Sunday, March 29, 2009

answers & questions

i'm not giving any answers here. no need. every human has all the answers since beginningless times.

why not everyone is a buddha then? everyone is. yet, not everyone knows. and despite that, every human uses the path to some extent. without thinking about it. like breathing.

so, i'm giving no answers. i'm not giving something everyone already has. i'm giving questions. a tool to discover the answers.

it's a common knowledge that chan/zen people speak in riddles. actually, it's quite the opposite: it's as plain as words permit. words permit giving questions. some answers can not be spoken. these questions are not riddles without answer, nor there's anything sacral to them. they are working tools and nothing more. use them to own benefit.

good luck.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

no self

many old texts indicate this as a condition required to be free.

i was damn lucky, so for me it made complete sense when i first read of it. a luxury quite few have.

so, what is 'no self'? it is literal meaning. denial of the self, the world. not one thought of the self or in perspective that the self and the world exist or matter. neglect to the hunger, breathing, heartbeat, thought, movement, life, death, sky, earth, love, suffering, happiness, god, philosophy, wisdom, cruelty, kindness, foes, friends, family, mankind, planet and the universe. silencing the world, the mind. sounds much like death in aramic tradition.

it's rough. most will find the above unpleasant. indeed it is unpleasant, as we have learned from childhood. and through this, many will find themselves unwilling to give it a thorough thought, much less will actually try.

i've learned this lesson the hard way. i had no one to advise me. this almost killed me. yet i was lucky and one japanese told me right words at the right time.

if we'd recall teachers of the past, they got free either with help of right hint at right time, luck if you will, or, which is more often so far i can tell, through prolonged self denial practice like living on a wild mountain or meditating non stop for months and years.

i wonder if there is a third option. to actually learn this lesson the easy way. all it takes for the self to be gone is change mind for one moment. this instant one becomes free. i am researching this question currently. anyone can help: destroy this world and tell me of your discoveries.

this instant everything can change.

good luck.

Monday, March 23, 2009

masks & games

earlier i discussed habits and their origin. this post is about aggregate habits, greater circle in which we run.

from early childhood we copy people around us. we see a smile and smile in return. we see a tear and shed a tear. we learn our ways encouraged and punished by those around us. we learn things 'cool' and learn things 'bad'; learn darkness and light. we learn to be ourselves.

what am i?

sometimes i'm cheerful, sometimes i'm sad, sometimes i'm angry, sometimes i'm nice, sometimes i'm stupid. lots of me. each one reacts differently and looks differently. thinks differently. different me.

and there are situations and conditions that can lure particular me out.

yet, what other than me can command these? can i call forth any one of them instantly?

sure. if there's an important meeting, i pull out nice me even if angry me lurks behind it. i pull out cheerful me if i don't want people to know or worry about troubled me. i pull out angry me when i want to be alone.

a mask behind a mask. what is me?

there's real me. the one behind all masks. someone kind and peaceful, willing to help.

yet it's another mask. another copy of something learned.

why is there a mask? every social human wears them. without a mask another social human will not understand me. i say something with a smile of a kind mask and my partner has another reason to think about my words. if i'm scared, here comes frightened me to tell everyone about it. even if no one is around. :) if courageous me comes, my spirits fly high and eyes shine. thus game of masks continues.

yet game is a game and masks are no more than a way of communication. it is not what we are. masks we learned somewhere do not have to dictate our thoughts and actions. masks running free often bring harm and call upon the sad mask.

so, what am i? masks do not know the answer, thus i can not write it.

wise mask off. here comes usual silly smile :)

good luck.

