lördag 29 augusti 2009

The dancers dance

Hi.

... [We] should realize that living-and-dying is just nirvana; [Buddhists] have never discussed nirvana outside of living-and-dying. ... Further, if we think that life and death are something to get rid of [or be free of], we will [be guilty of hating] the Buddha-Dharma. How could we not guard against this? Remember, the lineage of the Dharma which [asserts that] "in the Buddha-Dharma the essential state of mind universally includes all forms," describes the whole great world of Dharma inclusively, without dividing essence and form, and without discussing appearance and disappearance. There is no [state] - not even [life and death and] bodhi or nirvana- that is different from the essential state of mind. All dharmas, myriad phenomena and accumulated things [all the myriad phenomena in the who universe], are totally just the one mind, without exclusion or disunion [everything included and interconnected]. [The myriad things and phenomena] are the even and balanced undivided mind, other than which there is nothing; and this is just how Buddhists have understood the essence of mind. That being so, how could we divide this one reality into body and mind, or into life-and-death and nirvana?


The point is that we're not just the dancers, we are also the dance.
Both at the same time, without separation, because how do you get a dance without dancers and dancers without an dance?

Mtfbwy
Fugen

onsdag 19 augusti 2009

on mindfulness article

Hi.

This is an article i wrote for appropriateresponse.

Have you ever watched a kid playing?
There is something special about the way they can pick up a stick, shout “STICK!!” and run into the world causing havoc. There is nothing more in this moment than the kid, the stick and the world. I would like to call this special something ‘mindfulness’ or ‘presence’ if you will.

Master Dogen wrote on Time (in Being-Time, Uji):

See each thing in this entire world as a moment of time.
Things do not hinder one another, just as moments do not hinder one another. …
Each moment is all being, is the entire world.
Reflect now whether any being or any world is left out of the present moment.


Master Dogen wished to convey that each moment of time and being is not anything apart from you. It is your existential time-and-being. So, he wrote in Uji:

Because real existence is only this exact moment, all moments of Being-Time are the whole of Time, and all existent things and all existent phenomena are moments of Time …
If Time does not take the form of leaving and coming, [a task done in the past] is the present as Being-Time.

If Time does take the form of leaving and coming, you yet have this present moment of Being-Time, which is just Being-Time itself.


Mindfulness is a new catchphrase, a phenomenon not much older than 10 years or so, you might think. But this is not the case. There has been something like it in every culture, be it modern western culture, Hawaiian native culture or, in this case, Buddhist culture.

There are several words in Pali and Sanskrit which are often translated into the English word mindfulness. However, these terms mean different things which is why confusion may often arise in discussions of mindfulness.

The Sanskrit word that is most often translated into mindfulness is Sati/Smriti, which means to remember (non-forgetfulness). It simply means that if we decide for ourselves to attach the mind to our present experience, we will remember to hold it there, instead of letting it slip away.

Another word which also is commonly translated into mindfulness is Manisikara, which is the moment of pure perception just before the mind starts to separate, judge and value. In the western interpretation of mindfulness (within psychology) a large amount of emphasis is put on this particular aspect.
The Sanskrit term Appamada/Apramada means being thorough and calculated in your actions and not to act unskillfully or rashly. This is also an aspect of mindfulness.
A final term also taken to mean mindfulness is Sampajanna/Samprajana which means to see clearly, to separate (skillful from unskillful action).

The ability to stay with your experience, to see it clearly, to separate skillful and unskillful actions, and to act in a favourable way are all aspects of mindfulness. Maybe the most important of all the Buddhist scriptures concerning mindfulness is the Satipatthanasutta. Satipatthana is the practice of sati, the maintaining a constant attention on the here and now and is a part of the eightfold path. Patthana can be translatated as placement or attaching point. Satipatthana can therefore be translated as to put the attention or the attaching point of attention.

You may well be asking yourself why am I writing this? Well, for one, you have to have an solid foundation to stand on, and it is always good to have some knowledge of the definition of terms.

Mindfulness isn’t just this moment, it is all-permeating, it is everything, just as Dogen says. You can’t just try doing it either. I often quote another spiritual master, Yoda : “Do or do not… there is no try.” This is a vital part of mindfulness practice to understand; if you are only trying you are not doing.

This brings us back to the child with the stick. He is not trying anything. He knows exactly what he is doing. He’s got a stick, and it’s him against the world.

A further point I would like to make about mindfulness and being mindful is that the way things are is just the way things are. You know what, it’s ok. It’s all OK!! Shit happens, deal with it. It is all about being at the razor’s edge, not falling to one side or the other, not being cut, not missing the point.

If this happens, do this. If that happens, do that. When life’s roller coaster goes up, go up. When heading down, head down. Just ride the ride. Sometimes it can be very hard. Then let it be hard. Your sympathy for me might feel great, but will it help?

I have to take me, and pick myself up, to get on with it, even when there is no me to pick myself up. I am not saying it will be easy, just saying it is so. And it’s ok! It’s all OK!!

Maybe that is enlightenment, to see that everything is ok! It is just what it is.

Is that ok with you?

May the force be with you
Fugen

måndag 10 augusti 2009

The concept of "right concentration"

Hi.

The eighth factor of the path is right concentration, in Pali samma samadhi.

