Give up everything.
Success and failure
One of the things I wrestle with is the idea that you will never be able to truly win and truly fail — all mistakes, weaknesses and missed opportunities do not matter, unless you want them to matter. And the positive things you do don’t matter as well
Success does not cause happiness, it’s the other way around.
Identifying yourself with what you create
Identifying yourself with what you create, is very bad for you - 99% of what you create will always turn out to be useless junk (even Einstein only managed to produce one great physical theory), and so you would be left with two options - believe that you are worthless 99% of the time or forcing yourself to believe that all you do is great and others are wrong. The best you can do is just try to be good and valuing the fact that you try. If you don’t know how to keep trying, keep trying.
Spirituality is an activity
spirituality is an activity, not something else (I don’t even know what else can it be).
So, same as with any other activity, you have a bunch of people who think that they are the only ones doing it right and that everyone else should just try to copy them. Only with spirituality their influence is much more prevalent.
You ask me why I sit in silence.
Why do you talk? Why do you listen to music? Why do you read, watch videos and do anything else?
And most importantly, why do you seek justification from me for doing nothing. Instead of seeking justification in yourself for doing things.
The main challenge for me when it comes to spirituality is to be able to feel worthwhile without seeking approval from anyone, and at the same time not to attach any importance to myself.
The mind separates the world in dichotomies, because it is unable to perceive it as a whole. #zen #zenschool
Natural state of affairs
All ideologies and paradigms claim to represent the real and the natural state of affairs.
They do not.
If it is real, why do I have to read a 1000 book to perceive it (is God incapable of being brief?)
If it is natural, why is it so hard for me to understand it?
Our real nature springs from within, and it is smarter and more powerful than any artificially-created doctrine. The only way to overcome it is to knock that doctrine in our heads 24/7. And so that is what our society does.
The concept of asking for a sign that what are you doing is good is a manifestation of peoples desire to succumb to authority. Don’t wait for signs!
People who identify themselves by their weaknesses - that is endless pain for no reason.
People who identify themselves by their achievements may feel better from time to time, but would be equally miserable in the long run.
Zen adepts only identify themselves with the whole world, because that is the most truthful representation of them.
We do things the wrong way because we are too insecure to believe that we can do them right.
We hurt people because we don’t believe that we can love them and they can love us back.
We lie because we don’t believe we are able to tell the truth in a compelling way.
We cheat because we don’t believe we are good enough to succeed while maintaining our honesty.
We insist on our point because we are afraid of the consequences of us admitting that we are wrong.
I think that we do all these things while concentrating at what are we gaining, but we never think of what we are losing, cause if we were, we just wouldn’t. Cause it’s clearly better to be friendless than to be an abuser, it’s clearly better to be hated than to be a fraud. And it is clearly better to correct youself when you are wrong, than to keep doing the same old thing.
The striving is the goal.
The effort is it’s own realization. The beginning is the end. The Way is the aim.
All our worries in life boil down to not being able to tick all items in the list of things that society has told us we should do:
- Get rich
- Have children
- Be successful professionally
- Visit this and that location, have this and that thing.
- Be liked by everyone …
Being happy and content is not an item in this list, it is the act of erazing the list.
Think about a dream.
What you are imagining is probably unachievable for many reasons, but don’t think of it like that, think of it as having many different manifestations, some of which are detached from reality.
Then try to find other manifestations of you dream and ,by doing that, bring it closer and closer to your normal everyday activities, so close that every effort you do towards achieving it, even the thought of how to achieve it is it’s (the dream’s) realization.
The division between dreams and reality, between what we want and what we can have is a division between brain representations and actual states of affairs. It is a sign that the dream is rudimentary, e.g. the dream of driving a sport car with a beautiful guy or gall and a bag of cash on the back seat is rudimentary and therefore unattainable just by its inner inconsistensies (e.g. sport cars don’t have back seats). To realize it, we need to understand what it really represents, to make it ours
Short guide to Zen meditation
- Sit on a pillow, as close to half lotus as you can without making yourself uncomfortable. Both knees should touch the ground. Spine should pierce the ceiling.22. Don’t move for 30 minutes (except to better your pose). Disregard any distractions, including pain.
- When the thoughts come, try to let them pass and to concentrate on your breath and your posture instead. Stare at the floor without expecting anything to happen.Think of not thinking.
Time and time again you would find yourself indulged in your usual thoughts (the ones you think when you are waiting for the subway, for example). When this happens, don’t feel bad, just say to yourself “Oh, I was meditating” and go back to counting your breath or concentrating on your posture etc. Do this again and again and eventually you will adopt the correct state of mind.
It’s important to schedule your sessions in advance and determine how much time you would spend sitting (be it 30 minutes or some other duration), cause otherwise your would be trusting your brain as to how much and how often is enough, and you should not thrust your brain when it comes to meditation - meditation is to go beyond what you can comprehend with your brain.
In order to avoid knee injuries while sitting in half-lotus, remember that the bending of the leg should come from the hip joints (which are designed to move and twist in all directions) and not from the knees (which are designed to move in only one direction).
Back to the roots
When you decide you want to renounce everything and go “back to the roots” an important question becomes where the roots are? Where is the zero point in the coordinate system? what do you do when you don’t do anything?
Zen is not about just living in autopilot with the relationships, jobs, habits etc that you already have - although you accept them as the “default state” they are not. They require constant effort to maintain, it is just that you are used to that effort and so it doesn’t stress you. The fact that it doesn’t stress you is not because it is not stressful, but because you have gotten numb to the stress — you need to regain your sensitivity.
And zen is not about radical changes either, it is useless to try to quit all bad habits, to be perfect, to be more unlike yourself and more like some version of yourself that you think is more enlightened (if you knew what it meant to be more enlightened, you’d simply be more enlightened). “The renouncing of pleasure, becomes the pleasure of renouncing”.
So what do you do? Well, anything that doesn’t fit in neither of those two extremes. Oh and also, don’t be so obsessed with yourself, rather try to be good and kind with the others.
Having a specific goal in mind (or, in general, any idea of where you want to end up) automatically dismisses any attempt you make to think freely, as having a goal means being predisposed, means already having a criteria of what’s good and bad, and the rest are just technicalities. You may achieve your goal, but you won’t achieve #enlightenment
How much do we know
We are not wrong at what we know, but at how much we know and don’t know, to what extent we know it all
The most important distinction is not good/bad, but important/non-important.
We all feel a certain distaste for certain ideas or people, but when you attach too much importance to this feeling, it becomes hate.
We all feel lost sometimes, but it is the importance you attach to this feeling that turns it into hopelessnes.