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Thread: SIT-A-LONG with Jundo: Yes! No! Sometimes! NEVER!

  1. #1

    SIT-A-LONG with Jundo: Yes! No! Sometimes! NEVER!



    A friend wrote today confessing that he skips or misses Zazen some days, and finds it easier sometimes to let the Precepts be his guide. He said:

    I may not be able to settle my mind enough to do zazen, but my troubled mind does well working through my vows and precepts. And in that process I often find some sort of answer as to how to be a better Buddhist in my interactions with the world. Often, once I've settled things a bit with the vows and precepts I can get back to doing zazen.
    Wonderful! I have a confession too:

    Do you think I never miss a day of Zazen?? Well, if you mean seated Zazen on the Zafu, yes I miss when life comes up. Just this week, I was getting ready to sit and my wife rushed in with our daughter, shaking with a high fever. I was off to the emergency room in a minute, the Zafu forgotten. Of course, as best I can, I seek to never miss a day ... seeking Such what cannot be sought, each day that is Timeless, never missing What cannot be missed ... the consistently inconsistent, Changeless right though all change ... seeking beyond and right through all seeking, yet seeking nonetheless ...

    ... but sometimes I get called away, or have someplace to be, or just fall asleep, or forget, or just take a day or week off (even monks do that), go to the movies instead or just am too darn lazy. Do I miss many a day? Yes!, (although I seek not to do so, and try not to miss, and resume again the next) I miss MANY a day of seeking Such Not Sought Which Is Never Missing!

    But do you think that I ever miss a day of Zazen?? NEVER! Not a one! Sitting in the emergency room, on the edge of life, I "sat Zazen" even if without the funny round cushion, no sacred mudra, legs straight on the floor comforting my scared and just as sacred daughter. It may not be cross legged facing the wall, but there is not a day, not an hour, when I do not "sit Shikantaza" in life. Allowing life to be even as something cannot be easily allowed ... afraid yet simultaneously living Such Beyond Fear, body shaking as That Unshaken ... hoping for a good outcome, yet simultaneously embodying Such In Which All Comes And Goes, All Outcome Good.

    The Precepts are fundamental, and I seek to live them each day ... but do you think we never miss? Yes!, I miss sometimes ... so many times each day. Well, I usually do not miss too bad (no bank robberies, assaults or murders to my name), but yesterday I did find myself getting too angry about a stupid bookkeeping error in our small translation office! All I could do was realize and release ... let the anger go before the fires burned too hot. Honestly, I got a little burned this time, but soon the fires were out.

    The Precepts are fundamental, but they can never be broken! NEVER! In a moment of Shikantaza ... seeking Such what cannot be sought, each day that is Timeless, never missing What cannot be missed ... the Precepts are all kept, no Precept ever broken in Such Ever Unbroken. Nonetheless, rising from the cushion ... out in the world ... one does as one can never to break a Precept. (In fact, when the mind is filled with excess greed, anger and divisive thoughts of ignorance, darn hard to "sit Shikantaza" and know Such Which Can Never Be Broken!).

    Did Dogen ever miss a day of Zazen? Did Dogen ever break the Precepts? (I would ask the same of all the Ancestors, even the historical Buddha himself ... although the biographies have all been polished up and the misses erased). I would say, in my guess knowing what a human being is ...

    ... sometimes (when life came up) YES! and (for certainly there was not a day in which they did not apply the Buddhist Teachings) NO! and (seeking Such what cannot be sought, each day that is Timeless, never missing What cannot be missed. NEVER!

    Yes! No! Sometimes! NEVER! This is our sincere Zen Way of Practice-Enlightenment. Is that clear??


    Gassho, Jundo
    Last edited by Jundo; 07-02-2014 at 01:30 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  2. #2
    Senior Member Clark's Avatar
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    Thank you for this Jundo.

    I recall reading somewhere, perhaps on this forum how as Zen materializes in the West ( pun intended), it can take on an atmosphere of "accomplishment" in the sense that we might see training for a marathon. Then we can brag to our friends about out marathon progress and training. This "confession" of not sitting daily seems to me to be along the lines of this kind of thinking. I would suggest perhaps if we fall into this trap, then we are no longer practicing Zen, but something more like competition. Maybe we berate ourselves for our "imperfect" practice, when all along it's all perfect.

    Gassho
    C

  3. #3
    Wonderful stuff Jundo ... I sought to understand yet I understood that I don't understand that I understood ... ! =)

    Gassho
    Shingen
    真 眼

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

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Clark View Post
    Thank you for this Jundo.

    I recall reading somewhere, perhaps on this forum how as Zen materializes in the West ( pun intended), it can take on an atmosphere of "accomplishment" in the sense that we might see training for a marathon. Then we can brag to our friends about out marathon progress and training. This "confession" of not sitting daily seems to me to be along the lines of this kind of thinking. I would suggest perhaps if we fall into this trap, then we are no longer practicing Zen, but something more like competition. Maybe we berate ourselves for our "imperfect" practice, when all along it's all perfect.

    Gassho
    C
    Clark,

    This is so true, in my view. In our modern society which is so fixated on achievement, material success, and competition, Zazen can become another goal to achieve, another box to check off, and a way to measure one's self worth compared to others. In fact, our Way is meant to be the Cure for that dis-ease, the Pointless Point of All Points beyond and right through points to rack up!

