#42.Awakening ( Enlightenment) is to “wake up”

Around 2500 BCE and after intensive 6 years of meditation a young prince named Siddharta Gautama became awakened or enlightened. He discovered that the origin of human suffering, dissatisfaction and unhappiness comes from our ego mind and he proposed the solutions to reduce if not to eliminate suffering.

His followers gave him a nick name “Buddha” meaning the “awakened one”.

(more…)

#41.Our main poisons against serenity and happiness

When Zen literature speaks about the  “walls or gates” blocking access to our inner serenity and happiness it uses the word “poisons” since these walls are, most of the time, like poison pills that we swallow continuously without being fully conscious of their effects. Of course many sources of our suffering, sadness, sorrow, grief come from outside self such as loss of a loved one, accident, war, loss of job, verbal/emotional aggression, disasters, etc. However we shall see that most of our hindrances against achieving serenity and happiness are self inflected.

The Buddha 2500 year ago talked about causes of human suffering  many times during his 50 years teaching. The term “suffering” is now better translated as dissatisfactions/ unhappiness You will see that the main source of our suffering and dissatisfaction is our ego-self controlling our mind. Suffering and dissatisfaction are caused by numerous poisons. The list of our poisons is endless and varies greatly with each individual. The following is a short one.

(more…)

#40.Traditional vs. Zen mind

 

Statement Traditional Mind Zen Mind
Life can be better Yes Life is what it is
Life is unfair Often Life is what it is
I am unique Yes What is this?
Happiness is found Mostly outside ourselves Mostly inside ourselves
Success is happiness Happiness is success
I control Almost everything in my life Almost nothing
Most things are permanent Yes Everything is transient
Time is Past – Present – Future Only the present exists
I am Unique, Separate, Independent with my self-entity We are all interconnected.Our uniqueness is only molecular
My ego is A source of power and success The main cause of my suffering
The Source of suffering is Outside self Mostly Inside self
Most of the time my mind is In the future or the past Mostly in the present
My mind is full of Ideas, concepts, illusions, etc. My mind is open & receptive
My mind is Always analyzing Is a mirror reflecting things as they are
My mind is Distorting reality Reflecting reality
My mind is A wonderful instrument Useful but also a deceptive beast
My mind makes me Smart A slave
The more I know The better I feel The more confused and anxious I become
Thinking a lot is Necessary Dangerous
I think therefore I am (Descartes) I am not what I think I am
I think therefore I know Know what?
My Thoughts I am a thinking zombie I observe them
Knowledge The more the better The more of it the more confused I am
Knowledge The more the smarter I am The more of it the bigger my ego
My thoughts I believe in them They are not necessary the truth
Serenity is How much I have How little I need
Meditation is A relaxation technique A mind control exercise
Meditation is Boring Neither boring nor exiting, just as it is
Meditation is Difficult Neither difficult nor easy
Nirvana is Only for Guru Everyone has it
Nirvana is Outside self Inside self
Enlightenment A divine state to get from outside Inside self
My way of thinking is Always dualistic & discriminative Non dualistic, things are what they are
Judging is Important Only to make decisions
My negative emotions Control me I contemplate them
Zen is Esoteric Down to earth

Thanks.

Ven. Ji Gong Sunim.

 

#39.Our starving ego mind.30MAR15

Have you ever noted over the years that your ego mind is in starving mode all the time, always complaining and crying like a spoiled baby: “I want more, I want more, I don’t have enough, I am not happy, give me that, give me this, why me, it is unfair”? Its requests are endless: comfort, money, pleasure, sex, power, control, fame, love, recognition, security, understanding, more stuff and so on.

(more…)

#38.The six perfections (Paramitas) of Zen Buddhism

  1. Dāna pāramitā: generosity, charity, kindness, giving oneself
  2. Śīla pāramitā : virtue, morality, righteousness, discipline, proper conduct
  3. Kṣānti (kshanti) pāramitā : patience, tolerance, forgiveness, acceptance, endurance
  4. Vīrya pāramitā : energy, courage, diligence, vigor, effort, will
  5. Dhyāna pāramitā : meditation, concentration, mindfulness, contemplation
  6. rajñā pāramitā : wisdom, insight, comprehension, common sense, balance

Thanks.

Ven. Ji Gong Sunim.