ZEN: Purpose

Every so often I find myself taking a personal retreat in order to, as I call it, calibrate myself back to zero,  which is for me the quintessence of Zen. Just recently I have realized that this “zero” refers to “zero purpose”. When I go to the Arizona Beach Lodge not far from where I live, I leave behind all the things and people in my home environment that call me to do “this” and “that”. I am always rather amazed at how soon I am able to enter into a space in which I have let go of all purpose and am able to just ‘be’.

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ZEN – Direct Perception

Tibetan monk walking along Manasarovar - 5

Zen – Direct Perception
“In walking, standing, sitting, or lying down he understands that he is so doing, so that, however his body is engaged, he understands it just as it is.… In setting out or returning, in looking before or around, in bending or stretching his arm, … he acts with clear awareness.”
Majjhima Nikaya, I. 56. (Discourses of the Buddha with his chief disciples)
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“Complete recollectedness is a constant awareness or watching of one’s sensations, feelings, and thoughts–without purpose or comment. It is a total clarity and presence of mind, actively passive, wherein events come and go like reflections in a mirror: nothing is reflected except what is.”
Alan Watts, The Way of Zen, p. 53
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This awareness is without any effort, just as a mirror needs no effort to reflect what is in front of it. t.q.

Zen and The Ego

zen circle 8

“For the ego exists in an abstract sense alone, being an abstraction from memory, somewhat like the illusory circle of fire made by a whirling torch.”

In this excerpt, Alan Watts describes more in detail two terms that are of basic importance to a clear understanding of the Buddhist view of existence: the precepts of “impermanence” (anitya) and “no-Self” (anatman), that some of you may be familiar with.

“The anitya doctrine is, again, not quite the simple assertion that the world is impermanent, but rather that the more one grasps at the world, the more it changes. Reality in itself is neither permanent nor impermanent; it cannot be categorized. But when one tries to hold on to it, change is everywhere apparent, since, like one’s own shadow, the faster one pursues it, the faster it flees.
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A Kind Of Ecstasy

Excerpt from The Way of Zen – Alan Watts

alan-wattsMoksha (liberation) is also understood as liberation from maya – one of the most important words in Indian philosophy, both Hindu and Buddhist. For the manifold world of facts and events is said to be maya, ordinarily understood as an illusion which veils the one underlying reality of Brahman. This gives the impression that moksha is a state of consciousness in which the whole varied world of nature vanishes from sight, merged in a boundless ocean of vaguely luminous space. Such an impression should be dismissed at once, for it implies a duality, an incompatibility, between Brahman and maya which is against the whole principle of Upanishadic philosophy. For Brahman is not One as opposed to Many, not simple as opposed to complex. Brahman is without duality simple as opposed to complex. Brahman is without duality (advaita), which is to say without any opposite since Brahman is not in any class or, for that matter, outside any class.
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The Truth in 1:22

ONE MINUTE AND TWENTY TWO SECONDS AUDIO TO UPLIFT YOU

Enjoy Alan Watts – Self-described Spiritual Entertainer

alan-watts

Living Love: Day 14 – Evolve, Create & Flow

Living LoveLove creates to evolve. To evolve, as far as I know, comes from the word ‘to unroll”, like if you have a leaf or a bud tightly rolled up, then it would unfold as it grows. So the potential of that leaf or of that flower unfolds and shows itself. This leads to the second part which says that ‘Love creates from what is’. Therefore if evolution is the opening up and the actualizing of our potential then it is the force of love that allows us to open up. It creates from what is, because it is unfolding and showing what is already there.
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