Because Zen makes sense

Archive for the month “May, 2012”



This was my morning view when I started my meditation. After several hot days, I thought I would greet the sun and the day outside. What I did not consider was a very cold breeze from North. While the sun was warming, the wind made the sitting very uncomfortable.

The first reminder, being absolute aware of the cold breeze, was that nothing really is what it appears at first sight. Focused awareness makes us see through the narrow, apparent, reality, and offer us experiences beyond the  seemingly obvious.

The second reminder is that everything is impermanence , everything is shifting, everything is change. The warm day of yesterday had been replaced by a colder breeze today. The weather shifts, like everything else in life. Pleasures are not permanent, neither are sufferings. We are changing, and our conditions are changing. When we accept this, instead of clinging to what never really lasts, we are able to relaxe, and greet life as life meets us.

And perhaps a third reminder: Meditation is series of such reminders if we are aware, and embrace them as blessings.


Communication, Mindfulness, and What`s In This For Me?

When we listen to others, we are now and then more focused on our own answer, our own turn to speak, than really mindfully listening to the other. We are more occupied with our own meanings, our own role, than receiving the message from the other.

It can be several reasons for this phenomena. Sometimes it may be our social insecurity, a sort of social anxiety, being afraid of not living up to a presumed acceptable social standard in our conversation. Or it can be that we are actually more interested in expressing our own views than trying to understand the views of the other. We often would like to call that engagement when it comes to our selves, but an annoying narcissism when we recognize the same traits in others.

That different judgment of myself and the other is in itself interesting, not very fruitful, and definitely not mindfulness. I`ll leave that for now. There could be other reasons for us not really listening as well. By being aware of our own role in a conversation we surely can get more insight into ourselves. Often, and that is my view, it is about the basic thought of “what`s in this for me?”.

We are able to arrest ourselves in this trap of not listening also in situations where we are supposed to follow a lecture,f in situations where we are supposed to get new knowledge about a topic. And in situations like this I often find myself thinking that this is well known, and sometimes even that I know more about this than the speaker.

This question of “what`s in it for me” could be an inspiring question, making me listen more carefully to the other, trying to learn, to get more knowledge, to widen my own perspectives. The question itself is basically a good one. But the question could also block us from the other, building fences, if it becomes, not an openhearted willingness to receive, but a selfish focusing on my own needs and gains alone. And then my own selfishness becomes my own enemy, driving me into the position blocking the wisdom and knowledge I could get if I listened more mindfully.

This was a long introduction to my simple message. Hopefully some still hang on.

Mindfulness has learned me not so much ask “what`s in this for me”, but more “what is he/she trying to tell me”, a whole different world of gaining new knowledge and insight. Mindfulness has learned me to concentrate on the message from the other, to wonder, to be critical, but also accepting. We all try to experience through the question of “what is this”, and the question of “what is he/she trying to tell me” is a part of the same tradition, the same way of experiencing the world, the other and ourselves.

This is to me not theory. It is my own experience. I have become more concentrated, I have become more focused on the delivered message, I have become more mindful in my meetings with others. And I can tell for sure that this has enriched my life, given me more insight, made me more thankful. Hopefully, it is for others to judge, it has also made me a little bit more wise.


Everything is change, nothing is permanent. And to me it visualized no better than in the seasonal shifts. Spring, summer, autumn; the all reminds me of our own lives, from birth to death. But there is always renewal in this eternal changing universe. When everything is impermanent, then also death is impermanent. I do not care about reincarnation, my own eternal life. But I find comfort in the fact that there is always renewal in one form or another.

Post Navigation