Centering (from Zen Flesh, Zen Bones/ Paul Reps)

I said I’d find it! I love this. It was my favorite part of the Paul Reps book, ZF,ZB. I started studying and practicing it when I was 9 years old. I had many wonderful experiences. Plus I became an even weirder kid than before.

(I did not find the section “10 Bulls”…maybe next time.)

here is the first part, followed by download for the whole thing.

(for the rest of this book see https://rickpdx.wordpress.com/2008/09/11/zen-flesh-zen-bones-101-zen-stories/)

Centering Practices:

112 ways to open the invisible door of consciousness.

Transcribed by Paul Reps.
From Zen Flesh, Zen Bones*


Zen is nothing new, neither is it anything old. Long before Buddha was born the search was on in India, as the present work shows.

Long after man has forgotten such words as Zen and Buddha, satori and koan, China and Japan and America – still the search will go on, still Zen will be seen even in flower, and grass-blade, before the sun.

The following is adapted from the preface to the first version in English of this ancient work.

Wandering in the ineffable beauty of Kashmir, above Srinagar I come upon the hermitage of Lakshmanjoo.

It overlooks green rice fields, the garden, of Shalimar and Nishat Bagh, lakes fringed with lotus. Water streams down from a mountaintop.

Here Lakshmanjoo – tall, full bodied, shining – welcomes me. He shares with me this ancient teaching from the Vigyan Bhairava and Sochanda Tantra, both written about four thousand years ago, and from Malini Vijaya Tantra, probably another thousand years older yet. It is an ancient teaching, copied and recopied countless times, and from it Lakshmanjoo has made the beginning of an English version. I transcribe it eleven more times to get it into the form given here.

Shiva first chanted it to his consort Devi in a language of love we have yet to learn. It is about the Immanent experience. It presents 112 ways to open the invisible door of consciousness. I see Lakshmanjoo gives his life to its practicing.

Some of the ways may appear redundant, yet each differs from any other. Some may seem simple, yet any one requires constant dedication even to test it.

Machines, ledgers, dancers, athletes balance. Just as centering or balance augments various skills, so it may awareness. As an experiment, try standing equally on both feet; then imagine you are shifting your balance slightly from foot to foot: just as balance centers, do you.

If we are conscious in part, this implies more inclusive consciousness. Have you a hand? Yes. That you know without doubt. But until asked the question were you cognizant of the hand apart?

Surely men as inspiritors, known and unknown to the world, have shared a common uncommon discovery. The Tao of Lao-tse, Nirvana of Buddha, Jehovah of Moses, the Father of Jesus, the Allah of Mohammed — all point to the experience.

No-thing-ness, spirit – once touched, the whole life clears.


DEVI SAYS:

O Shiva, what is your reality?
What is this wonder-filled universe?
What constitutes seed?
Who centers the universal wheel?
What is tbis life beyond form pervading forms?
How may we enter it fully, above space and
time, names and descriptions?
Let my doubts be cleared!

SHIVA REPLIES

[Devi, though already enlightened, has asked the foregoing questions so others through the universe might receive Shiva’s instructions. Now follow Shiva’s reply, giving the 112 ways.]

1. Radiant one, this experience may dawn between two breaths. After breath comes in (down) and just before turning up (out) — the beneficence.

2. As breath turns from down to up, and again as breath curves from up to down—through both these turns, realize.

3. Or, whenever inbreath and outbreath fuse, at this instant touch the energyless energy-filled center.

4. Or, when breath is all out (up) and stopped of itself, or all in (down) and stopped—in such universal pause, one’s small self vanishes. This is difficult only for the impure.

5. Consider your essence as light rays rising from center to center up the vertebrae, and so rises livingness in you.

6. Or in the spaces between, feel this as lightning.

7. Devi, imagine the Sanskrit letters in these honey-filled foci of awareness, first as letters, then more subtly as sounds, then as most subtle feeling. Then, leaving them aside, be free.

8. Attention between eyebrows, let mind be before thought. Let form fill with breath-essence to the top of the head, and there shower as light.

