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Zen thoughts from Live Zen Center Workshops
Culture > Values > Buddhism > Point To Moon - Sutras & teachings > Zen thoughts from Live Zen Center Workshops
 
Zen Thoughts 1 - Zen is all about “Clear Clean Mind”
“Clear” means you know or aware of the moment exactly, “Clean” means there’s no attachment to be involved into the moment. In one sentence: “You just ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 2 - Zen practice is not something special
It is just the way to get familiar with letting the mind stay with ease and calmness. When we close our eyes and try to meditate, we may think we are ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 3 - A “chain” for taming the mind
Everyday we use our mind and body and we depend on breathing. Do we really take care of them? Can you remember how it happened when you sprained your ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 4 - The source of pressure
The pressure is caused by three basic forces: tension, wandering and conflict. Imagine a “spiritual string” as a metaphor. If we cling to something w ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 5 - When the thread going through the pearls
During the meditation, our mind should be simply a reader or recorder, and it will not judge or change our thoughts. When the abdomen is rising the m ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 6 - The sound of space and time
Concentrating on the present and letting the mind experience the process makes it possible to see through the truth behind occurrences. The truth is ...
 
 
Zen thoughts 7 - The rhythm of breathing and steps
The breathing has its own rhythm, just like the watermill. When the water flows faster the wheel will be quicker, when the water flows slowly the whe ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 8 - To stay with normal and patient mind
We should learn to come into meditation with normal and patient mind. At home, before we do the sitting meditation, at first, you should release the ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 9 - Between pulling and pushing
Don’t pull or push yourself to come into meditation, just like you are just coming out of the darkness, it will take time to accustom to the brightne ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 10 - The delusion of ‘permanence’ and ‘inherent self’
To be mindful on the abdomen’s rising and falling is to cultivate the clear clean mind to penetrate into the essence of phenomena. We’ll find that th ...
 
 
Zen thoughts 11 - Zen stays with daily life
Tonight, it is raining heavily outside, so we have an opportunity to do listening-to-rain meditation. The sound of rain is filling our ears and filli ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 12 - About right mindfulness
No matter what kind of thing you are facing, the first moment should be to remind yourself to keep mindfulness. Because no matter what else we are go ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 13 - The open mind
The “open mind” is one of the characteristics of Zen Heart. It contains acceptance, forgiveness and patience. It seems it’s always harder to accep ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 14 - To live with a clear mind
There is a Chinese saying called “Huo De Ming Bai” – “to live with a clear mind”. Normally it means to have a clear goal or goals, and that will be w ...
 
 
Zen thoughts 15 - About the “key step”
During our walking meditation, our concentration is on each step in the process: lifting-moving-falling, there’s not necessarily any logical thinking ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 16 - Stay with the real calmness
In our daily life, after spending a lot of time in complicated affairs, we often feel that the world is too noisy and we are too tired to go on. Then ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 17 - Open eyes of awareness
There’s a Chinese saying: “Ting Er Bu Wen - heard but didn’t listen, Shi Er Bu Jian - saw but didn’t recognize…” What blinds our ears and eyes? Only ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 18 - The continuity of awareness
There’s a Chinese saying: “to sharpen the axe will not waste the time of cutting firewood.” It means that to spend some time to sharpen the axe will ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 19 - The “slave” of concept
From the time we get up from bed, washing our face, working, thinking, walking, driving, having meals, talking…until we go to bed, these are our ever ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 20 - The “pain” is not for “suffering”
During the sitting meditation, we were always disturbed by the pain, soreness, an itch or numbness of parts of our body. We regard them as ene ...
 
 
Zen thoughts 21 - The reality behind the form of breathing
Breathing will accompany us until our death, so it is always there if we are still alive. That’s why Buddha taught us to start from breathing. Our li ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 22 - The Nature of nature
Human beings live with nature and our living is based on nature so we should be careful and think it over when we say “we can transcend nature”. We s ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 23 - Life is for always practicing
There is a popular idiom from Chinese Zen masters: ”Wù-Kōng-Guò---Don’t waste your everyday life.” It means that the whole lifetime is full of opport ...
 
