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Thread: Fearless

  1. #1

    Fearless

    I'd just like to share a development. When I first learned to sit\practice there came a point where existential confusion, alienation, and fear, (the kind of fear associated with "what is the meaning of life?" questions) subsided in "just sitting". Like Jundo has said here (can't remember where exactly) ...seeking creates a sense of incompleteness. Seeking kicks the ball down the road. When seeking is dropped, the big existential questions are resolved. My bones are my bones, the sun is the sun. Yet this ending of a certain primordial fear/confusion did not remove all situational anxiety. This situation or that situation can still bring up anxious feelings. The difference is that the feelings do not go all the way to the bottom like they used to. A storm may rage on the surface, and it is fully felt, but on the ocean floor it is still. It is this "not reaching all the way down" that is emerging in a natural way lately, and the thing is, it is doing so all by itself. Maybe this is just getting older? Maybe it is sitting uselessly every day? I'm not sure, but it seems a lifetime away from fearful, confusing, world I knew as a child.

    Gassho Daizan
    Last edited by Daizan; 07-17-2013 at 01:43 PM.
    大山

  2. #2
    Hello Daizan,

    thank you for sharing this.

    Gassho,

    Hans Chudo Mongen
    Chudo Mongen, Ordained Novice Priest-in-Training

  3. #3
    Thank you Daizan for sharing these thoughts and feelings.

    Gassho
    Shingen
    倫道 真現

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

  4. #4
    I am still very curious about 100,000 things, about how this universe is put together and where (if anywhere) it came from. Life is filled with open questions and unending mysteries.

    However, this Way totally resolved for me all existential confusion, alienation and fear, and I am totally at home. The "meaning of life" is crystal clear.

    I may not know what this universe is made of, but I know exactly what it is made of (much like a mariner who may not know every corner of the sea, or all mysteries of the deep ... yet knows thoroughly the salt and wind and water he sails, and which sails him). I may not know where this world came from, but I know exactly where it is coming From. Also non-coming from each timeless instant.

    I guess statements like the above only make sense to other Zen folks.

    Gassho, J
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  5. #5
    Friend of Treeleaf Taikyo's Avatar
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    Thank you Daizan you words echo my experience.

    Gassho

    David

  6. #6
    Thank you Daizan and Jundo for sharing your experience. There are many situations that still push my buttons but all roads seem to lead back to my practice.
    _/_
    Rich
    MUHYO
    無 (MU, Emptiness) and 氷 (HYO, Ice) ... Emptiness Ice ...

  7. #7
    Senior Member Koshin's Avatar
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    Thank you Daizan, great sharing... maybe someday soon will see you on Zaznekai --you are always there anyway --, I really enjoy your posts

    Gassho
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    P.S. Yup, I know, my English sucks

  8. #8
    Treeleaf Unsui/Engineer Kyonin's Avatar
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    Thank you for this teaching.

    It's always awesome to read you, Daizan.

    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

  9. #9
    Treeleaf Unsui Yugen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rich View Post
    There are many situations that still push my buttons but all roads seem to lead back to my practice.
    Words to live by. Brilliant. Thank you Rich.

    Daizan, deep bows and thank you.

    Yugen
    Treeleaf Sangha Shuso Ango Head October 2014
    -----------------------------------------------------------
    Please take all my comments with a grain of salt - I am a novice priest and anything I say is to be taken with a good dose of skepticism - Shodo Yugen

  10. #10
    Treeleaf Unsui Dosho's Avatar
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    Thank you Daizan...I feel much the same way and couldn't have said it any better than that.

    Gassho,
    Dosho
    Shudo Dosho - Ordained Priest-in-Training
    With your help and guidance from Jundo & Taigu
    I am learning, but please take what I say with a
    grain of salt, especially in matters of the Dharma.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Myosha's Avatar
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    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

  12. #12
    Senior Member Joyo's Avatar
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    Thank you Daizan, you shared so much of my own thoughts and experiences. I've also wondered if it's from getting older, but I can definitely attribute my change in outlook to when I committed to Buddhism.

    Gassho,
    Treena

  13. #13
    Thank you for these responses. It is good to hear that this experience is a common one. I figure it is, but still it is very good to hear.

    I'm also curious about 100,000 things. This evening the CBC science series, The Nature of Things, looked into the search for life on other planets. It recounted how there are billions of galaxies, and billions of solar systems within in each galaxy. Then it reported recent findings in this Galaxy... It turns out that "Goldilocks" planets (not too hot and not too cold) or very common, and there are also many water worlds. These are not just planets with water, they are warm ocean worlds. The thinking is that life occurs when conditions are appropriate, and that appropriate conditions may be common. Talk about firing curiosity!

    Gassho, Daizan

    Hi Kōshin, I've been missing Zazenkai, been working evenings mostly. I'll be at Zazenkai again, and will pick up the habit. Gassho.
    大山

  14. #14
    Hi Daizan and others,

    Yes, I have this feeling, too, about some situational anxiety or worry not going all the way down. Like the song goes, it's more than a feeling, really. But also this: when I began this practice (at first, vipassana), one thing I strongly felt was that that deep still water at the bottom of the ocean had always been there. That much of my own suffering was dramatized and hyperbolic, and I had always known that I was, almost, playacting somehow. Being insincere somehow. I just wasn't able to recognize it or realize it, etc.

