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Posts Tagged ‘samadhi’

one-world-family-logo-jpgIn Zen Buddhism there are so many wonderful teachers and writers that you could spend the rest of your life reading their original books and their translations of the ancient writers. Plus, we have the current teachers and writers taking a particular point of view or sutra or teaching and creating a blog or a book or a lecture from the information.  I, of course, happen to be one of them.

Today I begin my new workbook on the world of “peace” as envisioned in my head.  The current world is creating peace, love, hatred and fear at an amazingly fast pace due to the internet and social media. Regardless of where others may stand, I stand for peace and love.

Dharmachari Abhaya writes in the preface of Sangharakshite: A Guide to the Buddhist Path, these words:

A fact that is often glossed over in books on Buddhism is that there are two basic modes of conditionality, not just one: two ways in which we can act, one unskillful, the other skillful.  The first is known as the circular or, in Sangharakshita’s term, ‘reactive’ mode.  This is the mode in which we operate for much of the time, and it is the cause of all our suffering. But there is also a spiral or ‘creative mode,’ in which we can make spiritual progress experience ever-expanding states of happiness and bliss.[1]

For me bliss is the kissing cousin of peace!  I’ve never heard anyone say after a meditation where they went in to samadhi…  I felt such anger or hatred or fear!  No, they haven’t, but they sure do say I felt peaceful, alive, happy, joyous, content, and as many positive descriptive adjectives as you can think of.

It is not easy in America today to live a peaceful life.  With what is going on in our politics, wars around the world, poverty and prejudice in America increasing daily and I could go on.  It could make you mad, sad, or revengeful and thus not at PEACE!  So how do we handle this?  By balancing our lives with Buddhist principles, meditation, and mindfulness.  By living the teaching, not just by teaching it or reading about it.

Dharmachari Abhaya goes on:

…one should approach Buddhism with one’s total being. One should not just try to feel and not understand, nor just try to understand and not feel.  One should not always look within and never look without, nor, on the other hand, always look without, never pausing to look within, there is a time and place for all these things. If possible, we should try to do all of these things all the time.  As we ascend higher and higher in our spiritual development, we shall tend more and more to think and feel, act and not act, simultaneously.  It sounds impossible, but that is only because of the limitations of our present way of thinking.[2]

What way are you thinking? Will it bring you to a peaceful life and world or bring you to a world of anxiety, hatred, and fear?  It’s all up to you.  You shape your world by your thoughts, words, and actions…what shape is your personal world in? Love filled or Hate filled…or somewhere in between?

[1] Sangharakshita, (1990). Windhorse Publications: Birmingham, England. page 11
[2] Ibid. page 22
[3] The picture is the logo from an interfaith organization in Fort Lauderdale, FL to which I belonged they have merged with another organization JAM & All where I am a board member. Check out their Facebook page at JAM and All Interfaith.

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“Samadhi is a Sanskrit word indicating the one-pointed state of body and mind in meditation (zazen).  It is translated as ding in Chinese, which means ‘stability’ (page 13).”[1] Anyone who has been around Buddhism or Yoga or any Eastern (as we call it) teachings will know this word well.  Many seek to experience Samadhi through their practices in meditation (zazen), yoga, Tai Chi, breath work and more.  And it seems the harder they try the more the experience eludes them.  Then the more they get frustrated.  And finally they just give up.

What a shame.  For in reality the best way to experience it is by letting go of the experience.  Because the experience of it is simply a “one pointed state of body and mind” and that you have already experienced a thousand times in your life.  It is that perfect orgasm that you had in the most intimate and loving relationship, it is that perfect bite of food that you had one evening where you experienced it with every sense in your body—taste, touch, smell, and sight.  It is when you were so engrossed in a task that it took someone hollering out your name or having to touch you to gain your attention.

There was not it and you—there was just it. Until of course you came back to you and when you did that you separated yourself from the experience, went out of the now moment and into the past, reliving it, talking about it, sharing it with the other person who may have been there at the time. Duality crept up on you and then there was you and then there was the experience.

Dogen said, “The activity of zazen is just like the fish swimming. Who can measure how many thousands and myriads of miles there are in zazen? Its journey is the entire body going on the path where no bird flies (page 13).”[2]  As were the above examples I have given.  You were not doing something hoping to reach Samadhi it was just “thusness.”  Just this.  Just that. Just being fully and totally in the moment experiencing, melding with it not even being conscious of your “self.” That’s true Samadhi.

So instead of searching and seeking for Samadhi Dogen simply says, “Practice thusness continuously and you will be thus. The treasury will open of itself for you to use as you wish (page 14).”[3] “Thusness: Reality itself, which is limitless and undivided (page 182)”[4] will become a natural part of your life, without any effort or trying.

Be like the fish swimming in the water and just experience the water and the rest will come of its own accord. Remember some birds can’t fly and some fish can walk.

Travel lightly, Shokai

Things to focus on this week:

1.  I will begin each day setting my intention to swim through it with ease and joy.

2.  I will remind myself that life is “just this” no more and no less.  Whatever “this” is!

3.  I will remember that some birds can’t fly and some fish can walk.

4.  Lastly, I will keep a journal of the opportunities that have been presented to me so I can keep track of my progress and my opportunities for growth.

They may not be able to fly,

but they sure know how to love!

King PenguinsEmperor Penguin and Baby


[1] Tanahashi, K. Levitt, P. (2013) The Essential Dogen, Writings of the Great Zen Master. Shambhala: Boston, MA

[2] Ibid.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Ibid.

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