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Ning Mobile Upgrade
Redesigned mobile version goes live this week
This banner will appear on your phone and will update
you on latest activities on site, blogs and latest activities in
Have also added "My Page"
This is in Beta stage so if you have any questions or
problems let us know so we can report it..
Thank you
Shadow and Breeze

Enchanted Forest Magazines

These are magazines we put together from articles posted on site by all members.
These magazines are Free!! We have done these since almost the beginning and have
over 70 in our Scribd Library.
On the right side of the Forest pages you will see current magazine covers shown..
Just click on those and they will take you to the magazine.. no sign up required and
Free download.
If you would like to submit an article please check out our magazine group tab on
site menu. There will have the instructions on how to send in your article and want
to Thank all those who have supported our magazine through the years.. great read
with allot of helpful information.
Thank you
Shadow and Breeze

We at the Enchanted Forest are honoured to support and host the live chats
given by Susun Weed on a monthly basis. Susun is an expert in her field of
Herbs and this is a great opportunity for all to increase their knowledge
and skills by learning from Susun FREE !!!
To come along to these chats join
Times of classes below
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Western 4 pm
Mountain Time 5 pm
Australia (Melbourne) - 11 am
UK - Midnight

Posted by Madame Butterfly

To give real service,

you must add something which cannot be bought
or measured with money.
~ Mokshagundam Visvesvaray~

Quote Reflection:
This quote reminds me of a post Shadow recently made about being there
for our fellow human beings. To be of service, you can do all sorts of things,
but one thing that really matters is suiting up and showing up for others offering a kind word when the sales clerk is obviously overwhelmed, sitting
with a sick or grieving friend, giving a smile and a sincerely cheerful "hello"
to a stranger you pass in the store or on the sidewalk - these are all things
that can't be bought but are truly valuable. Yesterday here in the U.S. was
Veteran's Day, and we celebrated the service these great men and women
provided for our country. They gave up their young lives to live a military
way of life, which is something else that can't be bought or measured with
money. If we made every day about service to our fellow man, then this
world would really be one heck of a place to call home.


"Instead of comparing our lot in life with that of those who are more
fortunate than we are, we should compare it with the lot of the great
majority of our fellow men. It then appears that we are among the
~Helen Keller~

Quote Reflection:
Do you think about how green the grass is over the fence? Of course, we all
do at one point or another. It is easy to compare your life in terms of its
faults to the lives of others who seem to have it better. This is an important
quote because it reminds us that if you really think about it, we probably
have it better made than the vast majority of the human population. For
example, you are able to have Internet service and read this quote. To
become more appreciative, make a list of all the privileges you have in one
day. Everything from being able to drive to work, have a job, get email, stay
at home, read the newspaper, take a walk, open your windows, turn on your
air get the point. This exercise is helpful because all too
often we take these privileges for granted.

Affinities of Essential Oils with Crystals

Posted by Whispr

BLACK PEPPER: Bloodstone. Courage, physical energy.

CARDAMOM: Carnelian. Sex, overcoming sexual dysfunction.
CEDARWOOD: Lepidolite. Spirituality, sleep, protection.
EUCALYPTUS: Aquamarine. Health, healing, purification.
FRANKINCENSE: Amber. Strength, healing, protection.
GERANIUM: Red Tourmaline. Protection.
GINGER: Rhodochrosite. Physical energy, love.
JASMINE: Moonstone. Love, sleep, psychic awareness.
JUNIPER: Red Jasper. Protection.
LAVENDER: Fluorite. Healing, health, conscious mind.
NEROLI: Chrysoprase. Happiness, joy.
NIAOULI: Imperial Topaz. Protection.
PALMAROSA: Lapis Lazuli. Love, healing.
PATCHOULI: Green Tourmaline. Money.
PINE: Malachite. Magical energy, money, protection.
ROSE: Rose Quartz. Love, peace, happiness.
ROSEMARY: Quartz Crystal. All positive magical changes.
SANDALWOOD: Clear Calcite. Spirituality, meditation.
YARROW: Amethyst. Love, psychic awareness.
YLANG-YLANG: Kunzite. Love, peace.

Psychic Energy Development Exercises

Posted by Rev. Carol A. Ingle (Raven)

There are many energies used in ritual and magick to accomplish different tasks. Most
are very subtle and work purely on the Mental and Etheric levels, but there are some
that can have a very real effect on the physical plane. In their most dramatic form they
may be the power behind poltergeists and the shorting out of electrical equipment
when people experience strong emotions. These are the ones that Craft and
practitioners of other Pagan paths learn to use first, both as a confidence builder and
as a way of developing visualization, sensitivity, and concentration skills.
One of the first exercises I learned in Mexico from my friends at school was the needle
and pyramid exercise. Take a square of medium weight paper 2-3 inches square and
fold it diagonally from corner to corner twice so you end up with a flattened pyramid.
Then take a needle, force the eye end into a cork, and balance the folded paper on the
point where the folds cross with the corners pointing downward. Place the whole thing
on a table in front of you and place your hands, slightly cupped, either side of it about
an inch or so away from the paper and concentrate on it revolving in one direction.
After a few times where the paper spins in both directions you can usually get it to spin
consistently in the direction you select. When I first started it took about three weeks of
daily practice to get it to spin in one direction, stop, and spin the other way. We used
quite large corks so you may have to put the apparatus on an inverted drinking glass to
make sure it has free movement. When your skill gets to this level you can cover the
device with a bell jar, or large clear sweet bottle, to eliminate any air currents or
affecting the papers direction by unconsciously breathing on it
One of my friends was studying with an esoteric order which was either the Mexican
branch of the Golden Dawn, or a similar organization. One of their exercises was to
take a drinking straw, cut it in half, and make a small hole in the centre of one of the
pieces. We used the sun focussed through a magnifying lens, or a hot piece of wire, so
as not to distort the straw by force. Then either mount it on the cork or, as he did, on a