 
Zen thoughts 24 - Cause and effect, birth and death
The Buddha often used the metaphor of “seed and fruit” to describe the way that everything manifests. The cause is like a seed, with certain conditio ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 25 - Directness, clearness and the moment of now
The above points are the key elements to make us experience the real Zen taste. Sometimes, we think we stay with Zen if there’s temporary peace and e ...
 
 
Zen thoughts 26 - Where’s your mind?
In the year 527, a monk from India named Bodhidharma followed his master’s advice to come to China to spread what he had learned through enlightenmen ...
 
 
Zen thoughts 27 - Just look
In late Tang Dynasty (nearly more than 1000 years ago), there’s a well-known Zen (in Chinese called Chan) Master CongShen. He lived in ZhaoZhou (Zhao ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 28 - The emptiness of conflict
It was quite windy the whole day on Saturday, it was full of leaves and dust in the air. We may feel bored about it and hope it can go away soon. Whe ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 29 - The Five Powers
Faith: When we have faith in something, there will be a firmer and more stable mind to keep doing it. So if we trust in the way we practice, we would ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 30 - To be the best cart driver
Before we begin to do something, there must be a motive; when we want to go on doing something, we must keep this motive. Just like the horse pulling ...
 
 
Zen thoughts 31 - Zen (Chan) and its meaning
Zen has become more popular since it spread to the western world in the early twentieth century by Japanese Zen masters. By then, it had been nearly ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 32 - Understanding about Suffering
The Buddha was always regarded as a doctor, because his teaching can really help us to heal the suffering. Through his own practice and enlightening, ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 33 - Zen thought from the mountain
When the cloud has passed by the top of the mountain with its changing body, when the snow has changed into ice, when the wind has swept away the tra ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 34 - Coordination of body, qi and mind
The process of Zen meditation is the way to understand our body, qi and mind. If they can be better understood, we’d have more confidence to take car ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 35 - The road of releasing stress
The tension is not what we want, the fatigue is not what we want, the anxiety is not what we want, the fear is not what we want, the emotion is not w ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 36 - Zen poem for Chinese New Year
Flower or not flower? Mist or not mist?Arrives at midnight, away since dawn;Coming like a spring dream - how long it will stay?Going like morning clo ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 37 - Living in Zen moment
Life consists of all kinds of activities, and each activity consists of plenty of different moments. So, how can life be dependent on how each moment ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 38 - Establishing of awareness
Many people prefer to seek the secrets of resolving problems, but the real secret is always something in front of us, but we are not able to see it. ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 39 - Causes, conditions and effects
StoneThere’s a Chinese saying: “the drops of water can perforate through stone.” Normally, it was used to encourage somebody to keep on doing somethi ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 40 - Empty of inherent nature
In our daily life, when the time becomes harder sometimes, our body becomes more rigid, because there’s something inside us becoming more solid – the ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 41 - The world of mind beyond mind
On a sunny morning, the singing of birds outside the window is coming through your ears when you lie on the bed. You can feel the pulse and the touch ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 42 - Pieces of words, think as a whole
The tension of the body derives from the tension of the mind, which prevents you from smooth breathing. Let our mind be a clear and clean Mirror, w ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 43 - Step out of snares
There’s a Chinese saying: “To get enmeshed in a cocoon of one’s own spinning.” The silkworm will experience its process of rebirth in spinning. It is ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 44 - The movie without a host
The director is always regarded as the soul of a movie, he tells actors how to feel, how to express themselves and how to act. But a director’s soul ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 45 - Everything is marked with impermanence
This morning, I walked in a community garden and saw many magnolia flowers were blooming, last evening they were just buds. In late afternoon, I was ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 46 - True or false
As I remember my younger days at school, we always met “true or false” questions in examinations. Sometimes it was so hard to tick a choice and simpl ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 47 - Stay with compassion well
Compassion can be expressed through many ways: mercy for the people in suffering, donation to poor areas or families, devoting oneself into one’s res ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 48 - The Four Types of Mindfulness
According to [The Greater Discourse on the Foundation of Mindfulness], Buddha provided us with four basic and crucial ways to practice our insight po ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 49 - Dancer of life
