Zen (Chan)

The meditation (dhyana) school originating in China that emphasizes "mind-to-mind transmission"
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    Instructions for Listening Meditation Paid Member

    Try to sit stable like a mountain and vast like the ocean.Listen to the sounds as they occur. Do not imagine, name, or analyze the sounds. Just listen with wide-open awareness. Let the sounds come to you and touch your eardrums. Go inside the sounds and notice their fluid nature. If there are no sounds, listen, and rest in this moment of silence. Notice how sounds arise upon certain conditions and disappear upon others. Do not grasp at any sounds. Do not reject any sounds. Just be aware of sounds as they arise and pass away. Open yourself to the music of the world in this moment, in this place. In your daily life, notice the positive and negative habits you might have in your approach to listening. What helps you to listen fully and spaciously? If you are in a place that is very noisy, how can you help yourself? Must you find a quieter place or wear earplugs? Or can you be with these sounds in a different way? More »
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    Meditation, Mental Habits, and Creative Imagination Paid Member

    We have to be careful not to think that meditation is about getting rid of thoughts. On the contrary, I would say that meditation helps us to creatively engage with our thoughts and not fixate on them. When people say they cannot concentrate, I say, “No, no, no! You are concentrating—too much on any one thought!” More »
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    Brown Rice Is Just Right Paid Member

    How do you like zazen? I think it may be better to ask, how do you like brown rice? Zazen is too big a topic. Brown rice is just right. Actually, there is not much difference. When you eat brown rice, you have to chew it, and unless you chew it, it is difficult to swallow. When you chew it very well, your mouth becomes part of the kitchen, and actually the brown rice becomes more and more tasty. When we eat white rice, we don’t chew so much, but that little bit of chewing feels so good that naturally the rice goes right down our throats. More »
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    Clouding Paid Member

    Traditionally, clouds are symbolic of things indeterminate. Composed of air and water, their essential nature can be attributed to neither element but arises in an obscuring of the two, a betwixt-and-between phenomenon, not unlike human beings, those nebulous creatures who themselves seem caught between realms, floating along between the shimmering horizons of birth and death, here and there, earth and heaven. Buddhist psychology refers to the aggregate of what we call personality as “the five clouds of entanglement.” More »
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    Grinding Up Consciousness Paid Member

    We are not conscious of our breathing. I don’t think there is anyone here who is consciously exhaling and inhaling. However, in Zen practice, you are asked to be aware of your breathing. This is something that is unavoidable, even though it would be better not to have to do such an inconvenient thing as to be conscious of breathing. In any case, I would like you to concentrate on your breathing: inhaling, exhaling, inhaling, exhaling—one breath at a time, gently, carefully, sincerely. By concentrating on the breath you can gradually enter a samadhi (concentration) of breathing, a samadhi of awareness. More »