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Old 01-09-2010, 10:00 AM   #201
Oliver
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Old 01-09-2010, 10:17 AM   #202
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Old 01-09-2010, 11:39 AM   #203
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Always and always returning to him: The Master!




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Old 01-10-2010, 03:53 PM   #204
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A slave is one who waits
for someone to come and free him.


- Ezra Pound



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Old 01-10-2010, 04:10 PM   #205
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He who is brave is free.

- Seneca



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Old 01-10-2010, 05:01 PM   #206
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There is no freedom like seeing myself as I am and not losing heart.

Elizabeth J.Canham



Years ago I recognized my kinship with all living things, and I made up my mind that I was not one bit better than the meanest on the earth. I said then and I say now, that while there is a lower class, I am in it; while there is a criminal element, I am of it; while there is a soul in prison, I am not free.

Eugene V. Debs
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Old 01-10-2010, 09:40 PM   #207
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To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.

-Emerson


BC
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Old 01-10-2010, 10:03 PM   #208
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Something opens our wings. Something makes boredom and hurt disappear. Someone fills the cup in front of us. We taste only sacredness.

-Rumi




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Old 01-10-2010, 10:17 PM   #209
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Burgundia and Bushycat, thank you, ladies, for inhabiting this free territory

I am thinking of giving you a Medal of Freedom!

Love&respect
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Old 01-10-2010, 10:46 PM   #210
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Freedom is awareness; slavery is ignorance.

Ignorance is blissful slavery for the masses. Freedom brings misery in truth. Most people are ignorant slaves who have the illusion of freedom. For when real freedom awakens their consciousness the truth is too great to bear and thus they return to a state of denial and then blissful ignorance.

The true cost of freedom is immeasurable, beyond the worth of a human life, a mind and a soul. True freedom takes the courage to realize you may in fact have been wrong and admit to that fact is even harder.

Thus, it's easier for me to assume I am free, convince myself of that illusion than to examine the real world for what it is and conclude that the very people I had trusted, looked up to and voted into office to represent me and my family are murders, thieves and criminals. It's also easier to think I can actually vote them out of office than to acknowledge the system is now flawed and only a revolving door of criminal will ever be elected.

The burden of Freedom is much heavier than any man made object. It weighs on your mind, body and soul. True freedom can never be granted, bestowed or earned.

Freedom is not found in a document or piece of legislation. For laws are designed to subdue. The Constitution is a law that says what the government cannot do. No sworn soldier can protect my freedoms, can die for my freedoms or serve for my freedoms. The very aspect of a solider fighting for my freedoms in a far away land is laughable for they give up their own freedoms upon enlisting. War is one illusion used to maintain that false sense of freedom. Each a pawn who doesn't understand that they themselves are slaves.

Freedom isn't glory, waving flags and national pride. It's dirty, gritty and gut wrenching. It's heart breaking, solace and overwhelming. For true freedom can only be born out of the realization that you are a slave.
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Old 01-11-2010, 10:43 AM   #211
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Housemouse, these are just great insights!
I am grateful to you for bringing such deep feeling and expression of the issue of Freedom in this thread.
I can only say: the tree of Freedom has many branches, much more leafs, and if we want to have fruits from that tree, we should take care for it as a whole, starting from it`s roots.

With Love and Respect to you and your free soul.
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Old 01-11-2010, 11:10 AM   #212
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I am posting this here on Bushy's request :

In the 18th (Buddhist) century (12th by western calendars), a Chinese Ch'an (Zen) master (Japanese: Kukuan) painted ten pictures illustrating the search for an ox, an allegory for the search of our true nature.

The search for the bull



Everyone is searching for a cure for their insatisfaction. We wrongly suppose the answer is obscured and that obstructions must be overcome on a long and exhausting trip which takes us far into unchartered lands. Like a mirage our goal recedes as we advance. In the frenzy of our desparate quest we ignore our immediate surroundings, mesmerized by the distant majestic peaks of our imagined destination. The bull is not lost, your search is like that for your glasses on your own nose or your hat on your head. Our ox-herder has got on the ox to go looking for the ox. There is no separation from our true nature, nor is a confusion of our senses possible. We see what we see, hear what we hear and think what we think. Our tracks are always there, under our feet, and we are always at home. As the old lady said when directing the monk to Zhao Zhou's (Joshu's) Bai-lin temple: we should always "go straight ahead." Make no mistake that advice can also mean to go left or right, or even to turn back. Only by rejecting all dualisms can we see things for what they are.

