Tea House

Daily Perspectives and Stories on Buddhist Trends, People, and Ideas

Tag: enlightenment

Postcard from Raymond: Holy Chamber

Mogao Cave 254. From e-dunhuang.com

The darkness inspires awe, even as the divine faces around me are illuminated for my mortal eyes.

The cavern’s patterns, the motifs, the mosaics, the chapels, the shrines. Mortal channels of traceless wisdom and compassion. Tangible expressions of immaterial insight.

Within this cool shroud of black, with only a streak of warm illumination from the hot star outside the cave, I am immersed in the ineffable infinity, among the stars and the pantheon of the “beyond beings.”

This is the enlightened holy of holies, crafted by inspired hands.

A bell rings.

The summons has been made. The call, echoing to all sentient beings. To return to the Buddha, to their true nature.

All are one in the Dharma. This is what has been revealed to us in this grotto.

Related news from Buddhistdoor Global

English Version of Digital Dunhuang Offers Virtual Tour of Mogao Caves

Bodh Gaya

A poem about the life of the Blessed One. By Tom Donovan

Bodhi Tree by Maranda Russell

It is a place and nothing more,
No different to behold despite particulars
Than any village in the district.
Still it is here,
In the public park,
Under the pipal tree,
On my mat of kusa grass,
I have apprehended the sorrow
Of myself and of all people,
And have understood the Unforgiving Law,
Seen the bleached and desolate fullness of it,
The devouring hungry emptiness of Craving.

And it is here that Mara has come to me,
In his fever to tempt my mind from its new way,
And I wonder that this bloated demon
Has not seen these wide eyes,
Which bid men open up their view,
To see between the dead habits of the Brahmin,
And the living folly of the poor Samana,
Between their expansion and reduction,
Between the cruel formal and the cruel nil,
Straight to Chanda,
The line through vain desire,
Through the irrelevant beginnings and ends of things,
The acceptance of the ambiguous and the unanswerable.

Read More

Fathers and Sons: The Buddha and King Suddhodana

Raymond Lam

Siddhartha and Suddhodana in the Tezuka-inspired animated feature film Buddha.

This Sunday will be Father’s Day in Hong Kong. Most young people, luckily, will get to enjoy the 18th with their old men. In the grand scheme of things it’s not uncommon for kids to lose their father (or both parents) earlier in life. In the end, we all are destined to be orphans. We just hope to be orphaned as late as possible. We want our parents to stay with us well into our adulthood; by that time we’re hopefully emotionally mature enough to let go when the time comes.

When I look at so much of fiction and pop culture (not just the classics like King Lear or Chinese literature but also Batman, Superman, or Star Wars) I realize just how important the father-son archetypal relationship is to our collective folk memories. The father, be it through presence and nurture or absence and distance (or even a combination of both), shapes what the son becomes. Or, the son becomes what he is in defiance, or in spite, of his father.

Read More

If you think of the dark



I see this poem by Carol Ann Duffy, the current UK poet laureate on our bathroom wall every day; it helps me to keep my cool when faced with the many concerns of 21st century living that easily spark fear. For example: the recent election of Donald Trump as the American president. In a delightfully whimsical tone, the poet counsels us in how to deal with fear: you simply change the way you look at things. There is no absolute reality out there called “the dark”—why not see it as a “park?” Similar sound, and still pitch black, but it is transformed into more familiar, manageable territory, particularly in the light provided by the moon. We’ve bounced it up there ourselves in fact; we’ve made use of our ingenious magical powers, fortified by rhyme (ball, at all).

And then there is a pause, where we hold our breath: has it worked?

Read More

Destination Unknown

Sherri Maxwell

Dark eerie forest scene with fog and twin trees on halloween

Dark eerie forest scene with fog and twin trees on halloween

When starting on the path, you have the guardrails up, the training wheels on, you are on track, and everybody is there to support you. How wonderful. We are headed towards “Enlightenment.”

Your Sangha is heavenly, your Guru is amazing—you are all set.

That is, until life events punch holes in your conviction and your emotions take you to a place you never thought you would be, and the very Sangha that is there to support you . . . judges you, and even talks behind your back.

Read More


Steve Braff

From en.wikipedia.org

From en.wikipedia.org

The left wing tips down
into a lazy bank
right above the bilious white cloud
skyscrape to the horizon –
an immensity that almost eclipses
the jagged profile of distant range
that Everesting place
of the so many aspirants fallen.

I stare into that expanse
and try to take my measure.
Humbled, we fall through the nimbus,
we sink down beneath that virginal blanket,
we drift into the thick and yellow and languid haze-
down into the dust, the fuming, the utter exhaust
of Kathmandu.

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén