"Bars reflected," by Mike Shell (12/22/2014)


You don’t have






Image: “Bars reflected,” by Mike Shell (12/22/2014)

3 comments On Empty

  • Susan Taylor

    The joy and relief of miksang with its power of no conceptualization.

    Thanks and loving blessings, Mike!

  • Friends, this koan is very difficult to practice for more than a few seconds at a time. Even so, it has become an essential, recurring part of my day as our relocation from Florida to Massachusetts becomes increasingly less orderly and more frustrating.

    Pema Chödrön writes of what she calls taking a mental snapshot. Close your eyes, turn your head in any direction and angle:

    “Then, abruptly open your eyes and see what’s in front of you. Almost immediately, you will revert to labeling everything, but try to observe that moment before the labeling happens. In a relaxed and open way, try to take a mental snapshot of that instant, which is empty of imputed meaning.”

    It is that natural human process of labeling from which much our our discomfort arises. Instead of simply experiencing, observing, and responding pragmatically to each next moment, we tend to label each moment with emotional significance. Then we struggle with that “imputed meaning,” clinging to situation or striving to escape it.

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