The choices of fear or Love

Posted by Sunshine-Chayenna

In the world of duality we have two possibilities. With this choice we also determine
the experience we have in our daily lives. If you look back to your situations that you
had in the past, and who returns every time back in your life we can often see clearly
what our choices have been.
A choice we make from Love dont give us feeling of doubt, dont gives us any
questions about if it will be right or wrong, and dont gives overwhelming emotions.
Inwardly, we know that the choice we made and all what brings it further on our path
will be good for ourselves and those around us.
A choice of fear always brings despair, and is often based on old beliefs from past
experiences, also upbringing, religion or education are part of it. We response on it with
our own uncertainty and we try to hold on to what we knew and what is safe, even
when we feel unhappy in it.
Because of the many emotions that also come up we become involved in many dramas,
and we dont know to break out of that. We are not aware of our own creation in it.
The inner self and mind, are constantly fighting with each other, what gives a reflection
in physically life and involved the environment.
They projects his own fears to others, on many ways, watch out for this, take care for
that, but because the fears feel so familiar we are not longer aware of it. We become
afraid for the fear, and dont dare to face it. On this way we created again and again new
demons, new ghost and shadows around us, and blame the world and others for our
own creations
In it we make again and again the same choices, and we wonder why our lives not
changed, why all the bad things happens to us. And even when we are aware of the
fears, its difficult to let them go, because we fell more afraid for the new unknown
then we are afraid for the fear. Life is not longer what it meant to be, its only a survival
with a constant struggle with our self and the people around us.

We attract people with the same fears and just projecting the fears on each other. In it
we find our confirmations of our old believe system. We just stay in a circle what turns
around and around until we break throw it.

When I make a choice I asked myself the question: What will Love do...... It makes me
aware of the fears I felt, aware of the choices I have make in the past in the same
situations, and from that I can make a choice from my heart. In that I break throw my
old believe systems and create new experience for myself and the people around me

Copyright 2009 Nederland Gerda Verstraeten

Ordinary Buddha
Posted by Maya S'''
Master Linji, better known in the West as Rinzai, shook up the Buddhist world by
telling his students to drop their enlightenment agenda and simply be their true,
ordinary selves. Thich Nhat Hanh examines Master Linjis teachings on the
businessless person, who has nothing to do and nowhere to go.
Many students of Buddhism are the children of Master Linji, even if they dont know
his name. In the Zen tradition, the spirit of Master Linji is in everything were taught
and everything we do.
Master Linji lived during the Tang Dynasty in China. He was born in western
Shandong province, just south of the Huang Ho (Yellow) River, sometime between 810
and 815.When he was still young, he left his family and traveled north to study with
Zen patriarch Huangbo in his monastery near Hongzhou in Jiangxi province, just south
of the Yangzi River. It was a time of political instability in China. There was
government repression of Buddhism, which culminated in a decree, issued in 845 by
the emperor Tang Wu Zong, ordering all monks and nuns to disrobe and return to lay
life. Many temples and statues were destroyed, particularly in the cities. Monasteries in
outlying areas were less affected.
After several years, the young Linji was sent by his teacher to study briefly with the
reclusive monk Dayu, after which time he returned to live with the monks at Patriarch
Huangbos temple. Later he had his own temple in Zhengzhou, Hebei province, where
he taught in his signature direct and dramatic style. As was the custom in China at the
time, he took his name, Linji, from the name of the mountain on which he lived and
taught. He resided there until he passed away in 867. He never wrote down his
teachings, but his students recorded and compiled them in The Record of Master Linji
(known in the Japanese Zen tradition as The Book of Rinzai).
As a young monk, Linji studied diligently and gained a deep and extensive knowledge
of the Tripitaka, the three baskets of the Buddhist teachings: the sutras, commentaries,
and vinaya (monastic precepts). He noticed that although many monks studied very
diligently, their studies didnt influence their understanding and transformation. They
appeared to be seeking knowledge only to increase their fame or position in the temple.
So Master Linji let go of his studies in order to follow true Zen practice.

