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Posts Tagged ‘zen buddhist’

naked GIRL

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This world has no marks, signs, or evidence of existence, nor the noises in it, like accident of wind or voices or heehawing animals, yet listen closely the eternal hush of silence goes on and on throughout all this, and has been gong on, and will go on and on. This is because the world is nothing but a dream and is just thought of and the everlasting eternity pays no attention to it. At night under the moon, or in a quiet room, hush now, the secret music of the Unborn goes on and on, beyond conception, awake beyond existence. Properly speaking, awake is not really awake because the golden eternity never went to sleep; you can tell by the constant sound of Silence which cuts through this world like a magic diamond through the trick of your not realizing that your mind caused the world.

The Scripture of the Golden Eternity
By Jack Kerouac

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There is a lot of great media out there on the Zen Master Seung Sahn and his sangha. I enjoyed this little documentary. Some teaching, some delightful little interviews and a look at a transmission ceremony. Even a little bit of dharma combat!

 

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eggplantZazen is a humbling practice. The longer I have practiced the more clearly I can see my mind at work. The more clearly I see my mind at work, the more ashamed I feel.

For the last few months I sit for two 35 minute periods at night. Initially it was a badge of honor. “Look at me… I can sit for so long, I’m so dedicated, I’m awesome.” But as I have slowly grown more still and aware, I can’t help but lose that pride. The “better” I get at zazen, the “worse” I realize I am at it. I move too much, I lose count of my breath too often, I entertain daydreams for long periods of time before returning, I rarely count all the way to ten.

Recently, I find myself deeply attached to the joyous and grand feelings I get when I sit. Zazen brings such intoxicating feelings of tranquility it is hard not to get attached. But the longer I examine my mind, the more I see the grasping for a trance like state rather than the clarity and awakening I intend to cultivate.

I can’t help but be ashamed. How have I practiced so diligently and failed so badly at being the perfect meditator my ego craves to be?

Silliness. With some distance, I can see the practical nature of what is happening. I am reminded of when I learned how to play the guitar. At first I played endlessly without a care in the world, barely tuning the strings. After a while I started hearing the disharmony and paid more attention to tuning the instrument. But for a long period of time I had enough of an ear to hear the out of tune strings and not enough skill to tune the whole instrument. Like the awkward growing pains of a teenager I’m struggling to more finally tune my zazen. This is my practice.

I read a poem after zazen tonight.

In this world
there are certain forms
which bring welcome thoughts to mind.
The eggplant serves as
a symbol of happiness.

 – Otagaki Rengetsu (circa 1855)

Eggplant holds a special place in my family’s story. My heart swells with fond memories of many meals spent eating eggplant parm as a family. The family dynamic is a little different now, but the love is still there, even if our tables are in four different states.

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