Articles

Bodhicharya Caribbean

About the local monk

My photo

Rinchen came to the Caribbean from England when he was 22 and lived in the Leewards during the ’70s and ’80s working in the islands – and living the life of a lay Buddhist. At the end of the ’80s he went to a zen monastery to train as a monk and teacher and was asked to start up a temple in Scotland in 1998. He returned to the West Indies to teach in 2002 and in 2009 in Bodhgaya was very fortunate to join Rinpoche’s lineage becoming one of his monks. He is currently back in the Caribbean teaching in Trinidad and Tobago as well as Antigua and Montserrat.

A Musical Ramble

Music has been always been important in my life. One of my earliest memories is, as a child, hearing Johnnie Rae singing “Cry”. The lyrics meant nothing but the melody stuck in my head. I would sing along with it but a three-year-old trying to copy the song must have looked and sounded a bit odd.

This would be around 1951, before the advent of pop music as we know it and long before “Rock”. Later, aged about seven, I listened avidly to Radio Luxemburg on 208 meters, medium wave as it was the only station at that time that played “Pop”

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Tribute to Jack Niland with Love

Danza Duende Network

This is how I remember my meeting with Jack Niland.

The whole story is a fairy tail and as such, it took place in quite difficult circumstances for both of us. But first we need to roll up in time, because the story starts in 1977.

I was 16 years old and I was living in the streets of Paris. Not exactly sleeping in the streets because with my crazy and violent boyfriend, we were “buskers”, singing, dancing and playing guitar in the metro for our livelihood. We made each day just enough to pay for a cheap hotel room and for food. I used to be a professional dancer before that when I was 13 years old in a Russian dance company; but at some point, I left home with that bad guy much older than me.

One day, in our aimless wandering around the streets of Paris, I bought a book among many different pocket editions in promotion for only 1 franc on the table of a book shop. That choice changed my life forever: It was Cutting through spiritual materialism by Chogyam Trungpa.

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The Practical Buddhist: Coming Home

Summer Days on the Allotment

Photo: Yeshe Dorje

“…Just had one of those cuppa teas I didn’t want to end!”… A past statement by a friend echoed in my mind as I quenched my thirst. The temperature has gone up by ten degrees since seven o’clock this morning. Every movement seems an effort, it’s hot, it’s humid, it’s June. I’ve seen three butterflies, a comma, a large (or small) cabbage white and a Red Admiral (or was it a Peacock… too fleeting, too sweltry, for a second opinion?). The second cup of tea is waiting for me as I write this. This humidity brings on an unquenchable thirst. I’m sitting in the shade of a climbing Solanum, busy with bumblebees; the grass below strewn with purple petals. The white clover in the grass path smells divine; the pigeons seem to pick about amongst it, but I’m not sure what they are actually eating!

It’s the sort of weather which makes your skin itch…sweat, insects, pollen, pollution, who could put a finger on it? It’s a sign of ‘good growing weather’ anyway, when the soil yields its softer, tenderer growth. The rogue, self-seeded opium poppies, some pale mauve, some red, seem to flourish in this heat; the rosemary appears to have grown another four inches in as many days. The aroma of the crushed, spiky leaves lessens the weight of this sickly sultriness.

The pond irises, purple, and yellow flag are setting seed; foxgloves are swaying elegantly, in a timeless way, amongst the foliage. Sweet peas are heady with their enticing scent, and the “Special Anniversary” dark pink rose has over fifteen buds of burgeoning promised glory. Mostly, in my days here, on the allotment, I’ve learnt that, to view the whole experience of growing flowers, fruit and vegetables, you have to open up all your senses to get the optimum benefit of being here. It is not enough, for me, to merely sow seeds and reap the harvest. As a gardener, you have to be aware of a multiplicity of rewards, to be sure of overriding any ‘failures’. If you can imagine each activity as a kind of ‘sensory immersion’, the positives outweigh the negatives.