Many of us have spent our whole lives learning, questioning, and searching. But even
on the path of enlightenment, if all we do is study, were wasting our time and that of
our teacher. This doesnt mean we shouldnt study; study and practice help each other.
But whats important is not the goal were seekingeven if that goal is
enlightenmentbut living each moment of our daily life truly and fully.
Master Linji had a solid knowledge of the Buddhist canon, but his teaching method
was based on his confidence that human beings need only to wake up to their true
nature and live as ordinary people. Master Linji didnt call himself a Zen master. He
called himself a good spiritual friend, someone who could help others on the path.
Master Linji called those who had insight to teach the host, and the student, the one
who comes to learn, the guest.
In Master Linjis time, some Buddhist terms were used so often they became
meaningless. People chewed on words like liberation and enlightenment until
they lost their power. Its no different today. People use words that tire our ears. We
hear the words freedom and security on talk radio, television, and in the
newspaper so often that theyve lost their effectiveness. Even the most beautiful words
can lose their true meaning when theyre overused. For example, the word love is a
wonderful word. When we like to eat hamburger, we say, I love hamburger. So
whats left of the deeper meaning of the word love?
Its the same with Buddhist words. Someone may be able to speak beautifully about
compassion, wisdom, or nonself, but this doesnt necessarily help others. And the
speaker may still have a big self or treat others badly; his eloquent speech may be only
empty words. We can get tired of all these words, even the word Buddha. So to wake
people up, Master Linji invented new terms and new ways of saying things that would
respond to the needs of his time.
For example, Master Linji invented the term the businessless person,1 the person
who has nothing to do and nowhere to go. This was his ideal example of what a person
could be. In Theravada Buddhism, the ideal person was the arhat, someone who
practiced to attain enlightenment. In Mahayana Buddhism, the ideal person was the
bodhisattva, a compassionate being who, on the path of enlightenment, helped others.
According to Master Linji, the businessless person is someone who doesnt run after
enlightenment or grasp at anything, even if that thing is the Buddha. This person has
simply stopped. She is no longer caught by anything, even theories or teachings.

The businessless person is the true person inside each one of us. This is the essential
teaching of Master Linji.
When we learn to stop and be truly alive in the present moment, we are in touch with
whats going on within and around us. We arent carried away by the past, the future,
our thinking, ideas, emotions, and projects. Often we think that our ideas about things
are the reality of that thing. But even our notion of the Buddha may be just an idea and
far from reality. The Buddha outside ourselves was a human being who was born,
lived, and died. For us to seek such a Buddha would be to seek a shadow, a ghost
Buddha, and at some point our idea of Buddha would become an obstacle for us.
Master Linji said that when we meet the ghost Buddha, we should cut off his head.
Whether were looking inside or outside ourselves, we need to cut off the head of
whatever we meet, and abandon the views and ideas we have about things, including
our ideas about Buddhism and Buddhist teachings. Buddhist teachings are not exalted
words and scriptures existing outside us, sitting on a high shelf in the temple, but
rather they are medicine for our ills. Buddhist teachings are skillful means to cure our
ignorance, craving, anger, as well as our habit of seeking things outside and not having
confidence in ourselves.
Insight cant be found in sutras, commentaries, or dharma talks. Liberation and
awakened understanding cant be found by devoting ourselves to the study of the
Buddhist scriptures. This is like hoping to find fresh water in dry bones. Returning to
the present moment, using our clear mind which exists right here and now, we can be
in touch with liberation and enlightenment, as well as with the Buddha and all his
disciples as living realities right in this moment.
The person who has nothing to do is sovereign over herself. She doesnt need to put on
airs or leave any trace behind. The true person is an active participant, engaged in her
environment while remaining unoppressed by it. Although all phenomena are going
through the various appearances of birth, abiding, changing, and dying, the true person
doesnt become a victim of sadness, happiness, love, or hate. She lives in awareness as
an ordinary person, whether standing, walking, lying down, or sitting. She doesnt act
a part, even the part of a great Zen master. This is what Master Linji means by Be
sovereign wherever you are and use that place as your seat of awakening.

We may wonder, If a person has no direction, isnt yearning to realize an ideal, and
doesnt have an aim in life, then who will help living beings be liberated? Who will
rescue those who are drowning in the ocean of suffering? A buddha is a person who
has no more business to do and isnt looking for anything. In doing nothing, in simply
stopping, we can live freely and true to ourselves and our liberation will contribute to
the liberation of all beings.
Master Linjis Medicine
Master Linji taught in order to shake things up. He wanted to smash obstacles, heal
sickness, and undo fetters. Reading his words is like taking a very strong medicine.
Most of us tend to think that if we take vitamins or tonics, well feel healthier. But
sometimes, rather than taking anything more into our bodies, we need to clean them
out. Thats when we need a good dose of the teachings of Master Linji. They arent
vitamins, they empty you.
When weve accumulated so much knowledge inside, we dont have the capacity to
digest it. Its like when we eat too much food, we cant digest it and we become stuck.
When we dont understand what weve learned and cant apply it in our practice, in
our daily life, then our knowledge can block our bodies and minds. But you dont
have to wait until youre stuck to benefit from Master Linjis teachings; prevention is
better than cure.
Master Linji didnt want to present deep and wonderful ideas for us to study and
debate. We dont come to the teachings of Master Linji looking for some absolute truth
or hoping to discover difficult concepts and mystical ideas. All teaching devices are
first and foremost words, mere designations. Master Linji calls them empty terms or
-isms. They arent objective realities. Master Linji doesnt want us to see his words
as a golden framework or jade ruler to study and worship. He tells us his words are
only drawings made in empty space.
The purpose of Master Linjis work is to help us cease all our seeking and come back
to ourselves in the present moment. Thats where we can find everything were
looking for, whether its Buddha, perfect understanding, peace, or liberation.
The Record of Master Linji is divided into two parts: Zen battles and evening talks.
The teachings that Master Linji gave in the morning, the Zen battles, were given in the
form of questions and answers, which often read like riddles. In the afternoon or
evening, he would give explanation teachings, sharing the dharma and telling stories.

