8 Apr. “Faith in Mind”.

I memorised 4 Foundation of Mindfulness, 5 Hindrances, 7 Factors of Awakening, 5 Skandhas, 6 Sense Bases, 4 Noble Truths, Noble Eightfold Path, 12 links of Dependent Origination, the first 34 verses of Faith in Mind by Sengcan (will I be able to memorise the whole poem?). When I walk my dog, I repeat what I have learned so far. In between the recitations, I take notice of the serene beauty of nature around me and how happy my dog is running around completely naked and shameless. When I wake up in the morning, I repeat for a few minutes. During the day, when I am idle, I keep repeating.

Last week, while I was meditating, I had that WOW moment, a sudden and unexpected realisation: oh-my-god-nicolas-cage-is-really-a-bad-actor.

I thought about karma again. If karma is a moral law then on what moral standards is it based: US in 19th century or Iran in 20th century, Japan 400 years ago or France 500 years ago? Buddhist precepts perhaps? What if I break the 8th Precept while following the first 5 precepts? What if I break the 10th Precept while following the first 8 Precepts?

My weekend was busy. On top of the usual family responsibilities, I had to work from home on Saturday night. But I spent most of the time working in the garden obsessive compulsively planting trees and various plants. I enjoyed getting my hands dirty. On Sunday, I was exhausted. Agitated. Bad mood. But nothing bad came out of it. It was different. I was simply aware of that particular mental state.

Last night, I dreamed that somebody stole my trees. Everything is truly ultimately unsatisfactory.

I listened to the recording of Tao Te Ching when I drove to and back from work on Friday and today. The text was composed sometime between the 6th and the 4th century in China. It amazes me how similar it is to the teachings of Buddha. The reason why I like Faith in Mind by (probably) Sengcan so much is that it seems to be a synthesis of both.

While bringing my kids home from a swimming lesson on Sunday, REM song came on the radio. I realised that Michael Stipe looks a lot like Jean Genet, especially the sad-shaped eyebrows, especially on black and white photos. How could I not see this earlier?

2 thoughts on “8 Apr. “Faith in Mind”.

  1. Faith in Mind is great. I think it’s one of the best pieces of literature in general, not just in Buddhism. My teacher and I both agree that, if there could only choose one book on Zen to study and share, it’d be the Xinxin Ming. It’s pretty much got everything in it, ya know?

    I applaud your memorization abilities, and also agree that Nicholas Cage is a really bad actor, though I do have a soft spot for Con Air.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I myself am more of a “Wild at Heart” person. I also like Tao Te Ching very much: “Stop thinking, and end your problems”. I can’t stop thinking about this line.


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