Agreeing with Jundo above.
Agreeing with Jundo above.
Love the idea, love to have it both ways: those who want to sit inside the idea and those who want to sit "outside the idea". And also I will like to add another example: I work with some friends here in Mexico City teaching meditation, Dharma and Tai Chi Chuan for pepople with low financial resources and once a month we hold a 24 hour "prayer/meditation" wheel online and offline, and it goes like this:
We make a facebook and blog post, anouncing the date and asking people to post their intentions, needs or dedication and also aske them to pray or meditate with us on the day of the wheel, everyone is welcome to do it from their own house or office, we support the idea with out personal blogs too and in the physical center too.
Physically we have a place where we take turns to go and pray or meditate for a certain time, bearing the intention to include all sentient beings and bearing all the intentions and needs posted on line. (Damn! need to write more in English jajaja) Anyway, so, the whole point in our prayer wheel is to have colective intention and mindfulness over the needs of others and to bring us all together and we asked people to donate what they could/want to donate on those 24 hours, some donated time praying, other time visiting someone to pray together, other guy donated work for a better website, and on the end, we all were sharing intention and concern for the needs of others across the city.
Soo, this has been a long post sorry, we can do something like that and also, I think my friends would be more than happy to join us and to invite us to the next wheel.
Hope this can be of service :)
Each unto their own I suppose. I am still cultivating the empty field: emptying it to roam in! No preference, but I will help if called upon. Gassho.
Well this is a discussion so I am going to discuss without trying to put anyone into a us versus them mindset. This idea bothers me and like some others I cannot articulate very well why. But, I am going to try.
I don't think the issue here is about whether or not charities should be helped, or that we have some ability as a collective to achieve that. I think the issue, for me is in HOW we achieve that. To ME, when you you have a sitathon or sit in public putting on a show, as it were, it seems to me an act of proselytizing. To ME, although that might NOT necessarily be in the mindset of those participating, if you choose to go sit maybe quietly alone or together on a place like a battlefield, or a place where a great tragedy occurred, this is one thing. But when you sit in public to make a spectacle of the sitting it seems to me rather, well, egoic in nature. It comes off as not an act of compassion or humility, as much of an act of LOOK AT ME.
That's just my two cents.
Spend it wisely LOL
Well, a lot of thinking there. Most such judgments are in one's own head.
I could just as easily say that we are simply sitting as sitting, happen to be raising money to help sick children along the way. I could just as easily judge that the "spectacle" and "proselytizing" is simply introducing to passing eyes a Practice of which they are not aware, and that one's own ego or "taking credit for it" can be dropped away (as can the embarrassment more likely to be felt by many). I could just as easily say that hiding Zazen, keeping it to oneself, is kinda "selfish". Anyway, it is unlikely that anyone would encounter the Zazen-a-thon sitting other than other Zazen folks.
That is all thinking too, more judgments.
So, I just sit, no goal (no I). At the same time, money is raised for kids. At the same time, someone might pass by and wonder what is going on, ask about it, give it a try. That is the True Battlefield where we fight Suffering.
PS - By the way, here is info on a "Zazen-a-thon" at Austin Zen Center. They sat for their Sangha's fundraising.
I am not sure about the doorprizes and tongue-in-cheek 'what's in it for me', but kinda like the "musical-Zazen". :p
Saturday, June 12, 1-5pm
Calling all Zennies! Come and put your body and mind to the test—sign up for the Zazen-a-thon and collect pledges to benefit our facilities here at AZC.
What do I need to do to take part? Simply click the registration link below and then ask friends, families and colleagues to support you (and Zen Center!) by pledging for you to sit zazen. One dollar = one minute! Finally, come to AZC on 6/12 at 1p and take part in an afternoon of sublime meditation, sitting a minute of meditation for every dollar you collect.
