Eckhart Tolle 1 Eckhart Tolle: Reincarnation, Karma and PresenceEckhart Tolle, Ramana and the Zen Master Dogen

The following statements by these gentlemen on the topics of reincarnation, karma and presence reflect my own views. Many years ago as a young man I had a vision of great magnitude in which I was standing on a wide path, a road, which came spiraling up from below. It was like an endless funnel and this road, this path, was spiraling around and up the inside of this funnel-like landscape. I recognized it as the path of time and of myriad past human generations. As I gazed mesmerized by the sheer magnitude of this scenario, someone on the opposite side of this ‘inverted mountain’ waved to me. In that moment I waved in return and recognized that the one ‘over there’ was me in another life. (more…)

krishnamurti black and white cropped Krishnamurti and Dogen: The Movement of Discontinuity and The Trap of NeedinessThere is a Movement of Discontinuity

This short excerpt on J Krishnamurti’s understanding of the movement of discontinuity reveals to me how much my view is conditioned by that which apparently continues from one moment to the next. I see my wife and the mental/emotional habit is to see her as the one I know and have known for some years now. It is the same with most everything in my life; I take it for granted that most things will be as they were the last time I encountered them. (more…)

Right Communicationwhite stone on the sand 200x197 Zen: Right Communication – Shunryu Suzuki

“The more you understand our thinking, the more you find it difficult to talk about it. The purpose of my talking is to give you some idea of our way, but actually, it is not something to talk about, but something to practice. The best way is just to practice without saying anything. When we talk about our way, there is apt to be some misunderstanding, because the true way always has at least two sides, the negative and the positive. When we talk about the negative side, the positive side is missing, and when we talk about the positive side, the negative side is missing. (more…)

3187207970 7dd7c42426 m How to Deal with Information Overload Today

We all have to deal with potential information overload nowadays. Every time I open up my laptop I am confronted with the Universal Brain (the Internet). In order to not become a victim of this amazing new power of humanity I find it necessary to be very clear about my relationship to “information” and knowledge in general.
(more…)

Shunryu Suzuki Zen Mind and ExcitementThe following story is found in “Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind” by Shunryu Suzuki. It reminds me of something Eckhart Tolle said: “Life isn’t as serious as you think it is.”

“There were two good friends, Chokei and Hofuku. They were talking about the Bodhisattva’s way, and Chokei said, “Even if the arhat (an enlightened one) were to have evil desires, still the Tathagata (Buddha) does not have two kinds of words. I say that the Tathagata has words, but no dualistic words.” Hofuku said, “Even though you say so, your comment is not perfect.” Chokei asked, “What is your understanding of the Tathagata’s words?” Hofuku said, “We have had enough discussion, so let’s have a cup of tea!” (more…)

zen circle 6 small Zen: ControlThis post contains a little over two pages from the book “Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind” by Shunryu Suzuki.

At the bottom you will find the YouTube video of Peter Coyote reading this chapter.

“To give your sheep or cow a large, spacious meadow is the way to control him.”

To live in the realm of Buddha nature means to die as a small being, moment after moment. When we lose our balance we die, but at the same time we also develop ourselves, we grow. Whatever we see is changing, losing its balance. The reason everything looks beautiful is because it is out of balance, but its background is always in perfect harmony. (more…)

Buddha simple drawing Posture and Asana in Zen and YogaAt the bottom of this article you will find the Posture chapter of Shunryu Suzuki’s book Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind and also the YouTube with Peter Coyote reading this chapter.

This short chapter is remarkable in several respects. Superficially it seems that he is describing the recommended zazen posture for the body. Looking more deeply at several statements in this talk, however, I realize that he is presenting us with non-linear Zen thoughts. Many statements impact me as wake up calls, directing me to leave my conventional thought patterns. This short talk is very rich and deep in its potential to show me the multiple levels that his communication contains. Here are some of my reflections on his statements from this point of view.

