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Rev. Yin Din Shakya

The Not So Empty Cloud of Zen

by Yin Din Shakya, OHY

Presented November 27, 2001

Since I have become a priest the questions changed and seem not to cease.

Who will you marry?

Who will you bury?

Where is your Sangha?

Who are your disciples?

Perhaps I was missing something. I was infected with doubt, not the Great Iron Ball type, but the little prickly irritating type. Leaving nothing to chance I placed my ad in the papers and journals:

    "Buddhist priest offers to give precepts on graduated scale: One precept for $150.00, three for $400.00, six for $500.00 and eighteen for $1000.00 (but only on Tuesday)."

I have received very little legitimate response to date. Neither has my follow-up ad to marry people produced the desired results. It was to me a very forward thinking approach based on the number of vows I would be expected to elicit from the aspiring couple, a questionnaire which the couple they fill out. A simple "Vow-flow Chart" where they would add up the number of vows they thought they could keep divided by the sum of the ones that presented some awkward problems, multiply that whole number result by 100 and add twenty bucks for gas. Still no takers. Perhaps the gas charge was a bit presumptuous since oil prices do seem to be stabilizing. Perhaps it's been a slow month for marriages in New Jersey, but I certainly would have thought that someone would have died by now.

I have also been informed of the need to take out "Minister's Insurance" in case one of my disciples sues me for damages after he passed out doing the "Healing Breath" while driving to work one day. The (im)probabilities seem endless. I am intrigued enough to request the form to see what the premiums cover. Would it be something like this:

    Levitation (Level 1): Covers bruised tail-bones from falls of 8 inches or less:   $5.00/month

    Levitation (level 2): Covers broken bones form falls of 3 feet of less: $6.50/month

    Levitation (unlimited): Injuries for collapse of levitations of any height $20.00 / month

    One pointed focus: Covers minor cuts from banging into things while walking under the influence of OPF: $2.00/month

    Satori / Zen Madness: On the off chance that one of my disciples may experience Satori and the resultant Zen madness for a period of longer than 3 weeks, worker's disability pay will kick in: $25.00/month

    Bodhidharma: This would cover anyone's penchant for slicing their eyelids or ripping off any appendage: $10.00/month

    (Hasn't it been said that Bodhidharma had only one true disciple and that he had only one arm, all his other disciples sadly had two arms but no brains.)

As you may suspect this could be a long list and maybe those of you already engaged in this kind of thing could send me a sampling of the premiums that you take out. Those listed above or others not mentioned.

After going through all of the "things to do" in order to become a priest I have now come to a full realization of the Buddha's proclamation in the Diamond Sutra to the Bodhisattvas, "There are no sentient beings to save."

I am having so much trouble understanding the "Perception of Sight" and combating the illusion that mind is localized, or as the Buddha says, "Mind is not localized within the body and neither is it not-within the body," that I just don't know when I'll be able to find the time or money to pay all those premiums.

To all my brothers and sisters in the dharma, Do your best and pay absolutely no attention to what I say.

    - Rev. Yin Din Shakya

    1. Pursuant to the Minister's Code Chapter 1 Section A: this disclaimer is deemed necessary since no truths contained herein have been independently verified.


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