الجمعة، 30 يوليو، 2010
رأى العابد الزاهد إبراهيم بن أدهم - رحمه الله - رجلا مهموما فقال له : أيها الرجل ، إنى أسألك عن ثلاث فأجبنى . قال : نعم . قال إبراهيم : أيجرى فى هذا الكون شيء لا يريده الله ؟ قال الرجل : كلا .
قال إبراهيم : أفينقص من رزقك شيء قدره الله ؟ قال الرجل : كلا .
فقال إبراهيم : أفينقص من أجلك لحظة كتبها الله لك فى الحياة ؟ قال الرجل : كلا .
فقال له إبراهيم : فعلام الهم إذن ؟
السلام عليكم و رحمة الله
قال نافع : خرجت مع عبد الله بن عمر - رضى الله عنهما - فى بعض نواحى المدينة و معه أصحاب له ، فوضعوا سفرة ( طعاما ) فمر بهم راع ، فقال له عبد الله - رضى الله عنه - : هلم يا راعى فأصب من هذه السفرة ، فقال : إنى صائم .
فقال له عبد الله - رضى الله عنه - : فى مثل هذا اليوم الشديد حره و أنت فى هذه الشعاب فى آثار هذه الغنم و بين الجبال ترعى هذه الغنم و أنت صائم . فقال الراعى : أبادر أيامى الخالية .
فعجب ابن عمر - رضى الله عنهما - و قال : هل لك أن تبيعنا شاة من غنمك تجتزرها ( تنحرها ) و نطعمك من لحمها ما تفطر عليه و نعطيك ثمنها ؟
قال : إنها ليست لى ، إنها لمولاى . قال : فما عسى أن يقول لك مولاك إن قلت : أكلها الذئب ؟ فمضى الراعى و هو رافع إصبعه إلى السماء و هو يقول : فأين الله ؟
قال : فلم يزل ابن عمر يقول : قال الراعى : فأين الله ؟ فما عدا أن قدم المدينة فبعث إلى سيده فاشترى منه الراعى و الغنم ، فأعتق الراعى و وهب له الغنم - رحمه الله .
السلام عليكم و رحمة الله
الخميس، 29 يوليو، 2010
Being in the present is the point of sitting and of practice in general : it helps us to be wiser about life, more compassionate, more oriented to what needs to be done. We need to prepare the necessary conditions. We need to be sure that the soil is well prepared, rich and loose and fertile, so that if seed falls, it will spring forth rapidly. In a sense, our path is no path. The object is not to get somewhere. There is no great mystery, really ; what we need to do is straightforward. I don't mean that it is easy ; the path of practice is not a smooth road. It is littered with sharp rocks that can make us stumble or that can cut right through our shoes. The longer we practice, the more we begin to understand that those sharp rocks on the road are in fact like precious jewels ; they help us to prepare the proper condition for our lives. The sharp rock might be working with a nasty person or living with somebody who is hard to get along with. There are sharp rocks everywhere. What changes from years of practice is coming to know something you didn't know before : that there are no sharp rocks -the road is covered with diamonds. The longer we practice, the very difficulties that life presents more and more can be seen as jewels. Increasingly, problems do not rule out practice, but support it. Instead of finding that practice is too difficult, that we have too many problems we see that the problems themselves are the jewels, and we devote ourselves to being with them in a way we never dreamt of before. It's not that problems disappear or that life "improve", but that life slowly transforms-and the sharp rocks that we hated become welcome jewels. We embrace them rather than running away from them. Even that difficult person, the one who criticizes you, the one who doesn't respect your opinion, or whatever-everybody has somebody or something, some sharp rock. Such a rock is precious ; it is an opportunity, a jewel to embrace.
We may absolutely refuse to see the jewel ; we may not want to do anything with it. Yet we must constantly wrestle with this basic problem. Because we are human, much of the time we don't even want to know about it. Why ? Because to wrestle with it means a life that is open to difficulty rather than hiding from it. Wresteling with the reality of our lives is part of the endless preparation of the ground.
Human life should be like a vow, dedicated to uncovering the meaning of life. The meaning of life is in fact not complicated ; yet it is veiled from us by the way we see our difficulties. In a way, practice is fun : to look at my own life and be honest about it is fun. It is difficult, humiliating, discouraging ; yet in another sense, it's fun-because it's alive. To see myself and my life as they truly are is joy. After all the struggle and avoiding and denying and going the other way, it is deeply satisfying for a second to be there with life as it is. The satisfaction is the very core of ourselves. If we have fertile, well-prepared soil, we can throw anything in there and it will grow.
An enjoyable life includes heartache, disappointment, grief. That's part of the flow of life, to let such experiences be. They come and go, and the grief finally dissolves into something else. But if we are complaining and holding on and being rigid ( which is what we like to do ), then we have very little enjoyment. If we have been aware of the process of our lives, including moments that we hate, and are just aware of our hating-"I don't want to do it, but I'll do it anyway"-that very awareness is life itself. When we stay with that awareness, we don't have that reactive feeling about it ; we're just doing it. Then for a second we begin to see, "Oh, this is terrible-and at the same time, it's really quite enjoyable". We just keep going, preparing the ground. That's enough.