What's in it for me? Glad you asked! You'll have the distinct pleasure of knowing that your efforts are contributing toward the upkeep and growth of the treasure that is our Dharma home, Austin Zen Center! PLUS, let it be known that the three people who collect the most number of pledges will receive a fantastic collection of prizes that is beyond their wildest imaginations! Dare we say more?
Anything else I need to know? Well, there are a few things:
This isn't a retreat. It's meant to be an enjoyable and communal experience. So if you collect $100, don't worry: we won't ask you to sit for 100 minutes straight! There'll be breaks, snacks available and a general sense of camaradie. There could even be a round or two of musical zazen (think: zen version of musical chairs but without the music or chairs). Hey, it could happen!
We encourage you to be creative in finding ways to ask for support - use email, Facebook, and Twitter as well as phone and face-to-face asks. When asking for sponsors, speak from the heart. Consider sharing why Zen Center is important to you, the impact it has on your life, or our community in general.
Ask all of your supporters who are donating by check to write them out to AUSTIN ZEN CENTER. If folks want to contribute via credit card, they can do so clicking on the appropriate link beolow
Okay, then: hit the streets, the hills, and all areas in-between, expounding the virtue of zazen to one and all! Let's get the Zazen-a-thon rolling! Ready - set - GO!
... and a nice one from Brooklyn Zen Center ...
Brooklyn Sit-a-thon for Awake Youth Project
The Brooklyn Sit-a-thon is a borough-wide event where we join together on April 21st to spend a day in sitting meditation as a way to raise funds for the Awake Youth Project – a program coordinated by Brooklyn Zen Center in partnership with Brooklyn College Community Partnership to bring mindfulness and meditation programs to Brooklyn youth. ...
This year we are hoping to raise $40,000 from participants willing to ask their family, friends, and communities to sponsor them in a day of sitting meditation. We feel confident that 100 participants willing to ask 20 friends for $20 will take us right up to our goal in no time!
This $40,000 will go toward staffing, supplies and space so that Brooklyn’s teens can come together to support one another in meditation and mindfulness practices that support all other aspects of their lives as they mature and deepen into wholehearted members of our community.
I get what you are saying about not being selfish about Zazen. But then why don't we go knocking on doors like the Jehovah Witnesses and hand out pamphlets? My answer is because it has to do with the level of appropriateness. IF one chooses to have a sitathon for a cause and people are interested that would be one thing. On the other hand, sitting on a median in the middle of traffic on a busy street or on a subway platform just to be OUT there. This seems a bit lacking in the level of appropriateness.
I guess I still have to ponder more about what bother's me about a sitathon for raising money.
I am the newbie here, but you asked me to post my thoughts. So.. I did :)
I think everyone must follow their own hearts.
By the way, an official delegation from Japanese Soto-shu has been travelling the world to present a concert of Chanting and Shomyo (a kind of traditional Buddhist hymm singing). Here they are in Germany. The purpose is, of course, to raise awareness of Zen and Buddhist Practice.
You can see them sitting Zazen on stage here, at the 7:30 mark ...
The Shomyo portion can be heard at around the 1:22:00 mark, with accompany handbells.
Zen folks and other Buddhist groups have been staging all kind of public events for various causes or to raise awareness of Buddhist Practice. Is that the same as going "door to door" or hanging out selling George Harrison CD's in airports? In my heart, I don't think so.
NOTE: THIS MESSAGE MOVED FROM ANOTHER THREAD
Since ego is one of my attachments, what people think of me and how the visible "I" is perceived by others, this will bring it right to the (sore) spot to practice "emptying my bowl". I feel I MUST do this and do it within the Ango period. There is a Starbucks at our train station that seems a good spot. Don't think there will be a video of it though. No one to film it or guard the camera, lol
NOTE: THIS MESSAGE MOVED FROM ANOTHER THREAD
I would really like to do this too and when I am well enough want to go into Canterbury at lunchtime and sit with a couple of empty cushions beside me and a sign saying 'please join in' or similar. There is a park which might be a good place to do this or else on one of the main shopping streets. To be honest, though, just sitting in front of my flat was scary enough with what my neighbours might think!
