Sangha notes for 7-31-17

Steve shared thoughts on the practice of meditation:
“Do you want to practice Zen? Do you want to be more mindful? Then have no plan. Have no conclusion.
The ancient Zen Masters said that most people spend their lives in a state of delusion. Most people fail to see things as they truly are because they are seldom in the present. And most people believe things that are not true. They believe that they will always have friends and family that they can count on, but a war or plague could quickly be the end of your friends and family. Most people believe that they will always have enough food, and a comfortable place to sleep. Most people believe that they will always be able to walk and that they will always have their sanity. All these things could be lost, but many people are afraid to spend some time thinking about how impermanant our lives and our situations are. But the practice of meditation enables us to be fully in the moment without false beliefs, to accept the fact that any plan we have may become unworkable at any moment, and to realize that we are not infallible and that any conclusion we may arrive at may be false. So forget about making plans (your mind will make some anyway), then any plans you have will be less significant because you know that they may never work out. And with that understanding you will be less disappointed when your plans don’t work out. You will be more resilient and adapt to changes more spontaneously. And you will worry about the future less because you are not running from thoughts of possible disasters and you accept that there are limits to your control of your situation. And you will be more in the moment. Just the present sounds and smells. Just your breathing. Just this.”