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Zen Poetry Excerpts

Excerpted from Just Use This Mind: Follow the Universal Truth to Oneness of Mind, Body and Spirit

Not die to the lifeless self,
then the immortal nature cannot come alive;
Not quite alive to the immortal,
then one has not quite died to the lifeless;
To live with what is alive and to die to what is dead is only half correct,
To die to the living so the dead come to life,
then the world will be at peace.

Move image, image moving,
image after image arising,
Water waves, waves on water,
ripple after ripple born,
Empty the mind,
the mind of emptiness,
Emptiness just is,
I am aware, aware of “I,”
“I” after “I” follows on.

Grievance must have a culprit, debt its creditor,
Name-calling is quite unnecessary,
The green hills already have many corpses,
Beholding grudge in the Light, then came the Dust.
– Shih, Miao Tsan

Who is seeing, who is listening, who is talking,
Spring flower, spring breeze, the Spirit’s beauty;
Not blind, not deaf, nor speechless,
No eye, no ears, yet wondrous in many ways.

Restless and hurried man pursues in suffering,
cold and warm the seasons passed one by one;
from morning to evening the householder makes a living,
deluded and disoriented the hair turned white;
right and wrong, what day will it all end?
Worried and perplexed, when can it cease?
Clearly and obviously there is a path to cultivate;
no matter what, regardless, people are unwilling to practice.


Perceptions of Reality

Some excerpts that help explain reality…

Our whole life is a fooling around.  You can do it because you are not aware of how you waste time, how you waste energy; how, finally, life is wasted – you are not aware.  It is going down the drain.  Everything is going down the drain.  Only when death comes to you, you may become aware, alert: what have I been doing?  What have I done with life?  A great opportunity has been lost.  What was I doing fooling around?  You were not sober.  You never reflected on what you were doing.

Life is not just to pass, it is to reach somewhere deep within you.  Life is not on the surface; it is not the circumference, it is the center.  And you have not reached to the center yet.  Sober up!  Enough time is already wasted.  Be alert and see what you are doing.  And what are you doing?  Searching for money?  It is finally, ultimately useless.  It is again a game, the money game.  You have more than others, you feel good;  Others have more than you feel bad.  It is a game.  But what is the meaning of it?  What do you gain from it?  Even if you have all the money this world contains, at the moment of death, you will die as a beggar.  So the whole wealth of the world cannot make you rich.  Games cannot make you rich.  Sober up!
Mindfulness in the Modern World: How Do I Make Meditation Part of Everyday Life? (Osho Life Essentials)

In the creation of everything that exists, thought always comes first.  Everything that you see around you was once a thought or an idea – a vibrational concept that matured into what you call physical reality.

Your planet was conceived from the non-physical realm long before that which you call human walked upon it, and as that non-physical focus, from what humans call source, was cast upon the idea of it, your wonderous Leading Edge time-space reality was created…First, there is thought, and as more thought is offered to any subject, the thought begins to take form until there is manifestation of that which humans call “reality.”  So not unlike the creation of the planet itself, as you stand in your physical bodies – as manifested extensions of that which you call source – you continue the creation of your planet, and life upon it, through your thought.
The Astonishing Power of Emotions: Let Your Feelings Be Your Guide

Now I know this is radical stuff but it’s true nevertheless.  And this brings us to the startling conclusion that you and I can lead happy lives regardless of our circumstances, regardless of what we have or don’t have.  Because when we drop our interpretation of events, we find ourselves living here and now in this present moment.  And that’s about it.  With no stories , no comparisons, no expectations, life just is and we are just here.  And what could possibly be wrong with that?  And so we find, to our great and eternal delight, that at this very moment, when we drop our stories and beliefs and stand quietly in the now, we’re quite happy!  We find that at this very moment everything is ok.  And that strangely enough, happiness is what we are.  Happiness is our nature, our natural state.
The Awakening Human Being