Do let us know if you do it.
Just to be clear, the "Zazen-a-thon" would not be a "public sit" like that fellow is doing on street corners or in subways stations. That is very different. For the "Zazen-a-thon", some folks might like to sit online with Google+, some offline at home, some not participate at all, some participate in ways other than sitting. That is all fine. No need or requirement to go out onto a street and make some big Zazen demonstration on the sidewalk, let alone stop traffic!
On the other hand (completely unrelated to Zazen-a-thon), if someone feels like Enkyo and Karasu that they want to sit in public ... I support them. I also support the folks who do not wish to do so! I support everybody! :encouragement:
The only thing to emphasize ... whether sitting the "Sit-a-thon" or not, whether sitting in public or in the privacy of home ... drop the ego. It is not about you. It is not about how great you are to do it. It is only about helping other sentient beings. It is all goalless.
Just to emphasize again ... I AM NOT PROPOSING ZAZEN IN THE PARK OR ON STREET CORNERS as part of "Zazen-a-thon" (although some people might want to do such a thing as there own choice, and that is up to them too, as it is up to others to sit "on line" or "off line" or not at all).
In silence, the tinkling of the third bell, all rise, Gassho to One and All -
(turning to the audience)
:oTHANK YOU TSUBAKA!!!:o
Ego is not the reason for posting my remark here. It is about getting out there and sit for all to see instead of feeling good and great in seclusion and keeping it all to myself. Doing this kind of practice means accepting the danger of getting humiliated, ridiculed or laughed at in public. This is the practice I seek and feel will do my practice and sitting some good and put a new thought in peoples minds or at least a good laugh on an otherwise grim day. Although we may never see the flower that grows out of it, we can be sure we planted the little seeds of practice and made people think. If a seed grows or does not grow, is not up to us/me.
Something I shared in all openness and in the spirit of our Sangha with a wink and a smile, somehow became an ego thing and very sad about that. My contribution was meant to be constructive and to explore the possibilities. It is never my intention to profile myself or to attract a spotlight on this or any forum. I'll be more careful next time.
I did not mean that you are sitting with Ego or to put a spotlight on yourself, Enkyo! I meant that anyone wishing to follow your example, Enkyo, should make sure of their reasons and attitude. Better not to public sit if for reasons of ego or self-promotion, so you appear to have the right attitude if as you describe.
I hope this is clear now. :encouragement:
Oh, Jundo no worries m8! Seems I did misread you post a bit but even if you did mean it in that way, I could have worked with that too you know. Read a warning in your words against sitting just for the show and the danger of the old look "at me teacher, no hands!!!" :D In that sense, not making this into a competition of extremes or a `look at me´show or something, is a valid point and that is why I need to be more careful next time.
I wonder why we are all a bit touchy about it this time? Discussions like these bring new and creative practices! It's a good thing! It is what makes our sangha so cool. Have an idea, share it to see if you´re on track or way off and work with it or take the advise and drop it. Or even cooler, watch and see how our two teachers work out very different points of view in a dignified and intelligent manner. To quote the great Kung Fu master Panda "that's true awesomeness!" Like with this Zazenathon. We discussed it at depth and carefully listen to the several points of view so everyone can decide for themselves. As for me, I lean a bit towards both sentiments and decided that if we are going to make this happen collectively, I'll join simply because we decided to do it together. Where and how we sit this Zazenathon, is going to be interesting since we can all decide for ourselves, right? And if someone prefers not to sit that way, that is also "awesomeness". Very respectable and fine with me too :encouragement:
In all tranquility
Well said Enkyo.
As for me, if it came off that way I was not offended by anything. Now if you start making fun of the size of my nose, I might have to evoke Cyrano DeBergiac. :)