Once Upon a Zen Time…

In general

There are so many beautiful stories from the wisdom traditions. This Nano-Teaching features a story from the Zen school.

It’s a story about the laughing Buddha.
You’ve probably seen statues of this round-bellied laughing Buddha.  His big belly symbolizes awakening incarnate. He’s the embodiment of meditative presence who teaches the art of living meditation.

Meditation is the key practice of the awakening life.
In every culture, time, and place the sages have all pointed to the practice of meditation as the golden key to awakening .

It’s pretty clear what meditation looks like when we’re on the cushion.
Settle, breathe, notice attention wandering, return to the object of meditation, open to the depths of the present moment.
But, what about when you’re walking through your life?

What does meditation look like in action?
How can you embody and actualize meditation off the cushion? That’s what this Nano-teaching and the story of the laughing Buddha is all about.

Let us know:

  • What bag are you carrying?
  • What would it look like for you to embody awakening . . . today?

Share in the comments below

Love & Shanti

E & D


This Nano-teaching is from drawn from a month-long program.
It was a deep dive, offered to members of  the Wisdom Heart Community (which is open to everyone here).

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  • Isis Wisdom

    So, for a long time when I was a student I was compelled to make these drawings (just for myself over and over) of a figure carrying a bag of belongings (like those old fashioned tied-up-in-a-handkerchief on a stick against your shoulder kind of bag) across a barren landscape, usually toward a hill/mountain. I wasn’t sure entirely why I was drawing them but knowing what was going on in the feeling of my spiritual search then, beyond the journey itself, I was very much imaging literally what you describe about the practice here. Thank you for this nano teaching, Eric. I will return to listen to it again as it has such a well-articulated confluence of good reminders in it. Shanti.

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