As the name Zen implies, Zen sitting meditation is the core of Zen practice and is called zazen in Japanese (Chinese tso-chan [Wade-Giles] or zuòchán [Pinyin]). During zazen, practitioners usually assume a sitting position such as the lotus, half-lotus, Burmese, or seiza postures. To regulate the mind, awareness is directed towards counting or watching the breath or put in the energy center below the navel (Chinese dan tian, Japanese tanden or hara). Continue reading
There is no knowledge of tomorrow.
Observation implies no accumulation of knowledge, even though knowledge is obviously necessary at a certain level: knowledge as a doctor, knowledge as a scientist, knowledge of history, of all the things that have been. After all, that is knowledge: information about the things that have been. There is no knowledge of tomorrow, only conjecture as to what might happen tomorrow, based on your knowledge of what has been. A mind that observes with knowledge is incapable of following swiftly the stream of thought. It is only by observing without the screen of knowledge that you begin to see the whole structure of your own thinking. And as you observe, which is not to condemn or accept, but simply to watch, you will find that thought comes to an end. Casually to observe an occasional thought leads nowhere, but if you observe the process of thinking and do not become an observer apart from the observed,if you see the whole movement of thought without accepting or condemning it,then that very observation puts an end immediately to thought, and therefore the mind is compassionate, it is in a state of constant mutation.
- The Core of Krishnamurti’s Teachings (jackysunchaser.wordpress.com)
The following story is found in “Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind” by Shunryu Suzuki. It reminds me of something Eckhart Tolle said: “Life isn’t as serious as you think it is.”
There were two good friends, Chokei and Hofuku. They were talking about the Bodhisattva’s way, and Chokei said, “Even if the arhat (an enlightened one) were to have evil desires, still the Tathagata (Buddha) does not have two kinds of words. I say that the Tathagata has words, but no dualistic words.” Hofuku said, “Even though you say so, your comment is not perfect.” Chokei asked, “What is your understanding of the Tathagata’s words?” Hofuku said, “We have had enough discussion, so let’s have a cup of tea!”
“Coffee should be as black as hell, strong as death and as sweet as love.” Turkish proverb
This image brought back memories of my time in Istanbul when I was 17 years old. I had the good fortune of having parents who allowed me to hitch-hike from Trieste, Italy (where we lived at that time – 1967) through Yugoslavia and Greece to Istanbul. There I spent 10 days roaming the mosques, the historic old town and the casbah. I stayed in Hotel Gulayani , with quite a few Westerners. Those were days filled with adventure! Next to my room was an ex GI, an Afro-American, who whiled away his days mostly in bed smoking hashish and listening to Jimi Hendrix “Are You Experienced?” on a small portable record player. This is where I was introduced to the experience of hashish, which at that time showed me that there was more to reality than I had assumed up to then. I remained interested in that experience for some years but later realized that is was as limited as all other artificially induced states of consciousness.
The Turkish Mokka, as pictured above, was served in the casbah cafes and tea-houses where one sat on low cushions at round brass tables, embossed with exotic designs, and the walls hung with Persian/Turkish carpets. What strongly impressed me was not only the wonderful fragrance of the mokka itself and its fine velvety texture, but they also laced it with rose water…quite an exotic treat!
– end –
“If we practice religion properly, or genuinely, religion is not something outside but in our hearts. The essence of any religion is good heart. Sometimes I call love and compassion a universal religion. This is my religion. Complicated philosophy, this and that, sometimes create more trouble and problems. If these sophisticated philosophies are useful for the development of good heart, then good: use them fully. If these complicated philosophies or systems become an obstacle to a good heart then better to leave them. This is what I feel.”
Just a reminder…
Tomorrow, July 25th, is the Mayan “Day out Of Time” – the day in between the old calendar year (ended today) and the new year (starting Friday).
Open your heart to the world
Vulnerable I am
Can I be hurt?
When hurt is our daily bread
There is only one move to make – open more
How can I find out if my life will be equal to this hurt?
Going for shelter in this storm will kill me
Which letter should we take for peace?
What about “G”. G stands for good and if you are doing good then you are creating peace.
Let’s take “K”. K means keep the peace wherever you are. Support those who keep the peace and have understanding and compassion for those who are caught up in violence.
This is the crux of the matter. We have become so enamored with our thoughts. Humanity believes that thought can take us anywhere – new technology, genetic engineering etc. etc. This has gone far past the point of using thought as the very useful tool that it is. We have taken an attitude of arrogance in our relationship with nature. Once we are able to see clearly that thought is limited then something new starts.
Thought itself is now beginning to experience its limits and when that happens it refrains from going beyond its limits because it is actually concerned with safety. Now it is starting to recognize that safety means not abusing its capabilities. Then that which is far, far greater than thought is recognized by thought as the ultimate authority and thought’s actions become tempered by this greater force.
We stop choosing between illusory alternatives when we are able to really accept “what is” – moment by moment. There are no real choices beyond “choosing” to acknowledge “what is”. When we do that, the present moment shows us clearly what is to be done in order to be in alignment with the Totality, or God or whatever word you use for that Great One. Another way I have heard it said is, “Or is this the place of surrender – “consciously” turning over our will to God, and letting the Divine take over?”