“I was eating my California wrap outside at a local coffee shop in Boston when without reason I began to weep. Tears began rolling down my face, which made me feel as if I were sitting in a steady rain. It was as if my eyes had suddenly sprung a leak or a nearby sprinkler had found me.
“Initially I didn’t have any feeling, but within seconds after the tears began like a fountain, I felt what seemed like an inconsolable pain — a deep sorrow that grew in intensity. It was as profound and moving as any emotion I’ve ever had. Continue reading →
Here a comment by Thich Nhat Hanh on the teaching of the Zen Master Linji: “Be sovereign wherever you go and use that place as your seat of awakening”.
Then of course we can ask, “How to be sovereign?” If you know the story of Osho and his students and the goose in the bottle: Osho said there is a goose in a bottle. How to get the goose out without breaking the bottle or hurting the goose? he asked his students. Continue reading →
“Look at your mind dispassionately; this is enough to calm it. When it is quiet, you can go beyond it. Do not keep it busy all the time. Stop it – and just BE. If you give it a rest, it will settle down and recover its purity and strength. Constant thinking makes it decay.”
Visitor: How can my mind be still if I have to use it more than other people? I want to go into solitude and renounce my headmaster’s work. Ramana: No. You may remain where you are and go on with the work. What is the undercurrent which vivifies the mind, enables it to do all this work? It is the Self. So that is the real source of your activity. Simply be aware of it during your work and do not forget it. Contemplate in the background of your mind even whilst working. To do that, do not hurry, take your own time. Keep the remembrance of your real nature alive, even while working, and avoid haste which causes you to forget. Be deliberate. Practice meditation to still the mind and cause it to become aware of its true relationship to the Self which supports it. Do not imagine it is you who are doing the work. Think that it is the underlying current which is doing it. Identify yourself with the current. If you work unhurriedly, recollectedly, your work or service need not be a hindrance.
This is an excerpt from David Godman’s book, “Ramana Maharshi – Be As You Are”, p. 130
I was driving together with several others along a road through the woods. We came upon a small settlement on the edge of the woods. We could not proceed as children with their mothers were playing on the roadway.
I knew these people and I had obviously some common past history with them. I walked toward one of the women and we spoke about the situation. She wanted to keep the road closed and referred to a past situation in which those in my party had wronged them, giving her group the justification to keep the road closed. Continue reading →
This post contains two and a half pages from the book “Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind” by Shunryu Suzuki. In this short chapter Shunryu gives us a sense of what the Buddhist term “Nothing” means. I find this term very similar to the view in quantum physics of the Field or the Plenum. For David Bohm, one of the leading quantum physicists of our age, the Plenum is an “immense background of energy”.
(At the bottom you will find the YouTube video of Peter Coyote reading this chapter.)
I discovered that it is necessary, absolutely necessary, to believe in nothing. That is, we have to believe in something which has no form and no color—something which exists before all forms and colors appear. This is a very important point. No matter what god or doctrine you believe in, if you become attached to it, your belief will be based more or less on a self-centered idea. You strive for a perfect faith in order to save yourself. But it will take time to attain such a perfect faith. You will be involved in an idealistic practice. Continue reading →
Then when there is this total emptiness, when there is absolutely and literally nothing, no influence, no value, no frontier, no word, then in that total stillness of time-space, there is that which is unnameable.
This sounds very simple and indeed it is not complicated. And yet it is not easy as our views encompass all of our beliefs, convictions, hopes, dreams and expectations. Thich Nhat Hanh is asking us here to open up to an empty mind so that we can take in “what is” free of any personal distortion.