The journey of a 1000 miles begins with a single step


Shunryu Suzuki: Beginner’s Mind




art work, om mani padme hum

Shunryu Suzuki: Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind

Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind is a book of teachings by the late Shunryu Suzuki, a compilation of talks given to his satellite Zen center in Los Altos, California. Published in 1970 by Weatherhill, the book is not academic. These are frank and direct transcriptions of Suzuki’s talks recorded by his student Marian Derby. Trudy Dixon and Richard Baker (Baker was Suzuki’s successor) edited the talks by choosing those most relevant, arranging them into chapters. According to some, it has become a spiritual classic, helping readers to steer clear from the trappings of intellectualism.

▶ Shunryu Suzuki: Beginner’s Mind – YouTube.

Trees do not preach learning and precepts, they preach, undeterred by particulars, the ancient law of life.

I must admit that Herman Hesse’s Siddhartha was one of the key books that introduced me to Buddhism.

For me, trees have always been the most penetrating preachers. I revere them when they live in tribes and families, in forests and groves. And even more I revere them when they stand alone.

They are like lonely persons. Not like hermits who have stolen away out of some weakness, but like great, solitary men, like Beethoven and Nietzsche.

In their highest boughs the world rustles, their roots rest in infinity; but they do not lose themselves there, they struggle with all the force of their lives for one thing only: to fulfill themselves according to their own laws, to build up their own form, to represent themselves. Nothing is holier, nothing is more exemplary than a beautiful, strong tree…

Trees are sanctuaries. Whoever knows how to speak to them, whoever knows how to listen to them, can learn the truth. They do not preach learning and precepts, they preach, undeterred by particulars, the ancient law of life.”

~Hermann Hesse

Source: Tao & Zen

Four Moments

Source: Four Moments | Great Middle Way


Feb 8, 2016

Hands-TogetherOur society has progressively exiled the four defining moments of our life experience: birth, disease, aging, and death.

We are born, are ill, and die mostly in hospitals, and the old live in institutional ‘homes’ or artificial aging communities, separated from their families due to geography or the dominant culture of age segregation.

We value youth and the appearance of health above all else, and attempt to avoid at all costs all contact with whatever reminds us of the precariousness of our lives. Specifically, the fear of illness and death has led us to separate ourselves from these experiences, as if ignoring them will postpone them indefinitely, or prevent them altogether.

The Dharma, however, invites us to contemplate these four moments and integrate them in our experience, because without them our view of life is narrow and shallow. Maintaining close contact with sick friends and family members, and cultivating a relationship of gratitude with our dead, are essential practices on the Buddhist path.

In the beginner’s mind

Shoshin (初心) is a concept in Zen Buddhism meaning “beginner’s mind.” It refers to having an attitude of openness, eagerness, and lack of preconceptions when studying a subject, even when studying at an advanced level, just as a beginner in that subject would. The term is especially used in the study of Zen Buddhism and Japanese martial arts.”

Text source:

Source: Tao & Zen

How Matthieu Ricard, the world’s happiest man, deals with worry, anger and stress

Source: How Matthieu Ricard, the world’s happiest man, deals with worry, anger and stress – Business Insider

Jan. 28, 2016,

Matthieu Ricard, a 69-year-old Tibetan Buddhist monk, has been called the “world’s happiest man.”

That’s because he participated in part of a 12-year brain study on meditation and compassion led by University of Wisconsin neuroscientist Richard Davidson. And Davidson found his brain waves and activity to be off the happiness charts.

In 2008, Davidson had a group of expert meditators (including Ricard) and a group of controls (people who were not experienced in meditation) meditate on compassion, he reported in Scientific American

Then he had them listen to the sounds of several stressed-out voices. Davidson found that two brain areas known to be involved in empathy showed more activity for the meditators than for the non-meditators, suggesting that people like Ricard have an enhanced ability to respond to the feelings of others and empathize without feeling overwhelmed.

He also noted that when he exposed Ricard to an outside stimulus meant to startle him — like an alarm going off unexpectedly or a stranger accosting you in the street —  while he was meditating, he was far less put-off by the stimulus compared with someone who was not meditating. 

So, how does the “world’s happiest man” feel happy all the time and get rid of anger and stress?

We spoke with Ricard at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland last Thursday. He says feeling happy comes down to being altruistic and benevolent. He also believes the mind can be trained to be happy through meditation.

And as for dealing with stress? Ricard says the key is let things go. 

Most things you think are problems aren’t actually problems

Continue reading:

How Matthieu Ricard, the world’s happiest man, deals with worry, anger and stress – Business Insider

The greatest illusion

“The greatest illusion in the world is the illusion of separation. “

Source: Bodhisattva Maitreya


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