Kesa, Okesa, Kasaya

luc-kesaHand-sewn offering to Taikyo in celebration of his Denpo, December 2016

– Seven Row Miniature Kesa (sho shichijo-e) in Nyoho-e Tradition –

“The buddhas praise the kasāya as a fertile field,

They call it supreme in giving benefit and joy to living beings.

The mystical power of the kasāya is unthinkable,

It can cause us to practice deeds that plant the seeds of bodhi,

It makes the sprouts of the truth grow like spring seedlings,

The wonderful effect of bodhi being like autumn fruit.”

Who Are You?

Keiji, a long-time Zen student, approached his master and said: “I don’t see how there can be any enlightenment that sets you free once and for all. I think we just get ever greater glimpses of Buddha-nature, the vastness that is our true Reality. It’s an ever-expanding process.” The master, looking penetratingly at Keiji, replied: “That may be what you think. But what is your experience, your experience right now?” Keiji looked momentarily confused: “My experience right now, Master?” “Yes. Do you know yourself as Keiji, having ever-expanding experiences of Buddha-nature? Or do you know yourself as Buddha-nature, having the experience of Keiji?”

The Chariot of Dharma

Ananda once saw the famous Brahman Janussoni, a disciple of the Buddha, driving along in his glorious, white chariot. He heard the people exclaim that the chariot of the priest of King Pasenadi’s court was the most beautiful and best of all. Ananda reported this to the Buddha and asked him how one could describe the best chariot according to Dharma. The Buddha explained what the vehicle to Nirvana had to consist of: the draft-animals had to be faith and wisdom, moral shame the brake, intellect the reins, mindfulness the charioteer, virtue the accessories, concentration the axle, energy the wheels, equanimity the balance, renunciation the chassis; the weapons were love, harmlessness and solitude, and patience its armour.