smooth natural mind

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Nyu nan shin means a smooth, natural mind.”

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Gift Shop in New Orleans, LA

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Shunryu Suzuki:

This naturalness is very difficult to explain. But if you can just sit and experience the actuality of nothingness in your practice, there is no need to explain. If it comes out of nothingness, whatever you do is natural, and that is true activity. You have the true joy of practice, the true joy of life in it.

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forget about yourself

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breathing and freedom::

Shunryu Suzuki:

“So it is absolutely necessary for everyone to believe in nothing. But I do not mean voidness. There is something, but that something is something which is always prepared for taking some particular form, and it has some rules, or theory, or truth in its activity. This is called Buddha nature, or Buddha himself. When this existence is personified we call it Buddha; when we understand it as the ultimate truth we call it Dharma; and when we accept the truth and act as a part of the Buddha, or according to the theory, we call ourselves Sangha. But even though there are three Buddha forms, it is one existence which has no form or color, and it is always ready to take form and color. This is not just theory.

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thus

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Billedresultat for lão giáo

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Dogen Genjokoan Verse 11 (TA translation):

Accordingly, in the practice-enlightenment of the buddha way, to attain one thing is to penetrate one thing; to meet one practice is to sustain one practice. 

Here is the place; here the way unfolds. The boundary of realization is not distinct, for the realization comes forth simultaneously with the mastery of buddha-dharma. Do not suppose that what you realize becomes your knowledge and is grasped by your intellect.

Although actualized immediately, the inconceivable may not be apparent. Its appearance is beyond your knowledge.

source

(see this post for Verses 9 and 10)

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direct your effort

breathing and freedom

breathing and freedom

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“If you are concentrated on your breathing you will forget yourself, and if you forget yourself you will be concentrated on your breathing. I do not know which is first.”

Shunryu Suzuki

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Our respiratory system is part of the involuntary nervous system and also of the voluntary nervous system. Therefore by breathing consciously with awareness we also affect our complete nervous system in a beneficial way. If our awareness is on our breathing there is no place for anything else and thus we experience relief from the hamster cage of our monkey mind. Continue reading

the urge to see

freedom from the urge to see

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What does this mean? The urge to see is the mind seeking security: the urge to know the future – what is coming. Also the urge to hold in the mind the true nature of this existence. But the mind must give up and drop in order for ‘seeing’ to be, for ‘seeing is being’. There cannot be a subject (the mind) who sees and an object (existence) that is seen. This statement is very confounding for the mind and can bring it to a kind of ’tilt’ state. There is nowhere our cognitive faculty can go from here. This may be what Zen means with the term “ichigyo zammai“.

This Japanese Zen term translates as “one practice samadhi”, meaning everything you do is performed with a sense of your complete body-mind. In this way fragmentation of consciousness, one of the main reasons for suffering, is reduced or eliminated. The present moment then opens up and you begin to taste the depth of this NOW. You no longer entertain the thought about the ‘next moment’. It is the discipline of no longer feeding thoughts that come from the accumulated past and project into a ‘future’ moment. Ramana says this about the state of jagrat-sushupti (waking state-deep sleep):


“There is the awareness of the waking state and the stillness of sleep. 
It is called jagrat-sushupti [waking sleep]. Call it wakeful sleep or sleeping wakefulness or sleepless waking or wakeless sleep. It is not the same as sleep or waking separately. It is atijagrat  [beyond wakefulness] or atisushupti [beyond sleep]. It is the state of perfect awareness and perfect stillness combined.  …

“The thoughts make all the difference between the stillness of sleep and the turmoil of waking.”

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Once there is there conviction that my true nature is freedom from thought, I no longer feed the thoughts that arise but let them play out their own dynamic without further interest. When my interest is on thoughts, my attention goes there and my energy feeds them. Then they are like seeds that sprout and grow and grow. I can then allow them to take me away from myself into interminable journeys that lead nowhere, but fascinate my mind. The alternative to following that fascination is to stop and endure the initial feeling of loss, or dullness and apathy. This is because the mind is being starved of its habitual food which is: I am the doer doing something, how wonderful!

There is sometimes a swath of boredom that assails the mind and suggests that it is nonsense to stop – there is nothing there to be found – give it up. This is the process of cutting through the Gordian Knot (chit-jada-granthi) and there is a certain kind of agony involved in the process. It can be swift and it can drag itself out over days or weeks in cycles going deeper and deeper. Once it is clear that the only way out of this delusional state is to gain more and more clarity then it is clear that all thoughts distort understanding. Only in the space free of attributes is real clarity and then it is free of words: it can only be ‘known’ as that which is one-without-a-second. Who, then, is there to tell about it?

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zen things

 

Living zen. this list kindof reminds me of myself. besides the cooking and cleaning part. i am so zen! (Check out www.zenbedrooms.com for the complete Zen experience.):

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Useful reminders ~

Another favorite of mine is the Japanese term: “ichigyo zammai”. This translates as “one practice samadhi”, meaning everything you do is performed with a sense of your complete body-mind. In this way fragmentation of consciousness, one of the main reasons for suffering, is reduced or eliminated. The present moment then opens up and you begin to taste the depth of this NOW. Lately I hear these words: “ichigyo zammai” first thing after waking. A good way to start the day!

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