Because Zen makes sense

Archive for the month “January, 2014”

Riding the Wave of Change

SketchGuru_20140130080307Mindfulness is understood as «being in the moment» in some way or another. And for an everyday use of the concept, “the moment” may be a practical approach. I often emphasize the moment when I teach about mindfulness, and the audience feel at home with that way of thinking, knowing that the usually hasten through the days without actually being present in their own life.

Trouble with the concept of “moment” is that the moment basically never can be grasped. Whenever we come close to it, it has vanished. It is like trying to catch a shadow. The moment is both real and unreal, both at the same time. That is one of the big paradoxes in our existence. We like to think of time as a series of moments, defining another difficult word, “time”, in term of a word that in itself has no fundamental existence. It has to be this way, because our language is not constructed to go beyond what can be expressed in language itself.

This is philosophy, as we find it in Zen, but it is also science, as in the quantum field theory of physics. And to understand the more fundamental characteristics of mindfulness, we may perhaps turn to Tao, and its huge implications for our way of living. Tao is never still, it is always process and change. Wu wei, doing by not acting, is the radical consequence of the truth of a never ending change. In this changing reality, the only way we can come close to what resemblance a moment, is to be part of the change. By accepting the change, and float with it, we become the moment ourselves.

Becoming the moment is the only way be in the moment. Mindfulness is therefore fundamentally not about grasping the moments, but to be the moment. And the only way to be the moment, is to ride the wave of change, simply because there is no other reality than change. Reality is process. Mindfulness is though not standing still, but a process where past and future meet and converge into movement.

Mindfulness is to be awake, be part of, and conscious aware of, the change that the existence is all about.


A Note About Religion and Ideas


What initiated this little note, was a comment from smilecalm on my last post about how ideas often become constrained into religion, and how that creates a basis for both power and financial benefits. Let me cite: “Jesus, Buddha and other enlightened ones had such beautiful teachings. if only there was a way for our minds to understand, freely thinking without being caught in the dogma of religions, economics and right and wrongs.” Wise words, and my post suggested something of the same. But if it was not for the religion, not for those who used those teachings for their own benefit in one way or another, would those teachings survived for us to read?

Back in 2011 I wrote on another blog, in Norwegian, about how teachings sort of became religions. Moses was in power, and that probably is the reason why we today know the ten commandments. Without those commandments being put into a strong religious frame, would we in 2013 still have knowledge about them? Would we still know about the teachings of Jesus if he was not born into a political setting that facilitated his ideas, ideas that led to the formation of Christianity as a religion? Probably we would not have any profound knowledge of the ideas behind Islam if Mohammed had not ended up in a political and economic position where he could transform his teachings into religion. And after the death of Buddha, what would we have known about his teachings unless some monks not had gathered and taken care of his teaching, transforming them into a platform for Buddhism?

We are often critical to dogmas, to religious teachings, to the way religions limits both the freedom of thoughts and the lives of people. But on the other side, we shall appreciate religions as carriers of teachings that possibly otherwise would have been lost. I just thought I’d like to mention this to be fair in my criticism.

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