Reality of Zen and Tao

Our thoughts are never life, they are only secondary information about life. The narrative isn’t real.

A basic Zen principle, at least in my training, is that thinking about is never the thing itself. It is only thought. Thoughts are not real. Piaget, the child psychologist, often pointed out that children think thoughts are real, mature individual know they are just thoughts.

Sounds right. But, I am pretty caught up in conditioned mind that says what I think about, in some way, is actual. It pretty much supports that theory that we never really get beyond third grade. My friend Hannah and I were having lunch and as we discussed this idea were taken at how true it really is. We live in a narrative about our world. Rarely coming into some direct contact with that which exists without ideas coming between us and it.

Nancy put up our tree the other day. She is kind and knows how frustrated I get when dealing with Christmas trees. Some weird holdover from childhood. (Nancy is an organic Buddhist. No formal training but then she doesn’t appear to need any.)

Anyway I noticed how much fun the cats were having during the process. I’m always impressed because they are always aware and thinking about being instead of thinking about things. They have a process that starts with cat. They respond instead of react. I like that. They can generate a focus of attention but seem to be entirely contained in the experience instead of thinking about the experience. No extra layers thoughts about the action.

So for that extra Dharma push during December I’m going to start reflecting on staying with the process that thoughts are not real, they are only metaphor for reality. Like words thoughts are useful but can only point towards that which is reality.

When I live from a place that sees that thoughts are useful but are not the thing of reality a certain calm and ease comes into being. I like it.

Our thoughts are never life, they are only secondary information about life. The narrative isn’t real.

Love you,

Bryan

2 thoughts on “Reality of Zen and Tao

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  1. Well expressed, Bryan. When you say: ”When I live from a place that sees that thoughts are useful but are not the thing of reality a certain calm and ease comes into being. I like it”. This is the aim – absolutely! And how lighter it can feel instead of being driven, defined, and weighed down by our thoughts incessantly. Yes, cats are a lesson by example. Hubby and I have always had a cat and maybe it is this Zen/Tao behaviour example that is one of the hooks for having to have a cat! :>)

    Liked by 1 person

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