Because Zen makes sense

Archive for the month “March, 2012”

Bringing The Mind Back Home

I listened to Thich Nhat Hanh speaking about mindfulness. He spoke about our physical body, but he also underlined that we have a dhamma-body, a spiritual body. Mindfulness, he said, is to bring the two bodies together so we can be one and united.

While he sat there in his lotus-position, he reached out in the air and sort of grabbed something, and then put it back in his body. Mindfulness, he said, is to bring the mind back home to the physical body. Even if when we experience our physical body, our mind and dhamma-body could be all other places.

I think I shall never forget the humble zen-master, smiling, reaching out for the mind, so that he could bring it back home. To me mindfulness can never be explained in a better way.


Trivial Buddhist

I never actually considered myself a buddhist. Using the term felt like making a confession, signaling affiliation to some complex religious system to which I can not identify with.

But I think I may call myself a trivial buddhist. Trivial comes from the latin word trivium, a place where three roads meet. My trivial buddhisms roads are what I mentioned in another post: awareness, understanding and friendliness.

This is my kind of buddhism, my zen. It is not very elaborate, pure or intellectual. But in a sense it is just trivial buddhism, and I guess that makes me a trivial buddhist.

My Bad Back

I was stressed, almost to a degree  of anxiety. Then I suddenly got a backpain, not the usual one that I sometimes get, but a new one between my shoulders. First I wondered what I had done, lifting or something, but I could not think of any physical reason for my pain.

Being mindful is to accept ones conditions in life as a means for new insight. And with my backpain I realized that this was all about my stress. I had an intellectual understanding of the psychological component of backpain, but never had I ever experienced it so clearly as this time.

Well, I had got an opportunity for new insight, and I started meditating. Full of curiosity I started exploring what was happening, asking my self ‘what is this?’. I started experiencing mindfully. And then I experienced the stiffness in my muscular system, I experienced my heart pounding, and my pain sort of did not bother me.

I was not cured, even though the pain actually got better. But by observing what was happening, as an  opportunity for new knowledge, I related to my symptoms in a much more relaxed way. And when I managed that, I became less stiff in my muscles, and, not surprisingly, my pain weakened. It came and went, but now I always see the connections.  Both my pain and my heart became interesting in a new way.

Let me call it anxiety, it is only a concept anyway. My learning from this was that by accepting my conditions without reservations, and experiencing fully what is going on, I both get new insight, but also that my conditions actually feel less bothersome. My backpain turned into useful knowledge.

Do Not Believe Simply Because

“Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.”

Siddharta Gautama (Buddha)

Zen Simplicity

To me zen is all about simplicity. With mindfulness as the path, and meditation as the practice, zen is about a life enhancing

* right awareness

* right understanding

* right friendliness.

Some would say this is to simple. Perhaps they are right, and I would also usually elaborate each point to a certain degree. But I am afraid of beeing trapped in intellectuality, grumbling, dogma and complexity.

I am also afraid of being trapped in a misunderstood feeling of safety through believes, faith and standards.

Zen is about my own experiencing of what is true and good, not an unreserved accept of others sayings and points of view. Respect of others, yes, but accept only after I myself have found it valid in my own mindfulness and understanding.

Zen is about true insight in the every moment of this life, letting go of unproven metaphysics and religion. Zen life is flow and change, interconnectivity, oneness, and letting go.

Naive and childish, but to me that is zen in its core simplicity. And I prefer to keep it that way.

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