So the question is, Is there a monistic alternative to material realism, where mind and matter are integrally part of one reality, but a reality that is not based on matter?  I am convinced there is.  The alternative that I propose in this book is monistic idealism.  This philosophy is monistic as opposed to dualistic, and it is idealism because ideas (not to be confused with ideals) and the consciousness of them are considered to be the basic elements of reality;  matter is considered to be secondary.  In other words, instead of positing that everything (including consciousness) is made of matter, this philosophy posits that everything (including matter) exists in and is manipulated from consciousness.  Note that the philosophy does not say that matter is unreal but that the reality of matter is secondary to that of consciousness, which itself is the ground of all being – including matter.
The Self-Aware Universe

So what is present moment awareness?  It is a state of Being in which we effortlessly integrate the authentic and Divine Presence that we are with each God-given moment we are in so that we are able to respond consciously to every experience we are having. By accomplishing this, our response is always the same:  gratitude – a flow of gratitude that washes us of all our illusions.  Entering such a state may sound hard and complicated when we are living in time.  It is, however, effortless and completely natural because present moment awareness is our birthright.  It is the kingdom of awareness through whose gates the prodigal children return.  The hard part has been attempting to find what we did not know we had lost.  The best part is realizing that we have been looking for something that has already found us.
The Presence Process – A Journey Into Present Moment Awareness

Projection sends component energies of the Self, the central part of each of us, out into the world.  When these energies remain unconscious to the person projecting them, the result is a loss of psychic energy and freedom.  When the energies are made conscious (with ego and Self being brought into balance through the ego’s willingness to serve as a vehicle for the Self), the result is a free individual who radiates light and love into the world.  In contrast, when two individuals are involved Ina deeply repressed projection, both experience a curtailment of the freedom of their individual egos and subsequent energy loss.  You can be sure that you are involved in a deep-seated unconscious projection with any person whose mere physical presence exhausts you for no apparent reason.  Most often this “exhaustion relationship” can be found with a member of your immediate family, usually one of your parents.  Experiment the next time you encounter such an individual.  Don’t expect the old responses and behavior.  Let the person be new, and send love out of your heart consciously.  Love is the greatest freeing energy we have.  You may be surprised at the results for you both.
The Inner Guide Meditation: A Spiritual Technology for the 21st Century

The world we see merely reflects our own internal frame of reference-the dominant ideas, wishes and emotions in our minds.  “Projection makes perception.”  We look inside first, decide the kind of world we want to see and then project that world outside, making it the truth as we see it.  We make it true by our interpretations of what it is that we are seeing.  If we are using perception to justify our own mistakes-our anger, our impulses to attack, our lack of love in whatever form it may take-we will see a world of evil, destruction, malice, envy and dispair.  All this we must learn to forgive, not because we are being “good” and “charitable”, but because what we are seeing is not true.  We have distorted the world by our twisted defenses, and are therefore seeing what is not there.  As we learn to recognize our perceptual errors, we also learn to look past them or “forgive.”  At the same time we are forgiving ourselves, looking past our distorted self-concepts to the Self That God created in us and as us.
A Course in Miracles

