Posted inHenry's Messages

Message from Henry: Oil, Density and Zen

May 10, 2016

When you meditate: Sit down. Be still. Then ask yourself: what is it like to be still?


Imagine a thick layer of crude oil over water. Caught in the level of the oil, we can struggle to understand the clear water below, but we never will. We can’t understand the water in terms of the world of oil. We have to taste the world of clear water first.

Yet, if we try to do that, we just push it further away, and stay stuck in the oil. (OK, it’s a bit of a weird metaphor, but still…)

What should we do? Surrender. Be patient. Study what is. Come back to our practice. That way, in terms of the analogy, we acquire just a bit more density, and in time will start to sink.

* * *

Imagine if the benefits of your practice would surely be felt and appreciated, only not by you. Instead, by other beings. Would you still do it? What if that is how it actually is?

* * *

When you meditate: Sit down. Be still. Then ask yourself: what is it like to be still?

* * *

Some masters emphasize the relationship with a student in a way that claims the real source of spirituality for themselves. Some traditions attribute divinity to the teacher, or establish the teacher as a conduit for divinity. Others emphasize the teacher more as a guide, to help and encourage the student along their own path. Zen would be more in this latter camp. We are simply working toward more uncovering of who we have been all along. The teacher has nothing to offer except a little guidance.


Message from Henry is taken from our May 10, 2016 Newsletter
Image: 365/003 twin trees, January, by Robert Couse-Baker, CC by 2.0, from


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