Posts in the “zen” category

True emptiness is before thinking

I wasn’t able to take any pictures of them, but last week we had some beautiful full Moon sunsets over the Rocky Mountains. Then I just came across this photo of the Moon and some mountains, with this “true emptiness” quote by Zen Master Seung Sahn. (The image comes from this link.)

You have to “let go”

In meditation practice you come to a point where you have to “let go.” It’s easy for me to do this at night, I’m usually tired and there isn’t any resistance, but it’s 1,000 times harder during the day. I’ve done it a few times for brief periods and the experience is really remarkable, but I haven’t been able to sustain it yet. No telling what happens when I can sustain it.

The definition of the word Namaste, by Ram Dass

I first posted this definition of the word “Namaste” in January 2015. As I think about some friends, I’m reminded of it today:

I honor the place in you
Where the entire universe resides.
I honor the place in you
Of love, of light, of truth, of peace.

I honor the place in you
Where if you are in that place in you and
I am in that place in me,
There is only one of us.

That namaste definition comes from the excellent book, Polishing the Mirror, by Ram Dass.

Namaste. :)

Zen, mindfulness, and compassion don’t mean “be a wimp”

When I first started studying Zen and the Tao, I interpreted many of the quotes I read as “let things be just as they are.” For a while that led to me act as a doormat, letting other people do as they wished, in some cases even treating me poorly. I did that consciously, so even though I was acting like a wimp I didn’t feel like a wimp; I was just trying to practice what I was learning.

After a while I realized that was a wrong approach. Because I wasn’t demanding excellence at work, some employees weren’t performing up to their capabilities. Other people in my personal life were “using” me because they knew they could get away with it.

If you want to understand all the Buddhas ...

“If you want to understand all the Buddhas of the past, present and future, then you should view the nature of the universe as created by mind alone.”

I have often wondered how you should interpret this quote. This article titled, Created By Mind Alone, provides more hints on how to interpret it.

You can’t light a lamp, there’s no oil in the house (poem)

This is a poem by the seventeenth-century monk Yinyuan Longqi. I just saw it in this LionsRoar.com article about a Zen teacher who had a panic attack.

This is an interesting quote: “I practiced in the midst of a pounding heart, with crazy energy running through my body and a strong aversion to these feelings. In the midst of panic, I could feel that it was fundamentally a physical sensation of hyper-arousal and that if I allowed that energy to course, with attention and a minimum of aversion, something interesting happened.”

On mindfulness, and becoming a teenager again

I was walking down the sidewalk last night, really trying to feel my surroundings — trying to be my surroundings — when in an instant I was one of the teenagers in a group walking in front of me. It was a flood of feelings and emotions that I haven’t felt in a long time, a mix of joy, curiosity, uncertainty, and more. It wasn’t overwhelming, but afterwards it felt like Neo’s “whoa.”

I don’t know how long it lasted, whether it was an instant or a few moments — it was one of those things where if you don’t think about it maybe it keeps going, but once you think about it, it’s over — but for that short period of time I was that other person. I have no idea what the body normally known as “me” did in that time. If the event had lasted longer it could have walked into a tree or onto the street for all my consciousness would have known.

This mindfulness/awareness thing is kinda trippy.

~ April 12, 2017 #LucidDream

A dog, meditating

When my dog Zeus was alive, he'd join me while I was meditating. That's what this photo reminds me of.

Proper mindfulness technique: Not judging what you see, stake out your inner experience

I like this description of the proper mindfulness technique:

“Not judging what you see, not considering it good or bad, just seeing what you see, with interest ... staking out your inner experience, like a wildlife photographer in an exotic location, waiting for the moment to snap.”

I don’t know who the speaker is, but I heard that on a Buddhify recording.

~ a note from April 9, 2015