The journey of a 1000 miles begins with a single step

Mind

Don’t focus on it

If, as in a dream, you see a light brighter than the sun, your remaining attachments will suddenly come to an end and the nature of reality will be revealed. Such an occurrence serves as the basis for enlightenment. But this is something only you know. You can’t explain it to others.

Or if, while you’re walking, standing, sitting, or lying in a quiet grove, you see a light, regardless of whether it’s bright or dim, don’t tell others and don’t focus on it. It’s the light of your own nature.

Of if, while you’re walking, standing, sitting, or lying in the stillness and darkness of night, everything appears as though in daylight, don’t be startled. It’s your own mind about to reveal itself.

Or if, while you’re dreaming at night, you see the moon and stars in all their clarity, it means the workings of your mind are about to end. But don’t tell others.

– Bodhidharma

With thanks to Just Dharma Quotes

Advertisements

Instead of gathering knowledge, you should clear your mind

Our understanding of Buddhism should not be just gathering many pieces of information, seeking to gain knowledge. Instead of gathering knowledge, you should clear your mind. If your mind is clear, true knowledge is already yours. When you listen to our teaching with a pure, clear mind, you accept it as if you were hearing something which you already knew.

– Shunryu Suzuki

from the book “Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind”


The Nature of Mind

Image may contain: 1 person

No words can describe it
No example can point to it
Samsara does not make it worse
Nirvana does not make it better
It has never been born
It has never ceased
It has never been liberated
It has never been deluded
It has never existed
It has never been nonexistent
It has no limits at all
It does not fall into any kind of category.

~ Dudjom Rinpoch

Nyingma Masters


The three fires of destruction

A Meditative Life – The Saddhamma of Gotama the Buddha


Purification

Source: Purification | Great Middle Way

Dec 25, 2018

Tibetan_English_0012_clip_image004

The ground of purification is the universal-ground primordial awareness that is like the sky, the object of purification is the incidental stains that are like clouds, the purifying agent is the truth of the path that is like a relentless wind, and the result of purification is the separated result that is like the sky free of clouds.

—Dolpopa Sherab Gyaltsen, The Fourth Council


We are all one mind

Image may contain: 2 people, people sitting

Ram Dass has shared a story of a young woman who told him, “My family hates when I’m a Buddhist but loves when I’m a Buddha.” In other words, it’s not what religion we identify ourselves with that matters, but how we think, feel and keep our hearts open with others that matters most.

In my experience, it’s often beneficial to not identify too strongly with any group or “ism”… When I identify my self as a Buddhist then a non-Buddhist becomes “the other” – and there’s an immediate wall of separation- us/them, me/you.

The same is true for anyone who identifies strongly with being a Christian, Muslim, Hindu or Jew while failing to apply the deepest wisdom and compassion of those traditions.

More important than identification with a religion is to live the teachings― to focus on being peaceful, loving, joyful, generous, grateful, mindful and kind. To “be the change,” as Gandhi put it, transcending the conceptual categories and divisions in our heads.

Simplifying our sense of identity, being with people fully, sometimes silently (knowing in our hearts that we are all part of one unified reality) is transformative. Giving everyone you meet your undivided love and attention― as small children often do― is one of the greatest gifts we can share with ourselves and the world (which were never really separate in the first place).

By focusing on the interdependence, unity and connectedness that was always there from the beginning, the “problem” of self/other is not so much solved, as dissolved and transcended.

~Christopher Chase
Tao & Zen​

Being a Buddha: Transcending the Sense of Self/Other https://creativesystemsthinking.wordpress.com/2014/08/13/being-a-buddha-transcending-the-idea-of-selfother/


The Essential Points of Mahamudra, Dzogchen, and the Middle Way

Hey, hey, lucky students, diligent, faithful and smart,
Take a look at mind’s nature –
simplicity unborn
When reference points and signs dissolve in certainty
Don’t strive, strain, or stop, just relax naturally

Look nakedly at the inexpressible –
Mind’s basic nature, bliss and emptiness
Relaxed, at ease, fixation-free,
All that binds is free in bliss-emptiness
Within this clear light, the dharmadhatu,
Take a look at the play of unborn mind
Mind’s play manifests as appearance-emptiness

Pure awareness, from beginningless time,
Naturally present, transcending mind –
Thoughts that this view is best dissolve naturally
When we realize mind’s reality.
Then tingles of light and rainbows can shine
But since we don’t think they’re real, these
dzogchenpas are fine!

– Khenpo Tsultrim Rinpoche

Just Dharma Quotes


Nothing outside yourself can cause any trouble

Image may contain: one or more people, people sitting, table and indoor

Nothing comes from outside your mind. Usually we think of our mind as receiving impressions and experiences from outside, but that is not a true understanding of our mind. The true understanding is that the mind includes everything; when you think something comes from outside it means only that something appears in your mind. Nothing outside yourself can cause any trouble. You yourself make the waves in your mind. If you leave your mind as it is, it will become calm. This mind is called big mind.

– Shunryu Suzuki

from the book “Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind”


How A Fourth-Century Taoist Concept is Treating Anxiety

Source link

Waking Times

Derek Beres, Big Think
October 25, 2018

 

While the Tao Te Ching is not one of the world’s most discussed religious texts, at least relative to the amount of attention the Bible, Quran, and Buddhist and Hindu doctrines receive, Laozi’s slim volume of instructions has massively influenced how we think about Eastern philosophy. The basis of Taoism is embedded in his series of short and punchy ideas that are rooted in, at times, paradoxical thinking.

