Oakville Zen Meditation

491 Virtual Reality was discovered ~2,500 years ago. Feb. 18th 24

VR was discovered around 2,500 years ago by Zen

Our mind produces around 120,000 thoughts/feelings every day. 

There are 2 types of mental activities: our thinking mind, and dreaming mind. 

Of course, cognitive, factual thinking is critical in our day-to-day activities for decisional analysis such as during work, but most of the time, our dreaming mind is the default mode controlling us most of the time. It is made of thoughts/ feelings, and addictions to virtual worlds such as the past, and future. These fictional dreaming thoughts /feelings are too often self-centered, and useless and trap us in a virtual prison. 

This is Virtual Reality (VR) at its best, and yet, we believe that our mental VR is telling us the truth because we are producing our own ongoing, virtual mental audiovisual show.! We are at the same time the producer, the object, and the spectator. A recipe for potential suffering. 

Learning to be aware of our thoughts/emotions and to assess whether or not they are factual, real, useful or just pure VR illusions is a critical step towards our serenity. 

There is no other way, and Zen discovered that 2,500 years ago, calling us: “ Walking Daydreamers.

Therefore, Zen tried to answer the following question:

What is fooling us most of the time? The outside world or our mind-created fictional world?

This is an important question to ask yourself all the time. If you find the answer and deal with it, your perception of life will change for the better and forever.

Here is a short list, in a non-specific order, of 8 mind-generated VRs that Zen Buddhism has identified over the last 2500 years. Each illusion listed below can be a great mindfulness-based focusing point during your meditation practice.

Miranda will elaborate on them in the next few weeks when talking about the causes of suffering.

VR #1 “My thoughts/feelings are real and truthful”. Yes only if based on concrete, objective facts.

VR #2  “Past and future exist:” Not so; only the present moment exists since we cannot experience past and future. Yet we love being in a fictional past/future as a getaway from our routine stuff.

Besides, the past generates regret and guilt, and the future generates hope and worry. Avoid them.

VR #3 “ I have time” We believe and expect that things, situations, and living beings will last because, based on our 200,000 years of evaluative experience, we resist change and love our comfort zones. Good and bad stuff is transient and life cannot exist w/o the impermanence of things & people.

VR #4 “I can live as an independent, separate human being”. Can you survive w/o the farmers’ food?

VR #5 “ I am in control of my life”. Think twice: do we control our family members, boss, health, relationship, the content of next week, weather, traffic, etc.? Not. 

VR #6) We have this illusion that happiness comes from outside and accumulation of goods will do the trick. Our list of needs can be endless and therefore seeking happiness from outside will never be achieved. Seeking, by itself, is suffering.

VR #7 Very often we have this illusion that “Life is not fair”. Is life a living being, caring about you? 

VR #8 “ I perceive and assess people (and events) pretty well”. Not so because it is done mostly through an emotional process. Is this assessment based on genuine reality or just an illusion?


Because our mind-made virtual world is the main source of delusions, it is important to be mindful of it 

that is being able to differentiate genuine thoughts/feelings from fictional ones and meditation can be of great help. The human mind is a fantastic instrument but also our worst deceiver.                      Don’t be attached too much to the tricks of this magnificent illusionist.  THANKS