Life is like a dancing performance. On the stage, every dancer has a role. You might be a solo dancer or there’s a partner. With varied melody, you e ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 50 - Give a strike to the flu!
Almost everybody in the world had another shock about another epidemic recently, the clouds of fear cover the sunny life and many people are even ner ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 51 - The Noble Eightfold Path
All teachings of Buddha can be summarized as “The Noble Eightfold Path”, which is the enlightening path for him, and then he shared with others. At t ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 52 - A piece of cloud
A small cloud is floating in the sky, it has been in space for a long long time ago, nobody knows where it comes from, it even don’t know when and wh ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 53 - Dragon boat
The dragon boats are coming with drums and whistles! When we are looking at the race of dragon boats, don’t forget we are on the dragon boat too; we ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 54 - Calling for the mind in the mountain
When human beings move out of the mountains into the city, they are making a revolution on the way of living, and at the same time setting up a delus ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 55 - Challenge a challenge
Everyday we have to face all kinds of challenges. It seems it is part of our life. Normally there are three types of challenges: 1. a thing can chall ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 56 - Balance between cause-effect and emptiness
This world consists of causes, conditions and effects. The existence of a human being as an effect depends on the immediate causes and conditions, su ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 57 - To be or not to be, embrace it with tranquility
“To be, or not to be, that is the question.”When Hamlet was torn by the dissatisfaction of life and the dread of something after death, his mind cons ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 58 - Along with the conditions in middle way
When we are going to have a cup of green tea, the water must be hot enough (around 80 degree), but if we use the boiling water (100 degree), the nutr ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 59 - From the mind to the world
Everybody has a different world with a different engine; everybody’s world together drives a blending world. The mind is the driver. The “engine” is ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 60 - Don’t be surprised
There’s a story about the childhood of a Japanese Zen monk Ikkyu. One day the old master went out, another child monk broke the vase which the old ma ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 61 - Everyday vacation
During this season, many friends are on vacation, some of them go to the sea shore, some of them move into the mountains, and some others go back to ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 62 - Unified mind
From the very non-beginning, our mind is split into pieces, which can be called “false mind”. But the “real mind” has always been intact. When the fa ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 63 - The steps of life
Before we feel cool enough, the autumn has arrived silently. According to Chinese lunar calendar, August 7th is the beginning of autumn, which is cal ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 64 - Welcome home
The homeless body Everyday we move this body to go here and there, to do this and that, we even don’t want to slow down, until the weariness forces t ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 65 - Beyond desire
Desire reflects our needs to other people, to things and nature. In our life, most of our satisfactions must be relied on through others. Buddha’s te ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 66 - The moment of cessation
There’s a Chinese saying: to stand up from where you fall down. And sometimes we see a mother encouraging her child to climb up from stumbling down, ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 67 - Neither…nor…
When the wick is coated with wax, we call it candle. Only when the candle is burnt up, does it start its real life! And since it has started its livi ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 68 - Three legs of a peaceful life
A stool must have at least three legs to stand, they depend on each other to support the base. Peace is the base of our life especially in this compl ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 69 - Shooter,bullet and target
In Olympic games, one of the most attractive events is shooting. It is full of excitement but in silence. As a professional, the shooter can always k ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 70 - Live as a whole
When somebody greets us with “how are you?”, we always answer right away “fine, thank you.” It seems “fine, thank you.” should always be after “how a ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 71 - The crop of life
Just came back from my wife’s hometown, a small village in mid-south of China. We made many friends not only with a few farmers but also with many ve ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 72 - Blooming in the moment of now
Life is blooming at the moment of now, it is the outcome of the seed in the past, and the origin of the outcome in the future at the same time. No ma ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 73 - The One Mind
Everybody has a different world, for we have different “mind mirrors” to reflect reality. Each mirror of ours has irregular facets in varied angles, ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 74 - Silence of birth and death
Phenomena of birth and death Since we were born, life is coming into “make a living”, but nobody can be totally sure how long he will live, because t ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 75 - Stay well with mind, body and breathing
