Continuing our series “Zazen for Beginners” (because we’re always beginners) ...

Here’s a basic perspective of Buddhism:

Our mind creates conflict and separation from this life/world because our mind is constantly filled with thoughts dividing this from that, worries and “what if’s“, desires and “if only’s,” judgments of good and bad and high and low, resistance to situations, fears for the future and regrets about the past … all kinds of junk in the mental trunk. In this way, our “self” creates an image of itself separate from, and in frequent conflict with life, the world, everything it considers “not itself” (and even conflict with its image of itself too!)

It is (as the old joke goes) a lot like your self mentally banging yourself with a hammer … Cause it is such a relief when you stop!

Reverse the process … drop the dividing thoughts, the fears and worries, judgments, the likes and dislikes, ideas of past-present-future, resistance and the rest … and all conflicts and separation drop away too. The self is no longer in conflict and isolated from all that it sees as “not the self” … the war is over … and (depending on how much those borders soften or fully drop away) this ’world-life-self-not self-reality’ is known and experienced in very special way(s) too.

Thus, in Shikantaza ‘Just Sitting’ Zazen we sit … allowing thoughts of this, that, past, future and all the rest to drift out of mind.

The hammer is put down.

CLICK HERE for today’s Sit-A-Long video.

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Remember: recording ends soon after the beginning bells; a sitting time of 15 to 35 minutes is recommended.