The Importance of Nothing

This week, Zac led our Sangha examining the concept of “nothing to do”.

He played a talk by Gil Fronsdal, available here:

https://www.audiodharma.org/talks/audio_player/8989.html

Here are some of Zac’s other notes:

Saṁyutta Nikāya 12:15:
That things exist, O Kaccayana, is one extreme of view. That things do not exist is another. Rejecting both these extremes, the Tathagata points out the Dhamma via the middle.

Buddha is your mind
And the Way goes nowhere.
Don’t look for anything but this.
If you point your cart north
When you want to go south,
How will you arrive?
– Ryokan (1758–1831)

Do Nothing | Shinzen (see p. 40 in Five Ways)

Basic Instructions:
Let whatever happens, happen.
Whenever you’re aware of an intention to control your attention, drop that intention.

Free and Easy

A Spontaneous Vajra Song
-By Venerable Lama Gendun Rinpoche
from: https://www.peterrussell.com/Odds/Gendun.php

Happiness can not be found
through great effort and willpower,
but is already present,
in open relaxation and letting go.

Don’t strain yourself,
there is nothing to do or undo.
Whatever momentarily arises
in the body-mind
has no real importance at all,
has little reality whatsoever.
Why identify with,
and become attached to it,
passing judgment upon it and ourselves?

Far better to simply
let the entire game happen on its own,
springing up and falling back like waves
without changing or manipulating anything
and notice how everything vanishes and reappears, magically,
again and again, time without end.

Only our searching for happiness
prevents us from seeing it.
It’s like a vivid rainbow which you pursue
without ever catching,
or a dog chasing its own tail.

Although peace and happiness
do not exist as an actual thing or place,
it is always available
and accompanies you every instant.

Don’t believe in the reality of good and bad experiences;
they are like today’s ephemeral weather,
like rainbows in the sky.

Wanting to grasp the ungraspable,
you exhaust yourself in vain.
As soon as you open and relax
this tight fist of grasping,
infinite space is there –
open, inviting and comfortable.

Make use of this spaciousness,
this freedom and natural ease.
Don’t search any further
looking for the great awakened elephant,
who is already resting quietly at home
in front of your own hearth.

Nothing to do or undo,
nothing to force,
nothing to want,
and nothing missing –

Emaho! Marvelous!
Everything happens by itself.

“Simple Gifts”
written by Elder Joseph while he was at the Shaker community in Alfred, Maine.

‘Tis the gift to be simple, ’tis the gift to be free
‘Tis the gift to come down where we ought to be,
And when we find ourselves in the place just right,
‘Twill be in the valley of love and delight.
When true simplicity is gained,
To bow and to bend we shan’t be ashamed,
To turn, turn will be our delight,
Till by turning, turning we come ’round right.

Simple Gifts – Yo-Yo Ma and Alison Krauss