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Comprehension and Zen

"Increasing intellectual understanding only supplies more information, not Comprehension." - unknown Comprehension: The action or capability to understand something. Understand: Perceive the intended meaning or interpret, view, something a certain way. A group inquiry on these words and concepts quickly ground to a halt. We are always using these words but I have a problem... Continue Reading →

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Nothing Happens Next Zen

"One is never afraid of the unknown; one is afraid of the known coming to an end." - J. Krishnamurti I committed to a group dialogue yesterday, and during the group one of the Zen teachers said in reply to a question, "Nothing happens next." In a very wise and decisive tone. My comment was,... Continue Reading →

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Two views that are only One

"We don't create a fantasy world to escape reality, We create it to be able to stay. - Lynda Berry Experience right? Gautama encouraged paying attention to your own experience in order to find what's truthful for each of us. To not accept anything on face value no matter who said it. Check it out.... Continue Reading →

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The Work of the Journey

"Did you really think you can change your way of life by an intellectual desire?" - Ama Ma I must have at least a dozen little processes tucked away, that in theory, will help dissolve suffering. But, (that word really pisses me off sometimes.) I don't engage them in the moments of need. Do you?... Continue Reading →

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Beating Heart of Tao and Thoughts

" We are dying from overthinking. We are slowly killing ourselves by thinking about everything. Think, Think, Think. You can never trust the human mind anyway. It's a death trap." - Anthony Hopkins Exactly so, Anthony! The reason we suffer is we seriously believe that the content of out streaming thoughts, the thoughts themselves, are... Continue Reading →

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Belief’s and Chan

"I intend to live forever or die trying" - Groucho Marx I love patterns and processes, so much that it's really become more of a view than anything. We love content, but we rarely look at the process, the how of things. All our current "belief" systems insure some form of immortality don't they? Even... Continue Reading →

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Moods and the Flow of Tao

" I think it was just a different chord in the melody of our lives together." - Carol Ludwig Carol is a mother, an artist, poet, psychiatric nurse, wordsmith, and an empath, she hails from Ann Arbor, Michigan. The work featured is one of her visual songs. She, has a wonderfully deep shamanistic feel to... Continue Reading →

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Zen of The Backward Elbow

"Freedom from, is also a Freedom." - unknown but sounds like J. Krishnamurti I am fond of Zen stuff. I think because the word Zen doesn't mean anything, it's a direction of process, like the Tao. One afternoon the guide was talking about the "Freedom from the elbow bending backwards," and it was one of... Continue Reading →

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No-where To Go Meditation

"You'll know when your absolutely in the present moments when there's nowhere else to go." - Suti Na In presence, there's nowhere for the body, emotions, moods, feelings, and senses to escape. Experience is right here, right now. But the system we call "Bryan" doesn't care about being in this "location" for very long. It... Continue Reading →

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Training that “Mind”

"Educating the mind without educating the heart, is no education at all." - Aristotle I felt so burned out after another conversation about "training the mind" to do this and that, notice when idea's form, notice when emotions are rising so I can cut them off, and notice when "bad" thoughts are formulating to prevent... Continue Reading →

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The Way of Inspiration

"Surround yourself with people who inspire you." - Unknown, but must have been an artist. Last month I had joined an online writers group to discuss Buddhism. As we discussed our various perspectives someone asked how much I write everyday. Hmmm. I wondered, not out loud, why we place such importance on the amount of... Continue Reading →

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Viewing View

"How you look at it is pretty much the way you'll see it." - Rasheed Ogunlaru It's part of conditioning. We learn to see things in a very specific way. And when we haven't actually explored our own conditioning, it's more challenging to move in a conscious chosen direction. Below are a few ways in... Continue Reading →

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“Go Ahead” Zen

"I just want to be happy." - All of us at some point. It was in the middle of July, in Kentucky, on one of those nights when the heat permeates your brain and your stream of thought is operating in a crock pot. I was sitting in a large open barn with 37 Zen... Continue Reading →

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Seeing Self, Seeing Sangha

"True friendship is the entirety of spiritual life." - Gautama to Ananda Sangha can be an inspiration and offers many forms of social support. A family of sorts, one founded on certain beliefs and principles. Digging a little deeper we find that having a friend, someone who is a true friend, can provide a wealth... Continue Reading →

