Oakville Zen Meditation

#187 Plunge your being into what you are doing Aug. 6 17

                                             Plunge Your Being into What You Are Doing

Plunging our own life into what we are doing sounds obvious since we are learning over and over since kindergarten to be focused. It looks that we are doing this all the time. Is it fact or just a perception?

Think twice and you will realize that, during most of the day, it is just a perception and not reality.

There are zillions of daily examples to back up this crucial finding:

Your body is eating but your mind is focusing on the TV.

You are driving but your mind is shopping.

You are under the shower but your mind is at the office.

You are hearing someone but your mind is not listening, and so non.....

Yes there are few instances where we are forced to be very concentrated on a specific task but this mental activity does not last too long before our mind takes off elsewhere while our body is doing something else.

This body-mind dissociation creates a real SPD (slip personality disorder) for which we are not aware at all. It is detrimental to be at 2 different places and doing 2 different tasks at the same time.

Our biology has been genetically programmed to have body and mind together in the same space-time

and doing the same thing. This is exactly what others animals are doing. They are always in the moment. When a bird is building its nest its mind is with its body -----that is building the nest---- and not thinking about which next worm to catch and where. It does not mean that the bird is not as smart as humans are. On the contrary, maybe it means they are smarter than we are regarding having mind and body together!

Why does our mind love so much to escape from the body & be on its own?

Very often our mind behaves like a romantic, impatient and wild person, always looking for something to do, something more exiting, more challenging than we are currently doing.

It says to itself: “ It is too boring here, I want to escape and do something else, somewhere else ”

This is especially true when its ego-part is taking control. When the ego-mind takes over, we become totally under its control, wandering in a dreaming state made of various space-times and doing all kind of activities. This is our self-made movie theater. We watch our mental screen, listen to our mental scenario with total dedication. Wonderful self-made

The reason why our mind is wandering so often is because it hates routine stuff and most of what we are doing during the day is perceived as automatic routine if not dull, boring and non-challenging.

Zen calls it “ waking sleep” or “ day sleep walking” that is body doing x here and mind doing y over there.

Great Chinese Zen Master Sheng Yen (1930- 2009) only teaching can be summarized to this:

“Be where you are as much as you can regardless the moment”.

He elaborated as follow: “Just as when you sit in meditation you just sit, when you sleep, be aware of why going to sleep. When walking, you just walk. When you eat, you are right there just eating. Plunge your whole life into what you are doing at that very moment and live that way. So we train ourselves to engage our whole being in what we are doing. Whether sitting or eating, you are not engaged i wandering, or deluded thoughts. All of you—body, mind and your environment—is right there. Whatever you do, whatever the task, your genuine self & your whole life are just there, at that moment. “ 

Many interpret concentrating your whole being into a single task as a very tense and boring.

This is incorrect because you are also being relieved from the trap of your wandering mind and by being multitasking.

Therefore, when you are doing this one thing, in that moment, this is all you have to care about, and you can do it in a very relaxed manner and attitude.

In this light, you will better understand the meaning of engaging your whole being in the present task. This is the only relaxed attitude to practice and discover your true self and not your thinking self. This is awakening or enlightenment: experiencing concrete reality as it is now and not the mind-made fictional & immaterial one.