The Zen Playground

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Posts tagged "meditation"
Normally, when we try to meditate on a virtuous object, such as our precious human rebirth, impermanence or emptiness, our mind does not stay tranquilly placed on that object. Instead it is constantly distracted elsewhere. At such times the mind is like a candle flame blown about by the wind. Such a flickering light does not allow us to see things clearly. Similarly, for as long as our mind is blown about by distractions we cannot focus on our object of meditation clearly. If we could construct a protective screen of concentration around our mind, the focus of our meditation would become immovable and we would have an undisturbed view of any virtuous object we chose.
Geshe Kelsang Gyatso - “Meaningful to Behold” (via dancingdakini)

Yes please?

(via kittentz)

True silence is really endless speech.
Sri Ramana Maharshi (via lazyyogi)
To stay present in everyday life, it helps to be deeply rooted within yourself; otherwise, the mind, which has incredible momentum, will drag you along like a wild river.
Eckhart Tolle (via lazyyogi)
How do you let go of attachments to things? Don’t even try. It’s impossible. Attachment to things drops away by itself when you no longer seek to find yourself in them.
Eckhart Tolle (via lazyyogi)


“Yoga is the work of the inner self on the outer.” ~ Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

The inner self often referred to in yoga is none other than your natural existence. It is that formless, shapeless nothingness that gives you the sensation of existence you have in this very moment. It was there before birth and is unaffected by the body’s death. 

Many people start on the spiritual path but never make it past the outward approach. They are doing this or that to purify themselves, raise their vibration, or in some ways transmute themselves. They are of the mind that through action in the world of form, or subtle worlds of energy, that your inner will be made powerful and manifest.

However, the soul/awareness that everyone of us shares is the Divine itself, immutably perfect. It is inside us all, or rather we are all inside of it. It knows the body but the body doesn’t know it. 

Rediscovering this perfect endless divinity is not a question of perfecting the divinity but rather allowing that divinity to perfect our outer selves. The touch and voice of that divinity acts on us in stillness and silence.

Meditation, prayer, devotion, and similar spiritual practices use that silence to guide us toward self-realization. 

This is also why once a certain degree of effort has been made, the spiritual path can become effortless. You continue to learn from your own existence, which is to God as a ray is to the Sun.

Go inward and get an idea of what your inner divinity really is. Then regularly engage in spiritual practice to allow that divinity to go to work on you. 

Namaste, sangha. Much love


In Zen buddhism, specifically the Soto school, enlightenment is considered an inherent part of our nature. In fact, we have no identity of our own outside of enlightenment. This is what they call Buddha Nature. 

This doesn’t mean that everything has its own buddha nature but rather all things are Buddha Nature.

Enlightenment, therefore, is something that remains ever-present in this moment, as this moment. But when we add and fixate on our thoughts, feelings, judgements, and opinions, this Buddha Nature becomes obscured from our awareness. The Buddha Nature remains present as Buddha Nature but it is entirely unknown to us. 

Spiritual practices like meditation are methods for expressing Buddha Nature. The idea isn’t to gain anything that isn’t already here but rather gradually to let go of adding things to our present moment. 

To me, this is an important approach for the path. It isn’t enough to sit back and say all is Buddha Nature. Yet at the same time, one need not struggle to ‘attain’ buddha nature or anything like that. Buddha Nature is our Nature and the more we express that Nature through spiritual activities, the less obscure it becomes from our awareness. 

Suzuki Roshi liked to say that we must do our practices without the idea of gain. This is because the desire for gain, to add or change something in the present moment, is the very thing that conceals Buddha Nature from our awareness.

Enlightenment, he said, is nothing added. 



I have a thousand brilliant lies
For the question: 

How are you? 

I have a thousand brilliant lies
For the question: 

What is God? 

If you think that the Truth can be known
From words, 

If you think that the Sun and the Ocean 

Can pass through that tiny opening Called the mouth, 

O someone should start laughing!
Someone should start wildly Laughing –Now!



One does not practice Zen to become a Buddha; one practices it because one is a Buddha from the beginning—and this “original realization” is the starting point of the Zen life. 

Alan Watts