Nothing Special Living Zen
By/ Charlotte Joko Beck
الأربعاء، 28 يوليو، 2010
البشاشة الدائمة هى أن يكون وجهك صبوحا مبتهجا دائما ، فلو كنت مدرسا و دخلت الفصل على طلابك فالقهم بوجه بشوش ، ركبت طائرة و مشيت فى الممر و الناس ينظرون إليك كن بشوشا ، دخلت بقالة أو محطة وقود ، مددت يدك بالحساب إبتسم . تبسمك فى وجه أخيك صدقة .
قال : السماء كئيبة و تجهما
قلت : ابتسم ، يكفى التجهم فى السما
قال : الصبا ولى فقلت له : ابتسم
لن يرجع الأسف الصبا المتصرما
قال : التى كانت سمائى فى الهوى
صارت لنفسى فى الغرام جهنما
خانت عهودى بعدما ملكتها
قلبى فكيف أطيق أن أتبسما
قلت : ابتسم و اطرب فلو قارنتها
قضيت عمرك كله متألما
قال : العدى حولى علت صيحاتهم
أأسرو الأعداء حولى فى الحمى
قلت : ابتسم ، لم يطلبوك بذمهم
لو لم تكن منهم أجل و أعظما
قال : الليالى جرعتنى علقما
قلت : ابتسم و لئن جرعت العلقما
فلعل غيرك إن رآك مرنما
طرح الكآبة خلفه و ترنما
أتراك تغنم بالترنم درهما
أم أنت تخسر بالبشاشة مغنما
فاضحك فإن الشهب تضحك و الدجى
متلاطم و لذا نحب الأنجما
السلام عليكم و رحمة الله
اللهم إنى أسلمت نفسى إليك و وجهت وجهى إليك و فوضت أمرى إليك و ألجأت ظهرى إليك رغبة و رهبة إليك لا ملجأ و لا منجا منك إلا إليك آمنت بكتابك الذى أنزلت و نبيك الذى أرسلت فاغفر لى ما قدمت و ما أخرت و ما أعلنت و ما أسررت و ما أنت أعلم به منى أنت المقدم و أنت المؤخر لا إله إلا أنت .
السلام عليكم و رحمة الله
سمع أبو يزيد البسطامى عارفا يقول : شربت شربة لم أظمأ بعدها أبدا ( يشير إلى نهاية سلوك المقامات ) فقال له أبو يزيد : " ليس الرجال عندنا كما وصفت ، و لكن الرجل من يشرب بحر المعرفة كله و لسانه يتدلى من العطش " .
و يقول أبو يزيد : " الرى محال " .
السلام عليكم و رحمة الله
و الصوفيون أهل السفر و السياحة حتى قيل فى وصفهم : " كانوا لا يجتمعون عن موعد ، و لا يفترقون عن مشورة " ، و هم الذين عنوا بآداب السفر و الصحبة ، " و ليس من آدابهم أن يسافروا للدوران و النظر إلى البلدان و طلب الأرزاق ، و لكن يسافرون إلى الحج و الجهاد ، و لقاء الشيوخ و صلة الرحم ، و رد المظالم ، و طلب العلم ، و لقاء من يفيدون منهم شيئا فى أحوالهم ، أو إلى مكان له فضل و شرف " .
السلام عليكم و رحمة الله
الثلاثاء، 27 يوليو، 2010
و الصوفية هم أهل السماع الذين يتجاوبون مع الصوت الحسن و اللحن الجميل ، الباحثون عن العظة و الإعتبار و الذكرى فى كل أولئك و غيره ، ضالتهم الحكمة لا يبالون من أى وعاء خرجت و بأى إهاب اشتملت و برزت .
روى الطوسى أن ذا النون المصرى دخل بغداد ، فاجتمع إليه قوم من الصوفية و معهم قوال ، فاستأذنوه فى أن يقول شيئا ، فأذن له فى ذلك ، فأنشأ يقول :
صغير هواك عذبنى
فكيف به إذا احتنكا
و أنت جمعت فى قلبى
هوى قد كان مشتركا
أما ترثى لمكتئب
إذا ضحك الخلى بكى ؟
و كان أبو الحسن سرى السقطى ينشد هذه الأبيات :
و لما ادعيت الحب قالت كذبتنى
فما لى أرى الأعضاء منك كواسيا
فما الحب حتى يلصق الجلد بالحشا
و تذبل حتى لا تجيب المناديا
و تنحل حتى لا يبقى لك الهوى
سوى مقلة تبكى بها و تناجيا
و قال الشبلى فى مجلسه :
و عينان قال الله كونا فكانتا
فعولان بالألباب ما تفعل الخمر
ثم قال لست أعنى العيون النجل ، و لكن أعنى عيون القلوب ذوات الصدور ، فطوبى لمن كان له عين فى قلبه ..
السلام عليكم و رحمة الله
قال النبى صلى الله عليه و سلم :
" يا معاذ ألا أعلمك دعاء تدعو به ، لو كان عليك من الدين مثل صبير أداه الله عنك ، فادع الله يا معاذ :
قل اللهم مالك الملك تؤتى الملك من تشاء و تنزع الملك ممن تشاء و تعز من تشاء و تذل من تشاء بيدك الخير إنك على كل شيء قدير . تولج الليل فى النهار و تولج النهار فى الليل و تخرج الحى من الميت و تخرج الميت من الحى و ترزق من تشاء بغير حساب . رحمن الدنيا و الآخرة و رحيمهما تعطى من تشاء منها و تمنع من تشاء ، ارحمنى رحمة تغنينى بها عن رحمة من سواك " .