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Dogs and Enlightenment

"Sorry I missed it. I was on the Onefold path at the dog park." - Dharma Brother Pat Pat's response to an email concerning some information I was going to share with the Still Mountain Meditation group. But he did something more important instead. Dogs carry Zen and Tao. Our job, if there is one,... Continue Reading →

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The Four Tasks – A Discussion

stillmountainmeditation.org 10:45 EST USA On Sunday the 8th join me for a discussion on the Four Tasks and their relationship to the Four Ennobling Truths and The Eightfold Path. We will look at how the Eightfold path can be use as a reflective process to see our current state in a clearer way. We sit... Continue Reading →

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Wisdom isn’t always Wise

"Unless one is willing to live fully in the present, the future is a hoax." Alan Watts I truly appreciate Allan Watts, he was honest. He never denied that he had an alcohol problem. He never called himself a master this or that, he openly said he was an entertainer, a showman, and not a... Continue Reading →

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Not “Doing” Meditation

"Meditation works by itself, you don't have to do anything." - John Butler I'm sitting in for a zen teacher, holding the class in place for a minute while she rides out some medical problems. It's interesting, during the question and answer periods most question were about sitting in meditation and the frustration and utter... Continue Reading →

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Wisdom that Rises

"Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius, and it's better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring." - Norma Jeane Mortenson Pretty yin and yang stuff isn't it? I have always been fascinated by the process that took Norma Jeane from point A to X. A being unknown and X being terminally known. From a Human,... Continue Reading →

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Live with it and a Zen View

"Live with it." - Dr. --- I was anxious, sitting in the examination room, holding internal conversations with the skeleton standing in the corner, all smiley and friendly, and creepy. It was a conflicted time. I didn't want to go through spinal surgery again, yet was hoping for the problem to get fixed. Right, fixed.... Continue Reading →

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The Open Cell of Tao

"I have to be careful about what I want, usually what I want is wanted until it's gotten, then it's replaced, by another want." - Soto Zen Monk, Emily M. Occasionally I find a way to open my cell door. You know, the one I keep closed while I rant on about my freedom. It's... Continue Reading →

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Adequate Zen

Atelophobia: fear of imperfection I decided this morning that I'm adequate. It's not a bad place, not the horrible demeaning position of "less than others" that I thought it was, not at all. Adequate is meeting life in the middle, it means I have this much energy, this much to give right now, and that's... Continue Reading →

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The Tao of a Morning Mind

"It's OK to make mistakes, to feel tired of everything, to not have things figured out. It's not OK to give up. Keep going, even if it's a slower pace, You got this." - Karen Salmonsohn Late one night in the hills of southern California, I sat in this sweltering hall, and listened to a... Continue Reading →

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Laughter, the other orgasm.

"I will stay the course, I'm refusing to abandon my experience, I will laugh with and at the gods, I will laugh until I can't laugh anymore." Laughing and crying, an old and very wise friend, very stoned, wrote these words one summer night. And he meant it. he meant every word. And, indeed, laughed... Continue Reading →

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Those Knowing’s

"Only those who care about you can hear you when your quiet." Me Ti I know people who read moods. They have a special way of seeing. I can say nothing, just appear, and they pick up on the bodies signs, like facial cues and body language. But I think sometimes it goes deeper. A... Continue Reading →

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One Thought

"We must first become Human before seeking anything superior." - Rene Daumel If there is one thought that keeps me grounded it's this one. It's amazingly unknown. It reminds me of a guide I had decades ago who would always tell me when I waxed philosophical, "Keep one hand on the earth and one hand... Continue Reading →

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Walking on Nothing at All

"Be as unsure as possible, know nothing, see conclusions come and go, swim in your fear, and then go stand in the light of the Great Eastern Sun and breathe. Do you see this? Do you see?" - Elder of the Fox People I realized the other day that I finally comprehend freefall. I had... Continue Reading →

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The Rainbow and the Rain

"Take these moments and live them." - Song of So Sometimes in life, meaning is magnified in a conscious holding of the passing moments, a sense of being present. I am here. Sometimes, I am here, and you are here, too. We are together here. Also. Two universes enmeshed, information flows, feelings flow, meanings are... Continue Reading →

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The Under Rated wisdom of OK

"In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: It goes on." Robert Frost Regardless of whether I'm in joy, sadness, or just "OK," life goes on. But, I have been missing something that has dropped in lately. Being OK. I'm slowly learning that nirvana is simply nothing going on, or those... Continue Reading →

