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Thread: SIT-A-LONG with Jundo - TO ALL SOLO PRACTITIONERS: Don't Be A Selfish Pratyeka-buddha

  1. #1

    SIT-A-LONG with Jundo - TO ALL SOLO PRACTITIONERS: Don't Be A Selfish Pratyeka-buddha

    Many times I hear folks say that they want to practice on their own, and not join in a Buddhist Community, because doing so gets in the way of their own practicing and sitting. They say that other people or having a teacher are a distraction, take up "my" precious time, are not a benefit to "me".

    Well, I say: Don't be a selfish sitter, a Pratyeka-buddha.

    There is an obligation, a face of the Bodhisattva Vow and taking refuge in Sangha, to support the Practice of others and not to be a Pratyeka-buddha. Ours is a Path beyond one's personal needs and wants. It is not a matter simply about what "I" want, what "I" need to do or learn, staring into my own navel.

    Pratyeka-buddha:

    In Buddhism, one who attains enlightenment through his own efforts rather than by listening to the teachings of a buddha. The way of the self-enlightened buddha was criticized in Mahayana Buddhism, which rejects the path of self-enlightenment as too limiting and embraces the ideal of the Bodhisattva, who postpones final enlightenment to work for the rescue of others.
    It is much like family and children, who we tend to and spend time with ... whether we selfishly always want to or not, and whether or not we would rather run away. Community activity is vital. Sure, there is a place for "time alone" (whether in my "man cave" in the house or my "Bodhidharma cave" in the mountains), but in the end we have a duty to the community ... and to ourself ... to help and be together.

    Self and other are 'not two', and the community leaves us all stronger.




    Last edited by Jundo; 08-17-2013 at 06:58 PM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  2. #2
    Wonderful Jundo ... practice and the sangha are not two, but one. Each supports the other equally.

    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.

  3. #3
    Thank you Jundo. How can we be selfish if there is no self?

    Gassho,
    Joe

  4. #4
    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

  5. #5
    Thank you, Jundo. I get the impression that some people are reluctant to commit to a sangha as something might be asked of them. In today's western society, people seem to be all about wanting freedom without wanting responsibility.

    The daily quote from Tricycle seems pertinent:
    "The way ‘spirituality’ is often used suggests that we exist solely as a collection of individuals, not as members of a religious community, and that religious life is merely a private journey. It is the religious expression of the ideology of free-market economics and of the radical 'disencumbered' individualism that idolizes the choice-making individual as the prime reality in the world."
    -- Robert Bellah, “Future of Religion”


    Gassho
    Andy

  6. #6
    Senior Member Heisoku's Avatar
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    Thank you Jundo for this reminder of the Bodhisattva Way.
    Andy it seems to me that the free-market ideologies use choice-making individualism to ensure that any failure is reflected back onto said isolated individuals as poor decision-making rather than onto any inherent weakness in its system, particularly the concept of 'unfairness'.
    The Bodhisattva Way obliges us to maintain our efforts on the practice of the way and through our practice open up the way to others, perhaps when they start to question the realities of the prevailing free-market concepts of what life is for. After all it was Joe Kennedy who said that in the end everybody does business with everyone else.
    Heisoku
    平 息

  7. #7
    Friend of Treeleaf Daido's Avatar
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    Gassho,

    Daido
    Jiken Daido - Unsui at Treeleaf's Brother Sangha, the Blue Mountain White Clouds Hermitage.

    Do not just accept what I say. Decide for yourself if it rings true for you

  8. #8
    Senior Member Nameless's Avatar
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    Thank you Jundo. A great reminder.

    Gassho, John

  9. #9
    Senior Member pinoybuddhist's Avatar
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    Rafael

  10. #10
    Senior Member Nengyo's Avatar
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    Thank you Jundo. I think this sums up my feelings on the subject (minus the strippers and drugs of course):



    Try not to be a jerk-- one of the Buddhas

  11. #11
    Thanks Jundo. In my experience in sitting these many years, I am more committed in my sitting when in a group. Let's be honest, when sitting by one's self, if no one is watching it is easy to scratch your nose or go let the cat in the room. No one is watching. I could even sleep or cut my practice short today! Watch the last few episodes of Breaking Bad or a cool new video by Jundo. They have the same haircut! But when I am with a group (in person or online) I feel sense of responsibility to sit sincerely. I sit for myself, but I also sit for you. And you. And you too. Jundo said that a committed Buddhist does not consider himself higher than the rest, but lower. Lao Tzu said that rivers have power because they go low. Or was that Bruce Lee? Both probably. Well, as Sting so creepishly said, "I'll be watching you." I hope for your support as well. Thanks, Anzan