(more…)

kapleauroshi summer1993 small Zen: Everyday Living and WorkingThis article: “Zen: Everyday Living and Working” is an excerpt from the introduction by Roshi Philip Kapleau to Thich Nhat Hanh’s book “Zen Keys”:

“It is well to note that while Zen Keys often presents weighty aspects of Buddhist philosophy, Nhat Hanh begins his book with the concrete, practical aspects of life in a Zen monastery, where the emphasis is not on the learning of philosophic concepts but on simple labor and a life of awareness. For in Zen, intellectual learning is nothing but the studying of the menu, while actual practice is the eating of the meal.
(more…)

confusion Thought Going Where It Doesn’t BelongThought going where it doesn’t belong… Thinking about things that thinking was not made for… It was Krishnamurti who first made me aware of the fact that thinking is a tool that has its place but in the course of human development thought became perverted. Who was it that said “language is a virus from outer space”? I don’t agree, and it was probably said to make a point, which is that we have lost our sense of the true value of thoughts/language.
(more…)

Sun2a 200 x 200 Solstice 2013 and Transcendence

Solstice Two Thousand and Thirteen

 

Standing among the driftwood

On the southern Oregon Coast

These white-dried bones of once mighty trees

Watching the sun set

It sears my soul with a deep golden-red fire

The dense black of the charred tree stump

Gives me a strange solace

I wonder why?

(more…)

white stone on the sand 200x197 Shobogenzo: Meditation and RealizationShobogenzo -

Dogen Zenji

Dialog on the Way of Commitment

Answer 7:

In Dogen Zenji’s Shobogenzo he addresses the topic of meditation and realization and their relationship to each other in his response to Answer 7: “At the risk of casting pearls before swine, I would advise you that thinking of meditation and realization as two separate things is just wrong. We teach that meditation and realization are identical.”
(more…)

matterhorn small A Sacred Mind   KrishnamurtiThe topic of this post is “a sacred mind”. While contemplating Krishnamurti’s thoughts, I ask myself: where is the sense of ‘the sacred’, as K calls it, that I lived in as a child? In my late teens I thought of it as a sense for the magic in everyday life. It is that sense of something unexpected happening just around the next corner and the mystery when looking at a distant snow-covered mountain peak. I felt myself transported up there into the pristine snow and ice landscape just by seeing it. The exotic aroma coming from the next coffee bar (in Italy) conjured up visions and virtual experiences of far away and mysterious places.  This ‘sacred’ is still here, just a bit covered up by the dusty veil of our conditioning. In this chapter Krishnamurti speaks to this.
(more…)

child buddha small Peace at Home with the BuddhaBUDDHISM: Peace At Home

This is Buddha’s wisdom  for peace in relationships, spoken by Thich Nhat Hanh:

“The Practice of Looking Deeply: Practicing Impermanence

All of us can understand impermanence with our intellect, but this is not yet true understanding. Our intellect alone will not lead us to freedom. It will not lead us to enlightenment.

When we are solid and we concentrate, we can practice looking deeply. And when we look deeply and see the nature of impermanence, we can then be concentrated on this deep insight. This is how the insight of impermanence becomes part of our being. It becomes our daily experience.

We have to maintain the insight of impermanence in order to be able to see and live impermanence all the time. If we can use impermanence as an object of our meditation, we will nourish the understanding of impermanence in such a way that it will live in us every day. With this practice, impermanence becomes a key that opens the door of reality.
(more…)

goodness Goodness   A Chapter in Krishnamurtis BookThis following text of Krishnamurti is another passage from one of my favorite books of his: “This Light In Oneself “. This is Chapter 3, “Living in Goodness”. The first passage  from this book that I posted on my spiritual blog Heartflow2013.wordpress.com was from Chapter 13, “Observing from a Quiet Mind” and subsequently I posted “What is Meditation?” from Chapter 12, “A Sacred Life”.

The selections in the book “This Light in Oneself” present the core of Krishnamurti’s teaching on meditation, taken from discussions with small groups, as well as from public talks to large audiences. His main theme is the essential need to look inward, to know ourselves, in order really to understand our own—and the world’s—conflicts. We are the world, says Krishnamurti, and it is our individual chaos that creates social disorder. He offers timeless insights into the source of true freedom and wisdom.
(more…)

Light flashing in Stone small Faith Hope Belief and the Zen Moment

What fears, what thirsting for approval, what hunger for recognition hold me in the grooves of conditioning? I free myself of that and I am a unique expression of the Infinite. Can I feel the call to show myself freely? We are ready to acknowledge ourselves and to be self-evident… All pressure to renege on myself is now unbearable!

