Zen Meditation, is Not Really About Meditation

A long time ago, I wrote the post The Agenda Mentality.

Well, meditation is directly related to that. Because…

True meditation means for a person to arrive at a “no-agenda state.” So really, the goal of meditation is not meditation.

And yes, you heard me right.

Meditation is unlike anything else that we normally do everyday and all that we are taught to do. That is, almost everything we learn and do follows the mental state that can be sum up as “getting from one place to the next.”

Bu to meditate is to be completely here and now. There is no where else to go.

To be completely here and now is to realize and simply be your whole being. And that involves your body, your mind, sensation from 5 senses, your surrounding, and ultimately, everything — inside and outside of you. Your perception is wide open and accepting of whatever your senses tell you.

This is the state of being, which we are all capable of. Meditation is simply a mean for us to practice it and eventually, be in such state of being without trying – doing without doing.

To fully immerse in the experience of meditation, you cannot be doing something specifically. If you try to arrive at “using all your senses,” you have obstructed your ability to do so.

So in a way, we could qualify meditation as a practice of doing nothing. And to do nothing, it is helpful to first be able to observe and re-discover that you are doing something.

Therefore, we are provided with guidelines and steps to meditate. But keep in mind, to meditate is not to meditate, that is, to follow steps and guidelines.

The easiest way to meditate, at first, is by sitting because in sitting, you are at least not doing something physically. Something called “Za-zen.”

It will take many of us a period of time to relearn the ability to simply sit still.

So after that, we move on to the mental part. It is irrefutable that modern people are addicted to thoughts. We find our logical minds so useful that we cannot stop using it. Therefore, we are to sit and simply observe our thoughts.

And we do not try to stop thinking in meditation. If we think, we let it happen and simply notice what we are thinking. Eventually it will go away. If we try to stop thinking, we just end up thinking about trying to stop thinking which is another thought.

Beyond the mental part, we have the body. While we can watch our thoughts, we can also watch our body. We can observe all the sensations at the various parts of body. Feel where the tension is. Simply to the instruction about dealing with thoughts, we do not try to relax because trying to relax is itself an effort that causes tension. Simply pay attention.

After awhile, we will notice the intermingling relationship between our mind and body. When we think different kinds of thoughts, we cause different kinds of sensations/tension in our body. So we pay attention to both, which including the reception of our 5 senses and our surrounding is all a part of “the whole experience.”

Of course there are other techniques involved, such as lots of breathing exercises, but that is an whole other topic. One tip is for us to re-learn belly breathing (aka deep breathing) and then we can learn to focus on breathing to help practicing meditation.

Because there is one tip that is very useful, is that it is impossible for us to pay fully attention to our breathing and to be thinking at the same time.

To re-iterate, meditation is about none of the particulars described about meditation. Just that if it must be said, it is a practice of a state of being.

Learning to be here and now.

Not “another thing to do to achieve peace”. Or… well, just forget that goal-setting mindset.

And you start by rediscovering your innate awareness and letting it be free — by paying attention. Pay attention to your mind. Pay attention to your body. Pay attention to your surroundings. Pay attention to things you cannot see. Pay attention to everything.

Thus the story of a master telling a student what’s the secret of practice of zen (meditation) is “Attention, attention, attention.”

Originally posted 2013-01-08 00:45:59. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Love – The Ability

I had an urge to write this entry much earlier, but between hectic schedule and laziness… I’ve been putting off writing it. I’ve also thought, “dude, maybe I’m too young to write about this, but hey, what the heck, I’ll go for it”. Perhaps you’ll see why I said that. Here goes.

It’s actually a good thing I delayed as I came across this reading from “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen Covey:

…My wife and I just don’t have the same feelings for each other we used to have. I guess I just don’t love her anymore and she doesn’t love me. What can I do?”
“The feeling isn’t there anymore?” I asked.
“That’s right,” he reaffirmed. “And we have three children we’re really concerned about. What do you suggest?”
“Love her,” I replied.
“I told you, the feeling just isn’t there anymore.”
“Love her.”
“You don’t understand. The feeling of love just isn’t there.”
“Then love her. If the feeling isn’t there, that’s a good reason to love her.”
“But how do you love when you don’t love?”
“My friend, love is a verb. Love — the feeling — is a fruit of love the verb. So love her. Sacrifice.
Listen to her. Empathize. Appreciate. Affirm her. Are you willing to do that?”

As such, love becomes a word with two meanings depending on the context we speak in, IMHO. A verb and a noun. Currently, pretty much in everyday-scenario when we use or run across the word “love,” it’s being used as a noun. When people say “love”, it is referred to as a feeling. We’re told everyday on TV and Hollywood movies that such is so. That, when we love, it is this feeling within us about a special person, and that we are driving by this feeling. Because we say that we are “driven,” we are implying that there is no decision/responsibility involved. “My feeling is making me do so~~~ Love is telling me to do so~~~ I love this person so~~~” In other words, we shed the burden of “making decision” when it comes to love, but in a way, we allow ourselves to become puppets of our feelings.

Frequently when we claim that we are in love, I think we have somehow confused ourselves. That we may just be “in love” with the strong, passionate feeling itself. We enjoy the feeling that is stimulated by a particular person. The feeling clouds our visions, giving us this imagination/ideal image of the person that causes us to overlook reality… as time goes on, reality starts to catch up and lucky would be a result that this special person isn’t too far off from our imagination but otherwise, unfortunate it would be.

Whether that is true or not, I believe that there comes a time when you have to make a decision in relationship. The decision to love. This is an action, succeeding the initial feeling. The action to love, where love becomes a verb. This is where we will choose to perform the act of love or walk away because either situations do not allow or we deem not worth it.

