Tugas Gunadarma Gunadarma Tutorial VB.NET Download OST Anime Soundtrack Anime Opening Anime Ending Anime OST Anime Japan Download Lagu Anime Jepang

Results 1 to 21 of 21

Thread: Sitting Group

  1. #1

    Sitting Group

    Dear all

    I fully intended on forming a local sitting group after Jukai but lacked the motivation and energy. However, despite not having distributed flyers as planned, I forgot that I had put a listing up on Buddhanet and several people replied to that. As a result, this Thursday two people plan on joining me for zazen at my rather compact flat and possibly continuing that on successive Thursday evenings.

    Ideally, I would like to sit two periods of zazen (maybe 20/25 minutes) with 10 minutes of kinhin in between. However, my front room is really not of a size for kinhin to happen with more than two people so might be a non-started. There is outside space for warmer evenings but that will depend on whether participants are sufficiently bold to do kinhin in a place where people might walk by.

    So, if I don't opt for kinhin, I was wondering about instead having the sits sandwiching some kind of discussion, possibly about how our weeks have gone in terms of practice (although I know how that can quickly degenerate into general chat) or else conversation around a book we are all reading such as Opening the Hand of Thought. Does giving a chapter of reading seem too much like homework, though?

    I would greatly appreciate input from those who currently run a similar group and also on the question of how much liturgy to use? At present I will ask participants about chanting The Heart Sutra and otherwise just end with the metta verses. Since neither current interested parties are Buddhist per se, I hesitate to include the four vows and verse of atonement.

    Also, I produced a small website that anyone interested could look at in order to gauge if it resonatess with them. Any opinions on that are also very welcome. It is intended to give sufficient basic information without looking like I am setting myself up in a teaching role or giving the impression that it is anything other than a bunch of people sitting in a front room and maybe reading some popular books.

    http://eastkentsotozen.wordpress.com/

    With thanks in advance.

    Gassho
    Andy

  2. #2
    Senior Member Nindo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    990
    Hi Andy, we use the same room for sitting and kinhin. Maybe it works if you push all the cushions into the middle of the space where you are going to sit and walk around them in circles?
    As for liturgy, sometimes it's good to just do it. People can listen to it, they don't have to subscribe to it. You will see after a couple of sits whether this is an option or not.
    Best wishes, sounds great!
    Nindo

  3. #3
    Thank you, Nindo. That is helpful advice.

    My living space is more of a thin (1.5m) line between sofa and cupboards rather than anything larger. MyoHo and I did manage kinhin when he visited but would be a struggle with any more than two. I have considered turning the sofa on its end to give more room.

    Good advice with the liturgy. I may just do it and see how it goes. Others can either join in with hymn sheets or just listen.

    Gassho
    Andy

  4. #4
    Senior Member KellyRok's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Selinsgrove, PA
    Posts
    1,073
    Hi Andy,

    First, I think it is wonderful that you have created this group. I've thought about maybe trying to start one in the area where we are moving. It is a college town and I think maybe some will be open to it.

    I like Nindo's suggestion of using one space for both. In regards to maybe having a discussion, I think you could set a time limit for the general things (how practice is going, any troubles they may be having, etc.). Stick to the time limit to avoid the idle chatting. Maybe you could ask your sitting participants what they would like to gain from your meetings, and ask them their opinion about a book discussion/liturgy. Maybe make some suggestions to them and see how they feel about them.

    Good luck and have fun with it. Let us know how it goes, I would love to hear some ideas.

    Gassho,
    Kelly/Jinmei

  5. #5
    Hi Andy,

    It is wonderful to host such a group. We have several people doing so. One can adjust the content to suit the people coming. For example, we have some people who are facilitating a sitting group in their work place, so religious content is not appropriate there. They tend to present sitting without any particular mention of Buddha at all. "Just Sitting", but no chanting for example. You can ask Seimyo Chris about how he does that.

    One thing I would suggest is that, if you chant, you chant as a group with no particular leader ... or taking turns as leader, to light the Incense etc. Stand in a circle, for example, with no one person standing in front of the Altar as the ceremony Officiant.