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Projecting Nothing at All

"When your mind is full of assumptions, conclusions, and beliefs, it has no penetration, it just repeats past impressions."- Sadhguru Lately I find myself projecting the past into the future. As though the pain, drama, fear, and agony of past experiences will somehow repeat, or, and just as delusional, that somehow I will avoid the... Continue Reading →

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Unfolding

"This is it. This is it. This is it. This is it. This is it. This is it." = Freefall At one time you find your presence feeling safe and loved, and somehow more complete, more compelled, and enmeshed in the flow of life instead of the dead observations, and for seconds, everything folds into... Continue Reading →

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Only This

"Never let the fear of striking out get in your way." Babe Ruth There's a bigger picture to this. The artificial fear of "striking out" in life. I was sold a lie, well, a lot of lies. About worth, about meaning, and about what it means to be human. I fear "striking out" because I... Continue Reading →

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I’m a Meditator, look at me Ma!

"Meditation works by itself, you don't have to do anything." - John Butler So much for being a "meditator." There is a certain status about being a new meditator, you can smell it on people when they first start to meditate. They all seem like their "doing Meditation" and will soon be in Nirvana, at... Continue Reading →

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MapWorld or Presence?

"We tend to overlook it (reality) in favor or the abstract map-world that thought has painted. But all the while, the actuality (reality) is effortlessly and spontaneously functioning in perfect harmony." Joan Tollifson: "Death, The end of self-improvement." I can live in mapworld, that extracted world of ideas, thoughts, and dreams for days. It's a... Continue Reading →

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Elusive Time

"I tried to do meditation daily but I just run out of time."- Shelly K I was facilitating a group on inquiry, and meditation was the subject. Shelly presented as sincere and had been "meditating" for about a year. As we got further into the issue it seems that Shelly believed she needed to sit... Continue Reading →

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The Contingent Ground

"Trust the wait. Embrace the uncertainty. Enjoy the Beauty of Becoming. When nothing is certain, everything is possible." - Mandy Hale Well said, and it certainly points to the incredible beauty of uncertainty, and clarifies that because all possible combinations keep evolving, all possibilities exist. So, in my Layperson's way of thinking, I can embrace... Continue Reading →

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Sangha, Cat or Fish?

"Sangha is not a collective, we don't mindlessly lump together and believe everything we are told. No, Sangha is a herd of cats, not fish. It cannot exist any other way. Each brother and sister with their own perspective, sharing and supporting each other, each path woven into all others, forming a strong and resilient... Continue Reading →

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No Pending Moments

"Sitting quietly, doing nothing, noticing the sun moving across the floor, my life's passing seen as colors, shifting shades and intensities, from bright to dull. And I wanted it to stop, for just a second, and it never did, nor did I." - Maja Mattan No matter what my mood, what I think, or what... Continue Reading →

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The Silent Stories

"I'm my dream I was deaf, no one spoke at the party, the storm raged on in utter silence, and the traffic moved past on the crowded road in deep silence. There's no noise in thoughts. - A Monk during a three month retreat. A Dharma sibling was asking Sunday if there's a sure way... Continue Reading →

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Just This

"Nothing Happens Next!" - Cheri Huber Sitting on a cushion, nowhere to be. Just sitting like the laziest of frogs on a lily pad, just sitting and being. Not attending to streaming thoughts, not attending to ideas about others, not attending to what "I" want or believe. Just sitting and breathing and noticing. No "meditation... Continue Reading →

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Only Dead Fish Go with the Flow

"Ritual and Dogma have a place, but only after you comprehend that they are only ritual and dogma. Ritual and Dogma provide nothing but associations to a way of being" - Unknown I had this ongoing argument with a friend who was a "meditation teacher" who insisted people not only need to be led they... Continue Reading →

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Ordinary Courage

Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying. "I will try again tomorrow." - Mary Anne Radmacher Courage is losing someone you love and going on, wobbling, sad, lonely, but moving on a step at a time. Courage is losing an animal whose life you accepted... Continue Reading →

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Embrace what’s Truthful

Once side knows the TRUTH and debates with the other side about the OTHER TRUTH. If something was to be absolutely TRUE there would be no opinion, no other truth, and no argument. We wouldn’t need to argue over it. There would only be the absolute. People argue and debate over belief about truth. They... Continue Reading →

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