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#212 ZEN Practice in few words Feb. 8th 18

                                              One way to think about Zen practice is:

A total, non-judgmental awareness (mindfulness) which incorporates together body and mind in the present reality of the moment, that is in the same current space-time & doing the same thing.

To do this:

Dropping all illusions and experiencing things and people as they currently are without the distortion created by our own relentless thinking and feeling.

#211 DON’T fight your thoughts while meditating Feb 1 18

                                           Don’t fight your thoughts during meditation

Can you stop your heart from beating or your kidneys for making urine? No

While keeping your eyes open, can you stop seeing? No

Can you stop thinking? No, even while meditating. This is a fake news.

Our brain-mind that is hardware and software has 4 main duties: Making our body working, relating self with our environment via our 5 senses, thinking and having emotions. All of them are unstoppable.

How to work with our thoughts and emotions is the biggest challenge during meditation and life. While sitting, thoughts, feelings, perceptions, past and future are always present regardless your level.

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#210 AWAKENING INVENTORY using a scoring system Feb. 3rd 18

               “Awakening inventory” using a scoring system     www.mindfulnesszenmeditation.ca

Are you “awake” or close to “awakening”? Please note: this is a very rough, non-scientific and limited inventory that may help you or not to assess your journey. The highest score the closest to “awakening”.

Score the following statements as:

Strongly disagree=1 Disagree=2 Neutral =3  Agree=4 Strongly agree=5 and be very honest with yourself!

1       2      4       5

I have an ongoing sense of contentment, ease, equanimity & open mind……………………………………………………………………………………..( your score here ).

I have pleasure for doing routine stuff / non exciting stuff………………………………………………………………………………………….

Life and things are what they are and not what I want them to be……………………………………………………………………………………………

I am trying to stay more in the present moment than being in the past or the future…………………………………………………………………………………………

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#209 When, where and how do you have fun….arnaud?

                                       When, where and how do you have “fun” Arnaud?

D, a very good friend of mine leaving in San Francisco told me the following over the phone:

Practicing Zen Buddhism for many years at the San Francisco Zen center and reading your blogs, I found that Zen philosophy and its Zen Masters teachers are somewhat dull, pessimistic, depressed and even boring. hey seem to live without expecting anything”

“ Why that”? I replied.

D: “ All Zen literature talks about controlling our ego, controlling our emotions, desires, pleasure, expectation; not having nostalgia of the past, controlling our dreams about the future…. This is pretty grim, bleak and gloomy. In other words no fun, don’t you think”

“This is your view Denise, not mine”, I replied”.

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#208 :”Are you blind”! About our emotional outbursts

                                             Are you blind? About our emotional outbursts

 Few months ago, I was walking downtown Oakville, with my arms full of stuff when someone roughly bumps into me so hard that my groceries went all over the ground.

As I picked up the puddle of broken eggs and tomato juice, I was ready to shout out: “You idiot, what’s wrong with you, are you blind !” Mad I was, like an aggressive wild beast.

 But just before I can catch my breath to express verbally my anger, I saw a white cane on the floor and realize suddenly that the person who bumped into me was indeed blind.

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#207 Zen serenity as taught by a little dog Jan. 6th 18

                                                  Zen serenity as taught by a little dog    

Our 10-year-old wonderful Shih Tzu named Zap is a perfect example of calmness & serenity except when he is asking to go out for a pee or when time for food is around the corner which is quite normal .

He is showing so much serenity that I asked him his secret. Since Zap does not use human language, I learned to read his non-verbal skills such his eyes. Here are his answers.

My brain and mind is only 7% of yours, which is a gift because more thinking induces more suffering.

I will explain that later. Here are the main reasons why I am more serene than you or Cathie or anyone coming for meditation in our home.

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#206 Mind-made 6 poisons Jan 1st 18

                                                                   Mind-Made 6 poisons

 

The main roadblock against inner peace and serenity is our ego-driven mind

 Our “I, ME, MYSELF and MINE” are critical for identification, survival, protection, enhancement, pleasure, procreation and many more other functions. This is wonderful but…..

Zen Buddhism considers our little self that is “I” is also the main cause of our unhappiness, dissatisfaction and suffering. These negative feelings and uneasiness are triggered by so called 3 main “poisons” in Zen Buddhist:

1) Desire/ craving/expectations or what we want 2) Dislike/Hatred/aversion or what we don’t want

3) Ignorance, better called illusions. They are affecting us more subconsciously than consciously. (more…)

#205: Meditation: its 2 most common obstacles

                                                Meditation: its 2 most common obstacles

 

 As long you have been meditating, for 80 years or 2 weeks, all of us are encountering the extremes of drowsiness and agitation during the practice. Drowsy or agitated mind are the 2 most frequent obstacles in meditation.

From time to time, it is impossible to escape from them.

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#204 Meditation: an update from neurosciences studies

                                         Meditation: an update from Neuroscience studies

 

Mindfulness is paying attention moment- to- moment to ourselves and our environment w/o analytic and decisional purpose.

During the past 25 years or so neurosciences have been very productive in trying to understand how mindfulness works. But, like for any scientific research, some studies regarding mindfulness and mindfulness-based meditation are very good, others are lacking true scientific data and many questions remained unsolved.

Here is an update meta-analysis from Berkeley Univ.

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#203 Time can be a dread Nov. 26th 17

                                                            Time can be a dread

 Once a while, I observe animals and pets and envy their pragmatism, calm and, maybe, their wisdom.

Their life is not fun, mostly routine. They suffer like all of us and yet they do not seem to make a “big deal of their dull and non-exciting life ”. Their lives seem to have few complications. They eat the same food, sleep when tired and don’t control anything.

As far we can judge, every animal is so busy with what he is doing in the current moment that he never bother asking whether life is good or bad, fair or unfair or what they regret from the past, expect or fear for the future. For them, happiness consists in living only in the present moment and not in the assurance that the past was better or the future will be full of expectations and without suffering. (more…)