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by anzan View Post
    Thanks Jundo. In my experience in sitting these many years, I am more committed in my sitting when in a group. Let's be honest, when sitting by one's self, if no one is watching it is easy to scratch your nose or go let the cat in the room. No one is watching. I could even sleep or cut my practice short today! Watch the last few episodes of Breaking Bad or a cool new video by Jundo. They have the same haircut! But when I am with a group (in person or online) I feel sense of responsibility to sit sincerely. I sit for myself, but I also sit for you. And you. And you too. Jundo said that a committed Buddhist does not consider himself higher than the rest, but lower. Lao Tzu said that rivers have power because they go low. Or was that Bruce Lee? Both probably. Well, as Sting so creepishly said, "I'll be watching you." I hope for your support as well. Thanks, Anzan
    Mmuuhhhhaaa we are watching you Anzan.

    But you are right about that ... a great example of why the Sangha is such a wonderful part of our practice (both online and in person).

    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.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Genshin's Avatar
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    Thank you Jundo.

    Gassho
    Matt

  14. #14
    Senior Member Joyo's Avatar
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    yes, thank you for the reminder.

    Gassho,
    Treena

  15. #15
    Treeleaf Unsui Shokai's Avatar
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    Great advice Jumdo. Thank you for this teaching
    gassho, Shokai, still learning the way and knowing nothing
    仁道 生開 - Jindo Shokai "Open to life in a benevolent way"
    Just another itinerant monk; go somewhere else to listen to someone who really knows.

  16. #16
    Hi everyone,
    I'm afraid I have been a selfish "buddha" & have been trying to sit on my own for a while now. Before finding Treeleaf I went through a very anti-religious phase; when all the Zen sex scandal stories were flying around earlier this year I reacted in the same way & wanted nothing to do with organised Zen at all. I stopped reading the forums or sitting the zazenkai & tried sitting on my own. Naturally, after a while I stopped sitting & found myself becoming increasingly selfish & irritable.

    I've really missed the support of this wonderful Sangha & could't help but smile when I logged in & saw lot's of familiar, friendly faces (as well as lots of new ones!) If you'll have me back, I'd love to start sitting with you again!

    _/\_
    Ade

  17. #17
    Thanks for the advice Jundo, it arrived just in the right time.

    Gassho.

    Dancing between stillness and motion I find peace.

  18. #18

  19. #19
    Thanks for that Jundo!

  20. #20
    Senior Member Nenka's Avatar
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    You know, Jundo, sometimes you say just the right thing at the right time.

    Gassho

    jen
    The result is not the point; it is the effort to improve ourselves that is valuable. There is no end to this practice. --Shunryu Suzuki

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by Nenka View Post
    You know, Jundo, sometimes you say just the right thing at the right time.

    Gassho

    jen
    And sometimes I say just the wrong thing at the wrong time. Ask my wife.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  22. #22
    Thank you.

    Gassho.

  23. #23
    Treeleaf Unsui Dosho's Avatar
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    Thank you Jundo.

    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.

  24. #24
    Senior Member Amelia's Avatar
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    Thank you, Jundo.
    迎 Geika

  25. #25
    Thank you Jundo.

    Before joining a group of people I try to think about, if I want to get something or if I want to give something. Because I heard the statement, that a bodhisattva goes out in the world to give whereas most people go out in the world to get something. Most of the time it is both - giving and getting. When I feel, that I only want other people to make me happy, it often turns out that they can't really do this.

    Gassho
    Shinka

  26. #26
    Treeleaf Unsui Yugen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by adrianbkelly View Post
    I've really missed the support of this wonderful Sangha & could't help but smile when I logged in & saw lot's of familiar, friendly faces (as well as lots of new ones!) If you'll have me back, I'd love to start sitting with you again!
    Pull up a zafu and join us! It is our privilege to have you practicing with us! Thank you for your honest commentary. I too have had periods where I withdraw and want to sit alone. It allows me to "hide" and go to all sorts of peculiar places. When we sit together I feel all of your presence, and the practice belongs to all of us - we support one another. It has a nice feeling.

    Deep bows
    Yugen
    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

  27. #27
    Treeleaf Unsui/Engineer Kyonin's Avatar
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    So true.

    I used to practice alone for many years and you spin all over until you settle with a Sangha.

    Sharing practice with the community is super important.

    Thanks for this teaching.

    Gassho,

    Kyonin
    Shuso and Ango leader for September 2014.

    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

  28. #28

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