Embodying the Extended Mind: Transcript of Al Kaszniak’s Dharma Talk

In the 13th century of the Common Era, Eihei Dogen, a founding ancestor of the Soto tradition of Japanese Zen, that fellow pictured behind me on the Zendo wall, wrote the following words, as translated by Kazuaki Tanahashi and Peter Levitt:

“Mind is skin, flesh, bones, and marrow. Mind is taking up a flower and smiling. There is having mind and having no mind. . . . Blue, yellow, red, and white are mind. Long, short, square, and round are mind. The coming and going of birth and death are mind. Year, month, day, and hour are mind. Dream, phantom, and empty flower are mind. Water, foam, splash, and flame are mind. Spring flowers and autumn moon are mind. All things that arise and fall away are mind. …”


Suffering and the Ending of Reactivity A Bodhi College retreat at Waldhaus am Lachersee, Germany

23 – 29 January – Germany – Stephen & Renate Seifarth
(mainly in German)

Suffering and the Ending of Reactivity
A Bodhi College retreat at Waldhaus am Lachersee


Contact: admin@bodhi-college.org

The Ancient Greeks’ Αρετή (Areté) and the Dharma* or the 4-fold Task by the Buddha

“Now Plato’s hatred of the Sophists makes sense. He and Socrates are defending the Immortal Principle of the Cosmologists against what they consider to be the decadence of the Sophists. Truth. Knowledge. That which is independent of what anyone thinks about it. The ideal that Socrates died for. The ideal that Greece alone possesses for the first time in the history of the world. It is still a very fragile thing. It can disappear completely. Plato abhors and damns the Sophists without restraint, not because they are low and immoral people…there are obviously much lower and more immoral people in Greece he completely ignores. He damns them because they threaten mankind’s first beginning grasp of the idea of truth. That’s what it is all about.
Quality! Virtue! *Dharma! That is what the Sophists were teaching! Not ethical relativism.
Not pristine “virtue.”
Areté implies a respect for the wholeness or oneness of life, and a consequent dislike of specialization. It implies a contempt for efficiency…or rather a much higher idea of efficiency, an efficiency which exists not in one department of life but in life itself.”

Source: Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M. Pirisg

Mindfulness Works but Only If You Work at It

From Harvard Business Review:

The Mindful Leader: Research Findings

Developing the capacity for resilience and collaboration in complex times through mindfulness practice

“Mindfulness — a way of paying attention with care and discernment to yourself, others, and the world around you — has been much researched. But although evidence from clinical contexts suggests that mindfulness provides many benefits, few studies have been conducted with business leaders. This means that basic questions have remained unanswered. For example, does mindfulness training actually improve leadership capacities? If it does, how? And how much effort do you need to make to achieve results?

Trying to answer these and other important questions, we conducted the world’s first study of a multisession mindful leader program, which included a wait-list control group. Half of the participants received their training immediately and the other half received it later, but we measured key characteristics in both groups at the same times. By comparing the two groups’ results, we were able to discover what the effect of training really was.

Leaders can rarely develop a new habit, including practicing mindfulness, without help and support from others. Some leaders in our research received generous encouragement from their partners and work colleagues. In moments when they might have given up, this support sustained them. Others were met with cynicism and in a few cases were even teased.