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Thread: My experiment: Counting 'Sticky' Thoughts

  1. #1

    My experiment: Counting 'Sticky' Thoughts

    Since the past 3 or 4 days, I have been experimenting with something.

    A senior student told me during last weekend's Zazenkai that following/counting breath is recommended for beginners as with "just sitting" we may fool ourselves that we are alert even at times when we are lost. Somehow later during the week, I thought of putting his statement to test. I decided I'll count each time I "come back" from getting caught up in a sticky thought(-stream). I wont be counting just flashes of quick thoughts/images but only the ones where I get caught up.

    This turned out to be interesting. In a 20 minute sitting, I found my counts were mostly near 20 and ranging between 18 to 23. I did one 30 minute sitting and the count was 36.

    The other thing I noticed was that my concentration/awareness was very high throughout. I was getting caught up but was immediately coming back. It is interesting to note that I was getting caught up (and coming back) once per minute or so. So each minute, I was being aware initially (for about 10 sec or so), then getting caught up and then coming back. So about 40-50 seconds I was getting caught up. But surprisingly it didnt seem like so long when I was sitting. Each instance of getting caught up felt like 5-10 seconds and not 40-50 sec. It could have been that I was caught up in one long thought-stream which was for a few minutes with the rest of the thoughts being 10 seconds or so. To rule this out, I added interval bells every 5 min to my insight timer and found that the counts were pretty even during each 5 min interval.

    I also tried it while walking outside bringing my attention back to just walking whenever I was lost and also making sure I count it. I found the same thing even then, I was very aware and coming back very quickly everytime I got lost. All the "caught up" instances were even (I could say basing on the distance I walked during that caught up time).

    Did anyone try something like this? Can this be used as a practice? Is it like Shikantaza version of "breath counting"? Something that can only be used as training wheels? Or should it remain just an experiment and not useful as a practice

    Love to hear your thoughts on this.

    - Sam

  2. #2
    You are not going to love my thoughts.

    Now, next time bring other toys, you may try anything from spoon to gun. Little soldiers are great too. Sitting on your head could aslo be a nice experiment. or with a leg up...

    Seriously, when will you start to sit? To let it sit you?

    Do you see you issue with wanting to be in control, wanting to understand, wanting this and that?

    Can you take a break?

    Go on holiday?


    Take care


    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.

  3. #3
    Sometimes one is so caught up in thoughts about being "caught up in thoughts" and thoughts about "methods for getting uncaught by thoughts" ...

    ... that one cannot simply sit, uncaught by thoughts and methods.

    One can count to 20, 30, 28, to infinity ... but can one count to Not One Not Two?

    Like the fellow standing right in Times Square Manhattan, constantly asking everyone "What's the best way to get to New York City from here?"

    Gassho, J (wagging finger and shaking head at this guy who keeps coming back asking for the Big Apple)


    P.S. - We are so direct with you, Sam, only because you keep coming back, month after month, asking the same darn thing about the best method of the method of no methods. Talk about being lost in New York!
    Last edited by Jundo; 06-28-2013 at 03:47 PM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  4. #4
    Senior Member Amelia's Avatar
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    You are getting some excellent advice, Sam! Please don't be discouraged. I also see the value in breath counting, but let's not get caught up in it.
    迎 Geika

  5. #5
    This is an interesting idea. I also tend to notice when I have been day dreaming or a sticky thought. I think though that counting them would hinder my ability to let them go. Noticing them while sitting reminds me of what I am doing, that is, sitting. But holding to the number doesn't let them go, it pushes those thoughts to the side. If you say, 'I was distracted five times last time I sat' you might try to remember what it was that made you distracted, and then you are distracted again!

    Thank you for this idea.

    Gassho,

    Joe

  6. #6
    Hi Sam,

    I agree with Amelia, don't be discouraged - our teachers actually mean it well.

    Just stop analyzing your zazen, don't think about it. Man, that's actually the beauty of it - finally doing nothing. Let the chattering in your head come and let it go. Don't supress, but don't cling either.
    It's a bit like riding a bike. You don't analyze all the time where to shift your weight in order to keep balance.
    Just do it, just do it, just do it - and then it actually sits you! No you, no sitting, just pure being. Yet all there is is sitting.

    I remember something Abott Muho from Antaiji once said in a German documentary:
    "You must be willing to die on the cushion."

    Don't take that quote literally, it is neither about the amount of practice nor about the length of sittings. Ponder a bit on these words.

    I know you've probably heard it thousands of times here, but is so important:
    Drop everything, drop yourself, and just BE. And then being and doing become one.

    And as Taigu said in one of his videos (can't remember which one):
    "Simple, yet difficult."

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts, and be easy on yourself.

    Gassho,

    Timo
    no thing needs to be added

  7. #7
    Treeleaf Unsui/Engineer Kyonin's Avatar
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    Just sit, man.

    Quit experimenting. Throw away your intellect for a bit.

    In my humble opinion, the more you search, the less you sit.

    It's like all my fellow desk runners. They are huge experts in shoes, techniques and weather. Yet they still need to actually go out and run.

    Just sit. That's all there is to it.

    Gassho,

    Kyonin
    Please remember I am only a priest in training. I could be wrong in everything I say. Slap me if needed.

    The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one. Mr. Spock

  8. #8
    Just sitting and being muddled is very unsatisfactory. But if you drop trying to find your way out of it, and just sit in/as an unsatisfactory muddle, the muddle itself is "emptiness presencing". This isn't something to figure out, it is just something to do, just sit unresolved and dissatisfied. Sit as you will be unresolved and dissatisfied forever, and that is ok.

    Gassho Richard.
    大山

  9. #9
    Thanks Taigu and all for the teaching. It wont be teaching anymore if it is something that I agree with and already know. Thanks for pointing out my seeking mind

  10. #10

    One way to categorize the meditation practice of shikan taza, or "just sitting," is as an objectless meditation. This is a definition in terms of what it is not. One just sits, not concentrating on any particular object of awareness, unlike most traditional meditation practices, Buddhist and non-Buddhist, that involve intent focus on a particular object. Such objects traditionally have included colored disks, candle flames, various aspects of breath, incantations, ambient sound, physical sensations or postures, spiritual figures, mandalas including geometric arrangements of such figures, or of symbols representing them, teaching stories, or key phrases from such stories. Some of these concentration practices are in the background of the shikan taza practice tradition, or have been included with shikan taza in its actual lived experience by practitioners.


