Are we behaving like Easter Bunnies? From a rabbit mind to a Zen mind
We are spending most of our life searching continuously for “outside happiness”, running around like 7.244 billions * “Easter rabbits” looking for one egg after another, all lifelong with an endless and never satisfied appetite. We become slave of our craving, desire, expectation, and attachments and totally captive of our ego centered over thinking.
We are even worse than these cute little rabbits!
- We regret the past dearly and worry about the future all the time as if they really do exist.
- We believe in our subconscious level that everything is permanent and that each of us has a unique and separate self entity.
- We have these pretentious and crazy illusions of being in control of our life and of almost every around us. BUT do we really control anything or something?
Take a few minutes and write down on a piece of paper the list of people and things that you do control 100% and you will see that the result is close to 0.00%. Pretty abysmal and depressing. In fact we are even incapable of controlling ourselves, our appetite, our thoughts, emotions, craving and much more.
The illusions of being in control or trying to be in control are both powerful fantasies fueled by our ego mind and a great source of ongoing delusion, anxiety, resentment, frustration and expectation.
Is there a solution to this pretty bleak picture? Maybe there is by changing the way we look around us and inside ourselves. This is not per se a perfect solution but can be of great help in discovering serenity down the road. We have to look with new eyes outside and inside ourselves.
How to look outside ourselves?
- By being mindful, moment-to-moment in a non-judgmental & non-preconceived mind to people and to things as they are – like a mirror- and not as our ego mind wants them to be. Remember this: we do not control anything. Please kick this powerful deceptive illusion out of your mind.
- By discovering the beauty and wonders of our surrounding Nature. Nature is a fantastic timeless & endless 3D movie running 24/7, anywhere, at no cost, with no line-up, with amazing actors, startling sound tract effects & magnificent colors. The cast is full of love, peace and generosity.
How to look inside ourselves?
- By unloading most of our old preconceived ideas, illusions, opinions, concepts, views and judgments in order to create an open mind ready to accept things and Reality as they are. Here is a short list of our main illusions:
- Life, events and things are how we see them…Not so…they are what they are and not what we want them to be.
- Everything lasts…Not so…Everything is transient including us.
- All living beings have a permanent, unique and separate self entity…Not so.. we are all interconnected and dependent of Nature to survive. We are “interbeings” rather then beings.
- Our ego-centered mind is a wonderful instrument…Not so…It is also the main source of our dissatisfaction and unhappiness. Meditation is the way to control it.
- We control our life…Not so…we are totally dependent of its events and of our environment including people.
In Zen literature an unloaded mind becomes an open mind. It is called a “beginner mind”, “empty mind” or “don’t know mind”. A word of caution here: unloading our pre conceived ideas out of our mind is an aggression on our ego and could be difficult to attain. Meditation will help greatly to reduce this mental noise so deceptive.
2. By learning how to control our ego mind using daily meditation since our ego is the main source of our illusions, dissatisfaction and frustration. If you practice these looking-out and looking-in the natural beauty and wonders of your surroundings and the peacefulness and wisdom of your inner self will appear and call you.
Are you ready to look and to listen?
This is the “beyond thinking Zen way” somewhat perceived as pessimistic, depressive and defeatist. On the contrary the Zen way is pragmatic, logical, practical, down to earth. It is a “no brainer” approach like a brainless mirror. By just practicing “ I am a mirror reflecting things as they are and not as I want them to be” will do the trick.
* Human population as of July 2014 UN statistics.
Ven. Ji Gong Sunim. Revised March 6th 2015