Zen Talk: The Power of Quieting Your Mind

“To a mind that is still, the whole universe surrenders.” – Chuang-tzu

This is the essence of mindfulness – of becoming aware of our thoughts so much that we can stop them, see beyond them and into what is actually going on in the world because we have ceased to concern ourselves with the overwhelming distraction of the self. Oh, to achieve that.

Our minds are so loud, clambering always. When is your mind not prattling on inside your head? It’s constantly mulling over the days events, questioning our actions, decisions and judgments, planning for the future, calculating and scheming, asking questions and providing answers. And is there anything wrong with that? No, that’s natural.

The problem is when we let our thoughts get the best of us, repeating themselves again and again, rehashing the same issues and conversations to the point that we prevent ourselves from living in the present moment, from seeing the world around us.

And how do we calm our minds, silence and still them? Mindfulness, of course, which I’ve discussed in past Zen Talk posts. We must become aware of each of our thoughts and only with our awareness will we begin to control and calm them. And then, as Chuang-tzu tells us, the rest of what the universe has to offer will be opened to us. The universe, as it were, will surrender itself to us.

What do you think about this quote? How do you practice mindfulness?

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Zen Talk: This Just Resonated In My Head And I Had to Share It

“It is everywhere.” – Chuang-tzu

I don’t know what it is about these three words, but when I read them they just stuck with me. It. What is “it?” The obvious answer is Zen or the Tao or for others, God, but then you start thinking about what “it” could be to so many different people and it becomes never-ending.

Who knows what it is? When I first read this I didn’t assign anything to it. I just read the words again and stopped. It is everywhere. Is the “it” important? Somehow I think less so – less than knowing the characteristic of it: that it is everywhere.

There’s something so satisfying about these three words in this order:

It – is – everywhere.

What do you think about this? What does it make you think about?

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