Saturday, June 30, 2012

4th of July Book Giveaway

Head over to my Facebook page ( to enter the book giveaway.  Just "Like" the page and comment on the giveaway post.  Have a good weekend!

Friday, June 29, 2012


Words cannot describe reality. We must observe it without weighing it down with thoughts. There is no room for verbs and nouns in the gossamer, shimmering, transient and eternal Moment.

Language is not only insufficient to describe our existence, it gets in the way of seeing our existence.  All those thoughts in your head? They drown out the only real thing that has ever existed, which is simply the Present Moment.

Through meditation, we quiet the mind in order to finally arrive in the Present Moment. Yammering Mind must quiet down before we can hear the world around us.

If nothing else, take a minute to breathe and count breaths. Stop the plans, monologs, and soliloquies that play out in the self.  Put them on hold for a few minutes, and simply listen and see.

Meditate every day to quiet the mind and observe the Present Moment.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Work On My New Book is Underway

Now that I have looked up how to spell the word "consciousness,"  my new book can begin.  I'm writing right now about how babies don't seem to ever worry about bank balances, and other nonsense.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

The Knower & The Known are One

The experience and the person experiencing it are the same thing.  There is just experience, happening.  You and the thing experienced are not separate, you are the same thing.  The knower and the known are one.

'The notion of a separate thinker, of an "I" distinct from experience, comes from memory and from the rapidity with which thought changes...When you see clearly that memory is a form of present experience, it will be obvious that trying to separate yourself from this experience is as impossible as trying to make your teeth bite themselves. There is simply experience. There is not something or someone experiencing experience! You do not feel feelings, think thoughts, or sense sensations any more than you hear hearing, see sight, or smell smelling.' – Alan Watts

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Practice, Practice, Practice

There's a joke that goes like this:

Q: “How do you get to Carnegie Hall?”
A: “Practice, practice, practice.”

The reason it's called "Zen practice" is because you aren't working toward something you will accomplish in the future.  Zen happens now, all the time.  There is no Carnegie Hall Super Enlightenment Concert waiting at the end of a few years of practice.

You practice in the same way you would practice anything else: pay attention and put forth all of your effort . . . to pay attention to the Present Moment.

You will never get to Zen Carnegie Hall.  All of the world, the entire Universe is your practice studio.  You must practice every day to get "good" at seeing the Present Moment, but even that cannot be your goal. You cannot even have the goal in mind to get "better" at focusing in the Present at some point in the "future."  You must just focus on the Present right now.

Practice itself is the end we seek. It is not a means for some future success.  It is the practice and the concert all rolled into one.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


Congrats to Jim for winning the Father's Day book giveaway.  He'll be getting a copy of Get Your Zen On in the mail.  Congrats!  There will be another giveaway on another holiday, not sure which just yet.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Don't Overdo It

Fill your bowl to the brim and it will spill. Keep sharpening your knife and it will blunt.Chase after money and security and your heart will never unclench.Care about people's approval and you will be their prisoner.
Do your work, then step back. The only path to serenity. 
-- Lao Tzu, the Tao Che Ching

You can't expect everything to go perfect, nor can you expect everything to go your way. Well, you can expect those things, but you will be sadly disappointed.  

Pushing too hard ruins everything.

In the same way you shouldn't swing too hard during a golf swing, you shouldn't keep piling onto a situation until it collapses (or you collapse).  There is such a thing as finesse and understatement.  Have you ever seen one of those yards where there are too many lawn ornaments?  Or been around someone who has put on too much cologne or perfume?

You can screw up life itself if you add too much, force the issue, or fail to see when it is time to quit.

Do what needs to be done, but nothing more.  That work ethic they've been preaching?  That's just a trick to make you work harder.  Do a good job, but don't kill yourself over it.

Relax and do your work.  Ignore other people.

Sunday, June 17, 2012


For Father's Day, I'm giving away a free copy of my book, Get Your Zen On.  Simply go to my Facebook page "Like" the Dan Manning Author page (if you haven't already)  then "Share" the Status Update that is linked back to this post.


You can G+ it with the Google Plus button on this page.  You can do both, but it won't increase your chances.  But knock yourself out!

Winner will be picked at random Tuesday, June 19 at 12 noon EST.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

A Dandelion Is Also

Everything you have been told about who you should be, and everything you have told yourself you should be, is false.  You already are what you should be.  Many of the ideas you have about who and what you should be are put there as a means to some other end.

You are not a means to some other end.  You do not exist to parent.  You do not exist to work. You do not exist to make money. You do not exist to study.  You do not exist to be a friend to someone else, nor do you exist to be dependent on someone else. You do not exist to serve a higher power, an idea or a dream. You do not even exist to exist.

You exist.

Reexamine all of these expectations from within and without and question everything.  Abandon reason. Do those other things.  Be responsible.  Help others.  But know that those activities do not define who and what you are.

You are beyond definition.  You are a complete manifestation of the universe. (Don't let it go to your head.  A dandelion is also a complete manifestation of the universe.)  The entire universe, all causes and effects up to this moment, have led up to you being exactly as you are. Everything you have been told about who you should be, and everything you have told yourself you should be, is false.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

One Super-Long Splash

A splash of water is many different droplets of water that separate temporarily before dropping back into the lake, stream, ocean, or glass.  There is one splash, but the droplets seem separate.

Do you have anything against certain groups of people?  The ones blowing things up, or "taking advantage of the system," or daring to believe in political or religious ideas different from your own? The ones with too much money, or not enough?  Do people who look different or sound different make you uncomfortable?

(Hint: It's okay; humans fear the unknown and unfamiliar.  The answer is "yes.")

All of those "other people" are just part of a splash of humanity that has been in one super-long splash for at least 12K years, but the chain of causes causing all of this human activity goes back all the way to infinity.  The 7+ billion people on this planet are just a temporary spasm of biological activity.  The chain of causes and effects that causes everyone to do everything they do is working not only on you, but also everyone around you.  The same chain of causes and effects connects every synapse and the activity of every synapse in every brain.  The great splash of humanity will one day return to the earth, because time and gravity is going to make darn sure it happens.

So you and all of the people who annoy you are all part of the same splash of causes and effects.  They're just going through changes, just like you.

There Is No Such Thing As Angry Buddha

Anger and frustration stem from craving for things to be other than they are.  Everything happens at the exact time it should, in the exact way.  "Misfortune" is the result of an infinite series of causes and effects.  Anger results when we crave things to be different from the way they are.  Examine your anger.  It is coming from your brain.

Patience is a science.  That's why the two words have similar spellings.  Science stuff involves a lot of trial and error.

Of course we work to improve our lives and the lives of others, but we must practice doing it with calm and patience.  This takes lots of practice.  You have your entire life to work with.

There is no such thing as Angry Buddha.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Stoplight Kindness Meditation

If we add it all up, we spend a lot of time waiting at red lights.  Take this time to meditate on how you and all those other people (traffic) are sharing the road.

Remember when you are at a busy intersection and you are waiting at a red light, that although you have to wait, all those other people get to go.  Be happy for them.  Don't just think about it intellectually.  Don't force yourself to think it.  Feel it.  Meditate on that next time you are at a red light.  Those people are as important as you.  Their errands seem to them to be the most important errands in the world.  Meditate on that until you can actually feel happy for them while you wait your turn.  That takes a lot of practice.
Hello, My name is Dan Manning, and I've written a book titled "Get Your Zen On."

In this blog I hope to share my thoughts about Zen and meditation.

I'll post soon.  Until then, close your eyes for a few second and take a deep breath.


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