    But objectless meditation focuses on clear, non-judgmental, panoramic attention to all of the myriad arising phenomena in the present experience. Such objectless meditation is a potential universally available to conscious beings, and has been expressed at various times in history. This just sitting is not a meditation technique or practice, or any thing at all. "Just sitting" is a verb rather than a noun, the dynamic activity of being fully present.
    Taigen Dan Leighton
    Gassho

    David

  11. #11
    Hi Sam,

    It's so painful to go against the flow of life. I just try to relax, take a deep breath, and go with it.

    Gassho, John

  12. #12
    Sam, may I ask what Lineage and Teachers that senior student was from? I think I can guess the likely suspects.

    The heart of what Taigu and I are pointing to is your using Zazen as an instrument and method to "get" something. Folks cannot fathom in their thick skulls how to "get" the total lack of need to "get". They seek to be free of thoughts, of seeking, of lack ... thus cannot find how to be free of seeking and lack. (The way to be free of seeking and lack is not by seeking to be free and not lack, but by simply abandoning all need to seek ... thus truly becoming free with nothing lacking!) There are schools of Buddhism and Zen that teach Zazen (even what they call "Shikantaza") as a means to an end. That is fine, but they do not know Shikantaza as The End to all means and all ends.

    There are folks who teach Zazen as an instrument to quiet down the quantity or loudness of thoughts. They do not understand what it means to simply be unperturbed by thoughts, not playing their game, not clutching them, not taken prison by then, not attached, seeing right through them. We are simply not attached to thoughts that may come and go. We pay thoughts "no never-mind", and then truly attain clear mind like a mirror (a mirror is totally unperturbed by whatever is placed before it and appears in it, simply reflecting all, paying all no never-mind. Please do not seek to have a mind free of things ... rather, seek to have a mind like a mirror unperturbed.).

    If I might try a simile "for the birds" ...

    Imagine that thoughts going through the mind are like flocks of geese flying through the sky, coming and going. Some might teach various methods to reduce the number of geese, like bird hunters trying to clear out the sky of the birds and their traces with shotguns! Some folks might sit in Zazen really bothered each time geese fly by, saying "I need to get rid of these birds, chase them out of the sky". In their mind, there is a mental trace of each bird's path, and they are distracted by these birds. This is attachment to these thought-birds. But for the person sat by pure Shikantaza, the birds in flight leave no traces. The sky with birds, the sky without birds, is just the same clear and boundless sky. It is as if the birds are clear blue, the sky flying. The hunter puts down his gun, somehow the birds find their nests and settle down for the night.

    So long as you continue to look at Zazen as an instrument, buckshot to catch geese ... you are the one caught by the geese.

    Birds fly in the sky,
    The water (of mind) reflects their images.
    The birds leave no traces,
    Nor does the water retain their images.


    Gassho, J
    Last edited by Jundo; 06-28-2013 at 04:29 PM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  13. #13
    Hi Jundo,

    I did not talk to the teacher yet. The student and the teacher are from the lineage of Mauzemi Roshi. Here is their website.

    http://www.hazymoon.com/

    Regarding practice and the desire to get something out of it; I am talking aloud to myself here: I definitely think that I am going to get something out of my practice, more insight/wisdom and may be enlightenment/awakening/end-of-separation or duality. It might be true that I might be already enlightened and don't realize it. If so I want to realize it. That realization may be the one I intend to "get" out of the practice. You and Taigu and all of the senior students here talk with a clarity/wisdom which is what I intend to "get" out of my practice.

    Why do I want that wisdom/insight? One reason is to fully realize my potential, to be all I can be. Another reason is the belief that it will make me suffer less, will help me face my problems in a much more informed way.

    I understand it is important not to expect anything from the practice and be more accepting of what I have and what is here and now. But how do I ignore the above aspects of practice? Is it not true that we all desire above things. How would putting a non-true attitude of "not wanting anything" on top of my actual expectations help?

  14. #14
    Hi Sam

    I agree that pushing away or suppressing your feeling of wanting something would be a sham. I would say just to sit with that as well as everything else. We all probaby come to practice wanting to get something from it. I certainly did. That passes, and then comes back at times. Joko Beck points out early on in Everyday Zen that students coming to the zendo are seeking to go beyond wanting something to make it all better but usually replace the idea that a new car/relationship/house/job will make life great with enlightenment or wisdom. How about if all there was is here now? If this was as good as it was going to get? How would that change things?

    Trying to listen to two teachers at this stage is probably going to be difficult unless they are very much talking from the same page. There is nothing wrong with the sticky thoughts meditation but basically you have to stick to one practice and stay with it to get anywhere. Some traditions have a wide variety of practices, Zen as done here doesn't. Shikantaza is exactly what it says on the tin - just sitting. Add anything and it is no longer shikantaza.

    Just sit. Just do that.

    Gassho
    Andy

  15. #15
    Sam, if i had tried something like that I probably wouldn't have stayed with the practice. Zen is very simple, just do it. And yea I'm always caught up in something but I am free to move about the country or whatever you want to call it
    _/_
    Rich
    MUHYO
    無 (MU, Emptiness) and 氷 (HYO, Ice) ... Emptiness Ice ...

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Kyonin View Post
    Just sit, man.

    Quit experimenting. Throw away your intellect for a bit.

    In my humble opinion, the more you search, the less you sit.
    Great words Kyonin.

    Gassho
    Shingen
    真 眼

    As a trainee priest, please take any commentary by me on matters of the Dharma with a pinch of salt.

  17. #17
    A couple of folks wrote to ask me if Shikantaza is still a "method" which does something, and a "seeking" to "attain" something.

    That depends on semantics.

    Is it a "doing" to be halting, to the marrow, all need to "do"? Is it "doing" to sit without reacting to circumstances and without tangling with thoughts? Is it "seeking" when what is being sought is the radical abandoning of all need to seek? Is it "attaining" when the treasure attained is the very discovery that nothing was missing from the start? Is it a "method" when this method consists of the abandoning of the need for targets and methods?

