The journey of a 1000 miles begins with a single step


Your thoughts can make you and the world around you suffer more or suffer less

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“You have a choice. Your thoughts can make you and the world around you suffer more or suffer less. If you want to create a more harmonious atmosphere in your workplace or community, don’t start by trying to change other people.

Your first priority should be to find your own quiet space inside so you can learn more about yourself. This includes getting to know and understand your own suffering.

When we get caught in negative thoughts and worries, it’s easy to create misunderstanding and anxiety. When we stop the thinking and calm our mind, we create more space and openness.

When you are attached to these views, to the idea of right and wrong, then you may get caught. Then you create misunderstanding, anger, and violence. That is what you are becoming in this very moment.

When you are mindful of this and can look deeply, you can produce thoughts that are full of love and understanding. You can make yourself and the world around you suffer less. You are not static. You are the life that you are becoming.”

~Thich Nhat Hanh

Tao & Zen

The Tao of Pooh

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“Yes,” said Piglet, “Rabbit’s clever.”
“And he has Brain.”
“Yes,” said Piglet, “Rabbit has Brain.”
There was a long silence.
“I suppose,” said Pooh, “that’s why he never understands anything.”
From the Tao of Pooh…

“Literally, Wu Wei 無爲 means ‘without doing, causing, or making.’ But practically speaking, it means without meddlesome, combative, or egotistical effort. When we learn to work with our own Inner Nature, and with the natural laws operating around us, we reach the level of wu wei.

Since the natural world follows that principle, it does not make mistakes. Mistakes are made — or imagined — by man, the creature with the overloaded brain who separates himself from the supporting network of natural laws by interfering and trying too hard.

When you work with wu wei, you put the round peg in the round hole and the square peg in the square hole. No stress, no struggle. Egotistical desire tries to force the round peg into the square hole and the square peg into the round hole.

Cleverness tries to devise craftier and craftier ways of making pegs fit where they don’t belong. Wu wei doesn’t try. It doesn’t think about it. It just does it. And when it does, it doesn’t appear to do much of anything. But things get done.

Or, in the words of Chuang-tzu, the mind of wu wei “flows like water, reflects like a mirror, and responds like an echo.”

Benjamin Hoff, The Tao of Pooh


Now that all thoughts have subsided
off I go, deep into the woods,
and pick me
a handful of shepherd’s purse.
Just like the stream
meandering through mossy crevices
I, too, hushed
become utterly clear.

– Ryokan

quoted in the book “The Longing In Between: Sacred Poetry From Around The World”

With thanks to Just Dharma Quotes

Do not be bothered by anything 

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When you are practicing Zazen, do not try to stop your thinking. Let it stop by itself. If something comes into your mind, let it come in, and let it go out. It will not stay long. When you try to stop your thinking, it means you are bothered by it. Do not be bothered by anything. It appears as if something comes from outside your mind, but actually it is only the waves of your mind, and if you are not bothered by the waves, gradually they will become calmer and calmer.

– Shunryu Suzuki

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

Think of nonthinking. How is this done?

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“Think of nonthinking. How is this done? By thinking beyond thinking and non-thinking. This is the very basis of zazen.”

Dogen-zenji (1200-53) (from Fukan zazen-gi)

American Zen

Meditation baggage

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Thich Nhat Hanh Philosophy & Practice

Knowing the truth

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When we know the truth, we become people who don’t have to think much, we become people with wisdom. If we don’t know, we have more thinking than wisdom or no wisdom at all. A lot of thinking without wisdom is extreme suffering.

– Ajahn Chah

Thinking is so tiresome

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  “Thinking is so tiresome,
Requiring so much energy
Solely for the purpose
Of reinforcing the notion
Of a thinker.
What a waste!
Stop thinking and
Merely watch
Everything being done
Without your interference.”
– Wu Hsin

Cultivating trust in simplicity

The quintessential teaching of the Buddha — the nature of mind — is difficult to understand, not because it is complicated but because of its unbearably naked quality. One common method for deciphering the truth is through commentaries, analysis, arguments, and research. But the more we try to decipher this simplicity through academic studies and intellectual analysis, the more we get sidetracked, deterred, or worse, we end up constructing very convincing concepts that we mistake for the simplicity itself. Therefore, one must work hard to accumulate merit. Accumulating merit is the one and only way to cultivate trust in simplicity. But many of us have to first convince ourselves that accumulation of merit works.

– Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche