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Thread: Cannot ignore thought...

  1. #1

    Cannot ignore thought...

    Hi all,

    I have had a lot of advice over the years about how to deal with a busy mind, but never really been able to implement one to any real effect.

    For instance I understand that the best course of action is to be just OK with any thoughts that arise, and I am sure this might well work for some. I can only speak for myself clearly but that approach doesn't seem to cut it. It feels a little like avoidance or some sort of safety behaviour that has no real effect on shutting the mind up sufficiently to be able to 'just sit'.

    What are you experiences/thoughts re this?

    Thanks,

    Tony...

  2. #2
    Senior Member Juki's Avatar
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    Thoughts come. Thoughts go. Breathe in. Breathe out. Thoughts themselves are inevitable. Attachment to those thoughts is not. Let the thoughts go, just as you let your breath go. Acknowledge the thoughts, but do not wrestle with them. Return to your sitting. Return to the breath. Gradually, the thoughts lessen a bit, and the tendency to attach to the thoughts also lessens. Gradually. There will always be tough days on the Zafu. But if you just sit, just breathe, and let the thoughts move in and out like the breath, the process will work.

    Gassho,
    Juki
    "First you have to give up." Tyler Durden

  3. #3
    Hello Tony,

    since we are all slightly different in the way our thought processes work, there can never be practise suggestions that help 100% of the people in the same way (although in general I agree with Juki's comments above).

    To me personally, finally opening up to the fact that my thoughts are not special and that my identification with those thoughts is not special either, helped me a lot in the long run.

    A lot of parents tell their children that they are special. Well, I don't feel that is particularly true in a general sense. We are amazing and breathtaking aspects of a great and mysterious show, beauty everywhere around and inside us...but we as individuals are not special. I am only writing this because to me, the capacity to relax into "what is" is deeply connected with our ability to not take ourselves so seriously.

    Something will always arise. Sometimes many thoughts, sometimes just a few...sometimes a lot of emotions, desire, pain, sometimes other impressions. We should glide into being present with any and all of these manifestations, without judging our own progress or ideas of progress constantly.

    Whether you believe in conintuous life/lives or not, the point is that this is a long term practise....some even say it takes aeons to really apply this. Sitting and being present with your thought hurricanes is nothing other than practise. You are not doing anything wrong I believe.


    Gassho,

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

  4. #4
    Treeleaf Unsui Yugen's Avatar
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    Hi Tony,

    Hans and Juki have great wisdom to offer. I'm conflicted in adding to the excellent suggestions that have been made here.

    Shunryu Suzuki had a great phrase for this, which I paraphrase: "when thoughts appear at the door, greet them, but do not invite them in for tea..."

    In zazen, please, do not set up an oppositional relationship with your thoughts.... sitting does not require that the mind be "shut up" in order to practice. I might suggest turning into the the wind instead of away from it... i.e., acknowledge your thoughts and learn to be in relationship with them. This is much easier said than done.... shikantaza is not easy or for the faint of heart... it requires daily practice (even in small bits) so the mind is "trained" to observe these thoughts and not be swept away by them. If perhaps we accept our thoughts as part of our reality rather than as an obstacle, the resistance might fall away.

    Much easier said than done, as I am sure you have observed. Sit regularly... even if for a few minutes at a time.

    Thank you for your honesty,

    Deep bows
    Yugen
    Last edited by Yugen; 03-26-2014 at 01:59 PM.
    -----------------------------------------------------------
    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

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Yugen View Post
    Sit regularly... even if for a few minutes at a time.
    Thanks to you all for you answers up to now...I do sit each morning around 5am and have for a long time now. This is a relatively new manifestation.

    Caught me off guard I guess.

    Like drinking something laced with a poison without knowing....the effects are there but there seems nothing I can do, the thought arrives stealth like and with no knock at the door.

    Its already let itself in and is drinking my tea!

  6. #6
    My experience is that thoughts have a life of their own. They come and go but are not really dissociated from, because thinking is a normal function, and there is no one to do the disassociating. So "letting them" come and go as opposed to getting caught up in them, is not quite how it goes. They flow, and think "me", there is absorbed thinking in some moments, and more space in other moment, sometimes there is a pause. When I sit it is less about leaving thoughts be, as there being no one apart from them to hold or leave be.

    Maybe that sounds a little buggy, but it is really simple. Just sitting, no problem. That's my experience at any rate.

    Gassho Daizan
    大山

  7. #7
    You'll find your way through persistent practice. Be patient and positive that you'll find it.

