Today I described Chan meditation like this to a friend: Grass grows, wolves howl, Buddhas sit.
I recently translated Farong’s Xin Ming (Song of Mind). Unlike the Xinxin Ming, I’m not gonna post that one online, because I’m probably gonna put them both in a book, and I’ve been told that it’s unwise to blog everything you’re putting in a book since then people have no reason to buy it haha. […]
When we’re born, we don’t know our names. Isn’t that peculiar? We don’t know our gender, sex, race, political party, or religion. And we don’t know anyone else’s either. We’re born in a cloud of unknowing, and we spend the first part of our life in that cloud. Then we start to see patterns in […]
Five traditional Buddhist meditations for counteracting the Five Hindrances
照底心直觀禪 Zhao xindi zhiguan chan. It’s simpler than it sounds. This is a great exercise for anyone who’s preoccupied with their thoughts and feelings. I’m a huge fan of the Sutra of Perfect Enlightenment’s scheme, that practice begins with an Awakening. Before then, we’re just kind of putting all the pieces in place that we […]
Time has no hold over what is true. That’s the basic teaching. Buddhadharma asks us to set aside fleeting and fairweather truths, and to turn around and look at what remains when we’re no longer grasping at a single thing. During meditation, if something’s marked by dissatisfaction, we forget it. If something’s marked by impermanence, […]
The most important part of meditation is cultivating a balanced mood, a steady state of mind. Mood is vitally important in Buddhism. It’s called citta, and enlightenment is sometimes referred to as a liberated, boundless mood.
A clearing in forest, a batch of light bathing the bare patch of grass. You find places like that, scattered here and there in the woods, existing without any good reason to. They’re just there, open spaces. Fields, groves, and meadows. They’re decent impromptu pastures for rabbits and deer, since they’re usually overflowing with tall, […]
Relax, observe, immerse. That’s the practice in a nutshell. Some people try to skip the relaxation step, but that makes it more difficult to observe something completely and without bias. And it makes it impossible to immerse ourselves in what we’re observing. Any relaxation method is fine, but I recommend one you can use on […]
One thing at a time. That’s the path to a simple life and a straightforward mind (not-two). Instead of multitasking, instead of our minds jumping rapidly from this to that, or trying to balance this, that, and the other thing simultaneously—we’re living one step at a time. Even when we’re not multitasking, we’re usually still […]