An old Zen teaching says:

At each moment, don’t raise delusive thoughts.
And don’t suppress your delusive states of mind.
When you find yourself in a realm of delusive thought, don’t add knowledge.
When you don’t know, don’t think that’s the truth.

The very first Zen meditation instruction I received, after being instructed in sitting posture, was “Don’t try to think, and don’t try not to think.”

This was in a Zen school that does not use koans the way we do in PZI, and yet this hit me like a koan: what on earth was I supposed to do with my mind? I was in college at the time and very accustomed to using my mind to address questions in my engineering and philosophy classes – this was something entirely different! And yet what did I do? I used my mind to try to figure it all out, of course.

You might imagine the kind of grief I caused myself with this approach. And I still often find my mind trying so hard to help – a bit like a young child trying to “help” Mommy and Daddy around the house and creating more work.

– David Longerbeam

Dana & PZI Mailing List Signup

Here is a direct link to support your teacher(s) with Dana.

Give Dana

Hello, sign up to receive our weekly RMC email newsletter. Select the locations you would like to receive information from.

Subscribe

Donate to PZI

Through your generosity, you help people find their own path into awakening and you help us grow.

Your support allows us to support our teachers, keep our doors open to everyone regardless of means, and make sure our systems run smoothly.