These talks give principal ideas that can guide your practice and also help you better
understand the Zen battles.
The Zen battles are skits. One role is the teacher, the host. The other role is the
student, the guest. The host is the one who knows whats going on and the guest is
the one who comes to learn. Sometimes they switch roles: the guest plays the role of the
host, and the host plays the role of the guest. Sometimes both play the guest or the host.
In the time of Master Linji, a Zen student would step up and face the Zen master in
order to ask a question and to find out from the master if his understanding was ripe
yet. This required a certain bravery on the part of the student. Sometimes there would
be victory, sometimes defeat. Sometimes the battles would lead to destruction.
Sometimes both guest and host would be victorious.
Master Linji wasnt trying to defeat his students in these battles; he was trying to defeat
their tendency to engage in excessive thinking and rationalizing. For Master Linji,
thinking was not awakened understanding. So these werent long battles. The Zen
master didnt need to sit and talk for a long time. The student had to say only one thing
and the Zen master would know his mind. The student needed to give rise to only one
thought to go in the wrong direction. Whether or not he understood would be
determined in that very instant. If he went in the wrong direction and then made an
effort, he would lose.
In school, when we want to ask a question, we remain seated and put up our hand. We
use our head, our intellect, to ask a question in order to get a bit of knowledge in return.
But Zen isnt like that. Here our aim isnt to find out and store up knowledge about
Buddhism; its to ask the right question, the question that has the capacity to destroy
our obstacles. If we dont have that question, its better not to come forward. Our
question should be something that can tear apart the veil of ignorance and liberate us.
Maybe it can teach our teacher and the whole community, too. This is what Master Linji
is looking for when he asks, Is there any warrior who is willing to step out onto the
Dharma Battle: Where does the weakness lie?
The master (Linji) had just come into the dharma hall and a monk came out and
prostrated. The master yelled. The monk said, Please, Upadhyaya,2 do not test me.
The master asked, Tell me, monk, where did the sound of that shout fall? The monk
shouted forthwith.

Another monk came up and asked, What is the essential teaching of the
buddhadharma? The master yelled. The monk prostrated. The master asked, Where
does the weakness lie? The monk said, If one offends again, it will not be forgiven.
The master immediately shouted.
That day, as soon as the masters of the two meditation halls saw each other, they
shouted at the same time. A monk asked the master, In this case, is there a proper
guest and host? The master said, The guest and the host are clear. And then he
added, Noble Sangha, if you want to know the principle of the four relations of guest
and host, then go and ask the two masters of the meditation halls. Having spoken, he
stepped down.
The Zen master came into the dharma hall and a monk asked, What is the main idea
of the buddhadharma? The master raised his duster. The monk shouted and was
beaten once by the master.
Master Linji ascended the dharma seat and a monk came up and prostrated and didnt
ask anything. Maybe he had a question, maybe not. But something motivated him to
step out. In response, the Zen master shouted, confronting the monk to see what was in
his mind. Perhaps the monk went up there just to be seen but had no special question.
Perhaps Master Linjis shout made the monk consider his motivation. Perhaps it
confused him; he hadnt said anything and yet he had been shouted at. So he said,
Please, Upadhyaya, dont test me. Maybe he didnt feel he had enough strength to
deal with the spiritual power of the master.
The Zen master asked, Tell me, monk, where did the sound of that shout fall? That
is, what effect did it have? And the monk shouted back. He was in the position of a
guest, a learner, and he roared back to play the role of a host.
Another monk came up and asked, What is the essential teaching of the
buddhadharma? When we have an opportunity to ask the Zen master a question and
we dont know what question to ask, then we can ask that question. It may not be the
question thats important, but the chance to be in contact with our teacher so that our
teacher can look into our mind and shine light into our mind to help us to see the path
more clearly.
A similar question commonly asked of a Zen master is: What was Bodhidharmas
intention in coming to China from India? Recently, I proposed an answer: Mind your
own business! What does the purpose of the Master coming to China from India have
to do with you? Why dont you do walking meditation; why dont you breathe? Mind
your own business would be an economical answer. It saves us a lot of time.

