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Archive for March, 2015


Zen Flash

One day a man visited the Buddha’s monastery, seeking some knowledge of the teachings. The first monk he came upon was deep in silent meditation and did not answer when the man spoke to him. The visitor became enraged and stomped away. The next day he came back and happened upon a learned, erudite disciple, who responded to his question about the teachings with a lengthy, intricate discourse. Once again the man became furious and went off. He came back again the next day and chanced upon the Buddha’s disciple Ananda.

Now, Ananda had heard what had happened on the first day, when the monk said nothing at all, and what had happened on the second day, when the monk replied at great length, so he was very careful to deliver only a medium length discourse – something, but not something so very long. Amazingly, the visitor once more became…

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One Instant is eternity

Zen Flash

One Instant is eternity;
eternity is the now.
When you see through this one instant,
you see through the one who sees.

~ Wu Men

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No trace of realization remains

Zen Flash

“To study the Buddha way is to study the self. To study the self is to forget the self.To forget the self is to be actualized by myriad things. When actualized by myriad things, your body and mind as well as the body and mind of others drop away. No trace of realization remains, and this no trace continues endlessly. “
Zen Master Dogen (1200-1253) Moon in a Dewdrop

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To study the self is to forget the self

Zen Flash

“To study the Buddha’s way is to study the self. To study the self is to forget the self. To forget the self is to be actualized by myriad things. When actualized by myriad things, your body and mind as well as the body and minds of others drop away. No trace of realization remains, and this no-trace continues endlessly.”

~Zen Master Dogen

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The unchanging self

Zen Flash

“When you ride in a boat and watch the shore, you might assume that the shore is moving. But when you keep your eyes closely on the boat, you can see that the boat moves. Similarly, if you examine many things with a confused mind, you might suppose that your mind and nature are permanent. But when you practice intimately and return to where you are, it will be clear that there is nothing that has unchanging self.”

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Tests of Mind, Character, Will

The Conscious Process


“There are various tests to which a devotee is subjected: they could be of the mind, or the intellect, of the body, and so on. A number of such tests are there. In fact, God is conducting tests all the time; every occurrence in life is a test. Every thought that crops up in the mind is in itself a test to see what one’s reaction will be.”

~Nityananda Bhagavan

There are many circumstances and conditions which we encounter in life that seem to justify a sense of fear, regret, or apprehension. These experiences will and do challenge and test us, as long as we maintain the façade of a separate and enduring person, striving to survive and prevail in a world of threats and dangers. As we discover more and more about what and who we really are, these tests will become increasingly transparent, and our faith in the…

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The Mechanics of Unhappiness

The Conscious Process

cracking up

“Fear is the energy which contracts, closes down, draws in, runs, hides, hordes, harms. Love is the energy which expands, opens up, sends out, stays, reveals, shares, heals. Fear wraps our bodies in clothing, love allows us to stand naked. Fear clings to and clutches all that we have, love gives all that we have away. Fear holds close, love holds dear, Fear grasps, love lets go. Fear rankles, love soothes, Fear attacks, love amends.”
~Neale Donald Walsch

The condition which we commonly call “unhappiness” is a psycho-physical state of negative reactivity originating from a complex contraction in the being itself. Moreover, this contractive activity spawns an ongoing internal conflict which we are habitually reinforcing, based on uninspected programs that we have incorporated in the course of our human experience. Although these afflictive programs are as diverse as there are humans, they all derive from a fear-based reaction to life…

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Self-Essence and Identity

The Conscious Process


“When this is, that is.
From the arising of this comes the arising of that.
When this isn’t, that isn’t.
From the cessation of this comes the cessation of that.”
~Assutavā Sutta

Many of the traditional human philosophical systems are invariably built upon, or strive to confirm, some sense of permanent self-existence. Is it possible, however, that this sense of a personal “self” actually derives from a misreading or misinterpretation of the causes and conditions of experience, mistaking what is essentially a temporary matrix of perception to be a reliable indication of some unchanging essence?

As the great sage Tsongkhapa wrote in the profound “Lamrim Chenmo”, “When living beings experience or see a phenomenon, they do not apprehend it as being set up by the power of the mind to which it appears. Rather, they apprehend it as existing just as it appears, i.e., as existing in an essentially objective…

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Beyond the Language of Seeking and Knowing

The Conscious Process

M: Too much analysis leads you nowhere. There is in you the core of being which is beyond analysis, beyond the mind. You can know it in action only. Express it in daily life and its light will grow ever brighter. The legitimate function of the mind is to tell you what is not. But if you want positive knowledge, you must go beyond the mind.

Q: In all the universe is there one single thing of value?

M: Yes, the power of love.

~from “I Am That”, Nisargadatta Maharaj

What I have regularly noticed during decades of observing “spiritual” communities (both on and off-line), is that the majority of participants therein can conceptually be divided into two general sub-groups. The first is comprised of those seeking to become knowers, in order to enhance and confirm, or modify and re-invent, their personal sense of self. The second group consists of…

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The Conscious Process

Dudjom Rigpa

“Ignorance can be compared to a dark room in which you sleep. No matter how long the room has been dark, an hour or a million years, the moment the lamp of awareness is lit the entire room becomes luminous. You are that luminosity. You are that clear light.”

~ Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche

Imagine what a “game-changer” it would be to suddenly realize that nothing we can see, feel, think, or know is actually real. From the revelatory angle of vision coincident with awake awareness, there’s neither birth nor death, appearance nor disappearance, creation nor destruction, bondage nor liberation, you or I. Those are all conceptual designations, empty of any inherent and independent existence other than that which mind bestows upon them. The wisest sages know that there’s neither unity nor plurality – the world is neither one nor many. Existence itself more like a virtual reality game, and we…

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