Meditation Point #79

Sensei Posted in A Zen Thing
0

Nothing will work unless you do.
– – Maya Angelou
This is my new favorite quote.

Meditation Point #78

Sensei Posted in A Zen Thing
0

One day, while addressing a crowd, the popular Zen master Bankei was being heckled by a Nichiren Buddhist priest. The priest was yelling out, “I don’t understand a single word you’re saying!”
Bankei called out and said, “Come closer and I’ll explain it.”
The priest walked closer in the midst of the crowd. Bankei said, “No, come closer.”
The priest edged closer, and Bankei said, “No, closer still,” until finally the priest was right next to Bankei. And Bankei said: “Ah, look! How well you understand me!”
This Zen story is a good example of perspective reasoning. To often we judge things we are asked to do or to understand yet we refuse to try. Instead we play the three monkey’s and hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil. In this state our horizons can never expand, our experiences never enrich, our ethos never evolve. This is a sad state because if we simply unblock our eyes and ears we can begin to learn to test our beliefs and knowledge. For in the testing of the knowledge is growth for this is the path to truth. Like the priest we must sometimes be distracted and move from our vantage point were we defensively judge to preserve our current stance.
When we train we often encounter difficulties or tasks that seem foreign or “wrong”. But with experience we discover that our approach was wrong and it was our perspective that kept us from seeing this. When you have difficulty in your training clear your mind, breath deeply and experience your training without prejudice and opinion. Only then can you let your body find a new way. Like I tell my students, Stop Thinking! and Do!!

Meditation Point #77

Sensei Posted in A Zen Thing
0

Abjure the why and seek the how.
– – Sir Richard Francis Burton
To often we get caught up in our thoughts and dreams never to live them. Or so it seems. This meditation point is a call to action! Stop talking and thinking about your dreams and work towards them. Sounds easy but it is much harder then that. Seek the how…find the way, the path to your perfection, this is more important then the why for in attaining the how you will have found the why…

Meditation Point #76

Sensei Posted in A Zen Thing
0

Ours is the age that is proud of machines that think and suspicious of men who try to.
H. Mumford Jones
US critic & educator (1892 – 1980)
No real thoughts on this one it just struck me as intuitive.

Meditation Point #75

Sensei Posted in A Zen Thing
0

A vigorous five-mile walk will do more for an unhappy but otherwise healthy adult then all the medicine and psychology in the world.
— Paul Dudley White, M.D.
Think about it…while you are walking of course!

Meditation Point #74

Sensei Posted in A Zen Thing
0

How can you come to know yourself? Never by thinking, always by doing. Try to do your duty, and you’ll know right away what you amount to. And what is your duty? Whatever the day calls for.
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
I like this particular meditation point as I think of it when I hear people talk of what they would do in a certain situation. We love to talk of others with an air of judgement, If I had been in that situation… they will begin and of course their way is always better. This meditation point reminds me that we never truly know what we are capable or incapable of until we try. The act of trying is only reached when we stop talking and do something! Unfortunately most people would rather talk then do it is so much safer. For after all we might find we don’t like the person we really are, for in action is irrevocable proof of our mettle. What people forget is that if we do not like what we see or find when we test ourselves through action, we can always try again and work to become the person we want to be. Both require action, doing, trying but above all introspection. I like this particular meditation point because it is real. Do something and see for yourself!

Meditation Point #73

Sensei Posted in A Zen Thing
0

The best things in life are nearest. Breath in your nostrils, light in your eyes, flowers at your feet, duties at your hand, the path of right just before you.
– – Robert Louis Stevenson
Why is it that we so often forget that which is near for that which is far off? Perhaps it is our desire to explore and pursue the unknown, more often it is the desire to have that which we do not. Thus is the human condition. If you stop looking at what is nearest to you; you will often trip over it. Then you will look at it like it is new and wonder at the treasure you have just found! Usually the tripping is some illness or tragic event. The problem with this type of discovery is often what we have found no longer is ours to claim, to long left unattended.
This lesson is most dramatically illustrated in the physical world. Did you know that your body can forget basic functions like eating or walking or going to the bathroom? It is true, don’t ask how I know. The body can even forget to heal a wound if it is left in an injured state for to long. So if this is true for basic life/body functions why do we always assume that which we cherish can be taken for granted and still be ours tomorrow? By now most of you probably think I am talking about love. While everything said definitely applies to love I was actually talking about our bodies and minds. To often and to easily people put off exercise or mental work for another time. Some would call this lazy however the problem is far to wide spread to label the majority of people lazy for they are not. I think it is a function of our extremely busy lives. Most of us work very hard and typically long hours to make ends meat. Then we get caught up in the myriad of activities our families and ourselves are involved in. That leave precious few moments to “relax”. And this non-active activity based lifestyle drains us. So what do we do? We eat to much, sleep to little and retreat mentally. What we should do is exercise physically which will increase our mental awareness and ability. Try it and see if I am wrong, try it before you are to out of shape, to old or just lose your will for self-improvement.

Meditation Point #72

Sensei Posted in A Zen Thing
0

The forces which move the cosmos are no different from those which move the human soul.
– – Lama Anagarika Govinda
hmmm…Deep…real deep.

Meditation Point #71

Sensei Posted in A Zen Thing
0

For others to approve me is easy;
for me to approve myself is hard.
– – Yuan-Cheng
Why is this always the case? We are often far more critical of ourselves then anyone else with the exception perhaps of our Sensei!

Meditation Point #70

Sensei Posted in A Zen Thing
0

One day Chao-chou fell down in the snow, and called out, “Help! Help me up!”
A monk came and lay down beside him,
Chao-chou got up and walked away.
– – Zen Mando

At first reading many people will probably say, what?!? Can’t say I blame them. However when I meditated on this saying the meaning became perfectly clear. Think about it most of us, actually all of us, at some point in our lives fall or lie down in defeat. We lie in self-pity or remorse feeling the only way to escape our situation is to be saved by some other power. Here though our savior doesn’t save us he “lay down beside him“! Often it is easy to help other and solve their problems but it is far harder to watch them struggle in silent support by their side. I think parents can definitely relate to this as they want to nurture and protect their children. Yet in doing so we rob our children, friends, students, and strangers of a valuable life lesson…how to survive and be self-reliant. This is not to say that we do nothing, quiet to the contrary you join them in support but leave it to them to help themselves. All of us like little children will rather be handed the solution. Why else do children cry when frustrated? We adults may not cry but we have other ways of expressing our frustration that are equally defeatist! So the next time you find yourself on the floor or facing a truly difficult adversary don’t cry for help or fold and run. Pick yourself up, face your fears and excuses, do something positive and make your own future. You may not win, you may fall down again but I promise you will grow and be the better person for the fall. Because no one ever grew while they lay in the snow!!