    I've noticed that we all do the same thing differently.

    When I'm able to not get "hooked" into my thoughts, it's as if they become water off the ducks back of my mind.

    A ducks back is not a polished mirror. But they do the same thing.

    Thanks for bringing this up. It's something I think about when I can't unhook, and try to recapture that skill.

    Gassho.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Juki View Post
    Thoughts come. Thoughts go. Breathe in. Breathe out. Thoughts themselves are inevitable. Attachment to those thoughts is not. Let the thoughts go, just as you let your breath go. Acknowledge the thoughts, but do not wrestle with them. Return to your sitting. Return to the breath. Gradually, the thoughts lessen a bit, and the tendency to attach to the thoughts also lessens. Gradually. There will always be tough days on the Zafu. But if you just sit, just breathe, and let the thoughts move in and out like the breath, the process will work.

    Gassho,
    Juki
    Wise words ... =)

    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
    Hi all

    Great advice above.

    Something I have found helpful from Mahamudra practice is to look at where thoughts arise from and where they go. You can also look at the substance of thoughts themselves. I am not suggesting to do this in Zazen but as an experiment to see what the nature of thought is. It helped break some of the hold for me, as when I see that I am becoming attached to thoughts, I remember looking into their nature.

    Any strategy you use, though, is rarely going to be a magic cure. For me, thoughts have been the hardest thing to non-attach to since they seem to be mine, as opposed to sounds and sights which can be let go as other. Seeing that thought is the same nature can be helpful.

    Gassho
    Andy

  10. #10
    Senior Member Amelia's Avatar
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    I have a compulsive nature and my thoughts are no exception. Some insist on making themselves important, and I don't mean the "really" important ones, either, like, "Oh, it's time to pay the electricity bill."

    I do think it helps to let them just come and go. It used to feel stifling and passive, but not anymore. I was just trying to convince myself that half the babble and daydreaming was important and worth keeping in some way. I don't mean to cut off my imagination or problem solving skills, but I can tell when my thinking is simply based in hungry wanting.
    迎 Geika

  11. #11
    Senior Member Entai's Avatar
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    Give your mind permission to have lots of noisy thoughts. They may quiet down on their own.

    Gassho,
    Entai

  12. #12
    Food for thought:

    Prior to sitting, let your mind become agitated. Provoke it with lots of anxiety thoughts. Bills to pay, broken car, kid is sick, boss is a jerk, etc. Feed your mind with a bunch of junk. Exhaust it, just like getting a quick workout at the gym. Then, have a sit, get centered and see what happens. The mind might be too tired to keep busy and may quiet down and enjoy the silence. Just an experiment, not shikantaza.

    Gassho, Jishin

  13. #13
    Some good advice here. (I am going to make the following big cause I want to say so loud and clear) ...

    Follow the breath for a time if really really disturbed or tangled in thought. If really really really swept up in a storm.

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

    Then, when one can, return to open, spacious sitting without resistance and flowing with equanimity. But why do you think one must be "shutting the mind up sufficiently to be able to 'just sit'???" You are thinking that something must be a certain better or ideal way to "just sit" ... instead of dropping all demands on how things must be. Only the latter is true "just sitting".**

    Remember, it takes "two to tangle" to be bothered by anything ... be it thoughts or any circumstance in life. In the end, the thoughts are not bothersome or annoying, but your reaction to them ... and saying to yourself "this is disturbing" makes them disturbing. The answer, in Shikantaza, is ultimately not to remove the object you think is "causing disturbance" but, instead, to remove the "subject causing disturbance" ... your reaction, you.

    When you can sit in the middle of a battlefield, Times Square or a plane crash and sit without resistance and flowing with open equanimity ... this is true Shikantaza. One finds then that the battle ends, Silence is found in the greatest noise. The bills, the broken car, the sick kid, the jerk boss are ultimately not the source of disturbance. Each is just what it is. You are the source of disturbance.

    Weird, huh?

    The more you try to get rid of the source of the problem ... the more you make a problem. Just drop the judgments and resistance to so-called problems and ... no problem! Oh, the sick kid and jerk boss may remain, the plane may still crash ... yet they do not.

    Gassho, Jundo

    ** Reminds me of this old joke for some reason ...

    A police officer sees a drunken man intently searching the ground near a lamppost and asks him the goal of his quest. The inebriate replies that he is looking for his car keys, and the officer helps for a few minutes without success then he asks whether the man is certain that he dropped the keys near the lamppost.

