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Zen Garden


Definition of Zen: Japanese school of Mahayana Buddhism emphasizing the value of meditation and intuition
Synonyms of Zen: calm, hushed, peaceful, placid, restful, serene, still, stilly, tranquil, quiet, etc.

These notes are from recovery in AA and/or related 12 step programs.
Readers are encouraged to click external links for more detail.
We hope you find them helpful.
Love in fellowship.

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Passions grow from the will. The will grows from thought and imagination:

When both are calmed, There is neither sensualism nor transmigration. –Sutra of Forty Two Chapters

I have just three things to teach: Simplicity, patience, compassion. These three are your greatest treasures.

Simple in actions and in thoughts, you return to the source of being.

Patient with both friends and enemies, you accord with the way things are.

Compassionate toward yourself, you reconcile all beings in the world. -– Lao Tzu

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The mountain stones were rough, the path narrow. Bats flew in the twilight when I reached the temple.

I climbed to the hall and sat on the steps, where the fresh rain had washed the great palm leaves and sleek gardenias.

The monk said there were fine Buddhas painted on the old walls:

He took a lamp to show me some of them. He spread the bed, dusted the mats,

And set out rice for me: It was coarse but satisfied my hunger. And not an insect murmured.

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Late at night it was quiet,

As the clear moon came over the mountains, and entered my door

I left at dawn, alone, and lost my way, up and down the twisting mountains in the mist where the red hills glittered in the jade green brooks.

I saw pines and oaks full ten spans around and my bare feet in swift water stepped over rocks

Where the water boiled and the wind tore my clothes. A man could make himself happy here.

Why should I bridle myself in crowded towns? O my own few disciples:

What if I grew old here and never returned? — Han Yu

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If you desire to attain enlightenment, you should steadily walk the Way with a resolute heart, with courage, and be fearless in whatever environment you many happen to be.

Destroy every evil influence that you may come across; for thus you shall reach the goal. — Daily Zen/Sutra of Forty Two Chapters

When the mind is properly adjusted
And quietly applied the Way is attainable;

But when you are too fervently bent on it, your body grows tired;
When your body is tired, your spirit becomes weary.

When your spirit is weary, your discipline will relax, and with relaxation of discipline, there follows many distractions. –Daily Zen/Sutra of Forty Two Chapters

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Calming the Mind
Too much knowledge leads to over activity; Better to calm the mind.

The more you consider, the greater the loss;
Better to unify the mind. – Shih Wang Ming (6th c)

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