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Thread: Have you been ripped off too?

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  1. #1

    Have you been ripped off too?

    I ran into some interesting literature the other day. What I got out of it was that if I sat down and focused on nothing, it promised to make me a super cool dude. No worries ahead if I stayed present focused on now, with an anchor on my breathing to avoid spending time in the past or the future.

    And so I read more interesting literature on the subject. And the more I read, the cooler I became. All the promises in those books just kept me hooked like an addict on a reading frenzy.

    I knew that if I read and sat enough I would win the prize. Something BIG.

    I spent lots of money on books, zafus, seiza benches, Buddha statues, all because I was going to win THE PRIZE OF THE CENTURY.

    Well. I am sad to say that I was defrauded. There were warning signs in the books or a knowing smile at the Treeleaf Sangha. There were even signs during sitting.

    There is no prize. Zero. Zilch. I was had. And the worse part is that I can’t get my money or effort back. There is NOTHING to get. I am stuck. There is nowhere to go.

    Don’t be fooled like me because you will get NOTHING!

    And that’s not such a bad thing.

    Gassho, John

  2. #2
    I love this. It's like you are reading my mind sometimes! Shared experiences on the zafu.
    I took an art class once in high school. I just could NOT draw that damn bicycle. Teacher told me, "Stop looking at the page. Look at the damn bicycle."

  3. #3
    Senior Member Heishu's Avatar
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    Great teaching!


    btw, made me think of the old song, "Nothing From Nothing Leaves Nothing", I think Billy Preston sang it !

    Thanks

    Gassho
    Heishu


    “Blessed are the flexible, for they never get bent out of shape." Author Unknown

  4. #4
    Senior Member KellyRok's Avatar
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    Nothing...but this

    Thank you for the reminder John. I was fooled too...or just plain a fool. But I still love 'nothing'.

    _/\_
    Kelly/Jinmei

  5. #5
    Treeleaf Unsui Yugen's Avatar
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    Sometimes I think Zen is antisocial - it has built in safeties against proselytizing and discourages extended dialogue:

    Q: what will Zen do for me?
    A: Nothing.

    Q: what do you guys do at the zendo?
    A: stare at the walls and do nothing.

    Q: What will I feel after practice if I'm doing it right?
    A: Nothing.

    Q: I'm having a really hard time - what should I do?
    A: Sit down and shut up.

    This isn't what they sold me at the incense store!!

    Thanks for this post John!

    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

  6. #6
    Muajajjajajaja!!! sounds like a conversation with some of my friends.

    Thanks.
    Dancing between stillness and motion I find peace.

  7. #7
    Friend of Treeleaf Daido's Avatar
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    Love it. When I describe it much the same way to other I am amazed that people decide to engage...yet here we are

    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
    Don't be fooled or you get nothing ... well, I must have a whole lot of nothing. Thanks John.

    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.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Joyo's Avatar
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    Ha, so true. I was at the New Age store the other day, checking out overpriced Buddha statues. This man walks in and asks the owner if rubbing a Buddha statue's belly will give you good luck, and she agreed that yes it can. I swallowed down hard, not wanting to burst out laughing. The Buddha statue has given me nothing, but then, i"m not trying to make a profit at a store

    gassho,
    Treena

  10. #10
    Thanks a lot for sharing this, John!

    You don't need to get anything, because you are everything.

    Gassho,

    Timo
    no thing needs to be added

  11. #11
    Hello,

    since in its very own way Zen is no different from life, one can never get more life than the life that is right before you. We're not getting anything out of this, just losing, undressing constantly.
    A sangha is like your local Weight Watchers club, just that we are doing our best to shed delusion, not pounds

    Gassho,

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

  12. #12
    I won something BIG. THE PRIZE OF THE CENTURY.

    NOTHING!

    Gassho, John

  13. #13
    ...I think the funniest is, I'm ripping off myself, selling the dreams to myself, again and again.
    Gassho
    Myoku

  14. #14
    Senior Member Juki's Avatar
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    If you reached the conclusion that you would "get nothing," were you really ripped off?

    Gassho,
    William

  15. #15
    Treeleaf Unsui/Engineer Kyonin's Avatar
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    We look, we search and we want.

    And some suffer because of that. We get stressed for that.

    When you drop it all, things become still and calm. Nothing to gain.

    Just this.

    Thank you, John.

    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

  16. #16
    I swear i already commented on this post... but I must not have. Thank you for this post. It made me laugh and has a good message.

