May 5, 2020, Dharma Talk, Bill Cooper, Bellevue WA
In Stephen and Martine Batchelor’s new book there is this quote by Dahui:
“The one who can recognize dim and dull is definitely not dim and dull.” What do you think about this? Even better, can you just see the point?
Here we have Buddhism, or at least Zen, in its completeness. We are encouraged not to get lost in self judgement, or any thought, dim or dull, but to come back to the practice of mindfulness, being aware.
Aware of what? One could answer the present moment. OK, and how do we do this? Mindfulness is linked to states of recollection and remembering, but not necessarily of past events. I believe this teaching encourages us to remember the present moment, to recall our practice of mindfulness, and to do it in the present.
This is not my teaching, or interpretation. It’s stated throughout Buddhist texts, oftentimes as, seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching and thinking. In contemporary teachers I find it in writings of Ajahn Sumedho, most recently in his book “Don’t Take Your Life Personally.” Here is some of what he has to say:
I encourage you therefore to trust in the awareness of the present and to carry it through by really working at it, by really questioning. When you start thinking about yourself…notice that it is a mental state you are creating and then notice simply that it is ‘like this.’
It isn’t a question of denying those things [our thoughts] but you will no longer identify or attach to them; you will rather recognize that it is ‘like this.’ 
(I have to qualify this last sentence. We may occasionally recognize or be able to see that it is ‘like this,’ but it won’t become a permanent mental state– that would in fact violate the Buddhist teaching of impermanence.)
So, please don’t look for a big experience in your practice or something confirming how wonderful or enlightened you are. Those are daydreams. Mindfulness is the practice of remembering to be aware of what’s in front of us, and fortunately, it’s ordinary and always here. It’s like this.
 What is This?, Batchelor, Martine and Stephen, Tuwhiri, May, 2019, p. 108.
 Don’t Take Your Life Personally, Sumedho, Ajahn, Buddhist Publishing Group, 2010, p. 88.