This late afternoon, I am going to uncover and pick the red and white currants. It will take some time. How is it that the berries remain cool and clammy as you pick them when the ambient temperature is so much higher? I am in fruit heaven; the white currants are showing their peachy coloured seeds through translucent skin, and the strings of most exquisite pearly red currants outshine any jewels. As well as being time-consuming and back breaking, this job is not without its anxieties. What if I accidentally knocked the bowls of berries into the bare soil? I have to put that thought right out of my mind! There are countless endorsements for this activity and I can be creative in preventing these problems. As I unfold the ‘kneeling stool’, a dear friend has given me, and securely nestle the bowls, where they can’t spill their contents, I confidently focus on the task in hand and the bowls soon begin to fill. Time passes, my own thoughts and surrounding sensory delights keeping me company.

Above me in the pear tree, a blackbird warbles its celebratory song. There is a degree of symbiosis here; surely he will pick up some tasty morsels after I have finished here, this evening? He is keeping me entertained during my endeavours and reassuring me that I have a rich diversity of life all around me, here, in my special place of buzzard skies. I glance up at the other fruit trees, the welcome shade now advancing. The pigeons have already eaten most of my magnificent Morello cherries, even before they are ripe! I have to cover my broccoli and peas against these birds. ‘Foxy’ is not doing his job fast enough!

What was I saying?…

Now, late evening, a rattle of at least ten magpies begins, a warning exchange, back and forth, from one side of the allotment field to the other, a predatory mammal is on the prowl. Is it the short-haired Oriental cat from the neighbouring road, or …?

The magpie commotion increases, they rattle, squawk and high-pitched squeal, flying up and grouping together and perching on fences and trees, as  birds begin ‘mobbing’ an area across the field towards Jack’s plot. I see the tail end of a fox disappear into some bushes. Excited to get a better glimpse, I rise from my fruit-picking job, and get on to the grassy verge. I turn a corner onto the big main path and scan the length of its possible route…nothing… but then… an almighty pandemonium takes me by surprise! Coming from the opposite direction, this time, now, nearer my plot, magpies beginning again, squawking, and squealing, fussing and minding something else’s business, but this time more urgent, building, crying, yawping, more intensely and with a climax to a persistent screech! I shudder, but not from cold, you understand?

Not wanting to find a bloodied corpse, I wait. I give sufficient time for a predator to retreat and escape. A fleeting moment, and I look across towards Rob’s plot and see that splendid, perfect, picture-book, white and orange face, alert, head erect, eyes directed towards me from inside the fruit cage…Wow! Such beauty, such power, such horror! Murder…taking place within metres of my space…such mixed feelings… Earlier, having tried, hopelessly, to free a pigeon from its enclosed food paradise, by leaving the door open, and now, minutes later after being sidetracked from my job, I venture towards the pen, finding nothing but a flurry of feathers.  I had done my best, but how do you entice a wild bird away from its free pickings? I had left a branch of red currants outside the cage, so that it might ‘just walk out’, but why would the bird have cause to leave a bountiful cage full of fruit? Oh, dear!

I want to share this experience … sadness, guilt, acceptance, the sheer drama of it all… with a fellow gardener, but now, at after nine o’clock at night, I am here alone. Closing the door of the fruit cage, I return to my plot, finishing my task and packing up my things, ready to go home, recent events raw and alive in my brain, jostling for recognition. How do you wind down for the evening after such consternation? Senses alert, adrenaline pumping and craving a friend’s comforting voice, I resign myself to ‘just dealing with it’… it is the way of Nature, after all!

As I leave, carrying my two large bowls of red and white hard-earned treasure, I glance down between the compost bin and the runner beans. There, angelic, magical and defiant, sits a jaunty collection of grey-brown bonneted toadstools, cosy in their company.

