Dr.Ranganath – MBBS, MD, was a practicing doctor and a professor who gave up the lucrative profession to pursue his love for spirituality and neuroscience.
You can not understand Zen
The first important information about Zen is it is impossible to know or understand the Zen through intellect or through reading, asking questions and listening to lectures.
Zen is primarily an experience and a discipline which does not depend on any explanation. Zen is 100% practical, so you have to do it and feel it. It appeals directly to life. Your everyday life. You have to catch life as it flows in the moment after moment. If you are past 60, then take care, you will find it very difficult to absorb because by this age the brain starts shrinking. The best age to enter Zen is 30 to 50.
Joshu was one of the most famous Zen masters in China, during the Tang dynasty. Once a new monk came to him and asked him to teach the Zen lessons. Joshu, said “Have you not had your breakfast yet?” The monk replied “Yes, Sir, I have had it already”. “If so, wash your dishes” - Joshu said. This remark of the master opened the new monk’s eyes to the truth of Zen.
Look at this dialogue between. You Yisan and kyozam. At the end of summer, Kyozam came to meet Yisan and then Yisan asked him “what were you doing all this summer?” Kyozam replied “I have a little piece of land and finished owing millet seads”
Yisan said “oh, then you have not wasted your summer” And then Kyozam asked Yisan, “how did you pass your summer?” Yisan said “one meal a day and a good sleep at night”. Kyozam said. “Then you have not wasted your summer”.
So don’t look for Zen in verbal abstractions. The truth of Zen is really lies in the concrete things of your daily life. The truth of Zen lies in its directness, simplicity, and utmost practicableness. “Good morning. How are you today?” “Thank you. I’m well”. “Please have a cup of tea”. This is full of Zen.
But then should not be mistaken for the so-called libertine naturalism, when they are mostly careless and irresponsible.
A teacher was once asked, do you ever make any effort to get yourself disciplined in the Zen?
“Yes, I do”, he said.
“How do you do it?”
“When I’m hungry? I eat when I’m tired, I sleep”.
“But this is what everybody does. And can they be said they are disciplined in Zen?”
“ No”, the teacher said.
“Because when they eat, they do not eat. They’ll be thinking of 100 things and disturbing themselves. When they sleep, they do not sleep, they will be dreaming of 1000 things, that is why they are not in Zen.”
So, Zen is a form of naturalism, but with a rigorous discipline. Some monks wanted their master Hayek Cujo to give a lecture on Zen. The master said you attend to the farming and the later I will tell you all about Zen. After finishing the farm work, the monk asked the master to fulfill his promise. Now the master opened out both his arms but said nothing. Not a word. This was his greatest sermon.
A Zen poet sings.
“How wonderful, how miraculous it is. I drew water. I carry fuel.”
All people around the world, you see would agree with this one point. We all want to be free from worries, anxieties. We want to lead a satisfied life. Look, if you are really serious and mature enough to go deep into this and try to understand this, you will see, all over the world, everybody will agree that you CANNOT have just happiness always, a pure 100 percent happiness. That is impossible Unhappiness always accompanies our happiness as if it is a package. They, both go together. ? That is fine. Ok A good discovery, but here is the trouble. The human mind works peculiarly. It knows that pain and happiness go together. It knows. But it wants to separate pain from happiness and desires to find a pure happiness. That is how the mind works. You give some pleasure to it; it enjoys it and then desires to keep it for a longer time. And that is very hard. And then it feels dis-satisfied. So, and then the mind starts searching everywhere, for a trouble-free, joyfulness which susta
I am a student. Just a student. I have been learning and expanding my knowledge. But my core, fundamental interest and my subject of study has not changed, it has remained the same over years. My interest is. This life This living, as we live in this day and to live a good life. I mean, a life of much more happiness and much less suffering and disappointment. In other words, this is my philosophy. I keep thinking about this, contemplating and inquiring and reasoning out. So, I am a philosopher, Phil means love and Sophie means wisdom… I love wisdom That is who I am not a doctor of medicine or follower of a religion. No nothing And I am sure the path of wisdom, the dispassionate inquiry takes me to a life of freedom a life of fulfilment. So, I say the essence of my philosophy is living this life and naturally it is it is the man, the human being, that is the central character here. It is a man-centered study. No divinity or idea or faith. I feel man’s dignity and sp
After plumvillageindia news of vesak 2022, the community practicing mindfulness near Mysore, is back to life. On the traditions of Thich Nhat Hanh with basics of nonviolance, compassion, (ahimsa and karuna) retreats have begun. This WordPress site is a practicing center, a true home away from home. A monastery as well as a short stay place. I wanted to make a cup of tea and write a blog article. Just then the child ( my grand son, one and a half year old), started crying. He wanted me to take him to garden to play. So, I abandoned my plans and took him to garden. He was happy watching butterfly. The most important work is to make someone happy. The most important person is one who is close by. Most important time to work is now. (It is not blog readers or club members who are away and virtual. It is not writing blogs. It is not taking care of tomorrow at today's cost.)