The journey of a 1000 miles begins with a single step

Zen

Whatever you resist you become

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“Whatever you resist you become. If you resist anger, you are always angry. If you resist sadness, you are always sad. If you resist suffering, you are always suffering. If you resist confusion, you are always confused. We think that we resist certain states because they are there, but actually, they are there because we resist them.”

― Adyashanti

Artist: Daniel Vazquez


Yes, there is tremendous suffering all over the world, but knowing this need not paralyze us

Image may contain: 1 person, text that says '"Working in mindfulness, we try our best to help, and we can have peace in our heart."'

“Yes, there is tremendous suffering all over the world, but knowing this need not paralyze us. If we practice mindful breathing, mindful walking, mindful sitting, and working in mindfulness, we try our best to help, and we can have peace in our heart.

Worrying does not accomplish anything. Even if you worry twenty times more, it will not change the situation of the world. In fact, your anxiety will only make things worse.

Even though things are not as we would like, we can still be content, knowing we are trying our best and will continue to do so. If we don’t know how to breathe, smile, and live every moment of our life deeply, we will never be able to help anyone.”

~Thich Nhat Hanh


There’s no need to become a buddha! Now is simply now.

You want to become a buddha? There’s no need to become a buddha! Now is simply now. You are simply you. And tell me, since you want to leave the place where you are, where is it exactly you want to go?

We don’t practice in order to get satori. It’s satori that pulls our practice. We practice, being dragged all over by satori.
You don’t seek the way. The way seeks you.

You study, you do sports, and you’re fixated on satori and illusion. So that even zazen becomes a marathon for you, with satori as the finish line. Yet because you’re trying to grab it, you’re missing it completely. Only when you stop meddling like this does your original, cosmic nature realizes itself.

You say you’re seeking the way, but what does it mean if you’re seeking the way just to satisfy yourself?

Zazen means just sitting without even thinking of becoming buddha.

We don’t achieve satori through practice: practice is satori. Each and every step is the goal.

– Kodo Sawaki, To You

Zen Master Kusan Sunim


Water and fish

Image may contain: text that says 'Water which is too pure, has no fish. -Zen proverb-'

Zen Mindfulness.


Remaining even-minded

The more we watch our mind and see what it does to us and for us, the more we will be inclined to take good care of it and treat it with respect. One of the biggest mistakes we can make is taking the mind for granted. The mind has the capacity to create good and also evil for us, and only when we are able to remain happy and even-minded no matter what conditions are arising, only then can we say that we have gained a little control. Until then we are out of control and our thoughts are our master.

– Ayya Khema

With thanks to Just Dharma Quotes


Song of Zazen

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All beings by nature are Buddha, As ice by nature is water.
Apart from water, there is no ice;
Apart from beings, no Buddha.
How sad that people ignore the near
And search for truth afar:
Like someone in the midst of water
Crying out in thirst,
Like a child of a wealthy home
Wandering among the poor.
Lost on dark paths of ignorance,
We wander through the Six Worlds,
From dark path to dark path–
When shall we be freed from birth and death?
Oh, the zazen of the Mahayana!
To this the highest praise!
Devotion, repentance, training,
The many paramitas–
All have their source in zazen.
Those who try zazen even once
Wipe away beginning-less crimes.
Where are all the dark paths then?
The Pure Land itself is near.
Those who hear this truth even once
And listen with a grateful heart,
Treasuring it, revering it,
Gain blessings without end.
Much more, those who turn about
And bear witness to self-nature,
Self-nature that is no-nature,
Go far beyond mere doctrine.
Here effect and cause are the same,
The Way is neither two nor three.
With form that is no-form,
Going and coming, we are never astray,
With thought that is no-thought,
Singing and dancing are the voice of the Law.
Boundless and free is the sky of Samádhi!
Bright the full moon of wisdom!
Truly, is anything missing now?
Nirvana is right here, before our eyes,
This very place is the Lotus Land,
This very body, the Buddha.
– Hakuin


Don’t move

Don’t move. Just die over and over. Don’t anticipate. Nothing can save you now because you have only this moment. Not even enlightenment will help you now because there are no other moments. With no future, be true to yourself and express yourself fully. Don’t move.