Zen is learning how to stay well with mind, body and breathing, so that Zen serves for life. And the possibility of enlightenment is always in the mo ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 76 - Independence of interdependence
Since childhood, our parents taught us to be an independent person. This encourages us to be diligent and responsible to what we are doing or what we ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 77 - Collapse of the dam of illusion
Our concept of the shape of water depends on the state of water and what contains the water. When we see the water in a bottle, we unconsciously shap ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 78 - Open
Open means a continuous broadness. To contain everything except nothing. The good is not so “good”, the bad is not really “bad”. Let neither the good ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 79 - Three layers of the Middle Way
The Middle Way is the core of Buddha’s teaching – to some extent, the all Buddha’s teaching can be presented by “Middle Way”. It was mentioned in man ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 80 - You are the monastery
  When we walk into a quiet monastery, our steps naturally slow down and the sound of bells arise instead of our talking. It seems we are coming ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 81 - Science of freedom
The Zen is nothing mysterious, and a real Zen practitioner never expects the marvels. It is why sometimes it is called the “Science of freedom”. One ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 82 - Two fundamental powers
  Everybody is longing for eternal peace and happiness, some of us are seeking the source of eternal peace and happiness, few of us can recogniz ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 83 - Keep awake in dream
Everybody has the experience of dreaming, and some of us may have the experience of being aware of dreaming in a dream. Nevertheless you are not abl ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 84 - Spring is blooming
  The Chinese spring festival is always in the coldest days, the solar term Li-Chun (stand-up of spring) can remind us that the spring is coming ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 85 - No problem
  Zen is a problem solver, but from the inside. When you are eager to get rid of the problem from outside, you are cultivating more than that. I ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 86 - Keep in touch with your life
  If I say that most of us break with our life, you may not agree with me. But when you observe more carefully, you will find that some of us ar ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 87 - Stay nowhere
  It snowed again today. Endless pieces of snowflakes are falling down from the sky; it seems they don’t have any hesitation to stay in the air ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 88 - Guest only
When we stay at home, we feel we are the host. When we are away from home, we still feel we are the owner. Shall we ask ourselves: How can we own it ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 89 - Best wishes
  In Chinese, there are two characters to describe compassion. One is Ci, meaning “to give peace and happiness to others”. The other is Bei, mea ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 90 - Shooting into no oneself
  Bow The bow is part of an archer; its tension is not only powerful but also gentle at the same time. When it is pulled, all the power can be g ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 91 - 18 elements of contact
Our life is full of all kinds of contacts. When the alarm clock sings in the early morning, we are woken up by hearing; then we can feel the touchin ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 92 - Wandering around Zen
The sun shows its face out of clouds, Calling me to get out into its shining realm, The wind flies through the light, The shadows are moving with th ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 93 - Don't wait
In Chinese medicine, there’s a term called “Zhi-Wei-Bing” (treat before getting sick), which means “protect or prevent from sickness”. In other words ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 94 - Channels
  When watching TV, we are going to find a favorite channel, but sometimes it is so hard. Partly because our favorites are not so stable, and ar ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 95 - Fresh heart
As Zen practitioners, we must have a fresh heart, which is experiencing every moment without sticking. When you are blocked by the form, you are losi ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 96 - Emptiness is not other than dependent arising
When we talk about the Emptiness of Buddhism, somebody may link it with nothingness, most of us will feel depressed, fortunately it is not what the r ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 97 - Clean up all the time
The earth is facing great risk now, it is related to every one of us, the whole world is involved in environmental protection, and all countries are ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 98 - Moving in silence
 The whole universe is moving all the time. Our lives consist of all kinds of movements. Is there something moving dependant on itself? Is there ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 99 - Dust in the wind
During this late spring, sandstorm is attacking many cities. Everything is covered in brown dust. The vision is blocked. We can’t see things clearly, ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 100 - The boat of Dharma
At the break of dawn, The sail is rising up with the dancing of seagulls, The wind is calling for weighing anchor, The captain takes his te ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 101 - Arrow of cause & effect
