The Dream. The Illusion of Time.

I am seeing that the universe doesn't rationalise in terms of right or wrong, but in terms of manifest and un-manifest.  Storm are destructive, but nature doesn't see this as wrong, but as a storm. Is that not the way it is in life?  For if we are not life, what else are we?

To look at life is to look at all of life. If we begin to pick and choose what we want to experience surely we will not be living wholly. Not that we have any choice other than to choose the manifest, as there is only now. How can we master it, if we don't choose to accept and experience it?  

So I would need to take care in the habit of thinking positively about the future, for every manifestation manifests wholly with both opposites of good and bad, or it would not be whole.

However, this is the illusion, for the future is now unfolding in every disappearing moment, which immediately becomes the past..That is the dream.  That is the illusion of time.

Knowing, Not Knowing

In zazen today.... We can know the unknowable through awareness, experientially. It is far from making sense because it is far from reasonable. Only the mind is reasonable. The Self simply is.

Stream of Conscious or Just Plain Mind Antics...

At touch of stream of consciousness here.. Or maybe better to call it the narratives of the mind…

I am aware of the need to focus on the here and now, to be aware of when my mind gets totally absorbed in the daily tasks that I perform. Totally engrossed in the material world and leaving behind the spiritual awareness that I have developed in zazen.  I am thinking right now of zazen.  But is that the zazen what was, and not zazen of the here and now? The mind being aware of itself?  What tricks!

Of the mindfulness that I attain in zazen...  I can recognize that I am closer to centred-ness in zazen than I am when the world sucks my attention into itself. Or perhaps truer to say that the world doesn't do anything as it is after all... me!

It's just that when I am sucked into the world, I am a space filled with the physical story of my existence and not giving my attention to...  I - the being who is experiencing experience.

However, right now I am aware that there is a fight already beginning within me. A "reasonable" fight where a part of the mind is saying, "I have done my zazen already, therefore it is important that I get on with life and write this." 

What a crazy statement! Obviously comes from my mind as if zazen isn't part of my [other] life. So how do I stop this?  I don't…   It is all me.

For to resist is to desire that I change whatever is so in my existence of any given moment.  To try and change is a form of desire to rid myself of desire in the secular world. 

Desire [no matter what it is for], is the source of all suffering. So said the Buddha. And I am seeing proof after proof of the truth of it.  But enough of so many inadequate words.  This is Zen.

How Can This Date "Thing" Get To Be So Real?

Well, here I am at the 2nd Day of December. That is just a name. Just a label. Is just a story about December. A story I hold in my mind. A unique story, but a story that I share with the rest of humanity - well the majority of humanity that shares the concept of a calendar that is believed to be real. .  My narrative that I have learned. That is nothing new or mysterious unless I move into the question about it. What is it really? 
Numbers on a piece of paper on a wall. But where else is the actual reality of the calendar.  I can look outside and see frost on the grass and that tells me it is December?  No… Naturally speaking that tells me it is cold outside.  So I say this is the date.. What is?  It is not anywhere to be found except for in my concepts.  In my mind.  A idea created to help us know… what?  The date of course! And everybody else who knows about dates will agree with me that it is the 2nd Day of December right now.  But we've invented it! A concept. An idea... and we call it reality.  It doesn't exist anywhere else outside of the mind.  How could this date thing get to be so real?

In zazen, if I completely drop the idea of "date" existence continues.  If I could possibly throw it right out of my mind and forget that it ever exists, there are some people who would say that whether I know it or not, the days come and go, and that means that the days have dates and they come and go.  But to me they have been forgotten.  We need to forget our self, so that we can remember who we really are.. How much more "Zen" can one get?

The Illusion of Paradox.. Letting It BE.

Whatever is happening right now, could be a response to a past situation or indeed a past life.  In Zen, it is named makyo, yet it is what is so with or without the name.. It has come to awareness therefore it is of value to see how I got it wired together in the here-now?

In reality,  the past is gone, but the reactions may remain.  No, it is the concept of the past being gone (or not) as the past is an illusion and an illusion cannot exist, therefore another paradox. Name it and that isn't it. Name it illusion, and drop that thought... Now what!? Sucked right into the paradox there! And further paradox...

Accept what is already being accepted. For nothing can be in awareness without such acceptance! So there is no acceptance when one already accepts!.

How do I work this out? I do not work it out!  If past lives are gone - they are illusions, yet illusions are what are preventing me from awakening?  If illusions are not resolved, do they not continue to influence our lives?  Probably.  But that too, is illusion.