Ianthe Pickles
Lives in Liverpool
Worked for 37 years as a full-time Primary and later Secondary/Special School teacher and college tutor.
“Writing (especially poetry) was often a release during emotional and turbulent times in the 1980s working in an area of severe deprivation and unemployment in Liverpool. 
When life gets out of control, writing can often help it make sense.”

Mindful Heroes – stories of journeys that changed lives

 

Mindfulness is well recognised as an effective way to deal with the challenges of modern life. So many people have experienced for themselves the power of allowing things to get better by not making them worse. But hopefully the story doesn’t end there. Might the mindfulness journey also prove to be an expression of a deeper imperative that compels us to search for meaning and purpose?

The book “Mindful Heroes – stories of journeys that changed lives” makes the connection between the Hero’s Journey and the inner journeys of people who study and practice mindfulness. Chapters in the book are based on the post graduate research projects from the MSc in Mindfulness Studies at the University of Aberdeen. The authors set out on the path of mindfulness and went on a journey that would change their world. These 26 men and women from 10 countries creatively applied mindfulness to a variety of settings across Education, Health, Business, Sport, Creative Arts and Community work. Having experienced for themselves the benefits of mindful awareness, compassion and insight, they wanted to share what they had discovered with others. Continue reading

Bullying: A New Approach

In almost every school, there are posters and there are assemblies that address a problem that 20% of kids face every day, bullying. Kids who are bullied “are at increased risk for depression, anxiety, sleep difficulties, lower academic achievement, and dropping out of school.” (Pacer.org) It is these effects that make bullying an important issue that should be discussed more. The problem is not that bullying is not being addressed, it is that there is a more efficient way of addressing it. Although a school’s approach to stopping bullying does have its upsides, a psycho-educational approach could be more effective.

What is the current day approach to stopping bullying? It is called the Law-enforcement approach and it paints bullying as a crime which is not always the case. “By holding education institutions legally responsible for the bullying among students, it pressures them to morph into totalitarian police systems, stripping children of their freedom.”(Kalman) A study from The Olweus Bullying Prevention Program showed that the current approach, when implemented for two years, is only 12% effective. McMaster University held a focus group for kids grade five to eight where “students also report problems with negatively worded anti-bullying messages which flatly told them what not to do.”(Vitelli)  Bullying is inevitable but schools are telling kids that they are entitled to a bully-free life which is not reasonable. The current approach endorses a victim-mindset, so why put time and money into a program to stop something inevitable? That is where the government comes into play.

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CREAMY CARROT SOUP

A simple carrot soup which most children enjoy.

Ingredients
2 tablespoons butter
(or half butter, half oil)

1 large onion finely chopped

500g carrots
scrubbed and sliced

4 cups (32 fl oz) vegetable stock
(or water)

Salt and pepper, to taste

1 cup (8 fl oz) milk

Pinch of grated nutmeg

1/cup (4 fl oz) cream or evaporated milk

 Method
In a large, heavy based saucepan, cook the butter, onon and carrots over low heat, tightly covered, for 15-20 minutes.  Stir now and then.  The vegetables must not brown, but this slow cooking brings out the flavours and makes all the difference to the soup.

Add the stock or water, bring to the boil, then simmer for 30 minutes or until the carrots are quite tender.  Cool slightly, then puree in a blender or food processor, return to heat and season to taste.  Stir in milk, nutmeg, cream or evaporated milk and bring almost to the boil.  Serve with crisp, freshly made croutons.

Note:  If liked, rub the croutons lightly with a cut clove of garlic.

Serves:  5-6

 

Positive News

Words by
Gavin Haines

Pollinators and public art: how one Cornish seaside town is creating a buzz

Like many seaside towns in the UK, St Austell has suffered from changing holiday habits (even before the pandemic) and the decline of the fishing industry. A new arts project aims to reverse its fortunes – and that of the bee,

“People used to call St Austell ‘St Awful’ – we’re trying to make that St Awesome instead.”

Artist Alex Murdin is sharing his ambitions for Whitegold, a cultural regeneration programme, which, under the umbrella of the Austell Project, seeks to rejuvenate the seaside town through art.