When we are drawing the bow, our mind has been flying to the target before the arrow is even shot out. When your mind moves, the body and breathin ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 102 - Cover and core
We always say Zen practice is about peeling the cover to find the core, that’s for us who think we are really covered. Just like we never think it ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 103 - Flowing water will not spoil
There’s an artificial river nearby my community, but it doesn’t connect with a lively flowing water, so after a period of time, it will become dark a ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 104 - When it is coming
 In the morning, when the alarm clock rings, you should not be alarmed, but be aware of the coming of breathing. Your belly rises up when breath ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 105 - The realms of the world
  Independent realm  “Independence” is regarded as a key word in our life, and our world is built on it. Everybody has an independent view, ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 106 - Rebirth of garbage
A big title with a colorful background catches my eye: Rebirth Of Garbage, on one page of Beijing Evening Newspaper. It is a group of articles and pi ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 107 - Eskimo's snow
 Beijing now is in summer, but in Inuit ( Eskimo) land, the snow is still covering their roofs. The snow is their year long partner. When a frie ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 108 - No pain no gain
 The pain provides a chance to recognize suffering. The pain reminds us to free ourselves from suffering. The pain is a partner for a real pract ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 109 - Goal without desire
Aim with no expectationWhen an outstanding shooter aims at a target, what does he expect? Nothing, but concentrate on the aiming and be aware of the ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 110 - The weather of mind
Recently, I was talking about the weather worldwide with a friend. He grumbled about changeable weather around the world this year. I said:“ compared ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 111 - SOS
 One of my friends got a hit by a taxi on his bicycle on the way to work, fortunately not seriously, and luckily just outside the gate of a SOS ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 112 - Space and dust [I]
  When somebody asks us where do we live, we may tell him the street, district, city…it is the range of our daily life. And when w ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 113 - Zen (Chan) attitude
 When we are practicing Zen (Chan), we should ask ourselves: “who is practicing?” Is there a “me” in this body? When the gathering of four eleme ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 114 - Koan and life
 Koan (Gong An) is the case study of Zen (Chan) between a specific Zen master and a specific disciple, it is the way to help a practitioner have ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 115 - Take a better breath
Breathing is what our life depends on, but only when we take care of each breath, can we have a more wholesome life. Existence of breathing At fir ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 116 - Back packer
Are you a back packer? No matter if you are walking through cities or hiking in the mountains, are you always ready to welcome uncertainties ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 117 - Zen biking
  It is a beautiful day today, let's go out biking…but for Zen biking, besides enjoying the sunlight with breeze, we must k ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 118 - Morning glory
  Today a morning glory was blooming on the window sill at sunrise. It was opening its mouth bigger when more sunshine streamed in and ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 119 - Space and dust [II]
  The space is always there, but we seldom recognize it. The dust is always there, but we seldom recognize it either. In the light of ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 120 - Put-down and take-up
  When we want to pick up another thing, we must put down what we are holding in our hands. Do you know how many things we will pick u ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 121 - Three poisons
  It is natural for us to avoid taking poisons in life, we eat nutritious food, take healthy drinks, keep our room in fresh air, prote ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 122 - Zen Tea
There’s a Zen saying: Zen and tea have the same taste. Because drinking tea has many common features and benefits with Zen practici ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 123 - Thanksgiving with giving
  Can you remember in your whole life, how many people should be thanked? How many things need to be appreciated? How many situations ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 124 - The most proper state
  For everything we do, there should be a proper state. It is proper, because it is good for the mind, breathing, the body and that wh ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 125 - Kite of Zen
  On the way home, riding on my bike, run into a kite; It is in the sky, Dancing with the clouds passing by; Sometim ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 126 - Stay with non-staying
  Every winter, there will be a specific period of time for my wife and I to stay with silence only. In the mountains, we know few fam ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 127 - Three benefits of Vipassana
  In a broader sense, Vipassana is a complex of right view, right thinking and right mindfulness. In a narrow sense, Vipassana is a wa ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 128 - Not two
