If we can just stop obsessing about the things we want and the things we don’t want, then we’ll be in good shape. Often obsessing about these things doesn’t serve us well.

 

By Daniel Scharpenburg

 

“The great way is not difficult for those who do not pick and choose.”

That’s how the classic Zen text Faith in Mind begins. I think it’s a statement on Right View. It has increasingly become one of my favorite texts. It was written by Sengcan, the third zen patriarch.

A word about that term, faith. I think we have a lot of baggage around that word sometimes. Because of that word I have to put the text into context in the development of Buddhism in China. In Sengcan’s time there was a really popular Buddhist sect called Pure Land. To explain it as simply as I can, they believed that faith in a being called Amida could cause you to be reborn in a place called the pure land, where attaining enlightenment would be very easy.

The title of this text is in response to that belief. The truth is that a lot of Zen Buddhism evolved in response to what other groups were doing. Sengcan was saying we should have faith in our minds instead of in some other being or other world. It reminds me of John Lennon’s quote, “I don’t believe in Beatles; I just believe in me.”

“I don’t believe in the pure land. I just believe in mind.”

Anyway….

In this line Sengcan is saying if we can just let go of our attachments and aversions, then our practice will be easy. If we can just stop obsessing about the things we want and the things we don’t want, then we’ll be in good shape. Often obsessing about these things doesn’t serve us well.

That line is telling us that if we can just let go of our expectations and our attachment to outcomes then that’s it.

The view we’re talking about cultivating is a broader view—a view that isn’t rooted in the small self, the mind that thinks I-Me-Mine all the time. Right view is really seeing the world from a broader perspective. If we can do that, then we are well on our way to Enlightenment.

“You are not a drop in the ocean. You are the entire ocean in a drop.” ~ Rumi

 

Photo: (source)

Editor: Dana Gornall

 

 

 

Were you moved by this post? You might also like:

Sticks & Stones & Words That Hurt.

  By Carlana Charles   Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can’t hurt me. Really? As a child growing up in the Caribbean, those words, followed by the sticking out of my tongue, were my defense when some friend, classmate or cousin said something about my...

Killing an Ant Crawling in the Sink

  By Carmelene Meanie Siani "The First Precept: Aware of the suffering caused by the destruction of life, I undertake to cultivate compassion and learn ways to protect the lives of people, animals, plants, and minerals. I am determined not to kill, not to...

The Love of Self.

  By Lisa Meade   For many, the criticism and comments that are said in their minds to themselves would never escape their lips and be spoken of someone else. The inner critic has a sharp tongue. It cuts one off at the knees, it draws blood, it keeps long hours and it...

White History Doesn’t Mean “Right” History: Women’s Fight to Vote & Why the “Suffragette” T-shirts are Problematic.

[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent="yes" overflow="visible"][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type="1_1" background_position="left top" background_color="" border_size="" border_color="" border_style="solid" spacing="yes" background_image=""...

Comments

comments

Daniel Scharpenburg

Daniel lives in Kansas City. He's a Teacher in the Dharma Winds Zen Tradition. He regularly teaches at the Open Heart Project and he leads public meditations. His focus is on the mindfulness practices rooted in the earliest Zen teachings. He believes that these teachings can be shared with a little more simplicity and humility than we often see. He has been called "A great everyman teacher" and "Really down-to-earth"

Find out more about Daniel here and connect with him on Facebook

Latest posts by Daniel Scharpenburg (see all)

(Visited 197 times, 1 visits today)