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Waves in the Mind

--by Shunryu Suzuki (Jan 11, 2005)


When you are practicing meditation, do not try to stop your thinking. Let it stop by itself. If something comes into your mind, let it come in, and let it go out. It will not stay long. When you try to stop your thinking, it means you are bothered by it. Do not be bothered by anything. It appears as if something comes from outside your mind, but actually it is only the waves of your mind, and if you are not bothered by the waves, gradually they will become calmer and calmer.

Many sensations come, many thoughts or images arise, but they are just waves of your own mind. Nothing comes from outside your mind. Usually we think of our mind as receiving impressions and experiences from outside, but that is not a true understanding of our mind. The true understanding is that the mind includes everything; when you think something comes from outside it means only that something appears in your mind. Nothing outside yourself can cause any trouble. You yourself make the waves in your mind. If you leave your mind as it is, it will become calm. This mind is called big mind.

If your mind is related to something outside itself, that mind is a small mind, a limited mind. If your mind is not related to anything else, then there is no dualistic understanding in the activity of your mind. You understand activity as just waves of your mind. Big mind experiences everything within itself. Do you understand the difference between the two minds: the mind which includes everything, and the mind which is related to something? Actually they are the same thing, but the understanding is different, and your attitude towards your life will be different according to the understanding you have. [...]

Actually water always has waves. Waves are the practice of the water. To speak of waves apart from water or water apart from waves is a delusion. Water and waves are one. Big mind and small mind are one. When you understand your mind in this way, you have some security in your feeling. As your mind does not expect anything from outside, it is always filled. A mind with waves in it is not a disturbed mind, but actually an amplified one. Whatever you experience is an expression of big mind.

-- Shunryu Suzuki

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On Jun 12, 2006 Viral wrote:

In a conversation with IT coworker, I realized: everyone is thinking about the same thing -- meaning of life. Wave vs. ocean -- which one do you identify with? Boddhisattva resolve: I will not go to ultimate happiness, unless all being go across. After 7 years, my parents are coming back to the US -- made me realize about how deeply I'm connected to them. Delivering anonymous smile cards at a hospital on Christmas day was a real "big mind" feeling. In making decisions about people, what I've been forgetting is looking at their heart. Before dinner, keep consicousness of all the hungry people in the world. That's big mind. I'm trying to plan a wedding (yes, Santosh is getting married!) -- this passage helps a lot. :) I was once able to let go of all the thoughts and fears -- aha moment of the mind. Small mind, big mind -- what about no mind? Not all thoughts are empty of meaning; sometimes they are useful to tell you what you are going through. Experiences are at times com  See full.

  • In a conversation with IT coworker, I realized: everyone is thinking about the same thing -- meaning of life.
  • Wave vs. ocean -- which one do you identify with?
  • Boddhisattva resolve: I will not go to ultimate happiness, unless all being go across.
  • After 7 years, my parents are coming back to the US -- made me realize about how deeply I'm connected to them.
  • Delivering anonymous smile cards at a hospital on Christmas day was a real "big mind" feeling.
  • In making decisions about people, what I've been forgetting is looking at their heart.
  • Before dinner, keep consicousness of all the hungry people in the world. That's big mind.
  • I'm trying to plan a wedding (yes, Santosh is getting married!) -- this passage helps a lot. :)
  • I was once able to let go of all the thoughts and fears -- aha moment of the mind.
  • Small mind, big mind -- what about no mind?
  • Not all thoughts are empty of meaning; sometimes they are useful to tell you what you are going through.
  • Experiences are at times communicating through thought.
  • Nothing is absolutely meaningless or meanginful. It's a dynamic process.
  • Albert Einstein: life is like riding a bicycle. You have to keep spinning the wheels to stay balanced.
  • Big mind is when you can be an observor, without being in the thick of it.
  • Convalescent homes: my visit reminded me of how lucid "old" people really are.
  • I have run away from hospice more times than I have volunteered. Why?
  • NAFTA: what difference does it make if we ruin the air in Mexico? Well, it'll come back to America -- it's all the same air!
  • All living beings are big mind.
  • Principle of non-doing -- can't acomplish things if you're trying to accomplish ... like moving water in a glass to make it still.
  • Ray Yeh, Art of Business: businesses that complish things are those that look beyond it. Accomplishing happens along the way.
  • During meditation, I start out in a relaxed posture and then all of sudden, I'm stiff. Where is that coming from?
  • Any thought that comes in a language, belongs in a language; if you can think a thought in language, it's already there in you.
  • Hesse: that which isn't within you, you can't affect you.

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