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"Think of the way a baby looks at the world, seeing everything for the first time without any preconceived notions or expectations.  Look at a wise old Zen master and see the similarities."

I do not understand why this would be a good thing. I understand the monkey thing but this escapes me. My world is full of expections and preconcieved notions. I could not open a door if I did not expect the door knob to work. I could not operate my pistol if I did not know to pull the trigger. I expect it to go bang when I do pull the trigger. I don't have to think about these things when I do them because of preconcieved notions.

I'm trying to hard arn't I?

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BamBam,

I enjoy both of those books as well. Zen flesh, Zen bones was a constant companion for many years.

Ss,

Yes. :)

None of this is to say that knowledge, thought, or preconceived notions are bad. It's only to show their limitations when moving from the gathering, learning stage to the performing, acting moment. To perform/act, at the highest sense, you must let go of your accumulated knowledge so your body can freely, without restraint, manifest (into action) what it has learned. Is it necessary to think about walking while you walk around all day? What about when you walk on a log over a canyon? Somewhere between the two is the optimum performing/acting state.

It doesn't matter what your natural tendencies and preferences are, (logic vs intuition), if you are thinking while acting then you are not fully acting. Again, while thinking is necessary and useful, it becomes a hindrance when only action is necessary - because the very nature (function) of thinking STOPS the natural, fluid movement of the mind's awareness. Hence the Zen master’s reference about seeing (the world) as a child.

We must "open up" (to awareness) to effectively put what we’ve learned and trained into action. Combine the experience of the seasoned practitioner with the alert awareness of the beginner (who's mind is not crammed full of "ideas"), and you have the master. The title of Suziki Roshi's book - Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind - says this. And this is only "emphasized" because our tendency, as adults, is to THINK ABOUT EVERYTHING. Too much of one thing is not good. And too much thinking is not good - if we desire impeccable performance (from the body).

Use the tool of awareness, which allows realization and learning to occur in the first place, to return to awareness. Being aware without thinking – paying attention - allows what we've learned to manifest as action. Or in other words, don't forget to be aware, that's what allows learning in the first place. Think about it -  is it possible to "learn" when you’re not listening? And listening doesn’t occur just with your ears. When you pay attention with all your senses, your whole body is "listening," and learning. Everything (good) has awareness for its root. Everything you know is produced by self-awareness - why not use it?

Remain aware,  

be there

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BE,

I understood that!! You used the right words that time!

I'm usually a very fast reader with good comprehension. The first section of your book choked me. It took me forever to get through section 1. I would read it, get confused, reread it, get confused...........

I'm going to reread it again tonite. Maby I'll get it this time.  :)

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SS - One other note about the baby/zen master thing.  The similarities are not only in awareness, but you can also say in "appearance".  Is it a coincidence that as babies we start the world bald, and that as we age and become wiser we eventually return to that very same appearance!!

There is a Zen story that goes something like this:  An American professor went to the East to learn about Zen.  He met with a Master who sat him at a table and offered a cup of tea.  He proceeded to fill the American's cup to the top and then kept pouring... thus spilling tea upon the table.  The American professor exclaimed, "The cup is full and will not hold anymore."  The Zen Master replied, "As you are full of preconceived notions.  How can I fill your cup until you empty it completely".

Basically, you can't input the "complete" lesson if you start with preconceived notions.  If your cup is even partially full, you cannot contain an entire serving.

All of this can be applied to shooting IPSC.  Probably a part of why Mr. Enos is such a success.  If you are expecting to run a stage a certain way and something goes awry, those expectations will cause you more problems than you might otherwise have experienced.  If you shot the stage as "an infinite series of immediate moments" nothing ahead or behind the current action would be affecting you.  By being totally in tune with the most immediate of moments you will find the actual flow of events turn out far better than the preconceived and planned event you might have imagined.

