Jiyoung Sunim

I met Jiyoung Sunim in South Korea. He was beginning the arduous training required to ordain as a Zen monk. As is the custom, he wore brown robes and stayed with the other initiates, who often did heavy work and faced the tough restrictions of all novices everywhere. He was by far the oldest of them, didn’t waste time with small talk or excess emotions.… continue reading >

The Door

The Door, chapter 20 of The Zen Revolution, happened 13 years ago. It’s still very clear in my mind, all the things detailed there. What I described has only been reinforced over the years—a continuation of these experiences. The static field that I detail below is actually the door, and the wall. I saw through this only a few days ago.… continue reading >

Beyond The Wall

If you’ve studied meditation for any length of time you know there are two selves: your normal thoughts and emotions, and the observer, the one who’s aware that you’re thinking or having an emotion.

The observer can see beyond the confines of self.

Thinking and emotion are entangled, but they are not the same. Thinking deteriorates into chaos and unconsciousness. Thinking is internal programming.… continue reading >

The Mind Field

I first discovered deep-state meditation after a traumatic experience. I began practicing when I was still a teenager. I did yoga at first, until I realized that it was preparing my body for meditation. That’s the way I saw it. To me meditation was the important part, and Zen was the method that really stood out, the path that I wanted to follow.… continue reading >

Grimes On Mindfulness

I recently listened to an episode of Sean Carol’s Mindscape featuring Grimes, who talked about her work creating an avatar. She said people will soon prefer a perfect virtual world to reality, as far as live performances go. Her work nearly requires an alternate reality to exist in. The days of rock ‘n’ roll stereotypes preening and leaping around the stage may be coming to an end.… continue reading >

The True Self

When your meditation becomes mature, the path grounded, you’ve created space internally for the true self to emerge. For the practice to become alive in you, this is essential. Eventually it takes over, or becomes you. Everything becomes the teaching, the path.

Zen master Seung Sahn said to one of the elders, “If you want to find your true self you have to give your whole life.”… continue reading >

Cause and Effect

After writing the last essay on deep association, I received as expected a reply containing Zen Master Seung Sahn’s teaching on reincarnation. He often talked about animals, particularly cows, and humans switching bodies. The answer to the math problem was the animals! To add to it, since we’re killing them, they come back as humans to get revenge—that’s why there’s so much trouble in the world.… continue reading >

Deep Association Theory

Something is wrong with the theory of reincarnation. The math doesn’t work, the same personality types appear in multiple instances, and a child, when born, has only a very rudimentary consciousness. If that child were raised without contact with humans, it would hardly be a human being.

Buddhism teaches reincarnation, but it’s not a Buddhist concept. It predates it by many centuries, is told all through the Vedas.… continue reading >

On Reincarnation

In response to a recent post of a Zen luminary on the myth of reincarnation:

H – It doesn’t work for me anymore, the whole of a person continuing to a new incarnation. With all the new developments in science, what would make more sense would be a continuous recombination of energy, new iterations that contain many different consciousnesses, an amalgam of instinct/tendencies/preferences defined by random selection.… continue reading >