    If someone asks a question about Zen Practice and Sitting, feel free to answer as you feel comfortable. However, many folks will naturally assume that you are "the Priest & Teacher" because you are organizing the group and have a funky Japanese name like "Kokuu". Make it clear that you are a fellow practitioner, not a priest and "we are all Teachers here". If there is any question or situation you are not sure about or comfortable with, pass it on to someone who may be able to help.

    You will need to dig up Zafus and Zabutons somewhere, unless people can bring their own. However, folded over thick bed blankets can do in a pinch.

    Gassho, J

    PS - What is the difference between "the Priest & Teacher" and making it clear that someone is facilitating a group as a fellow Practitioner? As far as I am concerned, it is primarily that the former has received several years of training and certification in a Lineage as having embodied this way so as to be ready to Teach. Not much different from being a trained school teacher, paramedic or auto mechanic I guess. While anyone can administer CPR, I would probably like a trained paramedic to perform my heart sutures. Same with my Heart Sutra. While one does not need to be a trained auto mechanic to change the oil in one's own car, I would hesitate about doing a brake job on somebody else's car without training. On the other hand, that does not mean that all "certified" auto mechanics are reliable, or that one needs to be certified by "GM Transmission Specialist" to know one's way around a transmission! Same with receiving Dharma Transmission. However, usually it is some assurance of something.



    PPS - The English word “suture” is related to the Sanskrt word “sutra” and underscores the concept that the verses were strung together like beads on a string. Literally it means a thread or line that holds things together and is derived from the verbal root siv-, meaning to sew[1] (these words, including Latin suere and English to sew, all ultimately deriving from PIE *siH-/syuH- 'to sew')."

    http://www.answers.com/topic/sutra
    Last edited by Jundo; 04-22-2014 at 03:07 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

    #SAT TODAY!

  6. #6
    Hi Kelly

    Setting a time limit for talking about practice is a very good idea. Thank you. I used to be part of a Skype meditation group that did just that and it worked well. Asking the opinion of others on liturgy is also something I will do.

    It would be lovely if you could form a group too once you are settled. College towns do tend to be open. I actually live in the middle of nowhere but have been surprised that there are others in small villages who are open to having somewhere to practice. The nearest other Zen group is about an hour away.

    Thank you for the good advice.

    Gassho
    Andy

  7. #7
    Hi Jundo

    Thank you for the advice. I have amended the group website to avoid any notion of being a guru or leader and no mention of the cool Japanese dharma name either. I do not intend to wear my rakusu as that would also set me apart from others.

    Yes, I will tailor any use of liturgy to the participants depending on whether they are interested in Zen or just meditating and it is a good idea to all chant and take turns in lighting candles and incense with no one in front of the altar. At first I was going to be all strictly Zen but there is absolutely no need for that. Hopefully the inclusion of metta verses at the end shouldn't offend anyone and seem a good way to end a session.

    I have four zafus and a meditation stool which should be sufficient for the time being. Rest assured that any questions outside of my knowledge will be referred to you and Taigu! I have no wish to be anyone's teacher aside from to provide basic advice on meditation and posture.

    This all might come to nothing anyway but the zafus are open if people wish to turn up.

    Gassho
    Andy
    Last edited by Kokuu; 04-21-2014 at 10:26 AM.

  8. #8
    Treeleaf Unsui Dosho's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Rochester, NY, USA
    Posts
    5,448
    Andy,

    People have already given you very good advice. I would merely add that for folks who can be mobile, kinhin really is a good way to get the blood flowing back to all parts of our body before sitting again. So, perhaps some very basic yoga that everyone can do standing in one place? Just a thought. I feel that kinhin is essential to sitting for more than one round of zazen, but one can substitute another activity. I just think sitting during the in between period, even though it is a different position, might not be the best thing for the body.

    But, then again, what do I know being a priest in training? Master Yoda is always saying, "Much to learn you still have."

    Good luck with the group!

    Gassho,
    Dosho
    Ordained Priest -In-Training
    Please take what I say with a grain of salt,
    especially in matters of the Dharma!