Friday, March 20, 2009

ignorance & attachment

it's quite widely known that root of suffering is attachment and root of attachment is ignorance.

there is root of ignorance. it's attachment to self. so, it forms a circle: attachment augments ignorance while ignorance augments attachment. it's running in circles, therefore it's pretty hard to advance: the faster we run, the sooner we exhaust.

how does attachment to self augments ignorance? 'i know better than the one beside me.' 'i'm fed up with this all!' 'this thing is no good, i need a better one.' 'i'm too tired today.' 'i love you.' 'what entertainment should i pick next?' 'i want that!'

arrogance, rage, greed, sloth, lust, gluttony, envy. familiar eh? each of them denies learning. lack of learning encourages each one of them. all come from the idea that 'i' exists.

i know how it sounds. no fun. smells of apathy. pretty sad.

why does it sound that? we have all been taught this way since birth. there are things we are taught to despise and others to admire. neither brings peace.

good luck.

Thursday, March 19, 2009


it is a common view that practice is meditation & chanting. true, yet it's only a tiny part of what practice is. my practice now is to find the words. your practice now is reading this. practice is now. the thought you have right now. why you have it? what that thought brings? what habit it aids?

watching own thoughts is tricky. present habits will oppose this greatly. mind will find thousands of excuses to not do it. mind will invent thousands of tricks to hide thoughts, hide their reasons, hide their outcomes.

for 3 years i walked and stumbled on that goal. now i know that it is possible and that anyone can do it, given adequate effort.

right now, what am i thinking? orange button 'publish post'. perhaps someone will benefit from it..

good luck.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

what to learn

every moment we learn. every moment that we do not deny learning, that is.

sun shines. clouds pass by. special are we? chosen are we?

cat purrs. it's inferior to humans. it can not understand anything about this world, about human heart. yet, a cat is never depressed.

sand grain is insignificant. it's not worthy of mention. yet, it knows stillness as no human will ever know it.

oak tree outside is dumb and thick bark. yet, it's immortal.

mighty humans we are. we have electricity and cell phones, know of gravity and distant stars, shatter atoms and bring progress to life. things are easier. life is better. we grow smarter.

yet, are we any more happy than our ancestors 20000 years ago?

special are we? did we learn anything in these 20000 years?

of course! we go to school and listen parents. we follow their footsteps or rebel against them. we are free and unique. we are special!

then why can't we do a simple thing a cat can? a regular little cat who understands nothing?

do we know ourselves?

i look into the sky and see the sun. 5 years ago i've seen my reflection in whatever i looked. clouds pass by. i was quite unhappy. cat purrs. this world has much to tell to anyone willing to listen. sand grain flies by the wind. yet, those who do not know who they are - deaf to this world. oak tree whispers gently.

you can do it!

good luck.

Friday, March 13, 2009

whose fault? what to do?

in russia these questions are sacramental and asked over since XIX century. all the time that life in russia was quite a turmoil.

how many of us do ask these questions regularly?

it seems natural to seek revenge on someone who brought 'misfortune' on our head. that's what we are taught. that's how the judicial and penal systems work. yet, does it bring peace upon any of the participants? there's an old saying that if 'eye for eye' rule was followed, we'd all be blind by now.

seeking for one to place blame is chasing an illusion for right now it changes nothing. what can change things is taking responsibility, not placing blame, then taking action.

what action? most of us have idea of a 'good thing' and take an action that way. as discussed in the previous post, 'good thing' is no more than a habit passed down to us by someone. 'good thing' and especially number of 'good things' in line rarely bring result. yet, that's what most of us do. and world governments pretend to be doing. :)

so, the way to change matters is to study them thoroughly and only then act. there is one trick on the way though - the tool with which we study and act - our mind. unless we can fully understand it and take responsibility over it, we hardly can talk of any predictable study or action. there's where the 'good things' come and the turmoil for russia.

therefore, don't rush. take a breath. smile!

good luck.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

right and wrong

it is only natural that people judge some things as 'right' and some as 'wrong'. yet, what is the nature of this division?

being regular on this kind of discussions, i can tell that absolute most of people judge some 'rights' and some 'wrongs' as absolute. should mention that almost every group i've seen insists on their own set of 'absolutes'.

where do they come from? as every habit, they come from being repeated many times to one who declares them. we all are this way. does this fact alone makes something better than other? even if 'right' things evidently bring harm? even if 'wrong' things bring peace without harming anyone?

it is a choice: to see the opposites or see the essence. most people see opposites. are they happy?

good luck.