101 Mindful Ways to Happiness

Excerpted from Choose the Life You Want, the Mindful Way to Happiness

By Tal Ben-Shahar, PhD

Choose to Choose
     Choose your own path
Be Mindful of the Wonder
     Take time to really look at things
Take a Step Back
     Don’t react emotionally, respond thoughtfully
Think and Act Purposefully
     Don’t obsess
Carry Yourself With Confidence and Pride
     Act as if
Make a Difference
Just Do It!
Experience Your Work as a Calling
Actively Learn the Lessons of Hardship
Appreciate and Learn From Those Around You
Express and Reveal
Seek the Win-Win
Savor Life
Treat Your Body with Respect
Create Your Own Luck
Remind Yourself of Your True Self
Commend and Compliment
Be a Benefit Finder
Listen With Empathy and Openness
Invest in Experiences
Be Open to Suggestions
Say Yes Only When Your Vision is Served
Accept Reality and Act On It
Bring Humor and Lightness
Focus On What Truly Mattters
Focus and Think
Move On
Be Hopeful and Optimistic
Make Others Feel Good
Focus On Strengths and Abilities
Let Go
Focus on Process
     It’s the journey that matters
Perceive Hardships as Temporary
Move (exercise)
Open Your Mind and Heart to Learning
Connect to Your Values
Choose Deliberately
See the Glass as Half Full
Be Present
Seize the Moment
Do What You Want to Do
Learn From Failure
Help and Contribute
Breathe Deeply and Slowly
Respect Those Close to You
Maintain the Strength of Independence
Pursue Your Passion
Appreciate the Good
Embrace Silence
Be True to Your Self
See the Other
Recognize When Good Enough Will Do
Actively Accept Your Emotion
    Allow the emotion and reflect on it
Experience Excitement
Observe the Storm
    Mindfully observe the drama
Treat Yourself with Kindness and Generosity
Fill Up
     Keep your spirit up with uplifting activities
Think Global, Act Local
Bring Positive Energy Wherever You Go
Create Your Future
Be Open and Sincere
Slow Down
Stretch Yourself
     Be honest to yourself and others about how you feel
Become Who You Want to Be
Commit to Overcoming Hurdles
Sing, Dance, Listen
Perceive Difficulty as a Challenge
Be a Beautiful Enemy
Be Afraid and Go Ahead Anyway
Be Nice
Be Playful and Light
Take the Larger Context Into Consideration
Be the Scribe of Your Own Journey
Focus on the Positive
Lead with Deeds
Seek to be Known
Find the New in the Familiar
Experience Heartfelt Positivity
Work Toward Your Dreams
Act From the Best Within
See the Seed of Greatness in Each Person
Live with Integrity
Be Humble
Simplify Your Life
Treat Your Mistakes as Valuable Feedback
Focus Outward
Appreciate Your Family and Friends
Lead a Spiritual Existence
Be Hard on the Problem
Be an Active Agent
Change Your Perspective
Focus on Successes
Give Yourself Permission to be Human
Act Generously
Have Patience
Find the Extraordinary in the Ordinary
Take Dreams Seriously


The Conscious Use of Attention

The concept of attention, how to develop it and use it are explained very well in the book, Leap of Perception by Penney Pierce:

Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way:  on purpose, in the present moment, nonjudgmentally….[it] is an appreciation for the present moment and the cultivation of an intimate relationship with it through a continual attending to it with care and discernment.  [Mindfulness] is the direct opposite of taking life for granted. -Jon Kabat-Zinn

Attention is defined by the idea that you are ‘stretching toward’ something with your consciousness.  You are bringing the essence of your soul fully into the moment, clarifying your perception of the moment.  This gives you a sense of presence in that moment.

“Interest, curiosity, harmony with your home frequency (sense of self) can transform your experience of attention into something that supersedes physical reality and ushers you into the more mystical experience that comes when you perceive from your entire personal field.”

Penney Peirce provides insights and techniques on how to develop the skill of the conscious use of attention.  Below is a series of steps designed to help you activate presence with attention.

  1. When interacting with someone, ‘bring your attention fully into your body and the present moment.  Remember that you are the soul, perceiving through the eyes of your personality, and really notice the other person, without labels or judgment.  To do this, find quietness inside yourself.  Being a neutral yet compassionate observer is the beginning of presence.’
  2. Place your attention on, around, and in the other person, softly and gently, as though it is golden or diamond light.  Pay close attention to the way the other person speaks and moves, to their personal vibration, to any intuitive clues you pick up.  Don’t match the other person’s vibration.  Stay in your own home frequency.
  3. Notice what their saying and why it’s important to them.  Validate what they’re saying by acknowledging that you understand.  While you’re attending to them, open your heart and appreciate them for who they are; feel the soul quality inside them.
  4. Notice if there is something you’d like to say to them that comes from your appreciation, and say it.  Be mindful that this isn’t about you making an impression or being validated; it’s about finding the soul everywhere in the moment, generated by both of you equally.
  5. Is there a subtle shift in the other person during this process?  You might notice if they relax and open up a bit, or smile.  Perhaps they reciprocate your appreciation in some way.
  6. Try practicing this with an animal, a tree, or your car, and write about what you notice.

