November 24, 2019

Awakening To Better Things

In the year 1200, Zen Master Dogen spoke about what he termed the Eight Awakenings. What he had to say is still relevant 800 years later.

The Eight Awakenings 

1. Have few desires.

2. Know when enough is enough.

3. Enjoy serenity and solitude.

4. Give diligent effort.

5. Uphold mindfulness.

6. Practice meditation.

7. Cultivate wisdom.

8. Steer clear of hollow discussions. 

I am imagining, and working diligently toward, a global awakening. It starts with personal awakening, which is somehow more difficult. First change yourself, then change the world.

Perhaps it will begin when we practice awakening number 8 at Thanksgiving supper.

Imagine an awakened mind. Imagine an awakened world.

What we think about the most is what we become.

I'm thinking about being better. Doing better. Creating better.

My affirmation today is:

Humanity is awakening to better things.


  1. We should all strive to be 'better' people, but sadly there are those around us who do their best to thwart our intentions; be they personal, commercial, or political. Regardless, we should all take note of Dogen's wise words.

    1. We must make ourselves unthwartable if we are to improve. There are powerful forces working against us. We will be victorious.

    2. “The good one is the one who, no matter how morally unworthy they have been, is moving to become better.”

      ― John Dewey

  2. Anonymous11/25/2019

    I read part 1 of the Shobogenzo some years ago, quite an interesting read. Dogen was certainly one of the most philosophical of the zen writers and of course a key figure in the Soto tradition. .

    1. There is treasure to be had in this life, Dogen tells us, but it can only be found by sitting quietly and going within ourselves. You don't need a car, or any other consumer crap, to do that. Indeed, all that stuff is just a distraction from our true purpose.

  3. Anonymous11/27/2019

    #8 on this list grabbed my attention most. Seems there is so much yammering about nothing in every aspect of life. Which drowns out the really important conversations. I have been guilty of, if not hollow, rather mindless and meaningless conversation - maybe just for conversations sake. Thanks for all these timely reminders. - Mary

    1. We are all guilty. But it is never too late to make it a goal to only talk about things that help make us and the world a better place. That would eliminate a lot of popular (but useless) topics, thus simplifying conversations, and life.


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