If I ignore all this without looking, then that will not work. If I seek then that will not work. So, without seeking and without not-seeking... Living again with paradox.

Roles "I" Play

I know that I play a role of my own created narrative.  I just need to know that I know it.  I know that my narrative is created out of my identification of the body-mind.   I know that night-time dreams and daily living in my "waking state" generate identical responses in my body mind.  So what to do?

No "doing". Listen and watch as Self. Practice zazen. What else?

I am Self taken on human form and this "I" is nothing reasonable or intellectual, it just observes reason, knowledge or any other phenomenon. In fact it is not "it" at all! I am I. Nothing to do with the story that I have created about who I am.  So who am I that contains all such narrative? Crushing the narrative won't "work" either! I still remain.

Opening Up

I would say that we need to open ourselves to all that we experience as we experience it.  Not making it happen, but allowing it to unfold for life often teaches us things we prefer not to learn about, and those lessons can be delayed, not lost, but will always come back to us, perhaps in a more intense form that we may pay closer attention.  We can choose to be great explorers of life itself, or otherwise prevent ourselves from growing and learning.

Stuff and Business

Yesterday I did away with busy-ness, but what came up was that there seems to be some-thing every day? Some-thing to do... Some-thing to achieve.. I cannot include zazen in that, because zazen is being, even when it feels like doing...  Of more value in Zen... there needs to be nothing. No thing. Drop stuff.  Notice... 

There may be some resistance to just being in no space experiencing no-thing. But we can be gilling life with a sense of Self, not stuff. 

I may feel that I need my stuff, but more correctly the mind wants my stuff and doesn't need it at all. How wily the mind can be in its addiction to stuff! Solid stuff of illusion!

Self: Emptiness

In zazen, the mind gets tremendously resistant and thoughts will intrude immensely. We cannot fight the mind, it has had a life-time of conditioning, some believe that is also has previous life-times of conditioning. I prefer to look at NOW and see this enormous "mountain" in front of me, that is probably etched into my genetic memory.  

We are looking at a universe with the small space of awareness of what is left to us, that is the Self.  Perhaps sharing with you may help... 

I get the incessant voices in my head, but there is a small space that can look at those voices and by connecting with that space, it will expand. Slowly or sometimes not so slowly. Sometimes profound and sometimes not so profound.  

When the mind is overpowering, I give up and go with it. I deliberately "choose" to have it the way it is. Thoughts may racing around and around. What I have to do today, what I wish I had done or not done, yesterday. By choosing it as it is, I am making it happen, rather than having is happen to me.  It's a paradox.  

We cannot reach that space of Self as conquerors. We have the long and hard lesson of learning to be patient as we wait for it to come to us. Giving space in our awareness to let be whatever is there, whatever is being. It is totally in the present moment. The mind can only operate from past conditioning, even if it has the illusion that it can form the future. The past and future is never present, it is therefore an illusion.  

Enlightenment and Self awareness can only come in this way.  It is not created in the mind, because it already exists in all of us and encompasses the mind and all it contains - all the racing, random, trivial thoughts.  It is IN our Self (awareness) not encompassing our Self. Self IS awareness. 

Sometimes when the mind seems to race around, a question like, "who is watching all this racing around?" can be quite revealing. It is important not to look into the memory, or rationality and to  keep discounting whatever the (rational) mind will answer. The only answer that is left then is emptiness. There is nothing (no-thing) there! As self is not a thing. 

From Self... Challenge to the Mind.

It is extremely challenging to look at the question, "who am I?"  Every answer just comes back to the question. There is no-one there! For how can the awareness of "I" possibly look at itself? It can only BE  awareness itself, which is everywhere and everything and words can merely point to what is already so, has always been so and will always be so. Timeless, therefore beyond reason, defying all attempts at analysis. Intelligence more powerful than the mind that creates a form of fear in the mind. That's the challenge Self puts before the mind. .  We can know it when we see it, but we cannot wrap it up in a perfect memory to draw on when we need it.  It is now.. All the time it is now. We are already there!

This is What We Do..

So this is what we do...

  Although through zazen or meditation it can become obvious that we sabotage ourselves with desiring this thing and that thing, we continue with the sabotage...  

The mind seems to make us forget our centre and when we feel the conflict and begin to suffer to a lesser or greater degree,  there is nothing we want more than to find our centre again. But that is a desire also.  What a neat trap! To observe ourselves getting into this pattern, is to realize the opportunity to end this pattern. But not by doing anything, but by being, whatever there is for us to be. 

In such circumstances, how can you just be? Who can just be?