9. Or, imagine the five-colored circles of the peacock tail to be your five senses in illimitable space. Now let their beauty melt within. Similarly, at any point in space or on a wall — until the point dissolves. Then your wish for another comes true.

10. Eyes closed, see your inner being in detail. Thus see your true nature.

Here’s the download file:

centering-practices-paulreps

For the sake of dragging in a few more folks, here is some other stuff-

Poetry by Du Fu

a famous 4 part work with literal and literate translations.

Wikipedia has this to say in introduction to Du Fu:

This is a Chinese name; the family name is 杜 (Dù).
Du Fu (杜甫)

There are no contemporaneous portraits of Du Fu; this is a later artist’s impression
Born 712
Died 770
Occupation Poet

Du Fu (Chinese: 杜甫; pinyin: Dù Fǔ; Wade-Giles: Tu Fu, 712770) was a prominent Chinese poet of the Tang Dynasty. Along with Li Bai (Li Po), he is frequently called the greatest of the Chinese poets.[1] His own greatest ambition was to help his country by becoming a successful civil servant, but he proved unable to make the necessary accommodations. His life, like the whole country, was devastated by the An Lushan Rebellion of 755, and the last 15 years of his life were a time of almost constant unrest.

Initially little known, his works came to be hugely influential in both Chinese and Japanese culture. Of his poetic writing, nearly fifteen hundred poems written by Du Fu have been handed down over the ages. He has been called Poet-Historian and the Poet-Sage by Chinese critics, while the range of his work has allowed him to be introduced to Western readers as “the Chinese Virgil, Horace, Ovid, Shakespeare, Milton, Burns, Wordsworth, Béranger, Hugo or Baudelaire“.

In Abbot Zan’s Room at Dayun Temple: Four Poems (1)
Du Fu

Heart at water essence land
Clothes wet spring rain time
Penetrate gate utmost beyond step
Deep court really tranquil appointment
Reach door open again close
Hit bell vegetarian meal at here
Cream enhance develop nature
Diet give support decline
Hold arm be many days
Open heart without shame evasion
Golden oriole pass structure
Purple dove descend lattice screen
Humble think reach place suit
Flower beside go self slow
Tangxiu raise me sickness
Smile ask write poem
My heart is in a world of water and crystal,
My clothes are damp in this time of spring rains.
Through the gates I walk on to the end,
The inner court the appointed tranquil space.
I reach the doors- they open and shut again,
Now strikes the bell- the meal time has arrived.
This cream will help one’s nature strengthen and grow,
The diet gives support in my decline.
We’ve grasped each other’s arms so many days,
And opened our hearts without shame or evasion.
Golden orioles flit across the beams,
Purple doves descend from lattice screens.
Myself, I think I’ve found a place that suits,
I walk by flowers at my own slow pace.
Tangxiu lifts me from my sickly state,
And smiling, asks me to write a poem.

In Abbot Zan’s Room at Dayun Temple: Four Poems (2)

Thin soft green silk shoe
Shine bright white cotton scarf
Deep store for old elder
Fetch use for my body
Self look change without interest
Friendship how still new
Daolin talent not age
Huiyuan virtue surpass man
Rain pour dusk eaves bamboo
Wind blow green well celery
Heaven dark face picture
Most feel moist dragon scale
Fine green silk shoes,
Bright white cotton scarves,
Deep in storage for the elders,
Fetched to wear upon my body.
I see myself as old and dull,
How can our friendship stay so fresh?
Daolin’s talents exceed the age,
Huiyuan’s virtue’s superhuman.
Rain-drenched bamboo by the eaves at dusk;
Wind in green celery at the well;
The sky dark, I face a mural,
Most feeling the damp of the dragon’s scales.

In Abbot Zan’s Room at Dayun Temple: Four Poems (3)

Lamplight shine without sleep
Heart clear smell wonderful incense
Night deep hall sudden lofty
Wind move gold clank clank
Sky black obstruct spring court
Earth clear dwell secret fragrance
Jade rope revolve cut sever
Iron phoenix dark soar
Sanskrit release sometimes out temple
Bell remnant remain thunder bed
Tomorrow at fertile field
Bitter see dirt sand yellow
The lamplight shines on my sleeplessness,
My mind clear, I smell the splendid incense.
Deep in the night, the hall rears up high,
The wind stirs, and gold is heard to clank.
The black sky masks the springtime court,
To the pure earth clings a hidden fragrance.
The Jade Rope wheels round and is cut,
The iron phoenix seems about to soar.
Sanskrit sometimes flows out from the temple,
The lingering bells still thunder round my bed.
Tomorrow morning in the fertile field,
I’ll bitterly behold the yellow dirt.

