Category: Zen


Zen-kus

Zen haikus from this amazing Tumblelog Terrace museTerrace muse

Cold mountain – Han Shan

Zen poetry at its finest…..Nature – best teacher

If there is peace in your heart

“If there is peace in your mind you will find peace with everybody. If your mind is agitated you will find agitation everywhere. So first find peace within and you will see this inner peace r…

Source: If there is peace in your heart

Do not encumber your mind with useless thoughts. What good is it to brood over the past and fret about the future? Dwell in the simplicity of the present moment. ~ Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche ~ Sojourners Path

via Dwell on the simplicity of the moment — Zen Flash

Awaken

tobiehewitt

Drink deeply from this life! Do not sit complacently, waiting for change to happen to you. Seek out change, even if it is a change in attitude or environment. Be mindful, meditate for five minutes, buy a new plant, decrease clutter, increase peaceful space. Awaken to the moment you are in and live expectantly for the next miracle to occur. Know that your purpose is to grow through this physical experience and to keep in awareness that you are essential spirit. Follow your passion and discover your joy. Namaste!

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Noticing simple things

Mindfulbalance

File:Flowingtap.jpg

By taking a moment to pay attention to something as simple as turning on the water tap, we give ourselves the opportunity to be aware of how things in our lives come, go, and transform, which makes us less likely to take them for granted.  Instead, we can, for even a moment, be awake to the transitory blessing they are.  And, certainly, we can carry this habit out into the larger world, applying it to whatever we find ourselves doing or encountering.

Turning on the Water:  Water flows from high mountain sources.

Water runs deep in the Earth.

Miraculously, water comes to us and sustains all life.

Thich Nhat Hanh

photo thegreenj

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Free from desire

Zen Flash


Free from desire, you realize the mystery. Caught in desire, you see only the manifestations.

–Tao Te Ching-

 

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Excerpts from :- How Meditation Can Help You Get Calm, Relaxed, Healthy & Happy.    http://www.thedailyzen.org/2012/02/4-informal-ways-to-meditate.html

1. By cultivating awareness, meditation can help you find peace in the present moment.  
In some forms of meditation, you practice non-judgmental awareness of the present moment by bringing your attention to the cycles of your breath. This centers you in the present moment whenever your mind wanders into the past or the future. By learning to keep the mind’s temporal pendulum in the center, you become mindful in every moment, even when you’re under pressure. Anxieties and traumas from the past begin to fade as you become more involved in the present and less fixated on the story of how you got here. Experiences that previously appeared dull and bland become textured and nuanced leading you to be more involved and interested in your life.
2. By bringing your mind into sharp focus, meditation can help you be your best.
In these forms of meditation, you keep yourself focused on a visualization, a chant, music, a person’s voice, a prayer, or some other object of attention. You may be instructed to imagine a desired future or re-contextualize past experiences.  After a short period of time you’ll, find yourself drawn into your focus and you’ll be effortlessly attentive. This state is very similar to a trance and is extremely useful for achieving specific goals like overcoming fears, becoming more productive, or letting go of dependencies. Many athletes and business-people practice this form of meditation without even realizing that they’re meditating. It can also be of great benefit for spiritual growth such as gaining greater compassion, acceptance, and universal love.
3. When you transcend your ego, meditation helps you discover yourself.
In these forms of meditation, the ideal outcome is to transcend the ego and intellect and directly experience a deeper, unbounded aspect of the self. …………………..Most techniques in this category use mantras (simple repetitive sounds), chosen for their calming effect and sometimes specifically tailored for the individual. Unlike the focus techniques, though, you’re not supposed to keep your mind fixated on the mantra, but rather go through a cycle of repeating it and letting it go; allowing the mind to follow the mantra into quieter states of consciousness.
4. When you control your breath, meditation energizes your body.
You may be surprised to know that some forms of meditation are supposed to energize the body and mind rather than calm it. When you hear someone say “exercise is my meditation,” this is what they are talking about. The runner’s high is a well known experience in which inner calm is combined with maximum performance. However, you don’t have to be an athlete to experience runner’s high and athletes could benefit greatly from refining it. The most common techniques for energizing the body revolve around breath control. In India, the subtle energy flow from the breath is called “prana.” In China, it’s referred to as “chi,” but whatever you call it the result is the same. The nervous system is stimulated and balanced leading to a feeling of flow. In this state, you feel tapped into a deeper source of energy; you’ll be less prone to injuries when you run and you’ll be able to move deeper into your yoga poses.

4 Informal Ways to Meditate

We sometimes think of meditation as being this rigid activity that must be performed under such and such circumstances.  Seated Zen practice is the ideal, but not the only option.  Meditation isn’t about sitting there and thinking you’re doing something important; it’s about detaching from thought and existing as purely as one can in the present moment.  

As you can imagine, this can be achieved in many activities.  In Zen monasteries, every menial day-to-day activities are attended to as means of meditation.  Monks ritually clean the floors, do their dishes, trim the bushes outside and rake the gardens.  There are a remarkable amount of meditative activities.  Here’s a very short list…

1.  Do the dishes.

“A monk asked Zhaozhou to teach him. Zhaozhou asked, “Have you eaten your meal?” The monk replied, “Yes, I have.” “Then go wash your bowl”, said Zhaozhou.  At that moment, the monk was enlightened.”

