Thursday, May 04, 2006

Become Nothing to be Everything

The essence of Zen is this:

Become nothing (no-thing) to be everything. The mind is stilled. There are no thoughts, no mind, no ego, no psychological time. The thinker is replaced by the observer watching everything it can through the five senses. There is just perception and feeling. The observer experiencing life and revelling in it.
Is that so?
Possibly. :-) Works for me when I can remember to concentrate on nothing instead of getting lost in thought.
How do you concentrate on nothing? What if you have to think a lot for a living?
You feel your body and try to relax any tension in it. I concentrate on on relaxing as much as possible. That is concetrating on nothing. I used to be a research scientist. They get paid to think a lot about one thing, or a few things. Often I was thinking about how to get this or that experiment to work. Ninety per cent of my time was troubleshooting technique. Remember college? That's a lot of thinking and busy work. Was college enjoyable for you? My time spent as an undergraduate was stressful. I was trying to pay the bills and maintain my grades in a difficult major.
Sorry, I was being a bit sarcastic. :) See this.

Yeah, I thought of that story as well, when you wrote that phrase.
First heard about him in "A New World" , Tolle's latest book.
Everytime I hear that phrase, I think of that Zen Master. Tolle also
has a story or parable about a man who says, "May be" instead of
judging something good or bad. So, I did get your point which was why
I answered, "Possibly". :-)

Thanks for your input and sense of humor, :-)

I used to practice meditation before, following a certain method for a number of years. Later I experimented with different methods, including mantra meditation.
Somehow I became addicted to it, inspite of the principles I had to bear in mind. I became lazy, irritable, self-conscious, vain, judgemental, shy, and timid. Meditation became a form of suppression, escape, and turned very mechanical and time-consuming. At the same time I was having a lot of relational problems; I couldn't stand anybody. And I was becoming crazier, angrier, more afraid and more tense, which I tried to get rid of or suppressed by doing meditation. I was also becoming more addicted to tobacco. And I was on the verge of having a nervous breakdown, in fact I was becoming very aggressive. Fortunately I read a few books on the dangers of using meditation in order to relax, feel better, and to improve oneself. So I decided to give up meditation altogether, and instead started to stop wilfully trying to concentrate, and more to let my thoughts and mind chatter alone and simply observe what's going on in my mind, and being aware of what I feel, staring at it most of the time instead of trying to get rid of it by way of suppression and escape. Well, I got better. I also stopped smoking.
You are doing what is best for you. Every one's path is different. I am tense quite a bit and I notice that when I meditate, it relaxes me.
Nothing wrong with meditating. Or not meditating. Just don't forget that these things are only tools; love the end, not the means. :)
I understand what you mean. Some people have more time than others; some have less problems than others; some have more understanding, etc. Yes really nothing wrong with concentrating on nothing or relaxing, as long as you don't become addicted to it. Observing thought too is relaxing if you keep to observing them and not acting upon them. This is not easy; that's probably the reason why many teachers teach or encourage regular practice. Correct practice and principles are very important. Eventually meditation should become nothing other than noticing what is going on inside your head. Some teacher said: "What you think is what you do."
I also believe that if you think you don't need it, then you don't need it. One is free if one thinks he's free, or something like that. Again it depends on yourself, what you think, and feel about a lot of things.
Yes, tension is something we are not used to; we don't like it. We don't want to be tensed. We think we might do something crazy or stupid. Or people keep telling us to relax all the time, when they themselves are being very tensed and crazy. This is a good example of condescension, and intimidation. You should ignore people. Laugh at them. They will stop laughing at you.

Yes, I agree completely.

Julie is correct. Everything we are doing are means to an end. What others think about you isn't important. Ultimately, it's just an opinion. Another definition of Enlightenment is complete freedom. One doesn't care about the outcome of one's actions, what other people think, etc. I have to work on the latter because I still care what friends and family think about me to an extent. I care about doing the "right" thing which is insane because how do I know what the "right" thing is? There are still judgements it seems at some level - don't steal, don't lie, don't kill.
Of course! However, I still worry about the outcome of my action. I am just a human being; I care about what effects my words and my actions have on other people. I don't try to provoke people; I don't try to humiliate people; I don't try to teach people if I don't have to; I don't praise people unnecessarily. If my action will make people want to shoot me, I refrain from doing it. It depends on the situation. This is why you have to think for yourself in a lot of matters. It's your life. I worry about my comments. Sometimes I wished I diddn't say anything. But then again, what I have said cannot be unsaid. I could delete it of course, but why bother anyway. I have to take into consideration who other people are. I wouldn't say something to you that I might readily say to Julie or Jim. It depends on a lot of things. Once said, I cannot unsay it.
By the way, I should say manipulation or disparagement instead of condenscension.
Anyway,one thing I always try to remember is not to judge and condemn myself too much. If I do this I cannot say anything at all, or even move, or live at all.
Julie is correct. But if there is no end, why should there be means or tools? It all depend on what you think. If you don't seek enlightenment, why worry about means and end? Again this is relative.
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