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

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nowhere to escape

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“We have nowhere to escape.”

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Shunryu Suzuki:

 

“We have nowhere to escape. So in activity there should be calmness, and in calmness there should be activity. Calmness and activity are not different. Continue reading

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!

Continue reading

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!

Continue reading

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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how to zen

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.):

Useful reminder.

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!

Continue reading

life without cause

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There is really no way to express the sense of relief and of total relaxation that arises with the realization that all of life, all of existence is without cause. All anxiety and trepidation are based in the false perception that there is a primal cause to existence and to our life, your life, my life. It is a very deeply rooted taboo to express the view that all that we perceive and conceive of arises spontaneously out of nothing.

Of course it is mind-boggling to imagine that all of life, indeed the entire cosmos in its vastness, complexity and intrinsic order could be completely spontaneous. That nonetheless may be the case, as mysterious and miraculous as it sounds.

Many have contemplated the original and fundamental character of life and have come to their own realizations. Continue reading

wondrous being – zen

shin ku myo u pin::

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Everyone comes out from nothingness moment after moment.

Moment after moment we have true joy of life.

So we say shin ku myo u,

“from true emptiness,

the wondrous being appears.”

Shin is “true”; ku is “emptiness”; myo is “wondrous”;

u is “being” :

from true emptiness, wondrous being.

Shunryu Suzuki, Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind p.109

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my comments:

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watch the flashing – Zen

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My Comment:
I find another beautiful example of divine paradox in statements from two sages. One is Nisargadatta who says “You are without knowledge”, and the other is Shunryu Suzuki stating that If your mind is clear, true knowledge is already yours.” This seeming paradox is really only a different use of the term ‘knowledge’ within the context of these different, though closely related and complementary teachings. Nisargadatta speaks of knowledge as the sense of beingness, the “I Am”, and he speaks of this ‘knowledge’ as being a sort of overlay, a super-imposition, on the Absolute. This is due to the spontaneous “stirring of consciousness” that results in the sense of “I Am”. He uses the term ‘knowledge’ because only when consciousness stirs does the Absolute know Itself as consciousness. The statement “You are without knowledge” expresses the state of the Absolute, which has no awareness of Itself as the Absolute. We all are in actuality this Absolute that is in no way involved in all that happens in the domain of consciousness. When we allow ourselves to release our belief in the state of consciousness and “I Am” as our actual true nature, we are able to realize the Absolute as our true Self. We then realize that we never were born and do not die. We are not affected by all the forms that arise, exist for a while and then subside again within the realm of consciousness. A shift in our focus occurs such that we witness all that is happening in consciousness, but from the platform of the Absolute. Continue reading

do not lose yourself

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“If you do not lose yourself, then even though you have difficulty, there is actually no problem whatsoever. You just sit in the midst of the problem; when you are a part of the problem, or when the problem is a part of you, there is no problem, because you are the problem itself. The problem is you yourself. If this is so, there is no problem.

“When your life is always a part of your surroundings—in other words, when you are called back to yourself, in the present moment—then there is no problem. When you start to wander about in some delusion which is something apart from you yourself, then your surroundings are not real anymore, and your mind is not real anymore. If you yourself are deluded, then your surroundings are also a misty, foggy delusion. Once you are in the midst of delusion, there is no end to delusion. You will be involved in deluded ideas one after another. Most people live in delusion, involved in their problem, trying to solve their problem. But just to live is actually to live in problems. And to solve the problem is to be a part of it, to be one with it.”

Shunryu Suzuki, Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind, p. 82 Continue reading