    “No,” is the reply, “I lost the keys somewhere across the street.” “Why look here?” asks the surprised and irritated officer. “The light is much better here,” the intoxicated man responds with aplomb.
    Sometimes what we think we need to do to solve the problem (search where conditions are better, like the light or the quiet in our heads or out) is not what we really need to do to solve the problem.
    Last edited by Jundo; 03-27-2014 at 04:05 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

    #SAT TODAY!

  14. #14
    Senior Member Clark's Avatar
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    Nothing to add, but thanks

    C

  15. #15
    And to take this further ...

    When one can sit and live not Disturbed (Big D) even about sometimes feeling disturbed ... in Peace (Big P) while sometimes feeling peaceful and sometimes not ... letting even such feelings of sometime disturbance to just themselves be mental objects that one is not distirbed about ...

    ... such is true true "just sitting".

    Double weird, huh?

    Gassho, J
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

    #SAT TODAY!

  16. #16
    Senior Member Matt's Avatar
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    Thanks, Tony, for bringing up this question and to those who answered. Reading through has been helpful for me.

    Recently, I became aware of a tendency in myself to cling to some future point at which I could then realize a non-busy mind. Specifically, the time when I would clear all of the difficult tasks at work (and at home, at times), and only then would I be in a place to be more equinimitous. I would identify all of the tasks I needed to get done each day and work furiously at them so that I could then be done and relax with 'non-busy' mind.

    Earlier this week, however, the work tasks kept coming and I just could not get on top of them all, and I suppose I reached a breaking point. At this time of being most busy, I realized that there was no way I could possibly accomplish everything that needed to get done that day (or which I told myself needed to get done) in order for me to be at peace.

    And that in fact I was clinging, I think, to some future state of completeness.

    Weirdly, at that place of being most overwhelmed, I felt myself spontaneously relax, like my body and mind had reached a breaking point and just had to let go.

    I also reminded myself of what Jundo has often said, such as here about 'dropping all demands of how things must be.' And that 'silence is found in the greatest noise.' Which is pretty much the opposite of what I had thought zen would be when I started practicing several years ago.

    Deep bows,
    Matt J

  17. #17
    Congrats Matt.

    Seems like you got one great task done.

    Gassho, J
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

    #SAT TODAY!

  18. #18
    Senior Member Juki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt View Post
    I would identify all of the tasks I needed to get done each day and work furiously at them so that I could then be done and relax with 'non-busy' mind.
    Somehow, this reminded me of the old Seinfeld episode. Serenity now!

    Gassho,
    Juki


    "First you have to give up." Tyler Durden

  19. #19
    Senior Member Amelia's Avatar
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    Work is never done! Might as well have peace anyway.
    迎 Geika

  20. #20
    It looks like there is no getting to just sitting. because we are already there.... but not somehow. Something is held back. I struggled a long time until getting fed up enough to just sit. No one could show me, or help, I had to get fed up with my own games and the whole thing. Then I could wiggle my toes, smell dinner cooking, with thoughts about this and that...and games too, coming an going. Some muscle I couldn't see relaxed, and thoughts and feelings were rolling along by themselves, along with “me”.

    Practice goes on, but life is better, even thought it is not about getting anything. Yesterday I was walking along a busy street and tripped up on loop of wire. I came down hard with my hands stuck in my pockets, and landed in the filthy leftovers of a snowbank. I laid on my back like a turtle with cigarette butts and bits of gravel stuck to my face....and it sucked. It just sucked. It was simple and no problem. Right now I'm eating a banana chocolate chip muffin and a coffee. It's a really tasty muffin.

    Maybe a pointless post, but it feels good to post it.

    I wish I would have encountered a teacher like Jundo 25 years ago, who can dance and point with so much humor and warmth, but maybe there is no shortcut to working through what needs to be worked through. We all have different karma.

    Gassho Daizan
    大山

  21. #21
    Senior Member Matt's Avatar
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    Somehow, this reminded me of the old Seinfeld episode. Serenity now!
    Yes, Juki!

    Thanks, Jundo, for the encouragement.

    Daizan, I really liked your post.

    Gassho,
    Matt J

  22. #22
    Treeleaf Unsui/Engineer Kyonin's Avatar
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    Thoughts come in a whirlwind that carries me away most of the times. It takes practice and determination to just sit until one day you realize there is no point on struggle with thoughts.

    They come and go and suddenly you find yourself looking at them from afar.

    Don't push. Don't rush and quit asking, looking for answers.