    That is why Shikantaza is often called by such names as the "method of no method" and "doing-non-doing".

    It is such an effective medicine because it is so antithetical to our normal way of living ... our daily chasing after this or that, running toward what we desire, running from what we fear, judging and dividing life, feeling lack. People do not know how to be living without chasing, needing, lacking, judging, dividing up the world into "self" and "other". One transcends all that, not by "doing" something, but by stopping "doing" ... namely, stopping to chase, need, lack, judge, divide

    So, is a "stopping to do" a "doing"?


    Sam wrote ...

    I definitely think that I am going to get something out of my practice, more insight/wisdom and may be enlightenment/awakening/end-of-separation or duality.
    Yes, that is the point! Do not take what I am saying to mean otherwise.

    It is just that (counter-intuitive as it sounds) one way to end the subject-object duality, attain wisdom, enlightenment is ... like a dog finding his own tail when he stops chasing after it ... by radically abandoning all chasing after an object and by resting in wholeness, equanimity, flowing, non-resistance and contentment.

    Quote Originally Posted by shikantazen View Post
    The student and the teacher are from the lineage of Mauzemi Roshi. Here is their website.

    http://www.hazymoon.com/
    I paint with a broad brush, but there is a tendency among many folks in the Maezumi Line (and among other teachers in the Rinzai-Soto hybrid derived from Harada and Yasutani Roshis and Sanbokyodan) to treat Shikantaza as just a side-show or stepping stone to build concentration for their Koan Introspection Zazen which they typically consider their central Practice and the main show. I do not put down their way at all (my long time mentor, Doshin Cantor, is a teacher in the Maezumi line). But their attitude toward Shikantaza is sometimes very subtle in its seeing it as just another means (and a weaker one) toward the same Kensho, although some many even deny they do so. However, with their main emphasis on Koan Zazen leading toward Kensho, they often see Shikantaza as just a similar means to an end. This is most clearly seen in the notorious essay by their root teacher, Yasutani Roshi, on Shikantaza as a means of intense concentration leading to an explosive Kensho ...



    Generally speaking, zazen can be described in three phases: first, adjusting the body, second, the breathing, and third, the mind. The first and second are the same both in koan Zen and shikantaza. However, the third, adjusting the mind, is done very differently in the two practices. ...

    When you thoroughly practice shikantaza you will sweat-even in the winter. Such intensely heightened alertness of mind cannot be maintained for long periods of time. ... Sit with such intensely heightened concentration, patience, and alertness that if someone were to touch you while you are sitting, there would be an electrical spark! Sitting thus, you return naturally to the original Buddha, the very nature of your being.

    Then, almost anything can plunge you into the sudden realization that all beings are originally buddhas and all existence is perfect from the beginning. Experiencing this is called enlightenment. Personally experiencing this is as vivid as an explosion; regardless of how well you know the theory of explosions, only an actual explosion will do anything. In the same manner, no matter how much you know about enlightenment, until you actually experience it, you will not be intimately aware of yourself as Buddha.

    In short, shikantaza is the actual practice of buddhahood itself from the very beginning-and, in diligently practicing shikantaza, when the time comes, one will realize that very fact.

    However, to practice in this manner can require a long time to attain enlightenment, and such practice should never be discontinued until one fully realizes enlightenment. Even after attaining great enlightenment and even if one becomes a roshi, one must continue to do shikantaza forever, simply because shikantaza is the actualization of enlightenment itself.
    http://books.google.co.jp/books?id=h...0sweat&f=false

    Other folks in that Lineage do not tend to have the intensity of Yasutani, but are nonetheless biased toward Shikantaza as a weak sister to their Koan Zazen path. It can be confusing to students who do not realize the situation.

    Gassho, J
    Last edited by Jundo; 06-09-2014 at 10:51 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  18. #18
    Senior Member Myosha's Avatar
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    Confused, not realizing and grateful.

    Thank you.


    Gassho,
    Edward
    Practice with humility, respect all beings, avoid attachments, give rise to prajña from your own awareness, put an end to delusions - Hui-neng

  19. #19
    Thanks Jundo. Yes it sounds to me like an issue of semantics.

    The ultimate goal for any spiritual practice is awakening. Whether you reach it by stopping the movement of mind (Zen way) or through a series of progressive stages (Theravadan or other ways) there is still a journey to be taken. A journey required even though it is from here to here.

    I wonder then why primarily in Zen the emphasis is on this kind of language of no-seeking, no-expectations, goalless etc... It kind of confuses me. Sometimes it feels like the way non-dual/advaita teachers talk; Powerful but not practical (having no expectations, not seeking etc). This language can even confuse and mislead students (to think no effort is required, no need to meditate etc).

    How important is non-seeking? What if one continues to seek and continues to have expectations but does his zazen. Isn't true non-seeking something that comes as a result of practice after many years? Why should I beat up myself over that now? Is that (having no expectations etc) even in my control?

  20. #20
    Hi Sam,

    I still feel that we are talking past each other a bit.

    I would not describe Shikantaza as "stopping the movement of mind". Rather, it is like that classic description of "mirror mind", unencumbered and undisturbed with all that is. Perhaps we might describe Zazen as a kind of "Silence" heard both in silence or noise, a "non-thinking" as thoughts or as their absence.

    It is instantaneous, in that we embody the mirror and silence in an instant (it is also timeless, because the unimpeded mirror is free of measures of time) ... yet it is progressive in that we do get better at it with time.

    You do seem confused about the meaning of "non-seeking" and "goallessness" as some kind of resigned complacency, just sitting self-satisfied with our usual self. It is not. In fact, our "usual self" is typically anything but "goalless" and satisfied, and typically most people are filled with dissatisfaction, feelings of lack, worries about the future, regrets for the past, heads busy with divisive, greedy and sometimes angry thoughts. I am not advising that we just sit complacently with all that mess! Do not be misled to think so.

