There is word that I believe is misunderstood in Buddhist practitioners – “self.” My teacher Katagiri-Roshi used to say that there is a historic self and an absolute self (a Buddha self) in each of us and they arise together in the present moment. But somehow this seems to have been misinterpreted, it seems to … Continue reading The Unsettling Predicament – a Two-part “Self”
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”
I received this translation of the “gate” mantra from Dan Brown who is a Tibetan Teacher: From the end of the Heart Sutra: Gate, gate – beyond thought Paragate – beyond personal identity Parasamgate- beyond constructions of Time Bodhi – awakened awareness gone beyond individual consciousness Svaha – ohh, ah, wow! I went to … Continue reading “Gate, gate, paragate, parasamgate” #1
I have been working with a mindfulness slogan to remind me that the whole world doesn’t revolve around me and my life. In fact, there is no centralized self! “I” am just a dynamic function of the 5 skandhas (form, feeling, perception, formation and consciousness) that isn’t owned by “me”. So, I work with this … Continue reading me, my, mine
I often say that zazen is a crucible. It is like an alchemical vessel or scientific beaker sitting on a Bunsen burner, which allows a transformation to occur within the beaker. By sitting still with no escape, we allow the flotsam and jetsam of our life to float up to the surface and get burned … Continue reading The crucible of spiritual practice in marriage
I have been contemplating what “doing nothing” means. “Doing nothing” certainly goes against my achievement drive, or my idea of bettering myself, or my idea of attaining enlightenment. I know that “doing nothing” doesn’t mean simply “doing nothing” like a couch potato lost in the dream of TV. But “doing nothing” has something to do … Continue reading Doing nothing but being the way things are.
What is the mysterious silence of zazen that produces grace? Being touched by timelessness, selflessness, and infinite space can release, from the root of “self-ness”, the knots in our consciousness that we cling to as “our story” and produce our suffering. If we can stay with our experience of going beyond our concept of self, … Continue reading Grace II