    That does not mean that we thus become detached and unmotivated either, by the way! That is running to the other extreme. Rather (as another example of living two ways At Once As One as this Zen Way), one learns Stillness in both stillness and motion. There is a time to sit, a time to move ... but always No Place In Need Of Getting. One can achieve and have goals while simultaneously (as if seeing out of another eye) dropping all goals and need to achieve. One can work hard and build a career or do a good job in Right Livelihood putting bread on the table for one's kids while (as if baking one's cake while eating it too) knowing already the Treasure of All Satisfaction Already In Hand from the start. One can have a healthy sense of competition (all things in moderation, the Middle Way) all while knowing that, in Wisdom and Compassion, there are simultaneously no points in need of winning and our "opponents" are just our self in other guise.

    But in order to know so, one should become very very adept at Sitting Very Still, Allowing the world to be, tasting All Fulfillment in the Wise-Nonsense of Just Sitting ...

    ... all to realize that same Stillness into life when, rising from the cushion, there are places to go and people to see.

    I am left thinking about this recent meta-study on meditation research. This so-called "Mindfulness Meditation" that is being sold like another cheap consumer item does not "do" as much as people hope for in "relaxing" and helping executives and pentagon generals become "efficient". Well, DUHHHHh! People are using it as another "technique" to "make their lives better". Thus, their lives do not get better.

    http://archinte.jamanetwork.com/arti...icleid=1809754

    But Shikantaza is much more subtle, not just another pill: It Teaches us a Peace and Ease that is right through and right at the heart of both ordinary life's times of ease and times of hard, a Joy that is both smiles and tears, and an "Attaining" of the absolute non-necessity of attaining. So long as folks are trying to "Get Something", meditation is just another new car in the driveway, the next promotion. Dogen's Way is merely the Sacredness & Wholeness of every act, twist or turn, up and down in life! A Buddha's Smile holds and surpasses small human smiles and tears. Only by being Wholely Whole with life ... even the bumps and sharp edges ... can one have True Peace (The Buddha never found a cure for old age, sickness and all the other trials of life ... as shown by his having grown old and sick and sometimes stubbing he toes. Rather, he found a Way right through all that and beyond dissatisfactions).

    This hilarious Arj Barker video is much more than just a parody!

    “I’m so present I am ahead of my time”

    “The instructor just told us to do a 45 minute meditation–I nailed it in 10!”


    Gassho, J
    Last edited by Jundo; 07-02-2014 at 03:56 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  5. #5
    Senior Member Clark's Avatar
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    Yes Jundo that was exactly my point, only you said it better

    AND I love this video, very funny, but also instructive

    Gassho
    C

  6. #6
    Treeleaf Unsui/Engineer Kyonin's Avatar
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    Thank you for this teaching.

    It' always nice to have a new SIT-A-LONG.

    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

  7. #7
    Senior Member Shawn's Avatar
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    Thank you for this video. I once viewed this practice as an item on my to do list, like get groceries, take my son to soccer, and sit zazen. Took me a while to understand groceries and soccer are zazen too. I didn't come to this understanding while getting groceries, taking my son to soccer, or watching Jundo's sit alongs. Only by sitting zazen!

    Gassho

    Shawn
    I am relatively new to zen. Please keep that in mind and take what I say with a truck load of salt.

  8. #8
    A cartoon from the great "Dharma the Cat" series. (Google it if you don't know) ...



    a couple more ...







    Gassho, J
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  9. #9
    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.

  10. #10
    Catch-22! Thank you Jundo. =)

    Gassho
    Shingen
    真 眼

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

  11. #11
    Senior Member Myosha's Avatar
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    Hello,

    Great question: Where does it say 'up'?

    Thank you for the moment.


    Gassho,
    Myosha
    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
    Thank you Jundo,
    for this talk,
    Gassho
    Myoku

  13. #13
    Treeleaf Engineer Seimyo's Avatar
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    Thank you Jundo.

    Gassho
    Seimyo

    明 Seimyō (Christhatischris)

  14. #14
    Senior Member Juki's Avatar
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    Thank you, Jundo. Relevant and Humorous.

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

  15. #15
    Thank you as always.
    Gassho,
    Kaishin

  16. #16
    Senior Member Nindo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Myosha View Post
    Hello,

    Great question: Where does it say 'up'?

    Thank you for the moment.


    Gassho,
    Myosha

    I've always wanted to be a black bird.
    I love how they sing on the roof tops around my parent's house.

    Why don't we have a singing smiley?

    Sorry, OT.

  17. #17
    Senior Member TimF's Avatar
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    Many thanks, Jundo!

    Gassho,
    Tim

  18. #18
    I suspected Jundo that you don't sit everyday...although you do...so do I

    Girai

  19. #19
    Senior Member Koshin's Avatar
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    Thank you teacher :-)

    Gassho
    ______________________________
    Kōshin / Leo



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

  20. #20
    Junior Member Rick's Avatar
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    Fantastic thread!

    Gassho,

    Rick

  21. #21
    Trying to sit at 5 AM as I used to but was too lazy, now I have come up with 10 PM when the house goes quiet.
    I am tired then but zazen takes over, things happen.
    Thank you Jundo for your words and gassho to all on this thread!!

    Ed
    "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






  22. #22
    Senior Member Matt's Avatar
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    Thank you for this teaching, Jundo.

    Deep bows,
    Matt J

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