And what is right concentration? There is the case where a monk — quite withdrawn from sensuality, withdrawn from unskillful (mental) qualities — enters & remains in the first jhana: rapture & pleasure born from withdrawal, accompanied by directed thought & evaluation. With the stilling of directed thoughts & evaluations, he enters & remains in the second jhana: rapture & pleasure born of composure, unification of awareness free from directed thought & evaluation — internal assurance. With the fading of rapture, he remains equanimous, mindful, & alert, and senses pleasure with the body. He enters & remains in the third jhana, of which the Noble Ones declare, 'Equanimous & mindful, he has a pleasant abiding.' With the abandoning of pleasure & pain — as with the earlier disappearance of elation & distress — he enters & remains in the fourth jhana: purity of equanimity & mindfulness, neither pleasure nor pain. This is called right concentration.

- Magga-vibhanga Sutta

It's not so much WHAT you do as HOW you do it.
In general terms, Right Concentration means establishing the "Right mind".
But what is "left mind"?

Mtfbwy
Fugen

lördag 8 augusti 2009

What's love got to do with it?

Hi.

I've been thinking about words lately.
Take for instance "LOVE", as i "i love tomatoes" or "i love you".

The meaning behind is somewhat different and because of one the other is distorted.
Saying "i love you" to some tomatoes is not the same as saying "i love you" to a person, or is it?

Mtfbwy
Fugen

How to be happy?

Hi.

Today it's an staement from the Dalai Lama

In this world, all qualities spring from preferring the wellbeing of others to our own, whereas frustrations, confusion, and pain result from selfish attitudes. By adopting an altruistic outlook and by treating others in the way they deserve, our own happiness is assured as a byproduct. We should realize that self-centeredness is the source of all suffering, and that thinking of others is the source of all happiness.


-His Holiness the Dalai Lama XIV, The Dalai Lama’s Little Book of Inner Peace

Notice that he says "treating others in the way they deserve" not "treating others in the way you want to be treated"
which put's the empasis on them not you...

Mtfbwy
Fugen

fredag 7 augusti 2009

Words have power.

Hi.

In the last days i had some difficulties concerning written words, and i came to think of this.

It’s telling that in English “disenchanted,” “disillusioned,” and dispassionate” often have a negative connotation. But looking more closely at their meaning reveals their connection to freedom. Becoming disenchanted means breaking the spell of enchantment, waking up into a greater and fuller reality. This is the happy ending of so many great myths and fairy tales. Being disillusioned is not the same as being disappointed or discouraged. It is a reconnection with what is true, free of illusion. And “dispassionate” does not mean indifference or lack of vital energy for living. Rather, it is the mind of great openness and equanimity, free of grasping.

- Joseph Goldstein, one dharma

Words have power and doesn't always mean what you think they do.

Mtfbwy
Fugen

måndag 3 augusti 2009

Kids and mindfulness

Hi.

Have you ever watched a kid playing?
There’s something special about the way they can pick up a stick, shout “STICK!!” and run into the world causing havoc. There’s nothing more in this moment than the kid, the stick and the world…
I would like to call this special something “mindfulness” or “presence” if you will.

Master Dogen wrote on Time (in Being-Time, Uji)
See each thing in this entire world as a moment of time.
Things do not hinder one another, just as moments do not hinder one another. ...
Each moment is all being, is the entire world.
Reflect now whether any being or any world is left out of the present moment.


Master Dogen wished to convey that each moment of time and being is not anything apart from you,it is your existential time-and-being. So, he wrote in Uji, Being-Time ...
Because real existence is only this exact moment, all moments of Being-Time are the whole of Time, and all existent things and all existent phenomena are moments of Time …
If Time does not take the form of leaving and coming, [a task done in the past] is the present as Being-Time.
If Time does take the form of leaving and coming, you yet have this present moment of Being-Time, which is just Being-Time itself.


Mindfulness is an “new catchphrase”, an phenomenon not much older than 10-years or so, you might think. But that’s not the case. There’s been something like it in every culture, be it an modern western culture, an Hawaiian native culture or in this case an Buddhist culture.

Now, what does this give you, why am i writing this?
Well, for one, you have to have an solid foundation to stand on, and it’s always good to have some knowledge of things.
Mindfulness isn’t just this moment, it’s all-permeating, it’s everything, just as Dogen says. You can’t just try doing it either. I often quote another master, yoda :
“Do or do not... there is no try.”
And this is a vital part of mindfulnesspractice to, if you’re only trying you’re not doing…

Which brings us back to the child with the stick. He’s not trying anything. He knows exactly what he’s doing. He’s got a stick, and it’s him against the world.
And that leaves me the third part of this essay, the way things are is just the way things are.
You know what, it's ok. It's all OK!!
Shit happens, deal with it. It's all about "being the razor's edge", not falling to one side or the other, not being cut, not "missing the point".
If this happens, do this. If that happens, do that. When life's roller coaster goes up, go up. When heading down, head down. Just ride the ride. Sometimes it can be very hard. Then let it be hard.
Your sympathy for me might feel great, but will it help?
I have to take me, and pick myself up, to get on with it, even when there is no me to pick myself up. I’m not saying it will be easy. just saying it is so, And it's ok! It's all OK!!

Maybe that's enlightenment, to see that "everything is Ok"!...
It's just what it is...
Is that ok with you?

Mtfbwy
Fugen

Dogen on time

Hi.

Master Dogen wrote on Time (in Being-Time, Uji) ...

See each thing in this entire world as a moment of time.
Things do not hinder one another, just as moments do not hinder one another. ...
Each moment is all being, is the entire world.
Reflect now whether any being or any world is left out of the present moment.


This is an important piece in the whole puzzle.
What he is talking about is the concept of "all is one".
But if there'a a "one", don't there have to be a "zero"?
That's where nothing comes in...

Mtfbwy
Fugen