Consider one of his most famous aphorisms: “The Tao does nothing, and yet nothing is left undone.” The ‘nothing’ is wu-wei, often translated as ‘non-action.’ One translation of Taoist ideas, Tao: The Watercourse Way, written by British philosopher Alan Watts and Chinese philosopher Chungliang Al Huang in 1975, state that the concept should not “be considered inertia, laziness, laissez-faire, or mere passivity.”

The Fine Art of Non-Doing

As with those who believe meditation is ‘doing nothing,’ wu-wei is not an easily graspable concept when approached from a mindset of constant action, i.e. the perpetual distraction our brains (and by extension, technology) afford us. Rather, the idea is to not battle yourself to, at times, let the course of life have its way with us. As the authors put it:

Wu-wei as ‘not forcing’ is what we mean by going with the grain, rolling with the punch, swimming with the current, trimming sails to the wind, taking the tide at its flood, and stooping to conquer.

They compare the practice to judo and aikido, two martial arts that teach seasoned practitioners to use their opponent’s force against themselves. By waiting for the challenger to overextend himself, you exploit their exertion and use his body weight to overthrow him. To accomplish this, you need to maintain calm and composure in the midst of potential violence and chaos.

Obsession with Overthinking

Which is why Nick Hobson, a research psychologist and lecturer at the University of Toronto, recently suggested implementing wu-wei as an antidote to our rising rates of anxiety and depression. Instead of pinpointing a singular cause for our growing dissatisfaction with our lives, he points out the reasons are myriad: smartphones, sleep deprivation, a lack of meaningful social connection, and not enough movement. He doesn’t mention diet, though plenty of research implicates bad eating habits as well.

While the causes are many, Hobson points to our penchant for overanalyzing every situation as the elephant in the mind. Instead of holism, a cognitive trait he associates with Eastern psychology, we choose the trees over the forest, leading to an obsession with overthinking.

This stark cultural difference has been confirmed by thinkers like social psychologist Richard Nisbett, who devoted an entire book to the topic. One of the most revealing instances involves the ways in which Easterners and Westerners—these terms are generic and broad, but serve to supply a bit of yin to our yang, at least as a metaphor–view art. Americans seek out a subject, an overarching detail that exemplifies the ‘purpose’ of the painting. Asians, by contrast, seek to understand the relationship between everything in the scene. Their focus is more on interdependence than independence.

Triad Test

Hobson uses the ‘triad test’ to make this point:

Suppose you’re presented with a dog, a rabbit, and a carrot, and then asked which two belong together. The analytic thinker chooses the dog and rabbit because both satisfy the internally held rule of ‘animal category.’ The holistic thinker, on the other hand, chooses the rabbit and carrot because of the interconnected and functional relationship between the two: A rabbit eats carrots.

Western ‘rule-based reasoning’ leads us to believe every problem has a solution. Research in cognition and narrative has shown that when we aren’t offered a resolution to a story, we’ll invent one, often to our detriment—your partner is cheating on you if they haven’t texted, while the reality is anything but. When we’re not provided an answer, we tend to overanalyze the situation, heaping anxiety upon anxiety.

Two Ways to Find Calm in the Chaos

Which is why Hobson suggests two Laozi-era practices to calm our overactive imaginations. Wu-wei is the first, which he says means “we shouldn’t hurry to action.” While he prescribes “to not do anything at all,” which is slightly different from Watts’s and Al Huang’s translation, Hobson recommends an “intuitive style of thinking” to chill our over-analyzing minds. Meditation and visualization exercises are two ways of rerouting our mental habits.

The second involves dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), an evidence-based therapy created by Dr. Marsha Linehan. Among its many applications, it is designed to promote skills for cultivating “mindfulness, emotion regulation, distress tolerance, and interpersonal effectiveness.”

To make this connection, Hobson points to Taoism’s great export, the yin-yang symbol, which denotes mutual dependence exists in everything. Hobson continues:

Two things can be mutually opposed, and at the same time, mutually connected. You can be, for example, in an anxious state and still have perfect control of your situation and your life. Thinking in this way allows a person to tolerate contradictions and to accept the uncertainties that inevitably present themselves.

Hobson writes that DBT has proven more effective than cognitive behavioral therapy (Linehan considers DBT a form of CBT) and pharmacological interventions. The goal is to make incremental changes by admitting that:

a) not everything is going to be exactly how you want it, and that’s okay, b) certain changes will have to be implemented, so practice those changes, and c) recognize that life is worth living. In the balance between states that afflict those suffering from psychological disorders—complete control and lack of control—an emotionally salient mindset can be achieved.

Breaking Free

Not that any of this is easy, but as Hobson mentions, neuroplasticity is a real phenomenon. Seeing the landscape instead of the singular figure walking through it is essential for breaking free of isolationism and the overwhelming burden of anxiety. As Watts and Al Huang phrased it:

Is a long life such a good thing if it is lived in daily dread or in constant search for satisfaction in a tomorrow which never comes?

We all intuitively know the answer. Putting that intuition into action, ironically through a bit of non-action, might just be an important key to healing our anxious minds.

Source: How A Fourth-Century Taoist Concept is Treating Anxiety


This stream of enlightened mind

No automatic alt text available.

All the water and drink you’ve consumed
From beginningless time until now
Has failed to satisfy your thirst or bring you contentment.
Drink therefore of this stream
Of enlightened mind, Fortunate Ones.

– Milarepa

from the book “Drinking the Mountain Stream: Songs of Tibet’s Beloved Saint, Milarepa”