The unsecret

December 5th, 2007

The mind of a human being is like murky water, constantly churned by the gales of delusive thoughts and feelings.

Today I feel thoughtful. No, hold that thought. On second thought, I feel . . . how do I feel?

Random ideas are relatively innocuous, but ideologies, beliefs, opinions and points of view, including the factual knowledge and experience accumulated since birth, which we erroneously call “myself,” are only shadows which obscure the light of the truth.

Whoa, buddy. My opinions are just as good as yours, and I happen to like them better too.

As long as human beings remain slaves to their intellects and its observations, they could well be called sick.

I resemble that remark.

It is imperative that the mind be stilled.

Then what would I do with myself? And what would I do with this blog?

Once the waves subside, we perceive directly that the moon of truth has never ceased shining.

I, for one, don’t see anything out of the ordinary.

For the first time we can live with inner peace and dignity, free from perplexity and disquiet, and in harmony with our environment. – Yasutani Roshi, “The Three Pillars of Zen”

As entertaining as it might be to treasure hunt amid the dusty relics of the attic trunk, nothing we’re looking for is inside. Because nothing is hidden.

Let this reward you at once. And let me go back to getting the ink stains out of the white laundry since in my haste to explore myself I overlooked the ballpoint left in the shirt pocket.


Look no more! Find the perfect, and perfectly inscribed, gift for every mother on your list right here and now.


  1. >I, for one, don’t see anything out
    >of the ordinary.

    Rarely is the dharma encountered. Having now encountered it, I vow to serve hot chocolate to children.

    Comment by Chris Austin-Lane — December 5, 2007 @ 9:39 pm

  2. Was that written for me, specifically today?

    Comment by Mika — December 6, 2007 @ 12:22 am

  3. I do so love looking at the dusty relics in the murky waters of my mind. But today I think I’ll make cookies with my boys instead. Happy Hanukkah.

    Comment by RocketMom — December 6, 2007 @ 12:50 am

  4. Mika,
    One and the same. And another thing: face the music but don’t take the blame. There is no blame.

    Comment by Karen — December 6, 2007 @ 2:14 am

  5. exactly what my soul needed this morning. thank you.

    Comment by Irene — December 6, 2007 @ 5:00 am

  6. What will you do with this blog?
    It’s up to you.
    I for one love the way you write. You could write your grocery list here and I’d keep showing up.

    Comment by bella — December 6, 2007 @ 6:49 am

  7. What if the mind is only stilled if you HAVE something to do with yourself?

    Comment by Mama Zen — December 6, 2007 @ 1:49 pm

  8. But ideologies, beliefs, opinions and points of view, including the factual knowledge and experience accumulated since birth, which we erroneously call “myself,” are only shadows which obscure the light of the truth.

    Does this include knowledge and experience of Zen Buddhism? In other words, isn’t knowing about and believing in and living by the noble truths, etc. — isn’t this all only a shadow obscuring the light of the truth? Doesn’t that mean Buddhism is irrelevant? Do the shadows invalidate? How do we determine what is shadow and what is truth?

    I’m not trying to be difficult… Perhaps it’s too early today for me to have read this post! 🙂

    Comment by Kathryn — December 6, 2007 @ 2:13 pm

  9. What wise ones!

    Yes Mama Zen, the perfect way to still the mind is to engage the body. That’s why walking is so much more relaxing than debating!

    Yes Kathryn, see what comes out of an early morning? Wakefulness. When Buddhism is practiced as a belief, an ideology, a set of concepts, it is not only irrelevant, it is downright troublesome. Never forget: Buddha was not a Buddhist. Ours is a practice, not philosophy.
    The teachings tell you how to live, not how to think.

    The truth is always in front of you. It is that obvious. I’m so happy for you.

    Comment by Karen — December 6, 2007 @ 4:08 pm

  10. “I resemble that remark” … LOL

    You know I’m loving this post … it’s exactly what goes through my mind daily, except when I’m too busy enjoying life. Then I usually forget about dusty attics and antics.

    Comment by Shawn — December 7, 2007 @ 5:46 pm

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