Cycling With Who? or Playing with Essence? Give it up!

To me today Zen is saying, "for heaven's sake, give it up!"  Be ordinary for from the mundane comes  the profound knowledge that cannot be talked of, but can be transmitted - well so it is said.

I am asking myself,  have I ever transmitted it?

What a pointless question! The question of whether or not I transmitted is past experience.. But experiencing cannot be past at is now! The illusion of past experience is in memory, in the illusory mind!  Did I experience it? What a ridiculous question!

I am reminded of the Zen master, Wu Li saying, "Before enlightenment, chop wood and carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood and carry water". So ordinary. So every-day!  So simple! So immediately NOW!  And in my zazen the silence... And then the disturbance... "For heavens sake, give it up!"

Practice the art of waiting. Letting go, yet staying alert. No ambition. Just being in harmony with what's going on in the universe out there. Out there?  In here? Nowhere, no place.  Things come and things go.

Rain… snow.. whatever... Just here. And each season has moves on through and out of its cycle - manifest and un-manifest whilst its essence remains.  The universe doesn't interfere with itself as the mind of humankind does.  There is an exchange. The earth gives, the sky gives. No reason. No worry or judgement about too much, too little, too violent, too weak, too strong.  But what of all this?  Indeed, what of all this?

So I aspire to wait in patience. Just allowing things to pass by. Times and seasons I don't like, will also pass, as will seasons I like. Who likes? Exactly!  No answer, just silence. The eternal self is emptiness. So pure.

Seeing into the truth. Working my way through, and not around the compromising mind. Getting past the politics. They are all illusions. I cannot say who I am. Saying, explaining anything operates in time.  So how can I use these words? They are already gone! Please share....

Who gets stuck in time?

Not-hing. Mu. Yu, Shunyata! Pure essence.


Getting a higher state of awareness has its advantages AND its disadvantages.

The disadvantages are that I feel things much more deeply as I am getting more in contact with my conditioned mind that doesn't want to be awakened from its stupour!   The problem is that there is no knowing when full awakening will occur. It could be in a moment from now or in a few lifetimes from now.  It comes in its own time, when the practitioner has given up seeking for it. The paradox is that without seeking, it cannot happen, but the very seeking can be a barrier.

The advantages are that through zazen one can have many awakenings that words cannot describe. And then there is a spontaneous development of love and compassion. And understanding that cannot be learned, but is a gift from Self.

Acceptance, Awareness, Making Distinctions

Tension occurs when two forces originating in the mind are pulling  in two different directions. Life-force becomes out of balance.  Sometimes we appear to get relief and the problem disappears.  But a more serious problem could arise if such relief has not come consciously, with awareness - in other words, our tension has merely been suppressed and not resolved, because we have pushed it away.

Zazen is the practice or non-resistance -  the art of taking awareness to a condition and willingly penetrate through deeper and deeper levels to the core.  The art of total acceptance.  

One then develops the ability to make a distinction between imaginary illusions and true intuition,  never forget common sense,  and especially truths that may come up that one does not want to hear!  This way we can learn to know and be responsible for our own truth, our own resolutions. 

Analysis: A Koan, or How to Title This Post...

Unconscious mind. I think I would prefer to call it the super-conscious mind,  because of the inexplicable intelligence that works all around the universe.

The old question, "if a tree falls in the forest and there is nobody there to hear it, does it make a noise?"  A koan perhaps?

I am aware that I need to see that I am part of this. Everybody and everything in existence is part of this universe. Not so much subject to its "laws" but ARE those laws.  Creators…

Everything and everyone are creators whether or not it is realized. It doesn't depend on being mentally recognized or analysed.  I can't see analysis going on in the universe, it doesn't need analysis. But I can see it in my ego-mind. Even right now. I am analysing the non-analysed.. I have only got to write this down to be in a state of analysis. Analysis is the content and the universe is the context. 

The universe HOLDS analysis, but is certainly not dependent on it. Analysis came into being a long time after we came out of the primordial soup. It was created out of our awareness. So it didn't exist before? 

I get that it always existed. Never started and will never end. It was merely unmanifest and then became manifest.

 And the universe works without it.  Of that there is no doubt.  So what exactly is analysis?  Who is the analyser?  You, I in our ego minds? What effect does our analysis have?   Using our awareness we may see that we know already.. We are already are buddhas…

Analysis has no effect other than  to  change things around that already existed, after the fact. Things simply continue to exist in a transformed state.  A hole in the ground that we dig can be potentially filled again. We have not changed the ground, we've just move a bit of it!  Transformed it into concrete, or some piece of pottery or whatever.