  Zen practice is always called the gate of “Not Two”. Originally, Buddha sometimes used “Not Two” to illustra ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 129 - Who am I
  In Zen, “Who am I” is a big question, which should be always asked. But in daily life, it can not be a question, because ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 130 - Real care
  Care is what everybody requires. But to give real care to oneself, others or the environment is not always what we are good at. The ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 131 - Let it be
  There’s a famous song “Let it be” by the Beatles. Whenever I hear the words “let it be, let it be”, I ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 132 - Smile of the heart
  Smile, the most beautiful sight I’ve ever experienced, either from others or myself. Smile, the most precious gift ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 133 - WHAT
  Every day, we immerse ourselves in all kinds of birth and death. We experience the coming and going of breathing in, coming and goin ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 134 - Play Zen with children
  Zen practice needs every practitioner to be a beginner, who has no preconception about what is happening or what is going to happen ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 135 - Radiation
  We experience radiation every day, but seldom are aware of it. It is intangible, but it is there.   When you are watching ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 136 - Live for this moment
   On the way to work today, I passed by a magazine booth, where I found an ad for Lee's jeans: “Live for this moment&r ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 137 - Zen and coffee
  The cloudy days recently encouraged me to stay closer with my coffee, the brightness of the deep brown color and its mellow smell ma ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 138 - Unplug
  Every morning, before waking up, The world has been plugging away at itself; Every night, after sleeping away, Life is sti ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 139 - Don't grasp grasping
  A friend said he was always being grasped by worry recently, because of many unexpected happenings with family and work.   ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 140 - From rebirth to reincarnation
  A friend just came back from abroad, his eyes are full of the leaves and flowers. He amazed: “oh, the rebirth of a new spring! ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 141 - Archer of life
  Life is like shooting out arrows one time after another, and we have no chance to repeat. So we must stay with sincere, clear an ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 142 - The bubble
  When I was having a walk in the community park, I saw a little boy who was playing soap bubbles. He blew one after another into the ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 143 - The carriage of life
  Everyone is driving a carriage of life, Running to the unforeseeable destination.   You are the driver, Who is ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 144 - Taste of suffering
  When we talk about suffering, our mind becomes cloudy and the breathing becomes heavier. We prefer to talk about joy or happiness, b ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 145 - Ready to accept 1
  Zen practice is a process about learning to accept. It is the prior attitude to whatever happens to us. When the noise comes t ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 146 - Pandora's Box
  Recently I read an article about a modern Pandora's Box invented by British scientists. It can be used for forecasting how long ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 147 - Learn to stop
  This afternoon I invited a friend to have some tea at home. One of the reason is he said he was so busy that there's even no ti ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 148 - Map of practice
If a person is going to travel to a place, at first, he will open a map, and based on the general direction (coordinates) of that place, ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 149 - Performance of thunder and lightning
  This is a rich summer, Which produces more thunder and lightning. They are striking their huge drums and shining cymbals, ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 150 - No fear
  In Heart Sutra, it was said: “…With nothing to attain, the bodhisattva relies on wisdom beyond wisdom and the mind has ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 151 - Mind soil
  This morning, after a gust of rain last night, I walked around in community fresh smelling garden. There were several gardeners who ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 152 - Breathing in and out
  Wake up in the morning, Appreciate that I’m still breathing. In and out, In and out.   ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 153 - World of conditions
When we feel that our existence is “should be”, “must be” or even “originally to be”, our eyes and mi ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 154 - Zen retreat
  I feel happy and excited that I wrote this Zen Thought together with our participants during the Zen retreat of last weekend. They ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 155 - Just sitting
  Sometimes, when you are quarreling with somebody, you might be persuaded: “ok, take a seat and let's talk slowly.” W ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 156 - Zen bike
  More and more people have a car or are going to own a car, but I'm glad that I just have a regular bike. It is not only because ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 157 - Zen writing