The Zen masters shout was also an economical answer. Perhaps his shout meant,
Why do you ask that question; what good does it do you? Perhaps that shout helped
the student see the moment of being in contact with the teacher as a valuable
opportunity not to be wasted by asking about external knowledge. Why not go on the
path of direct experience?
The monk prostrated. That prostration may have meant he understood, but it may not
have. So the Zen master asked, Where does the weakness lie? meaning, Why did I
shout at you? Can you tell me? And the monk replied, If one offends again, it will
not be forgiven, meaning he wouldnt ask such a useless question the next time. The
Zen master shouts again. The monk is focused already on the next time and is not in
the present moment.
Then a monk came to the Zen master and told him that when the two head monks of
the meditation halls in the east and west met, they shouted simultaneously. He asked
the master, In this case, is there a proper guest and host? The Zen master said, The
guest and host are clear. Great Community, if you want to know about the principle of
the four relations of guest and host, then go and ask the two masters of the meditation
halls. Having spoken, he stepped down.
Traditionally, the west hall was for the monks and the east hall was for guests. The
master said to go ask the monks involved because they would know firsthand. The
four situations of guest and host, the four ways of interaction, are methods of helping
others in the tradition of Master Linji. The host knows whats going on and the guest
comes to learn. And there are times when the guest plays the role of a host and the host
plays the role of the guest. In this example, where both monks yelled at the same time,
who was the host and who was the guest? Perhaps, in that moment, both were either
host or guest, or host and guest. According to the method of Master Linji, we have to
distinguish whos the host and whos the guest. In all these Zen dialogues, we need to
know who is who.
In the final part of the teaching, the Zen master went to the dharma hall where a monk
asked, What is the main idea of the buddhadharma? The Zen master waved his
duster. The monk shouted and the Zen master hit him. Raising the duster was the Zen
masters first answer, which the questioner responded to by shouting. The blow was
the masters second and final answer.

Evening Talk: Distinguishing Buddha from Mara

The master (Linji) gave an opening talk:
My friends, in the practice of the buddhadharma there is no need for hard work. The
principle is not to try to be anyone special, and to have nothing to do. If you put on
your robe, eat your meal, and rest when you are tired, the foolish ones will laugh, but
the wise ones will understand. The teachers of old say, If you direct your practice to the
outer form, you are just a group of foolish people. You should be sovereign according
to where you find yourself; be the true person wherever you are, not allowing the
conditions around you to pull you away. Thus, even if your habit energies have been
built up over one thousand years, or you have committed the five inexpiable crimes,
they all will become the ocean of liberation.
Most of those who study the path of Buddhism in our own time do not understand the
dharma. They are like goats who will eat whatever is given them; they cannot
distinguish master from servant, guest from host. People like that enter on the path of
practice with the wrong motivation; they are always ready to enter places of noise and
disturbance. You cannot call them true monks. In fact they are worldly people. True
monks must have right view in their daily life, which is able to distinguish Buddha
from Mara, true from false, sacred from profane. Only when people have this ability
can they be called true renouncers of the household life. If they cannot distinguish
Mara from Buddha, they just renounce one household in order to enter another. They
can be called living beings who are making karma but not those who have renounced
the household. In our own time there is a phenomenon called Buddha-Mara, an entity
in which Mara and Buddha cannot be distinguished, like when milk and water are
mixed together. It is said that from such a mixture the King of Geese can drink just the
milk. My dharma friends with good eyes, according to me, should topple both Buddha
and Mara. If they still have the tendency to love the sacred and hate the profane, they
will continue to drown in the ocean of birth and death for a long time.
Buddhism should not be hard work. If we do sitting or walking meditation and we
exert too much effort, that isnt the buddhadharma. If, while were eating, we try not to
speak and we try to pick up food in a very correct way with the spoon, then were
working too hard. We should still practice mindful manners. Master Linji isnt saying
we should be unmindful, just that we should live our lives with as much relaxation as

If we want to put on the robe, then we put on the robe. If we want to eat our meals, then
we eat our meals. If were tired, then we can rest. We dont need to listen to the dharma
talk. We dont need to go to a dharma discussion. Master Linji referred to a poem
written by Puji, a student of the seventh patriarch of the Northern school of Zen
Buddhism, that reads: If we direct ourselves outward for our daily practice, then were
all ignorant. The ignorant can laugh at me. But the one with insight, with
understanding, will understand me.
Wherever we go, we can be the master of our situation. Suppose an older sister or
brother is bothering us. We may be tempted to think its their fault that we suffer. But
we can instead take the initiative and decide that we can help our sibling and ourselves.
You should be sovereign according to where you find yourself; be the true person
wherever you are, not allowing the conditions to pull you away. Wherever we are, our
true self is present. We dont stand before a crowd pretending to be dignified and then
when were alone we become forgetful. Rather, whether were alone or with others,
were still our true selves. Whether were defecating or giving a dharma talk, were the
same person.
I knew a Thai practitioner who had lost respect for her teacher. When asked why, she
told a story about how one day her teacher, after looking around and thinking no one
was looking, kicked a dog. Often he was very compassionate, but that day, for whatever
reason, he kicked the dog and his student saw this. Perhaps he had something irritating
on his mind and therefore he kicked the dog. But the thing that upset the student the
most was how, before he kicked the dog, he looked around to see if anybody was
If we can be our true selves, then even if in this or a past life we committed one of the
five offenses that cause eternal hellkilling father, killing mother, killing an arhat,
causing a Buddha to bleed, and causing the sangha to be dividedwe will still be
The master taught, Most of those who study the path of Buddhism in our own time do
not understand the dharma. They are like goats who will eat whatever is given them;
they cannot distinguish master from servant, guest from host. People like that enter on
the path of practice with the wrong motivation; they are always ready to enter places of
noise and disturbance.

