Archive for the ‘Meditation’ Category

Teenage Vipassana Course Schedule

April 11, 2007

By Vikas Nagpal, from Group of India_Teacher  

Respected Friends,

This mail is to convey the Teenager seven day Vipassana Meditation course schedule for youth in 15 to 19 years age group.

I request all to convey the schedule to interested school/college students, parents,teachers, principals etc.I have also attached a notice for teenager courses. It would be very good if it can be posted in any schools/colleges or other relavent places. Please note that school/colleges will go on vacation in May. Hence the notice should preferably be posted in April itself.

(The notice has also been uploaded in the files section of the yahoo group) Following two seven day teenage courses (15 to 19 years) are scheduled in 2007 in Logicstat meditation centre, Delhi

1) 23 June(Sat) to 1st July (Sun) : For boys

2) 1st Oct (Mon) to 9th Oct (Tue) : For girls

 The schedule (along with children course schedule) is also available at below link
  http://o3.indiatimes.com/vipassana_education_integration

PPT : Vipassana Meditation Teenager Courses  

May all beings be happy !

Thanks and Respect,
Vikas Nagpal
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Vipassana Meditation Teenager Courses (Seven day residential courses)

Following courses are offered during year 2007

1) 23 June (Sat) to 1 July (Sun) : For Boys
            
2) 1 Oct (Mon) to 9 Oct (Tue) : For Girls

The courses are offered at Vipassana Sadhana Sansthan, Delhi near Bhatti Mines, Chhatarpur-Bhatti road. (about 8 km from Chhatarpur temple)

Age group :  15  to 19 years

For registration, please contact  : (011)26452772 ( 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays)Introduction
————
Vipassana is an ancient meditation technique of

India, for purification of mind through self-observation. Free from all rites or rituals, it is being practiced today by people of all religious beliefs throughout the world for it gives results here and now : improved concentration, self control, ability to face vicissitudes of life calmly, increased confidence, reduced stress and worry, better performance in studies and sports, better health, etc. For more details, please visit  http://www.vri.dhamma.org  and   http://www.dhamma.orgNotes
—–
1) All courses are offered free of cost using donations from old meditators                         
2) Kindly pass information to interested school/college students, parents, teachers, principals, etc
3) For persons above 19 years age, ten day residential courses are offered regularly              

Links for more information
1)  Introduction to Vipassana Meditation – http://www.vri.dhamma.org/general/vipintro.html


2)  The Art of Living: Vipassana Meditation – http://www.dhamma.org/art.htm
3) Teenager Meditation – http://www.vri.dhamma.org/general/teenindex.html
4) How to apply Vipassana in Student life – http://www.vri.dhamma.org/newsletters/nl0405.html
5) Teenage and Children Course Schedule – http://o3.indiatimes.com/vipassana_education_integration
May all Being be happy !! *********************************************

||||||Effective Quotations by Great Thinker|||||

Gearge Bernard Shaw:::Mahatma Gandhi ::: Swami Vivekananda 

Effective Releted  Artciles.  Kindly link and share your expereince.

Pi-Day Reflections on Einstein and Vedanta

April 5, 2007

By Rajiv Bhole

Einstein’s birthday on Pi-Day 3.14, that is, March 14, is truly a cosmic event. Pi is the ratio that is integral to a circle, and Einstein is synonymous to the law of relativity or e=mc2 . Both the circle and the law of relativity are closely linked to ancient rishis and their wisdom for liberation. The rishis were dedicated people experimenting in various ways to understand the law and attain liberation.

A circle symbolises anything that is periodic or cyclic, as in the circle of birth and death. The law of relativity or e=mc2 is a mathematical way of saying that energy e is proportionate to the mass m with the square of the velocity of light c2 as a constant.

Alvares won the Nobel prize for creating a bubble chamber at the University of Berkeley and showing us that mass is constantly being converted to energy and back again 1,023 or c2 times every second, thus physically validating Einstein’s law of relativity. This is Truth at the subtlest level in all physical compounded matter.