السلام عليكم و رحمة الله
الأحد، 25 يوليو، 2010
A Zen Student called me recently to complain about my emphasis on the difficulty of the practice. She said, 'I think you make a mistake in urging your students to take their practice so seriously. Life should be about enjoying ourselves and having a good time'. I asked her, 'Has that approach ever worked for you ?' She said, 'Well, not really...yet. But I have hope'.
I understand her attitude, and I sympathize with anyone who feels that practice is really hard work. It is. But I also feel sad for those who are not yet willing to do this kind of serious work, because they will suffer most.
Still, people have to make their own choices, and some are just not ready for serious practice. I said to the Zen student, 'Just do your practice or not according to your own lights, and I'll support you in doing that'.
Whatever people are doing, I want to support them-because that's where they are, and that's fine. The fact is that for most of us, our lives are not working well. Until we engage in a serious practice, our basic view of life usually remains pretty much untouched. In fact, life continues to aggravate us, and even gets worse. Serious practice is needed if we are to see into the fallacy that is at the bottom of almost all human action, thinking, and emotion.
Our misery stems from the misconception that we are separate. Certainly it looks as though I am separate from other people and from all else in the phenomenal world. This misconception that we're separate creates all the difficulties of human life.
If we feel separate we're going to feel that we have to defend ourselves, that we have to try to be happy, that we have to find something in the world around us that's going to make us happy.
If we don't struggle with life, does this mean that life can't hurt us? Is there anything outside of ourselves that can hurt us ? Being Zen students, we may have learned to say that the answer is no.
When we feel victimized by the world, we look for something outside of ourselves that will take away our hurt. Until we truly see that we're not separate from anything, we're going to struggle with our lives. When we struggle, we have trouble. It's as though life presents us with a series of questions that can't be answered. And as a matter of fact, they can't. Why ? Because they're false questions. They're not based on reality. Feeling that something is wrong and seeking ways to fix it-when we begin to see the error in this pattern, serious practice begins. The young woman who called me hasn't reached this point. She still imagines that something external will make her happy. Maybe a million dollars ?
With practicing we do begin to comprehend that there's another way to live beyond feeling assaulted by life and then trying to find a remedy. From the very beginning, there's nothing wrong. There is no separation : it's all one radiant whole. Yes, we do have to be serious about our practice. If you're not ready to be serious, that's fine. Just go live your life. You need to be kicked around for a while. That's okay. People shouldn't be at a Zen center until they feel there's nothing else they can do : that's the time to show up.
Let's return to our question : can something or someone hurt us ? Practice helps us to see that the answer is no. It's not that the point of practice is to avoid feeling hurt. What we call 'hurt' still happens : I may lose my job ; an earthquake may destroy my house. But practice helps me to handle crises, to take them in stride. So long as as we are immersed in our hurt, we'll be a bundle of woe that is of little use to anybody. If we're not wrapped up in our melodrama of pain, on the other hand, even during a crisis we can be of use.
So what happens if we truly practice ? Why does the feeling that life can hurt us begin to soften over time ? What takes place ? Only a self-centered self, a self that is attached to mind and body, can be hurt. Suppose I feel I have no friends, and I'm very lonely. What happens if I sit with that ? I begin to see that my feelings of loneliness are really just thoughts. As a matter of fact, I'm simply sitting here. Maybe I'm sitting alone in my room, without a date. Nobody has called me, and I feel lonely. In fact, however, I'm simply sitting. The loneliness and the misery are simply my thoughts, my judgments that things should be other than what they are. I haven't seen through them ; I haven't recognized that my misery is manufactured by me. The truth of the matter is, I'm simply sitting in my room. It takes time before we can see that just to sit there is okay, just fine. I cling to the thought that if I don't have pleasant and supportive company, I am miserable. I'm not recommending a life in which we cut ourselves off in order to be free of attachment. Attachment concerns not what we have, but our opinions about what we have. There's nothing wrong with having a fair amount of money, for example. Attachment is when we can't envision life without it. Likewise, I'm not saying to give up being with people. Being with people is immensely enjoyable. Sometimes, however, we're in situations where we have to be alone.
The truth is that nothing can hurt us. But we certainly can think we're being hurt, and we certainly can struggle to remedy the thoughts of hurt in ways that can be quite unfruitful. We try to remedy a false problem with a false solution.
'Nothing Special Living Zen'
By / Charlotte Joko Beck
السبت، 24 يوليو، 2010
الجمعة، 23 يوليو، 2010
We are rather like whirlpools in the river of life. In flowing forward, a river or stream may hit rocks, branches, or irregularities in the ground, causing whirlpools to spring up spontaneously here and there. Water entering one whirlpool quickly passes through and rejoins the river. Though for short periods it seems to be distinguishable as a separate event, the water in the whirlpools is just the river itself.
However, we want to think that this little whirlpool that we are isn't part of the stream. We want to see ourselves as permanent and stable. Our whole energy goes into trying to protect our supposed separateness. To protect the separateness, we set up artificial, fixed boundaries ; as a consequence, we accumulate excess baggage, stuff that slips into our whirlpool and can't flow out again. So things clog up our whirlpool and the process gets messy. The stream needs to flow naturally and freely. If our particular whirlpool is all bogged down, we also impair the energy of the stream itself. It can't go anywhere. Neighboring whirlpools may get less water because of our frantic holding on. What we can best do for ourselves and for life is to keep the water in our whirlpool rushing and clear so that it is just flowing in and flowing out. When it gets all clogged up, we create troubles-mental, physical, spiritual. We serve other whirlpools best if the water that enters ours is free to rush through and move on easily and quickly to whatever else needs to be stirred. The energy of life seeks rapid transformation. If we can see life this way and not cling to anything, life simply comes and goes. When debris flows into our little whirlpool, if the flow is even and strong, the debris rushes around for a while and then goes on its way. Yet that's not how we live our lives. Not seeing that we are simply a whirlpool in the river of the universe, we view ourselves as separate entities, needing to protect our boundaries. Whenever trash floats into our whirlpool, we make great efforts to avoid it, to expel it, or to somehow control it.
