nothing outside yourself can cause any trouble

 

When you are practicing zazen, do not try to stop your thinking.  Let it stop by itself.  It something comes into your mind, let it come in, and let it go out.  It will not stay long.  When you try to stop your thinking, it means you are bothered by it.  Do not be bothered by anything.  It appears as if something comes from outside your mind, but actually it is only the waves of your mind, and if you are not bothered by the waves, gradually they will become calmer and calmer.  In five or at most ten minutes, your mind will be completely serene and calm.  At that time your breathing will become quite slow, while your pulse will become a little faster.

It will take quite a long time before you find your calm, serene mind in your practice.  Many sensations come, many thoughts or images arise, but they are just waves of your own mind.  Nothing comes from outside your mind.  Usually we think of our mind as receiving impressions and experiences from outside, but that is not a true understanding of our mind.  The true understanding is that the mind includes everything; when you think something comes from outside it means only that something appears in your mind.  Nothing outside yourself can cause any trouble.  You yourself make the waves in your mind.  If you leave your mind as it is, it will become calm.  This mind is called big mind.

 

Shunryu Suzuki

 

freedom is not found without some rules

 

Perfect freedom is

not found without some rules.

People, especially young people, think that

freedom is to do just what they want, that in Zen there

is no need for rules. But this does not mean always to be under

control. As long as you have rules, you have a chance for

freedom. To try to obtain freedom without being aware

of the rules means nothing. It is to acquire 

this perfect freedom that we

practice zazen.

 

Shunryu Suzuki

 

plant yourself firmly in the tao

 

Plant yourself

firmly in the Tao and 

you won’t ever be uprooted. 

Embrace Tao firmly and you won’t 

ever be separated from it. Your

children will thrive, and 

your children’s

children. 

 

Cultivate

goodness in your self, 

and goodness will be genuine. 

Cultivate it in your family, and goodness

will flourish. Cultivate it in your community, 

and goodness will grow and multiply. 

Cultivate it in your country, and

goodness will be abundant. 

Cultivate it in the world, 

and goodness will be

everywhere. 

 

How do I

know the world

works like this? 

By watching.

 

from The Tao te Ching of Lao Tzu,

Chapter 54


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