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The Zen of Sports and Athletics

"In a Zen state of mind, you do not worry ... you don't give your thoughts to your opponent, you don't give your power or thoughts to success or failure, you don't care about the crowd that's watching you or the fact that no one is watching you. There is only one thought -- one feeling -- and that is becoming one with the play, with the move, with the action, with the sequence, with the team." Rama - Dr. Frederick Lenz "So in the Zen of sports and athletics, we seek to bring discipline and control into our physical movements, but at the same time to eliminate the Self.… The emptiness of play -- or we could call it the fullness -- is when there is no self present. There is no one playing; there is only play itself taking place, perfect fluid motion." Rama - Dr. Frederick Lenz "A person who practices sports and athletics, who is able to stop their thoughts during the play and allow the universe to spill through them, is capable of great magic." Rama - Dr. Frederick Lenz

Zazen: Concentration and Meditation

"There are two practices -- concentration and meditation. For the first year or two, you probably will be almost exclusively practicing concentration. You will try meditating, but it won't come until later... When you concentrate, you're focusing on something. When you meditate, you're letting go and dissolving, you're seeking to stop all thought.

"It is very hard to stop your thoughts. Try it. Not to have one thought, image, idea, or associative feeling in the mind is difficult for most people. Rather than just trying to stop your thoughts, which is hard and frustrating, it's easier to concentrate and focus on something. As you focus completely on something, all other thoughts will be forced out of the mind because your attention will be dominated by the object of concentration. This develops your mental power exquisitely." Rama - Dr. Frederick Lenz

Karma

“Karma, first of all, is engendered by states of mind. It’s best to think of karma, not so much in terms of physical action, but as waveforms of vibratory energy. Karma is your own energy -- the energy patterns that emanate from your life, from your actions, from your thoughts, feelings and desires…. If you could see the earth from a vibratory point of view and not be distracted by the physical, you would see something like radio waves, billions of them, cascading constantly in very complex patterns all over the earth. These waves are emitted from the thoughts, feelings and actions of each individual life form here. That's what karma is.” Rama - Dr. Frederick Lenz

Overcoming Stress

“Why does a person experience stress? Stress occurs because that which is within you -- which is light, intelligence, energy -- wants to do certain things and doesn't want to do other things. And that changes. Stress is a result of the fact that you're out of tune with your life and your inner being. If you are doing that which is within you, what that part of you that is beyond (the) body would like you to do, then you would not experience stress, because you would be very fulfilled." Rama - Dr. Frederick Lenz

"Meditation is the process of stilling the outer surface mind so that you can become aware of the deeper mind within, which has all the answers. Your deeper mind knows everything already. If you can gain control of the surface mind, then the deeper mind will control the surface mind… it will send it the right thoughts and inspirations and feelings…. That deeper mind will direct you. And if you follow its directions, once you've learned to get in touch with it, then you will overcome stress. That is my solution to stress.” Rama - Dr. Frederick Lenz

Neutral Density

"The universe is actually alive. It is intelligence -- an intelligence that far surpasses anything that has yet been seen or dreamed or imagined. And you enter into that intelligence. You are it. You're a reflection of it. But to see it all, to be it, to be that totality -- that's what attracts a few of us to perpetually go forward into it. And it's neither moral nor amoral, good nor bad. It's not an achievement. It's just what you're drawn to. We're drawn back to the sea of eternity ... and along the way there are places you can get stuck." Rama - Dr. Frederick Lenz

Miracles

"I like miracles. They inspire me. Miracles cause you to believe, to have faith in the unseen, to look further into things. So miracles have a purpose. Miracles help people believe in enlightenment.... But the real miracle, obviously, is the transformation of consciousness from limitation and pain to enlightenment and ecstasy." Rama - Dr. Frederick Lenz

Career Success

"A Buddhist monastery has a certain chemistry. There’s a certain laughter, a certain excitement, a certain brightness and ebullience, and it’s hard to capture that here (in the West). I think that same brightness here is captured in another way, and that’s by living and working in the world." Rama - Dr. Frederick Lenz

Personal Happiness

"What makes us happy is contact with Light. As you have experiences with the inner light, which are gained through the practice of meditation and Buddhism, it immediately delights you." Rama - Dr. Frederick Lenz

The Best Meditation I Ever Had

In advanced meditation we are trying to undo the most perfect perceptual states because we realize they are still limited. In advanced practice, we come back to all those things we set aside in earlier religious/spiritual practices - careers, relationships, etc. - to experience/see/know that God exist in all things.

Computer Science

Computer programming is a field in which you use analytic techniques very similar to techniques that Buddhists have used for thousands of years to refine the mind. It is a wonderful career for people who are drawn to meditation.

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