Ninety percent of a typical human life is spent trying to put boundaries around the whirlpool. We're constantly on guard : " He might hurt me ". " This might go wrong ". " I don't like him anyway ". This is a complete misuse of our life function ; yet we all do it to some degree.
By being protective and anxious, clinging to our assets, we clog up our lives. Water that should be rushing in and out, so it can serve, becomes stagnant. A whirlpool that puts up a dam around itself and shuts itself off from the river becomes stagnant and loses its vitality. Practice is about no longer being caught in the particular, and instead seeing it for what it is - a part of the whole. Yet we spend most of our energies creating stagnant water. That's what living in fear will do. The fear exists because the whirlpool doesn't understand what it is-none other than the stream itself. Until we get an inkling of that truth, all of our energies go in wrong direction. We create many stagnant pools, which breed contamination and disease. Pools seeking to dam themselves for protection begin to contend with one another. " You're smelly. I don't like you ". Stagnant pools cause a lot of trouble. The freshness of life is gone. Zen practice helps us to see how we have created stagnation in our lives. " Have I always been so angry, and just never noticed it ? " So our first discovery in practice is to recognize our own stagnation, created by our self-centered thoughts. Unacknowledged depression, fear, and anger create rigidity. When we recognize the rigidity and stagnation, the water begins to flow again, bit by bit. So the most vital part of practice is to be willing to be life itself. We don't know how to be intimate, to be the stream of life. A stagnant whirlpool with defended boundaries isn't close to anything. When we are used to rigidity and controlled stiffness of a defended life, we don't want to allow fresh currents into awareness, however refreshing they may truly be. The truth is, we don't like fresh air very much. We don't like fresh water very much. It takes a long time before we can see our defensiveness and manipulation of life in our daily activities. Practice helps us to see these maneuvers more clearly, and such recognition is always unpleasant. The longer we practice, the more readily we can recognize our defensive patterns. The process is never easy or painless, however, and those who are hoping to find a quick and easy place to rest should not undertake it. This is not a place to be if one is seeking an artificial bliss or some other special state.
What we do get out of practice is being more awake. Being more alive. Knowing our own mischievous tendencies so well that we don't need to visit them on others. We learn that it's never okay to yell at somebody just because we feel upset. Practice helps us to realize where our life is stagnant.
'Nothing Special Living Zen'
By / Charlotte Joko Beck
If we're honest, we have to admit that what we really want from practice - especially at the beginning, but always to some degree - is greater comfort in our lives. We hope that with sufficient practice, what bothers us now will not bother us anymore. There are really two viewpoints from which we can approach practice. The first viewpoint is what most of us think practice is, and the second is what practice actually is. As we practice over time, we gradually shift from one viewpoint toward the other, though we never completely abandon the first.
Operating from the first viewpoint, our basic attitude is that we will undertake this demanding and difficult practice because we hope to get certain personal benefits from it. We enter practice with an expectation or demand that it will somehow take care of our problems. Our basic demands are that we be comfortable and happy, that we be more peaceful and serene. We expect that we won't have those awful feelings of upset, and we will get what we want. We expect that instead of being unfulfilling, our life will become more rewarding. We hope to be healthier, more at ease. We hope to be more in control of our life. We imagine that we will be able to be nice to others without it being inconvenient. From practice we demand that we become secure and increasingly achieve what we want. We demand that someone take care of us and that the people close to us function for our benefit. We expect to be able to create life conditions that are pleasing to us. There is nothing wrong with wanting any of these things, but if we think that achieving them is what practice is about, then we still don't understand practice.
The demands are all about what we want : we want to be enlightened, we want peace, we want help, we want control over things, we want everything to be wonderful.
The second viewpoint is quite different : more and more, we want to be able to create harmony and growth for everyone. We are included in this growth, but we are not the center of it ; we're just part of the picture. As the second viewpoint strengthens in us, we begin to enjoy serving others and are less interested in whether serving others interferes with our own personal welfare. As we increasingly adopt the second viewpoint, we learn to serve everyone, not just people we like. Increasingly, we have an interest in being responsible for life, and we're not so concerned whether others feel responsible for us. In fact we even become willing to be responsible for people who mistreat us.
Practice does not cause us to lose our preferences. But when a preference is in conflict with what is most fruitful, then we are willing to give up the preference. In other words, the center of our life is shifting from a preoccupation with ourselves to life itself.
Practice is about moving from the first to the second viewpoint. The real point of practice is to serve life as fully and fruitfully as we can. True practice is about seeing how we hurt ourselves and others with deluded thinking and actions. It is seeing how we hurt people, perhaps simply because we are so lost in our own concerns that we can't see them. Pratice is always a battle between what we want and what life wants. So long as we are caught in the first viewpoint, governed by wanting to feel good or blissful or enlightened, we need to be disturbed. We need to be upset. A good center and a good teacher assist that. Enlightenment is, after all, simply an absence of any concern for self. Don't come to this center to feel better ; that's not what this place is about. What I want are lives that get bigger so that they can take care of more things, more people.