  I was trained since childhood on the traditional Chinese calligraphy. I love it because of the whole atmosphere during writing. ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 158 - Busy as not busy
  There are many greeting words in Chinese, and some of them are related to "busy", especially in modern times. When picking ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 159 - Bucket list
  An old friend talked about his bucket list with me, and found we shared one item, to meet with the elephants in the wild. And I' ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 160 - Zero mind
  When I think of zero, An image of a soap bubble arises in mind; When I hear of zero, Reminds me of a fire circle swung ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 161 - No gain no loss
  Our everyday life depends on seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching and consciousness. We enjoy and suffer with what we contac ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 162 - Sit with whole life
  When we are in sitting meditation, the method is our whole life. When the mind is ready to sit 100 years, it will be easier to sit 1 ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 163 - Ready to accept 2
  The establishment of Chinese Zen practicing system (Chan School) started from a monk from southern India, his name was Boddhi-Dharma ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 164 - Falling season
  A gust of rain arrived with a blast of wind, The shadow of the sun was dimming swiftly, The coolness occupied night until mor ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 165 - Family Zen
    The family is the basic unit of a society. If each one of us can take care of our own family properly, both our personal l ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 166 - Slim mirror
  A friend said recently that he was cheated by a slim mirror in the fashion shop. He tried an overcoat in front of a slim mirror ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 167 - Old taste
  There’s a restaurant called “Old taste restaurant” nearby my community. But I could never have an old taste of ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 168 - “Man Zou”
  There’s an old Beijing saying “Man Zou”, literarily means “walk slowly”, represents the politeness of ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 169 - Just “Now”
  Sitting meditation is a way to learn to stay with “the moment of now”. To sit in the moment of now is to experience the ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 170 - Intuition
  During a chat with an old friend, we talked about intuition. This has been a popular topic since early 20th century; people want to ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 171 - Beyond suffering
  Sometimes, we are afraid of talking about suffering and don’t even want to mention it. We ignore its value because we attach ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 172 - Mind plough
  When we feel the mind becomes dull and murky, it might be the time to plough. While ploughing the field, there are many things to d ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 173 - Mountain retreat
  In the freezing air, The train flew on the railway, The bus ran through the valleys, To embrace the mountain. The riv ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 174 - For a better world
  The earth is arriving at 2012, And flying to the year of the dragon, Though we expect strongly, are we ready for a better ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 175 - Leave a little space
  For most of us, if we can check what occupies our mind, we will find the mind is full of burden and out of breath.   Tem ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 176 - Straight heart
  Ancient Zen masters always talked about “straight heart”. In different circumstances, it has different meanings. &nb ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 177 - Centering
  The world in human eyes, Is a gathering of all kinds of self, Each depends on its own side, To be here or there.   ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 178 - What is happening?
  When a Zen meditation was about to start, a bombing sound shook through the hall. A friend was shocked: “what is happening?&r ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 179 - No separation
    It seems more difficult for modern people to live in a complete world. The modern forms of living and existence instill the i ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 180 - Wave
  I have an old friend that I have not heard from in a long time, but one of his experiences still lingers in my mind. One time, he h ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 181 - Taste of breathing
  There’s no living person who does not breathe, but who really knows the taste of breathing. Is there breathing Only ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 182 - Captain Mind
  Our lives are like sailing from one harbor to another, But the boat of spirit seems unable to find a dock to stop at, Even in ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 183 - No battle
  The world is full of battles, between individuals, between companies and between nations. The battle starts from resistance, the re ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 184 - Grain Rain
Today is the sixth of 24 solar terms Guyu –“Grain Rain” in the Chinese traditional calendar. It begins when the Sun rea ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 185 - Grand beginner
  In Zen, sometimes we use “beginner’s mind” to describe “Zen mind”. But this beginner is not a normal b ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 186 - Mirror
  The mind is like a mirror, But never the same one, Wherever it is reflecting, Through eyes or through ears.   T ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 187 - Health
