Blogs

Winds of Change

"When the winds of change blow, some people build walls and others build windmills." - Chinese Proverb And some will build a wall or a windmill when experience calls for it. Or find themselves waiting patiently, feeling no urge to do anything else. I like that, it seems what a person living in balance would... Continue Reading →

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Tao of Who I Am

And in seeing that the stream of thought doesn’t represent how or what I am; I can never know “Who I Am” except in attention to these passing moments. So, I can only know How I’m Operating from one moment to the next. To do so means to fully accept existing in transience or what... Continue Reading →

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The Tao of Zoning In

I am so attracted to the meditative perspective of seeing when my attention is on thought and I experience the world through thought or on direct experience, in the proximity of where the body and breath exist. I practice paying attention to the moments direct sensing perspectives rise, because there's clarity and simplicity from that... Continue Reading →

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Zen, This is It!

"Affirm this very life, it's a singularity." - Jack Kerouac Your it. Live life. Do what you can, as well as you can, from where you are, bringing all that's possible in these moments and offering it freely. You are the only you! How valuable, how amazingly priceless. Soak yourself in this perspective until it... Continue Reading →

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The Tao of Synesthesia

I find it truly fascinating, this study of how what we know about consciousness, meditation, and a Human, Being. Recently I was studying a book called "The 30 Second Brain" by Anil Seth and there was a section on Synesthesia. (Senna-thees-Za) That's when a person may "hear colors" or "see sounds." Some of us humans... Continue Reading →

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Tao of Now

Lately I've been noticing how I have two distinct modalities for experiencing life. One, I'm in my head experiencing life by thinking about it, the other is when my attention is on exactly where and how I am in space and time or what I call direct presence. In direct presence the stream of thought... Continue Reading →

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The Tao of Heart

"Our first teacher is our own heart." - Cheyenne You are the only one of you that will ever exist. You are the only existing key to your inner world. Celebrate that today!

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Enduring Meditation

Sometimes I wonder about all those meditation periods that were spent as an endurance test. And the wonderful rush of accomplishment that arises immediately when the period ended. What was happening while I was busy wondering about the time, or more precisely, wondering how much time's left in the period? Occasionally looking at the clock... Continue Reading →

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A Purposeful life

Recently I participated in a group discussion, and I identified with comments made by a gentleman who wrestled for a long time about needing purpose. He was experiencing that "I must have something to do" syndrome that so many of us suffer from. For a long time, a great part of his satisfaction in life... Continue Reading →

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The Zen of “It.”

Lately I've been noticing no matter what formula I use, no matter what or how I experience life, it comes down to the same perspective of, "I'm it." Not in the egoic self-centered spiffy way like the star of some show, but more like a fearful, nervous, awareness, comprehension, and realization that whatever "I" am,... Continue Reading →

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Tao of Intellect/Body/Emotions

I notice that in most "spiritual and religious" systems there is a constant reliance on "thinking." I'm a little overwhelmed by the constant barrage of "information" that I seem to need to know, that has somehow found its way to the "crucial" file. Every second we find ourselves confronted by any information media we are... Continue Reading →

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Wisdom is a Process, not a Thing

Lately I've noticed how confining having specific "belief" systems can be and often results in closing oneself off from other rich resources from other systems. Take this incredibly supportive concept: Before saying something use this tiny contemplation first: Is it Truthful? Is there an intention of kindness? Is it useful? Lots of times people will... Continue Reading →

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Struggling

"Sometimes I'm convinced we are in the Apocalypse, but since we acclimate to it every moment, we have no baselines left to see where we are now. So, we tell stories about stories that once were true." - Unknown It's the bitter of the bittersweet. But the reality is, I don't know. No one knows.... Continue Reading →

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Truthful to Oneself

Most evenings, I take a little time and ask the following: Did I do the best I could, With everything I have, from where I was in time and space, being how I was, and feel complete? I love this inquiry and what rises from it. Bryan Wagner

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Tao of Useful Stories

Sometimes I find myself being challenged by someone because I will say something about avoiding believing the stories we tell ourselves are real, nor do we have to act on them. Some people get very defensive about their stories and want to argue about their value. I never say stories of any kind are useless... Continue Reading →

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Self is a Story

"The world will ask you who you are, and if you don't know, the world will tell you." - C. Jung I am willing to embrace that much of what I think of as "I," is highly conditioned by society, only represents my entire process, and has much less control than I ever could have... Continue Reading →

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The Tao of being a Sea Squirt