The Buddha arrived at the same Truth.He says in the Tipitika that we are made up of tiny particles or kalapas. There being 43,000 such particles in a dust particle under the chariot wheel.In the blink of an eye trillions upon trillions of these kalapas arise and pass away. It was this Truth or law that the rishis and sages of ancient India were trying to discover, so that by following it they would reach their goal, get liberated and be supremely happy.

At the gross level they found that “Every action has an equal and opposite reaction”. This was the law of karma. We are born rich or poor, healthy or unhealthy because of our actions in previous rounds of birth and death. If we perform wholesome actions we are rewarded; if not, we’re punished, so to speak.

Since we all carry the conditioning or seeds of our past karmas, the rishis started experimenting on how to eradicate them. The body and mind was their laboratory and tool. Diligently sharpening their mind with meditation and searching within their own body they discovered that the root of all our actions lay in our own body. They found that the outer world becomes a reality for us only when it comes in contact with our sense doors. Then in our body starts a flow of aasavas or biochemical flow which produces pleasant or unpleasant sensations all over the body. Being unaware (moha) of them we react with craving (lobha) or aversion (dwesha) to these sensations. This reaction increases the biochemical flow, thus increasing the intensity of our feelings and sensations and causing us to react. Having identified the root of human action, rishi-munis observed sensations without reacting to them with craving or aversion and found themselves getting liberated from seeds of past actions and started feeling subtler sensations till they could feel a free flow of sensations from head to toe.

This was the dharmganga that we have to take a dip in to get liberated. When we eradicate all our past karmas we experience e=mc2 in our body and experience the amrit, deathless state of nirvana where nothing arises or dies.

This science of liberation of ancient
India is called Vipassana available to us even today. May all beings be Happy.

Guest Author :Rajiv Bhole at http://360.yahoo.com/rajiv.behappy 

Pl. check out www.dhamma.org for more on vipassana.

(This article appeared in the Times of India’s “The Speaking Tree” on 26th March 2007: http://epaper.timesofindia.co… )

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||||||Effective Quotations by Great Thinker|||||

Gearge Bernard Shaw:::Mahatma Gandhi ::: Swami Vivekananda 

Effective Releted  Artciles.  Kindly link and share your expereince.

How I came to Vipassana Meditation : Gains from the Practice

March 31, 2007

By Anup Vishnu Bagla 

The experience of taking a course- Gains from the Practice

How I came to Vipassana? 

Vipassana has come naturally to me. I had felt the pulsation’s of Dhamma (spiritual Energy) very early in My life in the late 70’s. I had just passed the Engineering graduation at that time.

Because the Energy-movement and flow was happening now and then, in the downward direction, I wanted to know why it is happening and how to reverse the flow? That was in the late 70’s. 

That I was a brilliant and enlightened mind was evident and clear to me because of my experience of all understanding bright intellect and experience of sunshine in the consciousness, along with unbounded awareness and feeling of oneness with all nature and existence.

Having said this, it was also clear that I was going down (energies were going down) due to worldly personal challenging situations, which were not balanced and satisfactory.

Even so because of understanding and awareness of LIFE ENERGY / FORCE (VITAL CERBRO-SPINAL FLUID; C-S FLUID); Nature was balancing / reversing the flow of life and this was experienced in consciousness.

That time, I didn’t know that I was experiencing Vipassana. Slowly due to various worldly experiences / frustrations, tensions were building up.

But it was clear that it was my responses or feelings, which were responsible for tensions.

As, I started going down, I was looking for something to reverse the flow and come out. As, if directed by nature / natural Intelligence during the mid 80’s, I came across articles on Vipassana in weekly ‘Dharmyug’ and also saw poster invitation for a talk / lecture by Goenkagee during my stay at I.I.T., New Delhi.

I felt an invisible / irresistible attraction and urge to go for the course as if drawn by Nature. But due to personal / worldly circumstances, I could not join the course.

Came 1990, again in Hyderabad I attended a talk by Goenkajee. And every word, he spoke left an indelible impression on my mind as if he was opening the locks of inner consciousness by the key of Vipassana.