This morning I had a call from a former student who has lung cancer. In an earlier operation, three-quarters of his lungs were removed, and he's devoting himself to sitting and practice. Some time after the operation, he began to have troubles with his vision and with severe headaches. Tests revealed two brain tumors : the cancer had spread. He's back in the hospital for treatment. We talked about the treatment and how he's doing. I told him, "I'm really very sorry this has happened for you. I just want you to be comfortable. I hope things will go well". He replied, "That's not what I want from you. I want you to rejoice. This is it for me-and it's wonderful. I see what my life is". He went on to say, "It doesn't mean I don't get angry and frightened and climb the walls. All those things are going on, and now I know what my life is. I don't want anything from you except that you share in my rejoicing. I wish everyone could feel the way I do".
He is living from the second viewpoint, the one in which we embrace those life conditions - our job, our health, our partner- that will be most fruitful to all. He's got it. Whether he lives two months, two years, or a long time, in a sense it does not matter.
Zen practice is difficult largely because it creates discomfort and brings us face-to-face with problems in our lives. We don't want to do this, though it helps us to learn, and prods us toward the second viewpoint. To sit quietly when we're upset and would really like to be doing something else is a lesson that sinks in little by little.
We slowly begin to comprehend what my former student meant when he said, "Now I know what my life is". We're mistaken if we feel sorry for him ; perhaps he is one of the lucky ones.
'Nothing Special Living Zen'
By / Charlotte Joko Beck
النفل هو العمل الذى لا يوجبه الدين ، و إن كان يوصى به ، و يحث عليه لكونه فضيلة . و النوافل ذات فوائد جمة رغم كونها غير واجبة . و قد جاء عن النبى صلى الله عليه و سلم ، رواه عنه أبو هريرة ، أن الله عز و جل إذا كان يوم القيامة تعرض عليه صلاة الفريضة ، فإن كانت كاملة قبلها ، و إن كانت ناقصة قيل : " انظروا فإن كان له تطوع قال : أكملوها به " قال أبو هريرة فى حديثه عن النبى صلى الله عليه و سلم : " ثم تؤخذ الأعمال على سائر ذلك " .
" أستاذ السائرين الحارث بن أسد المحاسبى "
الدكتور / عبد الحليم محمود
السلام عليكم و رحمة الله
الأربعاء، 21 يوليو، 2010
حسبى الله ، آمنت بالله ، رضيت بالله ، توكلت على الله ، لا قوة إلا بالله . يا من وسع كرسيه السموات و الأرض و لا يؤده حفظهما و هو العلى العظيم أسألك الإيمان بحفظك إيمانا يسكن به قلبى من هم الرزق و خوف الخلق . إنى أسألك أن تفنينى بقربك منى حتى لا أرى و لا أحس بقرب شيء و لا ببعده عنى مما يحجبنى عنك . إنك على كل شيء قدير.
السلام عليكم و رحمة الله
الثلاثاء، 20 يوليو، 2010
Your life is the awakened life - nothing else. Having confidence in this, embodying this, is the liberation of life. Yet despite this being so, there often seems to be a gap in our life. Even saying 'awakened life' is unnecessary and extra.
Lacking confidence, not completely believing this awakened life in our actions and reactions, in body-mind habits, makes this gap where there is none, makes a barrier between our self and our self. Being this life we are, the gap does not appear. Being this spacious functioning that is our life, the seemingly solid barrier is revealed as 'transparent', not at all a solid barrier ; it is revealed as no-barrier.
Sometimes we use the image of breaking out of a shell. Really there is no shell to break out of, and yet we create and seem to be in a shell. Being in this shell is being in hell - so we speak of breaking out of the shell. Of course, while we are in hell, living in hell is our practice. In fact, being present in hell is breaking out of hell. Another image often used is to see the Dharma as a raft to go to the other shore. Even as the other shore is right here, there is no other shore elsewhere, there is nowhere else to go to, yet it can be skillful and appropriate to speak of the Dharma raft to cross from this shore to another shore - when this shore is the habits of attachment and reactions. Nevertheless, there is no gap, nowhere else to go.
For this no-gap to be the truth of our life, we have to manifest no-gap in our functioning, in life. Being this moment, there is no-gap, no barrier.
Looking closely, we can see some of the ways that we make barriers, make gaps. In the midst of this seeming barrier of habits we have our opportunity, our practice effort. Then holes may appear in the seeming wall ; there are 'pecks' in the shell, some little, some big, resulting in the dropping away of any gap between our life and our life.
If this barrier of no-barrier is so for us, we need to pass through it ; body-mind needs to drop away.
In sitting and being bodily present, body mind present, we are enabled and supported in practicing with body-mind habits that arise, enabled to see them in the spaciousness of this moment of life rather than being caught up in them or believing the bodily emotion-thought habits as the whole truth.
Sitting is being present, inside, outside, this moment flowing.
Body-mind presence allows body-mind dropping away. This is exactly life.
By / Elihu Genmyo Smith
الاثنين، 19 يوليو، 2010
الصلاة كمعدن " الراديوم " مصدر للإشعاع ، و مولد ذاتى للنشاط .
و بالصلاة يسعى الناس إلى استزادة نشاطهم المحدود حين يخاطبون القوة التى لا يفنى نشاطها.
