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Sunday, September 18, 2011

Allowing is Presence or Pure Awareness, and upcoming retreat this wkend

"By allowing the mind to fluctuate, basic unity shines through. These fluctuations are fluctuations of awareness, movement of awareness of to awareness and back; or from focused to unfocused awareness. Allowing is presence or pure awareness, neither focused nor unfocused, neither contracting nor expanding. This pure awareness is, so to say, what fluctuating awareness is 'made of', it is the substance of fluctuating awareness. It is lost sight of through the fluctuations from which content and experience arise. Allowing is a shift from the content away from experience to experiencing itself.

The danger of misunderstanding is great here, because it is a condition that is very similar in appearance to pure awareness but is quite different. It is the condition of awareness of awareness. Many people practice what they consider to be shikantaza, but they are really doing something quite different. Shikantaza, done properly, is to allow the mind to fluctuate. However, instead of alowing the mind to fluctuate, these people sit aware of being aware. It is a form of staring, of staring at the reflection of the mind in the mirror of the mind.

Zen masters call this sitting, because often a torpid, listless state of mind accompanies it, dead void sitting or 'sitting in the cave of phantoms'. The practice, awareness of awareness, can, if done intensely and with dedication, lead the mind to high states of samadhi through a marriage of the opposites, and many ascetic practices are devoted to enhancing the marriage of the opposites. However, in Zen practice, samadhi by itself is a dead end." The Butterfly's Dream, in search of the roots of Zen, by albert low, pg. 149-50.

"Zen is not a form of relaxation. Nor is it a direct road to peace. many find that after practicing Zen for a while they begin to experience agitation, fears and anxiety, sometimes anger and depression, that they did not have before. This happens because the inertia of the mind begins to crack. However, with the opening of the mind also comes a deep joy and a faint but real bubbling of new life". ...from the same title, pg. 156.



2. Chan (Zen) Lecture

Topic: Zen Life of True Peace & Happiness
September 23, Friday 07:00pm - 09:00pm
Activity Room 1, Bowen Complex
500 Bowen Rd, Nanaimo

Silent Illumination method
September 24, Saturday 10:00am-5pm
The Kin Hut, 2730 Departure Bay Rd

Huatou method
September 25, Sunday 10am-4pm
The Kin Hut, 2730 Departure Bay Rd

Lecture and Workshops are free, donations are welcome;
please register with adrian.
Also check out these Chan sites of interest:

2. How to chan meditate:
3. Master Sheng Yen in Facebook

4. The Western Chan Fellowship at

Call Adrian at 250 898 8201,
Please notify me if you wish to be removed from the email list.

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