Sacred Texts

Seven Taoist Masters

Winter passed, and it was spring. On the third day of the third month, Wang secretly left home and journeyed twenty miles to the bridge where he had bid farewell to the two immortals. He sat by the bridge and waited patiently; looking around from time to time to make sure he did not miss any traveler passing through the area. Suddenly he heard someone call his name; looking behind him, he saw his two old friends dressed in rags. They laughed and said, “Master Wang has not only kept his appointment but arrived early!” Gold-Is-Heavy and Empty-Mind Ch’ang walked toward the bridge. Wang immediately dropped to his knees before them and bowed many times. “Great Immortals, it is an…

The Metaphorical Journey of Arjuna

Spiritual texts that have stood the test of time continually reveal the truths they embody through the hearts and minds of those who apply their teachings in daily life. The fact that a teaching lives this way allows it to endure. The Bhagavad Gita is one of the great scriptures that reveals itself in this manner. It was Mahatma Gandhi’s “bible,” and is both an inspirational text and manual for living, for millions of people in many different countries. Perhaps one of the reasons its message is so relevant to our time is that it is the story of human nature: about freedom and individual responsibility, about ethics and morality, about action and nonaction, and about the nature of God…

Swampland Flowers

An ancient worthy said, “If you can recognize the inherent nature while going along with the flow, there is neither joy nor sorrow.” Ta Hui was born in 1088 during the Chinese Sung dynasty. At that time, Ch’an Buddhism was flourishing and its impact was felt at every level of society. Even at an early age, Ta Hui exhibited the signs of a remarkable being. At the age of sixteen, he left home; a year later, he became a monk. With great sincerity, Ta Hui traveled throughout the land, following the traditional practices of Ch’an, and visiting various teachers and monasteries. He was eventually instructed by the great Ch’an master, Chan T’ang, who recognized Ta Hui’s light and depth. As…

Glimpses of Realization

The everyday practice is just ordinary life itself. Since the underdeveloped state does not exist, there is no need to behave in any special way or try to attain or practice anything. —Maha Ati The sutra teachings are common to all Buddhist traditions and form the basis for all the teachings that came later. The insight into emptiness and nonsubstantiality is the essential platform from which the tantric and nondual teachings arise. Tantra was a movement started and developed in India. It was an antidote in both Hinduism and Buddhism to the kind of rigid conceptual thinking that saw reality and the human condition in terms of good and bad, higher and lower, clean and unclean. Tantra saw beyond this…

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