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The real in the here-and-now

JeroenJeroen Luminous beings are we, not this crude matterNetherlands Veteran

In the past week or so I have been thinking a lot on what is real. So, two things:

  1. Don’t think, just be. Even the things you think are real in your thoughts, the most real among them, are abstractions and simplifications. So there is no point in looking for real things in your thoughts or memories.
  2. Find the real in the here-and-now. What is most real is this moment. Don’t pay attention to the mind, be in the moment, as totally as you can. Rest in open awareness.

There was this Zen story. A master and a young monk were walking along a mountain path together. The young monk asked, Master, what is Zen? The master said, do you hear the mountain stream. At first the young monk couldn’t hear it, but as time went by he heard more and more. At last he could say, master, I hear it! The master replied, enter Zen from there.



  • Steve_BSteve_B Veteran

    and nothing to get hung about . . .

  • pegembarapegembara Veteran

    Don't think. Just watch the thinking.
    There is no past and no future, only thoughts of the past and thoughts of the future.
    What is here and now is the experience of seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching, and thinking.

  • JeroenJeroen Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter Netherlands Veteran

    @pegembara said:
    the experience of seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching, and thinking.

    Indeed. I have read, I cannot recall exactly where, that the attention should go equally to those six areas, but I have found that thinking absorbs disproportionately large amounts of attention.

    When you get close to the body through its kinaesthetic and touch senses, you find it is actually very peaceful and a bit lazy.

  • howhow Veteran Veteran
    edited June 7

    Neither trying to think nor trying not to think.
    Just sitting with no deliberate thought is the most important aspect of zazen.

    What I see as a mind no longer getting to ride roughshod over my other sense gates.

    Here, experiencing the body & mind as one, beyond the limitations of the human condition, or our identities storyline, or a self versus others viewpoint, freedom options arise from what might otherwise have been an ego-hobbled existence.

  • Shoshin1Shoshin1 Sentient Being Oceania Veteran

    If you ask me....'Trying' has a lot to answer for....always trying to poke its nose in where it isn't wanted or needed...

  • JeroenJeroen Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter Netherlands Veteran

    @how said:
    experiencing the body & mind as one

    There are actually more sense gates than just the six. There are four more agreed upon by neuroscientists, these:

    • sense of balance,
    • sense of temperature,
    • sense of pain,
    • sense of body configuration (kinaesthetic).

    See here for a brief discussion, it is a hotly debated topic.

    Almost all of the senses have to do with the body — excepting only those which are about perceiving the mind. You can shift the attention to a sense, even temporarily blocking out other senses.

    The body senses can also take you beyond the body, to where you can shift your identification away from the body. But I like to stay close to the body, I like its sense of peace and just-so-ness.

    Making the body a friend, sending attention to its places of discomfort, is a good practice.

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