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The Night Journey of Nicodemus

· Essays · ,

by Philip Zaleski

The words are magisterial, even harsh: Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God (John 3:3).

Astonishing idea, to be born again! This cryptic teaching, given by Jesus in Jerusalem at the beginning of his ministry, bewilders Nicodemus, a pious Jew and member of the Sanhedrin, who has come to the celebrated Rabbi for guidance.

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Birth and Death

· Teachings · ,

by Eihei Dogen, translated by Kazuaki Tanahashi

As a Buddha is in birth and death, there is no birth and death.” It is also said, “As a buddha is not in birth and death, a buddha is not deluded by birth and death.”

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Photo by Ricardo Sanz Cortiella

Transmigrating, For Now

· Teachings · ,

by Konrad Ryushin Marchaj, Sensei

Ruiyan’s “Constant Principle”
Book of Serenity, Case 75

Even as you call it ‘thus,’ it’s already changed. Where knowledge doesn’t reach, avoid speaking of it. Here, is there any investigating or not? 

Ruiyan asked Yantou, “What is the fundamental constant principle?”
Yantou said, “Moving.”
Ruiyan said, “When moving, what then?”
Yantou said, “You don’t see the fundamental constant principle.”
Ruiyan stood there thinking.
Yantou said, “If you agree, you are not yet free of sense and matter: if you don’t agree, you’ll be forever sunk in birth and death.” 

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· Creative Expression, Essays · ,

by Juan Ramón Jiménez, translated by Robert Bly

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Liberation: Uncoiling in Space

· Essays · ,

by Francesca Fremantle

What is liberation? How is it accomplished? Who is liberated, and from what? The state of liberation is the ultimate goal. It has been given many names and has been described in many different ways, although it is essentially inexpressible. It is our true, innate nature, our inalienable birthright, yet we do not recognize it. We seem to be imprisoned in a condition of unknowing.

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Why Beings Fare As They Do After Death

· Teachings · ,

by Bhikkhu Bodhi

Thus have I heard. On one occasion the Blessed One was wandering by stages in the Kosalan country with a large Sangha of monks, and eventually he arrived at a Kosalan brahmin village named Sala.

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The Original Question

· Teachings · ,

by Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Sensei

Zhao Zhou’s “Indestructible Nature”
True Dharma Eye, Case 288

Main Case
Zhao Zhou was once asked by a monastic, “Before the world existed, there was already the original nature. When the world is destroyed, true nature is not destroyed. What is this indestructible nature?”

Zhao Zhou said, “Four great elements and five skandhas.”

The monastic said, “They are destroyed. What is this indestructible nature?”

Zhao Zhou said, “Four great elements and five skandhas.”

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Sangha Reflections: On Rebirth

· Reflections · ,

THIRTY-FIVE YEARS AGO, as a graduate student at Columbia University, I studied with Yoshito Hakeda, Professor of Religion and a Shingon priest. We worked one-on-one studying Buddhist texts. He was not only my teacher, but also my mentor and my friend.

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