Posted in ch'an, zen

Your Mind is Moving

Huineng came upon two monks who were arguing. They were having a silly argument to try to prove how smart they were. They were watching a flag rippling in the wind.

The first monk said, “The flag is moving.”

The second monk said, “No, the wind is moving.”

Huineng saw them having this ridiculous debate and he said, “It’s your minds that are moving.”

We often don’t see things as clearly as Huineng. We are confused. Our neuroses and our baggage shape the way we perceive the world. We get distracted and have trouble being present in our lives. Because we don’t see things as they are and because we aren’t present in our lives, we suffer. We also suffer because we struggle to accept the realities of impermanence and change. Everything is always changing and there’s nothing to hold onto.

Our goal is to learn how to see, how to really see the world as it really is. Another goal is to learn how to be more real, more genuine and authentic in our lives. We’re trying to put down our delusions. We’re trying to turn our minds so that we can engage the world as our true selves. Our true nature is awakened and good. If we engage the world as our true selves, then we can see things as they really are. That’s when real change happens.

We don’t see reality as it is because we often come from a state of mind that I call I-Me-Mine. This state of mind mis-perceives the world because we don’t recognize that it’s all changing. We address all of this by turning our minds around. The way out is in.

The purpose of this path is to engage the world as our true selves and to see things as they really are.

The Chan Sect was created by two great historical figures; Bodhidharma and Huineng. Their teaching was essentially this: “Rid the mind of egotism! Free it of defiling thoughts!”

The path lies before us. We can awaken to our true selves.

Advertisements
Posted in zen

“I have pacified your mind” (video)

This is the story of Bodhidharma and his student Huike.

Let me know what you think.

 


Upcoming Events:

8/25/18: 11:00AM-11:30AM

Meditation Mob KC

Nelson Atkins Museum of Art

4525 Oak Street
Kansas City, MO 64111

We are going to meet up on the south lawn of the Nelson Museum and we’re going to meditate in public. I’ll give a little bit of guidance and a short talk and we will sit (in the shade of course) and meditate together with open hearts and awakened minds.

Go like the page Kansas City Zen to get updates for events like this.

9/9/18: 9:00AM-10:15AM

Dharma Talk and Meditation

Tam Bao Buddhist Temple

16933 E 21st St, Tulsa, OK 74134

I’ve been invited to travel to a beautiful Buddhist temple to give a dharma talk. While we’re there, we’ll have the opportunity to visit the largest Buddhist statue in America.

To learn more about this group, click HERE

Posted in way of the bodhisattva

Bodhisattva Mindfulness

There’s a long section in “Way of the Bodhisattva” where Shantideva writes about mindfulness. I’d like to share some of it with you here.

5.1

Those who wish to keep a rule of life

Must guard their minds.

Without this guard on the mind,

No discipline can be maintained.

5.2

Wandering where, the elephant of mind,

Will bring us down to hell.

No beast, however wild,

Could bring us such calamities.

5.3

If, with mindfulness’ rope,

The mind is tethered,

Our fears will come to nothing,

Every virtue will drop into our hands.

Training our minds to be here is called mindfulness training. Mindfulness is like a rope that keeps our minds in control. Mindfulness brings us back to our experience, to this moment, to being here now.

It’s important that mindfulness brings us to this moment. It takes effort to cultivate mindfulness, but mindfulness is important. Our mental habits take a long time to work on, so we need to start with diligence. The quality of patience helps us a great deal.

5.4

Tigers, lions, elephants, and bears,

Snakes and other hostile beasts,

Those who guard hell,

All ghosts and ghouls,

5.5

By binding this mind,

All these things are bound.

By taming this mind,

All these things are tamed.

5.6

For all anxiety and fear,

All sufferings,

Their source is the mind itself,

Thus the truthful one has said.

Shantideva is telling us that all of our problems go away if we tame our minds. I’m not sure if this is true, but I am sure that many many of our problems are created in our own minds. We often let ourselves be consumed by trivial things and the reason for this is because of our minds. When we are present, our emotions don’t take control of us and dominate us quite so much.

5.7

The hellish whips to torture living beings–

Who has made them and to what intent?

Who has forged this burning iron ground;

Whence have all these demons sprung?

5.8

All are but the offspring of the mind,

Thus the mighty one has said.

Thus throughout the world

There is no greater bane than the mind itself.

Shantideva is being more direct here. He’s telling us, “These problems come from your mind”. Our minds distract us and lead us to all sorts of harm. Only with mindfulness can we bring our minds under control.


 

If you enjoyed this post, feel free to make a donation here. I’m a struggling writer and every little bit helps, even just a dollar or two.

Thank you.

Donate