Sunday, June 25, 2017 – “Exertion Or Trying” – by Sokuzan

Exertion or trying as it is described in the paramitas (“virya” in the Sanskrit) is exertion for the benefit of others. But what gets in the way, especially if you don’t have a regular meditation practice, is that we try to think our way into success by chattering to ourselves about what we should and shouldn’t do. We try to cram ourselves into things when there are too many other things that haven’t been examined. As soon as you take your inventory, don’t do it. How do you “don’t do it”? By seeing how you do it. It takes a strong awareness practice, strengthening the witness part.

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Saturday, June 24, 2017 – “Progress” – by Sokuzan

When you are actually making progress on the spiritual path, it can feel quite the opposite. We’re going along and it doesn’t necessarily feel good. It may feel wrong. But this is not a mundane path of relative progress based on causes and conditions, success and failure. We’re talking about the fundamental nature of this entire matrix of being. If you fundamentally see what this is, your decision-making situation based on progress completely collapses.

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Wednesday, June 21, 2017 – “The Four Delusions Of Self” – by Sokuzan

In the Yogacara tradition of Mahayana Buddhism the teaching of “the four delusions of self”: self-love, self-delusion, self-pride, and self-reference is intended to bring awareness to the passion, aggression and ignorance of seventh consciousness (klistamanasvijnana) or to that area of the mind that tends to take anything that arises and relate with it in terms of “me” and “my stuff”.

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Sunday, June 18, 2017 – “Deep Love Shallow Love” – by Sokuzan

Love that’s grasping or craving or lusting after something else that it wants, this is shallow love. It is desire. When working with feelings and emotions that come up, just observe. Don’t take what’s coming up and make it into something else. If you just observe it will find its own equilibrium, the realization of not-two. This is deep love. It is not an experience. It may have feeling, but not a feeling about something or someone else. It is a fundamental understanding of the nature of things.

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Wednesday, June 14, 2017 – “Don’t Look Elsewhere” – by Sokuzan

If you see right where you’re at, you’ll see that this is the perfect place to be and you are the perfect person to be who you are. You can make friends with yourself. Hold still and watch the clouds come and go. If something is pulling you away, you don’t have to get rid of that. When the negativity comes, don’t abandon your karma. The main emphasis here is: Don’t miss your life! It is not about what you accomplish as a meditator. Everything you need to awaken, to live an uplifted and sane life, is right here. You have to discover that. You don’t have to look elsewhere.

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