‘The Creation of Reality: Energy Responds to Mindful Attention’

The following quotes excerpted from Dispenza’s (@DrJoeDispenza) book, Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself:  How To Lose Your Mind and Create A New One,  puts together a picture of how, with mindful attention, we can purposely create a reality we choose.  I recommend this book for a great explanation of how reality creation works.

“We are part of a vast invisible field of energy, which contains all possible realities and responds to our thoughts and our feelings.”

“Your thoughts have consequences so great that they create your reality.”

“Until you break from the way you see your present reality, any change in your life will always be haphazard and transitory. You have to overhaul your thinking about why things happen in order to produce enduring and desired outcomes. To do that, you’ll need to be open to a new interpretation of what is real and true.”

“What quantum physicist discovered was that the person observing (or measuring) the tiny particles that make up atoms affects the behavior of energy and matter.”

The idea that a particle cannot manifest into reality unless someone observes it is called ‘the observer effect’.  “The observer effect in quantum physics states that where you direct your attention is where you place your energy.  As a consequence you effect the material world.

“At the subatomic level, energy responds to your mindful attention and becomes matter.  How would your life change if you learned to direct the observer effect and to collapse infinite waves of probability into the reality that you choose.”

“…you will see that with willful attention, sincere application of new knowledge, and repeated daily efforts, you can use your mind, as the observer, to collapse quantum particles and organize a vast number of subatomic waves of probability into a desired physical event called an experience in your life.”

“Your consciousness (mind) has effects on energy (matter) because your consciousness is energy and energy has consciousness.  You are powerful enough to influence matter because at the most elementary level, you are energy with a consciousness.  You are mindful matter.”

“When you learn how to sharpen your skills of observation to intentionally affect your destiny, you are well on your way toward living the ideal version of your life by becoming the idealized version of your self.”

Perelandra: Working With Nature in the Garden

I have a workbook entitled, ‘The Perelandra Garden Workbook,’ I purchased from perelandra-ltd.com last year. It describes a process to connect with nature guided intuition for working with your garden. It is a very mindful way of working in harmony with the plants and insects that make up your garden. The workbook guides you step by step toward establishing a new garden or re-creating a new one using the guidance of nature. It’s worth a read. I’d like to share the following Perelandra description on how nature defines itself. This is from the workbook,

Nature’s Definition of Nature

In the larger universe and beyond, on its many levels and dimensions, there are a number of groups of consciousnesses that, although equal in importance, are quite different in expression and function. Do not misunderstand us by thinking that we are saying that all reality is human soul-oriented by that there are some aspects of this reality that function and express differently. We are not saying this. We are saying that there are different groups of consciousnesses that are equal in importance but express and function very differently. Together, they make up the full expression of the larger, total life picture. No one piece, no one expression, can be missing or the larger life picture on all its levels and dimensions will cease to exist. One such consciousness has been universally termed “nature.” Because of what we are saying about the larger picture not existing without all of its parts, you may assume that nature as both a reality and a consciousness exists on all dimensions and all levels. It cannot be excluded.

Each group of consciousnesses has what can be termed an area of expertise. As we said, all groups are equal in importance but express and function differently from one another. These different expressions and functions are vital to the overall balance of reality. A truly symbiotic relationship exists among the groups and is based on balance — universal balance. It is absolutely correct to characterize the human soul-oriented dynamic as evolution in scope and function. An it is correct to identify the nature dynamic as being involution in scope and function.

  • Nature is a massive, intelligent consciousness group that expresses and functions within the many areas of involution, that is, moving soul-oriented consciousness into any dimension or level of form.

  • Nature is the conscious reality that supplies order, organization and life vitality for this shift.

  • Nature is the consciousness that, for your working understanding, is intimately linked with form.

  • Nature is the consciousness that comprises all form on all levels and dimensions. It is form’s order, organization and life vitality.