    Thoughts, memories and fantasies are not you. They just drift away.

    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

  23. #23
    Senior Member Joyo's Avatar
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    Great post, lots of helpful comments. Thank you everyone!!

    Gassho,
    Joyo

  24. #24
    Blue Mountain White Clouds Hermitage Priest Taigu's Avatar
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    And of course, thoughts are also the very body of the Dharmakaya.
    In order to see this one needs to drop any kind of understanding and any judgement.
    The Zen that Dogen taught and practiced teaches that tiles can become mirrors Painted cakes are tasty and flowers in the sky are the true face.

    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.

  25. #25
    Senior Member Bobby's Avatar
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    "When you do something, you should burn yourself completely, like a good bonfire, leaving no trace of yourself."
    Shunryu Suzuki

  26. #26
    Senior Member Entai's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Taigu View Post
    And of course, thoughts are also the very body of the Dharmakaya.
    In order to see this one needs to drop any kind of understanding and any judgement.
    The Zen that Dogen taught and practiced teaches that tiles can become mirrors Painted cakes are tasty and flowers in the sky are the true face.

    Gassho


    Taigu
    Deep bows,
    Entai

  27. #27

  28. #28
    Thank you all, useful thread. Gassho

  29. #29
    Treeleaf Unsui Yugen's Avatar
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    "Understanding" or trying to work stuff out is the affliction. Not knowing is a good place to be. Racing thoughts are all part of the deal. Thinking one must stop them in order to sit is to depart from practice. As Taigu says so well, thoughts themselves are the body of the Dharmakaya - the true self of the Buddha within us all.

    To understand yet not understand
    is transcendence
    not to understand yet understand
    is affliction
    the reason the sage is not afflicted
    is because he treats affliction as affliction
    hence he is not afflicted

    Tao Te Ching (71)

    Deep bows
    Yugen
    Last edited by Yugen; 03-30-2014 at 12:54 AM.
    -----------------------------------------------------------
    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

  30. #30
    Thanks all for your replies. Much to 'think' about! I'd have got back earlier to say thanks but Tapatalk wasn't sending me notifications... _/|\_

    Sent from my SM-N9005 using Tapatalk

  31. #31
    Senior Member Joyo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kyonin View Post
    Thoughts come in a whirlwind that carries me away most of the times. It takes practice and determination to just sit until one day you realize there is no point on struggle with thoughts.

    They come and go and suddenly you find yourself looking at them from afar.

    Don't push. Don't rush and quit asking, looking for answers.

    Thoughts, memories and fantasies are not you. They just drift away.

    Gassho,

    Kyonin
    This is beautiful, Kyonin. Can you tell me how long it took for that one day to come when you realize there is no point on struggling with thoughts? I have been practicing for 1 yr with Treeleaf now, and I still struggle with thoughts all the time, on and off the zafu.

    Gassho,
    Joyo

  32. #32
    Senior Member Sydney's Avatar
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    I sit with an active mind quite often. What I find remarkable is that sometimes I find it really stressful, but sometimes it's not all that unlike just watching a swift river churn.
    Diligently attain nothing. Sort of. Best not to over-think it.
    http://gplus.to/sydneytinker

  33. #33
    Quote Originally Posted by Sydney View Post
    I sit with an active mind quite often. What I find remarkable is that sometimes I find it really stressful, but sometimes it's not all that unlike just watching a swift river churn.
    Lovely!

    And sometimes the waters settle so still and clear, one can see all the way to the bottom and just the water remains!

    All the same waters (Unless I am just all wet, of course! )

    Gassho, J
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

    #SAT TODAY!

  34. #34
    Quote Originally Posted by Joyo View Post
    This is beautiful, Kyonin. Can you tell me how long it took for that one day to come when you realize there is no point on struggling with thoughts? I have been practicing for 1 yr with Treeleaf now, and I still struggle with thoughts all the time, on and off the zafu.

    Gassho,
    Joyo
    Hello Joyo,

    I'm hesitant to write anything because I still struggle a great deal , but I don't think Kyonin is saying that a day dawns for all time when we simply give up struggling. Some days we give up the struggle simply because we're punch drunk and can't think anymore. I think this can be a good teacher because we come to realise the negative, exhausting effect of too much thinking. Another day may go more peaceful and we feel we have succeeded in giving up the struggle. Equanimity is both lost and found within each moment - it's just easier some days to see that it is so. but I also agree with Kyonin that practice and determination are necessary.