Sea squirts are marine invertebrates, little sac-like creatures. They initially have a rudimentary brain that they use to find a nice safe rock to Attach themselves permanently, and then they absorb their own brains, turning into a stimulus response feeder. Anil Seth, who authored the book "Being You, A New Science of Consciousness," suggests that... Continue Reading →

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Tao of Flight

I was out of the house today for the first time in twelve days. An unfortunate combination of severe food poisoning and walking pneumonia had me down for a while. But early this morning I finally felt well enough to go for a walk at the local park, it was wonderful! Just being able to... Continue Reading →

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Seeing Zen

Your perspective on life comes from the cage you were held captive in." - Sharon L. Adler Although at some point, I may realize I built the cage, and captivated myself. Bryan Wagner

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Commitment

It takes commitment to pay attention and seek an appropriate and relative response to each and every moment. But there is an equanimity that rises, and there is a surety that I am doing the very best I can as life evolves. Bryan Wagner

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TIMING

I have noticed when having thoughts of things to do in the future, I have distorted these present moments by pulling on them, saying, "Hurry up!" Having thoughts about the past drags produces a drag on time like an anchor, "Slow down time, what's the hurry?" But in sitting, doing nothing, just being, time and... Continue Reading →

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Tao of Jazz Improv

I went to a Jazz concert last night in Ann Arbor. An amazing evening and event. What I noticed was, at least from a distance, how Jazz and the meditative perspective have so much in common. Each musician was absorbed in the experience, interacting freely and without hesitation, adapting to structural changes, and moods. Sensitive... Continue Reading →

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Exclusive and Inclusive View

Exclusive: Listening to the oboe in an orchestral piece of music. Inclusive: Hearing the song, all the instruments, sensing the auditorium, the people, smells, the way the environment feels, and a sense of being. What a great ability, having attention and our ability to change the focus of our attention at will. How I react... Continue Reading →

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Caring and Belief

Never believe that a few caring people can't change the world. For, indeed, that's all who ever have. - Margaret Mead I think knowing this adds meaning to existence and is why I care so deeply even when all else seems to fail. Care, not out of guilt or to attain status, but care because... Continue Reading →

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Time

Today is not a bridge between past and future. Today is yesterday's future and tomorrow's past. Arising as one long day, one now, that fades away ever so soon. Take care of you and others. You need to feel balanced, if you're not OK how can you help anyone? Bryan Wagner

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Tao of Congruence

To be Authentic, one needs to be congruent in speech, actions, and perspectives. - Unknown Lately I have abandoned a lot of ideals and perspectives born of ideals, from a lot of different religions, philosophies, and spiritual paths. Instead, I've focused on two simple perspectives, being congruent and relaxing into a state of constant balancing.... Continue Reading →

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When I Believe I’m in Control

For several months I've been focused on the fantasy of control. Recently this dropped in while I was listening to Arcade Fires new single release off the soon to be released CD "We." I don't get to know when the lightning strikes, or the rainbow glows. I can only commit to doing my best to... Continue Reading →

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This unknown time

I no longer want to involve my being with endless chats of maybes and possibilities. Nor debate opinions, or so-called truths, whatever they may be. Or stories of her, him, and it, dancing in endless drama. Or seeking what isn't and never will be. Nor do I care to listen to empty commitments, made from... Continue Reading →

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Roles

I am conditioned into adopting a role (as in “I’m a Meditator) and play it through without developing any insight or comprehension into how meditation can impact the entire process of how I experience life. It’s easier to play a role than it is to embrace the challenges of being a human with all the... Continue Reading →

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Relying on Others

Work out your own salvation. Do not depend on others. - Gautama Lately I've been noticing how, when I started studying Zen, I was so severely conditioned into our educational system, that I was sure I needed a "teacher" who would direct me towards enlightenment, whatever I thought that was at the time. I felt... Continue Reading →

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It’s How not What

How I live while experiencing the stream of thought is more important than the content of the stream. How I live, what actions I take, will indicate how I am in these moments, not the stream of thought. Lately I've been looking at how I'm constantly focused on thoughts as a primary way to engage... Continue Reading →

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On Sadness

 Sadness of thought is not a sadness of Being. I may say “I’m sad” when relying on thought, but when I access the entire system of “Bryan” that simply isn’t entirely truthful. I see it as a momentary intellectual assessment that will rise and fade, a sadness of thought, not a sadness of being.  My... Continue Reading →

