A Natural Rhythm

Mount Konocti, Lake CountyWhen I was a teenager, I was not happy with my mind. Fifty years later, I think I see that there’s a natural rhythm in awareness, a rhythm that Gautama identified as his “way of living”. In particular, mindfulness of the cessation of habitual or volitive action with regard to the movement of breath allows a natural rhythm in awareness that includes thought.

Lots of folks discover that they are helpless to do the right thing in life, and learn to give their action up to a higher power. When they give their action up, I believe they experience the same cessation of habitual or volitive action I have learned to experience, and they find a more natural rhythm of awareness.

6 Replies to “A Natural Rhythm”

  1. Learning to give up and let go surely helped me suffer less. Thank you for articulating it succinctly. Thank you, Mark!

  2. I think what you’re talking about is a “view” that is non-conceptual and expansive, without a fixed location in time or space — big Mind rather than small mind, as Suzuki Roshi was fond of saying. This can be cultivated through zazen.

  3. There’s no place to leave a response to your Disclaimer, so I’m leaving it here:

    Someone gave you a jewel, and you mistook it for a stone.
    Granted, it had some dirt on it.

    “I can only say, that I can’t help the style with which I write.”
    Comma splice.
    Writing is a choice. Speaking is a choice.
    Are you a student or are you a stone?

    I give up my action to a higher power
    which tells me to leave you this response.

    But I can’t deny this habit of correction,
    of thinking I know something,
    the volition
    to poke a flower into blooming.


  4. Certainly agreed. If you want the comma for effect, I suggest cutting “that.”

    But I also suggest cutting the whole sentence,
    since you can help the style with which you write.
    To say so feels like a cop-out,
    an underestimation of your own Buddha nature,
    a refusal to practice awareness through your art.

  5. “I can only say, that I can’t help the style with which I write. If I did not strive to be beyond doubt in what I have to say, I might not find the words I myself need to hear.” (Disclaimer)

    The style in question was the certainty with which I write. The gentleman felt that my tone might mislead students or would-be students into thinking I was a credentialed teacher, which I am not.

    “Writing is a choice. Speaking is a choice.” There is the cessation of that action of speech, body, and mind, wherein one determines and then acts–that’s the core teaching of Gautama the Shakyan, and most of what I write about.

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