  9. #9
    Hey Andy,

    Not much to add that has not been added. =) I think this is great that you are getting out there with folks and wish you all the best. =)

    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.

  10. #10
    Yes, I would agree with Dosho's point on Kinhin. One reason is that people should not keep sitting around after sitting Zazen, and need a bit of movement.

    Also, it is not typical to interpose the wordlessness of Zazen with discussion. Most Zen groups I have ever visited keep the discussion to before or after Zazen, not during. If there is anything during Zazen, it is a talk by a Teacher which primarily involves listening with a "Zen mind", not active discussion. However, I do not think it fatal if you do so either.

    Gassho, J
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

    #SAT TODAY!

  11. #11
    Senior Member Joyo's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Sk, Canada
    Posts
    1,268
    This is great, Kokuu, I am very happy for you and hope it goes very well. Feel free to start one in Saskatchewan whenever you want, I will surely be there

    Gassho,
    Joyo

  12. #12
    Hi Dosho

    Ideally, I would really like to do kinhin between the meditations, for exactly the reasons you state. Space is the only issue. Standing yoga, or qi gong, might well work instead and is a good suggestion.

    If I do opt for a discussion in between it will not be a short 10 minute thing like kinhin would be but instead more like 30 minutes Zazen, 45 minutes discussion then 15 minutes Zazen. So, yes, the movement between non-thinking then thinking is not ideal but may be unavoidable.

    Shingen - many thanks!

    Gassho
    Andy

  13. #13
    By the way, Kinhin does not necessarily need a lot of space. Sometimes, even moving a few inches is enough.

    Gassho, J
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

    #SAT TODAY!

  14. #14
    I may try it, Jundo. As I say, it worked with just myself and MyoHo but is definitely a small space.

    Joyo - I would love to start a group in Saskatchewan but know a very sincere Zen woman there who would do a much better job when her circumstances allow

    Gassho
    Andy

  15. #15
    Senior Member Joyo's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Sk, Canada
    Posts
    1,268
    Quote Originally Posted by Kokuu View Post

    Joyo - I would love to start a group in Saskatchewan but know a very sincere Zen woman there who would do a much better job when her circumstances allow

    Gassho
    Andy



    Gassho,
    Joyo

  16. #16
    Andy:

    When I had my little group going in my tiny apartment, we would sit in the zendo for 20 minutes and then adjourn into the living room. My then paramour was a tubby little Acme Juicer, and I served freshly done green monster juice a la tea ceremony. We would sit, drink the juice and talk about how the meditation had been for each of us and how we were applying it to the rest of our life. Also discussed what books we were reading. Just relaxed commentary, but centered on our meditation.

    Gassho,
    Lee

  17. #17
    Lee

    That sounds like a lovely relaxed way of doing things. I may well follow a similar pattern.

    Gassho
    Andy

  18. #18
    Hey Andy,

    good luck with the group. It's definitely a learning experience!

    Gassho,

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

  19. #19
    Thank you, Hans. I have facilitated spiritual groups before so know some of the pitfalls but doubtless more will present themselves in time!

    Any advice from your own experience?

    Gassho
    Andy

  20. #20
    Hello Andy,

    well...try to enjoy the fact when things aren't going as planned and you are challenged. Obviously too much of being challenged and the group will never become a true group...but my limited experience so far has shown me that it is precisely the questions and reactions we don't expect that can teach us the most. Especially complete beginners can bring a freshness and bluntness to one's own well trodden paths, that can act as a great teacher in itself. Buddhas together with Buddhas.

    Just enjoy the ride, maybe it works out, maybe it doesn't....be patient and don't try to be popular

    Gassho,

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

  21. #21
    Junior Member Edward E's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Birmingham, AL
    Posts
    16
    Andy,

    Hope all goes well with your group. Keep us posted.

    I would love to do the same thing here in Birmingham once I get more established in my practice and get a better grip on what I'm doing/not-doing (Zen noob here - but I'm learning a lot at Treeleaf and hope to get more involved). B'ham area has over 1million people but no Zen group that I'm aware of (oh, the challenges of living in the Bible Belt!).

    Gassho,
    Eddie

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •