#281 Daily practice of quantum Zen July 27th 19

Daily practice of “quantum Zen”

Quantum physic studies the very very tiny physical particles.

In the same way “quantum Zen” physic looks at the tiny tiny components of on-the-go Zen practice as opposed to its mega components such as formal sitting, walking meditations, koans and monthly one-on one interview between student and teacher.

Tiny components of daily Zen practice pop-up as soon as we wake up and as soon as we fall asleep.

Here is a non-inclusive list of 10 on-the- go quantum Zen practice.

1) Do one thing at a time, slowly, completely and in a mindful way. Its means:

Bring your mind where your body is and what you do, even during routine or boring stuff that our mind hates. It prefers wandering in the past and future with its cohorts of dreams and good and bad feelings

Examples of this short mindful practice are infinite: peeling potatoes, eating, walking, being under the shower, peeing, listening, talking, touching, etc…

2) Do less stuff rather than trying to do too many things.

3) Designate protected time for certain exercises such as:

Use your 5 senses, one at a time, to pay attention & experience surrounding reality of the moment. The rest is pure mind-made fiction. This is a great skill to learn to put your mind in stand-by.     

Do short breathing meditation in any positions and anywhere.

Shut off your cell phone for at least 10 sec….hopefully more, unless special circumstances.

4) Stop judging all the time about anything …unless requested. Nobody cares anyway.

5) Once a while forgive yourself about what you did, do or think.

If you cannot do it for yourself, how can you forgive others? This part of compassion.

6) Once a while check your thoughts.

You don’t have to believe all of them.

So, just say hello to the useless / irrelevant ones and drop them in the recycling bin.

You will avoid mental pollution.

7) Stay in the present moment, good or bad, the only moment when you are alive

 This is the only one when concrete reality exists.

“Past you” is dead. “Future you” is not born.

We cannot be alive in 3 different space-times.

8) Do not be entertained by your mind as your second self-made Netflix. Enough addiction.

9) When you are victim of a strong negative emotion, just pay attention, acknowledge and accept it.This is a very difficult skill but it is the only way. Fighting it will make it worse.

10) Do not read too many smart books to achieve serenity.  

A donkey carrying smart books is still a donkey.

#279 How to use our 5 senses to practice on-the-go-mindfulness exercises. July 14th

             How to use our 5 senses to practice on-the-go mindfulness exercises

The practice of mindfulness meditation, regardless its quality, is cumulative as far its beneficial effects tat is how we perceive life and its content, how to experience the reality of the moment and how we are able to control our mind. Hoe often is more important than how.

The more we practice the better, regardless the quality and duration of our meditation are.

This is difficult to accept since we have learned, thru our Western education, that the more we practice on something the better we become at it.

The quality of our sitting is and will never be perfect even among the Masters simply because the mindis very powerful to escape from the focusing object that we are imposing on him.

Judging the quality of our mediation means quitting sooner or later.  

Beside weekly formal sitting and walking meditation, what can we do to increase the frequency of our mindfulness-based meditation practice?

Before going thru few examples, I would like to remind you of the 3 main functions of our mind/brain.

     1) Acting as a receiver of our immediate environment.

           Using its 5 senses acting as “radars”, our mind/brain is acting as a vey sensitive and powerful            receiver of the external world. He is collecting instantly, consciously or nor, zillions of data.

          Then he will t transform them into electric-chemical signals which will be computerized so            we an see, hear, smell, touch and taste. Based on the process, we are able to analyze, act and   experience reality of the moment. As far neuro research is concerned, we still have no clue why we can see colors whereas it is black inside, nor sounds when it is silence.

     2) Acting as the maker, manager and monitor of our 100 trillions cells in 78 organs 24/7

     3) Acting as a mental factory with 2 main functions:

             Cognitive: producing around 90,000 thoughts /day for analysis, deduction, judgment,  decision, memory, expectation, etc…

             Emotional:  contrary to our rational mind/brain, our emotional one always reacts immediately, around 100 times faster, in milliseconds.

Using one of our 5 senses is an excellent practical tool to practice mindfulness during the day because our mind/brain is extremely sensitive to its sensorial outputs, which will take priority if you decide to use one of them

You may pick seeing, hearing, touching, tasting or smelling.

Depending of the circumstances you can also:

      Keep the same “receptor” or alternate with others during the same day.

      Duration may vary from less than 1 min. to several.

 These sensorial focus points are infinite. Here are few examples:

      Seeing: paying attention to one color i.e.  sky, clouds, the green of trees, the motion of the wind, etc

      Hearing: silence, birds, cars, wind, rain, your steps, music, your tooth brush  etc…

      Touching: the ground when walking, touching your skin, a page of a book, etc…

      Smelling: the air, the food, grass, etc.

      Tasting: drink, food, etc.

It is important to practice in a mindful way that is just paying attention to your chosen focus w/o being trapped in some sort of analytic process of your target.

Remember this:

Despite its enormous power of zillions bits, the mind/brain cannot deal with 2 thoughts at the same time. We don’t know why.

When you focus, for example, on the sound of the train on the tracks or on the taste of an apple, or the sound of the wind or the orange color of the sky at sun set, just do that andyour mind/brain cannot do other thing but to obey you that is to focus on what we are asking him to do. This is key to achieve awakening, one thought at a time on concrete reality.

#278 : Stop being miserable in advance July 6th 19

                  Stop being miserable in advance

Another way to say it would be:

 “We should not try to be our own news maker with a mind-made 24h news channel, full of negativity”.

It is well known among guru in media marketing that news content from the major broadcasting networks must be at least 75% to 80% bad news or drama to attract viewers.

The highest Nielsen audience, the more expensive commercials are.

Drama/bad news are the rules for high audience with the exception live sport networks.

The way we, consciously and nervously worry about zillions of bad news from the media or nor existing yet is strange if you think about it.  To the extreme it might even be considered masochistic.

By definition, this voluntary anxious feeling about something that hasn’t not yet happened is a powerful mental trap and pure delusion since the future and its concrete content do not yet exist.  How our mind is controlling us by generating positive and negative emotions involving the virtual reality of the future is fascinating

Unfortunately, this is what we are doing spontaneously most of the time without looking too much at its rationality. This is called, in Zen,  “day dream walking”

Why are we our own mind-made 24h bad news channel and why we are, too often, attracted to negativity and “feel bad” stuff?

Modern research in psychology has not yet been able to find clear answers.

Maybe our 3.4 billion years of evolution with fear of danger, fight for survival and unpredictability has affected our genes responsible of this mental behavior.

Pragmatist people including Zen practitioners cannot be and should not be worried about every possible outcome in advance. Think about it:

Best scenario— If the news turns out to be better than expected, all this previous time of been worried was wasted with needless permanent anxiety and fear.

The present moment is contaminated by this hypothetical doom and gloom.

Worst scenario— If the bad news turned out to be true, we have been also  miserable in advance, sort of bad extra time before reality. Crazy.

Bad stuff is  bad enough when they arrived. Don’t give them more mental space.

Surely, there are better way to use the current moment even if this moment is perceived boring and dull.

A day that should not be spent in worrying about the days we may not exist.

Let the news come when it comes and don’t be anxious and worried in advance.

Instead, try to keep the mind to pay attention to the now, the only reality even if your mind is bordered. Being in Past and future are  mental entertainment.