إننا نربط أنفسنا حين نصلى بالقوة العظمى التى تهيمن على الكون و نسألها ضارعين أن تمنحنا قبسا منها نستعين به على معاناة الحياة.
أى خير يكسبه الإنسان إذا استيقظ من منامه فكان أول تفكيره الإتصال بربه و الإستعانة به و الإستمداد منه ؟ إنه ينال ضمانا من السماء أن يقضى سحابة نهاره و هو فى حرز منيع !
و فى الحديث الشريف : " من صلى الصبح فهو فى ذمة الله ، فلا يطلبكم الله من ذمته بشيء ، فإنه من يطلبه من ذمته بشيء يدركه ثم يكبه على وجهه فى نار جهنم " .
و قيل أن الحجاج أمر سالم بن عبد الله بقتل رجل ، فقال سالم للرجل : أصليت الصبح ؟ فقال الرجل : نعم . قال : فانطلق . فقال له الحجاج : ما منعك من قتله ؟ فقال له سالم : حدثنى أبى أنه سمع رسول الله يقول : " من صلى الصبح كان فى جوار الله يومه " فكرهت أن أقتل رجلا قد أجاره الله .
و فى الحديث : " كان النبى إذا حز به أمر فزع إلى الصلاة " .
و فى الحديث القدسى يقول الله عز و جل : " يا عبادى كلكم ضال إلا من هديته ، فاستهدونى أهدكم . يا عبادى كلكم جائع إلا من أطعمته ، فاستطعمونى أطعمكم . يا عبادى كلكم عار إلا من كسوته ، فاستكسونى أكسكم . يا عبادى إنكم تخطئون بالليل و النهار و أنا أغفر الذنوب جميعا ، فاستغفرونى أغفر لكم " .
و قد قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم : " لا تعجزوا فى الدعاء ، فإنه لا يهلك مع الدعاء أحد " .
و قال : " إن الله حيى كريم ، يستحى - إذا رفع الرجل إليه يديه - أن يردهما صفرا خائبتين " .
و قال عليه أفضل الصلاة و أتم التسليم : " سلوا الله من فضله ، فإن الله يحب أن يسأل ، و أفضل العبادة انتظار الفرج " .
السلام عليكم و رحمة الله
السبت، 17 يوليو، 2010
In ordinary life we all carry around what we can call an imaginary baseboard : an electrical baseboard that jolts us whenever we encounter what feels like a problem. We can imagine it with millions of outlets, all within our reach. Whenever we feel threatened or upset, we plug ourselves into it and react to the situation. The baseboard is our defensive reaction. We're always plugged into it, but we especially notice it at times of stress. We have made a decision that ordinary life - life as it actually is - is unacceptable to us. And we try to counter what's happening.
All of this is inevitable. Our parents were not totally enlightened beings or buddhas, but other beings and events contributed too.
Suppose that Gloria has said something snippy to me. The bare facts are simply that she's said something. Immediately, however, I feel separated from Gloria. As far as I'm concerned, there is something wrong with her. Now I have it in for Gloria. The truth is, however, that my issue is not with Gloria ; she has nothing to do with it. While it's true that she has said something, my upset comes not from her but from plugging into my baseboard. I experience my baseboard as a type of tension, which is unpleasant. I don't want to have anything to do with such a feeling, so I go to war with Gloria. But it's my baseboard that is causing me distress.
Whenever something major happens in our lives, we get a sharp shock from our baseboard. We don't know what to do with that shock. Though the shock comes from inside us, we assume it comes from outside, over there.
In fact, the real source of my distress is not Gloria. She did something I didn't like, but her behavior is not the source of my pain. The source of the pain is my fictional baseboard.
In sitting, we gradually become more aware of our body, and we find that it is contracted all the time. What can we do about this contraction ? The first thing is to be aware that it exists. This usually takes a number of years of sitting. In the first years of sitting, we are usually dealing with the gross thoughts that we cook up out of the seeming troubles that we have with the universe. These thoughts mask the underlying contraction. We have to deal with them, and settle our lives down to the point that our emotional reactions are not so obstreperous. When our lives become somewhat more settled and normal, we become aware of the underlying marginal contraction that has been present all of the time. We can then become aware of the contraction more strongly when something goes wrong from our point of view.
The distress is caused not by the events, but by our baseboard. Practice is not about the passing events of our life. Practice is about the baseboard. The point of practice is to become friendly with the baseboard. We're not going to get rid of it all at once ; we're too fond of it for that. But as the mind truly quiets and becomes less interested in fighting with the world, when we give up our position in some pointless battle, when we don't have to do all of that fighting because we come to see it for what it is, then our ability to just sit increases. When we go back to the body, it's not that we uncover some great melodrama going on inside of us. For most of us most of the time, the contraction is so marginal that we can hardly tell it's there. Yet it is. When we just sit and keep getting close to feeling this contraction, we learn to rest in it for longer and longer periods : five seconds, ten seconds, and eventually thirty minutes or more.
Because the baseboard is our creation and has no fundamental reality, it begins to resolve a bit, here and there. After sesshin for a time we may find that it's gone. Then it may be back. If we understand our practice, over years of sitting the baseboard becomes thinner and less dominating. We can catch ourselves being plugged in by watching how we talk to ourselves and others : 'There is something wrong with him. It's his fault. He should be different'. 'I should be better'. 'Life's just unfair to me'. 'I am truly hopeless'. When we play these sentences through our minds without questioning them, then we're waging a false fight and we end up where any false fight leads : nowhere, or into more trouble.
