Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Zen Notes

Scott and I are taking a World Religions Class and have really come to appreciate the value and truths found in other religions...such as Buddhism, Hinduism & Taoism. There are so many parallels to the gospel. Our teacher is big on the value of meditation and living a Zen life...and how it can help us to let go of our desires and stresses, the things that make us shenpa-ed or "stuck". All of it has been really inspirational and enlightening. Don't we all need to be living a little more of a simplified and meditative life? So I just thought I would share some of my thoughts and quotes from our readings...

"Meditation is the language of the soul. It is defined as ‘a form of private devotion or spiritual exercise, consisting in deep, continued reflection on some religious theme.’ Meditation is a form of prayer. … “Meditation is one of the most secret, most sacred doors through which we pass into the presence of the Lord” (LDS, Young Women Manual 1)

"Zen values the simple life: Do your daily work without making a big deal of it, dreading it, or disliking it. Let your daily working bring you joy. Don’t over consume, but use only what you need. Over consumption fuels desires, which cause suffering. Live close to the earth and marvel in its beauty. "

Living a Zen life It simply means that you do what you do, really do it, without dreading it, resenting it, or even getting a particular wild thrill from it. Do your duty. Do you job. Do your housework. Eat your meals. Play with your kids. Walk your dog. Make your bed. Love your partner. Do all those things with mindful awareness, and you will be living Zen."

8 fold path of Hinduism--have complete/whole/perfect...view, thinking, mindfulness, speech, action, diligence, concentration, liveihood

"Those who have high thoughts are ever striving: they are not happy to remain in the same place. Like swans that leave their lake and rise into the air, they leave their home for a higher home."

Focus on Christ and the gospel...not churchiness/cultural outside things that enrich but are not the most important.

Most of the suffering we have had never really happened. don't let angst/stress get you stuck. don't cultivate negative thoughts. water thoughts that bring forth joy! we decide the quality of our garden

People may gain from loss, and loose from gain.

It is all too easy to get caught up in what other people think of you. Ironically, the more worried you are about other people’s opinions, the more negative those opinions tend to be. Those who don’t give a thought to what others think tend to be the most revered.

Inter being is the whole BIG PICTURE. It relates this page of paper back through the pulp to the logger who fed his family by felling the tree, back through the parents who raised him, on through the wheat fields which nourished them all, to the rains clouds and soil and sunshine that made possible all these and everything else.

The goal of Zen is to live your goal right now rather than look ahead to it.

Consumerism has adjusted our attitudes so that what was once a desire for enough has become an unquenchable thirst for more. What is quality? Who cares? Use it, toss it, buy a new one.

So you don’t agree with everything your boss says or does. So what? It doesn’t have anything to do with you. It doesn’t have anything to do with anything. It just is. You work in a place that has these certain rules. Follow them and get on with it. Having a boss sometimes requires adjusting to someone else’s rhythms, doing something in a way you might not normally do it, and not resisting every little wave that rocks your boat a little. Get over it!

We attach. Then we suffer.

Try to notice every single thing you can with each of your five senses.

It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks or does because you can’t control what anyone else thinks or does. All you can control is your own reaction to the circumstances in your life. And that’s plenty.

When life gets to be too much and you find yourself losing your sense of self, just take a moment and find your center.

“And now…I would that ye would be diligent and temperate in all things. Use boldness, but not overbearance; and also see that ye bridle all your passions, that ye may be filled with love; see that ye refrain from idleness.” (A Passage from an Ancient American Sacred Text)

“It seems we all agree that training the body through exercise, diet, and relaxation is a good idea, but why don’t we think about training our mind? With an untrained mind, we’ll live most days of our lives at the mercy of our moods.

We have faith that you are already whole and complete, all on your own, and that meditation and mindfulness can help you to apprehend this truth for yourself.

Enlightened people are frequently compelled to spend their lives helping others and improving their environments, in order to make the most of each present moment.

Now is everything. Now thyself!


Bonnie & Brian said...

Brian and I took the same class together during winter of 07 - the same semester we got married- two years ago! Bro. Purse called us "B&B olsen" ... hense the name of our blog. hehe. Great class!

brittany+scott said...

Cute. haha That's funny cuz, he calls us the Olsen Twins!!! I'll have to see if he remembers "B&B Olsen" haha!