One thing I have adopted as of late is to be aware of my breathing when my mind is agitated. Not counting, but rather the flow of cool air through the bridge of my nose and its warmth when being expelled. Not something I use frequently, but in those instances I can't seem to calm the waters. :-)
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I don't think I was all that clear in my original post -- most likely because of the constant chatter in my head :D The core of the problem is not what to do about excessive chatter in my sitting, but that the chatter is with me constantly and at a high enough level to really bother me and interfere with my general effectiveness in life. I thought maybe that because I had been sitting more regularly that I would see a reduction in the chatter in my off-the-cushion life. But this wasn't the case.
I have come to accept that there's a baseline chatter level that I need to deal with while sitting, but my tendency to play mind-dramas in my head every moment of the day is what is really bothering me lately, and something I would like to find a way to resolve.
i think that maybe you could try not to get the chatter to stop but to accept it and just let it go. be aware of it, see it for what it is. but dont get caught up in it.
hope thats not to vague of an answer....
Hmmm. Perhaps we should develop this into one tool for our recommended Daily "Nurturing Seeds" Practice!
PS - Another alternative may be this, care of American TV show Seinfeld .... SERENITY NOW! :o
I always have loved "Serenity Now" :D
I have found that when I limit my Internet and other media consumption for a while, the chatter fades away.
Watching the news, for instance, makes my mind very chatty. These days with the political turmoil here, the news is non stop mind-troll food.
I don't know. Maybe that helps.
And yes... Serenity now!!
After sitting regularly for twenty-five years.. this mind is no less chatty than it ever was, the difference is that the chatter is not believed nearly as much, and that occasionally it settles out into ineffable forgetting/presence. When I first began sitting(in another tradition) the goal was the Jhanas, so developing calm and one-pointed concentration was important. The problem was that after getting up from the cushion, Samsara was still not a friend. Zazen, especially as taught by Jundo and Taigu, has brought home practice as being about realizing the unconditioned in both a chatty and a still mind.
Serenity now _ that was a funny video from a tv show about nothing .
Wouldn't it be nice towatch the chatter like you were watching seinfeld. That would be funny.
Just riffing.. posted waaay too much this week. gassho, kojip
If you think it's hard and takes forever, lo and behold, it's hard and takes forever. I think we like being invested in our thoughts and maybe sometimes we think we can substitute 'bad' story thoughts with 'good Buddhist' story thoughts.
I'm never so encouraged as when I hear Taigu say he doesn't give a shit about Buddhism. I think it's a quintessentially Buddhist thing to say. It's uplifting because I don't think I could ever be a very 'good' Buddhist.
I took up the mantle of the 'good Buddhist' once and I won't ever do it again. I think your words about being stuck in emptiness were picked up somewhere along the way, but it's not for me to say - you could be right! Regardless, I don't want to fight and I don't want to be right. I don't want to beat myself over the head with some of the thicker planks of the great way only because I don't see how they are accurate. If the deficiency is mine, well - it will be until it isn't. I'm open to correction.
Hi Chet.. I must be sounding harsher than I mean to,..... Where what i have been taught and practice meets the teachings of Treeleaf (as best i can tell).. is that each moment of practice is complete... whole, yet at the same time there is beginningless greed, hatred, and delusion we are working with. Each moment we truly look and hear is an awake moment... but I also know from experience that looking and hearing can be conditioned by layers of unconscious thinking... and genuinely unconditioned seeing.. requires some sitting.. and more sitting... and more, that's all..
Gassho... kojip. ...and by the way I am frequently swept up in thought as well.
And I think you're right - a large part of the practice is just not feeding back into the layers of delusion - but like a heavy wheel with a lot of momentum, it spins for a long while after you stop pushing it - and from my perspective, I don't even stop pushing it completely, I just push it less than I used to - LOL! I didn't mean to imply that one simply gets an experience of real emptiness and then suddenly it's done. I just meant that in spite of deepest delusion, awake-ness is immediately available in the next breath.
Getting back to the original post in the thread - I'm not sure that anything can be done to banish the mental shit-storm going on in our heads. I just know that even though it isn't 'you' or even 'yours' - that doesn't mean it has to be an enemy either. The wind doesn't push on you for personal reasons, and hating it doesn't help. Once again, not a judgment - just an observation that it doesn't help.
I have to say that I feel this is a lovely lovely way to put this, Kojip ... and I also feel that you and Chet are actually not so far apart in what you are saying, and are merely talking past each other a bit.
Yes, as I wrote you recently ...
We are always already Buddha ... yet we need to act to realize that fact, clear of greed, anger and ignorance.Quote:
Well, I would rather say that we are fine as we are, always already Buddha AND we can always do better... until we are perfect Buddha.
Buddha not Buddha ... makes sense to Zennies!
There is absolutely no place to fall ... yet we can each fall at any step, acting like a fool or a crook. Buddhism is not an excuse just to act like greedy, hateful, angry asses merely because we are Buddha sitting Zazen on our asses! [monk]
PS - Even a master tight rope walker can tumble with the next step. Anyone can stumble with the next choice, and even some Buddhist Teachers stumble from time to time, some worse than others. I've talked about that before.