A minor disappointment?
Today I would like to ask, when did the fruits of meditation start appearing in your daily lives. Sometimes, I'll think 'when will my head be more clear' or 'when will I be more compassionate'. While writing this though, I have noticed that a lot of Zen has shed light on my life, like when you turn on the light switch to a dark, confusing room. I know that I have my ideals, and I will be disappointed, but when will Zazen (such as mindfulness) be more apparent in my life?
Tell me if I must elaborate more!
When you stop asking yourself, "When will my head be more clear", it will be. This kind of advice would have driven me bonkers 5 years ago (and did!), but I believe it to be the truth. You will probably never have an "ah-ha!" moment that you can pin down, but you will notice it once the process has happened. We all ask questions like you do, even after several years! Just let them float by like clouds and don't try to answer them...I speak from experience.
I'm glad to have you here Alex. I wish this place had been around when I was your age!
Zazen does not have to be apparent, Alex, and is totally useless. I don t have a clue if things that change in my life come from zazen and I dont five a s....
The lion s roar does not even need great faith, faith is always fed by secret expectations abd hidden agenda, endless games of illusion of the ego drunk with spirituality.
People telling otherwise are selling you water by the river and telling you it is wine.
And one more thing, you are not your age. In the reality I am pointing at babies have grey hair and old men speak the language of children. Buddha is faceless. Not even a Buddha s face.
I agree with Dosho wholeheartedly here. But here's my 2 cents...take it lightly :).
You may notice small things, like sometimes you will feel very "present" in this moment right now without thinking of anything else. You may notice that tree that you'd always passed before looks larger than life...I mean truly alive and green and magnificent. You may notice a feeling of calm where you would have freaked out before this very moment. You may notice that you have more patience with things and people who used to really irritate you. These are all results of this practice, your practice, your meditation.
But please realize that you will still have days when you feel like you are fighting against the current. You will still have moments when your mind just can't settle and just "be" here. Either way, both are okay because this is why we "practice".
A great question, by the way.
When you speak of a "minor disappointment" in your topic title, this implies you have (had) expectations.
Don't practice in order to get effects. Practice in order to practice.
This practice is about letting go and acceptance.
Let go of your attachments to how things should be in your opinion and accept life as it is (this is not meant in a fatalistic sense though!)
There are "side effects" (e.g. being more balanced), yes, but these should not be your motivation for practice.
Otherwise the result is something like what is known as "bompu zen"...
Zazen does not produce fruit. Zazen is the very fruit itself! p.s. it also produces fruit ;)
The immediate fruit of zazen is zazen. Sitting and “just being”. But then there is getting up off the cushion and living life, and the tedium of having our efforts at “getting it together” fail over and over. Every day we sit, and sitting is still just sitting... but somehow realizing your true self is the sound of the rain doesn't pay the bills, so there is still life off the cushion.... which is not always so sweet as rain on the temple roof. Off the cushion there is only the pretense of “just being”. I say pretense because although the sound of the rain is your true self, so is the tax audit, or a friends death. Underneath playing at “just being” we still wiggle and scheme as much as always to avoid being old age, disease, and death. The good news is these schemes fail.
Sitting every morning.. bum on cushion, light on the floor, the muffled thump of the washing machine. Then getting up and having my pretensions and games fall apart yet again. Then sitting again. It's as easy as dirt.
I split the thread with Willow and Richard's posts so as not to distract from Alex's question ...
Thank you, Taigu. I really liked your post, particularly the part about faith. All the other posts were very helpful as well, such as dropping the questions.
Originally Posted by Taigu
This is a very helpful answer. Almost everyone I know (including me) started out zazen having some expectation. Gradually we learn to appreciate the "no point" and the "no where to go". And yes, there are days, that life itself seems to fight back. Nonetheless, our practice gets us back in the flow of things as they are.
Originally Posted by KellyRok
I don't have any answers, but thank you for posting this. I am new to Zen and I have been wondering the same things. I struggle a lot with mindfulness, my mind races all day long, always thinking about past conversations, what I am doing next week/tomorrow etc. etc. etc. It's frustrating. Anyway, these posts here helped a lot.