Sunday, April 10, 2011
Ordinary Mind Is The Way & Everyday Zen
In fact, I believe that one of the hallmarks of an enlightened person is that the mind state they achieve in samadhi becomes something they experience constantly in their everyday life. I call this 'Everyday Zen'. A person like this has so thoroughly disciplined their mind that they are in control 24/7. Such a person would be alert, attentive, unshakably calm, positive, balanced, focused yet detached, very quick of mind but slow to react, extremely patient, and happy in an understated way. While attaining Everyday Zen is not my goal with Zen, it is something I hope to achieve as a wonderful side-effect.
I've been able to attain Everyday Zen for short periods of time (we're talking a few hours and usually when there are few distractions). However, the challenge would be to keep Everyday Zen going regardless of what is happening around me. This is why I reject the idea that zazen should be done in a quiet place or when you're burning incense or chanting 'om' or a mantra. These things are fine if they help, but only if the person using them is fully aware that they are utterly inessential and mean nothing. I believe I should be able to go into zazen and reach samadhi while sitting at my zen table, while sitting in an airport waiting for a plane, or in a room with loud terrible music blasting away. This is the a sign of a disciplined mind.