All through during past years I was thirsting to attend a course. Finally I made up mind to join the first 10 – day course in September 1990 at Hyderabad, India.

On the first and second day of Anna-Panna, so many thoughts, worries were present that it was difficult to be aware of the breadth on a continuous basis.

And, during one hour sitting, it was difficult, very difficult, and sometimes almost impossible to sit because of pain in the legs. But strong determination which I had, helped me.

I was working more on thought at mental level. It was clear that, at that time I had no experience of Anichha. I had to tolerate that pain on the 3rd and 4th day also.

But, slowly intensity of pain reduced and packets of energy started flowing upwards from within the pain. And pain seemed to be coming and going moment to moment.

This was my first experience of anichha consciously. Although I may have experienced changing phenomenon earlier, I didn’t become aware of it consciously as a reality in the mind / body system.

It became very clear that when I was generating dislike (dwesha) towards the pain, it was becoming more intense, whereas when I started tolerating the pain, the intensity reduced.

And as I stopped generating dwesha (dislike) towards pain with the understanding of anichha, I could sit easily for one hour and I could feel the moving flow of energy upward.

So this was great enlightenment that if I generate dwesha (dislike), pain returns. Similarly, when I generated dwesha towards worldly situations in my personal life or otherwise there would be pain.

And it seemed generating dwesha and anger had become the habit pattern of mind. And anger seemed to be quite reasonable, as many times the situations were very unfair.

But was it really necessary to generate anger / dwesha in order to deal with an adverse situation. May be not. Perhaps, I did not know the art of dealing with the situation and responding.

However, it was very clear that it was thoughts and feelings of negative nature / quality, which was creating Unhappiness & unbalance. But something ought to be done. Mental strength had to be restored to respond to the situation.

In the next 6 days, recharging of mental batteries (energies) continued.

I felt the flow all the time. Only when I started generated raga, desire or control or I-myness, the flow seemed to stop or diminish

Therefore, now it was very clear that if we entertain negative thoughts of anger, hatred, ill -will, animosity, we become tense, unhappy and start going down.

So, if somebody cheats you, does injustice to you, we have to learn to forgive and forget, as it is a changing phenomenon. This allows the natural Intelligence to pass the judgment in our favor.

For this, it is necessary to to annihilate / dissolve the ego. The whole sadhana is to eliminate ego and develop LOVE, COMPASSION, SYMPATHETIC JOY, and SAMATA OR EQUANIMITY.

The greatest gain / achievement was consciously applying the experience of anichha (impermanence) in day to day life in the midst of stressful situation to reduce pain/strain by maintaining anichha (impermanence), Balance i.e., samata or equanimity.

It was just the change in / of attitude. Meditation made my mental energies or prana body very sensitive as I was always living in Energy consciousness – moment to moment.

Thus, I have done 8 … 10-day course and one satipathana course, 2 – 20 days courses and 2 Seva in last 15 years and have always felt recharged.

Still, lot of tireless work and continuous practice for lifetime remains to consolidate the gains from dhamma – home of all Natural laws, creative principle / Intelligence and evolutionary forces of nature, which Jesus – the Christ (principle) called Kingdom of heaven and BK’s call shantidham or paramdham.

May All Beings Be Happy, peaceful and liberated .

.. Anup Vishnu Bagla      

http://breathtaking-lifepositive.zaadz.com/  

Changing the world one (hyper) link at a time …

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—-||||||Effective Quotations by Great Thinker||||||——-   Gearge Bernard Shaw:::Mahatma Gandhi ::: Swami Vivekananda

Related Effective Artciles . Kindly link and share your expereince.

~ Ajay Singh Niranjan 

VIPASSANA MEDITATION for Students, Children, Adults

March 20, 2007

VIPASSANA MEDITATION for Students, Children, Adults

Benefits:

1)                  Sharper Memory

2)                  Increased Concentration

3)                  Better Decision Making and Confidence

4)                  Peaceful and happy mind

5)                  Freedom from stress, fear, worry, anger

6)                  Better Performance in studies, sports, work

7)                  Better Health

Notes:

1)     Two day Anapana Meditation courses are regularly offered for children/students. These can help a child become a better student and happier person. [One day courses can also be organized in schools]

2)     Ten day courses are regularly offered for Adults. Correct practice of Vipassana results in immense and life transforming benefits.

