The journey of a 1000 miles begins with a single step


The Fifth Precept is about health and healing

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“In modern life, people think that their body belongs to them and they can do anything they want to it. When they make such a determination, the law supports them. This is one of the manifestations of individualism. But, according to the teachings of emptiness, non-self, and interbeing, your body is not yours alone. It also belongs to your ancestors, your parents, future generations, and all other living beings. Everything, even the trees and the clouds, has come together to bring about the presence of your body. Keeping your body healthy is the best way to express your gratitude to the whole cosmos, to all ancestors, and also not to betray future generations. You practice this precept for everyone. If you are healthy, everyone can benefit from it. When you are able to get out of the shell of your small self, you will see that you are interrelated to everyone and everything, that your every act is linked with the whole of humankind and the whole cosmos. To keep yourself healthy in body and mind is to be kind to all beings. The Fifth Precept is about health and healing.”
🌻🌻Thich Nhat Hanh🌻🌻

One minute you are a Buddha, the next minute a sentient being

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Student: Sometimes I see my worldviews as illusions, and I feel wholeness. But then I become caught up again in separateness. What does it take to stop moving back and forth, to move from occasional moments of realization to constant realization?

Adyashanti: Dissolve the one who asks, “When will it go from moments of realization to constant realization?” Do you have a sense of the one who is asking that? It’s a particular movement of thought that is asking.

It’s all just a conceptual overlay. There is a saying in Zen: “One minute you are a Buddha, the next minute a sentient being.” Sometimes you are Buddha. Sometimes a sentient being. And it’s always Buddha because both are masks. Sentient being is a mask. Buddha is a mask, too. When the masks are dropped, both the sentient being and the Buddha are the same.

– Adyashanti, Emptiness Dancing p. 65

It all begins when we say, “I”

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It all begins when we say, “I”. Everything that follows is illusion.

Everyone imagines that their ego is something unchangeable, some immovable center-point which everything revolves around. There once was a man who said, “Look, everyone is dying except me!”

He’s been dead for a long time now.

– Kodo Sawaki, ‘To You’

Waking up from group stupidity

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What a shame to have been born a human being and to spend your whole life worrying. You should reach the point where you can be happy to have been born a human.

Birth, old age, sickness, and death – we can’t fool around with these ultimate facts.
Reality: getting a handle on this must be our goal. Don’t get stuck in categories.

It’s strange that not a single person seriously considers his own life. For ages, we’ve been carrying around something uncooked. And we comfort ourselves with the fact that it’s the same for the others too. That’s what I call group stupidity: thinking that we just have to be like the others.

Satori means creating your own life. It means waking up from group stupidity.

– Kodo Sawaki, ‘To you’

“Big Mind”

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Most of us identify with the thoughts and emotions generated by our localized biology and brain. This gives rise to the belief in a solitary self, or “me” surrounded by others, all of us subjectively experiencing life’s dramas.

In truth, your root awareness is what is called Buddha Nature, an expression of Buddha Consciousness. This Awareness is naturally calm, peaceful, loving and wise.

Shunryu Suzuki called this consciousness “Big Mind” and described it as being like the Mind of the Universe, like a unified ocean that exists simultaneously everywhere, as countless waves.

When we believe our individualised self (and others) to be real, we identify with the social and emotional dramas of humanity, rather than seeing all thoughts and emotions as temporary patterns of wave-like “little minds” arising within the larger field.

In truth (as Alan Watts pointed out) we are all expressions of the Universe, the One Mind playing these individual roles, like fictional dream characters in a Cosmic theatre.

To identify with your Buddha Nature (the timeless non-localised Ocean of Consciousness) is to see your life for what it is, within a Cosmic context.

When our minds are no longer drawn by the gravitational pull of false perceptions we begin to experience deep peace and true freedom.

Little “you” awakens by identifying with this larger mind (the background field of Universal Buddha Consciousness) rather than it’s local expression as separate individuals.

As Pema Chödrön put it, “You are the sky. Everything else – it’s just the weather.”

Begin by identifying with the field of energy and consciousness in your whole body, that begins at your toes, stretches up to your head, out to your fingers.

Can you sense how “you” are not the endless ego narrative, the thoughts and emotions floating within your body’s field of awareness, that “you” are something much larger?

Tao & Zen

Once You Know This – Alan Watts

Remember, you don’t meditate to “get” anything

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“Remember you don’t meditate to “get” anything, but to get “rid” of things. We do it not with desire but with letting go. If you “want” anything, you won’t find it.”
~Ajahn Chah

God dwells within you, as you. God dwells within me, as me

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“In the end, I’ve come to believe that there exists in the Universe something I call “The Physics of The Quest” — a force of nature governed by laws as real as the laws of gravity or momentum. And the rule of Quest Physics maybe goes like this: “If you are brave enough to leave behind everything familiar and comforting (which can be anything from your house to your bitter old resentments) and set out on a truth-seeking journey (either externally or internally), and if you are truly willing to regard everything that happens to you on that journey as a clue, and if you accept everyone you meet along the way as a teacher, and if you are prepared – most of all – to face (and forgive) some very difficult realities about yourself… then truth will not be withheld from you..”

― Elizabeth Gilbert,
Eat, Pray, Love

“God dwells within you, as you.
God dwells within me, as me.”

Photo: Gregory Colbert