Experiences of a Zen student who tried various techniques of meditation before setteling on Zazen. The intention is to describe Zen concepts in simple language that can be understood by anyone.
Through life I believe we must pursuit both. Happiness, though, is not something we can expect to be 100% there, 24/7. It's more, to me, a moment we capture in time. Contentment, on the other hand, comes hand in hand with gratitude, and contentment should be a state of mind and a state of soul that we must learn to be in. If we are grateful, then we will find more and more moments of happiness.Have a great day! I'm a new watcher of this blog. Take care!
Both :)But when I am not happy I would still aim to be content.
I guess I don't see the separation between the two. I tend to think that contentment is a higher happiness. But then there is always that boundless joy thingy that keeps on springing up on me. what the heck is that?
Thanks Heidi, Molly and Jordan...:)I used to think about this a lot before I started practicing Zen. I used to wonder if this is the life pattern - get happiness by getting something or some desire fulfilled, become bored with it or grow neutral to it and then look to next thing for getting happiness. After I started with Zen, I started realizing that there is another state of mind possible, which is contentment and does not have this roller coaster attached to it.For whatever reason in our civilization, there is a lot of stress on success in terms of money or fame or power but not so much in terms of understanding one's own mind or finding peace and contentment. The cost that one needs to pay for finding success in traditional sense is justified well, even though it might lead to lot of stress. I wonder at times, how it would be if we were recognizing others for wanting less rather than wanting more?Metta
I'm most happy and content writing this comment to you!Thank you for this post!
My grandteacher, Zen Master Seung Sahn told me this: "If you want something, you get something. If you don't want anything, you get everything."
I'd like to have another cup of coffee!
Jdspn - So true that you get everything if you don't want anything and so difficult to achieve. I wish there was more training in society on the "why" of the wants rather on the achievement of the want!Uku - I am in the same mood today..not coffee in particular but anythign warm..we had snow here yesterday and it is a winter wonderland out there.
A contented mind is a continual feast. Happiness cannot exist without contentment.Bruce
Right on the money, Bruce!
why do you say it is dangerous to meditate without a teacher? i have been meditating for some time now...
Because the mind can play games, specially when the time comes for ego to take a hit. If not done in correct manner, you can twist the way mind is conditioned to work, leading to issues.
I read zen mind, beginners mind, would you say that if i followed the practices outlined in that book, would it be alright, or would you strongly recommend a teacher. I also sometimes listen to Gil Fronsdale, recorded audio of course. I don't really have access to a teacher where I live, so do you think it is impossible for me to practice zen in any way whatsoever? Maybe there is a less intense, less deep practice, such as relaxing the mind?
I would strongly suggest that you visit http://wildfoxzen.blogspot.com/. Dosho Port is a very web savvy master who engages with students through skype and webexes. He can be a of great help. It is always good to have a teacher ensure that you are in right direction.