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Thread: Buddha never practiced "MINDFULNESS"

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  1. #1

    Buddha never practiced "MINDFULNESS"

    This is one angle i've come to understand through practice,i'm horrible at explaining things but i'll try my best:


    Mindfulness is simply a by-product of Zazen. In the same way feeling good or gaining muscles is a by-product of working out. It is not something you practice. If you have this mindset that you can cultivate the qualities of mindfulness into your practice,that is backwards thinking. All efforts of being mindful,whether its paying attention to this moment, non-judging, or practicing non-striving or choosing to be patient , practicing acceptance, and being mindful of how we treat people etc etc, all these efforts and practices are a means to an end. And that end doesn't sound so bad: we are told to practice these qualities so we could become more Buddha-like or more joyous in life etc.
    But what if we are already Buddha?
    And i believe many years ago buddha wasn't talking about those qualities as if it's something we should practice like "pay attention while your eating" or " listen without judging", i think he was simply referring to them as the after-effects of sitting under a tree... it's not like he was "practicing being attentive" while eating rice, he just wasn't thinking about the past and future while eating rice because he was too damn excited about the act of eating rice...like "Damn...this could very well be the best rice i've ever had!!".
    He didn't judge people while listening to them not because he was taking a deep breath and going into "ZEN" mode and taking the higher road, but because he didn't have the time to: he was too damn stoked at the act of being able to listen to another speak.Like as if experiencing it for the first time. He wasn't practicing patience while standing in line to get his bucket full of water either, he didn't need to, he was already just totally comfortable in his skin, and he didn't see himself as a patient person,he wasn't practicing a quality he could later add to his sense of self,there was no room for a sense of self to take the main stage,whatsoever: He was too busy bathing in the act of standing.
    There are zen teachers who say that doing zazen brings us close to the state of mind we had as a child, and when you were a child looking at the christmas tree you were overcome with excitement at how cool that tree looked, you weren't practicing mindfulness and you sure as hell didn't give yourself a quality for feeling what you felt. Even if you felt disappointment. You just were.
    And Buddha understood this was all because of sitting still.
    Find the Gold first and the rest will follow. And when you see it happen, it will strike you like lightning: the miracle of a bad habit momentarily broken without absolutely ANY effort on your part.
    The truth is,in this moment, once seen, there is no room to "practice mindfulness', not even close, you'll be too dumbstruck by reality to practice anything.

    Thats my 0.02 cents.

  2. #2
    ... paying attention to this moment, non-judging, or practicing non-striving or choosing to be patient , practicing acceptance, and being mindful of how we treat people etc etc



    Yes, I think these kinds of qualities naturally arise from our Practice.

    I am not Buddha yet though (even though already Buddha ), so must keep cultivating these qualities.

    Gassho, J
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post

    I am not Buddha yet though
    Gassho, J
    I like how you say that. It entails humbleness yet confidence.

    I thought about this a bit more,
    I've seen Zen teachers teach their students to make mental notes of qualities discussed by them, take these home and practice them in life, there's nothing wrong with that, it could be a pleasant thing.
    But it wasn't the Zen i knew.
    The zen i knew was mainly zazen, and the zazen i knew was capable of destroying anything that i mentally held on to. It was only a matter of time in zazen that i forgot about all my issues in life and how to fix them with teachings because i was too busy thinking i was literally dying of utter boredom,that issues and teachings were loooooong gone.
    Zazen is intense at times.
    The quality that you should practice being compassionate to people in life is hard to remember when you're sure your arse is about to spontaneously combust on the cushion, and the mental part? won't even go there.
    My point is, teachings have a tendency to get eaten by reality...but so do all the bad things and issues too.
    I've thought alot about how to treat my father in the times when i felt like judging him, if i was not judging him because i was following a teaching of mindfulness, than that sounds nice and i would be a pleasant person to be around, but it wouldn't be coming from my heart,it would be coming from a teaching.
    I feel Zazen trains your body/mind/heart to not react to whatever comes up during the sit, you really have no choice, you can't go and yell at people while sitting, so you naturally just give up and continue staring at a wall.Its this continuous cycle we go through in that timeframe of sitting and your body/mind gets exercised by this. So NOW you may be very very surprised when your father does something that you would previously react to and judge, and now you CAN'T EVEN find it in you to react,even if you wanted to.
    There's something really miraculous about that.
    A lifetime of habit cut with no effort.
    And no mindfulness teachings to be found.
    Most people who work out have moments when they are surprised by their new found strength;lifting up something that was previously heavy,is now lifted with not much effort.
    But this is more special than that; in a moment like that I didn't just become momentarily free from the chains of habit, my father as well.
    Literally.
    And not just from habit either, but from HIS suffering,and from HIS pain and from his past, and his future, and not just from those things either but he was also free'd from any of what could have been my feeble attempts at practicing/mimicking "compassion" towards him.
    So yeah,I'm a pretty grumpy person,easily irritated. If you asked my girlfriend if i would make a good representative for what most people think of as buddhism, she'll laugh,because i'm not a walking "saying",i'm not the dalai lama's twin brother.I don't practice teachings. But atleast i know that when i experience beauty...and when that beauty is expressed.....it's real, it's not an attempt to mimic the actions described and advised by a teaching of mindfulness.Not even close.

