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Showing posts from March, 2013

Zen koans, what and how?

“The coin lost in the river is found in the river” “A thousand mountains are covered with snow” “No” There are sayings, snippets of conversation, questions, parts of poems and even stories that are called Zen koans. Koans serve as a way of opening up your experience of life, they undermine the way you usually think about things, and reveal surprising or beautiful aspects of reality. The Zen koan schools began a millennium ago and the koans are to be found in collections with titles like “The Blue Cliff Record” or “The Gateless Gate”. Koans are meant to change the way you understand things in a real and irreversible way, like seeing through a door that had previously been closed. Is it special, this combination of words? Are the questions of our lives koans?Koans traditionally are limited to those written down long ago, but in reality, there are infinite koans. What about your life questions, like the tough decision about what to do with work or relationship that you keep returning to?…

More on Lost and Found

"The coin that's lost in the river is found in the river," the koan I mentioned in the last post, points to a rule of thumb in a meditation practice:  Whatever you're looking for is going to be right here. That means that you are equipped with everything you need. There's a temptation to think that the person who's sitting here trying to meditate (you) isn't the right one. The right one would be calmer or less fidgety or not obsessed or wiser, with more perspective and equanimity. But the thing is that you will always be enough just as you are, and it will be through paying attention to those exact features that you think are a problem that joy will appear. This attention you give is without any motive to change yourself or to be better or to fix anything, it's just plain attention. Your meditation gives you a greater and greater appreciation of who you are. Even things like the way you're afraid of airplanes, or get in the same fight with everyon…