True monks must have right view in their daily life, which is able to distinguish
Buddha from Mara, true from false, sacred from profane. Only when people have this
ability can they be called true renouncers of the household life. If they cannot
distinguish Mara from Buddha, they just renounce one household in order to enter
another. They can be called living beings who are making karma but not those who
have renounced the household. In our own time there is a phenomenon called BuddhaMara, an entity in which Mara and Buddha cannot be distinguished, like when milk
and water are mixed together. It is said that from such a mixture the King of Geese can
drink just the milk. My dharma friends with good eyes, according to me, should topple
both Buddha and Mara. If they still have the tendency to love the sacred and hate the
profane, they will continue to drown in the ocean of birth and death for a long time.
Some Buddhist seekers are like the goat who will eat whatever it comes across. The goat
will eat whatever its mouth touches. We study Japanese Zen, we study Tibetan
Buddhism, we study the southern transmission, the northern transmission, we study
mindfulness, we study Vipassana. We will chew whatever we come across; we have no
Master Linji is referring to a Mahayana story in which even when milk and water had
been mixed together, the King of Geese could drink milk and leave the water, even
though the two seemed to have become indistinguishable from each other, just like
Buddha and Mara. Garbage and flowers depend on each other to grow. Night and day
depend on each other to establish themselves. This is the wisdom of nondiscrimination.
Back to Bright Shining Mind
Master Linji taught that each one of us has a bright and shining mind. If we can find
our way back to that bright mind, then we can be as the Buddha and the bodhisattvas
are. When our shining mind is dulled, that means its covered by afflictions. With the
practice of mindfulness, we can restore our bright mind. Our mind is a garden, and our
garden has been ignored for a long time. The soil is hard, and brambles and wild
grasses are growing everywhere. To practice is to come back and care for our garden.
We are the gardener, our mind is the earth, and in the soil there are good seeds.
Please write these eight words and hang them somewhere you will see them: Wherever
you are, you are your true person. You can write them on a small piece of paper, the
size of a credit card, that you put in your wallet to take out as a reminder. If you can
practice these eight words, you are worthy of being Master Linjis student and his

Master Linji taught us that we have to use our bright shining mind to come back to the
present moment and enter the world of the ultimate, the realm of the Buddha, the Pure
Land. With mindful breathing, mindful walking, and gathas (Zen poems that we can
memorize and recite silently) to help us come back to our true self, we can be the
businessless person with nothing to do but hold the hand of the Buddha and roam.

1 Eido Shimano Roshi translates this as the true man without rank.
2 Upadhyaya means teacher in Sanskrit. The upadhyaya is traditionally responsible for training students in
the rites, rules, and discipline of a monastic community
by Thich Nhat Hanh September 2, 2016

Eleven Things You Should Start Doing for

Yourself Today
Posted by Madame Butterfly


Posted by SunKat
And yet, some of us seem better than others at dealing with influxes of drama, pressure
and demand than others. What is the secret to being cool, calm and collected? And if
there is a secret, how can we find our peace amongst the chaos in everyday life?
Learning how to ground yourself in any situation is an invaluable life skill that,
although seemingly confounding, is far less complicated than you might have originally
thought. Once upon a time I used to be completely dumbfounded and annoyed by those
who breezed through life, seemingly impervious and infallible to the thousands of little
dramas that arise daily. I used to wonder whether this cool serenity displayed by certain
types of people was a result of luck: perhaps they were just born as impenetrably
tranquil demi-gods who were always, somehow, in control of life 100% of the time?
My belief that being grounded stems from being in control has led me down some
pretty painful paths. Eventually, after a lot of self-imposed anxiety, I learned that the
key to grounding yourself doesnt lie in controlling yourself, other people, or situations,
but letting everything flow its natural course.
The paradox is that the more you try to control or resist a situation whether by
demanding it to be a different way, by desiring something else, or by forcing yourself to
look a certain way the more physical, emotional and psychological turbulence you
On the other hand, the more you accept a situation as it is without trying to change it
in any way, or change yourself in any way the easier it is to remain centered and
Ironically, the more you relinquish control, the more power you have, and the more
control you seek, the less power you have.
Life is strange isnt it?

