The journey of a 1000 miles begins with a single step

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Zen Garden

Zen Garden – YouTube.

 

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Intro to Zen Mind

Preliminaries

 

Awareness of impermanence and disgust with samsara

are the external preliminaries on the Noble Path.

They thoroughly dispel the preoccupation with ordinary life.

Compassion and ethical conduct are the special preliminaries.

They make advancement possible on the Great Vehicle of the Mahayana.

Therefore, at the beginning, cultivate these preliminaries.

—Longchenpa

Music to ease the suffering:

Leave your front door and your back door open

 Leave your front door and your back door open.Allow your thoughts to come and go.

Just don’t serve them tea.

Shunryu Suzuki

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Silence the angry man with love

The Pain of Separation: The Longing (4:47)

▶ The Pain of Separation The Longing – YouTube.

 

A moving narration by Llewellyn Vaughan Lee that places “The Pain of Separation” in a very interesting perspective. Please share this important message.

The essence of love and compassion

To my other dear friend E.

 

The essence of love and compassion is understanding, the ability to recognize the physical, material, and psychological suffering of others, to put ourselves “inside the skin” of the other. We “go inside” their body, feelings, and mental formations, and witness for ourselves their suffering.

Shallow observation as an outsider is not enough to see their suffering. We must become one with the subject of our observation. When we are in contact with another’s suffering, a feeling of compassion is born in us. Compassion means, literally, “to suffer with. So if we love someone, we should train in being able to listen. By listening with calm and understanding, we can ease the suffering of another person.

Training is needed in order to love properly; and to be able to give happiness and joy, you must practice DEEP LOOKING directed toward the other person you love. Because if you do not understand this person, you cannot love properly.

Understanding is the essence of love. If you cannot understand, you cannot love. That is the message of the Buddha.

~ Thich Nhat Hanh ~

Mindfulness

To my dear friend B.

 

Mindfulness – The Chinese character 念 is composed of two parts, the top 今 meaning “now; this” and bottom 心 signifying “heart; mind.” “Mindfulness is the quality and power of mind that is aware of what’s happening — without judgment and without interference. It is like a mirror that simply reflects whatever comes before it. It serves us in the humblest ways, keeping us connected to brushing our teeth or having a cup of tea. It keeps us connected to the people around us, so that we’re not simply rushing by them in the busyness of our lives.We can start the practice of mindfulness meditation with the simple observation and feeling of each breath. Breathing in, we know we’re breathing in; breathing out, we know we’re breathing out. It’s very simple, although not easy. After just a few breaths, we hop on trains of association, getting lost in plans, memories, judgments and fantasies.This habit of wandering mind is very strong, even though our reveries are often not pleasant and sometimes not even true. As Mark Twain so aptly put it, “Some of the worst things in my life never happened.” So we need to train our minds, coming back again and again to the breath, simply beginning again.

Slowly, though, our minds steady and we begin to experience some space of inner calm and peace. This environment of inner stillness makes possible a deeper investigation of our thoughts and emotions. What is a thought— that strange, ephemeral phenomenon that can so dominate our lives? When we look directly at a thought, we see that it is little more than nothing. Yet when it is unnoticed, it wields tremendous power.

Notice the difference between being lost in a thought and being mindful that we’re thinking. Becoming aware of the thought is like waking up from a dream or coming out of a movie theater after being absorbed in the story. Through mindfulness, we gradually awaken from the movies of our minds.”

~ Joseph Goldstein ~

Tao & Zen

The Story of the Chinese Farmer (2:20)

▶ The Story of the Chinese Farmer – YouTube.

A parable about life and nature narrated by Alan Watts, animated by Steve Agnos, and with music by Chris Zabriskie.

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