Living in a basic utilitarian apartment without space for a fancy dishwasher, my roommates and I share the responsibility of dish-washing.  I often find myself doing them as a form of meditation.  The repetition of an activity like cleaning a bowl or a utensil (which pile up to incredible heights over time, might I add) serves a similar purpose to counting the breath or repeating a mantra.  The whole point is just to practice mindfulness.  

2.  Walk.
Walking is akin to sitting with your eyes closed.  That sounds ridiculous, right? Not at all.  It’s been said that closed eyes are like a ‘movie screen for the ego’.  When you close your eyes and try to meditate for the first time, thoughts bombard you from every which way.  

Walking involves a similar level of constant stimulation.  As you walk, your field of view is constantly changing, and you have no choice but to pay attention to it.  Meditative walking involves treating the sights you come across as one treats thoughts in meditation.  Just let them pass naturally and don’t dwell.

3.  Clean your desk.
This is another highly productive meditative task.  Throw things away.  Sort papers.  Clean your keyboard.  Do some dusting.  Before long, you’ll find yourself fully immersed in these activities.  Your desk will also end up pretty damn clean.  

4.  Eat
I’ve discussed this before here.  Fully involve yourself with your food.  Stare at it.  Smell it.  Savor each bite.  This is preferably done in private, since you don’t want to be the strange person at the restaurant who looks like he’s about to make passionate love to his food.  

Modern culture teaches us to wolf food down in mass quantities without any appreciation or acknowledgement of what we’re eating.  Take a minute and meditate on the act of eating.  You’ll enjoy your food more, eat less compulsively, and find mindful tranquility in the process.

How we grow

Mindfulbalance

flower in rocks

The promise of being broken

and the possibility of being opened

are written into the contract of human life.

Elizabeth Lesser, Broken Open

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When you are grateful, you are happy

mindfulness…………gratitude

Zen Flash

“If you truly get in touch with a piece of carrot, you get in touch with the soil, the rain, the sunshine. You get in touch with Mother Earth and eating in such a way, you feel in touch with true life, your roots, and that is meditation. If we chew every morsel of our food in that way we become grateful and when you are grateful, you are happy.” — Thich Nhat Hanh

Spiritual Ecology

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Zen Flash

Don’t wish to become a future Buddha;
Your only concern should be,
As thought follows thought,
To avoid clinging to any of them.

~ Dogen ~

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Living the Quiet Life : zenhabits

Excerpt from Living the Quiet Life : zenhabits.By Leo Babauta

A lot of people who do an amazing amount of socializing online instead of in person — chatting and sending messages and tumbling and posting pictures and status updates. While I understand the need for social connection, I also recognize the addictiveness of it all, to the point where we have no quiet.Quiet space is incredibly important to me these days. I like my quiet mornings where I can drink a nice tea, meditate, write, as the day grows light and the kids are sleeping. I like quiet on my runs and long walks, so that I can process my ideas, give my thoughts some space, reflect on my life.The quiet space I allow myself has made possible my writing, but also all the improvements I’ve made to my life: healthier eating, the exercise habit, meditation, decluttering, procrastinating less, etc. Because the quiet space allows me to be more conscious about my actions, and gives me the time to consider whether what I’m doing is how I want to live my life.

And so, while I still socialize, I live a quieter life now. I have my quiet mornings of meditation, tea and writing, but also my nice runs, some time drinking tea or working out with a friend, alone time with my wife, reading with my kids, and some time alone with a good novel.

……..Today I wish the quiet life upon you.

Some ideas:

  • Create a little quiet space in the morning.
  • Meditate for 2 minutes a day (to start with). Just sit and put your attention on your breath, returning when your thoughts distract you.
  • When you feel the urge to socialize online, pause. Give yourself a little quiet instead.
  • When you feel the automatic urge to say Yes to an invitation, consider saying No instead, unless it’s something that will truly enrich your life.
  • Don’t take music on a run or walk. Instead, give yourself space with your thoughts.
  • When someone talks to you, instead of jumping in with something about yourself, just listen. Absorb. Reflect their thoughts back to them. Appreciate their beauty.
  • Make time for the people closest to you. One-on-one time is best. Really pay attention to them.
  • Make time for creating, with no distractions.
  • Spend some time decluttering, and creating peaceful space.
  • Create space between your automatic reaction, and your actions (or words). Even one second is enough. In that space, consider whether your reaction is appropriate.
  • Instead of rushing, take a breath, and slow down.
  • Pay attention to sensations of whatever you’re eating, drinking, doing.
  • Have a daily time for reflection.

You don’t have to do all of these, and certainly not all at once. A slow, happy progression is best.

In the quiet space that you create, in this world of noise and rushing and distraction, is a new world of reflection, peacefulness, and beauty. It’s a world of your own, and it’s worth living in.

sub rosa

In modern business institutions stress is framed as a personal problem, and mindfulness is offered as just the right medicine to help employees work more efficiently and calmly within toxic environments.

– Purser & Loy

I have been studying Mindfulness and practicing meditation for a few years. For a short while I also participated in a formal teacher training course. I find meditation in the Buddhist tradition very compelling, and very-very difficult. My mind is no good at keeping still. And maintaining a praxis on ones own is rather difficult. Still I try to sit – every day.

My favorite “online” teachers are: Pema Chödrön & Jack Kornfield. I also really like to listen to (and follow the guided meditations of) Tara Brach and Jon Kabat-Zinn. I find them all to be very serious in their work, and very well informed. I especially appreciate the combination of wisdom…

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