– Shunryu Suzuki

quoted in the book “365 Nirvana Here and Now: Living Every Moment in Enlightenment”

With thanks to Gems of Wisdom – Zen Tradition


Treat every moment as your last

Image may contain: 1 person, sitting, text that says '"Treat every moment as your last. It is not preparation for somehing Shunryu Suzuki-'

Thich Nhat Hanh Philosophy & Practice


Meditation posture

Sit on a cushion in a manner as comfortable as possible, wearing loose clothing. Hold your body straight without leaning to the left or the right, forward or backward. Your ears should be in a line with your shoulders, and nose in a straight line with your navel. Keep the tongue at the roof of the mouth and close your lips. Eyes are slightly open, and breathing is quiet through the nostrils.

– Dogen Zenji

from the book “Buddhism and Zen”

Just Dharma Quotes

The purpose of studying buddhism

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The purpose of studying Buddhism is not to study Buddhism but to study ourselves. It is impossible to study ourselves without some teaching… We need some teaching, but just by studying the teaching alone, it is impossible to know what ‘I’ in myself am. Through the teaching we may understand our human nature. But the teaching is not we ourselves; it is some explanation of ourselves. So if you are attached to the teaching, or to the teacher, you should leave the teacher, and you should be independent. You need a teacher so that you can become independent. If you are not attached to him[her], the teacher will show you the way to yourself.– Shunryu Suzuki

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


Practicing with Strong Emotions

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When you touch a hot stove, as soon as you become aware of the pain, you immediately pull your hand away. You don’t let it rest on the burner in order to explore the pain. In the same way, we stay present with strong emotion only very briefly at first. The instruction is: short moments again and again. Rather than trying to endure prolonged exposure to intense feeling, we touch in for only two or three seconds, then pause and breathe gently before touching in again. Or we might simply stay with the troubling feeling for five or six minutes and then go on with our day, more in touch with our emotions and, therefore, less likely to be dragged around by them.

– Pema Chödron

from the book “Living Beautifully with Uncertainty and Change”

Just Dharma Quotes


SACRAL CHAKRA HEALING with Hang Drum Music


Stop being a glass. Become a lake

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An aging master grew tired of his apprentice’s complaints. One morning, he sent him to get some salt. When the apprentice returned, the master told him to mix a handful of salt in a glass of water and then drink it.

“How does it taste?” the master asked.

“Bitter,” said the apprentice.

The master chuckled and then asked the young man to take the same handful of salt and put it in the lake. The two walked in silence to the nearby lake and once the apprentice swirled his handful of salt in the water, the old man said, “Now drink from the lake.”

As the water dripped down the young man’s chin, the master asked, “How does it taste?”

“Fresh,” remarked the apprentice.

“Do you taste the salt?” asked the master.

“No,” said the young man. At this the master sat beside this serious young man, and explained softly,

“The pain of life is pure salt; no more, no less. The amount of pain in life remains exactly the same. However, the amount of bitterness we taste depends on the container we put the pain in. So when you are in pain, the only thing you can do is to enlarge your sense of things. Stop being a glass. Become a lake.”


Opening up our small mind

If you want to obtain perfect calmness in your zazen [meditation], you should not be bothered by the various images you find in your mind. Let them come, and let them go. Then they will be under control. But this policy is not so easy. It sounds easy, but it requires some special effort. How to make this kind of effort is the secret of practice. Suppose you are sitting under some extraordinary circumstances. If you try to calm your mind you will be unable to sit, and if you try not to be disturbed, your effort will not be the right effort. The only effort that will help you is to count your breathing or to concentrate on your inhaling and exhaling. We say concentration, but to concentrate your mind on something is not the true purpose of Zen. The true purpose is to see things as they are, to observe things as they are, and to let everything go as it goes. This is to put everything under control in its widest sense. Zen practice is to open up our small mind. So concentrating is just an aid to help you realize “big mind,” or the mind that is everything.

– Shunryu Suzuki

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

Gems of Wisdom – Zen Tradition

Bardo meditation music


What is mind?

