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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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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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mind waves

 

“Because we enjoy all aspects of life as an unfolding of big mind, we do not care for any excessive joy. So we have imperturbable composure.”

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My Comment

This transcript of a dharma talk by the Zen Master Shunryu Suzuki is one of my favorites because it is so simple and down to earth. And yet it is food for much deep contemplation. Enjoy!

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we are the embodiment of truth

breathing and freedom

“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.

“This is not just the teaching of Buddhism. This is the absolutely necessary understanding of our life. Without this understanding our religion will not help us. We will be bound by our religion, and we will have more trouble because of it. If you become the victim of Buddhism, I may be very happy, but you will not be so happy. So this kind of understanding is very, very important.

“While you are practicing zazen, you may hear the rain dropping from the roof in the dark. Later, the wonderful mist will be coming through the big trees, and still later when people start to work, they will see the beautiful mountains.

“But some people will be annoyed if they hear the rain when they are lying in their beds in the morning, because they do not know that later they will see the beautiful sun rising from the east. If our mind is concentrated on ourselves we will have this kind of worry. But if we accept ourselves as the embodiment of the truth, or Buddha nature, we will have no worry. We will think, ‘Now it is raining, but we don’t know what will happen in the next moment. By the time we go out it may be a beautiful day, or a stormy day.  Since we don’t know, let’s appreciate the sound of the rain now.’

“This kind of attitude is the right attitude. If you understand yourself as a temporal embodiment of the truth, you will have no difficulty whatsoever. You will appreciate your surroundings, and you will appreciate yourself as a wonderful part of Buddha’s great activity, even in the midst of difficulties. This is our way of life.”

Source: Shunryu Suzuki, Zen Mind, Beginners Mind, p. 117, 118

My Comment:

Whatever concept we like that allows our mind to open up to the great mystery of that universal force which goes into form moment by moment in an infinitely intelligent way, is useful. Trust, faith, total functioning, adamantine particles, law of attraction, divine providence, etc. – all are equal. To see myself as Buddha nature that out of nothingness continues to arise as form as needed in each moment – this appeals to me today.

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Related Article: freedom and concentration – Shunryu Suzuki

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