3)     The courses are offered with the sole intent of spreading happiness, and are free of cost. After completing a course, one can donate according to one’s own wish.

                 

MAY ALL BEINGS BE HAPPY.

For more information, Contact nearest Vipassana Meditation center.

Ref- http://www.dhamma.org & http://www.vri.dhamma.org

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Holistic Development – [ Integrate : SQ + EQ + IQ + PQ = True Knowledge]

March 4, 2007

Holistic Development – [ Integrate: SQ + EQ + IQ + PQ = True Knowledge ]

  A beautiful insight about PQ, IQ, EQ and SQ by Prof. Stephan R. Covey

Physical Intelligence: Wise nutrition, Consistence balance exercises Proper rest, relaxation, stress management and preventing. 

 Mental intelligent: Continuous, systematic, disciplined study and education Cultivation of self awareness, learning by teaching and doing. 

Emotional intelligent: Self awareness, Personal motivation, Self regulation, Empathy, Social skill.

Spiritual Intelligence: Integrity ( Character building ) ,Meaning ( Purpose of life ),Voice( Self Enlightenment and motivate to other )  .

Effective Artciles which align to above article. Kindly link and share your expereince.

~© Ajay Singh Niranjan

Vedanta: the Ultimate Wisdom – Our True Nature is Divine

February 28, 2007

“Physicists do not need mysticism, and Mystics do not need Physics, but humanity needs both.” – Fritjof Capra

Vedanta: the Ultimate Wisdom – Our True Nature is Divine

Vedanta is one of the world’s most ancient religious philosophies and one of its broadest. Based on the Vedas, the sacred scriptures of
India, Vedanta affirms the oneness of existence, the divinity of the soul, and the harmony of religions. Vedanta is the philosophical foundation of Hinduism; but while Hinduism includes aspects of Indian culture, Vedanta is universal in its application and is equally relevant to all countries, all cultures, and all religious backgrounds.

A closer look at the word “Vedanta” is revealing: “Vedanta” is a combination of two words: “Veda” which means “knowledge” and “anta” which means “the end of” or “the goal of.” In this context the goal of knowledge isn’t intellectual—the limited knowledge we acquire by reading books. “Knowledge” here means the knowledge of God as well as the knowledge of our own divine nature. Vedanta, then, is the search for Self-knowledge as well as the search for God.

What do we mean when we say God? According to Vedanta, God is infinite existence, infinite consciousness, and infinite bliss. The term for this impersonal, transcendent reality is Brahman, the divine ground of being. Yet Vedanta also maintains that God can be personal as well, assuming human form in every age.

Most importantly, God dwells within our own hearts as the divine Self or Atman. The Atman is never born nor will it ever die. Neither stained by our failings nor affected by the fluctuations of the body or mind, the Atman is not subject to our grief or despair or disease or ignorance. Pure, perfect, free from limitations, the Atman, Vedanta declares, is one with Brahman. The greatest temple of God lies within the human heart.

Vedanta further asserts that the goal of human life is to realize and manifest our divinity. Not only is this possible, it is inevitable. Our real nature is divine; God-realization is our birthright. Sooner or later, we will all manifest our divinity—either in this or in future lives—for the greatest truth of our existence is our own divine nature.

Finally, Vedanta affirms that all religions teach the same basic truths about God, the world, and our relationship to one another. Thousands of years ago the Rig Veda declared: “Truth is one, sages call it by various names.” The world’s religions offer varying approaches to God, each one true and valid, each religion offering the world a unique and irreplaceable path to God-realization. The conflicting messages we find among religions are due more to doctrine and dogma than to the reality of spiritual experience. While dissimilarities exist in the external observances of the world religions, the internals bear remarkable similarities.And more ……

RIGHT & WRONG CONDUCT:

All ethics are merely a means to the end of finding God within ourselves.

“Right” action is action which brings us nearer to the knowledge of God. “Wrong” action leads us away from that knowledge.

