Stop trying to wiggle through loopholes (part 3)

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This is the third installment of a series of emails about the famous Zen koan (puzzle story) called “Joshu’s Mu”. If you haven’t read the first two installments (or done the exercises in them), you MUST do so first BEFORE reading this email. Otherwise this discussion won’t make much sense. So don’t be a poot-butt. […]

What every seeker brings to Zen

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In Friday’s email, we were discussing a Zen koan (“story puzzle”). Specifically we were discussing Joshu’s “Mu” story. For many of us, this koan was our first introduction to Zen practice. We were expected to meditate on it until we’ve “solved” the puzzle presented by the koan. Unfortunately today, koan are presented out of context. […]

A Zen master gives the WRONG answer

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A monk asked Master Joshu, “Has the dog the Buddha nature?” Joshu replied, “Mu”   For many of us, this koan (“story puzzle”) was our first introduction to Zen practice. The Roshi (Japanese for “teacher”) presented us with this “Mu” koan. We were expected to meditate on it until we’ve “solved” the puzzle presented by […]

And the mindful number is 201,657

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The mindful number is 201,657. It was just about a year ago that I announced I would be starting a daily email on mindfulness. Now, I’ve been sending emails to students since 1997. At times, I’ve even done daily emails in our Tai Chi programs. But usually, those daily email sequences are only a few […]

That’s poor customer service

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I got an email the other day from Mindful Master Matthew. Mathew has been one of our most dedicated members. He’s been in my courses and programs since 2007. He emailed me the other day after he got his Mindful Masters newsletter. There was a problem. It was water damaged. He said that it looked […]

You are NOT mindfully listening

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Saying the word “water” doesn’t make you wet. Doesn’t matter how many times you say it. You can say it a hundred times and still be dry as bone. Same with thinking about water. You can think, meditate, and visualize water all you want. But you’ll still be high and dry. Because the only way […]

There are no individuals here

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“There are no individuals here. We are the Borg.” – Star Trek: Voyager, “Survival Instinct”, Season 6, Episode 2 “We are the government.” – from an email received last week   Five TV series, twelve feature films, hundreds of books, an animated series, comics (excuse me, graphic novels), games, fan fiction – there’s a lot […]

Render unto Caesar

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So as I’m writing this email, I’m sitting in a lobby of an office building. I’m waiting for an appointment with my accountant. For those of you outside the U.S., April is the time of year when subjects of the empire render unto Caesar not only what is Caesar’s, but a good portion of what […]

The $10,000 question of mindfulness

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In yesterday’s email, I talked about a licensed clinical social worker. He had signed up for one of our mindfulness courses. He wanted to see if the course would be right for some of his clients. The end result was that I cancelled his order. I wouldn’t send him the course under those conditions.   […]

Mindfulness is not for others …

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This past weekend, I offered a special discount on one of our mindfulness courses. One person ordered the course, and then sent me this email …   —–Original Message—– From: [name withheld] To: Al Simon Sent: Saturday, April 05, 2014 6:05:07 AM What, if any, experiences do you have, with your program, in treating sexual […]