    Metta for all who are weighed down with struggle with thoughts.

    Gassho

    Willow

  35. #35
    Quote Originally Posted by willow View Post
    Hello Joyo,

    I'm hesitant to write anything because I still struggle a great deal , but I don't think Kyonin is saying that a day dawns for all time when we simply give up struggling. Some days we give up the struggle simply because we're punch drunk and can't think anymore. I think this can be a good teacher because we come to realise the negative, exhausting effect of too much thinking. Another day may go more peaceful and we feel we have succeeded in giving up the struggle. Equanimity is both lost and found within each moment - it's just easier some days to see that it is so. but I also agree with Kyonin that practice and determination are necessary.

    Metta for all who are weighed down with struggle with thoughts.

    Gassho

    Willow
    Lovely.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

    #SAT TODAY!

  36. #36
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    Lovely.
    I agree ... this was lovely Willow, thank you. =)

    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.

  37. #37
    Senior Member Joyo's Avatar
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    Thank you, Willow. Glad you were not too hesistant to post, we can all learn from eachother.

    Gassho,
    JOyo

  38. #38

  39. #39
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    Some good advice here. (I am going to make the following big cause I want to say so loud and clear) ...

    Follow the breath for a time if really really disturbed or tangled in thought. If really really really swept up in a storm.

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

    Then, when one can, return to open, spacious sitting without resistance and flowing with equanimity. But why do you think one must be "shutting the mind up sufficiently to be able to 'just sit'???" You are thinking that something must be a certain better or ideal way to "just sit" ... instead of dropping all demands on how things must be. Only the latter is true "just sitting".**

    Remember, it takes "two to tangle" to be bothered by anything ... be it thoughts or any circumstance in life. In the end, the thoughts are not bothersome or annoying, but your reaction to them ... and saying to yourself "this is disturbing" makes them disturbing. The answer, in Shikantaza, is ultimately not to remove the object you think is "causing disturbance" but, instead, to remove the "subject causing disturbance" ... your reaction, you.

    When you can sit in the middle of a battlefield, Times Square or a plane crash and sit without resistance and flowing with open equanimity ... this is true Shikantaza. One finds then that the battle ends, Silence is found in the greatest noise. The bills, the broken car, the sick kid, the jerk boss are ultimately not the source of disturbance. Each is just what it is. You are the source of disturbance.

    Weird, huh?

    The more you try to get rid of the source of the problem ... the more you make a problem. Just drop the judgments and resistance to so-called problems and ... no problem! Oh, the sick kid and jerk boss may remain, the plane may still crash ... yet they do not.

    Gassho, Jundo

    ** Reminds me of this old joke for some reason ...



    Sometimes what we think we need to do to solve the problem (search where conditions are better, like the light or the quiet in our heads or out) is not what we really need to do to solve the problem.
    Hi Jundo and everyone,

    Is the result to be unmoved by the boss, the bills etc? I understand how that silence and sense of distance from all the 'stuff' is welcomed given the busy lived many of us lead. But how does this bring about Enlightenment, Liberation, a permanent cessation of suffering, Nirvana....pick one?

    I still think this is why we sit using our chosen method. We have a deep existential angst. This is, is it not what the historical Buddha taught that we can free ourselves from?

    Tony...

  40. #40
    Hi Tony,

    Sometimes it helps me to think of thoughts as `secretions of the mind´. Like sweating or any other body function. When sitting many thoughts come along ( trust me I know, I'm dealing with some real horrible ones these days ) but it helps to look at them as something the mind makes out of its own.
    Just like the hart does its work or our digestive system. it is completely useless to actively try to stop this process, It cannot be done bro or you be dead. So whats best is to sit and, if your mind is very very active because of all the stuff that is our life, do the breathing and try to label a thought consciously and then let it pass. For example if you are worried about paying bills, think "ah, there is worry again' and then drop it. When you start daydreaming you just think "daydreaming again' Then something else comes up like something you are ashamed of or a bad memory. Think: "memory' or 'shame' and let it be. It is the only place we have where we can recognize it and then just let it be.

    Once you get accustomed to this trick ( not a trick really) you can use it even further and take that worry or pain or sorrow , recognize it for what it is and sit right smack in the middle of it all! All that stuff is OK. Let it come and observe. It is who you are. It is what makes Tony to be Tony. By trying to suppress or deny stuff by pushing it away it is the same thing as ordering someone "not to think of a pink elephant'. You can be sure the only thing that person will be thinking off..... is a pink elephant. Thinking not thinking about it, is thinking about the pink elephant too. So, like Dogen said, leave it all at the door of the zendo and go to the only sacred/ not sacred place we really have, on the zafu, being just you. So, my advice to you would be to sit, get organized and say 'OK lets see how much is in there today, lets meet the most intimate Tony that only Tony can meet. Bring it all on!' instead of fighting an involuntary bodily function. It's hard. It is very hard but you can do it!

