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Zen Puppy

Training Puppies The first rule on owning a new puppy is simple ABCs: Always Be Carrying treats. Have a small bag of dried meat on your person at all times (except when sleeping, but then still close by).

Next important rule is never let a puppy sleep in your bed, no matter how cute. Mattresses resemble weewee pads to puppies and the list of reasons to follow this rule is endless. If you feel bad, just remember in a few years, the bed will belong to your dog eventually.

With those two major points established, we can begin learning how to communicate with our new friend.
Yes and No A top priority should be to quickly teach our pet the words yes and no. Unfortunately, dogs don't speak English and can bear a great deal of pain with a grin and little else. This means our two primary  methods of teaching are ineffective.
Hitting or beating a dog while saying No will not be interpreted the same way a human child would. Dogs see this behavior as a playful contest and the goal of teachi…

Walking Peacefully with the Buddha

Walking Peacefully with Siddharta Siddharta walked peacefully under the clouds. In that moment, he knew he could never be spiritually liberated while being physically shackled by the temptations of every luxury a man could ask for. He wasn't born with desires for worldly treasures; those attributes were learned as he was groomed to be the prince and soon after, the next king.
There was a pleasantness about him that one could only achieve after indulging every possible craving a man could desire. That pleasantness preceded the prince's footsteps and attracted a crowd among the commoners. It wasn't long before the prince started mingling with the townsfolk on the daily, and news spread across the kingdom of the chance at meeting the prince in person.
The king mistreated those soldiers wounded in battle, and over time, they became a growing percentage of social burdens. Hearing that the kingdom was at an uproar about meeting his son, the king worried his son might find out…

Zazen Breathing

Zazen Breath Do you breath through your diaphragm? We do when we sleep. If when you inhale, your chest rises, then that is the opposite of healthy breathing.

With a single inhale, allow the stomach to expand outward with the chest and shoulders perfectly still.

With the following exhale, pull the stomach in so that the air coming out comes from the bottom of the lungs.

That is how you re-energize when you sleep. That is why Buddhist monks require less sleep. They are breathing correctly.

Trying Zazen BreathingTry it.
If done right, you will lose your breath after a few tries.
That's normal.
Stop and start again.
It gets easier with practice. So continue practicing until it comes effortlessly.

Eternal Unspoken

Eternal Unspoken Speaking of the unspoken, there is an eternal (in that it is not bound by the dimension of time) energy that binds us while we are alive. When life extinguishes, the interdependent relationship with the eternal energy is severed.
Eternal Energy and the Path This energy surrounds us and revitalizes us when we are on the eightfold path. And those off the path deny their own energy into a form of remission; the energy surrounding them binds them into the great cycle of karma, where everything is balanced back to a neutral status. Karma is based on action alone, not the intention, nor the thoughts, nor the talk surrounding actions.
Karmic Reach A wrapper you toss in the garbage flies away off the top a few moments later when nobody's watching as a strong gust of wind rises to the occasion, and the item lands in the water of the regional bay a few feet below the garbage can.

That wrapper manages to get pulled under by a rip current days later and a few years later, m…

Inner Alchemy In Meditation

Meditation and Inner Alchemy In meditation there is alchemy, thus in zen there is Taoism. Focusing on a single thought before emptying the mind of all thoughts brings that single thought into the present moment.

A Single Thought and Inner Alchemy As the mind remains clear in Buddha-mind, there is zen stillness, yet alchemy propels health and happiness with that single thought as its guidance.
Thoughts and Inner AlchemyNegative thoughts preceding the Buddha-mind serve to cause confusion and chaos, leading to poor meditation.


Positive thoughts preceding Buddha-mind serve to cause desires and cravings, leading to poor meditation.

A single thought of nothingness preceding Buddha-mind propels zen into the present moment continuously as the mind remains still and free of attachment.
Happiness and Inner Alchemy To be happy with nothing is not in human nature. Thus to achieve stillness of mind and thoughts of nothingness, though only the thought is required, leads many to shed attachment…

Zen Breathing

Zen Breathing Breathing may seem like a fundamental function that requires no attention, but proper breathing takes training and practice. The difference between yogic breathing and what you are doing now is a difference that can add up to a decade more of longevity to your lifespan.
Preparation for Zen Breathing The art behind meditation can be rewarding, providing the dedicated pupil with a soothing, restful, and energizing, but also calming, feelings with more and more practice.

That is the secret for which there is no shortcut in this philosophical exploration.

Being a Zen Master, means mastering meditation. It all begins when a new set of ears stumble upon the confusingly simple-sounding task of staring at a point on the wall or counting beads in your palm.

Of course, once you begin your first steps down the path that leads to the attainment of your personally-invented enlightenment, a product directly correlated in value to the amount of dedication administered along the eightf…

Zazen In Action - Achieving Zen

Achieving Zen To achieve zen, you have to surrender the search while maintaining the momentum. Sure many times I quit, thought I reached zen too early, and other obstacles for every path towards zen, but the path remains.
Zazen is the activity of practicing zen, or meditating, because zen cannot be practiced. It is the Buddha mind attained from practicing Zazen effortlessly. Zen mind is your brain unconditioned.
The Buddha is you, not me. Zen is Zazen attainment flowing in cycles within us like energy fountains. Hence, Zen Taoism, the two intertwined paths of liberation.
Right speech is a safe starting step along the way, or the path. Nobody can show or teach you Zen, because nobody else exists outside of your mind's creations. For us, they are mostly sight and sound, but of course all senses are mental formations.
Buddha Achieving Zen Siddhartha attained Buddha mind and documented his way for the rest. That is Buddhism, which is not Zen. Zen is yours alone. See it? Now you do, bri…

Counting to Ten

How to Count to TenEach number is the single thought of the mind when counted.
At three, there is only three; two or four are not thoughts.
Count only the number in your mind by itself; nothing else enters the mind.
Now the next number.
Practicing Counting to TenStart at one.
Did two interfere?
Or ten?
Or other thoughts?
Start over.
Can you count a number, each number, independently?
Can you clear all other thoughts, even an image of the number, so only a single thought remains still in the mind?

Zazen Counting to Ten Such is the Zazen practice to still the mind.
In Zazen practice, you find Zen mind already at peace.

Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind

Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind Zen mind, Buddha mind, is beginner's mind. The expert who retains the wonder of the mind of a beginner continues learning more and more on his craft, becoming more and more an expert. The beginner doesn't know, so he must have an open mind, willing to learn. Thus a master is always a student. Keeping Beginner's Mind Everyone is reborn with change every moment. That is the simple nature of Zen. Life is measured in units of time. There is no escaping or bypassing the laws of physics when it comes to time. Therefore, we must forgive the past, even if it seems to happen now. That time is over.

Zen and God

Zen & God Zen is an interesting concept because, among other reasons, of its foundations in Buddhism. Buddhism teaches of Nirvana and that there is no God. Does that mean to be Buddhist you must renounce God?
Zen and Heaven In order to fully experience the joy and bliss of heaven, I must act with integrity and speak with honesty. If I only do something for reward of heaven or fear of hell, then I am not truly performing a good deed. To do good, I must do something that results in good without the idea of being rewarded for my good deeds be a motivating factor. Otherwise, I am only doing good for the reward I expect to receive for it, and not because I truly want to do good.
Zen Good and God In order to truly want to and do good, I have to act good and speak good without expecting any reward for doing so. Thus, I believe Buddhism has answered this puzzle by teaching its followers to forget the idea of heaven and a God. Therefore, when a Buddhist performs good, they are doing somethi…