You do not need to "expect" the gun to fire when you pull the trigger.  It will or it won't.  Thinking about what "should" happen has no effect on what WILL happen.  Wouldn't it be more efficient to be in the immediate moment and focus entirely on what IS happening without any preconceived notions?  

More often than not, Zen seems like tricky doubletalk.  But it is really so simple that it only appears to be confusing.  That's because we try to overthink what is already plainly there.  

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Note: The following is not necessary to enhance anything previously posted in this thread. Meaning, you can just forget about it.

As humans, we possess an inherent capacity to direct our attention toward specific areas. Therein lies the secret of changing behavior. Nevertheless, before embarking on attention directing behavior, it can be helpful to know exactly where to direct our attention. We can obtain this information in two ways: personal trial and error, or seeking the advice of a seasoned practitioner in your area of endeavor.

I believe and know that it is possible to create "what happens" in our mind - before it happens. Our failure to know and control this is due only to (our) unknown knowledge of the power of the mind to create. If you REALLY look into it, you'll find that everything that has manifested in your life to this point is due to "the power of the mind to create." We just don't know it (we're unaware of it), which is why it so difficult to change behavior. Buddhists call this karma. Karma is the result of unaware grasping and clinging, or attachment. The good news is that attachment producing behavior  is observable, thereby capable of being changed. Just look into your own thoughts, your own mind, and you will realize why everything is the way it is.

be there.

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I've been a believer in the power of positive thinking for many years.

As your concious mind dwells, your subconcious mind will bring about the changes neccessary in your life to make it happen.

Thanks for working hard BE. Do you know what a N-Gram is?

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BE,

It is a term coined by L. Ron Hubbard to describe "blocks" between the concious mind and the subconcious mind blah,blah,blah. He believed these blocks could be removed allowing us to realize the full power of our minds.

I'm not into L. Ron but I did read Dianetics because I worked for a guy that was totally into him and he made me curious.

I was just poking around to see where your head was.

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Ss,

I've looked for my head (for 25+ years), but can't find it! :)

On the LRon thing - yea, and he'd tell you, or no, one of his associates would tell you, how to remove those blocks - for quite a fee! LRon scares me. ;)

be

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  • 2 weeks later...

I tagged this onto the changing behavior post above:

If we want to seriously change an aspect of  behavior, first we must understand/know that cause and effect are not different. Whatever we do (our behavior) does not just occur randomly, it "arises" due to the demands or conditions of the moment. What arises depends on what we have accumulated.

Myriad learned skills, mental or physical, manifest according to demands of the moment. Moreover, the level at which our learned skills actually manifest is influenced by two factors. The first, simply, the amount of our attention directed precisely at what is happening. Second, and widely variable, our degree of emotional attachment to what is occurring, mentally and physically, at that exact moment.

Knowing that all behavior has its roots in our accumulated experience – why can’t we change an aspect of our behavior that we want to? Or, why is it so difficult to really make a change? Not just a superficial, temporary change, but a  lasting transformation. The only reason we can’t or don’t transform aspects of our behavior is because we are unaware of the causes of our own behavior. Therein lies the great power of awareness - it illumines previously hidden "origins" – causes – that remain hidden in our mind. Only when we see what causes "what happens," is it possible to (potentially) change what happens. And the good thing is that causes exist in, and are observable in, our attachments and conclusions which reside in our own mind. Our mental reside, so to speak. So if you care to make a change, look into personal tendencies, preferences, opinions, and beliefs – the tool of just looking at and exposing the source will illumine the path for change.

be

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  • 1 year later...

Howdy all. First post here. I started shooting USPSA a year ago and Love it. I find reading about "My Zen" very informative.

At every match just before that ever so scary "beep" I take a moment to get into my Zen.

I basically relax and concentrate on just the task at hand. I do a few simple breathing exercises as someone posted your Zen is in between your inhale and exhale.

As I become relaxed I focus my energy into the stage. After a year, I am only a "C" shooter but I find when I don't take that moment I really can mess up the stage.

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