The Way of Zen by Alan Watts: Summary, Notes, and Lessons - Nat Eliason
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Zen has no goal. A world that focuses on destinations, that only cares about getting somewhere as fast as possible, becomes a world without substance.
Zen is a liberation from time. If we open our eyes and see clearly, it becomes obvious that there is no other time than this instant, and that the past and future are abstractions without any concrete reality.
Zen spirituality is to be in the moment and do only what you are doing without giving in to fleeting thoughts.
When a human is so self-controlled, that he cannot let go of himself, he dithers or wobbles between opposites. The effort to remain “good” or “happy” necessitates such strenuous balancing that it will surely induce mania and anxiety.
SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:
Evil cannot be destroyed, any more than good can, because they are polar opposites of the same thing. Destruction and creation, chaos and order; opposite aspects of reality, in tension with one ano...
For Zen practitioners, life is transitory and insubstantial. There is no security and thinking otherwise is a waste of time.
They also don’t believe in an afterlife. Reincarnation can be more accurately thought of as a constant rebirth, of death throughout life, and the continual coming and going of universal energy before and after death.
The word 'Zen' means emptiness or void. This is the basis of Zen — that all that exists is based on a dynamic emptiness. Which is also what quantum science says.
In this view, there is no difference between matter and energy. Look at anything closely enough and you will see that it is an event, not a thing. Furthermore, there is not a ‘multiplicity of events’. There is just one event, with multiple aspects, unfolding.
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It's essentially a state of being at peace with your own thoughts, and being self-aware of your place within the universe, inconsequential (and simultaneously essential).
The word Zen is both the acceptance of everything and nothing, the realization that Zen encompasses and is encompassed by everything. It also centers on a relationship with your own mind, and a higher, undefined entity outside of yourself.
The most common ways are sitting meditation (Zazen) and walking meditation (Kinhin), where direct noninteractive observation of breath and mind is practiced. The ideal scenario is to clear your mind and allow thoughts to organically rise and fall, without interacting or affecting them in any way.
There are also group sessions of intense meditation, often taking up to a week of silent, disciplined focus, interrupted only by short periods of sleep. Other forms of practice include the use of koans (stories practitioners meditate on), and Zen chanting (repetition of sutras followed by silent meditation on them).
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“Zen mind is one of those enigmatic phrases used by Zen teachers to make you notice yourself, to go beyond the words and wonder what your own mind and being are. This is the purpose of all Zen teaching—to make you wonder and to answer that wondering with the deepest expression of your own nature.”
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