Monday, March 9, 2009

way to learn

to learn something new, 3 conditions must be met, the conditions of a jar:

1. jar must not be broken. if one does not remember or comprehend that which is said, no fruit will come, like no liquid is held by a broken jar. thus, those willing to learn question themselves: 'do i recall what was said? should i ask to explain in other words?'

2. jar must not be closed. when one denies a statement without thorough examination, one denies the opportunity to learn the truth behind it, like a closed jar accepts no liquid. thus, those willing to learn question themselves: 'in what way the statement i deny is right?'

3. jar must be empty. when one is confident about own knowledge in some area, one denies the opportunity to learn something new about that area, like a water filled jar accepts no oil. thus, those willing to learn question themselves: 'do i not presume to know more than the one beside me?'.

in my observations, these conditions are required whenever learning takes place. if one is missing, an argument takes place, not learning. arguments quite rarely bring any answers. i encourage you to check this and let me know of your discoveries.

to learn of own mind, there is one more condition. condition of a buddha: one must be sure to kill a buddha. in other words, treat authority as an equal. an equal, one providing a teaching can be in err, therefore every statement must be thoroughly examined and judged to be accepted or rejected with line of arguments for either. willing to learn question themselves: 'why exactly do i presume that the statement is accurate?'

of course there is a way to study own mind without learning from another, so the conditions above are not a must. yet, in my experience, not using them denies years and decades of peace.

good luck.

Friday, March 6, 2009

we can, we can't.

there is a saying: 'victorious warriors win first, then go to war. defeated warriors go to war first, then seek to win.' every goal works same way.

to reach the target one must comprehend own capability of doing so, comprehend the area in which goal is to be hit and put consequential effort driving situation to the target. if one of these three is missing, the goal is unlikely to be reached.

there are some who think: 'the goal is too tricky, doubt i can do it.' there are some who think: 'i know better than one beside me.' there are some who think: 'i'll skip it just this one time.' all they do is deny themselves the victory before and regardless of the effort.

no other than we determines what we can and what we can not. there is no other limit. this was confirmed by many before us and will be by many after. i have no doubt that everyone CAN. all left is to believe in yourself.

good luck.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

habits origin

how do we get habits? quite like the animals get their reflexes: if you ring a bell before feeding a pet for few weeks, quite likely the pet will come on the bell ringing even if you would not feed it afterwards. repeated enough times the habit comes.

so, who's that bell master for us? well, we are no other. yet most do not recognise it, thus habits form as parasites without anyone's notice. as a harmless example, everybody knows that sun is yellow. yet, why do we call it yellow, say not green? we'd call it green if we were taught so from childhood. thus, 'yellow' here is no more than something that someone in the past considered 'convenient'. in itself it does not mean that it has to be convenient or right. if it rains, it does not mean that anyone should feel down. i smile to the rain as i smile towards the sun. smile! this'll get things little better for sure. :)

so, nearly every reaction and thought dictated by something repeated many times, like that bell. therefore, if a reaction or thought brings harm, it can be taught otherwise, given adequate effort. this is the basic principle and the first step on the way of happiness.

good luck.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


everyone has habits. there are some we acknowledge well like smoking or using particular words. others most neglect like certain reactions in certain situations, thought patterns. giving up the latter is no easier than the former and even more difficult since most do not acknowledge these habits.

so, what about them? quite often, these habits bring well more harm than say smoking. especially when they run free unmanaged and not recognised. from my observations generally, over 90% of all thoughts conducted by an adult are formed by habits, regardless if this brings harm or denies people their goals. it's like the cases when person understands what is to be done, yet can not because of the build up mind habits that limits it.

is it possible to get rid of all the habits? no. it's the way human mind works. breathing is a habit either. :) trick is to figure habits that bring harm and give them up. quite simple. quite difficult.

the way this can be done is training. when you see a harming habit in action - try to stop it. sooner or later an attempt will be a success.

good luck.