Greatest treasure


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

Appreciating the present

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

When thoughts are quietened

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.