The Empty Boat Zen Hermitage

Fixation is one of the main problems that Buddhadharma addresses. It is one of the foundations of suffering. 

Have you ever been eating something, like a strawberry, and noticed that when you focus on it, the flavors seem to pop out? And when your attention doesn’t focus on it, they seem to grow muted? It is the same way when you focus on your pain, physical and mental.

When we fixate on something, we begin to notice more details about it. This is because the brain is able to spend more energy perceiving it than it does when attention is scattered or focusing on many things at once. This is what makes food taste better, and what makes bad experiences worse.

Tantric or Esoteric Buddhists often use attention to turn a simple experience, like drinking coffee, into something overwhelming, sensual, and bright. This is an option, but it’s not of the…

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