Our ideas of “good” and “evil” are therefore only relative values and must not be used as an absolute standard by which we judge others. Each of us has our own problems and our own of development. But the goal is the same for all. and more …..

THE VEDANTA

By Swami Vivekananda

(Delivered at Lahore on 12th November, 1897)

Two worlds there are in which we live, one the external, the other internal. Human progress has been made, from days of yore, almost in parallel lines along both these worlds. The search began in the external, and man at first wanted to get answers for all the deep problems from outside nature. Man wanted to satisfy his thirst for the beautiful and the sublime from all that surrounded him; he wanted to express himself and all that was within him in the language of the concrete; and grand indeed were the answers he got, most marvellous ideas of God and worship, and most rapturous expressions of the beautiful. Sublime ideas came from the external world indeed.

“What is that knowing which we know everything else?” In modern language, the theme of the Upanishads is to find an ultimate unity of things. Knowledge is nothing but finding unity in the midst of diversity.

Every science is based upon this; all human knowledge is based upon the finding of unity in the midst of diversity; and if it is the task of small fragments of human knowledge, which we call our sciences, to find unity in the midst of a few different phenomena, the task becomes stupendous when the theme before us is to find unity in the midst of this marvellously diversified universe, where prevail unnumbered differences in name and form, in matter and spirit — each thought differing from every other thought, each form differing from every other form. Yet, to harmonise these many planes and unending Lokas, in the midst of this infinite variety to find unity, is the theme of the Upanishads.

One step further, and we find the same teacher teaching that this God is not outside of nature, but immanent in nature. And at last both ideas are discarded, and whatever is real is He; there is no difference. “Shvetaketu, That thou art.” That Immanent One is at last declared to be the same that is in the human soul. Here is no Compromise; here is no fear of others’ opinions. Truth, bold truth, has been taught in bold language, and we need not fear to preach the truth in the same bold language today, and, by the grace of God, I hope at least to be one who dares to be that bold preacher. And more ………

 Reference:

1.        http://www.vedanta.org/wiv/overview.html 

2.        http://www.vedanta.com/vedanta.html

3.        http://www.ramakrishnavivekananda.info/index.htm

-Ajay Singh Niranjan

“ this life is yours which you are living is not merely a piece of existence , but in certain sense the “whole”…this , as we know , is what the Brahmins express I that sacred mystic formula which is yet so simple , so clear. TAT TWAM ASI. This is you or again in such words as “I am in east, I am in the west, I am below and the above. I AM THIS WHOLE WORLD”- Erwin Schrödinger :an Austrian physicist who achieved fame for his contributions to quantum mechanics, especially the Schrödinger equation, for which he received the Nobel Prize in 1933.

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Effective Artciles which align to above article. Kindly link and share your expereince.

~Ajay Singh Niranjan ~

Understanding the Power of Now

February 19, 2007

“Mind agitated, wavering, hard to guard and hard to check, one of wisdom renders straight as arrow-maker a shaft”. – Buddha

When we think about a beautiful word: “thoughts”.

What is our  first image? 

Why this particular image is coming in the mind?

….Observe yourself!

 Are we living on center or periphery of the circle of life?

Just remind timeless wisdom from Bhagvat Gita:

“The uncontrolled mind does not guess that the Atman (soul) is present: How can it mediate? Without meditation, where is peace without peace, where is happiness? ”

Here the meaning of control is moving towards center. Moving towards consciousness. Moving towards roots. Moving towards true nature of self. Moving towards solution.

Now come to TIME: In which dimension of time, we are living (Plus – Zero – Minus)

After observing we can diagnosis: Are we able to maintain resonance with time?

The solution is walking with time. Move our thought at present dimension of time. Because it is easy and simple.

In simple: Understanding the Power of Now………….

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Kindly read this wonderful interview of Eckhart Tolle at store.sound.com

Interview: The Power of Now and the End of Suffering

Some points from this interview:

“The word Buddha comes from the Sanskrit word Budh, meaning, “to be awake.” So Buddha is not a name and ultimately not a person, but a state of consciousness. All this implies that humans are potentially capable of living in a state of consciousness compared to which normal wakefulness is like sleeping or dreaming”.