    Rather, this "nothing in need of change" is a radical change to our usual "constantly seeking change" self. True sitting with radical "nothing in need" and "non-seeking" is the medicine for all that "dis-ease". We "just sit" in wholeness, abiding satisfaction, nothing lacking, free of worry or regret, letting be "might be" tomorrows and "should have been "yesterdays", dropping greed, anger and division. As I always say ... , radically dropping, to the marrow all need to attain, add or remove, or change in order to make life right and complete --IS-- A WONDROUS ATTAINMENT, ADDITION and CHANGE TO LIFE! (because very much unlike how we suffering human beings typically are)

    Like all warm blooded animals, humans feel we must hunt, improve, capture life, attain goals and reach "success" ... yet, perhaps, this practice allows us to experience life as the stones and trees and stars and mountains. Do stones feel that they must get somewhere, achieve something to be more "stoney"? Is there a star in the sky that thinks "I do not belong in this universe, and this is not my place and time"? Only human beings sometimes feel out of place.

    Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.


    Gassho, Jundo
    Last edited by Jundo; 07-01-2013 at 02:14 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  21. #21
    My quick take:

    Humans are thinking creatures and because of that, we like to assess and analyze and figure out. (We can even do this with our practice a little, too, I think) Nothing wrong with that. What is maybe kind of problem with that is when it is the sole way we approach our life. Constantly thinking, assessing, figuring out, in order to get better - then there is division and separation and delusion and disliking that and wanting this.

    What shikantaza is to me is what we already are but which we forget. Yes, we have this thinking, intellectualizing brain, and it's seriously helpful - but we also are this being, this right now, and our thinking and assessing and figuring out often makes us forget our nowness, lacking nothing, as Jundo says. Shikantaza is sitting with what we already are, as what we are, but have maybe forgotten.

    So, to me, the idea that you should be assessing your sticky thoughts is just another brain game, another way of forgetting what we already are, this, now, sitting, as Taigu would say, the entire universe sitting with you, sitting as you.

    In this regard, there is no journey - there only seems to be a journey to the thinking, assessing mind. Stopping thoughts, maybe kind of nice; being (not becoming) what we always already are and living it, that's zen to me. See, how can you get what you already are?

    Gassho
    Shōmon

  22. #22
    Senior Member Joyo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LimoLama View Post
    Hi Sam,

    I agree with Amelia, don't be discouraged - our teachers actually mean it well.

    Just stop analyzing your zazen, don't think about it. Man, that's actually the beauty of it - finally doing nothing. Let the chattering in your head come and let it go. Don't supress, but don't cling either.
    It's a bit like riding a bike. You don't analyze all the time where to shift your weight in order to keep balance.
    Just do it, just do it, just do it - and then it actually sits you! No you, no sitting, just pure being. Yet all there is is sitting.

    I remember something Abott Muho from Antaiji once said in a German documentary:
    "You must be willing to die on the cushion."

    Don't take that quote literally, it is neither about the amount of practice nor about the length of sittings. Ponder a bit on these words.

    I know you've probably heard it thousands of times here, but is so important:
    Drop everything, drop yourself, and just BE. And then being and doing become one.

    And as Taigu said in one of his videos (can't remember which one):
    "Simple, yet difficult."

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts, and be easy on yourself.

    Gassho,

    Timo

    Thank you for the excellent reminder, Timo! I have been frustrated with my meditation lately. My mind races, just races and races. I see the clear blue sky, somewhere in the distance, but the racing mind makes it very difficult. But, your words help to let go of the frustration and just let it be. My mind works very fast all day long, I am constantly thinking and analyzing things. Perhaps if I start letting this go, not just during zazen, but throughout the day, it will help everything to just slow right down.

    Gassho,
    Treena

  23. #23
    Thanks Jundo and Alan.

    Just wanted to share something that I found on internet similar to the counting method I am describing. I have underlined the piece that talks about a method similar. The best way though seems to be not to use any toys as Taigu and Jundo have advised.

    Issues that may arise in the practice:

    Compulsive thoughts: the question often arises ‘In just sitting, should we use any kind of antidote to quieten the thoughts down?’ I think there are two main ways to approach this. The ‘strict’ answer is that if we just sit in an alert posture with the intention to be in awareness of whatever arises, the awareness itself will eventually have the effect of quietening the thinking. If you have the patience to allow things to take their course in this way, you can learn some important lessons about yourself and the way your mind works.

    However, if you decide the thinking is too much for you, I think it’s quite acceptable initially to apply a very subtle ‘antidote’ within the spirit of just sitting, e.g. to gently ‘bring your awareness back’ to the present moment, again and again. This will probably have the effect of breaking up the stream of thoughts. A slightly less subtle approach is to say ‘thinking’ to yourself, whenever you notice thoughts are occurring. The label isn’t used as a blunt instrument to hammer the thoughts away! Thoughts occur quite naturally and don’t need to be suppressed. Labelling in this way just helps keep you present to what is arising now, but streams of thoughts tend to quieten down and become less intrusive. A more ‘interactive’ approach still is to ‘repeat’ the thought you have just had, e.g. if you notice you were thinking ‘how much longer this meditation is going to go on for?’ you repeat to yourself ‘thinking “how much longer this meditation is going to go on for?”’ Doing this for a while (I wouldn’t recommend doing it all the time) can give a very useful ‘feedback’ on exactly what you are thinking about, what is ‘coming up’, as well as tending to quieten the compulsive thoughts down.

    ‘Vegging out’ Another concern about the formless approach is that you will just enter a vague, vegetative mental state – sort of spacing out. This can happen. The best way of avoiding it is to set up and maintain awareness of your alert posture and body-experience. Have a sense of your centre of gravity in the ‘hara’ area (2 finger widths below navel). Sometimes it helps to have or keep the eyes open, sometimes (if you notice ‘vegging’ happening when the eyes are open) it can help to close the eyes.

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by Emmy View Post
    Thank you for the excellent reminder, Timo! I have been frustrated with my meditation lately. My mind races, just races and races. I see the clear blue sky, somewhere in the distance, but the racing mind makes it very difficult. But, your words help to let go of the frustration and just let it be. My mind works very fast all day long, I am constantly thinking and analyzing things. Perhaps if I start letting this go, not just during zazen, but throughout the day, it will help everything to just slow right down.

