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  • SIT-A-LONG with Jundo - TO ALL SOLO PRACTITIONERS: Don't Be A Selfish Pratyeka-buddha

    Many times I hear folks say that they want to practice on their own, and not join in a Buddhist Community, because doing so gets in the way of their own practicing and sitting. They say that other people or having a teacher are a distraction, take up "my" precious time, are not a benefit to "me".

    Well, I say: Don't be a selfish sitter, a Pratyeka-buddha.

    There is an obligation, a face of the Bodhisattva Vow and taking refuge in Sangha, to support the Practice of others and not to be a Pratyeka-buddha. Ours is a Path beyond one's personal needs and wants. It is not a matter simply about what "I" want, what "I" need to do or learn, staring into my own navel.

    Pratyeka-buddha:

    In Buddhism, one who attains enlightenment through his own efforts rather than by listening to the teachings of a buddha. The way of the self-enlightened buddha was criticized in Mahayana Buddhism, which rejects the path of self-enlightenment as too limiting and embraces the ideal of the Bodhisattva, who postpones final enlightenment to work for the rescue of others.
    It is much like family and children, who we tend to and spend time with ... whether we selfishly always want to or not, and whether or not we would rather run away. Community activity is vital. Sure, there is a place for "time alone" (whether in my "man cave" in the house or my "Bodhidharma cave" in the mountains), but in the end we have a duty to the community ... and to ourself ... to help and be together.

    Self and other are 'not two', and the community leaves us all stronger.




    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BtmA3qs8lJI
    This article was originally published in forum thread: SIT-A-LONG with Jundo - TO ALL SOLO PRACTITIONERS: Don't Be A Selfish Pratyeka-buddha started by Jundo View original post
    Comments 37 Comments
    1. Shingen's Avatar
      Shingen -
      Wonderful Jundo ... practice and the sangha are not two, but one. Each supports the other equally.

      Gassho
      Shingen
    1. Joe's Avatar
      Joe -
      Thank you Jundo. How can we be selfish if there is no self?

      Gassho,
      Joe
    1. Myosha's Avatar
      Myosha -
      Thank you,



      Gassho,
      Edward
    1. Kokuu's Avatar
      Kokuu -
      Thank you, Jundo. I get the impression that some people are reluctant to commit to a sangha as something might be asked of them. In today's western society, people seem to be all about wanting freedom without wanting responsibility.

      The daily quote from Tricycle seems pertinent:
      "The way ‘spirituality’ is often used suggests that we exist solely as a collection of individuals, not as members of a religious community, and that religious life is merely a private journey. It is the religious expression of the ideology of free-market economics and of the radical 'disencumbered' individualism that idolizes the choice-making individual as the prime reality in the world."
      -- Robert Bellah, “Future of Religion”


      Gassho
      Andy
    1. Heisoku's Avatar
      Heisoku -
      Thank you Jundo for this reminder of the Bodhisattva Way.
      Andy it seems to me that the free-market ideologies use choice-making individualism to ensure that any failure is reflected back onto said isolated individuals as poor decision-making rather than onto any inherent weakness in its system, particularly the concept of 'unfairness'.
      The Bodhisattva Way obliges us to maintain our efforts on the practice of the way and through our practice open up the way to others, perhaps when they start to question the realities of the prevailing free-market concepts of what life is for. After all it was Joe Kennedy who said that in the end everybody does business with everyone else.
    1. Daido's Avatar
      Daido -
      Gassho,

      Daido
    1. Nameless's Avatar
      Nameless -
      Thank you Jundo. A great reminder.

      Gassho, John
    1. pinoybuddhist's Avatar
      pinoybuddhist -


      Rafael
    1. Nengyo's Avatar
      Nengyo -
      Thank you Jundo. I think this sums up my feelings on the subject (minus the strippers and drugs of course):



    1. anzan's Avatar
      anzan -
      Thanks Jundo. In my experience in sitting these many years, I am more committed in my sitting when in a group. Let's be honest, when sitting by one's self, if no one is watching it is easy to scratch your nose or go let the cat in the room. No one is watching. I could even sleep or cut my practice short today! Watch the last few episodes of Breaking Bad or a cool new video by Jundo. They have the same haircut! But when I am with a group (in person or online) I feel sense of responsibility to sit sincerely. I sit for myself, but I also sit for you. And you. And you too. Jundo said that a committed Buddhist does not consider himself higher than the rest, but lower. Lao Tzu said that rivers have power because they go low. Or was that Bruce Lee? Both probably. Well, as Sting so creepishly said, "I'll be watching you." I hope for your support as well. Thanks, Anzan
    1. Shingen's Avatar
      Shingen -
      Quote Originally Posted by anzan View Post
      Thanks Jundo. In my experience in sitting these many years, I am more committed in my sitting when in a group. Let's be honest, when sitting by one's self, if no one is watching it is easy to scratch your nose or go let the cat in the room. No one is watching. I could even sleep or cut my practice short today! Watch the last few episodes of Breaking Bad or a cool new video by Jundo. They have the same haircut! But when I am with a group (in person or online) I feel sense of responsibility to sit sincerely. I sit for myself, but I also sit for you. And you. And you too. Jundo said that a committed Buddhist does not consider himself higher than the rest, but lower. Lao Tzu said that rivers have power because they go low. Or was that Bruce Lee? Both probably. Well, as Sting so creepishly said, "I'll be watching you." I hope for your support as well. Thanks, Anzan
      Mmuuhhhhaaa we are watching you Anzan.

      But you are right about that ... a great example of why the Sangha is such a wonderful part of our practice (both online and in person).

      Gassho
      Shingen
    1. Genshin's Avatar
      Genshin -
      Thank you Jundo.

      Gassho
      Matt
    1. Joyo's Avatar
      Joyo -
      yes, thank you for the reminder.

      Gassho,
      Treena
    1. Shokai's Avatar
      Shokai -
      Great advice Jumdo. Thank you for this teaching
    1. adrianbkelly's Avatar
      adrianbkelly -
      Hi everyone,
      I'm afraid I have been a selfish "buddha" & have been trying to sit on my own for a while now. Before finding Treeleaf I went through a very anti-religious phase; when all the Zen sex scandal stories were flying around earlier this year I reacted in the same way & wanted nothing to do with organised Zen at all. I stopped reading the forums or sitting the zazenkai & tried sitting on my own. Naturally, after a while I stopped sitting & found myself becoming increasingly selfish & irritable.

      I've really missed the support of this wonderful Sangha & could't help but smile when I logged in & saw lot's of familiar, friendly faces (as well as lots of new ones!) If you'll have me back, I'd love to start sitting with you again!

      _/\_
      Ade
    1. kidbuda's Avatar
      kidbuda -
      Thanks for the advice Jundo, it arrived just in the right time.

      Gassho.

    1. Risho's Avatar
      Risho -
      Gassho

      Risho
    1. Gen01's Avatar
      Gen01 -
      Thanks for that Jundo!
    1. Nenka's Avatar
      Nenka -
      You know, Jundo, sometimes you say just the right thing at the right time.

      Gassho

      jen
    1. Jundo's Avatar
      Jundo -
      Quote Originally Posted by Nenka View Post
      You know, Jundo, sometimes you say just the right thing at the right time.

      Gassho

      jen
      And sometimes I say just the wrong thing at the wrong time. Ask my wife.