August 21, 2014

Essays by Fa Dao

 

The Intrinsic Nature of Meditation

by Fa Dao Shakya

Published Jun 01, 2011

The Intrinsic Nature of Meditation

Meditation is a key factor in Chan / Zen and Buddhism in general -- and yet we have no monopoly on the concept of meditation as a spiritual pursuit. Every religion has a tradition approaching meditation although most in the Western World do not focus on that aspect as... Read more

Bodhi day: the day of enlightenment

by Fa Dao, OHY

Published Dec 07, 2007

It was the 8th day of the 12th lunar month, the story goes, that Siddhartha Gautama, also known as Shakyamuni, awoke from a week of meditation to view of the morning star - Venus - and exclaimed, "That's it! That's it! That's me! That's me that's shining so brilliantly!" In... Read more

In the Realm of the Hungry Ghosts

by Fa Dao, OHY

Published Dec 05, 2006

In the Realm of the Hungry Ghosts

Like the Buddha's Disciple Moggallana in search of his mother, I have entered the Preta Realm with a mission. oggallana entered this realm in an effort to save his mother. She had been reborn in this hell-realm as the result of greed. A spirit ever-hungry as the result of the... Read more

Zen's Spiritual Guide

by Fa Dao, OHY

Published Nov 29, 2006

What does it mean to be a spiritual guide? A Zen Roshi or Sifu? It means we strive to balance heart and mind;to live our Spirit. It means we have lived and learned and are still living and learning.That we are one in an ancient succession of teachers, offering to... Read more

The Monk, The Man and the Fish

by Fa Dao, OHY

Published May 03, 2005

A solitary monk was carrying a large fish to his home to prepare it for his meal. As he walked along the path, a man approached from the other direction. As he reached hailing distance, the man called out “Hey monk! I see you coming! What is that you're carrying?”Not... Read more

A Loose Garment

by Fa Dao, OHY

Published Apr 04, 2005

Speaking with a friend on the phone recently and asked about her practice. Just the general sort of conversational "how's it going" type of question.She answered "I'm wearing my practice like a loose garment." Not concentrating or striving or actively "Being Buddhist," she said. Sitting fairly often, but otherwise not... Read more

Denial of Beauty by Austerity?

by Fa Dao, OHY

Published Dec 22, 2004

Denial of Beauty by Austerity?

The simplest of foods or the meanest of meals is a banquet if we appreciate it for what it is -- sustenance, a gift from the earth and the fruit of the labors of men and women. A simple noodle is fit for a king when we appreciate its texture... Read more

When Righteousness Goes Wrong

by Fa Dao, OHY

Published Nov 11, 2004

When Righteousness Goes Wrong

Chan Buddhists, just like followers of other religions, want to do what's right. We strive to be righteous and to avoid self-aggrandizing actions and activities. It's imperative that we consider what it means to "do right" since we often fall into the trap of "doing wrong." We must identify and... Read more

The Buddhism of Zen (in 10 minutes or less)

by Fa Dao, OHY

Published Oct 26, 2004

The Buddhism of Zen (in 10 minutes or less)

Dependent upon whom one asks, Zen is either a school of Buddhism or a school of thought and ethical philosophy adjunct to Buddhism. While zen often teaches the folly of differentiation, hard definition and non-malleable mental categorization, it also teaches that all things should be understood by their very nature.... Read more

Using the Sutras

by Fa Dao, OHY

Published Sep 02, 2004

Using the Sutras

We study the Sutras as a guide as we embark on our own spiritual adventures. They provide us strength in times of difficulties, give us solace in times of despair, and motivate us in times of apathy. Eventually, as we travel on our own unique journey, we learn to navigate... Read more

A True Story

by Fa Dao, OHY

Published Aug 22, 2004

A True Story

Once upon a time there was a lone wolf. All of his life he had been free, independent and secure in the knowledge that he was a wolf (and a fine one at that) despite the opinion of certain other wolves. One day, in about his 30th year of "wolfness" and... Read more

Jack Dudney - Dharma Drummer

by Fa Dao, OHY

Published Mar 13, 2003

Jack Dudney wasn't a zen teacher. Well- he was, but I don't think he knew it.Jack Dudney was my drum teacher when I was a kid. A professional musician, Jack played Big Band with Ed Gerlach's Orchestra in Houston and he taught music lessons on the side. I took lessons... Read more

Sharing The Journey: The Wasted Moment

by Fa Dao, OHY

Published Jan 08, 2003

Sitting and not thinking -- quietly watching the snow on the lawn, doing nothing including nothing itself. A wee curl of smoke from the incense stick twists and twirls and takes shape - a face almost human. Oh no!!! Not him!!!! It's the Prince of Pragmatism! The... Read more