And so with a knowing smile or worried mind look, I can carry on analysing. If I am aware of doing it, the mood or state of mind is irrelevant, as an emotional state will always only be a transient state.  A (spiritual) springtime will turn to summer, autumn and then winter as it continues within the cycle of birth and death. 

Contemplation: Time as Illusion.

 I see time and it is an illusion.  So I can observe illusion?  How can illusion exist, if it is illusion? So it is an illusion that I observe illusion too!   I have examined and written about this time thing so much, but I think such enquiry really has to be tautological.  
Approached from different sides of the reality and this promotes closer examination for those as crazy or as sane as me!  I don't know which, but such duality needs to be transcended.  And really these words are inadequate- they can only point to what I am experiencing as I write, and each of us has to see for ourselves.  So I will point on….
How can time exist when now is immediately gone forever?  To be free of this we need to see and experience this reality and be willing to live with uncertainty, because that is the way it is. Uncertainty is a mystery. To know life as anything less than a mystery is not what the "I-consciousness" really wants.  What can we learn from what we know, because what we know is already gone. We have learned. Past. Illusion. 
My zazen (meditation) is the practice of constantly focusing on the here and now and letting it go. It takes many years of daily practice, and it is on-going. In this life, we all have a mind equipped with ego-conditioning after all!  But the more reality can be experienced as the now passing away,  the greater the ability to see reality. Little by little, inch by inch. We watch ourselves grow. Impatience will never get there, because it exists as need. A need to be somewhere other than the now that is immediately gone. 
If we pay attention to what is coming up right now, we can expand from self as individual. Expand from needs and emotions and realize a much higher state of awareness and consciousness outside our dualistic nature of what is I and what is not I.

Become Consciousness: A Question

Great masters have said time and time again, that we need to transcend our minds, to quit seeing ourselves as separate beings and become the observer:  become Consciousness. Such being-ness will manifest when it manifests. There is no agenda, no timetable, no map to find the way. It just comes to the quiet mind, not the warrior who sets out to defeat the relative world. It can happen in an instance. Just like that! Or not.. Be prepared to wait? No, not prepared.. Just wait, maybe a moment, maybe a day, week, month, year, decade, lifetime or more. True non-resistance to what is so right now. How? Live with this question. 

Meanwhile, can it be that the more we can contemplate, the more we can read, talk and communicate on the question of how to realize Self as consciousness, the nearer we will get to transcending duality and be one with universe and ultimately hold the universe within our awareness, allowing the realization of self as pure space? 

Disappearing Reality

Are we the same person as we were a decade ago?  I can look and have memories and if I focus on those memories, I have an opportunity to realize that that person WAS me, meaning that it is no longer me.  Now, what about the person I was yesterday, or an hour ago? That WAS me too, not IS me now. Furthermore, NOW is gone too. Ego wants certainty and seems to be looking for it in the wrong place. Yesterday isn't certain. How can a moment be certain if it doesn't exist!? And what of NOW?...

Ha!. That's just gone and isn't certain. I am moving from moment to moment and ego is calling all moments that instantly are no more, or are not yet, reality. What do I call it?  Best not think on that because all I will end up with is a lot more thoughts about what was, or will be and thinking that what is merely apparent, is reality!   Thinking does nothing. Experiencing does but disappears constantly.

Zazen Today

In zazen today. The mind cannot be stilled by force, for is not that a total contradiction?  The mind becomes still when it is set free…. Set free to think whatever it wants to think, roam wherever it wants to roam.  Just the witnessing self is then manifest, karma continues to manifest in the space of acceptance until eventual completion.

Expanding Awareness

Expanded awareness comes from total acceptance. Acceptance of anything and everything that comes into [said] awareness.

The resistance:

There is chaos in the world of the senses. See it, accept it, witness it.  This world of the senses is where opposites exist just in order to fight each other.

The Journey:

Expanding one's awareness allows these opposites to flow from one to other, each giving way to the other; each giving the other the space that has been provided by the expanded awareness.   A way of peaceful existence.

The alchemy: 

They merge together from the free flow of acceptance.  Resistance can be complex, but such complexity is resolved by the simple way of acceptance.

Practice mindful awareness. Focus on going with the flow at first, through the complexity to the simplicity.

Expanded awareness may take a lifetime of practicing the art of witnessing the flow from opposite to opposite, but expanded awareness accommodates both opposites as they flow from duality to Oneness.

One CAN Tell!

With Zen, one can never tell what is to come.

