"In Zen meditation, we learn to be still and allow the neglected intuitive forms of consciousness to operate. To do that, we first learn to pay attention, to be fully present in each moment and aware of the nuances of life. It takes a while, but every bit of improvement in this skill is a wonderful gift we give ourselves each day. And it's done by relaxing, not by forcing. When it doesn't have a specific job, we let the mind rest quietly rather than chatter compulsively to itself, endlessly raking through its collection of possessions, desires, likes and dislikes, plans and memories. Achieving that quiet mind isn't quick or easy. The mind dearly loves to talk to itself."
Zen Buddhist websites, news, and discussion
Saturday, December 31, 2005
"Sit on the forward third of a chair or a cushion on the floor."
For the rest, click the link
Friday, December 30, 2005
"A monk once asked Unmon, 'The radiance serenely illuminates the whole vast universe...'
Before he could finish the first line,
Unmon suddenly interrupted, 'Aren't those the words of Chosetsu Shusai?'
The monk replied, 'Yes, they are.'
Unmon said, 'You have slipped up in the words.'
Afterwards, Zen Master Shishin brough the matter up and said,
'Tell me, at what point did he slip?"
Wednesday, December 28, 2005
Tuesday, December 27, 2005
The world we experience is the world created within our own minds. Our thoughts and feelings depend upon how we view the world; they are not absolutes nor are they as solid or as real as they seem. By learning not to be driven by thoughts and feelings, we can see how they are a like a fantasy or a dream. Knowing, this we can return to the primordial mind of zazen. Thoughts and feelings do not necessarily stop, but we no longer mistake them for our true nature.
Saturday, December 24, 2005
The only peace in this zendo is the peace you brought with you. . .you have the same peace all the time, but you'll probably leave it here when you go.
Thursday, December 22, 2005
Move, and you bury your body ten thousand feet deep; don’t move, and sprouts grow right where you are. You must cast off both sides and let the middle go; then you must buy some sandals and travel some more before you’ll really attain realization.
Wednesday, December 21, 2005
Tuesday, December 20, 2005
The Zen way of eating follows the cycles of nature and the universal laws of balance of the two opposite and complementary energies, known as yin and yang.
Monday, December 19, 2005
If you really think about what work is you see that everything is work-- being alive and in a body is already work. Every day there is eating and shitting and cleaning up. There is brushing and bathing and flossing. Every day there is thinking and caring and creating. So there’s no escape from work-- it’s everywhere. For Zen students there’s no work time and leisure time; there’s just lifetime, daytime and nighttime. Work is something deep and dignified-- it’s what we are born to do and what we feel most fulfilled in doing.
Sunday, December 18, 2005
The following are guiding principles for approaching and resolving conflict within our Sangha at Clouds in Water Zen Center. We seek to:
- Take responsibility for our vulnerabilities and emotional triggers in relationships with others.
- Investigate our own responsibility in the conflict before speaking with another.
- Practice non-stubbornness by holding an open heart, a willingness to understand, and a desire to reconcile differences.
- Have face-to-face resolution of the conflict with the other person or people involved.
- Use anger in a constructive and respectful way, allowing it to teach and transform us for the better, avoiding the “poison” of envy and comparing ourselves to others.
- Separate the behavior from the person, seeing the situation as an opportunity to liberate.
Friday, December 16, 2005
The name of the new concept car has been deliberately chosen to reflect the overall attitude with which both companies have driven the entire project forward over a period of many months. After all, Zen – borrowed from Buddhist teaching – is a special form of insight that is only attainable if you are prepared to give up preconceived ideas.
if the reason for committing ourselves to eliminating the cause Of suffering from the mind is out of compassion for our own suffering Or for our own gains, we will experience a pseudo-satori, which is Pretentious and no satori at all. If the reason for our commitment is Out of compassion for all suffering, of which our own suffering is but A part, and for no personal gains, our satori
Thursday, December 15, 2005
Though 'Beat Zen' and 'Square Zen' are false forms of Zen, they serve a very useful purpose. True Zen emerges from where Beat Zen and Square Zen conflict with each other. In truth, satori can be found on both roads; it is, after all, a state of mind. If one is able to truly escape from all prejudices, attachments, and desires, then he/she has reached satori. However, the satori of true Zen is one of complete purity and freedom. It is this satori that Westerners should strive to achieve. It is not an easy process, but definitely worth the effort!
Wednesday, December 14, 2005
"If we have faith in our Buddha nature, then we can be steadfast despite opposition, difficulty, or adversity in our practice. We don't practice Zen in order to gain something, such as peace of mind or ease and comfort. We practice to realize who we are. The Third Patriarch in China instructed us to 'not seek for the truth, but to cease to cherish our opinions.' If we practice in this way, then our meditation is no longer a project about something that we are trying to do, but it is an expression of who we are."
