#37.The wave & the sea are One

Thanks to our deceptive mind we have this illusion that each of us is has a unique, independent, separate self-entity. As far our DNA we are unique but in fact we are all interdependent and interrelated since we are the transient byproducts of the first living molecule around 3.5 billions years ago. All living beings are 100% dependent of the Earth environment and the Universe to survive.

“The wave lives the life of a wave & at the same time the life of the sea” said Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh 


#36.Are you riding a bull in a rodeo?

When life is rough and tough it seems that we are riding a bull during a rodeo. Especially when events are very hard to swallow, the temptation to let go and fall on the floor is great. The wild bull can be financial pressures, health issues, work, aging parents, difficult child, love relationship, etc. The bull will keep kicking and toasting us up and down. These events acute or repetitive will induce significant stress related medical complications such as depression, anxiety, chronic pain and many more.

It’s easy to get off the bull by engaging in comfort behavior which may be detrimental such as overeating, over drinking, using drug, addiction to sex or to gambling or being in front of the TV or computer screen for hours. If you fall off the bull, the challenge is to get back on the beast and keep riding. Remember Life is what it is. It has its good days and bad days for all of us. Life does not care too much about each of the 7 billions human beings living on this planet. It will go on whatever and it is up to us to adapt to it and not vice versa that is expecting Life to adapt to each of us.


#35.Pragmatic Zen

Statements made by someone and the reply from a Zen talking mirror.

Nothing changes around me.

Nothing is permanent & everything is transient including you, your friends, your pet, the clouds, this planet, the sun, and me. Everything is changing all the time, every second, non-stop within an endless circle of new beginning and new end. Without ongoing birth and death life and evolution will be impossible. Thinking otherwise is an illusion coming from our deceptive ego centered mind.

Quite bleak & depressive.

Just as it is…remember Zen mind is like  a mirror: simple, realistic & pragmatic.


#34.Eating an orange is Zen

This is a dialogue between a student and a Zen teacher.

Can you tell me what Zen is all about? I need to understand Zen in order to progress in my quest.

NO….NO I cannot explain Zen because there is nothing to explain and you cannot understand because there is nothing to understand. Words and too much thinking will confuse you.


#33.The 4 seals of Zen Buddhism

They are called seals because there are the landmarks of Buddha 50 years verbal teaching. They are SUFFERING, IMPERMANENCE, NO-SELF and NIRVANA. They represent the 4 standing blocks of his philosophy. Everything else rests on them.These words seem weird, complex and esoteric but we will see how logical and useful they are in our daily life. Meditation will help you to discover and experience them. We will see also that they are deeply related and interconnected.


#32.Individual & Collective consciousness

We all have an individual consciousness (IC) that is a state of awareness even if most of the time we behave in our life on an auto pilot mode with our mind wandering around continuously and usually not been in the present moment.

In addition to our individual consciousness we are also part of a collective consciousness (CC). In our very individualistic society CC is not mentioned very often and yet this global consciousness is very important and probably is affecting us probably far more than we think or want. Just as Internet is made up of millions of individual sites and as the universe is composed of billion of individual stars CC is made up of billion of ICs from all living beings. There is no Internet without individual site and there is no individual site without Internet. The same can be applied to consciousness: there is no CC without the individual ones and vise versa. Furthermore CC contains all IC components and IC contains all elements of the collective consciousness.


#31.ZEN on words.

Words are wonderful thinking and communication tools and we are addicted to them non stop.

1- We are thinking through words. No other choice.

  • Words are the fuel of our mind producing our thoughts, concepts, ideas and opinions. No word, no mind.
  • When we think we talk to ourselves and we talk to ourselves all the time during day and night (dream)

2- We are communicating with words. No other choice. Listening, talking, writing and reading.

In short we are words slaves, rapped with them by necessity.

Unfortunately words are also very powerful and deceptive instruments to dissociate ourselves from others and to be fooled by our mind.

At the same time improper or displaced words can be the basic building blocks to improper communication. They can be lethal weapons not only to the receivers but also to the senders and they cannot be retrieved.


#30.Zen teaching: an arrow in our ego mind

How often during the day we are “sleep walking” doing things from pure habits, conventions and routine? How often are we in auto pilot mode submitted to our ongoing thoughts like thinking zombies? The answer is almost all the time.

There is nothing wrong to follow our daily routine but it should be within a certain limit. To wake up from it will help us to realize who we really are. When we always act from our habits, we are like an old record that has become stuck in a groove and is repeating the same song over and over again endlessly. Physically we are, most of the time, on cruse mode without paying too much attention to what we are doing or saying at the present moment since our mind is firing continuously thoughts after thoughts making us thinking zombies living most of the time in the past and more often in the future.

Zen teachers are infamous for suddenly saying, answering and doing crazy things. They are doing this to shock their students and bring them out of their habitual cocoon state of mind towards the immediacy and beauty of the spontaneous present moment that is NOW. When Zen Masters intuitively or consciously respond in a bizarre, funny, incomprehensible, stupid and even somewhat provocative, rude or disrespectful way, students do not know whether to be insulted, lost, angry, puzzled or simply amused. They suddenly don’t know how to react and what to do. These reactions are expected and teachers know that very well.


#29.To find yourself is to lose yourself

Famous Japanese Zen Master Hashida used to repeat over and over:
” To discover awakening is to discover your true self
  To discover your true self is to meditate & practice Zen
  To meditate & practice Zen is to study your own self
  To study your own self is to forget your self”


In short: “To find yourself is to lose yourself”​.


Ven. Ji Gong Sunim.

#28.The 7 pillars of a Zen Mind


The 6 Realities of life that our ego centered mind is distorting all the time:

  1. Nothing lasts including self. Good & bad stuff are transient. This is part of Life & Evolution. Without the endless circle of birth & death Life & Evolution would not exist. Believing otherwise is an illusion.
  2. Nothing can be controlled including self (body/mind). Believing otherwise is an illusion.
  3. Only now (present) Past and future are very useful inventions but remain illusions.
  4. No living being has a permanent, independent, unique and separate self-entity. This is what Zen Buddhist calls “emptiness” or empty of self entity. We are all interconnected & interrelated, dependent of Nature & the Universe to survive. Global consciousness is made of all individual ones and each individual one is a component of the collective one. Believing otherwise is an illusion.
  5. Life, people, events, things and environment are what they are and not what our ego mind wants them to be. Believing otherwise is an illusion.
  6. Our ego centered mind is the main source of our illusions, unhappiness, dissatisfaction, suffering causing attachments, desire, fear, anger, resentment and negative emotions, etc. Meditation (pillar # 1 below) will help us to control this beast. Believing otherwise is an illusion.