Your mind is your greatest treasure. We become so taken up with the world, with having and doing more and more that we come to ignore who we are and forget what we see the world with.
The most powerful way to change your life is to change your mind.
John O’Donohue, The Art of Developing a Beautiful Mind
To meet everyone and everything through stillness instead of mental noise
is the greatest gift you can offer to the universe.
When from our better selves we have too long
Been parted by the hurry world, and droop,
Sick of its business, of its pleasures tired,
How gracious, how benign, is Solitude
Wordsworth, The Prelude
Zen is really just a reminder to stay alive and be awake. We tend to daydream all the time, speculating and dwelling on the past. Zen practice is about appreciating your life in this moment. If you are truly aware five minutes a day, you’re doing pretty well. We are beset by both the future and the past, but there is no reality apart from the here and the now. So this is a very concise teaching about zazen [sitting meditation], just a reminder to stay alive and be awake. Notice how much you tend to dwell in the past and speculate about the future; it will help you to practice more in this realm of appreciating your life in this moment.
Zenkei Blanche Hartman, Seeds of A Boundless Life
For a peaceful meditation, we need not to go to the mountains and streams;
When thoughts are quieted down, even fire itself is cool and refreshing.
Extract from poem by Ch’an monk Tu Kou-hao, used as last words by Keizan Jōkin, abbot of Erinji, just before he was burned alive by soldiers in his temple.
Stay away from anything
that obscures the place it is in.
There are no unsacred places;
there are only sacred places
and desecrated places.
Wendell Berry, How to Be a Poet