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Jan 28, 2023 | Kathy Park JDPSN

Mindfulness, awareness – which one is correct?

Kathy Park JDPSN

Zen means to wake up. Zen practice is not a method in which the subject, being the one who practices, has an object of practice. In Zen, there is no subject or object, no inside or outside. Zen is before thinking. Pure awareness is beyond duality; there is no self who is aware, no awareness being experienced, and no object of awareness, yet there is total clarify. Take away any idea of ‘mindfulness’ or ‘awareness,’ then it is a natural, uncontrived practice of returning to our original true nature. It is just waking up. When we can relax and just wake up fully, we can see clearly, hear clearly, experience clearly, and that it is our natural, original nature, just as it is, complete with nothing missing. To return to it, just pay attention moment to moment, and without make anything, just do it, just become one with everything. When hungry, eat. When someone else is hungry, give them food.


First thing in the morning, set our intention by reciting the Four Great Vows, then sit and do the practice. Just become present 100%. That will carry us through the whole day, like a compass pointing in the right direction, like an unmoving anchor at the core of our existence. With each thing we do in our everyday life, our direction becomes more clear – ‘not for me’. Then moment to moment, we are already saving all beings from suffering.


Nothing we do has good or bad, unless we make good or bad in our minds. It’s not about making a moral decision about each thing we do. Truly beneficial direction in our practice and life moment to moment is, “How can I help you?”


Sentient beings are numberless, we vow to save them all.

Delusions are endless, we vow to cut through them all.

The teachings are infinite, we vow to learn them all.

The Buddha way is inconceivable, we vow to attain it.