  • Nature is first and foremost a consciousness of equal importance with all other consciousnesses in the largest scheme or reality.

  • It expresses and functions uniquely in that it comprises all form on all levels and dimensions, and is responsible for and creates all of form’s order, organization and life vitality.

Using The Spoken Word Mindfully

The concepts here are from the book,  ‘The Energy of Words: Use the Vibration of Language to Manifest the Life You Desire

What we say to others, and even more importantly, what we say to ourselves, has a resonance, a vibrational frequency that is put out into the world.
As with anything you choose, the way you feel about the words you decide to include in your vocabulary every day – in your thought processes, speech patterns, or written expressions – shapes the way they will affect your life.  …we assign feelings associated with words based on our personal experiences involving those words.  The feelings we hold about something have a great deal to do with how we perceive it, and our perception is precisely how we shape our reality.  As an example, swear words only have a bad connotation if you associated it with a negative emotion from a previous experience.

You communicate with either written or spoken words.  Spoken words are delivered with your own attitude and your own vibration and received by another through the filter of their own beliefs and attitude.  Someone can make a joke with a sarcastic attitude that others may not find funny because their attitude doesn’t match.  Vibrationally, the effect a spoken word has on a person depends on how they choose to respond to it.

The written word effects the reader based on their interpretation or attitude toward the phrases he is reading.  The effect of the words on the reader is also dependent on the reader’s beliefs about the author.  The reader is choosing to respond to the words based on his/her beliefs about the attitude of the author and beliefs about what attitude the vocabulary is conveying.

By being mindful of what you speak and write and your response to the words you are using to communicate, you can get a better picture of how you are presenting yourself to the world.  If you imagine a person saying those words back to you, then that shows the attitude that you are presenting to the world.  This attitude, or set of beliefs attracts people and circumstances which resonate with that attitude/belief system.  By consciously changing your written and spoken words, you can change your attitude and change what you attract into your life.

Emotional resonance with words, spoken or written, reflect your true self, or set of beliefs.  If there is no emotional resonance, the word has no meaning, no impact vibrationally.

A recommended exercise from the book:

For one day, pay attention to the words you say, think and write most frequently.  When you notice a frequently used word that has an emotional resonance, write it down.  At the end of the day, take the 10 words you used most often and make a list.  Make a note of the ratio of positive to negative to give yourself an idea of the quality of experience you are attracting into your life.  The goal is to transition your negative words to positive ones. As you speak more positively, you think more positively.  As you think more positively, this reinforces the positive spoken and written word until you have completely transitioned your most frequently used words into positive ones.

An example list from book:

can’t ——>  know
hope ——>  trust
no way —>   absolutely
won’t —–>   powerful
whatever –> always
problem —> allow

maybe —–> fearless

Steps recommended to transform your negative patterns to positive ones,

1.  Identify your negative patterns
Look back to traumatic events in your life and examine how they made you feel.  Write a short list of words inspired by reflection on these events and how they made you feel.  Then align words from this list with your previous list by looking for the closest match.

2. Choose the right words to change your patterns
After comparing the words from your reflection on the negative experiences to the top 10 list, identify which words on the top 10 list may have originated from the experience (or have been reinforced).  Re-examine the traumatic experiences in a way that will allow you to convert the negative vocabulary into a more positive one.  For example, if you were consistently told as a child that you can’t, you can spin that into ‘I am open to the possibility.’

3.  How do you want to rewrite your story?
For example, if you were bullied as a child and experienced feelings of insignificance, helplessness, being lost or frustration, this can result in an ingrained sense of inadequacy as an adult.  As a result, when re-examining this experience, you may come up with words such as well, maybe, if, whatever.  These can be replaced by powerful, self-assured words like yes, absolutely and capable.
Doing this consistently whenever you catch yourself using a dis-empowering word can result in a complete turnaround in your attitude and experience in the area in life which you would like to improve.  Read more in the book, The Energy of Words: Use the Vibration of Language to Manifest the Life You Desire
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