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Labels

"It's always easier to label than to understand." I have noticed lately how easy it is to shut down the inquisitive mind by providing it with an answer. So, in a relationship it's so much easier to decide someone's "mean" than to take the time and open oneself to the bigger picture, or inclusive view.... Continue Reading →

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Words

"All teachings are mere references. The true experience is living your own life. Then even the holiest of words are only words." - Ming-Dao Deng I had finished reading some study materials in Chan Buddhism and found myself getting up to look at the bookshelf to find some more material. And stopped. Why am I... Continue Reading →

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To Comprehend

"Life is a succession of lessons which must be lived to be understood." - Ralph Waldo Emerson For me, intellectual understanding is helpful, but to comprehend what a thing or process is, I need to engage with it, taking it into action in any way possible and see how it applies. Sometimes when studying I... Continue Reading →

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Giving You

"There is a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action and because there is only one of you in all of time this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and be lost. The world will not have it." -... Continue Reading →

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Your it

Live authentically from these moments, and be true to how you are, not who you think you are, or what someone else told you. No matter how anyone else perceives me I am the only one who knows how I truthfully interpret and value my actions. Each of us, at any moment, contains the alpha... Continue Reading →

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Wisdom?

I'm not sure about this "wisdom" that we chase after, that endless something that can be applied to life in waking moments. There are so many little wisdom sayings out there that they have become meaningless decorations in a burning house. What's the point? Other than to believe I sound "spiritual" for a moment or... Continue Reading →

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Seeing

Truthfully, I can only offer perspectives on your perspectives. I have no answers, only questions that lead to questions. Embracing that opens wide open spaces inside, and I fall in love with enquiry itself. Today, just being is enough. Bryan Wagner

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To React or not?

Someone asked me about a problem they were experiencing in meditation. It seems they have these small stings, itches, and joint pains that would flare briefly. They were driving her crazy, and she was driven to move and rub or scratch but felt she should stay motionless, and her "teacher" told her to "overcome" those... Continue Reading →

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Desire

It's not that I want the world to be different, I know the complexity evolves independent of what I want, it's my REACTIONS to the world as it evolves that truthfully enable my suffering that need to change. Bryan Wagner

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Those Exquisite Moments

Crocus flowers, I look forward to them every year. They grow randomly throughout the property, little bunches here and there. When they arrive in early spring, they seem to sing as they share their intense colors with the world. Funny how excited my whole being becomes upon their arrival. So, two days ago I spent... Continue Reading →

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Tao of Projection

"Your idea of me is not my responsibility to live up to." - Unknown And, of course, neither is my idea of you a responsibility for you to fulfil. Lately I've noticed that I carry these little images of other people, containers that carry what I remember about all past interactions. Things someone might have... Continue Reading →

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To Embrace This Temporarily

Available as audio The conditioned social "I" is temporary, vague, and wonders what to do next to make sure it exists. The dynamic cannot conceive of a place where there is no holding onto anything, no grasping, or this is mine. A place where, if attending, a constant next appropriate action manifests from the incredible... Continue Reading →

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Self or Not?

It's that same ongoing question that's been plaguing Buddhism, Hinduism, and assorted western belief systems forever. Recently I heard the words, "There is no self!" four times in one afternoon. I understand how it's so easy to pick up that little philosophy and apply it to everything I experience. It's an easy answer to life's... Continue Reading →

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Disney Zen

"Whatever you do, do it well." - Walt Disney For me, this is a very Zen and Taoist approach. Notice that it's not a matter of having to do things "perfectly." When I am present, which for me means I'm focusing attention on exactly where body and breath reside in time and space, I can... Continue Reading →

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Tao of Sad

"Trying to avoid sadness is trying to avoid life." - Maxine Lagace Feeling sad is often considered something to be avoided and rejected, but sadness needs its space, a place to breathe, an acknowledgement of presence. It doesn't disappear, it becomes diluted and pales in the shadows of shifting attention. But it's there, a memory,... Continue Reading →

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The Zen of the “I”

The "I" who believes it "watches" or "observes" thought is a product of the very thoughts it's watching. How do we know when the conditioned personality, the separate self, is spinning a story? Bryan Wagner

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Tao and Zen perspectives

We are all lost, frightened, and unsure humans trying to unravel our own mystery, and we cannot do that for each other. But we can be here for each other, listen carefully and fully, attending to exactly where we are in time and space, caring deeply, and seeing ourselves clearly in each other. Bryan Wagner... Continue Reading →

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