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Awakening from the Blackout from Overthinking


What is the nature of Zen training and practice? Not worshiping at the altar of thinking mind.


Instead of allowing our attention to be caught up in the constant chatter of thoughts that the mind generates, which usually give us a false sense of control, we can intentionally interrupt and disrupt its relationship with the stream of thoughts arising without our consent or permission. By doing this, we gain the gift of being embodied and more aware of the current moment and engaged in our experiences.


How do we interrupt this stream of thoughts? We don't. We interrupt and disrupt attention that's super-glued to the mind chatter because of default habit energy. We make mindful contact with attention and guide where we'd prefer for it to be directed.


We could intentionally give ourselves permission to come to a place of rest, for a little while. We collect our attention on the body... the breath... we could place the palms of our hands on the soft belly... the lower abdomen... and feel the miracle that we are breathing, and keeping attention there... watching, noticing, feeling, and deeply experiencing what in Zen we call shikantaza which means "Just breathing." In reality, shikantaza is more than simply inhaling and exhaling. It's Being Breathing Itself, in conscious contact with This Reality. Going deeper, we are the breath Itself, respirating the body.


By practicing meditation in this manner, we can disengage from minds habitual thought patterns and gift our focus and attention on Being rather than trying to become. By consciously directing our attention to the present moment. This approach has the potential to transform our interactions and the way we engage with ourselves, others, and the life at hand. That's my experience. Perhaps for you as well.


一We Are the Practice Itself

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