    Gassho,
    Treena
    Just sit as if a stone, a mountain, a tree. A stone does not worry about tomorrow's laundry or the mortgage to be paid. A mountain does not feel inferior for being smaller than the next mountain, or worry what time of day it is. A tree points to the sun and grows with the rain, yet does not "fear" a lack of sun or rain or the woodman's axe. For the minutes you are sitting, sit pretending you are like a stone, a mountain or a tree. Sit as a mirror which does not react to whatever appears before and in it.

    Of course, someone always reminds me that human beings are not rocks, mountains or trees! We need to get work done, make judgments, plan for tomorrow, learn from the past, have dreams and goals. Sure! I do not want truly to be like a rock or a pine. I am a sentient being, a human being and glad I am not some piece of granite or glass.

    The wonderful aspect of this Practice is that we can have our "Buddha-cake and eat it too", be both seemingly different ways at once. So, rising from the sitting cushion, we can be human beings and stones or trees at once. Thus, we can have "places we need to go, things to do" AND "no place in need of going, nothing more in need of doing" attitudes AT ONCE. We can make judgements and drop all judgements AT ONCE, have things we dislike and be "cool with it all" AT ONCE. We can plan for tomorrow and drop all thought of time AT ONCE! Goals and plans and goalless AT ONCE!

    See how that works? Like living, breathing rocks with warm hearts, trees with legs and complicated brains.

    Gassho, J
    Last edited by Jundo; 07-01-2013 at 03:48 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  25. #25
    Thank you Jundo ... I have always found the stone/tree analogy to be very helpful when the mind becomes busy.

    Gassho
    Shingen
    真 眼

    As a trainee priest, please take any commentary by me on matters of the Dharma with a pinch of salt.

  26. #26
    Hi Sam,

    I do not know Tejananda, the Dogzhen teacher who wrote that. You sure do like to look in Italian cookbooks to find out how to cook French food! I find that what Tejananda is discussing is close, but not quite the same.

    We also recommend a few minutes of following the breath when one is really really really tangled in thought, but then encourage folks to put that away and return to "just sitting" focused on everything and nothing in particular, sitting like a mirror or rock which pays "no nevermind". Look here:

    I recommend such practices only as temporary measures for true beginners with no experience of how to let the mind calm at all, or others on those sometime days when the mind really, really, really is upset and disturbed. AS SOON AS the mind settles a bit, I advise the we return our attention to “the clear, blue, spacious sky that holds all“, letting clouds of thought and emotion drift from mind, focused on what can be called “everything, and nothing at all” or “no place and everyplace at once.”
    http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showt...-%28Part-XI%29

    However, that is simply like the case of someone who is learning to swim, or momentarily gets flustered, and starts to drown for a second. You might haul them out of the pool for a minute, give them a towel, let them calm down and have a "breather" before letting them get back in the water. Only for use in cases where someone really can't relax and settle down (can't find their inner mountain, tree or stone). But once you get the hang of it, swimming and splashing in the pool is child's play, as easy as relaxing and floating along.

    In fact, the more one struggles, thinks about it or analyzes (Tejananda says to "kick first then breathe and move my left hand" but Maezumi says to "focus on the right hand") instead of just swimming, the harder it gets.

    Gassho, J
    Last edited by Jundo; 07-01-2013 at 02:48 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  27. #27
    Senior Member Joyo's Avatar
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    Thank you, I will give that a try. My mind is busy all the time, I'm pretty sure that's why I struggle with meditation so much. I hope this helps, it gets discouraging that I cannot rest my mind, especially while sitting.

    Gassho

  28. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by Emmy View Post
    Thank you, I will give that a try. My mind is busy all the time, I'm pretty sure that's why I struggle with meditation so much. I hope this helps, it gets discouraging that I cannot rest my mind, especially while sitting.

    Gassho
    Emmy,

    Imagine that during Zazen you start thinking about the piles of laundry you have to do. The problem is not the thoughts, as much as you being bothered by the thoughts, then grabbing on to them, letting them lead you into thinking about the laundry**, playing with them and getting tangled. Just let thoughts be, let them come and go, and pay 'em "no nevermind". If thoughts of laundry come, just have the attitude "I will think about the laundry after Zazen, right now is Zazen time". The laundry will generally wait a few minutes to be thought about. *** Now is "vacation from laundry" time while sitting.

    ** Substitute any thought about anything in life for "laundry" I mention here, and you will get my point.

    Neither try to stop the thoughts nor worry about the thoughts. Ignore them, let em be, like one sometimes ignores a child having a tantrum (because paying attention sometimes just feeds the tantrum). Stay cool, and the child will usually settle down on his own when realizing the tantrum is not getting attention.

    Likewise, although we do not try to calm the thoughts (let alone stop the thoughts!), the thoughts too will tend to naturally settle, clear, become translucent because you didn't play their game, didn't pay them no attention. You may actually experience a very enlightened state in which (1) there is a pile of smelly laundry to do and which you are thinking about and (2) there is no laundry, no "clean vs dirty" ... AT ONCE! (A Buddha never has "dirty robes", and they are always pure, even when torn, sweaty or covered with curry stains from lunch and all that walking across India! )

    Your (1) having thoughts about the laundry and (2) being bothered by and jumping on to having thoughts about the laundry (suddenly thinking what soap to use, then what time is the best time to do it, then whether you have pants for tomorrow etc. etc. ... one thought leading to the next) ... are not the same thing. Even if laundry (or some other) thoughts come, just pay the laundry no nevermind for the little "vacation from laundry" time you are sitting.

    Rocks and trees do not worry about getting their laundry done! Mirrors reflect piles of dirty laundry sitting before them without rendering any judgment.

    Later, rising from the cushion, you may learn how to "do the laundry" and experience "no laundry in need of doing" AT ONCE!

    Gassho, J

    PS

    *** If the thought, however, is "pile laundry is one fire" or "baby is about to jump into the dryer" that is different. You have my okay to momentarily break off Zazen, put out fire or rescue baby ... then resume sitting.
    Last edited by Jundo; 07-01-2013 at 10:21 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  29. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    Just sit as if a stone, a mountain, a tree. A stone does not worry about tomorrow's laundry or the mortgage to be paid. A mountain does not feel inferior for being smaller than the next mountain, or worry what time of day it is. A tree points to the sun and grows with the rain, yet does not "fear" a lack of sun or rain or the woodman's axe. For the minutes you are sitting, sit pretending you are like a stone, a mountain or a tree.