The locust and all the 10,000 phenomena are manifestations of our true nature, to look elsewhere is to abandon it, to err endlessly in a land where no place is home; in a labyrinth of dualities.

Love Always
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Old 01-11-2010, 11:11 AM   #213
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Discovering the Footprints



Inevitably we discover the traces since everything, everywhere is evidence. Nothing, even ourselves, can be external to the ONE (thus: "one finger zen"). Far from being simply evidence; everything, everywhere is itself that for which we search. Things are not evidence of reality, but are reality itself. Apart from immediately reality there are only illusions generated by our mental constructions. Understand this and you understand the teaching. The path is always just in front of you. You need not discriminate to discern it. Once you commence to divide true from untrue, your task is unending. Stop! don't speak, even to think (even about thinking) is to lose yourself in a sea of illusions.

Love Always
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Old 01-11-2010, 11:13 AM   #214
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Perceiving the Bull



You've seen the traces and now the ox, important progress indeed to pass from signs to direct perception! To go from the source of illusions to reality itself. Now you're directing your attention to immediate reality and therefore no illusion can hide it. Like Magritte's "This is not a pipe"; what an artist can draw is not a bull. While you drink water, you don't ask if it's warm or cold. The six senses (the sixth is the perception of your thoughts) "merge" when you use them together to perceive directly, to become one with "the 10,000 things" (in Chinese culture, 10,000 = infinity!). In so doing you cross the threshold from duality into the unity of all things. That "entrance" is everywhere, always just in front of you. Each thing is unique and therefore incomparable. Each thing is exactly right to be what it, and only what it can be. As the butcher told the monk: "Each of our pieces (of meat) is the best." When you perceive your true nature, you will recognize it as a childhood friend.

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Old 01-11-2010, 11:14 AM   #215
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Catching the Bull



The film Forbidden Planet took us to an (almost) uninhabited world where gigantic automated power plants produce endless power without apparent use. A lone stranded scientist struggled to discover the use for this enormous energy. When a search party arrives to "rescue" him against his will, fireballs of energy block them at every turn. The explanation was that the energy was at disposal of the scientist's unconscious desires.

Here we see that the ox's "great will and power" are inexhaustible and that he is capable of a "terrific struggle." When we discover that we are the only source of his energy the "struggle" will be over. Although he is always with you, you can't turn around fast enough to see him. Now you've caught him, he can no longer hide. Still, he seems insubordinate, used to his old ways, searching for new satisfactions while remaining always unsatisfied. You think you can whip him into obedience, yet another illusion!

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Old 01-11-2010, 11:15 AM   #216
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Taming the Bull



Separating yourself from your true nature, you imagine you must force the ox to obey. This error will be self-proving until you understand that your Buddha-nature is naturally satisfied, naturally gentle. The whip and rope were themselves their only justification. No effort is required, everything, including all the phenomena which are you, are simply what they are. Understanding that your thoughts are phenomena like all others, they will at last appear as they are, all true to themselves; beyond the delusions of true and false. Then you will understand that immediate reality is the gateway to enlightenment and the Lord Buddha's touching the ground is opening the "gate", which only illusion sees.

Here as in all the first six of these pictures there's the fundamental defect of the duality of two selves: the self of everyday life and the self of our Buddha-nature. Not only is this, like all dualities, false; but the illusion of even one self is itself false as a violation of the doctrine of the non-existence of self. Perhaps the answer is that we must crawl before we can walk. However crawling is not a means of learning to walk, which requires the rejection of crawling.

Love Always
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Old 01-11-2010, 11:16 AM   #217
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Riding the Bull Home



To mount the ox is to become one with your true nature; once united with it you're already home. Flute and hands beat in harmony with the 10,000 things. All things, directly perceived, form the path (Tao) of the enlighten one. To realize your place in this flow of events there is neither joy nor sadness, rather infinite satisfaction. Once achieved this realization of the perfect harmony of all things will never be voluntarily renounced.

Here again one must note that although once acquired the capacity to enter nirvana (that is of course what we are referring to here) is never renounced; it is not the case that a Buddha remains permanently in that state. On the contrary, it is characteristic of one possessing the capacity to enter nirvana at will that he or she will reenter samsara for the sake of those that may be aided thereby

Love Always
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Old 01-11-2010, 11:17 AM   #218
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The Bull Transcended



This picture, its verse and commentary express a single point: that all has been one since the beginning. The "ox" was only a means to realizing this fact. Once realized, the world of samsara is experienced as it really is: nirvana. Abandoning your attempt to force phenomena to conform to concepts ends the sense of struggle and turmoil inspired by the illusions of samsara. Then the perfect unity of all things, including yourself, appears effortlessly. The disappearance of the obscuring cloud, doesn't create the moon, but only reveals it. As the Lord Buddha correctly taught us: He created nothing; rather He simply discovered the truth about how the world works.