    Gassho,

    James

  17. #17
    Senior Member Joyo's Avatar
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    I've been thinking about this thread, the topic keeps coming up on Treeleaf that we will get "nothing" from our practice. I, however, don't feel that way, so am I doing something wrong?? I find, that if I have a couple of busy days and I don't sit for very long, don't truly practice the dharma, I get angry/bitter towards ppl that have hurt me and refuse to apologize, I get kind of arrogant that my views are better than others, and I get impatient with my kids. And these things are a warning to me, that I need to get back at it. So, what I get from Zen and sitting shikantaza are so, so many things---I am nicer to all beings and I'm calmer, more tolerant etc. . So, this is in a sense, why I practice. Is there something I am missing here, because forgive me, but I'm not understanding how we can get nothing from Zen and shikantaza.

    gassho,
    Treena
    Last edited by Joyo; 08-19-2013 at 08:56 PM.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Emmy View Post
    I've been thinking about this thread, the topic keeps coming up on Treeleaf that we will get "nothing" from our practice. I, however, don't feel that way, so am I doing something wrong?? I find, that if I have a couple of busy days and I don't sit for very long, don't truly practice the dharma, I get angry/bitter towards ppl that have hurt me and refuse to apologize, I get kind of arrogant that my views are better than others, and I get impatient with my kids. And these things are a warning to me, that I need to get back at it. So, what I get from Zen and sitting shikantaza are so, so many things---I am nicer to all beings and I'm calmer, more tolerant etc. . So, this is in a sense, why I practice. Is there something I am missing hiere, because forgive me, but I'm not understanding how we can get nothing from Zen and shikantaza.

    gassho,
    Treena
    Treena, just because we say that we get nothing, does not mean that we get nothing.

    We get something and work great changes. How? By giving up the constant need, lack, friction, division of our morning-to-night chase to get something, fill some hole. True peace and wholeness and contentment come, not from trying to fill some hole and get content ... but by realizing there is no hole not whole, no hole in need of filling (this hole is emptiness thus endlessly full), and being content ... even as simultaneously we try to fix things and grab a shovel to get to work because life's potholes need fixing. Kind of a Crazy-Sane Reverse Catch-22.

    Time to point folks back to the beginner's talk mentioned this morning ...

    http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showt...%28Part-VII%29

    Gassho, J
    Last edited by Jundo; 08-20-2013 at 04:54 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

    #SAT TODAY!

  19. #19
    Senior Member pinoybuddhist's Avatar
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    Hi Treena,
    I feel a bit awkward chiming in after Jundo's post. But hey, if my understanding is incomplete the teachers can qualify/correct it so here goes:

    I also get that experience at times when I don't sit regularly. I remember having a conversation with my wife years ago about my interest in zen and my practice, and at one point I said something like: "just imagine what I'd be like if I didn't practice" and she laughed and agreed that it does tend to help me manage my temper. So I think I understand where you're coming from.

    At the same time, this practice will not turn you into someone other than who you already are - and in that sense you're not going to "get anything". At least not anything that you are not already are. There is nothing to get that you are not already are. This practice will not turn you into Buddha. You are Buddha and this practice expresses, manifests Buddha. Dogen wrote about a master fanning the air in Genjokoan. Practice is fanning the Buddhanature that already exists within/out/as you.

    So if you find that you tend to be more patient and calmer when you practice regularly, don't think that those qualities came from something other than who you already are. You don't "get" them through practice anymore than fanning produces air - practice manifests them the way fanning makes the air felt. Something like that.

    Gassho,

    Rafael

  20. #20
    Senior Member Heishu's Avatar
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    Just my thoughts on how I see it.

    Sitting does not take away my anger.
    Sitting does not take away my frustrations with life.
    Sitting is just sitting.

    For me, my practice helps me with the many problems that I experience daily. When problems are hurling at me I try and adapt the Precepts to the situation at hand.

    Does this always work? Nope! I will say that it is still better than what it would have been had I not taken a moment to think before reacting to the bad moments.

    This is just for me though. Sitting is just sitting and practice is practice. Not easy but not hard but then again life would be worse without the two.

    Gassho
    Heishu


    “Blessed are the flexible, for they never get bent out of shape." Author Unknown

  21. #21
    Senior Member Heion's Avatar
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    Sitting just for the sake of sitting. That sounds so crazy. So crazy, I still haven't rapped my mind around it.

    Not as crazy as expecting results from it though.