    *lol^*


    WokiTheCat
    Last edited by WokiTheCat; 04-24-2013 at 03:03 AM.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by WokiTheCat View Post
    I've seen Zen teachers teach their students to make mental notes of qualities discussed by them, take these home and practice them in life, there's nothing wrong with that, it could be a pleasant thing.
    But it wasn't the Zen i knew.
    The zen i knew was mainly zazen, and the zazen i knew was capable of destroying anything that i mentally held on to. It was only a matter of time in zazen that i forgot about all my issues in life and how to fix them ....
    Hi Cat,

    I don't believe that Zazen is capable of destroying all and fixing everything, not so long as we rise from Zazen and enter this complex world and life. Perfection is only true for dead Buddhas and Ancestors, who the biographers were able to polish into stories of folks without any human flaw. I have never met a living Buddhist (although there are so many truly truly beautiful, wise, compassionate, peaceful folks among them) who fit that idealized image of Buddhist perfection.

    Zazen is powerful medicine for the disease, and lets us see right through the disease to some Buddhaland which is disease free, and helps us to better manage in this world the worst symptoms of greed, anger and ignorance ... but it is no total cure, not so long as we keep breathing in this Samsara world. (Even folks like the Dali Lama or Thich Naht Hanh who literally write books on anger also confess to sometimes being prone to anger ... for they are human).

    That is why I believe that Mindfulness** is important!

    ** Note that "mindfulness" has a couple of rather different usages in Buddhism that can be confusing. One is to be "in the moment". But another, rather different meaning of "mindful" often found in Buddhism (and which I mean here) is to develop awareness of the "mind theatre" running constantly in our heads (developing the ability to identify the thoughts and emotions that play through our heads, and how they create our experience of "reality" ... e.g., "now I am temporarily sad" "now I am reacting with anger")

    I believe that is important and basic to most schools of Buddhism, which emphasize awareness of the "mind theatre" and getting past all the mind games we play. Here too in our Soto Zen neck of the Buddhist woods, although we tend to do so "off the cushion" and not as part of Zazen "on the cushion" (as in Vipassana meditation). Have a look at our recommended "Nurturing Seeds" Practice ...

    http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showt...Seeds-PRACTICE


    I've thought alot about how to treat my father in the times when i felt like judging him, if i was not judging him because i was following a teaching of mindfulness, than that sounds nice and i would be a pleasant person to be around, but it wouldn't be coming from my heart,it would be coming from a teaching.


    I feel Zazen trains your body/mind/heart to not react to whatever comes up during the sit, you really have no choice, you can't go and yell at people while sitting, so you naturally just give up and continue staring at a wall.Its this continuous cycle we go through in that timeframe of sitting and your body/mind gets exercised by this. So NOW you may be very very surprised when your father does something that you would previously react to and judge, and now you CAN'T EVEN find it in you to react,even if you wanted to.
    There's something really miraculous about that.
    I agree. But I still react, I still react and dislike behavior in some people which is harmful or destructive.

    However, more and more I react as I do when my young children act in a harmful or destructive way. I may be upset (in moderation), I may show them a stern face and a bit of a raised voice (like one of those wrathful Buddhas found in Tibetan Buddhism) ... but in moderation, with love, and only on the surface.

