No Trace. No Self. No Problem.

Via Benjamin Riggs
on Mar 30, 2011
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Let go of who you were, so you can be yourself!

“In order not to leave any traces, when you do something, you should do it with your whole body and mind; you should be concentrated on what you do. You should do it completely, like a good bonfire. You should not be a smoky fire. You should burn yourself completely. If you do not burn yourself completely, a trace of yourself will be left in what you do. You will have something remaining which is not completely burned out. Zen activity is activity which is completely burned out, with nothing remaining but ashes. This is what Dogen meant when he said, ‘Ashes do not come back to firewood.” Ash is ash. The firewood should be firewood. When this kind of activity takes place, one activity covers everything…

When you do something, you should burn yourself up completely, like a good bonfire, leaving no trace of yourself.

You should not have any remains after you do something. But this does not mean to forget all about it. If you understand this point, all dualistic thinking all the problems of life will vanish.” ~from Zen Mind, Beginners Mind by Shunryu Suzuki

Alan Watts talks about this is the context of Yoga and Western culture… Brilliant!

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About Benjamin Riggs

Ben Riggs is the author of Finding God in the Body: A Spiritual Path for the Modern West. He is also the director of the Refuge Meditation Group in Shreveport, LA and a teacher at Explore Yoga. Ben writes extensively about Buddhist and Christian spirituality on Elephant Journal, and his blog. Click here to listen to the Finding God in the Body Podcast. To keep up with all of his work follow him on Facebook or Twitter.


4 Responses to “No Trace. No Self. No Problem.”

  1. TouchstoneZ says:

    This is a difficult post for me. I enjoy the idea of burning myself out. But, since I had children, I find that I must keep a reserve of myself always in order to give freely to them. Perhaps I am not grasping the concept entirely and am burning beyond what would be healthy or perhaps it is an issue of viewing the various aspects I'm involved in as separated. When viewed as a whole, I am burning it all out.

  2. yogiclarebear says:

    Excellent Benjamin. I've been trying to practice this theme lately…doing yoga for "no reason." Letting all reasons, expectations, goals, ideas flow away and to simply be in each breath…

    Thanks for the post, another philosopher to add to my "check this one out" list. 😉

  3. Greetings,

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    With the availability of the internet, we can make known this valuable knowledge. Let's take this revealing scientific evidence viral through the social networks. See link:….

    Dr. Damon Sprock

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