hand holding a birds nest engaging

Engaging With the World

Instead of retreating from the world, being human means fully engaging with it.
 
One of the Zen koans I find thought-provoking is “Nothing Exists“. Its message is simple: to experience enlightenment, you cannot distance yourself from reality. That is a common misunderstanding about Zen. It is easy to think that to achieve a sense of peace, you should attempt to reach a place where nothing can touch your inner mind.
 
While emptying your mind is a common meditative practice, it should lead to a state of mindfulness. This state is the place of no-thought. No-thought does not mean nothing is going on in your head. It means that you allow your mind to flow around and through your perception of reality. You become one with everything that is, and feel your place in that reality.
 
This brings the world into your mind, engaging with everything that is. Distance from the world only leads to a loss of that engagement.

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