“At the time, I had no conceptual framework to help me understand what had happened to me. Years later, I realized that the acute suffering I felt that night must have forced my consciousness to withdraw from identification with the unhappy self, the suffering “little me,” which is ultimately a fiction of the mind. This withdrawal must have been so complete that the suffering self collapsed as if the plug had been pulled out of an inflatable toy. What was left was my true nature as the ever present “I AM”: consciousness in its pure state prior to identification with form. You may also call it pure awareness or presence”.

“What dissolves is identification with thought forms that had given you your sense of self. But that sense of self is ultimately false is ultimately a mental fiction. It is the egoic mind or the “little me” as I sometimes call it. To be identified with a mental image of who you are is to be unconscious, to be unawakened spiritually. This unawakened state creates suffering, but suffering creates the possibility of awakening”.

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Knowledge and ignorance are the two unborn ones. One is the ruler and the other, the ruled. Apart from these two, there is another who is also unborn and who is connected with the enjoyer and his enjoyment. And then there is the infinite self, the universal form, who is non-doer. When one knows this triad, one has known Brahman (cosmic consciousness).”- Upanishad

Effective Artciles which align to above article. Kindly link and share your expereince.

© Ajay Singh Niranjan

Vipassana Meditation-a logical process of mental purification through self-observation

February 18, 2007

Vipassana Meditation

As taught by S.N. Goenka and his Assistant Teachers

Vipassana is a simple and practical method of mental purification, which makes it possible to face the tensions and turbulations of daily life in a calm and balanced way. This path of self-development through self-awareness is extraordinary in its simplicity, its Lack of dogma and, above all, its results.

A ten-day residential course is an opportunity to learn this technique and experience the benefits of intensive meditation and self-purification. No previous experience of any meditation is necessary. The practice is acceptable to all, irrespective of caste, creed and religion. It helps all to lead a happier and more harmonious life.

All courses are financed entirely by grateful old students who have been benefited by Vipassana.                   
                        10 Day Courses

Regularly offered in Vipassana Meditation centers around the world.Contact nearest Vipassana Meditation center

Ref- http://www.dhamma.org & http://www.vri.dhamma.org

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VIPASSANA MEDITATION for Students, Children, Adults

Benefits:

1)                  Sharper Memory

2)                  Increased Concentration

3)                  Better Decision Making and Confidence

4)                  Peaceful and happy mind

5)                  Freedom from stress, fear, worry, anger

6)                  Better Performance in studies, sports, work

7)                  Better Health

Notes

1)     Two day Anapana Meditation courses are regularly offered for children/students. These can help a child become a better student and happier person. [One day courses can also be organized in schools]

2)     Ten day courses are regularly offered for Adults. Correct practice of Vipassana results in immense and life transforming benefits.

3)     The courses are offered with the sole intent of spreading happiness, and are free of cost. After completing a course, one can donate according to one’s own wish.

                 

MAY ALL BEINGS BE HAPPY.

For more information, Contact nearest Vipassana Meditation center.

Ref- http://www.dhamma.org & http://www.vri.dhamma.org

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A message of Vikas Nagpal :

       Vikas Nagpal
      Respected Friends,

     Kindly find an article about Anapana Meditation, which is offered free of cost to children, by Vipassana Meditation centres situated worldwide.The article specifically explains the benefits of this meditation technique when included in school education schedule.
Please refer
http://www.vri.dhamma.org/anapana/school.html

Kindly see the below Videos introducing Anapana Meditation for children.

Anapana Meditation helps a child master his/her mind, and live a happier and productive life.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pRgxKWm6×4U

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9-1gpI7ipkM

More information is available at link http://www.vri.dhamma.org/anapana/index.html

May all beings be happy !

Thanks and Regards,
Vikas Nagpal
>>
May all beings be happy, be peaceful, be liberated!
http://www.dhamma.org
Bright Children/Students => Bright citizens and leaders => Bright India !!
http://o3.indiatimes.com/Vipassana_Education_Integration
>>

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Effective Artciles which align to above article. Kindly link and share your expereince.