    You see, I know they are only children and cannot be fully responsible for their behavior. Even with a difficult parent or anyone in life (friends, strangers, people in the news) we try to see them as puppets of greed, anger and ignorance ... chastise or correct where we need ... but without adding more to the anger and ignorance.

    And with some mindfulness of the "mind theatre's" games, I catch myself more often when those mental games start to play.

    Because it is hard to do ... perhaps impossible to do perfectly while still in these human lives ... it is called "Practice".

    Gassho, Jundo
    Last edited by Jundo; 04-24-2013 at 05:44 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    Hi Cat,

    I don't believe that Zazen is capable of destroying all and fixing everything, not so long as we rise from Zazen and enter this complex world and life. Perfection is only true for dead Buddhas and Ancestors, who the biographers were able to polish into stories of folks without any human flaw. I have never met a living Buddhist (although there are so many truly truly beautiful, wise, compassionate, peaceful folks among them) who fit that idealized image of Buddhist perfection.
    Yes, and when i say "destroy everything" i'm including that of the idea of perfection.
    It's only a matter of "time" that reality eats at your expectations while sitting zazen. And this is what i love the most about reality: it doesn't give a crap about your expectations. I obviously sit zazen because i "think" i know what to expect-"Diggin' for gold"-attitude,but that attitude usually only lasts the first 5 mins in zazen. Atleast it got me to the cushion. I more so have a submissive attitude after that first five minutes. I respect the power of sitting.
    I could come out of zazen even grumpier than when i went in, but i just leave it at that, i don't care...i get up, and go on with my day. Instead of caring about it,i just somewhat intuitionally trust that the practice will do whatever it has to do with me, i trust the practice. And trust is different than expecting.
    And at some point life will have something for you momentarily in the form of a surprise. A very intimate surprise.And why is it a surprise? because you weren't expecting it. And you'll want to say something but you can't, instead you'll smile, you may even get choked up with gratitude and than you'll go on with your day.


    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post

    I agree. But I still react, I still react and dislike behavior in some people which is harmful or destructive.

    However, more and more I react as I do when my young children act in a harmful or destructive way. I may be upset (in moderation), I may show them a stern face and a bit of a raised voice (like one of those wrathful Buddhas found in Tibetan Buddhism) ... but in moderation, with love, and only on the surface.

    You see, I know they are only children and cannot be fully responsible for their behavior. Even in with a difficult parent or anyone in life (friends, strangers, people in the news) we try to see them as puppets of greed, anger and ignorance ... chastise or correct where we need ... but without adding more to the anger.

    And with some mindfulness of the "mind theatre's" games, I catch myself more often when those mental games start to play.

    Because it is hard to do ... perhaps impossible to do perfectly while still in these human lives ... it is called "Practice".

    Gassho, Jundo
    No, i hear ya for sure. You still react, i still react. I just reacted now because my cat was eating my only last oatmeal raisin cookie.
    But yeah i hear you when you say you catch yourself playing those mental games.

    But I guess what i was talking about was how you act/react or even interact with a person,in a moment when you can feel the line between "you" and "them" is blurred because of zazen. It's a pure reaction thats kinda free from anything including a "self that's being mindful of theatre games". If that line is blurred and you intuitionally recognize that, there is no room and there is no need to make mental checks of theatre games because you're actions and reactions are not based on mental checks but based on a recognition that you are one with everything. And because of that, those actions/reactions will be more true and liberating.It's a pure compassionate space free from any "self that's mentally making a note to be compassionate to another separate self".

    I mean this is in a "perfect world" scenario, and nobody lives this way,god no, but that doesn't mean it's not experienced.
    That's what i'm talking about.

    Woki

  6. #6
    great read, thank you. ive heard a monk explain the 8 fold path in the same fashion- as something that you strive for but only can truly come through practice. gassho, justin

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by jus View Post
    great read, thank you. ive heard a monk explain the 8 fold path in the same fashion- as something that you strive for but only can truly come through practice. gassho, justin
    I don't know what the eight fold path is. I'll have to google it.

    WokiTheCat aka misha.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by WokiTheCat View Post
    I don't know what the eight fold path is. I'll have to google it.

    WokiTheCat aka misha.
    You may wish to check out our "Buddha-Basics" series ...
    http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/forum...-Buddha-Basics
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  9. #9
    Hi W,

    Well, it sounds like something fruitful for you, so keep going with that. See how it goes.

    Gassho, J
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

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