Mark Foote

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About Mark Foote

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  1. Haiku Chain

    Break the chain, sure Yeah, skip the five-seven-five But keep the balance But keep the balance Stand on one foot, touch your nose Juggle some old books
  2. the Diamond Sutra

    Let me first say that I have not personally read the Diamond Sutra, except in occasional excerpts that I've encountered. What I've encountered did not make me want to read the Sutra, because it sounded exactly like your parady, Ion. My understanding is that the sixth patriarch of Zen in China, Huineng, experienced an awakening of some sort on hearing a line from the Diamond Sutra read out loud by an itinerant monk in a market place in China (I don't know about Brad Warner). The line Huineng heard is reputed to be this: "Let the mind be present without an abode." (from the Diamond Sutra, translation by Venerable Master Hsing Yun from "The Rabbit's Horn: A Commentary on the Platform Sutra", Buddha's Light Publishing pg 60) That line, I find to be significant. We have this passage from the Pali Suttanta: That which we will..., and that which we intend to do and that wherewithal we are occupied:--this becomes an object for the persistance of consciousness. The object being there, there comes to be a station of consciousness. Consciousness being stationed and growing, rebirth of renewed existance takes place in the future, and here from birth, decay, and death, grief, lamenting, suffering, sorrow, and despair come to pass. Such is the uprising of this mass of ill. Even if we do not will, or intend to do, and yet are occupied with something, this too becomes an object for the persistance of consciousness... whence birth... takes place. But if we neither will, nor intend to do, nor are occupied about something, there is no becoming of an object for the persistance of consciousness. The object being absent, there comes to be no station of consciousness. Consciousness not being stationed and growing, no rebirth of renewed existence takes place in the future, and herefrom birth, decay-and-death, grief, lamenting, suffering, sorrow and despair cease. Such is the ceasing of this entire mass of ill. (SN II 65 "Kindred Sayings on Cause" XII, 4, chapter 38 "Will", Pali Text Society vol. 2 pg 45) It's a declension of the origin of suffering, beginning from intention, will, or deliberation, and progressing to suffering. The more usual declension begins with ignorance: “Conditioned by ignorance activities come to pass; conditioned by activities consciousness, conditioned by consciousness name-and-shape, conditioned by name-and-shape sense, conditioned by sense contact, conditioned by contact feeling, conditioned by feeling craving, conditioned by craving grasping, conditioned by grasping becoming, conditioned by becoming birth, conditioned by birth old age-and-death, grief, lamenting, suffering, sorrow, despair come to pass. Such is the uprising of this entire mass of ill.” (SN II 2, Pali Text Society Vol II pg 2) The activities in this declension are precisely intentional or "determinative" action, of speech, body, or mind (AN III 415, PTS Vol III pg 294 and SN II 3, PTS Vol II pg 4), and this is what ceases, gradually, in the meditative states. In the unusual declension up above, Gautama moves directly from intentional or willful activity to a station of consciousness, to suffering. I would say a station of consciousness is the opposite of a mind that is present without abode. In my writing, I put forward a practice for engaging the experience of the mind that is present without abode: The practice I have in mind is a practice that everybody is already familiar with, even if they don’t think of it as a practice. What I’m referring to is waking up in the morning, or falling asleep at night; if you’ve ever had a hard time waking up or falling asleep, then you know that there can indeed be a practice! In my experience, the practice is the same, whether I am waking up or falling asleep: when I realize my physical sense of location in space, and realize it as it occurs from one moment to the next, then I wake up or fall asleep as appropriate. ... Just before I fall asleep, my awareness can move very readily, and my sense of where I am tends to move with it. This is also true when I am waking up, although it can be harder to recognize (I tend to live through my eyes in the daytime, and associate my sense of place with them). When my awareness shifts readily, I realize that my ability to feel my location in space is made possible in part by the freedom of my awareness to move. ("Waking Up and Falling Asleep", A Natural Mindfulness pg 5, yours truly) Here's koun Franz talking about the same thing: “Okay... So, have your hands in the cosmic mudra, palms up, thumbs touching, and there's this common instruction: place your mind here. Different people interpret this differently. Some people will say this means to place your attention here, meaning to keep your attention on your hands. It's a way of turning the lens to where you are in space so that you're not looking out here and out here and out here. It's the positive version, perhaps, of "navel gazing. The other way to understand this is to literally place your mind where your hands are--to relocate mind (let's not say your mind) to your centre of gravity, so that mind is operating from a place other than your brain. Some traditions take this very seriously, this idea of moving your consciousness around the body. I wouldn't recommend dedicating your life to it, but as an experiment, I recommend trying it, sitting in this posture and trying to feel what it's like to let your mind, to let the base of your consciousness, move away from your head. One thing you'll find, or that I have found, at least, is that you can't will it to happen, because you're willing it from your head. To the extent that you can do it, it's an act of letting go--and a fascinating one.” ("No Struggle (Zazen Yojinki, Part 6)", by Koun Franz, from Koun's "Nyoho Zen" site: https://nyoho.com/2018/09/15/no-struggle-zazen-yojinki-part-6/) Is "let the mind be present without an abode" actually from the Diamond Sutra?--as I said, I've never actually read the Diamond Sutra. I know a lot depends on the particular translator/translation. For myself, there's a great deal more involved when it comes to sitting the lotus 40 minutes in the morning (or 40 minutes in the evening, when I can manage it). That may be because I wasn't raised sitting the lotus, and I wasn't the most coordinated kid--I don't know. For a lot of folks, apparently all they require to experience "the mind without abode" is one line at exactly the right moment.
  3. Haiku Chain

