Curiosity and Concentration

I have taught concentration and the instructions to focus your mind for many, many years.  I have taught this to myself and others.  These instructions of course were coming from my point of view.  In self-reflection and in hindsight, I see that I have taught concentration and changing habits with a lot of will-power or … Continue reading Curiosity and Concentration

The Corpse in Decay

These are notes on the end of Chapter 10, mindfulness of physical characteristics, in Joseph Goldstein’s book Mindfulness. The last section of mindfulness of the body is the contemplation of corpses in various states of decay. Buddha’s contemplation in the sutta is: Again, monks, as though he were to see a corpse thrown aside in … Continue reading The Corpse in Decay

Mindfulness of “I am”

Continuing to study Mindfulness by Joseph Goldstein.   These are notes on the middle part of Chapter 10, “Mindfulness of physical characteristics” “Conceit” in its Buddhist usage, refers to the deeply rooted sense of “I am”, “I was”, or “I will be.” This is the last of the veils of ignorance that needs to be removed … Continue reading Mindfulness of “I am”

Satipatthanas sutta refrain

These are notes from Joseph Goldstein’s book “Mindfulness.” These notes are from Chapter 5 on Contemplating the Four Foundations. There is a refrain that occurs 13 times in the sutra. An abbreviated version is thus: In this way, in regard to the body (feelings, mind, dhammas) one abides contemplating the body (feelings, mind, dhammas) internally, or … Continue reading Satipatthanas sutta refrain

Mindfulness, the Gateway to Wisdom

Continuing with notes from Joseph Goldstein’s “Mindfulness” book. We are working with the section on the four qualities of mind: Ardency, Clearly knowing, mindfulness, and concentration. Mindfulness is much more than what our pop-culture thinks of it, which is simply something about returning to the present moment. The media often says- this was a Zen … Continue reading Mindfulness, the Gateway to Wisdom

Clearly knowing

Notes from Joseph Goldstein’s book “Mindfulness; a practical guide to awakening” Clearly knowing is one of the four qualities of mind: Ardency, Clearly knowing, mindfulness, and concentration. Clearly knowing – Sampajanna This is translated in different ways as clearly knowing, clear comprehension or fully aware. This is a quality of mind that encourages mindfulness to … Continue reading Clearly knowing

Mid-Practice period – Refinement

We have about three weeks left of the Clouds in Water Practice Period. This is an individualized at-home practice period of our commitments in spiritual life. It is a revision of what the traditional practice period was like. Traditionally, the practitioners would commit to a certain schedule that would be done communally, all together in … Continue reading Mid-Practice period – Refinement

Hurry corrodes Meaning

I have a teaching story or Koan from Tomoe Katagiri who is a teacher for many of us in her quiet way.  She is Katagiri-roshi’s widow.  Thursday, Sosan and I went to her house to work on Jukai (Buddhist initiation) names.  We are continuing again this Jukai to give the participants Japanese names with translations.  … Continue reading Hurry corrodes Meaning

The Deep Habit of Forgetfulness

From Thich Nhat Hanh, “Touching the Earth, Intimate Conversations with Buddha,” page 27: “Lord Buddha, I recognize my deep habit energy of forgetfulness. I often allow my mind to think about the past, so that I drown in sorrow and regret. This has caused me to lose so many opportunities to be in touch with … Continue reading The Deep Habit of Forgetfulness

Witnessing and self-sacrifice

I’d like to hold up a very interesting article I read by Ajahn Viradhammo in the most recent Buddha-dharma magazine, summer 2013, in his article “Unlimited Heart.” I recommend reading the whole article. It was straight to the point of practice and practicing in a household, not in a monastery. He seems to have a … Continue reading Witnessing and self-sacrifice