Like many coastal UK towns, St Austell has suffered from changing holiday habits, and the decline of fishing and industry. Once world-renowned for its china clay pits, which supplied the potters of Stoke-on-Trent, the quarries began to be abandoned last century and the Cornish town fell on hard times.

However, following the success of cultural regeneration projects in other seaside towns, such as Margate, in Kent, St Austell is now looking to art – specifically ceramics – to spur positive change.

But as Murdin said, it’s not just about “plonking a few sculptures around St Austell and hoping that somehow it transforms the place”. Local people have been invited to play a role in the transformation.

Nowhere is the spirit of collective endeavour more evident than at Biddicks Court (main picture, above), where an uninspiring public space has been transformed by a mural made of 11,000 handmade tiles.

The Garden Route rolls out a colourful carpet for visitors arriving in St Austell by car. Image: James Darling

Some 800 local people helped make the giant mural of a Cornish black bee, which, like St Austell itself, has endured through difficult times.

“The Cornish black bee seems to be quite resistant [to colony collapse disorder],” explained Simeon Featherstone of Parasite Ceramics, the ceramics practice that led the project. “It has shown itself to be plucky so it seemed like a good metaphor.”

As well as celebrating pollinators, the Austell Project has also sought to boost their numbers by planting wildflower meadows along the A391 into St Austell. The so-called Garden Route rolls out a colourful carpet for visitors arriving during the summer, and is the first of its kind in Cornwall.

To read the rest of this article log on to positive new lifestyle. at Positive News

The Teachings of the Buddha

                      Lumbini: Photo Yeshe Dorje.

A double-edged question.

The local ruler, called Abhaya, went to Nataputta, a monk who belonged to a community hostile to the Buddha.  Nataputta said to Abhaya: ‘If you were to defeat Gautama, whom they call the Buddha, in public debate, your reputation would be hugely enhanced,’  Abhaya said: ‘How can I defeat Gautama in debate?  His power is too great, and his ability is too vast.’

Nataputta said:  ‘Go to Gautama, and ask him this question:  “Would an enlightened person ever utter words which were disagreeable and unpleasant to others?”   If he replies that an enlightened person would speak in such a way, say to him:  “Then there is no difference between an enlightened  person and an ordinary person;  ordinary people frequently utter words which are disagreeable and unpleasant to others.”  But if he replies that an enlightened person would never speak in such a way, say to him:  “Then you cannot be enlightened; you said that our cousin and enemy Devadutta will suffer for an aeon, and your words made him angry.”‘

Nataputta continued: ‘Thus, when you ask this double-edged question, Gautama will be unable either to spew it out or to swallow it.  It will be as if a piece of barbed iron were stuck in his throat.

Abhaya agreed to this plan; and he immediately went to the Buddha.  He invited him for a meal the following day, with the intention of asking the question afterwards.

Abhayarajakumara Sutta:  Majjhima Nikaya 1.393-395

The Buddha’s principles for speech.

The Buddha came to Abhaya’s palace the following day; and the prince served the Buddha himself, giving him the finest food.  Then after the meal Abhaya asked the Buddha; ‘Would an enlightened person ever utter words which were disagreeable and unpleasant to others?’  The Buddha said, ‘Is not this question double-edged?’  Abhaya exclaimed:  ‘Nataputta and his community are already defeated.’  The Buddha asked: ‘Why do you say that?’  Abhaya told the Buddha that Nataputta had urged him to ask that question, in order to defeat him in debate.

A little boy was lying beside Abhaya, with his head on the ruler’s knee.  The Buddha said:  ‘If that little boy had a stone stuck in his throat, what would you do?’  Abhaya replied: ‘Out of compassion for the boy, I should put my finger down his throat and pull the stone out – even if I drew blood.’