    Of course, someone always reminds me that human beings are not rocks, mountains or trees! We need to get work done, make judgments, plan for tomorrow, learn from the past, have dreams and goals. Sure! I do not want truly to be like a rock or a pine. I am a sentient being, a human being and glad I am not some piece of granite.

    The wonderful aspect of this Practice is that we can have our "Buddha-cake and eat it too", be both seemingly different ways at once. So, rising from the sitting cushion, we can be human beings and stones or trees at once. Thus, we can have "places we need to go, things to do" AND "no place in need of going, nothing more in need of doing" attitudes AT ONCE. We can make judgements and drop all judgements AT ONCE, have things we dislike and be "cool with it all" AT ONCE. We can plan for tomorrow and drop all thought of time AT ONCE! Goals and plans and goalless AT ONCE!

    See how that works? Like living, breathing rocks with warm hearts, trees with legs and complicated brains.

    Gassho, J
    Big thank you for this.
    Shōmon

  30. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    Emmy,

    Imagine that during Zazen you start thinking about the piles of laundry you have to do. The problem is not the thoughts, as much as you being bothered by the thoughts, then grabbing on to them, letting them lead you into thinking about the laundry**, playing with them and getting tangled. Just let thoughts be, let them come and go, and pay 'em "no nevermind". If thoughts of laundry come, just have the attitude "I will think about the laundry after Zazen, right now is Zazen time". The laundry will generally wait a few minutes to be thought about. *** Now is "vacation from laundry" time while sitting.

    ** Substitute any thought about anything in life for "laundry" I mention here, and you will get my point.

    Neither try to stop the thoughts nor worry about the thoughts. Ignore them, let em be....
    Hi Jundo,

    Thanks for that explanation. The problem is this. For a beginner like me, it is not easy to ignore and let thoughts come and go. I find that I easily grab onto thoughts and realize only after a while that I have been caught up. This is the most common scenario during my Zazen. The scenario of letting thoughts come and go is very rare. I don't know about Emmy but I think this is the most common case for all beginners. Getting caught up in loops of thoughts.

    What is your advice for this case? When I realize, I'm getting caught up in a thought-stream, what do I do? Just sit with that? Or count breaths? Or do something else?

    - Sam

  31. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by shikantazen View Post
    Hi Jundo,

    Thanks for that explanation. The problem is this. For a beginner like me, it is not easy to ignore and let thoughts come and go. I find that I easily grab onto thoughts and realize only after a while that I have been caught up. This is the most common scenario during my Zazen. The scenario of letting thoughts come and go is very rare. I don't know about Emmy but I think this is the most common case for all beginners. Getting caught up in loops of thoughts.

    What is your advice for this case? When I realize, I'm getting caught up in a thought-stream, what do I do? Just sit with that? Or count breaths? Or do something else?

    - Sam
    Hi Sam,

    Just realize and come back again and again, 10,000 times and 10,000 times. Continue for decades without worrying about it.

    Uchiyama Roshi (already an old guy when he wrote this, sitting for decades) had the best visual diagram and explanation for this. He was more a "come back to the posture" guy, and I am more a "come back to just sitting like a mirror, with everything and nothing in particular" guy ... but it really makes little difference and is all the same.

    If you have not read it before (or even if you have), Uchiyama has one of the most elegant "diagrams" of Shikantaza's way in his book "Opening the Hand of Thought". Lovely.

    Please go here, find page 52, entitled "Waking Up To Life" (or as close as you can if that page is missing), and read to page 60 (about the diagram drawing on page 54) ... notice especially the part where he says "Zazen is not being glued to line ZZ'" (what I might call "returning to the clear, open, blue sky 10,00 times and 10,000 times again")

    http://books.google.co.jp/books?id=O...page&q&f=false
    Laundry constantly builds up. Do not seek to eliminate the laundry. One just does the laundry 10,000 times and 10,000 times again, until learning to pay the laundry no nevermind.

    Gassho, J
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  32. #32
    Senior Member Daisho's Avatar
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    Hi Jundo, Joko Beck said that when her mind is busy, she listens to the traffic outside to help her mind to be still. That made me think of a way to still mine. For me silence is not without sound because I always here a slight "buzzing." It kind of reminds me of the early evening sounds in the country--the cicadas beginning to sing with a cricket or 2 thrown in! It"s not distracting and actually pleasant sound to go to sleep by. So, when my when I'm sitting and my mind is just babbling on, I just listen to this sound and when I'm doing that, I think of nothing else. Hopefully that"s an acceptable practice for sitting. Yes, I am just hearing things!
    Gassho,

    Daisho


    (Jack K.)

  33. #33
    Listening to sounds is Kannon's practice. I also do the same, traffic is great. Birds are great. Radiators are great.

    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.

  34. #34
    Thank you Daisho, Taigu and Jundo.

    Sam

  35. #35
    Quote Originally Posted by Daisho View Post
    Hi Jundo, Joko Beck said that when her mind is busy, she listens to the traffic outside to help her mind to be still. That made me think of a way to still mine. For me silence is not without sound because I always here a slight "buzzing." It kind of reminds me of the early evening sounds in the country--the cicadas beginning to sing with a cricket or 2 thrown in! It"s not distracting and actually pleasant sound to go to sleep by. So, when my when I'm sitting and my mind is just babbling on, I just listen to this sound and when I'm doing that, I think of nothing else. Hopefully that"s an acceptable practice for sitting. Yes, I am just hearing things!
    I would say that, so long as one is hearing without being attached to what one is hearing (i.e., not judging or running toward nor away from what one is hearing), forgetting the difference between hearer and heard, and without trying to quiet thoughts (rather, simply not being attached to thoughts that come and not playing their game) ... it is fine.

    Gassho, J
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  36. #36
    I do not know Tejananda, the Dogzhen teacher who wrote that
    Tejananda is an experienced teacher of Triratna (formerly the Western Buddhist Order) living in North Wales rather than a Dzogchen teacher. I did a week of retreat with him a couple of years back and he tends to work with just sitting practices that are, as Jundo says, similar to shikantaza although not identical. He has practiced a lot with Lama Shenpen (also in Wales) who does have a background in Dzogchen/Mahamudra and his teachings have more in common with that approach.