    For those who missed it--from the first page of this thread: Unless he's Mr. Ed Those drugs were pyschedelics Nothing is better
  4. Haiku Chain

    Nor see with their eyes But only sense past the walls from the heart unbound
  5. Haiku Chain

    One, in all, in one-- and then again, there is none right there against it
  6. Haiku Chain

    A sip then a drink The cat can't see what's below Feels its way by tongue
  7. Haiku Chain

    Futile vanity Stains on the heart that survive Coffee please, maestro
  8. Haiku Chain

    When no one else will Corral these horses, cowboys Spit and grab their hats
  9. Haiku Chain

    There was nothing there Everything was as before What was it I heard
  10. Haiku Chain

    In a sea of stars flat as can be and shining a boat in a bowl
  11. Haiku Chain

    Best kept good and short Moments where I can't recall Just how to forget
  12. Haiku Chain

    into a puddle that yellow snow around pines as the world thaws out
  13. Haiku Chain

    Spicy ketchup too I'm gonna enjoy this egg Like sunset, lakeside
  14. Gospel of Thomas

    That translation makes me cringe. Here's the logia from my favorite source: Simon Peter said to them: Let Mary go out from among us, because women are not worthy of the Life. Jesus said: See, I shall lead her, so that I will make her male, that she too may become a living spirit, resembling you males. For every woman who makes herself male will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. (The Gospel According to Thomas, coptic text established and translated by A. Guillaumont, H.-CH. Puech, G. Quispel, W. Till and Yassah ‘Abd Al Masih, pg 57 log. 114, ©1959 E. J. Brill) I'm with Jeff, concerning the relevance of logia 22 here. If you'll bear with me a bit, I believe I can bring it back around to logia 22 and 114. There's a sermon in the Pali Canon where Gautama the Buddha describes a method for cultivating psychic power: So he abides fully conscious of what is behind and what is in front. As (he is conscious of what is) in front, so behind: as behind, so in front; as below, so above: as above, so below: as by day, so by night: as by night, so by day. Thus with wits alert, with wits unhampered, he cultivates his mind to brilliancy. (Sanyutta-Nikaya, text V 263, Pali Text Society volume 5 pg 235, ©Pali Text Society) There's an expansion for all of it except the first two lines. Here's what I had to say when I wrote about those two lines (for the rest, see the reference below): “As in front, so behind; as behind, so in front”: Gautama did not expand on his meaning with regard to “in front” and “behind”. Some have interpreted his words to be a reference to the past and the future, but in light of the explanation offered for the second line, a more likely interpretation would perhaps be an awareness of the body before and behind. When the feeling for stretch and activity that Fuxi described with the words “…I ride the ox” carries into the lower back and abdomen, a reciprocity of stretch and activity behind the sacrum and lower back and in front of the lower abdomen enters awareness, and the advice here is to allow consciousness to shift as necessary in the development of feeling. (The Gautamid Offers a Practice) I then wrote this about the part of log. 22 we're discussing in 114: “When you make the male and the female into a single one, so that the male will not be male and the female (not) be female”: consciousness of the stretch and activity behind the lower back and in front of the contents of the lower abdomen can become consciousness of stretch and activity behind the sacrum and tailbone and in the vicinity of the genitalia. Such experience is independent of the sex of the individual, and is offered here as a recurrent condition of practice. (From the Gospel of Thomas) There is also this: The stretch added to the fascia behind the sacrum by the mass of the extensor muscles as they contract depends in part on the angle of the tailbone and sacrum relative to the spine. As the sacrotuberous ligaments stretch and resile with the rotation of the pelvis, activity is generated in the muscles of the pelvic floor that can tuck the tailbone and rotate the sacrum slightly . A pivot of the sacrum angles the mass of the extensors into the lumbodorsal fascia (behind the sacrum and the lower back) slightly lower than otherwise, and in turn the lower rearward press on the fascia changes the angle required for the relaxed carriage of weight between the neck and skull. The stretch and resile of the sacrotuberous ligaments and the consequent reciprocal activity in the left and right muscles of the pelvic floor is described by Fuxi as “the ox crosses the wooden bridge”. (Twenty-Second Case: Hsueh Feng's Turtle-Nosed Snake) The "left and right muscles of the pelvic floor" include the pubococcygeus muscles, and these muscles play a part in human sexuality (for a while, "Kegels" were recommended to help women find satisfaction in their sexual relationships, as well as to reduce incontinence). "The male will not be male and the female (not) be female", when the activity "before and behind" low in the torso and the activity in the muscles of the pelvic floor is experienced outside of a sexual context, and as I said "as a recurrent condition of practice."
  15. Haiku Chain

    return to folly like the birds to the berries, fermented past sweet