~Ajay Singh Niranjan ~

What is Understanding?

February 16, 2007

The word “understand” is beautiful. When you are in meditation everything “stands under” you, you are far above it. That is the meaning of understanding. Everything is there far below, so you can see …..You have bird’s-eye view. You can see the whole from your altitude. Intellectual can not see it; it is on the same plane. 

Understanding happens only when the problem is on plane and you are on a higher plane. If you are functioning on the same plan as the problem, understanding is not possible. You will only misunderstand.  

Kindly link for understanding:  

  1. Story: Zen is Understanding Yourself 
  2. Know thyself – Understand yourself –True Being, Pure Consciousness and Bliss
  3. Vipassana – a Meditation Technique of Gautama Buddha  

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Effective Artciles which align to above article. Kindly link and share your expereince.

~Ajay Singh Niranjan ~

Zen is Understanding Yourself

February 16, 2007

One day a student from Chicago came to the Providence Zen Center and asked Seung Sahn Soen-Sa, “What is Zen?”

Soen-sa held his Zen stick above his head and said, “Do you understand?”

The student said, “I don’t know.”

Soen-sa said, “This don’t know mind is you. Zen is understanding yourself.”

“What do you understand about me? Teach me.”

Soen-sa said, “In a cookie factory, different cookies are baked in the shape of animals, cars, people, and airplanes. They all have different names and forms, but they are all made from the same dough, and they all taste the same.

“In the same way, all things in the universe – the sun, the moon, the stars, mountains, rivers, people, and so forth – have different names and forms, but they are all made from the same substance. The universe is organized into pairs of opposites: light and darkness, man and woman, sound and silence, good and bad. But all these opposites are mutual, because they are made from the same substance. Their names and their forms are different, but their substance is the same. Names and forms are made by your thinking. If you are not thinking and have no attachment to name and form, then all substance is one. Your don’t know mind cuts off all thinking. This is your substance. The substance of this Zen stick and your own substance are the same. You are this stick; this stick is you.”

The student said, “Some philosophers say this substance is energy, or mind, or God, or matter. Which is the truth?”

Soen-sa said, “Four blind men went to the zoo and visited the elephant. One blind man touched its side and said, ‘The elephant is like a wall.’ The next blind man touched its trunk and said, ‘The elephant is like a snake.’ The next blind man touched its leg and said, ‘The elephant is like a column.’ The last blind man touched its tail and said, ‘The elephant is like a broom.’ Then the four blind men started to fight, each one believing that his opinion was the right one. Each only understood the part he had touched; none of them understood the whole.

“Substance has no name and no form. Energy, mind, God, and matter are all name and form. Substance is the Absolute. Having name and form is having opposites. So the whole world is like the blind men fighting among themselves. Not understanding yourself is not understanding the truth. That is why there is fighting among ourselves. If all the people in the world understood themselves, they would attain the Absolute. Then the world would be at peace. World peace is Zen.”

The student said, “How can practicing Zen make world peace?”

Soen-sa said, “People desire money, fame, sex, food, and rest. All this desire is thinking. Thinking is suffering. Suffering means no world peace. Not thinking is not suffering. Not suffering means world peace. World peace is the Absolute. The Absolute is I.”

The student said, “How can I understand the Absolute?”

Soen-sa said, “You must first understand yourself.”

“How can I understand myself?”

Soen-sa held up the Zen stick and said, “Do you see this?”

He then quickly hit the table with the stick and said, “Do you hear this? This stick, this sound, your mind – are they the same or different?”

The student said, “The same.”

Soen-sa said, “If you say they are the same, I will hit you thirty times. If you say they are different, I will still hit you thirty times. Why?”

The student was silent.

Soen-sa shouted, “KATZ!!!” Then he said, “Spring comes, the grass grows by itself.”


From Dropping Ashes On The Buddha: The Teaching of Zen Master Seung Sahn
edited by Stephen Mitchell (Grove Press, New York, NY, 1976)
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