    Gassho
    Shōmon

  15. #15
    Senior Member Heisoku's Avatar
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    Funny thing fear, but fearless isn't bravery it's just that the things that we didn't understand or know how to handle are not so important any more. Fearlessness is walking knowing that whatever you meet will be met, and that the universe is fine with you in it (and everything else!). It's a lovin' thing.
    Heisoku
    平 息

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    I am still very curious about 100,000 things, about how this universe is put together and where (if anywhere) it came from. Life is filled with open questions and unending mysteries.

    However, this Way totally resolved for me all existential confusion, alienation and fear, and I am totally at home. The "meaning of life" is crystal clear.

    I may not know what this universe is made of, but I know exactly what it is made of (much like a mariner who may not know every corner of the sea, or all mysteries of the deep ... yet knows thoroughly the salt and wind and water he sails, and which sails him). I may not know where this world came from, but I know exactly where it is coming From. Also non-coming from each timeless instant.

    I guess statements like the above only make sense to other Zen folks.

    Gassho, J
    Thank you Daizan!!! This is an excellent and inspiring post.

    Jundo: I think that is right on (well I'm just a newbie anyway, but it feels right on ). When starting this practice you have to have a certain degree of faith because, for instance, it was just not in my experience that Form is Emptiness and Emptiness is Form; Brad talks about that in his new book, but I fully concur. I still don't fully "get it". But I think the more one practices, the more faith is replaced with experience. It's pretty interesting how the practice even continues. Why would we all continue practice when we were completely unsure about what it all meant? Why the hell didn't I give up? I'm thankful I didn't but there is certainly a mystery, a sort of "magic" that brings us to the cushion. I think it's similar to the magic that allows us to push forward with questions that we don't know will get answered.. the truly important questions that no one can answer but ourselves.

    I think it's that drive to practice and question that really binds us as a Sangha.

    Gassho,

    Risho

  17. #17
    Risho, your sincere comments are appreciated.
    form is emptiness
    emptiness is form
    no form
    no emptiness
    form is form
    emptiness is emptiness.

    this can be understood from a scientific view. Even something with form is just from our perspective tightly packed molecules. But no matter how tightly packed there are spaces between them or emptiness. And what we think of as emptiness has molecules or something in it. So there is really no form and no emptiness. But in order to function we recognize relatively the form and the emptiness. Something like that.

  18. #18
    Thank you Daizan, very well said.

    Gassho.
    Neika / Ian Adams

    寧 Nei - Peaceful/Courteous
    火 Ka - Fire

    Look for Buddha outside your own mind, and Buddha becomes the devil. --Dogen

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Daizan View Post
    I'd just like to share a development. When I first learned to sit\practice there came a point where existential confusion, alienation, and fear, (the kind of fear associated with "what is the meaning of life?" questions) subsided in "just sitting". Like Jundo has said here (can't remember where exactly) ...seeking creates a sense of incompleteness. Seeking kicks the ball down the road. When seeking is dropped, the big existential questions are resolved. My bones are my bones, the sun is the sun. Yet this ending of a certain primordial fear/confusion did not remove all situational anxiety. This situation or that situation can still bring up anxious feelings. The difference is that the feelings do not go all the way to the bottom like they used to. A storm may rage on the surface, and it is fully felt, but on the ocean floor it is still. It is this "not reaching all the way down" that is emerging in a natural way lately, and the thing is, it is doing so all by itself. Maybe this is just getting older? Maybe it is sitting uselessly every day? I'm not sure, but it seems a lifetime away from fearful, confusing, world I knew as a child.

    Gassho Daizan
    This is great to read. As a beginner I have not reached the place that you describe yet. In fact, since switching from secular meditation to what I hope to be a deeper and more meaningful practice, I've been filled with anxiety each time I go to the cushion. I find your post quite inspiring.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Nengyo's Avatar
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    You guys sure are weird. Hasn't anyone told you? There isn't anything to old Dogen's practice
    Try not to be a jerk-- one of the Buddhas

  21. #21
    I vote for the sitting.
    As I age I feel more fearful and weaker, which is normal, more at the mercy of the elements in samsara.
    Zazen, daily or close to it, creates the depth where storms can't get to, or if they do have no force, and also we can see them coming.
    So aging seems to make us more suceptible to suffering. It's the paractice: the zazen, the verse of the okesa, the refuge, the Bodhisattva vows, the readings, this: the sangha, that helps us see the storm coming; it hits but loses the teeth, there is room to sit and watch.
    You keep posting my mind, Daizan.
    Seido.
    "Know that the practice of zazen is the complete path of buddha-dharma and nothing can be compared to it....it is not the practice of one or two buddhas but all the buddha ancestors practice this way."
    Dogen zenji in Bendowa






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