In Abbot Zan’s Room at Dayun Temple: Four Poems (4)

Boy draw water well shining
Agile container rise hand
Wet sprinkle not soak earth
Sweep surpass like without broom
Bright rosy clouds shining again pavilion
Clear mist lift high window
Lean fill cover path flower
Sheet shake end steps willow
Difficulty world affair compel
Hide away right time after
Meet talk agree deep heart
How can all restrain mouth
Offer goodbye return cane riding crop
Temporary part end turn head
Vast expanse mud defile person
Listen country many dogs
Although not free yoke
Sometimes come rest rush about
Near you like white snow
Grasp hot upset how be
The boy draws shining water from the well,
He nimbly lifts the bucket to his hand.
He sprinkles water without soaking the earth,
And sweeps so well as if without a broom.
The rosy dawn again lights the pagoda,
The clearing mist lifts from the higher windows.
Leaning blossoms cover over the path,
Swaying willow leaves reach down to the steps.
I’m driven by these troublesome affairs,
Retirement from the world must be put off.
We’ve met and talked, our deepest hearts agreeing,
How can our mouths be forced completely shut?
I say goodbye and fetch my riding crop,
Parting for now, I turn my head at the last.
There’s so much mud that can defile a man,
Just listen to all the dogs throughout the land.
Although I cannot get free from this yoke,
I’ll sometimes come to rest from all the bustle.
Your presence, Abbot, acts just like white snow,
How can I be upset to grasp what’s hot?

Not enough? Wait! There’s more!

Silly pictures:

and this-

(click for full size)

or maybe…

Halloween costume for your baby:

Ah, but that’s not all! Newly recorded song I’ve posted before but hopefully this is better- it will also go on to the new music page (soon). The song- On the Wind, was conceived as God’s part of a dialogue with me regarding prayer/ meditation.

Lyrics? Chords?

Here-

On the Wind

D       Em—7   A
Reach up,       open your eyes,
Em–7                      A
feel the sky as a wheel that is turning
Em—-7               A                              Em—7                  A
Look out, see the world you have made before your eyes is burning
G                               D                            Em—7
Breathe it in slowly and breathe it out slowly again
D                              G                   A                   D
Sometimes all you can do is cast your heart upon the wind

You can cover your tracks as fine as you please
Throw out all of the things that remind you
Turn away from the heartache you fear; In the blink of an eye it will find you
Or unlock your door and just walk to the light streaming in
Release your song and let it dance upon the wind

***
G                    A                      D
You don’t even know who cares about you
G                           A                            D
The one who stands beside you night and day
G      A         D
It’s so easy to love you
G                       A                          D
and it’s so hard to watch you live this way

***

You can sit down by me; I have always been here
I have waited like the starry night
I know you aren’t ready to stay but I will hold you in the light
And I won’t hold you back, I know that’s just the place you are in
Before you go just button up your coat against the wind

The song download:

p-onthewind91208

That should cover most bases for today.

See you Sunday(or First Day, as the Friends say).

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5 Comments

Filed under buddhism, Chinese poetry, comedy relief, Free Music, mp3, Music, Mystic Poetry, new music, pictures, poetry, silly, Spirituality

5 responses to “Centering (from Zen Flesh, Zen Bones/ Paul Reps)

  1. colby

    Thanks so much for the Centering text, it’s awesome!

  2. rickpdx

    Thanks for the positive feedback!
    Yer awesome, too!

  3. silent thunder

    thank u for the paul reps centering pages.

  4. KG

    Thank you for posting “The Centering” it’s what I was Googling for

  5. Pingback: Zen Flesh, Zen Bones - compiled by Paul Reps and Nyogen Senzaki

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