Monday, August 2, 2010

Walt Whitman meets Hotei the Happy Buddha in El Paso

For whatever reasons, this week Hotei and Walt Whitman popped into my head. Like they were holding hands and whispering into my ear about the same thing. So I posted something about them below. But before that, here's this week's schedule. Please come to our Sangha meeting. It would be good to see you. Thank you for your continuing practice.
--Bobby / aka Kankin

Wednesday morning, August 4, 6am. Basic zazen. No chanting, no services, simply sitting.

Saturday afternoon, August 7, 3:30pm. Formal sitting with services, zazen, tea and dharma talk.

NOTE: This Saturday, instead of a dharma talk and discussion, we will have a Sangha meeting. We want to discuss ways to bring new members to our sangha, our current schedule, scheduling sesshins and zazenkais, our finances, chores to help, etcetera. All are welcome.

Anyone walking about Chinatowns in America will observe statues of a stout fellow carrying a linen sack. Chinese merchants call him Happy Chinaman or Laughing Buddha. This Hotei, aka Budai.  He lived in the T'ang dynasty. He had no desire to call himself a Zen master or to gather many disciples around him. Instead he walked the streets with a big sack into which he would put gifts of candy, fruit, or doughnuts. These he would give to children who gathered around him in play. He established a kindergarten of the streets.

Whenever he met a Zen devotee he would extend his hand and say: "Give me one penny."

Once as he was about to play-work another Zen master happened along and inquired: "What is the significance of Zen?"

Hotei immediately plopped his sack down on the ground in silent answer.

"Then," asked the other, "what is the actualization of Zen?"

 At once the Happy Chinaman swung the sack over his shoulder and continued on his way.

Walt Whitman

This is what you shall do:
Love the earth and sun and the animals,
Despise riches,
Give alms to everyone that asks,
Stand up for the stupid and crazy,
Devote your income and labor to others,
Hate tyrants,
Argue not concerning God,
Have patience and indulgence toward the people
Take off your hat to nothing known or unknown
Or to any man or number of men—
Go freely with powerful uneducated persons,
And with the young, and with the mothers or families
Re-examine all that you have been told at school or church or in any book,
Dismiss what insults your very own soul,
And your very flesh shall be a great poem;
And [it shall] have the richest fluency,
Not only in [your] words,
But in the silent lines of [your] lips and face,
And between the lashes of your eyes,
And in every motion and joint of your body.

No comments:

Post a Comment