felt almost contemplative
these past 2 weeks

there was this mental attendant
it whispered: “prepare this course”
the silence was not blissful
but I didn’t listen to duty
and did nothing

yearning so much for silence
after all these hectic months
with only one tiny intermezzo
mid may …

now I am aware
of that duty in mental mind,
of that pain in my left foot
of that heartbeat in my left ear
of the common cold nearly gone
of the residual nearly no fever
of the numbing of the painkiller
of the writing on this canvas

aware of how duty can be a dictator
aware of how doing nothing is the remedy


Picture by bvdb (whoisbert) september 2014 – @home – Canon Ixus HS230 – IMG_8106

Humber 1922

I heard a strange and unfamiliar noise, while walking from my car to the grocery store. I couldn’t capture the moment when the thing producing this sound appeared around the corner. Some people laughed, but I felt speechless. A vintage car, driver and passenger dressed for the occasion, drove onto the parking, and parked close to my vehicle. “Yes, vintage people also need to do some shopping”, I thought, while closing my mouth that had dropped open in surprise.

While in the shop, I heard them speak German. Their time machine must have been looking for a German shop — and it found an ALDI. I hoped to be out before them to make some smart-phone shots. But life was better. We came out at the same time, and I was able to start a small conversation and make this picture of the proud owners: Lutz(Ludwig) und Marlene.

They told me that this vehicle was an English Humber, built in 1922 and that they were on a visit to a car show. Their other regular vehicle had broken down, so they used this one to get some groceries.

When feeling speechless, identity recedes, and our natural open and vulnerable state emerges. Some feel scared when this happens, and their identity, enarmoured for the occasion, will protect them a few seconds later. One way of doing this, is Nervous Laughter. I quote Thought Catalog: “Laughing in public is a way to ask other people if they agree with you that what you both behold isn’t a threat to a certain worldview. Assurance can be had here; other people will laugh and validate your effort and your feelings of being disarmed in the face of such an uncomfortable situation.”


Pictures by bvdb (whoisbert) september 2014 – @Aldi Herent(B) – Samsung Galaxy Core — 4 images

‘my’ identity

“identity needs others to profile itself’

click the pictures to enlarge …

mental mind always pushes its image of self,
and mind is absolutely sure that this image is reality.

mind wants to define,
next pronounce,

what makes itself significant,
what makes self exceptional.

it wants to stand out,
it wants to be unique,
it wants to be individual.

seven billion people,
and me wants to be noticed

how can i be noticed as a facebooker
or as a blog writer … :-)  (haha, i got me)

notice how identity increases
when being praised,
but a lot more
when hearing a blame,
when hearing an accusation,
when hearing a false accusation!!

now, notice how mind reacts
when two people have a fight,
and it has nothing to do with me:

looking sad,
share a meaningful look :-[
with other innocent bystanders,
we even feel compassion,
but most often pity
a little,
… just a little …

we would not intervene,
except perhaps when the situation gets severely out of hand,
and even then we would like another bystander to take action

… notice how I do everything not to be noticed …
… identity is weak  — we are furniture …
… notice the dis-identifying use of ‘we’

now if you hear a blame, directed at you,
notice that it is somebody’s incorrect image of self,
complaining about its incorrect image of you …

notice that you have a choice …
of identity …

and perhaps,
you might look sad,
and understanding :-[
even feel compassionate,
first a little, … next a little more …
and if it is only verbal,
take no action,
and wait a long while,
before you can communicate in peace


Pictures by bvdb (whoisbert) september 2014 / july 2013 – @Home – Canon Ixus HS230 – IMG_8119/8121/8129/3897

the mental profiler …

there’s this weird feeling,
now, driving this car …
it is very silent
in my head

no more passengers
habitual road
automatic driving
classic radio playing
minimalist music
perhaps Simon Rackham

identity is very weak right now

identity needs others to profile itself

when alone, there is no need

although most of the time it forgets to background
and any drama continues to play inside the mental mind, …

but right now i am free


Pictures by bvdb (whoisbert) august 2014 – @home – Canon Ixus HS230 – IMG_7827

mono tasking

click the pictures to enlarge …

I’m unable to put my energy into two projects at the same time.
It used to be like that in school and college too.

If there a two projects on the agenda that both require
like 10 working days of focus inside one month,
both projects will suffer.

Having that next project scheduled,
seems to take away some,
even a lot of concentration from the first.

Flowers don’t seem to have this problem.


Pictures by bvdb (whoisbert) august 2014 – @home – Canon Ixus HS230 – IMG_7829/30/31