Jiaoan (Chinese, eleventh–twelfth centuries) was the niece of a high official of the Song dynasty. When she was young, she decided not to marry or bear children and she set her heart on the way of Chan. She experienced a clear awakening at the words of Master Yuanwu Keqin as he spoke to the assembly. Later, Yuanwu said to her [Jiaoan], “You should go on to erase your views— then you will finally be free.”
She answered in verse:
The pillar pulls out the bone sideways;
the void shows its claws and fangs;
even if one profoundly understands,
there is still sand in the eye.
Zenki Mary Mocine’s Reflection (excerpt): … What is this sand? I think it represents our small self, our humanity. We must include this small self within our profound understanding of the “Big Self” that includes everyone, or we fall off into one-sided practice. So we must practice everyday life, but with the mind of emptiness. We need to include our emotions and views in our practice so as to see their emptiness. I have found that my life works when I do not try to suppress emotions or deny that I have views. When I deny them, they just sneak up on me later and cause problems. …
Everyone is looking for someone to blame, and therefore aggression and neurosis keep expanding. Instead, pause and look at what’s happening with you. When you hold on so tightly to your view of what they did, you get hooked. Your own self-righteousness causes you to get all worked up and to suffer. So work on cooling that reactivity rather than escalating it. This approach reduces suffering – yours and everyone else’s.
Als je zonder inspanning inademt, kom je vanzelf terug met een bepaalde kleur of vorm. Tijdens het uitademen vervaag je geleidelijk in de leegte – leeg, wit papier. Dat is shikantaza. Vooral je uitademing is belangrijk. Probeer in plaats van jezelf te voelen tijdens het inademen, tijdens het uitademen in de leegte te verdwijnen.
Als je dit beoefent in het laatste moment van je leven, hoef je nergens bang voor te zijn. Je mikt dan al op de leegte. Als je uitademt met dat gevoel, word je één met alles. Als je nog leeft, adem je daarna natuurlijk weer in. ‘O, ik leef nog! Gelukkig of helaas!’ Dan begin je weer uit te ademen en te verdwijnen in de leegte. …
Als je deze oefening doet, word je niet gauw boos. Als je meer geïnteresseerd bent in inademen dan in uitademen, word je erg gauw boos. Je probeert steeds te leven. … Sterven is belangrijker dan leven. Als we altijd maar proberen te leven, hebben we het moeilijk. … Als we proberen actief te zijn en bijzonder en iets te bereiken, kunnen we onszelf niet tot uitdrukking brengen. Het kleine ik komt tot uitdrukking, maar het grote zelf komt niet uit de leegte tevoorschijn.
Entering the Heart of Zen
In order to reveal the heart of Zen, a practitioner must be willing to face all of her or his barriers and resistances. In this course we will learn how our habit-ridden consciousness prevents us from penetrating deeply into our practice. When we are able to stay present with our disturbing feelings and feel them thoroughly, the wisdom of the body will provide us with the clues on how to proceed. – tricycle.org
Gerry Shishin Wick, Roshi is President and Spiritual Leader of the Great Mountain Zen Center in Lafayette, Colorado. He is a Dharma Successor of Taizan Maezumi Roshi, founder of the Zen Center of Los Angeles. He did rigorous training in both schools of Zen, Soto and Rinzai. He received inka and the title Roshi from Bernie Glassman in 2006. Shishin and his partner, Ilia Shinko Perez, are currently developing a residential training center called the Abbey on a 5-acre ranch in Berthoud, Colorado.
If we learn to keep our mind quiet through meditation, to just stay present with our feelings, to connect with our heart, to let go of the story lines, and to directly feel all the unpleasant sensations associated with our emotional hurts, then the heart will open and we can approach each situation from a wider perspective. Meditation practice and the cultivation of heart-mind awareness give us the opportunity to respond to our emotions in a very nonviolent and compassionate way.
Gerry Shishin Wick
The Atlas of Emotion was commissioned by the Dalai Lama, his purpose is “ In order to find the new world we needed a map, and in order for us to find a calm mind we need a map of our emotions”. The simple, but not easy, goal of this Atlas is to help us be aware of our emotions. Awareness of our emotions means understanding how they are triggered, what they feel like and how we respond. Awareness itself is a strategy, it helps us understand our emotion experiences. We do not want to get rid of our emotions, we want strategies that help us respond in helpful, constructive ways.
The Dalai Lama imagined “a map of our emotions to develop a calm mind.” He asked his longtime friend and renowned emotion scientist Dr. Paul Ekman to realize his idea. Ekman took on the creation of the Atlas alongside his daughter, Eve Ekman, a second-generation emotion researcher and trainer. The Atlas represents what researchers have learned from the psychological study of emotion. – atlasofemotions.org
Inspired by Work with Dalai Lama, Eve Ekman Creates App to Map Emotions
‘While the Atlas of Emotions is a large map on a computer, Eve Ekman has turned to a smaller guide that can be carried around. Her current brainchild, called EmoTrak, “is like having a little Atlas of Emotions in your pocket,” she says. The EmoTrak app asks users twice a day to report the trigger, experience and response of their most recent emotion. … In a pilot study of EmoTrak, Ekman says that even residents in specialties that have high levels of burnout find that their daily emotion tracking reveals that half of their daily emotions are still enjoyable ones. “That very simple practice of bringing awareness of our emotions has the potential to remind us that even amidst the most challenging times we have capacity for being OK,” she says.
The impetus for Ekman’s EmoTrak built upon work early in her career. While she was working as a social worker in the emergency department at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center helping patients and their families, she had a realization: her colleagues and coworkers needed help, too. “I could feel palpably their stress and strain and I was very aware of how little support we all had in managing this,” she says. So she has dedicated her efforts toward helping health care workers avoid job burnout, and particularly how to support their compassion and empathy toward patients.’ – Mitzi Baker on uscf.edu
Real obstacles or destoyers of Calm Mind are fear, suspicion, hatred, anger, greed. These emotions are the opposite of a calm mind. Calm mind sees things more clearly, more realisticly and more holistically.
More self confidence means less fear; if we have a more objective mental attitude we feel less greed, we feel more content.
How to develop self-confidence, or inner strength: once we have developed a compassionate or altruistic attitude then there’s no basis for fear.