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The Mind Light Way

Guiding Philosophy of The Zen Art Center

What is The Mind Light Way?

 

The mind is the foundation of who you are. Its light illuminates our world, the universe, and beyond. The path to understanding the mind is the way.

 

In Zen Buddhism, we say that to attain enlightenment, you must see your mind and understand the true essence of your being. However, the mind is not a material object, so how can you 'see' it? 

 

This question is a koan. Koans are challenges designed to make us reconsider our preconceptions about the world we live in.

 

In Zen practice, we approach this type of challenge by sowing the question in our minds like a seed. We then use meditation to clear our minds of all thoughts, desires, feelings, and emotions. When the light of our mind is free from these obstructions, it can pierce through the emptiness and reflect off everything in the universe. This radiance incubates the seed, illuminating its path to grow and blossom.

Zen Meditation and Practice

 

The purpose of Zen meditation is to clear your mind. When your mind is completely empty, what remains is the foundation of your being. You can only experience this state when your mind is free from all thoughts. However, if you try not to think about anything, thoughts will inevitably arise. In Zen meditation, we use a mantra as the focal point of our meditation to push out all other thoughts and clear our minds.

 

Traditionally, a mantra is a word or phrase repeated silently in your mind. However, a mantra can also be your breath, your actions, or anything else you choose. What you use as a mantra is not as critical as your ability to stay focused on it. 

 

Zen practice does not offer any metaphysical explanations; it merely provides the tools of meditation and koans that you can employ to find the answers within yourself. These tools can be useful to anyone, and our community welcomes everyone from all cultures and religious backgrounds.

Zen Arts

 

Zen art can be any activity that you put your heart into. Students at the Zen Art Center can learn how to apply Zen techniques to a full spectrum of creative endeavors and physical activities, including visual arts, writing, music, dance, yoga, sports, and martial arts.

 

The aim is to incorporate meditation into all aspects of your life. However, it's useful to hone this practice by meditating on the artistic endeavors and activities you enjoy. It also requires consistent practice to maintain a clear mind, so it's beneficial for us to engage in this practice as a community, encouraging each other to meditate and stay on the path.

 

You can turn everything you do into a form of meditation. If you focus completely on each moment, anything can become your mantra. Even mundane activities, such as doing your dishes or folding your clothes, can become a form of meditation that clears your mind. This integrated approach to Zen practice is the underlying philosophy of "The Mind Light Way."

The Role of Creativity and Compassion

 

The creative process can help us understand our minds. When we create, we bring what is in our minds into reality. This provides us with a glimpse of what's within our minds, which allows us to learn about ourselves and our relationship to the world we live in. 

 

Creativity is at the heart of our scientific experiments, technology, mathematics, and art. Through these endeavors, we communicate our internal ideas. Sharing our ideas helps us navigate our lives and better understand our common experiences. The force that compels us to create is love, which fuels our sense of empathy and compassion. 

 

In the years to come, we will face many challenges in our personal lives and as a society. How we will overcome these challenges is uncertain. Therefore, it's imperative that we learn to cooperate and harness our creativity to develop viable solutions that maintain harmony in our world. The Mind Light Way is a path of attainment, guiding us on this journey.

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The Jewel in the Lotus

By Zen Master Sebastian Rizzon

 

What is the mind? 

 

To cultivate this flower, sow the seed.

To see the seed blossom, clear your mind.

To clear your mind, remain focused on your mantra.

 

Your mantra is like the jewel in the lotus,

“Om mani padme hum”

 

When the mind is clear, its light radiates throughout the universe.

As the jewel in the lotus reflects emptiness like a mirror,

The light illuminates the mind.

 

This is “The Mind Light Way.”

Zen Meditation & Practice
Zen Arts
Creativity & Compassion
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