Monday, December 12, 2005
So we have to ask us: what is the basic ingredient of our live? For Dogen Zenj Samai, it is Zazen. Zazen is the base of our live. We have to ask us how we can live Zazen in our everyday live. Zazen is not a ecstatic experience, it should guide our lives, letting go off ideas of good-bad, white-black, right-wrong.
Sunday, December 11, 2005
In this world, there is no absolute truth. From the Buddhist point of view everything in the world is impermanent and conditioned and therefore can only be considered from a comparative or relative point of view. When we judge one thing to be better than another we always do so from a relative or comparative standpoint. The Enlightened mind, which sees things as they really are, does not attach to any particular thing as being the absolute truth nor does it reject any particular thing as not being the absolute truth.
Saturday, December 10, 2005
Friday, December 09, 2005
There are important questions that arise for each of us. Our answers to these questions determine the course of our lives. But the most important question of all is rarely asked or considered: 'What am I?' Our answer to this question influences every other question and answer. How we live, what we do, what we value, what's really important to us, every choice we make, all of this is shaped by our understanding of this essential question.
Thursday, December 08, 2005
Genuine spirituality has nothing to do with self-improvement, at least not in the sense we Westerners understand that. Improvement is there, yes, and self is there as well, bu these two seem to contradict each other at every step.
In one of the best and most succinct introductions to Zen practice, the important teacher Shunryu Suzuki discusses posture and breathing in meditation as well as selflessness, emptiness, and mindfulness.
Wednesday, December 07, 2005
More Zen marketing, this time for a Zen cereal. I've actually tried this stuff, and it's a little cardboard tasting in my opinion. I found this review of it. Click above for the whole thing and the responses, which are pretty funny:
"Who knew you could get Zen and mental harmony from eating cereal? I always thought you had to meditate and study scriptures and rake sand around little rocks to get Zen, and who has time for that sh*t?"
As I walked back to the desk, I thought of something I'd read in a book by Kosho Uchiyama years ago, when I was just starting to practice zazen. He said, "If you can't hear the pots crying out in pain when you bang them together in the kitchen, your zazen is not deep enough." I didn't know what he meant at the time and imagined "pot beings" in agony in some non-human purgatory, but the phrase stuck in my mind, and when I slammed the door the other day and felt its pain, I understood what Uchiyama-roshi had meant. Fifteen years of zazen had opened my ears
Tuesday, December 06, 2005
The internet, MBAs, marketing. He has a ... different outlook on the practice of Buddhism in the 21st century.
With an honest doubt we can recognize the imperfections in things, weigh them against their merits, and understand the value of a teaching or a practice. Eventually an honest doubt, along with gentle faith, will lead to an understanding of the real perfection, which lies hidden in all things. Religious traditions, and Zen is no different, is made up of individuals with strengths and weaknesses, faults and foibles, and, of course, the potential for enlightenment. If faith permits us to see enlightenment manifesting around us, and in the actions of others, honest doubt permits us to accept human nature as it is. The miracle of transformation that Zen training works upon us requires both of these. Gently accepting our own limitations, we can at last come to know enlightenment at work within ourselves too. To understand honest doubt, though, there is something else to consider. An honest doubt is one that is directed inwardly as much, if not more so, than it is toward outward things. To hold an honest doubt is to first say to oneself 'I could be wrong,' and then, secondly, to admit that 'They could be wrong, too.'
Monday, December 05, 2005
Once you begin to understand Zen and you start to see it at work, you will realize just how easy it is to get women and you will be guaranteed to get tons of them.
It does not, unfortunately, tell you what to do with all these women once you've gotten them using your Zen powers. Meditate?
Sunday, December 04, 2005
"Most of mental burdens come from our thought or imagination which divides us and things around us.
Therefore, if we could realize this and understand it thoroughly, the burdens would fall off themselves and we are as light as from the beginning. I would like to emphasize this: what we need to do is to watch and see it, to understand thoroughly, entirely and not to try to stop the flow of thought or imagination. Why? If we try to stop it, it may stop a little while and after that it will be running again and maybe it will run double or triple or multiple times...then all of our efforts to stop it would go in vain."
Saturday, December 03, 2005
Friday, December 02, 2005
When you climb a mountain, you walk up the side for a long time, then you arrive at the top. Going up, we don't understand what is happening. What are human beings? What is the world? But when you get to the top, you can see everywhere. You can understand what human beings are, as well as. time, space, and this world. But understanding and attaining are different.
Thursday, December 01, 2005
When we think about what is the Enlightenment, it is our real experience that we are, not in the world of mind, or in the world of matter, but we are just living in the real world actually, not only intellectually, or perceptively.
I guess that many people complain that such a simple fact can be recognized by everyone easily. But actually I think that there may be many people, who think that they are living in the world of mind, and at the same time there are many people, who think that they are living in the world of matter.