So if you are struggling to keep your feet on the ground and stay present, learn from my
mistakes and try adopting some of these techniques into your daily life.
You might have heard this advice over and over again ad nauseam but dont take it
lightly! Focusing on your breath when learning how to ground yourself is one of the
easiest and most immediate ways of centering yourself in the Now. You might notice
that when you are frenzied or emotionally unstable your breathing becomes shallow
and quick, stemming from the center of the chest. In order to ground yourself,
consciously focus on each breath that you take, feeling your breathing deepening to the
You might even like to couple breath focus with conscious counting. For example, if you
are in a particularly tense situation, allow yourself to stop and start counting each
breath you take, e.g. One, (breathe), two, (breathe), three, (breathe), four, (breathe), five
(breathe) until you have grounded yourself again.
We have been conditioned since birth to create, build and promote a certain image of
ourselves to others. For example, your identity might be that of an autonomous,
outspoken and successful business woman, or mine might be of a thin-skinned, artist
who puts everyone first because that has been my self-concept since childhood.
Whatever your image of yourself is, it is imperative for us to look beyond the veil of the
selfs beliefs, memories, ideals, feelings, sensations and inner dialogues to the greater
Selfs true nature.
Ask yourself, are you really something as finite, transient and changing as the feelings,
thoughts, beliefs, ideologies and assumptions that arise and fade each day within you?
Stripping away your identity, your body and your personalities which all strengthen
and weaken, come and go, grow and die, brighten and dim, who are you? What
Self-remembering is the practice of stopping yourself in any moment and asking, Is
this really me? Once you learn that any situation, any person, any success or failure,
any sensation is not really you and has nothing to do with who you really are, you can
relax in the wholeness of your true Self. You can honestly realize that the nasty way
your co-worker treated you, the failure of your exam, the pressure of having to make a
good impression, all have nothing to do with you only your fabricated identity
which is subject to growth, change and decay.


The looking back technique is very simple and works on the following premise: in 1020 years time, will your current problem really matter? Most likely it wont make much
difference, and even if it does, has the problem permanently ruined your life? If so, you
might like to reconsider what happiness and success mean to you and how they are
helping or hindering you to live a fulfilling life. The fundamental principle of life is
that everything will pass, and so will your source of irritation, frenzy or anger.
Somatic mindfulness is best paired with focusing on your breath which helps to anchor
you into your body. Somatic mindfulness, which is also known simply as body
awareness helps to redirect the energy you are focusing on your thoughts, fears and
emotions, to the sensations in your body. For example, when Im feeling particularly
ungrounded, I like to focus on my breath and roll my shoulders up and down. Focusing
on my body in this way helps me to not only dispel somatic tension that tends to
accumulate easily, but also to center myself in the present. Other people like to scrunch
their fingers and toes into tight balls and release them, clasp their hands together,
stretch their limbs, and many other body-centered techniques that are grounding and
While walking away from a situation is not always possible, it is often extremely
helpful to physically take a step back and wind down allowing your mind and body to
process whatever has happened. Finding solitude in nature is a particularly helpful way
of grounding yourself and reminding you that life is so much more than your fears and
troubles. Making solitary time for yourself each day is a good way of bringing
everything back into perspective without getting lost in the details.
Learning how to ground yourself in any situation requires patience, discipline and
persistence. But while it takes genuine effort to center yourself, the good news is that
you are just as capable of being calm and collected in daily life as anyone else and the
recommendations Ive made in this article will help you to establish a foundation for
that. If you have any tried and tested ways of grounding yourself that you would like to
recommend, please share in the comments!

Anxiety-Relief Tea Potion

Posted by SunKat

Supplies needed:
1 large jar
purified water
amethyst, fluorite, or stone of choice
dried chamomile flowers
dried lavender buds
optional: honey
Charge water in a glass jar under the light of the new moon. Place amethyst, fluorite, or
other stones for calmness around and on top of the container for a stronger infusion.
Leave out to charge for at least 12 hours. To prepare potion, bring the new moon water to
a boil, then pour into heat safe container (mug, tea pot, etc.). Add two parts chamomile
flowers to one part lavender and steep for five minutes. Stir counterclockwise before
drinking while thinking of tension, stress, and anxiety leaving your body. Add honey to
taste and enjoy.

Eight gifts that don't cost a cent to give.

Posted by Shari

1) THE GIFT OF LISTENING... But you must REALLY listen. No interrupting, no

daydreaming, no planning your response. Just listening.
2) THE GIFT OF AFFECTION... Be generous with appropriate hugs, kisses, pats on the
back and handholds. Let these small actions demonstrate the love you have for family
and friends.
3) THE GIFT OF LAUGHTER... Funny pictures. Share articles, funny stories and funny
greetings. Your gift will say, "I love to laugh with you."
4) THE GIFT OF A WRITTEN NOTE... It can be a simple "Thanks for the help" note or
a full sonnet. A brief, handwritten note may be remembered for a lifetime, and may
even change a life.
5) THE GIFT OF A COMPLIMENT... A simple and sincere, "You look great in red,"
"You did a super job" or "That was a wonderful meal" can make someone's day.
6) THE GIFT OF A FAVOR... Every day, go out of your way to do something kind.
Helping elderly cross the road can be nice.
7) THE GIFT OF SOLITUDE... There are times when we want nothing better than to be
left alone. Be sensitive to those times and give the gift of solitude to others.
8) THE GIFT OF A CHEERFUL DISPOSITION... The easiest way to feel good is to
extend a kind word to someone, really it's not that hard to say, Hello or Thank You.

