October 28th, 2019

Zen

Zen says enlightenment comes in everyday actions. There is no action taken for granted. Every action is lived fully in the moment without thinking about past or future.

Fritjof Capra, in The Tao oF Physics, discusses Zen Practice as follows:

We are fortunate to have a wonderful description…in Eugen Herrigel’s little book Zen in the Art of Archery. Herrigel spent more than five years with a celebrated Japanese master to learn his “mystical” art. His book is a personal account of how he experienced Zen through archery. He describes archery as presented to him as a religious ritual “danced” in spontaneous, effortless and purposeless movements. It took him many years of hard practice, which transformed his entire being, to learn how to draw the bow “spiritually,” with a kind of effortless strength, and to release the string “without intention,” letting the shot “fall from the archer like a ripe fruit.” When he reached the height of perfection, bow, arrow, goal and archer melted into one another and he did not shoot, but “it” did it for him.

 F. Capra, The Tao oF Physics, (Shambhala 2010) at 126.

    June 1st, 2019

    Wu Chi-The Second Position

    The first time Master Yang Jun instructed us on standing like a tree I had little appreciation for what I was about to do. “If you want to learn the real thing, stand still without moving with your hands in front of you as in holding a beach ball.” (Master Yang Jun). When I tried this with Master Yang I was amazed at the difficulty. Standing still in this position is tougher than most physical exertion over a similar length of time.

    With practice I learned what is happening inside my body as I stand still for at least five minutes. Slowly I began to recognize the internal power of my body through the simple exercise of standing still.

    When I stand like a tree I get in touch with my natural field of energy. Like a tree I take strength from the earth, from the air, and from the space that surrounds me.  I am nourished by everything around me as I stand in mediation.

      March 17th, 2019

      Lesson from Marcus Aurelius

      From Sextus Marcus Aurelius learned:

      Kindness.

      Gravity without airs.

      The ability to get along with everyone.

      The ability to investigate and analyze, with understanding and logic, the principles we ought to live by.

      Not to display anger and to be free of passion yet full of love.

      To praise without bombast; to display expertise without pretense.

      Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

        January 19th, 2019

        Wu Wei

        “Literally, Wu Wei means ‘without doing, causing or making.’ But practically speaking it means without meddlesome, combative, or egotistical effort. … Wu Wei  means no going against the nature of things. …

        When we learn to work with our Inner Nature, and with the natural laws operating around us, we reach the level of Wu Wei.

        Then we work with the natural order of things and operate on the principle of minimal effort. Since the natural world follows this principle, it does not make mistakes.”

        Benjamin Hoff, The Tao Of Poo(1982).

          January 8th, 2019

          New Year’s Resolution-Connection

          con·nec·tion  (k-nkshn)

          n.

          1.

          a. The act of connecting.
          b. The state of being connected.
          2. One that connects.
          3. An association or relationship: There appeared to be a connection to the group.
          4. Reference or relation to something else; context: With this connection we can work for justice.

          For my New Year’s Resolution I am working on “connection'” as in connecting with others. Connection is accomplished by listening in the moment.

          To successfully listen I clear my mind to facilitate openness to things as they are. To connect by listening I give up preconceived ideas and opinions. I listen and observe the way of the speaker.

          I accept the speaker without emphasis on good or bad. I feel things as they are with the speaker. I find common ground through the humanness of the situation.

            May 10th, 2018

            Wisdom of Pooh

            “What day is it,” asked Pooh.

            “It’s today,” squeaked Piglet

            “My favorite day,” said Pooh.

              April 1st, 2013

              Listen with Your Heart

              Gerry Spence teaches decisions are made from the heart. He says people decide what to do at an emotional level. They then move to the cerebral cortex to verbally justify their emotional conviction. In this way the decision appears to be a well thought out rational decision-at least it is explained that way.

              If Spence is right we are biologically programmed to make decisions from the heart. We are programmed from thousands of years of evolution to trust our heart. Since the birth of rationalism we are taught to make decisions from the cerebral cortex. We are taught to take emotion out of the equation. A decision is supposed to emanate from the mind and therefore it is deemed “rational.”

              But are thousands of years of evolution to be cast aside in the name of “rational” thought? Why not yield to what we have successfully done from the beginning of time? That is listen to our heart; admit we make decisions from the heart; and, admit decisions made from the heart are the best decisions we make. Listen with your heart, trust your heart, and go where your heart directs.

                August 19th, 2012

                Being Real

                What is REAL asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. “Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?

                “Real isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin Horse. “It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.”

                “Does it hurt?”

                “Sometimes,” said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. “When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.”

                “Does it happen all at once,” he asked, “or bit by bit?”

                “It doesn’t happen all at once,” said the Skin Horse. “You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But those things don’t matter at all, because once you are real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”

                Margery Williams, The Velveteen Rabbit (1922).

                 

                  August 13th, 2012

                  We are a Diamond

                  There is only one of us. We are different than anyone else. No other person has our looks, our voice or experiences from birth. This means no other person sees the world in the exact same way we see the world. This means we are able to offer a perspective that is unique to us and unique to the world.

                  Because we are different than all others we have a presence that brings variety, that brings something different, and that others can learn from. We learn from others, and others learn from us.

                  Our differences make us like a diamond. No two diamonds are the same. Each diamond has its own beauty. Some may be thought to be more beautiful than others, but the lesser diamond from a beauty standpoint may be better from a work standpoint. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. The key is to be ourself, give the gifts only we have, and contribute our uniqueness. This makes the world a better place.

                    July 8th, 2012

                    Challenge Beats Compliancy

                     

                    Compliance is easy. We get stuck in a rut when we become compliant. Once in a rut it is hard to move out. Challenge defeats compliance. When we choose to challenge ourself we choose to live out of our comfort zone. We choose to push ourself to a greater height.

                    By choosing to challenge ourself we have the opportunity to accomplish something worthwhile. It may be to get to a higher level of fitness and health. It may be to further our career. It may be to be real and forthcoming in our relationships.

                    Whatever we choose by challenging ourself we have a chance of accomplishment. By challenging ourself we live at a higher level. By challenging ourself we push through compliance to become what we are capable of being. Life is short. Now is the time to challenge ourself and live a life we can look back on without the regret of quitting.