I’m writing about a formless meditation practice. This is a practice that doesn’t involve reciting a mantra or visualization. It doesn’t involve focusing on anything. This is the practice of just sitting, just being here now. It’s founded in the belief that Enlightenment is our true nature and we can get there just by being here now. Dogen said, “Sitting is Enlightenment.” This practice we’re talking about is the practice of actualizing our Enlightenment. Dogen famously called it the gateway… Read more

Wisdom of the Mountains is a giant book, much bigger than I expected when I ordered it. At over six hundred pages, with numerous pictures and diagrams, it’s probably the most detailed book on Tibetan style Buddhism that I’ve seen. It’s author, Colin Stump, has traveled extensively in the Himalayan region and it’s pretty obvious in the book that he knows what he’s talking about. It starts off with basic teachings about Buddhism and then delves deeply into the specifics… Read more

He was an ordinary person. He didn’t claim to be special. Read more

Chanting is a practice that exists in most of the Buddhist world. It’s often used to prepare the mind for meditation, or to separate us from daily life and bring us into a sacred space. It can also be a focus for mindfulness, keeping our attention on the chant as a way to train the mind to focus. And in some traditions it’s seen as a more magical practice, something more akin to prayer. Chanting is one of those things… Read more

Stop activity and there is no activity; When activity stops, there is no rest. Since two cannot be established, How can there be one? Stilling our minds is like resting and sometimes when we’re practicing we can experience a profound feeling of relief. It’s tiring for our minds to be active all the time. Slowing down and stilling our minds can feel very good at times, although at other times meditation feels like a great struggle. But this stillness doesn’t… Read more

One thing is not different from another. The deluded mind clings to whatever it desires. If we awakening we can see how all things are connected, how separation is an illusion. When we attach to or reject anything, we are dwelling in duality with whatever that object is. If all things are one, then seeking Enlightenment outside of ourselves makes no sense. That creates a duality. The Diamond Sutra says there is no Dharma form and there is nothing that… Read more

Let it go and be spontaneous, Experience no going or staying. Accord with your nature, unite with the Way, Wander at ease, without vexation. This sounds like a Daoist teaching. It’s important to be natural and spontaneous. Being natural means being who we really are. Engaging the world with a sense of wakefulness instead of delusion. If we’re being natural we stop trying to control everything all the time. We just let the universe unfold as it is. Being natural… Read more

Not seeing fine or coarse, How can there be any bias? Fine or coarse refers to the depth or shallowness of our practice. If we’re practicing to practice, then we aren’t worried about whether our meditation is deep or shallow. We aren’t sitting to attain Enlightenment. We are sitting because that is how Enlightenment manifests itself. That’s an important distinction. This applies in other ways. Good and bad are the most common labels that we use. We compare everything all… Read more

Merely stagnating in duality, How can you recognize oneness? If you fail to penetrate oneness, Both places lose their function. When we make distinctions between this and that our minds enter duality. Even striving for Enlightenment is, in itself, something that can put us in a position of thinking about subject and object. We tend to think that the person who seeks Enlightenment is separate from the goal. In seeking to become like the Buddha, we often separate ourselves from… Read more

The Supreme Way is not difficult If only you do not pick and choose. Neither love nor hate, And you will clearly understand. Be off by a hair, And you are as far from it as heaven from earth. This is how Sengcan’s poem “Faith in Mind” begins. It’s about cultivating equanimity and practicing without a goal in mind. The Supreme Way at the beginning refers to Enlightenment. The wisdom of the Buddha, the wisdom of Emptiness seems really hard… Read more

Follow Us!

Browse Our Archives