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Thread: Dogen's Mudra

  1. #1

    Dogen's Mudra

    Does anyone know what Dogen said about how you hold your mudra? Are you to keep it elevated above your lap, or is it OK to rest them there or on a "crotch pouch?"
    My name is: Jordan.

  2. #2
    Hi SyntaxJO


    Short answer resting on something at a comfortable height for your arms and way you are sitting.
    Longer answer -

    Dogen mentioned this much about it:
    Quote Originally Posted by Shobogenzo:Fukanzazengi
    Then put the right hand above the left foot,
    and place the left hand on the right palm.
    The thumbs meet and support each other.
    Full lotus allows you a natural mudra rest however we all do not/cannot sit full lotus for various reasons and sitting in a stable/sustainable way is what is important more than forcing a pretzel. Depending on your body and sitting style - crotch pocket, mudra rest cusion, folded up small towel or on your folded legs/feet. What works with the way you are sitting to allow comfort (arms down too low and your shoulders tend to follow and the back too... too high well I find it feels like a big long shrug, straining.


    Gassho
    Shohei

  3. #3
    Thanks Shohei!!

    physical mudra is important, but equally is important is the mudra of our minds.
    Humbly,
    Seiryu

  4. #4
    Perfect, thanks. And thank you Seiryu, for your depth of wisdom.
    My name is: Jordan.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Seiryu View Post
    Thanks Shohei!!

    physical mudra is important, but equally is important is the mudra of our minds.
    Indeed!

    Thank you

    Gassho!

  6. #6
    Seiryu,

    Mudra of mind and body?!!!!
    They are not two!!!

    Gassho


    Taigu
    Taigu, teacher at Treeleaf Sangha, was born in 1964, started Zazen early and received Shukke Tokudo in 1983 at age 18 from Rev. Mokusho Zeisler of the Deshimaru Lineage. Received Dharma Transmission from Chodo Cross in 2002. Now resides in Osaka, Japan.

  7. #7
    Here's another view, by Suzuki Roshi:
    http://www.cuke.com/Cucumber%20Proje...70-06-28U.html

    Gassho,
    Pontus

    PS. Just want to mention that for me, forming the mudra (without physically putting the hands together), helps me do insta-Zen, helps me to release the hand of thought in daily life. Sometimes the mudra just appears. DS.
    In a spring outside time, flowers bloom on a withered tree;
    you ride a jade elephant backwards, chasing the winged dragon-deer;
    now as you hide far beyond innumerable peaks--
    the white moon, a cool breeze, the dawn of a fortunate day

  8. #8
    Senior Member ZenHarmony's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Omoi Otoshi View Post
    Here's another view, by Suzuki Roshi:
    http://www.cuke.com/Cucumber%20Proje...70-06-28U.html
    "Don't move your legs for your own convenience. Your legs are practicing their own zazen independently and are completely involved in their own pain. They are doing zazen through pain. You should allow them to practice their own zazen. If you think you are practicing zazen, you are involved in some selfish, egotistical idea."

    That made me

    Gassho,

    Lisa
    Last edited by ZenHarmony; 11-01-2012 at 02:21 PM. Reason: added quote from page

  9. #9
    I think he has a point. We don't practice Zazen. We don't do anything. We just let down the guard, let go of resistance, give up trying, allow Zazen to take place.
    And even though we are still aware of our body and mind, there's no need to identify so strongly with either. Just let the body-mind sit Zazen without interference.
    Sometimes when you sit like this, you become aware of pain in your legs or an itch, but it doesn't cause any anxiety. There's no rush to change anything. The legs are not YOU.

    Gassho,
    Pontus
    In a spring outside time, flowers bloom on a withered tree;
    you ride a jade elephant backwards, chasing the winged dragon-deer;
    now as you hide far beyond innumerable peaks--
    the white moon, a cool breeze, the dawn of a fortunate day

  10. #10
    What is not YOU???
    Or rather who is THIS?

    Pontus, you are here in a very Theravada style speech. Great speech by the way. In Mahayana, we just get everything and everybody together.
    In other words, you are misreading Shunryu Suzuki. What he meant is utterly different. To really experience this: get everything out. OUT!!! and IN!!!

    Not two, neither one nor two.


    gassho


    Taigu
    Taigu, teacher at Treeleaf Sangha, was born in 1964, started Zazen early and received Shukke Tokudo in 1983 at age 18 from Rev. Mokusho Zeisler of the Deshimaru Lineage. Received Dharma Transmission from Chodo Cross in 2002. Now resides in Osaka, Japan.

  11. #11
    How could these legs not be you???

    what is not you?


    gassho



    T.
    Taigu, teacher at Treeleaf Sangha, was born in 1964, started Zazen early and received Shukke Tokudo in 1983 at age 18 from Rev. Mokusho Zeisler of the Deshimaru Lineage. Received Dharma Transmission from Chodo Cross in 2002. Now resides in Osaka, Japan.

  12. #12
    I have no confidence at all to say what Zazen is

    Can't use the word 'I' - let alone 'we' - do /practice such and such.

    I'm not really sure that I'm practicing Zazen at all.

    How can anyone be sure?

    I don't understand the Suzuki quote - I feel unity when I sit - not everything acting independently.

    If something pains how can it signify separateness of legs, or any body parts - or any one mind?
    The pain does not belong to me alone.

    Gassho

    Willow

  13. #13
    Yes, yes Taigu, I got the message the first time!

    And here I thought Ol' Suzuki was going all Theravadin on me! And it was the other way around!

    The legs are totally, utterly and completely ME!

    I expressed myself clumsily. I didn't mean to say my legs were suddenly separate from me... And it wasn't my intention to talk about Buddhist doctrine. I wanted to describe the shift I sometimes experience during Zazen, when the self is starting to dissolve and it becomes clear that the monkey mind and sack of skin and bones is not all you are, that the true self includes so much more (everything).

    Thank you for your patience with this fool!

    Gassho,
    Pontus
    In a spring outside time, flowers bloom on a withered tree;
    you ride a jade elephant backwards, chasing the winged dragon-deer;
    now as you hide far beyond innumerable peaks--
    the white moon, a cool breeze, the dawn of a fortunate day

  14. #14
    Senior Member ZenHarmony's Avatar
    Join Date
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    I just took it to mean accepting the pain as-it-is during zazen, rather than focusing on it. Anyone who's lived with chronic pain knows the only way you get to distance yourself from the pain is to accept it.

    Gassho,

    Lisa

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by willow View Post
    I have no confidence at all to say what Zazen is
    Willow
    That could be a good thing.

    Quote Originally Posted by willow View Post
    I'm not really sure that I'm practicing Zazen at all.

    How can anyone be sure?
    Willow
    Other than just sitting nothing is required. Reminds me of the song line 'How can I be sure, in a world that's constantly changing' Well, you can be sure that you don't know.

    Quote Originally Posted by willow View Post
    I don't understand the Suzuki quote - I feel unity when I sit - not everything acting independently.
    Willow
    Me too! But I have a big egotistical problem with pain and I think that is what he was pointing at.
    _/_
    Rich
    MUHYO
    無 (MU, Emptiness) and 氷 (HYO, Ice) ... Emptiness Ice ...

  16. #16
    Seiryu,

    Mudra of mind and body?!!!!
    They are not two!!!

    Gassho
    I never said they were.

    Humbly,
    Seiryu

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