But one can tell what is here and now.
Comfort. Discomfort. Pain. Pleasure
One can tell if one looks.

Seeing Without the Mind?

How do I know if I'm on the right path?
I don't. Not with the mind anyway. And..
I do.. because we are all on the right path.

Right path, wrong path. It really doesn't matter for that is a value judgement from the mind.  For the journey is ALL.

What is written here is merely the description and not.. It. It can point towards "it" -  Maybe.  So you could say that these words are fake.  Maybe.

What is written here is really the mind looking at the mind, which... How can that possible?  It is just like running around in a barrel trying to work out what point you are at.. Indeed is that possible in the circle of a barrel?

Can I see without the mind? Can you see without the mind?

If you leave your opinion... That's not it... Probably.

Waiting... or not.

It is like standing in line in a store, or sitting waiting to see a medical practitioner. We  cannot be there before we are there.

Just being.
Just waiting.

In nature, I see the trees and the flowers and wild birds and animals. Constantly changing from season to season. Just waiting for those changes to take place.

It is not nature (natural) to hurry.  To want to get dealt with.  This is a desire.. Buddha taught that desire is the source of all suffering..  But typical of Zen.... "or not!"

And that is the question. The koan that Zen has for us - well for me anyway! But for us.?  Perhaps.  Or maybe later... Or.. There is only now! Or not..  

What  can I know right now if I look deep enough to see?  I came from the energy (chi/ki/prana or whatever term is preferred) of the universe. From No-Mind" and will return there completely when I've done with my body.. And in between?  Well is it not beneficial to wait? Just wait in the moment? For each moment?  What else can I know?  What else can you know?  

There is always an "or not!" The eternal now ensures that there is.  But it is disappearing constantly... Immediately.. Can't cling to that!  

And some believe that there is meaning here!  Or not.. What do I mean? Yes... What do I mean?  

Head in the Sand.

It has been suggested that I stick my head in the sand...

What I do not know, I do not know. I am aware that I do not know it. If I am sticking my head in the sand, then I am aware of it.

Looking for answers is a search, a sort of ambition, a sort of desire. If I know then I know. If I cannot see, then I cannot see. All is right here and right now.  I may get to know by focusing on my head, there in the sand - if indeed it is? I am practising the art of trust in my  awareness, and even get to trust my lack of trust, for it is so.

And who made this suggestion in the first place?

I did.. Or is it more accurate to say that my mind did, if indeed Zen is accurate!  Trust me!  Or not! I'll go back to looking deeper into the sand for the time being..

What Remains?

In letting go of all the senses, silence remains.  Just accept and witness....

Now, what I can see and witness, cannot be outside of who I am..

Much to Do? Being? Doing? What?

So much to do in this world.. Doing fosters desire for change.  Not-doing fosters a desire to stay the same.. not doing, not "not-doing".

Being... How can we just be? The answer to that is to become enlightened.

Be here now!  A mind that is focused constantly here and now has to be free of desire, that Buddha said was the root of all suffering. 

Mind. Master or Servant?

The more conditioning that is operating in life, the less spontaneity.  We need to become mindful and aware of what we are already conditioned with.. It is then, no good trying to forcibly destroy our conditioning, but to allow us to see the truth of universal principles of acceptance and  love. 

Meditation happens as we begin to see reality. This also is not something we can approach with force. A discipline that is not controlled further by the antics of the mind, but what we choose from our beings.. From our awareness.

Today is Uncertain.... Always

Today is uncertain. There is no future and I need to engage with the uncertainty of what's to come.  Not that  ANY day has ever been certain, but there is only now, and now, and now.. Going, going into countless successive moments of now..  Life is state of flux. To realize the alchemy of spiritual awareness is nothing more than being 100% here and now.. Moving on and on, certain of the uncertainty!

Is it not all right to be stupid?

This is Zen… Or not…

Carp diem? Seize the day?  How can this be? This moment, once here is gone. Is it stupid to try and seize it? The past, the present, the future, how can they exist? For immediately now comes it is gone. So how can a day exist? Past, present future tenses.. Tense time…

Equally, how can I seize what I am?  How can an eye (or I) look at itself?  I can only be.. The moment can only be, and then it is gone.. I? Am I immediately gone? That cannot be so? I am empty, a mirror. But the illusion is that I am not empty but full of rubbish like this…  This is not Zen it is stupid… to the degree that it is not.. 

Let's not be clever, for this is stupid.. But is it not so? Is it not all right to be stupid? 

Here. Now. Listen. Nothing.

