meditation

Seeing everything as moving subatomic particles

“Having a direct experience of seeing everything one looks at (including one’s own body) as moving subatomic particles alters the perception of ‘me’ and of the substantiality of what we regard as ‘normal’ reality.”

(I can’t remember where I saw this quote, but I think it had to do with some sort of system that you could walk into and see your body as moving subatomic particles.)

Meditation brings back all sorts of memories

One thing about meditation, it brings back some memories that are buried in the depths of your brain/mind. For example, when I was 17 or 18 years old I remember my father and “the woman he got pregnant while he was married to me my mother” having a conversation where they referred to themselves as “survivors.” I further remember thinking, “If throwing your wife and children overboard to save yourself makes you a survivor, sure, you’re a survivor.”

Do you hear the murmuring sound of the mountain stream?

A monk was anxious to learn Zen and said, “I have been newly initiated into the Brotherhood. Will you be gracious enough to show me the Way?”

The Master said, “Do you hear the murmuring sound of the mountain stream?”

The monk said, “Yes, I do.”

The Master said, “Here is the entrance.”

~~~

“Listening intently” is a simple, fun meditation practice. Just sit, relax, and listen to your environment like a dog, cat — or a squirrel in the wild, where your life depends on your listening. At work I used to have fun by listening to as many conversations as I could simultaneously.

Quotes about work and Zen (practicing Zen at work)

For many years I struggled with how to combine two of my main interests, Zen and work. I have read that the Zen mind is the mind before thinking, so it seems like Zen and work must be totally unrelated. Over time I came to understand phrases like, “When working, just work.”

This article contains a collection of quotes that have been helpful to me in understanding the relationship between Zen and work. Please note that I don’t wrap each quote in double quotes, and I also try to attribute each quote to the correct author/speaker. If you’re interested in how to combine Zen and work, I hope you’ll find them helpful.

One way to meditate without distraction

If you’re interested in meditating but can’t quite seem to do it without getting distracted, I recommend making a game of it. One game I use is, “How long can I take to count to five full breaths?”

The game itself is simple: Just before you begin to meditate, start a stopwatch on your phone. Then breathe in, and as you do so, internally say “one.” Then breathe out and internally (or externally) say “two.” Try to take these breaths as slowly as you can, with all of your focus on the current breath and current number. Keep doing this until you breathe out and say “ten,” and when that breath is finished, stop the stopwatch and see how long it took. The game is to make this time as long as possible.

Enlightenment is like a free fall

“Enlightenment is like a free fall. It’s like falling off a cliff that never ends, and you’ve acclimatized to it.”

~ Shinzen Young, in this video