We have to wage the real fight : to stay with that which we do not want to stay with. There is no quick, easy fix. We look for ways to punish others for what they have done. Such activity is not experiencing our anger, but avoiding it through drama. When truly experienced, anger is very quiet. It has a certain dignity. There's no display, no acting out. It's just being with that fundamental contraction that I have called the baseboard. Whe we truly stay with anger, then the personal and self-centered thoughts separate out and we're left with pure energy, which can be used in a compassionate way. That's the whole story of practice. A person who can does this with great consistency is a person we call enlightened. A truly enlightened person is one who can transform the energy nearly all of the time. It's not that the energy no longer arises ; the question is, what do we do with it ?
When we sit with great dignity with this energy, though it is painful at first, it turns into the place of great rest. That means resting in who I truly am. Those who would molest me cannot find me here. Why can't they find me here ? Because there is no one home. There is no one here. When I am pure energy, I am no longer me. I am a functioning for good. That transformation is why we're sitting. It doesn't happen overnight. But if we sit well, over time we become less and less engaged in interpersonal mischief, harming ourselves and others. Sitting burns up the self-centered element and leaves us with the energy of our emotions, without the destructiveness. There is real peace when we rest within that fundamental contraction, just experiencing the body as it is. If I truly rest in it, my body conforms to it, and there is no separation.
At that point, something shifts. How do I feel about Gloria now ? Oh, we had a little disagreement, so we'll take a nice walk today and talk about it. No problem.
'Nothing Special Living Zen'
By/Charlotte Joko Beck
الخميس، 15 يوليو، 2010
Underneath it all we feel that there is something lacking. We feel we have to fix our life, to quench our thirst. We've got to get that connection, to hook up our hose to the faucet and draw that water to drink.
The problem is that nothing actually works. We begin to discover that the promise we hold out to ourselves - that somehow, somewhere, our thirst will be quenched - is never kept.
Much in life can be greatly enjoyed but what we want is something absolute. We want to quench our thirst permanently, so that we have all the water we want, all the time. That promise of complete satisfaction is never kept. It can't be kept. The minute we get something we have desired, we are momentarily satisfied - and then our dissatisfaction rises again.
If we have been trying for years to attach our hose to this or that faucet, and each time have discovered that it wasn't enough, there will come a moment of profound discouragement. We begin to sense that the problem is not with our failure to connect with something out there, but that nothing external can ever satisfy the thirst. This is when we are more likely to begin a serious practice.
This can be an awful moment - to realize that nothing is ever going to satisfy. Perhaps we have a good job, a good relationship or family, yet we're still thirsty - and it dawns on us that nothing really can fulfill our demands. We may even realize that changing our life - rearranging the furniture - isn't going to work, either. That moment of despair is in fact a blessing, the real beginning.
A strange thing happens when we let go of all our expectations. We catch a glimpse of yet another faucet, one that has been invisible. We attach our hose to it and discover to our delight that water is gushing forth. We think, 'I've got it now ! I've got it !' And what happens ? Once again, the water dries up. We have brought our demands into practice itself, and we are once again thirsty.
Practice has to be a process of endless disappontment. We have to see that everything we demand ( and even get ) eventually disappoints us. This discovery is our teacher. It's why we should be careful with friends who are in trouble, not to give them sympathy by holding out false hopes and reassurances.
This kind of sympathy - which is not true compassion - simply delays their learning. In a sense, the best help we can give to anybody is to hasten their disappointment. Though that sounds harsh, it's not in fact unkind. We help others and ourselves when we begin to see that all of our usual demands are misguided. Eventually we get smart enough to anticipate our next disappointment, to know that our next effort to quench our thirst will also fail. The promise is never kept. Even with long practice, we'll sometimes seek false solutions, but as we pursue them, we recognize their futility much more rapidly. When this acceleration occurs, our practice is bearing fruit. Good sitting inevitably promotes such acceleration. We must notice the promise that we wish to exact from other people and abandon the dream that they can quench our thirst. We must realize that such an enterprise is hopeless.
We've worn out everything we can do, and we don't see what to do next. And so we suffer. Though it feels miserable at the time, that suffering is the turning point. Practice brings us to such fruitful suffering, and helps us to stay with it. When we do, at some point the suffering begins to transform itself, and the water begins to flow. In order for that to happen, however, all of our pretty dreams about life and practice have to go, including the belief that good practice - or indeed, anything at all - should make us happy.
The promise that is never kept is based on belief systems, personnally centered thoughts that keep us stuck and thirsty. Practice does not require that we get rid of them, but simply that we see through them and recognize them as empty, as invalid.
When we discover Zen practice, we may hold out a hope that it is going to solve our problems and make our life perfect. But Zen practice simply returns us to life as it is. Being our lives more and more is what Zen practice is about. Our lives are simply what they are, and Zen helps us to recognize that fact. The thought 'If I do this practice patiently enough, everything will be different' is simply another belief system, another version of the promise that is never kept.
For Zen practice : the only promise we can count upon is that when we wake up to our lives, we'll be freer persons. If we wake up to the way we see life and deal with it, we will slowly be freer - not necessarily happier or better, but freer.
Every unhappy person I've ever seen has been caught in a belief system that holds out some promise, a promise that has not been kept. Persons who have practiced well for some time are different only in the fact that they recognize this mechanism that generates unhappiness and are learning to maintain awareness of it - which is very different from trying to change it or fix it.