Mind. All these wheels and thoughts racing around as if they are important and the very stuff of life itself.. But is this really so?  What is important? What is really important?

Nothing... Nothing cannot exist outside of the here-and-now. This is it! Listen? Nothing.  No mind!

Now look at mind.. The wheels within wheels. The cogs of this ever self-important machine.  For what?  Exactly? And then there's nothing. For mu, as a Zen master would or would not say.. Would or would not? Who knows?  Zen.  Zen? Really?

An intention to be mindful with everything that I do, presents a challenge. I become aware of the times when I am not mindful. Only in retrospect of course, and then I can focus on the now. Mabye.

Such is the mind. Listen carefully to all the languages that are used.  Even the languages of the great masters.. Listening to what they say, are they always in the here-and-now? If they are who is responsible for that? Them? Surely that is a fragmentation of you and them - another duality?

Can you really be responsible? Others - self. An illusion?

Always fully present? Does their speech depict this? Closer to home and of greater value. Listen to yourself? Are you always in the here-and-now? Always present with what is so?


Take a moment.. Listen to this silence. The here-and-now....
Notice there may be noises, and listen to the silence. The here-and-now.

Listen. This it the universe, wherever you may be focused in it.
There is a silence beyond the noise.
The dark of the moon?
Is this a time for listening?

This is zazen. Just listening to silence, if you like.
The silence behind the intruding thoughts
The universe.
No answers. There are no questions that are not already answered
In themselves.

Silence reflects the "suchness"
The being-ness of being.
This is it.
This is now.

The silence is always there.
I will need to remember to listen more often.

Dark Shadows in Neat Boxes

Dark shadows exist at the back of the mind. Zazen can bring them to awareness that can act like a candle or a bright torch shining light into them and creating greater clarity.   In zazen I don't try to stop myself thinking about the discomfort of such shadows, as there is something they are teaching. Writing about it with mindfulness and focus is a great support.  This is what I feel is unraveling the wiles of karma and is a valuable process to do through communication, thus making issues clearer to awareness.

No!  Not clearer to the mind, as rational reason likes to "own" each and every experience, wrapping them up and putting it away in a neat boxes for future reference. Spiritual experiences cannot be owned, because every experience is immediately gone and we are into the next one.  It's the journey.

Looking Zazen: Guilt and True Forgiveness.

Guilt and True Forgiveness

In zazen today I have been fascinated by the antics of the mind.  This whole thing about guilt complexes - to give it a Freudian term.  He said that they were buried in the subconscious mind and yes, they are. As they emerge into consciousness, the mind creates a (dis)ease of impending retribution, from others, from karma, from the universe. 

It came to me that guilt is the operation of the conditioned mind when we think we are doing what is considered to be wrong. I am using the word "considered" (to be wrong) because right can only be genuine right when coming from the heart, from the self where there is no motivation, no desire for anything. All other stuff is just societal control, which from birth slowly enters into this life. I have swallowed all this hook, line and sinker and are therefore just as likely to feel a judge as anybody else. I am looking at this from my own perspective. Even though, I have heard so many tell me of their guilt complexes and resultant anxieties, I can see the reality that all is one, and to be able to know something I must own it. Whilst others have it, I must know  of it too, or I could not talk of it and would be prone to judging it without realizing it. Transcending it it not necessarily making it "better" or destroying it. The experience can disappear, but to disappear there needs to be something to disasppear. I need to experience it and see it as an energy with opinion attached, and then there is an opportunity to transcend it. It exists as a physical manifestation belonging to this physical world, of which I am merely a visitor! 

My work as a Zen practitioner, has always been to transcend this conditioning and choose for myself to be in harmony with all else. Societal rules don't change, but my awareness does, so that I can be free to live in harmony with the rules. I can choose freely for myself.   Acceptance and observation - just watching what arises. Going completely with the flow.  What would emerge then?  "True righteousness" born of awareness?  Is this true forgiveness?

Conditioned Mind... or Prison

I am my own creator of these prison bars..
I made a prison of negativity…
And through zazen,  I am getting that I am now nervously coming out of that prison.
Each awareness of imprisonment of this sort,
Does lead me to a great sense of space in which to just be. 
Experiencing my life…
Nervousness is a resistance that is bound to be a response as the bars disappear, Because those prison bars of ignorance through conditioning,
Can act like a security blanket that has for lifetimes, held me tight..
Security though is the freedom to expand into the adventure of life in this universe..