The Buddha said: ‘I never utter falsehood.  If I know something to be true, but nobody would benefit from hearing it, and some would be hurt, I do not utter it.  If I know something to be true, and some would benefit from hearing it, and others would be hurt, I wait for the right time to utter it.  If I know something to be true, but nobody would benefit from hearing it, though some would find it pleasant, I do not utter it.  If I know something to be true, and some would benefit from hearing it, and some would find it pleasant, I utter it.’

Abhayarajakumara Sutta:  Majjhima Nikaya  1.393 – 395

From 366 Readings From Buddhism:  Jaico Publishing House.  Mumbai

 

 

 

 

The Birth of a New World

How can I speak of hope when so many have died? The tragedy is that those who have passed are all the beloved of someone who lives to mourn them. Many innocent lives cut short.

The sun continues to rise. As Francesca Melandri wrote, in A Letter from Italy, “We are witnessing the birth of a new world”. Just what sort of world it is will depend so much on the lessons learned from this and the choices we make – and I mean we the citizens – coming out of it.

Gaia is swinging the pendulum back to the centre. Our beautiful blue planet is a self-regulating organism. This is more than just James Lovelock’s hippy hypothesis. Science has shown it to be true. Our entire evolution depends on her keeping the atmosphere just right for Life. The right amount of oxygen in the air we breathe, the water we drink – life-giving. Filtering the sunlight that plants and algae convert into the food that all animals are dependent on – life-giving. Life has flourished in her mastery of ecochemistry, her juggling of the winds and rains, her influence from the deepest ocean to the frozen tundra.

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Byken Matsukawa

Happiness

Personal stories are always interesting, especially when they are within living memory and their veracity hasn’t been eroded through time.  Below is a series of photographs which tells a story about David Russell’s father, Byken Matsukawa, a Japanese national interned in the UK during the second world war.  The photos are preceded by a short biography of David’s life.

Click on each photo to enlarge.

My background

During the First World War my grandparents had moved to Highgate in North London where they ran a guest house; and when my father arrived from Japan in 1915 he stayed in the guest house, met and married my mother in 1920.

I was born in 1934, the youngest of 5 children.  My father did begin to teach me Japanese during the early 1940’s but this was interrupted after Pearl Harbour when my father was interned  for 18 months.  After his release back to the mainland he did not continue with teaching me Japanese.  I therefore neither speak nor read Japanese.

Just before I commenced my National Service in 1953 I changed my surname by deed poll, together with my brother Albert, from Matsukawa to Russell. My father kept his surname. For the record my father became naturalized in 1949 as a British Citizen and died in 1959.

My mother was born in 1901 in Tunbridge Wells to German speaking  parents.  Her full name (wait for it) was Helen Christine Louise Martha Schrader.  She only ever used the name Helen!

Besides working in England and Scotland, I was also employed in Iraq, Jordan and Lebanon over the period 1961 to 1966 and again in Lebanon between 1968 to 1971. In Iraq I was a lecturer in Electrical and Electronic Engineering at the University of Baghdad – I was there for eight months and witnessed a very bloody revolution and the overthrow of General Quassim to be replaced by a new government under the Baath Party and Sadam Hussein. Between 1961 and 1966 I was a lecturer in Electrical and Electronic Engineering at the prestigious American University of Beirut before returning to the UK. Between late 1968 and May 1971 I went back as a consultant to a Jordanian construction firm with offices in Amaan, Jordan and Beirut, Lebanon and my job was to liaise with NEC of Japan who were the suppliers of the equipment for building a ground satellite communication system in Amaan, Jordan. I was also involved in visiting many countries in the Middle East including Iraq, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates for the company who were seeking other contracts.

Within the UK my early employment was with Cable & Wireless Ltd .  I was seconded to the old GPO Research Station at Dollis Hill, London, working on the design of a new Transatlantic Cable system CANTAT 2 which was installed between Oban and Newfoundland.  I was in Oban to witness the opening in 1960.

