Saturday, July 31, 2010

Like lotuses, the dharma can bloom in the unlikeliest of places

Graffito above the urinal in the men's room of the Golden West Cafe in Hampden.

The text is the Enmei Jukku Kannon Gyo, literally "Eternal Ten-Verse Kannon Sutra." Kannon, or Kanzeon, is the Japanese name for Avalokitesvara, the Bodhisattva of Compassion. This prayer is chanted by Zen Buddhists the world over.

Sojun Mel Weisman Roshi, abbot of the Berkeley Zen Center, offered a marvelous commentary on the verse in 2003.

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