How I Deal with Challenges and Barriers

If there's anything that will kill the inspiration/motivation to meditate, it is trying to do too much too soon, and what is too much, too soon will mean different things to different people.  As a general guide, I invite my clients to begin meditating for 20 minutes each day.  I get their commitment to do this every day until their next appointment, which is preferably a week away. Some clients though are better suited to 10 minutes and feel that is all they can do. In my experience, if a commitment becomes established, a client will meditate longer more often and even begin the practice of mindfulness in his/her day-to-day life.

What I have found though is that if for instance, a client is unable to return in a week's time, a fortnight tends to be too long, and very soon my client would have abandoned the idea and more than likely will cancel his/her next appointment, or even not bother turning up without cancelling. They are simply not ready to face the Zen-like challenge and may or may not seek an alternative path. 

This phenomena tends to be such as shame because meditating is very a valuable process that just by practising it, a person can become more centred and expand consciousness and awareness. But commitment is needed.

Daily meditation is a discipline and can be very challenging to the ego-mind as it exposes the "inner politician" - named thus because politicians are famous for going back on promises and commitments! I am talking here about the politics of comfort seeking, and personal/spiritual development tends not to be very comfortable, because old beliefs and personality traits have to be challenged and transformed, if a person wants to experience the empowerment that Zen practice can bring.

If there is no way for any reason, that a person can arrive for a weekly appointment, I introduce another "tool" - the telephone. I get him/her to commit to phoning me on  a specific day, at a specific time, a time when there is no doubt with that person that he/she will be able to make such a call. Now that home computers are in practically every other home, the use of e-mail is also used.  Stating what one is committed to by phone or using the written word over the internet, has been found to be a great support. It brings into external reality the act of giving one's word, be it spoken or written.

Listen Carefully.

In zazen, it is far better to observe and accept whatever comes to consciousness than to analyse or look for meaning.  Things are simply so, right here, right now. What is so right here, right now, is truth, for it cannot be anything else.  Analysis of truth is just that, analysis and not truth itself. Analysis tends to come from conditioned thinking, memories… and that is of the past, not now.    The analysis is the interpretation of something that is so. Something that is being communicated from the spirit via the nerves and other "messengers" in our vehicle of experience - our body, is so.  Listen carefully!

Silence and Pain

Silence within is where I can be at peace.
Where I will reflect on myself and witness what is going on.
Silence is the only permanent thing in life; the only unchanging thing.
Silence is silence, always has been, always will be.
It existed before the beginning, because all beginnings have an end,
And the journey is endless. 
Silence is always there even in the midst of the marketplace.

The Moon reflects on the water.
The reflection is silent.

When there is pain or loss,
Listen to its silence closely. 
This is the art of true meditation
It can be like a built-in healing phenomenon
Keep focusing allowing the silence to absorb it completely
Into completion.

I want this higher state of awareness.
I opened the gates to it through my Zen,
And I know that this pain and that pain happens to many Zen practitioners..
But I need to remember the art or non-resistance.
Be with what I am with. This is it.
All truth is experience and all perception is of the mind
And all that mind stuff...
Is merely an interpretation of what I am experiencing.
The truth of what I am experiencing comes from experiencing it.
Without judgment.

Undoing Karma?

If we run away from our pain in life, we are running away from something that has great potential.  In zazen pain often manifests in the emotions and in the body that is responding to those emotions, especially when those emtions are not in full awareness.  The body may be acting to mask the emotions that we don't want to look at.
What was prominent in today's zazen is that it is through pain and struggle that  the "best" spiritual growth comes.  Therefore, I need to accept and witness and use any discomfort or pain as a tool for concentration and focus, allowing my awareness to expand.

Awareness needs first of all to move through my karma. Karma is stuff that I have not let go of.. It is easy to let go of pleasurable situations, yet the struggle to build the "spiritual muscle" come more effectively from the pain encountered in zazen.  If I do not resist my pain,  if I accept it, and go deeply into the core of it and from there, I can release it, and expand my awareness a little more.  Undoing karma?   Possibly, but there needs to be no goal or achievement in Zen.


I find that the Osho Zen Tarot often gives me something to focus on.  It is all stuff on the ego-mind, I recognize, but sometime the makyo involved is quite uncanny.   In Japanese Zen  the word makyo means, (ma- devlish) and (kyo - phenomenon or objective world). It is a distraction.  Little "devils" of thoughts, ideas, ambition, achievement, entertainment that tempts me out of the present moment. Tempts me out of mindfulness. Anyway, I looked at my card which was VIII Courage..  The courage of the small seed to transform into a fragile plant with all the risk that that entails.  It could be eaten or a gardener may decide that it needs to be uprooted.. Just two of many risks it would take.  

