May 31st ~ Without freedom from the past there is no freedom at all, because the mind is never new, fresh, innocent. It is only the fresh, innocent mind that is free. Freedom has nothing to do with age, it has nothing to do with experience; and it seems to me that the very essence of freedom lies in understanding the whole mechanism of habit, both conscious and unconscious. It is not a question of ending habit, but of seeing totally the structure of habit. You have to observe how habits are formed and how, by denying or resisting one habit, another habit is created. What matters is to be totally conscious of habit; for then, as you will see for yourself there is no longer the formation of habit. To resist habit, to fight it, to deny it, only gives continuity to habit. When you fight a particular habit you give life to that habit, and then the very fighting of it becomes a further habit. But if you are simply aware of the whole structure of habit without resistance, then you will find there is freedom from habit, and in that freedom a new thing takes place.
It is only the dull, sleepy mind that creates and clings to habit. A mind that is attentive from moment to moment–attentive to what it is saying, attentive to the movement to movement of its hand, of its thoughts, of its feeling–will discover that the formation of further habits has come to an end. This is very important to understand, because as long as the mind is breaking down one habit, and in that very process creating another, it can obviously be free; and it is only the free mind that can perceive something beyond itself.
February 8th, 2020 ~Right now, the Zen center I attend is in a practice period. Meditation sessions are often doubled. Another thing that people do is cut out a particular behavior. I decided to stop using a sports app and CNN page. What I notice is that I will make it up in reading more the paper, both the NY Times and local Mercury News. Conditioning is such a pervasive part of our lives. When I don’t do Tai Chi or go for my daily walk, the day doesn’t feel complete. I don’t feel like I accomplished as much. Same with typing in this blog. Looking at this is important to me, too.
As in most posts on Zentrepreneurial.com, italicization of words refers to the words of either Jiddu Krishnamurti or Albert Low. The website writer’s words are in regular text.