I then moved to Decca Radar where I was involved with the design of a new computerised radar system to be used in Air Traffic Control. After returning to the UK in 1971 I taught at both Middlesex University and Plymouth University before taking up my post in Scotland in 1976 as HM Inspector of Schools (Further and Higher Education ) where I had responsibility as a national specialist for all courses in Electrical and Electronic Engineering.

I am now retired and live in Edinburgh with my wife, Lena.

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My Father

Family members within Jyo-en-Ji Temple

My father (Byken or Bai-ken Matsukawa was born in 1890 in the Jyo-en-ji Temple in Hirakata (located half way between Osaka and Kyoto) to the then Chief Priest of the Temple (Bai-jun Matsukawa).  The temple was established in 1495 and has been in the family since that time.  My father had an elder brother (Bai-en) who died at the age of 22 in 1902.  By tradition the eldest son of the Chief Priest would automatically follow in the steps of his father and become Chief Priest.  He wrestled with his own conscience for many years before finally deciding against staying in Japan and decided to leave for the UK in 1915 at the age of 25.  He had already left the temple and had studied science, had excellent knowledge of the English language and worked and developed a short-hand system within the Imperial Diet.

 

Byken Matsukawa editor of the Nichiei Shinshi.

He arrived in England by ship in 1915.  He established the first Japanese News Agency in the UK called Eastern Press which had its offices in Chancery Lane, London very close to Fleet Street.  Through this Agency he was able to receive news from Japan and deliver it to the Japanese community in the UK.  One of his early tasks was to attend and report on the Treaty of Versailles at the end of World War 1.  In 1925 he became the editor of the Nichi-Ei-Shinshi newspaper which continued right up to 1939.  In 1936 he began to teach Japanese language and literature at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS).  My father had a great command of the English language and through his passionate interest in the sciences he did a great deal of translation of scientific works from Japanese to English both for the UK government and top blue chip commercial firms in the UK.  It is true to say that he became probably the best known translator of Japanese scientific literature in the UK in the later years of his life.

 

A photograph of my father teaching Army, RAF and Naval Officers who were involved in interrogating Japanese prisoners of war.

My father still had Japanese citizenship at the outbreak of World War 2 and Pearl Harbour and he was interned at the Isle of Man for 18 months between 1941 and 1943. During his internment the UK Government continued to call on his services as a translator, something with which he was happy to oblige.  On his release he returned to duties at SOAS as part of a special training course for UK armed services officers who interrogated Japanese prisoners of war and translated captured Japanese documents.  My father was finally naturalised as a British citizen in 1949

 The Matsukawa family circa 1937

 

 

 

My father continued his work at SOAS until 1955 when he retired, but continued his translation work right up to his death in 1959 when he succumbed to leukaemia.

 

 

A poem my father wrote. Tanka poetry refers to a Japanese 31-syllable poem, traditionally written as a single, unbroken line. The word “tanka” translates to “short song.” Similar to haiku poetry, tanka poems have specific syllable requirements. They also use many literary devices, including personificationmetaphors, and similes to allow ample visualization.  The poem was written only a few days before my father died as a Thank You for the kindness shown to him as a foreigner.

My father playing the violin circa 1905-10

My father and unknown boy.

Postcard from my father to my grandmother circa 1915.

Prayer of Samantabhadra

Bodhicharya Winter Teaching 2020 – LIVE Teaching

Prayer of Samantabhadra (Kunzang Mönlam)


14th – 21st December 2020

Daily at 2:30pm (GMT/UTC)


Rinpoche has very kindly accepted our request to give a teaching on the ‘Prayer of Samantabhadra (Kunzang Mönlam)’.

This direct and important text is not only an aspiration prayer, but also a very profound teaching and an introduction to the Dzogchen approach. The popular and well-known prayer is especially recommended to be recited during special times like earthquakes, eclipses and solstices, utilising such times as an opportunity for liberation.

The eight day Winter Teaching will start on Monday 14th December on a solar eclipse, and end on Winter solstice on Monday 21st, when we will recite the prayer together.

