Archive for the Buddha Dharma and Chan Category


Posted in Buddha Dharma and Chan on November 21, 2011 by secretchan



This morning, awakening to the humid air of the mountains which surrounds the seminary, I heard an unusual sound, the cry it appeared was not that of our local ravens or the eagles which normally circle high above. The nightingales had not yet arrived and it was too late for the early birds.

I walked up the incline to the seminary and herd the sound now directl above.


Through the mist appeared between thirty of forty wild geese, flying directly south.  perhaps it was th mystery induced by ther appearance and dissapearance in the clouds of mist, but I was under the spell of great AWE.

What a glorious spectacle and although there was, of course, an intellectual appreciation lurking behind in my mind, it was as though I was flying with them.

When they had gone, their cry fading into the distance I reflected upon their flight.

The V formation was incredible without a starggler and I wondered about the leader in front.

It was not elected or chosen and there was no dispute. It simply led and the others followed, each taking aplace in the formation.

There were probably natural reasons why the leader assumed the role and was accepted. Then I wondered about the human creature once more

We are required to elect leaders and the only time that natural and correct selection appears is when there is war or armed conflict.

Why are we so involved with competion ?  Why has the human creature never developed a natural anarchy in which each fulfills a natural role in which there is no sense of inferiority or inferiority ?

With those thoughts I went in the Shapei house and laid down among the Sharpei upon a large matress which was theirs.

There was Nantou, who looked up to see who was intruding and then stretched out and leaned bach so that he was touching me. then he returned to his resting pose. The young ones came over and licked my hands and face as a welcome perhaps and two Ghengis and Coco rested their heads uon my legs and fell asleep.  Lucky Blue our blue sharpei pushed his way in between Nantou and myself and he too decided to close his eyes and rest placing his head upon Nantou his father who did not protest.

Gloria then came over exited, with a wagging tail and insisted in bathing my forehead with incessant licking, until I pulled my head back which led her to lay down behind me with Chocolate.

I laid my own head down and just enjoyed being with them. ther was nothing special going on, just the six sharpei at rest and in contact and I was among them. There was no sense of being owner, ruler, or dominant in any way. I just felyt again gret Awe and absorbed, although nearing the dusk of my own existence felt completely alive.

Why, oh why, do we as humans epect so much and fail to see hwat we really have all around us ?

It means “letting go” and that is not easy. It means becoming without being. It means understanding that nothing is important in this life except the glory of being alive and sensing the unity of all things.

Shan jian




Posted in Buddha Dharma and Chan on October 29, 2011 by secretchan



For most of the Summer at the Seminary in Trragona it has been quite rainless… then in  the last four days we have been presented once again with natures gift;  rain and more glorious rain.

At the limits of our seminaty grounds,  part of the forest,that stretches to a ruined castle there is a long ago tourist abandoned project. It is a small  swimming pool, now filled with stagnant water.. Sometimes mass failures nature turns to good use, for it is the home to hundreds of small frogs, which on some nights spread thier throaty music far up the hillside to the seminary buildings.

It was a surprise yesterday to see in our discussion room, within one of the dogs bags of food, a small brown frog. When discovered, it scuttled out and dived into one of our Temple Guardian Sharpei’s water dishes.

It had leap by leap made its way, over many obstacles and dangers, up a small path filled with vegitation climbing the steep hill about a mile to encounter this spot.

What it’s motivation was who can tell, perhaps natural exploration, perhaps accident, but it was an herculian task and it made it. It’s courage was natural and it went it alone for whatever reason.

It made me consider those that are seeking liberation from this stained world in such a way that they can find the way to live within it without being choked by the mud of folly.

There are many, surely who would like to clear the webs from their eyes in order to see Dharma Light. Not many try to make the voyage. Sad to relate most of those that do make their way up the hill,  becoming tired, discouraged, tempted by life’s false dreams of a better froggy world o r for sundry foolish reasons stop and go back to their comfortable pool.

A small frog made it a mile uphill without the slightest idea what it entailed orwhere it would end up.. Then I noted that that drive to complete what it starts out is a trait of all animals, except the human creature. There is not an animal that is not domestic that  give up when the task gets difficult.

There is an old asaying  that was once used often that declared, “The tough get going when the going gets tough”. Now it is agood addage and an idea to follow, but a question arose… These sayings arise to counter the habits and follyof human creatures in normal life.

