zen e-course // day 10 – judgement

Written by arnokroner on . Posted in studies, zen

Lesson: Awareness of thought is the key to zazen. Awareness is like a mirror. Consider that a mirror has no preference for what appears before it: it simply sees whatever has arisen in its view. The mirror does not say to you in the morning, “Oh, you look like hell.” It simply reflects tousled hair, puffy eyes, droopy mouth. There is no judgment just as the sky does not comment on the clouds passing by. Just a clear-eyed seeing and generous acceptance of what is.

Practice for today: Practice activating mirror-like awareness today: just seeing what is without preference or judgment. Bare bones. Activate your innate capacity for generous acceptance towards all of your thoughts. Have a great weekend!

Mirrors and jurors


I hope the mirror is panoramic in all directions!

And I realize that putting awareness into words starts to shrink it or brings more suspicion about the ego (instead of letting it just be – monkey). Thank you for the assignment, reflection is fun. Hopefully I’ll forget everything I find out and just go on with the life!

As far as judgement is concerned here is what I find… spheres at play, intersecting, separating, bouncing…

1. Knowing or not-knowing. For me it is the experience of just knowing about reality or opening oneself to know about reality. It is not a deductive process and it is not guess work either. It’s when your whole being knows, not just the mind (as in learned knowledge). it’s like a transfusion or even food or jumping in water.

2. Judgement is unreal and it’s one ego-widget this ego is very fond of. The ego built itself a nice judgement toolbox overtime. I was raised in France and the french know about judgement! Judgement is some big guns of the ego. Paintballs. Circus. Sit up straight please.

3. Dharma inspiration, right intention, right speech, patience, wisdom, morals, generosity, good manners. Through the dharma I’m inspired to let the ego just be for what it’s worth and act according to my essence. Action is always discriminating but when it’s based on sound knowing of reality without ego noise (prejudice, preferences, pleasure principles etc) we are fulfilled and in harmony with the universe.

This arose and I have a question: if a teaching is nicely wrapped and you need that teaching to open the wrapping. what do you do?

Thanks for indulging me in the philosophizing! Throw it away!



zen e-course // day 9 – reality

Written by arnokroner on . Posted in studies, zen

Lesson: In practicing with awareness of thought, the important point is not to be dragged around by thoughts. Activate awareness and return to now–just life as it is right now. Bare reality. This is not the “reality” that you think should be here, or that you don’t want to be here, but what actually is. I say, know where your hands and feet are at all times: not where you think they are, but where they actually are. Awareness of thought is like this: thought forms always disappear in an instant (unless, of course, you interfere with them) and you are left with what is, as it is.

Practice for today: Whenever you find yourself dragged away by thought, shift back to now–your very body, feet, hands, breath. Distinguish between the reality of what is and your thoughts about what is.


in my experience pain is reality, suffering isn’t — joy is reality, pleasure isn’t — a work of art is reality, intellectualizing about it isn’t — a mantra is reality, its syllables are not.

reality is a single word translation for dharma!

here’s some pictures! a while back i photographed the sermon panel at the christian science church at the corner of la brea and hollywood in los angeles. i know i should go listen. that would be real.

and if you are interested here is the book (pdf about 11mb):


many bows.


zen e-course // day 8 – nature of thought

Written by arnokroner on . Posted in studies, zen

Lesson: Zazen enables us to see that thoughts are like bubbles, empty comings and goings. These empty thought forms have particular content. You can create a horrible hell realm in zazen and be caught in your thought-created hell. In the midst of tormenting yourself, your awareness activates and brings you back to the present. The hell realm is gone in an instant. I am sure you have had this wonderfully liberating experience, haven’t you? In zazen, you are not trying to get rid of thoughts, including thoughts of hell realms (remember wholeness?). Rather, you are resting in awareness of thoughts and not being dragged around by them.

Practice for today: Continue to examine thought closely. Are you aware of the moment that you grasp and engage a thought, and what kind of realm you are creating? What is your experience of letting go of this engagement? How clearly do you discern the realms you create through thoughts?

Not Doing Anything Today.

Stormy sitting!
Brother is like me.
But he’s sick
Am I his medicine?
Breathe now

Assignment Eight.
Goes deeper.
Yes. What is this?
What is this constant…

Never changes.
No color.
No sound.
No shape.

What am I doing here!
Come back Mister Buddha!

And Brother…
Breathe again.
It extends,
Thousands of miles away
In one pointed direction


Now I can cry.

Bows to all


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