mei 2017

lichaam en geest

Gepubliceerdop mei 31, 2017

Shen-hsiu schreef:

‘Het lichaam is een boom van wijsheid,
de geest een glanzende spiegel op een standaard.
Zie toe dat je de spiegel regelmatig opwrijft
en laat zich er nooit stof op vergaren.’

Huineng schreef ernaast:

‘Wijsheid is geen boom,
de glanzende spiegel heeft geen standaard.
Aangezien alles leeg is,
waar kan dan het stof zich vergaren?’

Shen-hsiu was een geleerde en ervaren leerling van de vijfde Patriarch, die tevreden was over het gedicht van zijn student. Er wordt mee bedoeld dat je in zen wijsheid uit je lichaam haalt. ‘Je zit roerloos, stevig en ademt rustig. Lichaam en geest worden als één gezien.’ Huineng -een monnik die niet goed kon lezen en schrijven- verbaasde de vijfde Patriarch met zijn gedicht. Hij werd zijn leerling, en vervolgens zijn beroemde opvolger.

Zonder het opruimen van stof zullen we nooit helder inzicht krijgen. In zen is het doel in contact te komen met de werkelijkheid door middel van dit reinigingsproces. Het gedicht van Huineng is een voortzetting van het eerste gedicht. Een spiegel kan nooit vlekkeloos schoon zijn; zolang er een spiegel, een ‘ik’, is is het onvermijdelijk dat er stof op komt. ‘Wat te doen? De spiegel wegdoen! De spiegel van het ik loslaten. […] Zen probeert je te leren ervaren dat dit zelf geen subject of object is, maar de levende ervaring als zodanig. Het is de intimiteit van het leven, de levensstroom. Het ervaren daarvan heet verlichting.’ Het ‘ik’ moeten we niet proberen stuk te maken of onderdrukken, slechts aandachtig bestuderen door ons af te vragen wie het is die aan het denken en voelen is.

Mimi Maréchal


spiegel zen

Gepubliceerdop mei 30, 2017

Kakuzan Shido (1252 – 1305) “created the ‘mirror Zen’ practice to address women’s interest in their physical appearance.” Women have been and still are oftend told that their looks are their greatest asset and women can “excercise power by seducing or influencing powerful men.” Mirror zen was meant to encourage nuns to “see through their feelings and attachments to physical form by meditating in front of a mirror. Instructions were to look deeply into one’s nature and ask: ‘Where is a single feeling, a single thought, in the mirror in which I gaze?”

Kakuzan used Huineng’s teaching on the mirror to instruct her students as follows:

Since not a thing
takes lodging in the mind,
it is untainted:
To speak of polishing
is itself illusion.


mannen, vrouwen en hun zelf

Gepubliceerdop mei 30, 2017

“Zen aims to expose and dissolve the ego’s toxic grip of self-clinging. Self-clinging may look very different in women than it does in men. Self-clinging for women may look like a dependency, a need to please others and to seek approval, a reluctance to show initiative, and a general feeling of inferior ability. Self-clinging in men more often takes the form of pride, arrogance, and a sense of power, control or even invincibility. Convents have developed training techniques for women aimed specifically at overcoming societal conditioning that fostered obidience, docility, and servitude to their families of origin, husbands and other institutional bodies that instilled ‘ladylike’ behavior.” – Grace Schireson

An example of a training technique for women is the ‘mirror Zen‘ of Kakuzan.


inviting and listening to the bell

Gepubliceerdop mei 29, 2017

May the sound of this bell penetrate deeply into the cosmos
In even the darkest places, may living beings hear it clearly
So that understanding comes to their heart, and without hardship
They transcend the cycle of birth and death

Listening to the bell I feel the afflictions in me begin to dissolve
My mind becomes calm, my body relaxed, and a smile is born on my lips
Following the sound of the bell, my breath guides me back to the safe island of mindfulness
In the garden of my heart the flower of peace blooms beautifully.

From verses for daily living: plum village hong kong

being mindful

Gepubliceerdop mei 27, 2017

“For little children the day lasts forever, everything is new, fascinating and fresh, time is infinite. As we get older things aren’t fresh anymore, they’re all stale. We’ve done things so many times we don’t even notice doing them anymore. And the next thing we know is that we’re old and dying. And we think: ‘What happened to life?’ We miss not only the difficult things but also the good things!

The Buddha said being mindful is the one way to liberation. He didn’t say ‘this is one of those things you can do if you’ve got time’. The one path to liberation is to become aware, wake up. Then we become more conscious, more present, more aware, also our mind begins to clear up of itself. And we experience things almost as if for the first time: fresh, clear, clean, and without having to always make judgements, just experiencing things as they are.  And that in itself sheds a whole different light on what our lives are about.”

Tenzin Palmo


joko beck on sitting practice

Gepubliceerdop mei 25, 2017

“There’s nothing in sitting except maintaining awareness. Our ability to do that grows over time. You can call that progress if you want, but basically we are just returning to what we’ve alway been.  There’s really nothing special about it. So any idea that there’s something special about sitting, that we have to get into some spiritual state, or some wonderful state, that’s not it.

As you’re sitting, if you really maintain awareness, which you probably won’t, but if you do, it feels so different from what we ordinarily do that we may think we’ve done something special, but we haven’t really.

I want to emphasize that sitting is not about shutting out your thoughts, its about seeing them as thoughts of no importance whatsoever. But I don’t know of anyone who doesn’t think his or her thoughts are of some importance, including me sometimes. We definitely don’t see our thoughts as little energy blips that for whatever reason are set off. (meer…)


Gepubliceerdop mei 23, 2017

“The silence of that time before traffic and leaf blowers and the boisterous shouting of television was embedded in his character […] The noiselessness of his youth except for the natural sound of wind, hoofbeats, the snap of the old house logs splitting in winter cold, wild herons crying their way downriver was forever lost. How silent men and women had been in those times, trusting to observational powers. There had been days when a few little mustache clouds moved, and he could imagine them making no more sound than dragging a feather across a wire. The wind got them and the sky was alone.” – Annie Proulx

Uit: Fine just the way it is, Annie Proulx, Fourth Estate, London, 2009.