During this week of teachings Rinpoche will go through the text and also provide us some background and perspective. There will be one session each day at 2.30 pm UTC (GMT). The sessions will be on Zoom and the recordings will become available for registered participants.

The root text is available in different translations in English and other languages, for instance, here at Lotsawa House.

The Winter Teaching is open for all and given freely.

Without Bodhichitta even the highest teachings will not benefit us and can even harm us. Rinpoche often recommends that we study the Bodhicharyavatara. This famous Mahayana text by Shantideva on the Bodhisattva’s way of life and the Six Paramitas is taught by Rinpoche as an ongoing course here in the Ringu Tulku Teachings Archive.

Study and Practice of the Bodhicharyavatara will lay a good foundation for those who wish to participate in the Winter Teaching.


Please visit the Archive to Register and find out more.

THE UNIVERSAL WAY OF AVALOKITESVAR BODHISATTVA

AVALOKITESVAR SHRINE
A Place to Pray to and Meditate on the Grace and Great Compassion of Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva 

The Universal Way of Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva- A

Public Domain   Translation of Chapter 25 of the Lotus Sutra

Preface

The Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva Chapter of the Lotus Sutra is perhaps one of the most efficacious Dharma Doors ever spoken by the Buddha. Regular recitation of this Sutra can dispel all disasters and help the cultivator build a strong foundational affinity with Avalokitesvara, a Bodhisattva able to uproot all types of suffering, no matter how severe or how strange, be it physical, spiritual and or psychological. Anyone who is able to build a foundation with Avalokitesvara (by reciting his Name or this Sutra) shall be forever remembered by the Bodhisattva, who will respond by granting all wishes (be they spoken or secret) and eliminating all of the cultivator’s misfortunes, flaws, problems and obstacles— either covertly or openly.

Thus, the purpose of this translation is to serve as a easily recited and understood edition of the Avalokitesvara Chapter for all to use in their daily practice. A public domain text to be freely printed and shared without any restriction.
Brian Chung,
March 2020

The Universal Way of Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva

The Bodhisattva of Boundless Will arose from his seat, bared his right shoulder, turned towards the Buddha with joined palms and asked: “World Honored One, we yearn to know why the Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara, He Who Hears and Heeds the Sounds of the World, is titled thus?”
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MUSHROOMS – च्याउ

Ingredients
1 cup of mushrooms
4 teaspoons mustard or vegetable oil
1 medium onion
2 garlic cloves
2.5 cm piece of ginger
1/2 teaspoon chili (optional)
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seed
salt to taste

Process
Wash the mushrooms 2 or 3 times.  Break into small pieces by hand.  Mix turmeric rubbing with the hands and allow to stand for at least 10 minutes.  

Heat the oil and fry the fenugreek seeds till they jump and become brown.  Add the mushrooms after squeezing out the turmeric.  Add salt and fry again.  Add the ground spices and some water so as to let it become a paste.  Cook with a little more quantity of water if needed.

Serve hot and dry.

 Joys of Nepalese Cooking:  Indra Majapuria

SPINACH PAKODA पालक पाकोडा

Ingredients
2 cups of the leaves of spinach

1 cup of gram flour (besan)
2 green chillis chopped or 1/2 teaspoon chilli powder (optional)
1 large onion finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
pinch of asafoetida (hing)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup of water or as required
Oil for deep frying

Process
Wash and clean the spinach leaves well.  Cut thickly or use they are.  Mix all the ingredients in gram flour and beat well.  It will become a thick paste.  Mix the spinach leaves.  Beat again.  Add more water if needed.

Heat the oil in frying pan until smoke starts to come.  To make the pakoda crispy, mix a tablespoon of the heated oil in the gram flour.  Fry small balls in the oil until they become light brown.  Adjust the heat accordingly.

Serve hot with a tomato and chili sauce.

Serves
3-4 persons.