    Gassho,
    Alex
    Last edited by Heion; 08-20-2013 at 01:18 AM.

  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by Clarinetist! View Post
    Sitting just for the sake of sitting. That sounds so crazy. So crazy, I still haven't rapped my mind around it.

    Not as crazy as expecting results from it though.

    Gassho,
    Alex
    There is a quote about a young monk explaining to his Roshi:

    "I am reaching for the moon."

    "Don't show me the moon" replied the Roshi. "Show me the reaching."

    Gassho,
    Fugu

  23. #23
    Senior Member Joyo's Avatar
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    Jundo and Rafael, I think you both described in better words than I ever would what exactly is happening to me. Hard days are still there, they just are, and so are happy days. Yes, I am starting to get (in a very beginner way!!) that true peace comes from within, not trying to attain something or get somewhere.

    I took a beautiful walk through the trees in a park 1 hr from our house a few weeks ago, with my husband and kids. Even that breathtaking, beautiful moment, it just was--no clinging, no wanting it to go on forever.

    And, yes, I get that analogy of the fanning in the air, definitely something to think about.

    thank you to both of you!!

    Treena

  24. #24
    I really appreciate those words Rafael,

    thank you,



    Willow

  25. #25
    Blue Mountain White Clouds Hermitage Priest Taigu's Avatar
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    Yes beautiful words. Very good understanding,Rafael. The metaphor of fanning comes from the end of the Genjokoan from Dogen. Dig it out. Air it!

    Gassho

    T.

  26. #26
    Senior Member Myosha's Avatar
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    The blossom isn't, then is, then isn't. . .but always - nothing.


    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

  27. #27
    I felt that fanning on this hot hot day, Raf. Lovely.

    Gasshi, J
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

    #SAT TODAY!

  28. #28
    Hello,

    thumbs up for the fanning! Nicely expressed.

    Gassho and bows,

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

  29. #29
    Treeleaf Unsui Shokai's Avatar
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    Thanks for the fanning Raf, to John for the sales pitch and the non-contribution of others along this thread.
    Isn't the essence of this included in the Christian Beatitudes?
    Blessed are they who expect nothing for they shall not be disappointed
    gassho,
    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.

  30. #30
    Senior Member Genshin's Avatar
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    Thank you Rafael, much appreciate the fanning reference.

    Gassho
    Matt

  31. #31
    Senior Member Koshin's Avatar
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    Thank you all for this thread and teachings

    Gassho


    Sent from Tapatalk 2
    ______________________________
    Kōshin / Leo



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

  32. #32
    Senior Member Clark's Avatar
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    I too feel like I am being ripped off. I have worked really hard all my life to build up anger, resentment, vanity, greed, lust, deceit, intolerance, impatience, impropriety, distrust, fear, confusion, arrogance and ignorance. Now you Zen people want to rob me of my accumulated wealth! I had to try really hard to build up this horrible mandala you know! Now you want me to fan it all away?!

    I remember looking at my son staring out the window seeing rain fall from the sky for the first time. Is there anything more precious than this nothing?

    Gassho
    C

  33. #33
    Senior Member Nengyo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clark View Post
    I remember looking at my son staring out the window seeing rain fall from the sky for the first time. Is there anything more precious than this nothing?

    Gassho
    C
    Man, do I love watching my son discover things for the first time. It is truly seeing the world through new eyes again.
    Try not to be a jerk-- one of the Buddhas

  34. #34
    jajajajajajaja!! Yea! And this "nothing" is full of possibilities.

    Thanks.

    Gassho
    Dancing between stillness and motion I find peace.

  35. #35
    Senior Member Clark's Avatar
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    Nice Fugu

    Gassho
    C

  36. #36
    Senior Member Nameless's Avatar
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    This whole conversation has been great. Thank you!

    Gassho, John

  37. #37
    Blue Mountain White Clouds Hermitage Priest Taigu's Avatar
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    No Fugu. Reaching and moon are not two.

    Show one, you show the other.

    This is closer. But not the closest.

    What is it?

    Gassho


    T.

  38. #38
    Going beyond reaching and showing the moon, realizing both during sitting, being one with all?

    Gassho, John

  39. #39
    Be the moon, leave everything behind

    Gassho,

    Timo
    no thing needs to be added

  40. #40
    Blue Mountain White Clouds Hermitage Priest Taigu's Avatar
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    John, Timo,this is as close as words can take you,

    Gassho

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

  41. #41


    Gassho,

    Timo
    no thing needs to be added

  42. #42

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