Zazen is no ordinary practice. In fact, Zazen requires great humility. Humus means earth, returning to the earth of the mind, returning to the mind in its most original form. Zazen requires us to let our thoughts pass, not to identify with our thoughts; thoughts are productions of the mind or rather, a particular functioning mode of the mind. To perceive is a function of the mind, to remember is a function of the mind, to accumulate knowledge is a function of the mind, to think is a function of the mind… These are functions of the mind, just like cutting is the function of a knife. But what is required in Zazen is to return to the essence of the mind, to the mind in its original form.

To listen to a sound is to settle on one aspect of reality. We can focus on an event of the past to remember it. In both cases, because we have an intention, we obstruct the river of the mind, which flows freely by itself. In Zazen, we abandon all intentions, we don’t try to produce anything, we just return to the pure mind with which we can see reality as it is.

When we look at the evolution of human beings, homo erectus – the one who stands up on their two legs, who leaves the animal position – becomes homo sapiens – the one who uses their knowledge – who later becomes sapiens sapiens – the one who tries to be equal to the gods, to be the master of Creation. This is a type of functioning that aims to obtain, to control.

In Zazen, we completely let go of this mode of functioning, we don’t settle on anything, nothing is fixed in Zazen: we go back to our primary, original dimension, to Buddha – this is no ordinary thing. All the functions of the mind are used elsewhere in our lives, but not in Zazen; we do something else, we go to the essence, to what is essential, to pure existence, the mind free of all intention.

It is a great form of humility to return to Buddha, to consider that before being a thinking being, we are a living being. Please, understand by yourself why Zazen is so important, why the root is important. If the root is strong, the branches, the leaves, the flowers are beautiful.

To have a sick mind is to fixate on one aspect and to forget the others. Some people do nothing but accumulate knowledge, others keep remembering the past, living incessantly trying to find the truth in the ashes of the past. Other people are always analysing, analysing to be ahead of the others or to take even more advantage of the situation. All this leads to madness.

Access the mind in its original form, access intentionlessness, stop wanting to be the master of the world, stop wanting to profit from everything, to exploit everything. Understand the necessity for our life to be rooted in eternity, in reality, in truth. It is through humility that we return to our unsurpassable Buddha dimension.

Even if human beings, because they have great capabilities, want to be the king of Creation, or the eldest son of Creation, all the same they are only Buddha’s children. Their real family is that of Buddha, and for this reason, they must show humility. Arrogance is a form of madness, wanting to control everything, believing we are superior to others is a form of madness. To trust no-one, only your own selfishness, is a form of madness. Above all, we are Buddha.

Taiun JP Faure, May 2024

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