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Old 01-11-2010, 11:18 AM   #219
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Both Bull and Self Transcended



Here, finally, we discover the consequences of this truth: that nothing is independent or permanent. All things are an integral part of the entire cosmos (*). All messages (concepts, dogmas) are swept away by passing time, as footprints in the sand on the sea-shore. To understand this is to accomplish the goal of abolishing all goals. For a Buddha there is no enlightenment, no Buddhahood; and samsara and nirvana are one. For Him praise and blame are the same.

Once a dying Master's selected successor, attending at his bedside, slid a vial of medicine toward him. The Master criticized him violently because the gesture was useless. The disciple, without changing expression simply slid the vial back again. The Master smiled and said: "Now that I know I have a worthy successor I can die satisfied

(*) See Quantum Reality by Nick Herbert, Anchor Doubleday 1985/7, pages 241 and following.

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Old 01-11-2010, 11:19 AM   #220
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Reaching the Source



Immediate reality is the source of everything. It is the beginning and the end of every quest. What happens in between is without consequence. The sooner you "give up" the better. The harder you race toward the imaginary goal the farther you get from it. Although trying hard is better than being too lazy to attempt, or continue; it is better to awake to the treasure-house within yourself. Then nothing need be sought, nothing need be gained. When you see the statues of the Lord Buddha touching the earth, understand that He is teaching you that dwelling in immediate reality is release from illusion and freedom from illusion is enlightenment.

Love Always
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Old 01-11-2010, 11:20 AM   #221
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In the World



When the traveller on the Tao reaches his/her goal the 10,000 things are again just as they are, just as they were before entering the gateless gate. Nevertheless he/she is infinitely richer for the experience. Now his/her heart flows with the 10,000 things, ignoring the intoxication of senses and experiencing being MU directly. Everything is MU, MU is "alive", therefore everything is "alive" (or, if you prefer: interdependent and in constant evolution). Everyone is an integral part of the entire cosmos. Impossible (and therefore the attempt is selfdefeating) to hold oneself apart from this universal process. Time and space collapse and a dead tree is also a sapling in bloom ("the beauty is invisible"). No longer obliged to follow the ideas (rules) of others, you become autonome, complete. Fully satisfied with oneself, and therefore with everyone and everything (Lord Buddha — upon His illumination: "My work in this life is finished"), there's no need to prolong (or shorten) one's life.

Love Always
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Old 01-11-2010, 11:27 AM   #222
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Thank you Mudra for posting (and Bushycat for initiating) this ultimate trip toward the inner enlightenment and freedom. In a typical zen-manner, this wisdom is like an "ocean in a drop of water" (Zen proverb).

I am so sorry the illustrations can`t be seen well.

Mudra, I know some times ago you have posted a video where a Master Guru is explaining his pupils this ten paintings, with extraordinary insights. I can`t remember which thread it was, I will be very grateful to you if you recall and try to find that video.

With Love and Respect
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Old 01-11-2010, 11:41 AM   #223
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Here goes dear Oliver



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Old 01-11-2010, 11:46 AM   #224
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Thank you, Wise Woman.
Here is a gift for you and Bushycat, a picture named "Zen-feeling"

Love

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Old 01-11-2010, 11:54 AM   #225
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"I saw an Angel imprisoned within the marble so I carved until I set it free”
Michelangelo


Here are a few thoughts that I would like to share. They have been inspired by the above quote. They are only a reflection ...

Search for Truth, Wisdom, selfless Love and Compassion is a chisel in hands of a skilful Master. Our body armed with Ego, ignorance, arrogance , hatred, vanity, greed, and jealousy is a ruff stone. We carve it, we perfect it, day by day, observing small particles of dens matter vanishing, like an Illusion, like a nightmare. But in a split second, a fragrant Rose of our True Nature will be reviled. While escaping imprisonment of mortal Ego, this newborn butterfly, this precious immortal Jewel glows, shines and screams FREEEEEEEDOM, from the top of the lungs!
This kind of FREEDOM can never be enslaved again!
From the bottom of my Heart

In Love and Light

Yours
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