“Zen is above all a matter of personal experience. The student is asked to accept nothing the truth of which he cannot demonstrate for himself, with his own mind and body.”
Mike (Pastor/Lawyer): Why’d you want to see me?
Sam (Prisoner): Papa told me you were a spiritual man, and that we need to help each other.
Mike: Help each other? Well ... you’re the one in jail.
Sam: [laughs] Well, there’s all kinds of jails. One of the worst is the prison of wrong thoughts. I was locked up there for many years until I found the key and opened the door.
(from the movie Mountain Top)
“Every wall is a door.”
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson (also, the Kool-Aid Man)
This page contains a list of my favorite “mindfulness reminder” quotes. In particular these are short, concise quotes that I think work well with my “Just Be” mobile app.
Just Be is currently an app for Android users. If you haven’t seen it before, this is what the reminders/notifications look like when you receive them on an Android phone or tablet:
“Intelligence is something we are born with. Thinking is a skill that must be learned.”
[This is a chapter from a currently-unpublished book I’m writing on meditation and mindfulness.]
As a spiritual being, one possible way to think of life here on Earth is as a “game” that serves as a training ground for the soul. It’s a game like other games, so it has many levels, and they get harder and harder as you progress. So in this case, the better you become at the game of spirituality — the Soul Game — the harder the levels become.
To help set some rules for the game, let’s say that it has fifty levels. The first time you play the game you’re born here on Earth in Level 1. Hopefully you score some points and move up, so maybe by the time it’s “game over” for your first lifetime, you’ve passed Level 9 and you’re playing on Level 10. Maybe you get a brief break in between lifetimes, but the next time you’re born you start right where you left off, at Level 10.
This brings me to a very important rule: Once you start playing the Soul Game, you’re strapped in for eternity. (That was clearly mentioned on page 52 of the End User License Agreement.) Once you’re in the game there are only two ways out:
“What is it about elevators?”
~ Christian Grey
For many years I struggled with how to combine two of my main interests, Zen and work. I had read that the Zen mind is the mind before thinking, so it seemed like Zen and work must be totally unrelated. But 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.
“Books are the training weights of the mind.”