~Author Unknown~

How to grow herbs indoors during winter

Posted by Rev. Carol A. Ingle (Raven)

Purple Ruffles basil, lemon thyme, Kent Beauty oregano, and chives are happy
growing together in a large planter, because they have similar cultural needs.
By Doreen Howard
Im potting up herbs this week to bring indoors so Ill have a fresh and steady supply
throughout my long winter. Pots of chives, thyme, and tarragon turn meals into
gourmet fare and my kitchen window into a green view. They save money, too.
All you need are containers, the right potting mix, good light, and herbs that require
similar growing conditions.
A word of caution about selecting them; not all herbs grow well indoors.
Cilantro and dill, for example, decline rapidly, even in a sun-drenched window.
Both need to be started from seed every few weeks, because they dont regenerate new
growth after being cut.
Best herbs for indoors the hardiest herbs indoors coincidentally provide the widest
array of flavors for cooking. Five herbs that thrive in a sunny window -- oregano,
chives, mint, rosemary, and thyme -- will flavor everything from soups, salads, meat,
fish, and poultry to teas and Italian foods.
I like to group all of them, except mint, together in planters for windowsill display and
ease of care.
Mint does best in its own pot, because it needs extra nitrogen to build aroma and
flavor in the leaves.
Basil does well for me, too, in intense light; I grow it under plant lights with my orchid

Give all herbs as much light as possible. A south-facing window provides enough for
most. Many east- or west-facing ones do, too. Add a grow light or fluorescent fixture
hung above plants to supplement light in dimmer windows. Leave lights on 14 to 16
hours daily in winter months to compensate for the weaker sun of the season. Use an
inexpensive timer to turn them on and off.
Plant herbs in a lightweight potting mix, with added perlite or coarse sand and add a
pinch of lime. Most herbs prefer sweet soil with a higher pH. Sage is the exception.
Because it likes acidic soil, add extra peat moss to its potting mix.
Check plants every day, and water when soil is dry a half inch under the surface. Feed
every two weeks with a balanced water-soluble fertilizer at the recommended rate
listed on the package label.
Indoor herbs grow slowly in winter months, so reduce fertilizer amounts to a quarter
of normal from Oct. 15 until March 15.
Tips for Success
* Start with herb plants. Seeds take time to sprout and mature into usable-size plants.
* Dont allow plants to touch cold windows. Foliage will freeze, and plants may die.
* Plant herbs with the same cultural requirements in a single container. If they have
different needs, pot them up separately.
* Pinch back branching herbs such as rosemary to keep plants shrubby rather than
leggy. Regular harvesting of leaves and stems also forces plants to stay shrubby.
Never trim more than a third of the plant, though.
* Remove flower buds from plants to keep them growing.
* Mulch containers with coarse sand, small pebbles, or aquarium gravel to avoid gnat
infestations. The insects will not be able to burrow into potting mix to lay eggs or rest.
Doreen Howard, the Edible Explorer, is one of nine garden writers who blog regularly
at Diggin' It. If its edible and unusual, Doreen figures out a way to grow it in her
USDA Zone 4b garden. Shell try anything once, even smelly durian. A former garden
editor at Womans Day, she writes regularly for The American Gardener and The Old
Farmers Almanacs Garden Guide:

A Prayer for the Beginning of Winter

Posted by Rev. Carol A. Ingle (Raven)

In early winter, we can see the skies becoming overcast, and smell fresh snow in the
air. Take a few minutes to think about the fact that even if the skies are cold and dark,
it's only temporary.
See the gray skies overhead, preparing the way
for the darkness soon to come.
See the gray skies overhead, preparing the way,
for the world to go cold and lifeless.
See the gray skies overhead, preparing the way
for the longest night of the year.
See the gray skies overhead, preparing the way
for the sun to one day return,
bringing with it light.

31 Affirmations
That Can Transform Your Life
Posted by Monarch (MB)
Affirmations simply work. We really can influence our bodies and feelings with
techniques designed to hone the mind, like meditation.
Pick one of these each day for a month and say it to yourself all day long. Write them
down, email them to yourself, and post them where you will see them every day. See
for yourself that affirmations are a way for us to harness the mind's power by
directing our intentions toward our best selves and our happiest lives. Love your day,
love yourself, love your life!
31 Affirmations That Can Transform Your Life
1. I am ready for change.
2. I love and accept myself exactly as I am.
3. I attract amazing people.
4. I always deserve love.
5. I am grounded in acceptance.
6. Others love me easily and joyfully.
7. People are just waiting to love me, and I allow them.
8. I am radiating love.
9. I am happy in my own skin.
10. I express love to all those I meet.
11. I bathe in unconditional love.
12. Love radiates from me at all times.
13. I love myself completely.
14. Love comes to me easily and effortlessly.

18. I compare myself only to my highest self.

19. I now feel loved and appreciated by my parents, my friends.
20. I express love freely.
21. As I give love, I am instantly supplied with more.
22. I radiate love to all persons and places and things.
23. I breathe in universal love.
24. I am open to receiving love.
25. I am a radiant being filled with light and love.
26. I know my wisdom guides me to the right decision.
27. I attract loving people and relationships into my life.
28. I project love to everyone I meet.
29. Happiness is a choice.
30. I love and approve of myself.
31. The past has no power over me anymore.
By Silvia Mordini, posted on


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