Teacher’s Blog

Renewal in the Stillness and Silence of Meditation

It can be helpful to think of meditation as renewal time for our body-minds. The space of meditation, at least Zen meditation, involves a realignment of the self with the universe. Getting caught up in activity can invite us to assert the self against the world, especially when we care deeply about what we’re doing. We get busy trying to understand, maneuver, express, create, change, hurry, finish, resist, and come up with an effective plan. Our actions may even be fruitful, but...

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The Experience of Less-Self

Excerpted with permission from Idiot’s Guides: Zen Living by Domyo Burk — As I mentioned earlier, you can’t recognize when you are living without the filter of your self-concept. The moment you think, “Ah, here I am, experiencing no-self,” the self-concept is obviously back. Still, you can learn to live with less-self, and this is definitely something you can appreciate and work on. Ironically, Zen practice can make experiencing less-self more difficult, at first. All of the Zen...

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The Courage to Face Our Shit

Every time we sit down in meditation we are challenged to face our shit. What is really going on in our body-mind? What ideas are we stubbornly holding onto? What are we afraid of? What would we rather not deal with – anger, resentment, longing, dissatisfaction, numbness? What, or who, are we rejecting? What aspect of our lives makes us want to act selfishly or childishly – by throwing a tantrum, blaming others, or refusing to participate? We don’t have go seeking for our shit when we...

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Paying Attention No Matter What

When the ability to be fully present in our life eludes us, it is usually because we cannot possibly believe the mundane or frustrating experience in front of us merits our attention. This bowl of cereal? This tax form? This stop-and-go traffic? This irritating co-worker? Surely these are just experiences we have to pass through on the way to what really matters. This approach to life ends up feeling profoundly dissatisfying when a) we realize we are “just passing through” a majority of our...

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