There would be no need to remind one to “get one’s act together” when there was difficulty if it was the sort of behaviour that hman creatures exhibited.

What a sad comment on the human stained mind.. The Dharma is so close to you… But you cannot even take the trouble to deliver the goods with natural patience, determination and that little frogs perseverance.

It really doesn’t take much. All you require is to move leap by little leap in the correct direction …perhaps with a little help from a dharma friend.



Posted in Buddha Dharma and Chan on October 20, 2011 by secretchan



This morning,  looking out beyond the terrace to the natural forest beyond,  I note the sky. Sombre and grey it sits there still,  not yet threatening in any way. It is a contrast to the sun which for many mohths flooded down upon too dry soil and I am reminded of change.

Time, invented by our creative mind seems to pass too rapidly. How foolish we are to invent and hold it in our minds and regret its passing.

Our Sharpeis, temple dogs all, know no time and as days pass with rememberance of things long past and years, perhaps too few, to come I see the folly..

They live each day as it presents itself. Joy is in their living not in their minds.

So now I will let the sky remain as I can do nothing else and cast my mind on “now”.

Small tasks to be done, Dharma lessons to be taught and learned within Nature not from books.


Shan jian


Posted in Buddha Dharma and Chan on October 17, 2011 by secretchan


A small country mouse has appeared in the seminary. Iit comes out at night and roams from room to room.

A beautiful creature it is seeking its survival in a way that is quite natural.

It brought to mind thei part of Walt Whitman’s leaves of Grass.


With what sense is it the chicken shuns the ravenous hawk?

With what sense does the tame pigeon measure out the expanse?

With what sense does the bee form cells? Have not the mouse and frog
Eyes and ears and a sense of touch? Yet are their habitations.
And their pursuits, as different as their forms and as their joys:
Ask the wild ass why he refuses burdens: and the meek camel
Why he loves man: is it because of eye ear mouth or skin
Or breathing nostrils? No for these the wolf and tyger have.
Ask the blind worm the secrets of the grave, and why her spires
Love to curl round the bones of death; and ask the rav’nous snake
Where she gets her poison: and the wing’d eagle why he loves the sun
And then tell me the thoughts of man, that have been hid of old.


What are those thoughts hidden from your Mind stained by identity


Expose them and find that you are no different than any of these and more noble in our natural  interior than what your Identity permits to emerge


Posted in Buddha Dharma and Chan on October 11, 2011 by secretchan


Above the Seminary in Tarragona we are sometimes fortunate to see this magnificent bird.  Foretunately it is protected. I have seen as many as five of them circling above and on occasions they come down to the seminary and sit among the trees.  Recently I have only seen two and I am hoping that theothers have simply left for their own nesting areas.

It is the Águila-azor Perdicera (Hieraaetus fasciatus)

Now that is interesting.  Why do we bother to give it a scientific name and even a common name and then depreciate it?   I see that most who live in the area don’t even know it exists. Why is that?

When you investigate you find that people just don’t look up.

I can’t imagine a North Americn Indian never looking up. I can’t imagine an Esquimo never looking up.

Are we so chained to the phenomenon called things that we cling to and crave that we cannot look up.

What is the nature or natural function of of birds? 

It is FLYING.    We can say that FLYING IS A BIRD and thet flying brings it FREEDOM.

I am then inclined to ask “what is then the human creature”?  

What is it that brings the human creature FREEDOM?

WORKING, BUYING, SCREWING, FIGHTING .. You can find thousands of things that it is not.

The true nature of the human Creature is  Curiosity and Creativity free from Identity.

This gives every man or women the opportunity to exercise  dominion over all living things. A dominion that is not domination , but that of a wise ruler that respects and aids the great rhythm of the Diversity of life that nature provides.

Where have all the flowers gone?.. Gone to graveyards every one… Long time passing.

 Where has our freedom gone?

To graveyards… Long time passing… Isn’t it time to plant the seeds of our freedom anew.  

There are Dharna answers if you have the courage to face them.

Shan jian


Posted in Buddha Dharma and Chan on October 2, 2011 by secretchan




The Great White Shark (Carcharodon carcharias) is an endangered (therefore protected) sea predator, matched only by a mammal, the orca or killer whale (Orcinus orca), The male gets up  26 feet and the females just 14 ft,

It hunts everything from other sharks, smaller fish, dolphins, squids, turtles and sea birds.