Just yesterday I was looking at all the New Age views about ‘something great’ about to come around the corner etc. and I was reflecting on how that continues to program everyone onto ‘hope’, ‘faith’ and the identity that is built around ‘becoming a multi-dimensional being’ etc. This focus on something yet to come and on some event yet to happen in order for my destiny to fulfill itself has the tendency to keep us from realizing just how amazing that <being> which is already here, which I already AM, actually is. That is where the exploration of this mystery begins, in my opinion.
(more…)

bhagavan ramana maharshi6 small Ramana and I   Face to Face with the DivineWolter A. Keers was a Dutch teacher and writer who lectured extensively on Yoga and Advaita in Europe in the 1970s and 80s. He met Ramana a couple of months before Ramana’s passing in 1950. This is an excerpt of his account:

“Roda Maclver, a Bombay devotee who had been living near Bhagavan for several years took me to the Ashram and pointed out Bhagavan to me. The mere sight of him made me tremble all over because I had come face to face with the divine. This recognition affected me so much that my body shook involuntarily. As I gazed at Bhagavan, I felt I saw God himself sitting there.

In that early morning meeting I saw a blazing light that had taken a human form. It was more radiant than anything I had ever seen before. When I was very young, I had believed that God was some magnificent being, having a human form that radiated light and goodness. I had long since abandoned this childhood belief, believing it to be a fairy story that was told only to credulous children. Yet now this childhood belief turned out to be true, because here before me was a human form that seemed to be made of light itself. God became manifest before my eyes, announcing his presence to me by radiating a blazing, penetrating light, a light that went right through me like x-rays.”
(more…)

turtle wax real small Present Moment: What to Do At The End Of Your RopeAll of the wonderful spiritual teachings about living in the present moment finally come down to one thing: how do I live? As so often when I am delving more deeply into a certain aspect of Reality – sure enough – I find myself in a situation that gives me a real-time experience of that aspect. The last couple of weeks I have been noticing the repercussions of leaving the present moment in some very vivid ways. I posted my reflections on “Purpose” and how I notice that, in a certain sense, following a purpose tends to pull me out of the present moment. On the other hand, the mantra that came up for me while writing the post “ZEN: How to Recalibrate Myself Back to Zero” has spontaneously arisen in my mind several time over the past week and has proven to be quite effective. The mantra is “I am my own purpose”. This brings me into a frequency of being enough just as I am and that no action or purpose or indeed anything at all is needed to fulfill or complete me.
(more…)

zen circle 6 small Zen: How to Recalibrate Myself Back to ZeroEvery so often I find myself taking a personal retreat in order to, as I call it, calibrate myself back to zero,  which is for me the quintessence of Zen. Just recently I have realized that this “zero” refers to “zero purpose”. When I go to the Arizona Beach Lodge not far from where I live, I leave behind all the things and people in my home environment that call me to do “this” and “that”. I am always rather amazed at how soon I am able to enter into a space in which I have let go of all purpose and am able to just ‘be’.
(more…)

alan watts small MAYA: The Minds Delusion and DistortionExcerpt from “The Way of Zen” – Alan Watts

Moksha (liberation) is also understood as liberation from maya – one of the most important words in Indian philosophy, both Hindu and Buddhist. For the manifold world of facts and events is said to be maya, ordinarily understood as an illusion which veils the one underlying reality of Brahman. This gives the impression that moksha is a state of consciousness in which the whole varied world of nature vanishes from sight, merged in a boundless ocean of vaguely luminous space. Such an impression should be dismissed at once, for it implies a duality, an incompatibility, between Brahman and maya which is against the whole principle of Upanishadic philosophy. For Brahman is not One as opposed to Many, not simple as opposed to complex. Brahman is without duality simple as opposed to complex. Brahman is without duality (advaita), which is to say without any opposite since Brahman is not in any class or, for that matter, outside any class.
(more…)

Nisargadatta Maharaj small Nisargadatta: You Are Not The BodyNisargadatta: Can you communicate to me what it is you have understood?

Visitor: It is all concepts, all illusion.

Nisargadatta: Yes.

V: I don’t believe in processes that take a lot of time and discipline. I’ve done all that. I want it to end.

Nisargadatta: The basic fact, that you are not the body – must be clear to you by now.

You are working in the world and you think that you are doing that work, but what is happening is this:

The life force, when it comes out in thoughts and words, is the mind, so it is this prana mind, life force mind, which is the acting principle.

The beingness, the consciousness, is the God which witnesses the life force and mind working.

It does not interfere; it merely witnesses.

The reason for your unhappiness is that you think it is you who are working.
(more…)