So I was looking at an 8 card. Since the age of 10, I have had a weird  connection with 8, always expecting something profound to come from it…  

Expect nothing! This is the Zen way!  Courage is needed. I have started the journey and that is it. There is no beginning and no end now. There is only the journey.  I was always on it, and became aware of it.. So therefore, there cannot be a beginning or an end.  It was always there, and I cannot now un-know what I know. Not that I would want to. The desire has been awakened. But… Desire paradoxically stands in my way. But such is the way of Zen to work out what to do with it.   I am here.. I am on the path. This is Zen, the pathless path that I have come upon through a gateless gate.

No differences.

There are no differences, as life in the world is a dream of separation. What is now, is no more now and yet is always now - no differences.

For This Moment

Zen is a paradox so not many things make sense.  What comes up today? My whole life has been a preparation for this moment.  And now it's gone!  Always!  Is this just a state of mind?  It can be or… It is just a state of being.  Always has been. Always will be.. Always… Just now. What else can it be?  Yesterday was and therefore is not. Tomorrow simply is not. It is nothing. It is now. How can one think about nothing? Not possible. Nothing can be realized, not theorized.


If what I am writing here right now does not make sense, then it is wholesome - whole and complete. Because in Zen, truth always transcends sense, so one cannot really write about it as I do here so often!

Judging: Three Questions and more... How long? But there are a lot more...

Today in zazen, came lots of thoughts - also known in Zen as makyo.   But should I judge and condemn makyo? Should I condemn the thinking mind?  I think to much.. Ah! Another judgement!  A neat trap.. Or is that a judgement?

We take other people (and situations) into our awareness. This is so. Can't get away from that statement. We can know others from our own awareness.. That must be so, as we cannot know them from their awareness!

We see something that we cannot agree with. We condemn it. We are aware of that thing we cannot agree with, therefore it is bound to be within us!  Another neat trap.  We condemn our Self!   The more we judge as liking this, disliking that, attracted to this, repelled by that,  the more disintegrated we become. Whether it is good or whether it is bad, makes no difference.

Zazen then, is the task of reconnected with those disintegrated parts of our Self (or self, there are some who say that Self should not be capitalized - just more judgement, just more makyo to get stuck in - but I don't care what they say - I forgive them! Do I really? ).  We reconnect to our fragments by forgiveness of Self which is forgiveness of others.

I think of all the incidents in my life when I must have judged and condemned in my mind. There are loads!  I probably think too much, I say again!  We walk along the Zen path (or some other labelled path) and we come to a space, to a situation, to the memory of a person, to.... whatever....  We are not happy with it, and we want to forgive for our own sakes,  but we don't know how to do it. We cannot do it! Of course we can't do it.. Because it isn't doing.. It is being. Being forgiving. We can only be willing, and then go within and wait in patience for the experience of forgiveness to come to us. Or if you prefer, the experience of closure; or the experience of completion.  If not, another part of us, greater or smaller, will get stuck in this space on our journey.  And we may find ourselves running around and around in this space. It could be temporary, but it can last... How long?  I don't know.. Best not to add another judgement! How long is a piece of Zen string?

Mind and Awareness

As I entered zazen today, I became aware of the here-now and my mind racing around with thoughts of what should and what should not be. How zazen should feel and how it should not feel..

Again came the judgements.  And then every now and then, for a split second, I was observing that I had plunged into the mind. It was so very subtle and I noticed that there were moments when I had lost the awareness of the mind, and had become the mind.  When the mind believes its the being, or the being believes it's its mind - works both ways, but awareness is the key here!

But what of here and now.. Now as I am writing this?   Am I really getting mindful of what is going on?  Am I detached and observing the mind.  Yes and no.. There are no answers that can be answered until I stop using my mind! 

One cannot get enlightened from the mind, only from awareness, and that awareness is tricky as we have to make the distinction of what is awareness and what is mind.. 

Or there again, if all is One....  See what I mean!?

In and Out of Awareness

Is there really a Zen master outside our own awareness. No, there cannot be.. Not possible.  We create everybody else in the world in consciousness.   

If I am not liking this or getting disappointed, it is because I have expectations.. 

How could anybody exist outside my awareness?  This is nothing to do with ego, it is just so.. It is true of everybody whether or not they realize it. Is this is what it means by the truth that we all have a Buddha nature?   That is looking at it too reasonably. One cannot get Zen intellectually. 

Does a falling tree make a sound if there is nobody there to hear it? Does anything exist if there is nobody there to experience it?