    Gassho
    Andy

  37. #37
    Senior Member Joyo's Avatar
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    Jundo, thank you for the laundry post, that does make sense. I have a question, can pebble meditation be incorporated with shikantanza, especially for the beginner who has a mind that wanders and races so much? I have been reading a book by TNH and he explains pebble meditation beautifully, he talks about meditating on being a mountain, feeling solid, then space, feeling free (free from thoughts, worries, or laundry). Could this be a good start to zazen sitting or something to help quiet the mind during zazen?

    Also, that book "Opening the Hand of Thought" would you recommend it for beginners? I am wanting to read some good books for beginners to Zen practice.

  38. #38
    Hi Sam,

    I just wanted to second Jundo's recommendation of the Opening the Hand of Thought book, especially the diagrams on zazen - I think you'll find this helpful.

    I also wanted to add that when I first began practicing (not necessarily zen at the time), I had a million questions as well, was dipping into this and that, etc, and frankly, I wasn't brave enough to ask anyone about it when I did have questions, or alternately, I was so stubborn as to believe I had it all figured out - so I just wanted to commend you on (and thank you for) that, on your openness and honesty and what is clearly a sincere motivation to practice well.

    Gassho
    Last edited by alan.r; 07-01-2013 at 10:18 PM.
    Shōmon

  39. #39
    Quote Originally Posted by Emmy View Post
    Jundo, thank you for the laundry post, that does make sense. I have a question, can pebble meditation be incorporated with shikantanza, especially for the beginner who has a mind that wanders and races so much? I have been reading a book by TNH and he explains pebble meditation beautifully, he talks about meditating on being a mountain, feeling solid, then space, feeling free (free from thoughts, worries, or laundry). Could this be a good start to zazen sitting or something to help quiet the mind during zazen?

    Also, that book "Opening the Hand of Thought" would you recommend it for beginners? I am wanting to read some good books for beginners to Zen practice.
    Hi Emmy,

    I believe the below is the "pebble meditation" to which you refer. I would say that we do not sit in such way during Shikantaza Zazen on the cushion, when we just sit with "what is" in the way described in this thread ... no tools. We are clear mirrors, even reflecting the unclear times.

    However, at other times of the day, if you want to try such a practice, please do! I would caution you, however, to not become dependent on the stone, and throw it away eventually.

    I also say that our Zazen is not about needing to feel happy and peaceful (small "p") all the time. I wrote today on another thread ...

    I do not emphasize [such practices] for our Zazen at Treeleaf, however, for the simple reason that our Zazen here (I feel) is not in need of tools or tranquilizers to "feel happy" during Zazen. Ours is more a joyful, vibrant equanimity ... a Joy so Joyous that it does not even crave to feel small human "happy happy happy" all the time to be happy!

    In fact, Shikantaza is not about always needing or seeking to "feel happy", peaceful, blissful, etc.. (I might term it a kind of Greater Joy and Happiness about all of life in its richness and many colors, which includes sometimes feeling happy and joyous, sometimes sad, sometimes in between). So, we do not try or need to feel any particular way in our Zazen, and certainly do not run after sensations of peace, happiness, bliss (which we consider like candy ... we cannot eat sweet candy all the time, or get hooked on needed constant "sweetness", but must have a balanced diet which includes the not sweet vegetables!) During Zazen, we let all emotions drift from mind without clinging onto any of them. This is true both during Zazen, and in all of life, when we should not need to feel one way all the time, should take life as it comes in all its richness. To truly be at Peace (Big "P") means a Peace which embraces all of daily life, sometimes peaceful and sometimes not. There is a time for all ... sometimes candy, sometimes vegetables ... sometimes joy, sometimes tears ...
    http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showt...l=1#post104131
    Our Zazen is thus much more Powerful than simply a way to feel tranquilized and giddy all the time ... a True Joy that sweeps in all of life's banquet (though dropping away the "poison foods" of greed anger and ignorance).

    So, Shikantaza folks are not big "stoners"!

    Gassho, Jundo

    PS - Opening the Hand of Thought is right at the top of the list for books we recommend for new folks. Here is the whole list ...

    http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showt...REELEAF-SANGHA

    Pebble Meditation-From A Pebble for Your Pocket by Thich Nhat Hanh

    1) One Pebble
    A Pebble for Your Pocket
    Sometimes when we become angry during the day, it is difficult to remember to stop and breathe. I know a good way for you to remember to stop and breathe when you are angry or upset. First go for a walk and find a pebble that you like. Then, go sit near the Buddha, if there is one in your house, or outside under a special tree or on a special rock, or go to your room. With the pebble in your hand, say:

    Dear Buddha,
    Here is my pebble. I am going to practice with it when things go wrong in my day. Whenever I am angry or upset, I will take the pebble in my hand and breathe deeply. I will do this until I calm down.

    Now put your pebble in your pocket and take it with you wherever you go. When something happens during the day that makes you unhappy, put your hand in your pocket, take hold of the pebble, breathe deeply, and say to yourself, “Breathing in, I know I am angry. Breathing out, I am taking good care of my anger.” Do this until you feel a lot better and can smile to your anger.

    2) Four Pebbles
    Place the four pebbles in front of you…
    Pick up the first
    I am fresh as a flower,
    In, fresh,
    Out flower (bell)
    Put down the first, pick up the second
    I am solid as a mountain
    In solid, out mountain (bell)
    Put down second, pick up the third
    I am water reflecting
    In water, out reflecting (bell)
    I am free as the moon in space
    In free, out space


    3) Five Pebbles (excerpt from a dharma talk by Thay)
    After you are sitting in the stable, beautiful position, then take out your little bag of five pebbles. It is very important to do it slowly, mindfully. You take each pebble one by one, just in front of your left knee. One, two, three, four, five. And you put the little empty bag next to them.

