Zen koans often turn into humorous Abbott & Costello skits. For those new to Zen, the “It would be better if you died” reference just means that you should meditate like you’re in your coffin, which is further embodied in the Zen phrase, “Dead men have no desire.” (As long as you have desire, Zen will keep its distance from you.)
“Do not try to experience satori. Do not try to drive away illusion. Do not hate the thoughts that arise, and do not love them, either. Above all, do not entertain them. Just practice the great sitting, here and now. If you do not continue a thought, it will not come back of its own accord.”
“The power of karma is strong in everyone, stupid or clever. When that force is broken, it becomes possible to understand Zen.”
From the book, The Way of True Zen, by Taisen Deshimaru (pictured).
(A lot of Buddhist quotes remind me of Star Wars, and vice-versa.)
This is the front of one of the postcards I designed for my Zen Foundation business back in 2012. I liked it, but not enough other people liked it, so I closed that business for the time being.
“During Zazen the ego-subject can look at the ego-object, and vice-versa. We can realize that we are not so wonderful, sometimes we’re even worse than other people, because in deep zazen our true desires are revealed and we can see them fully.”
~ Taisen Deshimaru, in the book, Questions to a Zen Master
This is my interpretation of the meaning of the Alanis Morissette song, Thank You (also known as Thank U). I don’t claim any special knowledge about the song; this interpretation of the lyrics is just based on my understanding of Zen and Buddhism. If you’ve read this website, you know a lot of what I know.
I’ll be joining a new yoga class soon, and I was just thinking about what I might say, or not say, to the other students in the class about the things I’ve experienced when practicing yoga very seriously. In an open discussion during a previous yoga class I told other students that I was able to feel various things when we did the “corpse pose” at the end of the session. I didn’t go into great detail, but I did tell them that I could feel my blood flowing in my body, how I could feel “vibration” sensations on my skin, and a few other things.
In the third line of her song, Thank You, Alanis Morissette sings, “How about them transparent dangling carrots?” In this article I’ll take a little look at what that line means.
One last post about the 2016 Presidential election. This is from Roshi Pat Enkyo O’Hara of the Village Zendo on LionsRoar.com. The short, non-religious version is:
Listen > Learn > Act