  Recently I took a visit to a friend, who had just recovered from an illness. He said: “I was quite busy recently with exercis ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 188 - Union
  I had an interesting talk with a friend about the ring and the circle of Zen. He said that the ring means the union of a couple, wh ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 189 - Everyday Sangha
  Sangha originally means the enlightened practitioners, who are freed from “birth and death” of suffering. Nowadays, it ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 190 - Put down
  One time, a heavenly being came to visit Buddha with two vases of flowers; he also wanted to ask for teaching about enlightenment f ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 191 - To live truly
  When we talk about life, our first response is always the memory of the past, or the expectation of the future, but forgets that we ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 192 - Buddha
    In Zen tradition, when we talk about Buddha, it has multiple meanings, which depend on different contexts. Zen masters use th ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 193 - Subtle world
   Another morning glory is blooming, Singing to the sunrise, The vine started its winding path, Underneath the soil. ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 194 - Same age
    A friend had just visited her new born granddaughter, and she said:” with the joy of a new birth, I feel older.” ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 195 - Positions and views
   The world consists of endless positions and views, each position is part of the world, and each view is a side of the world. Some ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 196 - Don't forget
    A Zen master used to say: “The memory is a trouble maker!” no matter it is good or bad. This “memory” ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 197 - Turning
  The piecing storm turns everything into coldness, Sweeping the leaves with roaring palms, The earth is dancing on the orbit, B ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 198 - Parents of life
  One of my students is going to get married, I talked to him: “You and your wife will be the parents of your life. Each of you ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 199 - Zen in melody
    Turning on the audio, the melody flows out of the track, touching my ears, and narrates its current life. &nbs ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 200 - Careless mind
  Modern people’s minds become very careless, maybe because there are too many things which have to be cared for.   ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 201 - Riding on horse of Zen
    The mind is like a horse, Running all the way, From day till night, No time to rest.   Riding on the h ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 202 - Mind purifier
  Beijing recently is in trouble with heavy air pollution, but we know it did not occur suddenly.   The population of Beiji ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 203 - Qing-Ming
    Qing-Ming is a day to memorize the passing-away, Normally during the first week of April, It is the time for the beg ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 203 - Qing-Ming
  Qing-Ming is a day to memorize the passing-away, Normally during the first week of April, It is the time for the beginning of ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 204 - Span of life
  One time, Buddha asked his disciples about life span. One monk answered that the life depends on every day. Buddha said: “not ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 205 - Live slowly
    To live slowly is not to live lazily, Is not to make life dull, But to live more gently and clearly, Without the ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 206 - Zen surfing
  There’s a Yun-Men(gate of clouds)mountain in Guangdong province of southern China. A temple was named by the mountain – Yun ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 207 - Zen Diet
  I’m going to be on a diet, For the sake of the earth, The rest of the beings, And myself.   To let every brea ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 208 - Free from inertia
  We live in a world of inertia, just like the relation between earth, moon and sun, it seems they will always run in the same way, but w ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 209 - Washing Zen
  I like washing, Especially in summer, Not only for cooling the body, But also for cleansing the mind.   Immersing t ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 210 - Three levels of intention
  Whatever we are going to do, we need an intention to start, and it is the driving force to work out a result or meet a goal. The intentio ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 211 - Meeting
  A piece of cloud is climbing up to the sky, Another one follows, Creeping, Diminishing. Several pieces of clouds floating alo ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 212 - Oh my freedom
  Who doesn't want freedom? But the freedom in this world is so limited, and depends on all kinds of conditions, which are full of unce ...
 
 
Zen Thoughts 213 - Fashion
  Life is a big fashion, Too many things draw our attention. Looking back into the past, It seems all of a sudden.   ...
 

 

   
 
Upcoming events
  Book Club "The Boat to Redemption"  
 
  Book Club "Strange Tales from a Chinese Studio"  
 
  Book Club "Murder in Beijing"  
 
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  Book Club "Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother"  
 
  Improve your kids' mindfulness and focus through Chinese tea ritual  
 
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