Achieving the advanced state of no-thought is not about stopping the thinking process, but rather, it’s about cultivating an expansive sensitivity to a level above the thinking mind.
Be aware that the concept of meditation is to shift your focus to the awareness of the thinking process, rather than the content of the thoughts.
Thoughts are the input and output of the mental process. Making thoughts is what the brain is built for—like the heart beats, the mind thinks.
Your mind wanders, you bring it back. This is the exercise—and the practice—of meditation.
If your mind wanders, all that means is that you’re alive and your brain is functioning normally, which is great news!
As the grounding effect of breath awareness disengages you from the often-overwhelming chatter of the mind, the level at which you think will seem to transcend the noise.
Sitting for meditation is the classic technique for a reason: Being physically still can help you still your mind.
With a beginner’s mind, we can all become more fluid in our understanding and thereby pave the way for a more fulfilling and balanced future.
Count on your beginner's mind to help you through any times when you might feel resistant or self-conscious about your practice.
A beginner’s mind allows you to remain flexible and open, even as you encounter new things that may seem strange or even uncomfortable at first.
Zazen is a great technique to start with because it is so straight- forward and uncomplicated.
A beginner’s mind allows you to remain flexible and open, even as you encounter new things that may seem strange or even uncomfortable at first. It also allows you to experience something mundane from an entirely new perspective, whereas an expert might approach something believing they “already get it.
In the modern world, there seems to be a collective understanding of the word Zen—it has become synonymous with serenity, relaxation, and a calm demeanor.
Unlike many other traditions, in Zen, emphasis is placed on the direct experience of enlightenment—experiencing insight through meditation—rather than on the study of the sacred texts of Eastern traditions.
Attention focused on the breath redirects your awareness from outside your body to inside it. It is an exercise in controlling the focus of your awareness.
In zazen, you create the conditions for your mind to “decompress” from its habitual mode of thinking and open up to new perspectives and insight.
Zazen can ultimately retrain your mind to see the world from an entirely new perspective.
Zazen practice develops our understanding of our connectedness to the world into which we were born, the world in which we live—which is also the world we are creating together, moment by moment.
Zen is an especially intriguing school of Buddhism because it brings to mind paradoxical images of monks happily living quiet lives, meditating on mountaintops, as well as powerful martial artists.
The monks find comfort, contentment, and even joy in the simplest of tasks, living each moment to its fullest by grounding themselves in the present.