    Hope it helps a bit bro.

    Gassho

    Myoho

  41. #41
    Tony and all who answered,

    thanks for this very helpful thread.

    As I'm so very new to zazen, I can only share that I feel like I'm walking a rebelious dog when I'm on my zafu.

    I'd like the dog to stay right at my side (in the present moment), but it jumps off into the past or the future, it diggs up stuff, sometimes it goes hunting the rabbit of sleep. And I suddenly notice and ask the dog "Where have you been again? Heel!"
    Sometimes I see it slowly leaving my side and call it back softly.
    Sometimes it's so fast I only realize after minutes.

    I'm sharing this because this dog-metaphor is helpful to me: it's not my fault or the dog's fault, no need to feel bad about it, or angry for calling again and again. The dog has some natural behaviour (like other people said in their metaphors too), and we both need training. I can imagine how it's enjoying its liberty when I don't watch it, and returning with a guilty look when I call.
    It's a kind of game we play, over and over again.

    When you get a dog, you sign that deal, when I got a zafu, it was the same.

    Gassho,
    Danny

  42. #42
    Nice Danny. If I ever get another dog it'll be called Zafu!

  43. #43

  44. #44
    Hi All,

    I’ve only been playing shikantaza since April, but Danny’s dog-metaphor is right-on for me. I don’t get upset. I love that dumb mutt. We enjoy our walk, good weather and bad, and it’s good for us.


    The brain thinks, makes connections, remembers, imagines, and makes plans. That is what brains do. My brain is a jiggling jello-mold inside this bone-bowl I call my head, it’s not me. Thinking is not bad, it’s part of being in a human body.

    My feeling is that meditation is more than quieting the thoughts, much more. The thing is to allow yourself to realize (remember) Reality as it is (is not), and this encompasses much more than the human experience. ‘Your’ thoughts are coming from ‘your’ brain, and they are related to ‘your’ experience... if you are only focused on that, you are missing the big picture. Allow your body to do what it does, and stop wrestling with it, stop being fooled by the senses and thoughts, they are limited expressions of something much larger. Oh I can’t say it, I don’t have the words.


    Joyo’s words on another thread come close, if I may paraphrase: stop scratching at that rock and turn around, lift your eyes up to see a beautiful valley full of wonder and life.

    Gassho
    Lisa
    Last edited by raindrop; 07-20-2014 at 10:35 PM.

  45. #45
    Senior Member
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sydney View Post
    I sit with an active mind quite often. What I find remarkable is that sometimes I find it really stressful, but sometimes it's not all that unlike just watching a swift river churn.
    when I do similarly I need a spout like a tea kettle instead of the brook.

    gassho, Oheso
    The eye with which I see God is the same eye with which God sees me. -​Meister Eckhart

  46. #46
    Does the brain think? Is time in a watch?

  47. #47
    Member Jamie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    Uki, NSW, Australia
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    Who made which?

    Gassho
    Jamie

  48. #48

  49. #49
    Treeleaf Unsui/Engineer Kyonin's Avatar
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joyo View Post
    This is beautiful, Kyonin. Can you tell me how long it took for that one day to come when you realize there is no point on struggling with thoughts? I have been practicing for 1 yr with Treeleaf now, and I still struggle with thoughts all the time, on and off the zafu.

    Gassho,
    Joyo
    Hi Joyo,

    Sorry for not replying earlier but I just came back to this thread.

    I can't remember how long it took me. I simply let go of questioning all together.

    Sure, most of the times my mind of monkey will throw all sort of crap at me. Sometimes it takes just a few minutes to let go... others I simply can't. The thing is I never stress about it. If needed and if time allows it, I will sit 2 or 3 times a day.

    But I'm very stubborn and just keep on sitting

    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

  50. #50
    Try not thinking about the pink elephant in the room. Is the pink elephant still around? Try thinking about the pink elephant in the room. Is the elephant still around? Try thinking non-thinking.

    Gassho, Jishin
    Last edited by Jishin; 07-28-2014 at 01:34 AM.
    治 Ji
    心​ Shin
    #SatToday

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