Awareness Unprompted

Awareness Fresh as a High Mountain Stream

If awareness was like a high mountain stream in mid summer, wouldn’t it be lovely to rest by the cool freshness of that high mountain stream?

The connection to awareness that we attentively explore and genially nurture in our seated meditation links to an awareness unprompted like that high mountain stream.  Just like the whole of nature, this awareness is clear and fresh, constantly renewing and unprompted.

What’s more, we don’t have to travel to a high mountain to find it. If we’re awake, it is always already present.  I wonder…  do you wonder… Was this knowing quality in experience already here, even before our parents were born?
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Deep Joy That is More Than Joy

A life based in mindfulness and meditation brings to life wisdom, compassion, and the quiet, peaceful, happiness we call contentment.  Shunryu Suzuki called this a life of deep joy, one that is even more than joy.

“The true experience of Zen is not some ecstasy or some mysterious state of mind, but it is a deep joy that is even more than joy.” Shunryu Suzuki

Yet, of course, this life of deep joy is not exclusive to Zen.  It is available to everyone who practices a contemplative tradition.

For example, here’s what Sharon Salzberg says about the joy that grows in a life based on meditation.

“Through the regular practice of meditation we discover the real happiness of simplicity, of connection, of presence… We come closer and closer to living each day in accord with this lovely quotation from Wordsworth: “With an eye made quiet by the power of harmony, and the deep power of joy, we see into the life of things.”

“Our way is to see what we are doing, moment after moment.” Shunryu Suzuki

May you afford to slow down, relax and grow more steady and still.  May you encounter the deep joy of meditation and mindfulness during this holiday season, and beyond!

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Please visit a Sweeping Heart Zen event.  Here’s a link to our calendar:

We’re located in historic Gloucester which is about 40 miles north of Boston on Cape Ann. Cape Ann is on the far northeastern end of the North Shore of Massachusetts.


The steeple on the left in the photo is on the Gloucester UU Church.  That’s where we meet.

May your life go well!


warming fire

Turning Positive States to Lasting Traits

The earliest teachings of the Buddha encourage us to turn our minds toward thoughts of loving-kindness, compassion, sympathetic joy, and equanimity. These teachings also invite us to generate thoughts focused on the Buddha’s admirable qualities. And, they urge us to rest our attention, from time to time, in thoughts focused on our own acts of generosity, kindness, and good will. The teachings insist that if we do so, we will discover lasting benefits in health and social harmony. We’ll create lasting positive traits that support own happiness and the happiness of others.

Continue reading Turning Positive States to Lasting Traits