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Martin Heidegger once wrote, "As things become dulled and inauthentic, they are conceptualized rather than experienced; they are taken out of their living context, much like ripping the heart out of a living body."

In my experience, the Zen mind is not stale, dull, default, or complacent. It's fresh, sharp, and vibrant, full of discovery.

We can easily become hypnotized by an incessant stream of thought. It can produce sensations of exhaustion, listlessness, fear, and anxiety. It can lead to feelings of inadequacy, malaise, and indifference, and it may cause us to give up on ourselves. This type of surrender is known as complacency--a bummer indeed. Thinking can indeed be a formidable prison.

Zen is about revitalizing the spirit. It encourages us to experience the vital and vibrant nature of each moment, motivating us to live actively rather than existing defensively or passively.

I remember a time during sesshin, training with Genjo Marinello Roshi. He paraphrased a story about a Zen predecessor, saying that as a result of thinking and delusion, we imagine ourselves living in a kind of coffin, whether we realize it or not. But with practice and patience, we come to the realization that "Oh! The coffin of thought has no lid!" And despite this realization, we continue... and continue... until one day, we can authentically declare, "Wow, I was so deluded... there is no coffin. I can simply live as the original Presence of Love, fully embracing life, rather than feeling constrained." In that sense, suffering could definitely end.

At this moment, we have a choice. Will we allow ourselves to be dulled and defeated by what our minds think they know, or will we be curious and courageously live our lives? One body, and two potential mindsets that can determine our paths. One is enslaved by thought. The other is free. Our actions reflect the choice we've made.

一We Are the Practice Itself

Calligraphy note:

活力思维 | Huólì Sīwéi | Vibrant Spirit

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