Well, any action we take in life requires certain abilities. Then love, involves some of our abilities… and what abilities are we talking about? This is something we all have to think about. In my mind, they include… ability to be independent, ability to make the decision and commit, ability to sacrifice, ability to share, ability to observe, ability to appreciate, ability to think clearly, ability to change/improve ourselves (even in the most drastic ways), ability to respect, ability to be patient, ability to endure loneliness, ability to support each other even though the most dire time… Basically, love is such an important action that it entails so much and the list goes on and on.

In conclusion, I would say that love is more than the feeling of liking, of passion. We have to materialize it through our actions, an action that involves all our abilities. As such, love is easy to say, but can we really do it?

So next time when we use the word, why don’t we give it some thought? Can we really go one step above the feeling, to accomplish the act of love? I think that when we’re ready, when we can do it… happiness won’t be too far away. It is not love, the feeling, but love, the action, that once we hone our abilities for the act of love… at that point, we may just have the answer to all the problems to everything.

Originally posted 2006-10-28 01:46:51. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

The Missing Fundamental Element in Human Society

I like to think about things. I especially like to contemplate about the big picture. And by big picture, I mean to dig deep to realize the most fundamental, underlying, pattern, mechanism that drive the big picture.

Therefore, I ask, “What could be one most fundamental element, beyond economy, beyond politics, that is lacking that wrecks havoc in the human world, or rather, preempt humans to wreck havoc with themselves? Why all the human issues because of this missing element?”

I can think come up with one idea… that is — wisdom.

We are sorely lacking in wisdom.

We value intelligence. We value knowledge. Therefore, we value smart (and usually the more aggressive) people. We know those are very much emphasized. But none of those are wisdom.

These days, nobody talks about wisdom. Nobody talks about becoming wise these days. It is not important. In fact, if you say “I want to be wise”, people probably edge away from you and think you are nuts.

We can all agree that someone extremely smart can be very unwise. Wisdom is not associate with smartness and intelligence. So, what could be wisdom? What comes to mind when you think of wisdom? Perhaps you can share. I will opine in the next post.

Originally posted 2009-11-04 00:19:45. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

The Angering Facts from Japan’s Nuclear Problem

Update on 2011/04/04: Japan seeks Russian help to end nuclear crisis (Reuters). What do you know? It seems I was quite accurate after all…


I had taken some time away to let myself marinate in a lot of thoughts and feelings that I have for awhile, and also because a project in my job is sucking the life out of me. However, there is something about what is going on underneath the surface of the Japan nuclear problem that disturbs me so much that I feel like I have to write.

If you hadn’t been watching the news, basically the nuclear problem in Japan has been worsening since day 1 and how it will completely unfold remains unseen.

These seem to be where we stand right now globally regarding this:

  • Some countries had sent some units to help with the rescue. (token humanitarian effort? — no insult to the people who actually went to help. I have utmost admiration and respect for them.)
  • All countries with residents in Japan are telling them to flee.
  • United States media is taking the opportunities to report as much as possible and hopefully get better ratings (euphemism)
  • The nuclear panic had led to a hoarding of salt and some other every commodities in China
  • The nuclear panic had led to a hoarding of potassium iodide pills in the United States

Here is where Japan stands:

  • some 50180 plant workers heroically (and I do mean heroically) stayed behind to work on the different reactors… (but think about how many people are needed to deal with an exploded pipeline on the street? while there are 4 nuclear reactors malfunctioning…)
  • They are now down to dropping water from helicopters to try to cool and prevent a nuclear meltdown.

Do you have any idea what that implies? That implies, if not for certain, that Japan is down to its last trick to try to stop things from getting worse. They may have the will but they are at the limit of their abilities. They are at their wits’ end. The question we may ask, “How’s that related to me?”

Maybe you’ll answer “crap, we’ll have a gigantic nuclear disaster”. It is a minor-partially correct answer because the true correct is that we will have another world economic problem in our hands. This deal is sealed the day people decided “globalization” is the next greatest thing.

With a nuclear disaster on who-know-what-scale, Japan economy is shot, companies with bases in Japan are hampered, all global resources(food, energy…) will need to be further divided, and who know what other consequences.

I am not saying it will or has to happen, but with this pending problem… instead of addressing this real problem, which also includes risking of thousands, if not millions of lives, the mighty nations of our globe and leaders of big nations decide this is what they will do…

finance ministers from the Group of Seven nations announced a coordinated intervention in the currency market to prevent the yen from rising further

Despair, anger, frustration, speechlessness, darkness… are a few adjectives that describe how that makes me feel. These global power instead of sending specialized units that deal with nuclear contamination (they have to have these units, especially countries with nuclear weapons…) to help prevent and mitigate the real nuclear problem, they decide… “oh, let’s just make sure to keep the money flowing. Money is what matters, and that is above the significance of humanity… we’ll get to the saving human life part later [and only perhaps… if there’s something we can call we save…]”.

Is it me or this is f#@$-ing retarded? When it is time for global population to do right, this is what we have?

Solving the real problem not only will keep the money flowing down the road (because Japan will rebuild herself and probably into something better than before) but will also save lives… and lives that had yet been born…

The only hope is that, what is said here is ALL wrong and things do not actually worsen because otherwise, we will have some very horrible situations in our hands due to some very very terrible man-made errors that will make the earthquake and tsunami pale in comparison.

Speaking in a different context, the decisions that are being made by people world-wide throughout this situation had already demonstrate a very narrow narrow model of thinking prevalent in our human culture (because observe what most people are ONLY concern about…). How little we truly, genuinely care about each other… The path this current human culture is taking is not good, but this should be the subject for another day.

People who know what these last few words mean will already know what they mean.
People who don’t know what they mean, well, feel free to email me and with questions and I’ll be happy speak and respond and have a conversations.

Originally posted 2011-03-17 18:51:28. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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