Posted inDogen, Meditations, Other Teachings

Thoughts about Practice: Non-abiding

September 5, 2015

…thoughts are not unimportant, but they’re not so important;  feelings are not unimportant, but they’re not so important.  -Dogen

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Our minds ordinarily are always “going somewhere”, aiming for something then digging in and attaching themselves to it.

Some masters speak of “non-abiding mind” – a mind that doesn’t seek an object to attach itself to. We could equally call it a mind that doesn’t go anywhere. Mind that rests. That stays still and watches; it lets things be as they are.

Dogen gives some advice about discovering this mind that doesn’t go anywhere:

…thoughts are not unimportant, but they’re not so important; feelings are not unimportant, but they’re not so important.

It’s beautiful advice. He’s talking about the mind that doesn’t need to go anywhere, that needs nothing to be different, that needs nothing.

I’m not sure but it seems that one way to discover this mind is to let ourselves burn up in whatever else seems to be going on in our sitting. The mind that doesn’t go anywhere welcomes restlessness and impatience, for example. Just let them in. What would it take for them to be OK forever?

 

Written by Henry Shukman, from our newsletter archives.

Image Credit: Spirit-Book, by bennimax, CC0 Public Domain, from Pixabay.com
Featured Image Credit: Meditation, by johnhain, CC0 Public Domain, from Pixabay.com

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