It has a very effective hunting method: if the bite does not kill , the shark lets it escape to the surface and inflicts its killing attack when the victim is already beaten.

Now I am not going to suggest that all human minds are like that of a shark, although they are far more effective than the most terrible killer shark as the leading predator inthe world.

But there is a class of human being, in which the male is most effective, that is the most efective destroyer.

It is the person that has an Aversive temperament. Strangely enough they do  love nature and in their minds there is a perfect world. The probem is that other human creatures do not fit into it very well. Therefore at a subconscious level human creatures are the fly in the perfect world ointment.

Unfortunately he can’t just take the fly out, for he loaths the human creatures ways  so much that he finds them impossible to deal with.

The problem is that this Aversive temperament is very intelligent in a worldly way, with an Identity that considers itself superior  to almost everyone. He might be prepared to exclude Jesus the Nazarine, Mahommed, Buddha , Cassius Clay and a few others he might actually accept as a partial part (never complete) model.

If his Aversion was not manifested externally it would matter not a whit, but his bite is lethal, for he finds the victims and with mental precision directs his criticism. Like the Shark we have been discussing he makes one first dynamic large verbal bite… Then he waits for the victim to come up for air.

He makes no separation between sexes and claims to be a liberal, and I suppose he is, for nobody fits into his world. He can don a number of masks and swim in various pools, but he will eventually be recognized… unfortunately because he or she is intelligent  In the world of commerce he may find a critical tower, and make everyones life miserable.

One cannot suggest meditative medicine for his ills, for he will take what he wishes and fit it into his own scheme and sees his fault as the virtue of ambition and forceful management. It is a strange thing, however, that the male attracts women, (perhaps because few womwn have that shark ike propensity to destroy ) as these hostile males  do show clear worldly logical intelligence and a mask like sensitivity that dissapears at the first bite.

The Buddhist world speaks of them as Savage Beasts, and it is really a good description. The sad thing is that if they could see themselves as they really are they could librate their Natural Intelligence that  is covered by this Aversion.

You will probably never see yourself as a Shark, but ask your friends (if you have any) or better still those you dare to bite.

Next time  Dharma world chat about the Hungry Ghosts.



Posted in Buddha Dharma and Chan on September 29, 2011 by secretchan

This is Ghengis. A tough little fellow, as he was in this picture. Now he is six months old and into everything.

Sometimes one asks what is in his mind… The answer, of course, is nothing at all. He like all animals responds to what is natural without thinking about it.  His wise nature keeps him from harm…That is as it should be.

He is where we should be. As Linji declared:

“This is the realm of true reality, where you forget what is on your mind and stop searching. In a wild field, not choosing, picking up whatever comes to hand, the obvious meaning of Chan is clear inthe hundred grasses.

Indeed the green bamboo , the cluster of yellow flowers, fences, walls, tiles and pebbles use the teachings of the inanimate; rivers, birds, trees and groves expound conflict, emptiness and selflessness.”

If your  mind can reject words and concepts and reach the experiences then you will be like Ghengis. The green bamboo , the cluster of yellow flowers, fences, walls, tiles and pebbles are what they are, no more. Everything interacts and Ghengis is just one part of that whole interaction.

Why not? 

When he sees our green  bamboo he reacts naturally to that bamboo as a Sharpei must. A cluster of yellow flowers he may eat or ignore. Fences, walls, tiles and pebbles are there to react to,  so he may scale them, chew them or play in any of a number of ways, including simply removing what can be removed to another place.

We have that capacity also for natural spontanuity, but this consumer world has forced us to set it aside… We do not use our words and concepts as tools but as masters  guided by Identity.

The Chan idea of when sitting, be sitting … when walking, be walking . But we sit and think and walk and think… Is there anything that we do or will do that has not passed by the inspection of thought.

There are few that know the secret life force of green bamboo or yellow flowers. There are few that can see a fence and let it be just that.

It is natural for a child to play with mud, sit down in a puddle , throw a stone or reject any human that invades his world that he cannot stand… But we have other ideas for him or her… They paint their trees on paper in a way that we do not understand … so we have to change his expression into what we in our closed minds see as a tree.

Our parents brainwashed us, as we brainwash our children…  Ghengis is free … We reject that freedom for a piece of silver,,,, Who is Judas?

Thank you Ghengis

Shan jian