Real 'Zen practice' is just being here right now and not adding anything to this.
'Nothing Special Living Zen'
By/ Charlotte Joko Beck
الجمعة، 9 يوليو، 2010
مع أن نعم الله تلاحقنا فى كل نفس يملأ الصدر بالهواء ، و كل خفقة تدفع الدماء فى العروق ، فنحن قلما نحس ذلك الفضل الغامر ، أو نقدر صاحبه ذا الجلال و الإكرام ..
و قد أراد الله عز و جل أن ينبه الناس إلى ما خولهم من بره فقال :
" الله الذى جعل لكم الليل لتسكنوا فيه و النهار مبصرا إن الله لذو فضل على الناس و لكن أكثر الناس لا يشكرون . ذلكم الله ربكم خالق كل شيء لا إله إلا هو فأنى تؤفكون . كذلك يؤفك الذين بآيات الله يجحدون . الله الذى جعل لكم الأرض قرارا و السماء بناء و صوركم فأحسن صوركم و رزقكم من الطيبات ذلكم الله ربكم فتبارك الله رب العالمين " .
( سورة غافر : 61-64 )
قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم :
" من اصطنع إليكم معروفا فجازوه ، فإن عجزتم عن مجازاته فادعوا له ، حتى تعلموا أنكم قد شكرتم ، فإن الله شاكر يحب الشاكرين " .
و قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم :
" من أعطى عطاء فوجد فليجز به ، فإن لم يجد فليثن . فإن من أثنى فقد شكر ، و من كتم فقد كفر " .
و قال :
" إن أشكر الناس لله تبارك و تعالى ، أشكرهم للناس " .
و قال :
" من لم يشكر القليل لم يشكر الكثير ، و من لم يشكر الناس لم يشكر الله ، و التحدث بنعمة الله شكر ، و تركها كفر ، و الجماعة رحمة و الفرقة عذاب " .
إلا أن الإسلام مع توكيده لواجب الشكر و تحقيره لشأن الجاحدين يطلب من أولى الخير أن يجعلوا عملهم خالصا لوجه الله و أن يبعدوا عن مقاصدهم كل دخل ، فإن غش النية يفسد العمل و يحبط الأجر ، و المعروف الذى يقبل و يحترم هو الذى يبذله صاحبه بدوافع الخير المحض لا يطلب عليه ثناء بشر و لا شكره ، إنما يطيع به أمر الله و يطلب رضوانه و مغفرته .
و الإسلام بما يفرضه على العمل من إخلاص يريد أن يحرر القلوب من قيود الأغراض و أن يعلقها بالله ، فهى تفعل الخير عن بواعث نقية ، و عن حب مكين له و رغبة قوية فى تحقيقه دون نظر إلى مدايح الناس أو تطلع إلى منزلة ما بينهم .
لا تعول على حمد أحد أو تقديره ، كن كما وصف الله الأبرار من عباده :
" و يطعمون الطعام على حبه مسكينا و يتيما و أسيرا . إنما نطعمكم لوجه الله لا نريد منكم جزاء و لا شكورا "
( سورة الإنسان : 8-9 )
لا تنتظر أن يشكرك أحد من الناس بل توقع أن يضيق الناس بك :
إن يسمعوا ريبة طاروا بها فرحا
عنى و ما سمعوا من صالح دفنوا
جهلا علينا ، و جبنا عن عدوهم
لبئست الخلتان : الجهل و الجبن
و قد نتعلم الإخلاص لله من مسلك الإمام الشافعى الذى ملأ طباق الأرض علما ثم قال :
وددت لو نشر هذا العلم دون أن يعرف صاحبه .
علمتنى الحياة أن أتلقى
كل ألوانها رضا و قبولا
و رأيت الرضا يخفف أثقالى
و يلقى على المآسى سدولا
و الذى ألهم الرضا لا تراه
أبد الدهر حاسدا أو عذولا
أنا راض بكل ما كتب الله
و مزج إليه حمدا جزيلا
أنا راض بكل صنف من الناس
لئيما ألفيته أو نبيلا
لست أخشى من اللئيم أذاه
لا ، و لن أسأل النبيل فتيلا
فسح الله فى فؤادى فلا أرضى
من الحب و الوداد بديلا
فى فؤادى لكل ضيف مكان
فكن الضيف مؤنسا أو ثقيلا
ضل من يحسب الرضا عن هوان
أو يراه على النفاق دليلا
فالرضا نعمة من الله لم يسعد
بها فى العباد إلا القليلا
و الرضا آية البراءة و الإيمان
بالله ناصرا و وكيلا
علمتنى الحياة أن لها طعمين
مرا و سائغا معسولا
فتعودت حالتيها قريرا
و ألفت التغيير و التبديلا
أيها الناس كلنا شارب الكأسين
إن علقما و إن سلسبيلا
أكثر الناس يحكمون على الناس
و هيهات أن يكونوا عدولا
فلكم لقبوا البخيل كريما
و لكم لقبوا الكريم بخيلا
و لكم أعطوا الملح فأغنوا
و لكم أهملوا العفيف الخجولا
رب عذراء حرة وصموها
و بغى قد صوروها بتولا
علمتنى الحياة أنى إن عشت
لنفسى أعش حقيرا هزيلا
علمتنى الحياة أنى مهما
أتعلم فلا أزال جهولا