    After you hear the sound of the bell, you begin to practice pebble meditation. It’s very beautiful practice. I love this practice. I breathe in, and I call the name of the person I love. If your mother is a person you love,
    When you breathe in, you breathe deeply and call “Mommy!” Call her name in such a way that she becomes totally present, even if she is not there with you, even if she is in the kitchen, or in another city, or another town,
    Or even if she is no longer there alive. She is with you in that moment. Call her name, deeply, with all your heart, and breathe in, and she is there with you, right away, very real, very deep. And when you breathe out, you say, “Here I am.”
    Last edited by Jundo; 07-02-2013 at 02:14 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  40. #40
    Senior Member Joyo's Avatar
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    Thank you, Jundo. I'm not a stoner either I don't even do a formal sit-down pebble meditation or even use pebbles. I just repeat the words mountain/solid, for example, when my kids are testing my patience or some such thing. (so, as any parent can understand, I say mountain/solid about 500 times a day lol!!)

    I actually took your advice today in regards to "laundry" and it made a huge difference. I cannot focus much on the clear blue sky, however, or my mind starts to race. Instead, I focus on breathing. I prefer the blue sky, I find it more peaceful and it just sweeps the mind of so many unnecessary things. However, I am new to this, so I guess I'll give it some time.

    As for the book recommendations, thank you. Somehow I missed that post, but I definitely want to read them.

    Gassho,
    Emmy
    Last edited by Joyo; 07-02-2013 at 02:49 AM.

  41. #41
    Senior Member ZenHarmony's Avatar
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    Hi, Emmy!

    I've just started "Opening the Hand of Thought" and it's just lovely, I'm learning so much from it.

    Gassho,

    Lisa

  42. #42
    Hi Jundo/Taigu,

    Dont want to open another thread on my below question so posting it here

    Sometimes during sitting, I feel my palms (the mudra) get very heavy as if there is a very heavy object that is within (the air in) the palms. When I finish my sitting and lift my palms/hands, I can easily lift them though. Not sure what this is.

    - Sam

  43. #43
    Your breathing is not in harmony with your body. Just breathe normal but from the belly. No special techniques needed.

    Hope it helps?

    Gassho
    Enkyo

  44. #44
    Quote Originally Posted by shikantazen View Post
    Hi Jundo/Taigu,

    Dont want to open another thread on my below question so posting it here

    Sometimes during sitting, I feel my palms (the mudra) get very heavy as if there is a very heavy object that is within (the air in) the palms. When I finish my sitting and lift my palms/hands, I can easily lift them though. Not sure what this is.

    - Sam
    Hi Sam,

    I am not sure about Enkyo's advice on breathing in connection with the hands. It might be so, but I would tend to think it either a kind of illusion (because of the stillness and "sensory deprivation" of Zazen, we can just become very conscious of various sensations of the body we usually do not notice. For example, I sometimes have really felt my eartops tingling just because my attention is drawn there). Or, my other guess is that you are sitting in some way that you are holding your hand and arm muscles tight, and not relaxed, and they just grow tired and feel heavy. Is the Mudra resting in your lap ...



    or are you holding it up in the air or against your chest somehow ...





    Gassho, J
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  45. #45
    Sometimes during sitting, I feel my palms (the mudra) get very heavy as if there is a very heavy object that is within (the air in) the palms. When I finish my sitting and lift my palms/hands, I can easily lift them though. Not sure what this is.
    Sam, I imagine our teachers will give you a more comprehensive reply but when we relax our limbs become heavy. This may be what you are experiencing. Do you feel the same in your legs too?

    Gassho
    Andy

  46. #46
    Yeah the mudra is resting on my lap and not in the air or against my chest. The heaviness is also accompanied by a kind of "rock"/still feeling as if I am inside a rock or the air around me has become a rock like hard substance making me immovable.

    It definitely sounds like an illusion but it happens pretty often to ignore. I don't think I am holding my hands or muscles tight but may be doing it without my knowledge. Do I need to intentionally relax my body head to toe when this happens?

    Karasu, my legs are fine

  47. #47
    Hi Sam,

    Try to relax the muscles for a moment, see what happens.

    But after that, most importantly, just pay this "no nevermind" and turn your attention back to just sitting. Let it be just another something in the room that you neither run toward or away from, another image in the clear mirror. Unless it is a condition that is truly painful for long periods or life threatening, I would just ignore it as a curiosity. I have a hunch that, when you stop noticing, fixating on it and grabbing it with your mind, and just sit in a relaxed way ... POOF, it will be gone.

    Keep us posted.

    Gassho, Jundo
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  48. #48
    Senior Member pinoybuddhist's Avatar
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    Sam:

    Just wanted to add that this practice is kind of like being a daruma - which is a kind of doll in Japan with a weight on the bottom so that no matter how many times you knock it down it always gets back up. Let's use that image, okay? So you fall and get back up. And you fall and get back up. And you fall and get back up. That is the practice. And who knows? Maybe in time you will get to a point where you will not fall too often, or you'll fall but you'll get up faster than you do right now (when I look at my own few measly years' experience though, I doubt it - but who knows, right?). But whether you do or not is not the point of the practice. It is not the point of the practice to get to a level of no longer falling (and therefore no longer needing to get up). The practice is the point.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    Laundry constantly builds up. Do not seek to eliminate the laundry. One just does the laundry 10,000 times and 10,000 times again, until learning to pay the laundry no nevermind.

    Gassho, J
    Gassho,
    Rafael

  49. #49
    Quote Originally Posted by pinoybuddhist View Post
    Sam:

    Just wanted to add that this practice is kind of like being a daruma - which is a kind of doll in Japan with a weight on the bottom so that no matter how many times you knock it down it always gets back up. Let's use that image, okay? So you fall and get back up. And you fall and get back up. And you fall and get back up. That is the practice. And who knows? Maybe in time you will get to a point where you will not fall too often, or you'll fall but you'll get up faster than you do right now (when I look at my own few measly years' experience though, I doubt it - but who knows, right?). But whether you do or not is not the point of the practice. It is not the point of the practice to get to a level of no longer falling (and therefore no longer needing to get up). The practice is the point.
    Nice Raf. Like a Karate guy, one does get better at falling and not falling and getting up.

    One also "gets to" a point where on realizes that ... falling and not falling, getting up or getting down or holding in between .. there is simultaneously no place to fall, no up and down or in between. ALL AT ONCE.

    Gassho, J
    Last edited by Jundo; 07-04-2013 at 02:58 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  50. #50
    Thanks Jundo, will try that and see next time it appears. Rafael that's is a pretty good metaphor, thank you for that.

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