Image may contain: flower, text that says 'What is this mind? Who is hearing these sounds? Do not mistake any state for self-realization, But continue to ask yourself even more intensely, What is it that hears? Who is hearing? Your physical being doesn' 't hear, Nor does the void, Then what does? Strive to find out. Put aside your rational intellect, Give up all techniques, Just get rid of the notion of self. Bassui Tokusho- Rinzai Zen Master 1327-1387'

Zen Mindfulness.


Zen is not a particular state but the normal state

Zen is not a particular state but the normal state: silent, peaceful, unagitated. In Zazen neither intention, analysis, specific effort nor imagination take place. It’s enough just to be without hypocrisy, dogmatism, arrogance — embracing all opposites.

– Taisen Deshimaru


Our scales

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When we analyze our experience, we have ideas of time or space, big or small, heavy or light. A scale of some kind is necessary, and with various scales in our mind, we experience things. Still the thing itself has no scale. That is something we add to reality. Because we always use a scale and depend on it so much, we think the scale really exists. But it doesn’t exist. If it did, it would exist with things. Using a scale you can analyze one reality into entities, big and small, but as soon as we conceptualize something it is already a dead experience.

We “empty” ideas of big or small, good or bad from our experience, because the measurement that we use is usually based on the self. When we say good or bad, the scale is yourself. That scale is not always the same. Each person has a scale that is different. So I don’t say that the scale is always wrong, but we are liable to use our selfish scale when we analyze, or when we have an idea about something. That selfish part should be empty. How we empty that part is to practice zazen and become more accustomed to accepting things as it is without any idea of big or small, good or bad.

– Shunryu Suzuki

from the book “Not Always So: Practicing the True Spirit of Zen”


Many paths

Image may contain: text that says 'Many paths lead from The foot of the mountain, But at the peak We all gaze at the Single bright moon. Ikkyu'

Gems of Wisdom – Zen Tradition


Becoming unstuck

We hear a lot about the pain of samsara, and we also hear about liberation. But we don’t hear much about how painful it is to go from being completely stuck to becoming unstuck. The process of becoming unstuck requires tremendous bravery, because basically we are completely changing our way of perceiving reality, like changing our DNA. We are undoing a pattern that is not just our pattern. It’s the human pattern.

– Pema Chödron

from the book “When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times”

With thanks to Just Dharma Quotes


All the visible Universe is the Buddha

Image may contain: one or more people and outdoor, text that says 'Come to know the nature of your own Mind, in which there is no self and no no other... Huang Po'

“All the visible Universe is the Buddha; so are all sounds; hold fast to one principle and all the others are Identical. On seeing one thing, you see ALL. On perceiving any individual’s mind, you are perceiving ALL Mind.. When your glance falls upon a grain of dust, what you see is identical with all the vast world systems with their great rivers and mighty hills. To gaze upon a drop of water is to behold the nature of all the waters of the Universe. Only come to know the nature of your own Mind, in which there is no self and no other, and you will in fact be a Buddha.”

~Huang Po~

Too Lazy To Be Ambitious

Too lazy to be ambitious,
I let the world take care of itself.
Ten days’ worth of rice in my bag;
a bundle of twigs by the fireplace.
Why chatter about delusion and enlightenment?
Listening to the night rain on my roof,
I sit comfortably, with both legs stretched out.
Ryokan

When the wind blows, the grasses bend

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“The ultimate Way is simple and easy, yet profoundly deep. From the beginning it does not set up steps. Penetrate directly through to freedom and make it so that there is not the slightest obstruction at any time, twenty-four hours a day, with the realization pervading in all directions.

Then your heart will be clear, comprehending the present and the past. Picking up a blade of grass, you can use it for the body of Buddha; taking the body of the Buddha, you can use it as a blade of grass. From the first there is no superiority or inferiority, no grasping or rejection.

When your insight penetrates freely and its application is clear, then even in the middle of complexity and complication, you yourself can move freely without sticking or lingering anywhere. Thus, without setting up any rigid views or maintaining any state, respond freely: “when the wind blows, the grasses bend.”

~Yuan-wu (1063-1135)
“The Five Houses of Zen”

Tao & Zen


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