#364 Nurturing our good seeds Sept 19 21

Nurturing our good seeds

As the soil of our planet, our subconscious is full of good and bad seeds that I will call weeds.
When we water our seeds, they mature and manifest in our consciousness. Example:
1-By watering good seeds they will grow stronger creating positive thoughts, feelings, and attitudes.
The growth of our positive seeds is helping us to be happy, compassionate, and understanding.
2-By watering bad seeds they will grow stronger by on the opposite.
The growth of our negative ones – our weeds- brings suffering, sadness, anger, worries from
endless and unachieved desires, hatred, and illusions as opposed to the factual realities of life.
An important point here:
Because we are the only ones to water our seeds, all of these manifestations are self-created
and under our control.
Everything depends on what kind of seeds we are watering and how often.
Unfortunately, many of us have the tendency to nourish our weeds in the form of unachieved desires, hatred/ aversion towards people, events, and things of all kinds.
Some of them, even, identify themselves with their negative traits and may need therapy.
Therefore, we need to maintain positive nourishment on good seeds in order to grow happiness.

How to do that?
Using mindful awareness, we must learn to be selective in what we water.
– First, by discovering and feed our good seeds. They are always there.
This is how we touch the wonders of life that are always available to us.
– Two, by taking care of our suffering.
One way of taking care of our suffering and its causes is to invite the opposite seeds
to come up because nothing on earth exists without its opposite.
When we have the seeds of despair, we also have the seeds of hope. Up to us to invite them.
When we have the seeds of depression, we also have the seeds of vitality and happiness.
Up to us to invite them.
Observing w/o resistance to our negative feelings in a mindful way has an immediate impact on
them and their opposites. This is some sort of entanglement.
It will weaken the power of the negative seeds and strengthen the positive seeds at the base.
Everyone has the seed of compassion, so, when we practice mindfulness of compassion every day
that is watering the seed of compassion, it will become a strong powerful source of energy inside self and around us.
Also, the more we cultivate serenity within us, our sadness, despair, hatred, and illusions will naturally decrease.
We don’t have to eliminate or even fight our negative seeds.
Like weeds, they will come back whatever we do. Just accept them in a mindful way.
Then, switch to your positive seeds, pay more attention to them by watering them more often.

Thank you all. Zen Master Ji Gong

#363 We are already awakened Sep. 11 21

We are already Enlightened

Being Awakened or Enlightened has nothing to do with paradise and being in a constant state of euphoria, bliss with spiritual power.
The central teaching of Zen is that we are all intrinsically awake that is, we can experience genuine reality at it is and not as the mind-made fictional one.
This is the opposite of being a daydreamer. I said we can experience, but, unfortunately, we don’t.
Awakening is the practice of having an open mind not a programmed one full of opinion and judgment that we download mostly under the control of our ego.
Experiencing genuine reality implies practicing mindful awareness and acceptance such as:
Being aware that everything is transient.
We do not control too much of our life.
We are all interconnected, and not indispensable.
Living in the moment since it is only in the Now that we are alive, only the present moment
is real.
Things, events, and people are what they are and not what we them to be.
Thoughts and feelings are the products of our minds but they are not you.
Practicing acceptance rather than resistance about self, others, events, and life in general.
Realizing that suffering is ego-driven from desire, hatred, and illusion.
Being conscious that happiness and serenity come from inside and not from outside.
Therefore, practicing with a constant awareness of these 9 realities will open the door to serenity
and, with serenity, Awakening will pop up to the surface.
Without serenity, Awakening requires learning how to control and clean our wandering mind from
its thoughts and feelings listed above and causing suffering.

If our mind’s nature were not already free that is enlightened, that would imply we could become enlightened only after hard work to acquire it, which is not so.
Here is a metaphor to help:
Consider a room that I call “awakened mind or Our True Nature”.
By definition, this room is naturally spacious.
However, during our life, we fill up that space with all kinds of furniture that I will call desires, hatred, delusions, thoughts, and feelings. Some are necessary but how many of them?
So: although we fill up the room with our desires, aversions, and delusions, our true nature that is the intrinsic spaciousness of the room is not affected by them because always there.
We are inherently free

Therefore, in the Zen tradition, the practice of mindfulness meditation is not about producing enlightenment because, like the room, it is already there.
Then, you may wonder: “Then, what am I doing here, practic¬ing?”
Because our meditation practice is helping us controlling our mind-made fictional world and cleaning up the “furniture” in the “room.”
By practicing non-not attachment to your desire, hatred, thoughts, and delusions, the room is clearing itself, so to speak. The room is not cluttered anymore but spacious like an “Awakened mind”
We are the materialization of something I.e. Universal Consciousness?, God,…..
Such materialization is designed to allow us to experience genuine Reality and Awakening created by such “Something”.

Thank you

#362 Making friends with ourselves Sept:5 21

Making friends with ourselves

Cultural brainwashing

Making friends with ourselves can be a challenging undertaking because we have been taught very quickly in life that we are lacking on this and that, and we should ain to be the best on whatever.
There are things I’ve said to myself that I would never, ever say to a friend.
I’ve pushed myself too hard by telling myself that my best wasn’t good enough and that my bad stuff is too much.
Basically, we have moments of treating ourselves like someone we didn’t even like, let alone love.
Making friendship with ourselves is alien because our culture telling us to be hard on ourselves in order to achieve more and more.
Self-aggression squeezes the mind, and aggressive, negative thoughts undermine our self-image.
The perception and prevalence of a negative self-image vs. a positive one are obvious in our culture, education, and consumerism. Self-dislike of our body and intellect is a big business.
However, The stuff we buy and consultations with will never fix the negative perception of self.

If we accept that our bodies are OK, that we have flaws and weaknesses, that we are getting older every day, or that we can be down emotionally, then, we don’t need to build a better self-image through products, services, and psychiatrists. If you feel good, buying stuff is unnecessary.

Obviously, seeking professional help can / may be indicated when the self-image becomes destructive.

Why mindfulness meditation can be useful?

“Mindfulness meditation can help us in making friends with ourselves”. It’s a statement that struck me
when I first heard it, but the more I am practicing, the more profound it is relevant.

Meditation can be a part of the healing process of our self-image.
The key is not making meditation yet another way to beat up on ourselves for not being good enough.
Mindfulness meditation is learning to bring mind and body together since our wandering mind
is forced to focus on our body that is our breathing.
Being one, both become friends at least for the duration of meditation.
It is during meditation that, subconsciously, we accept what our body and mind are and do.
This acceptance is allowing becoming friends with us.
With practice, it is possible to focus, in a mindful way, on one of our negativity that is without analytic, judgmental, and decisional cognitive process.

Learn to observe one of your negative traits such as weakness. For example: “ I am observing weakness”
By doing so, you are not weak anymore, you have a perceived weakness and you observe it.
Big difference because observing it creates a mental separation between you and weakness.
You are not anymore an emotional victim of x but the pragmatic observer of it.
This is a critical step to learn so we can accept this anger then to let it go.
This mindfulness process can be applied to any negative traits and flaws and weaknesses
that all of us have or perceive to have.

This practice is part of self-compassion so important is Zen philosophy.
Again, it does not mean to be self-centered or being narcissistic. It means simply to befriend with
ourselves.
The journey is not easy but it is worthwhile to try. Thanks