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 22 of 22

Thread: The Fine line of Letting Go and Suppressing

  1. #1
    Senior Member Tiwala's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Philippines
    Posts
    200

    The Fine line of Letting Go and Suppressing

    I was thinking of asking this in private, but I think it's important to publicize this question as I feel that it deserves to be discussed upon.

    In shikantaza, we're not really supposed to buy into all that goes on, right? "Oh, it's that thought again. I'll just wait for it to go away."If there is no self to experience all these emotions, no 'me', why should I bother even caring about them? They're just clouds, right? Coming and going, coming and going... again and again and again. And aren't we also supposed to feel that this is complete, holy, whole, as it is? So nothing to do, nowhere to go, just let thoughts come in and go and all that, right? Complete. All done. Nothing else to do. Immediately when a thought comes, we return without analysis or reflection (accurate?) to "everything and nothing" and sit there and be content with whatever state we find ourselves in.

    I find that this sort of practice, as so far described, is theoretically good when you're just sitting down and live a simple life. But what if you have an abusive relationship, or a job you hate, or in a state of poverty? What if you're plagued by emotions and thoughts that should be analysed, should be looked at into deeply, and so on? Couldn't "Complete and Holy" easily become "complete and holy"? Isn't it extremely easy for shikantaza to fall into some kind of suppression? Isn't there a very real danger that this sort of treatment of emotions and thoughts as clouds passing by be seen as shrugging emotions aside and downplaying them as 'just clouds' that will come and go away? Can't acceptance easily devolve into placidity and learned helplessness?

    In my reflection, I feel that this practice needs a great deal of self-honesty. One must never take the completeness of shikantaza literally. One must let oneself, at some level, feel the, and I hesitate to use this word, inherent shittiness of this practice and how it will bore you and how numerous thoughts and emotions will try to poke at your little idealized bubble of "wholeness and holiness" (not capitalized). Most times, practice will not seem praise worthy at all. Most of the time it is very boring, or at times very painful. But this honesty and willingness to be exposed to emotions and (using the Shambhala tradition's word) tenderness inside is precisely what letting the practice sink into your bones means - to take it life raw (as Taigu always says).

    Only by being willing to expose ourselves in this way, to be naked and unconditionally loving and forgiving, to drop the fear to be broken (or discover our brokenness), do we really let this practice sink deep deep into our bones and really feel it down there, and not just in our heads. Through this honesty, we learn what needs to be done and what needs to be felt, all the while enjoying each step of the way as infinitely gentle, loving, and tender. This is true Wholeness.

    At least that is how I see it for now. Any thoughts or opinions?
    Gassho
    Ben

  2. #2
    Hi Ben,

    Do not confuse sitting in "non-attachment" with being detached. Do not confuse "Nothing else to do" with passivity. Our sitting in "Whole Completeness" does not mean there are not holes in need of filling in!

    We sit with what is ... good relationships, broken or abusive relationships. peace or war, rich and poor. There is nothing lacking, nothing to change. Then, rising from the cushion, we seek to better our relationships, make peace and end war, work hard and fight poverty (for ourselves and all sentient beings). We so so with energy, trying to fix everything broken in this world. One might say that we fully accept and our at one with ... and simultaneously do not accept and set to repair ... all that is lacking in our world and this life. We realize both shit and gold are a Buddha's Treasure ... then set to cleaning up the crap.

    I think this rings the bell:

    Only by being willing to expose ourselves in this way, to be naked and unconditionally loving and forgiving, to drop the fear to be broken (or discover our brokenness), do we really let this practice sink deep deep into our bones and really feel it down there, and not just in our heads. Through this honesty, we learn what needs to be done and what needs to be felt, all the while enjoying each step of the way as infinitely gentle, loving, and tender. This is true Wholeness.

    There is no danger of passivity, suppression, complacency or the like if one is truly sitting "Nothing to Attain, Just Sitting" right!

    Gassho, J
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  3. #3
    Treeleaf Unsui/Engineer Kyonin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Mexico
    Posts
    2,881
    Hi Ben,

    By no means I am zen expert and I might be pretty wrong, but here's what I think.

    Shikantaza allows us to accept things as they are and to let go of thoughts and feelings that take us to extreme emotions. Extreme emotions means we take extreme actions that could result in harm for us or for other living beings. Extreme emotions also distort the way we see the universe.

    Too much sadness result in a sad experience of the universe. Too much happiness and passion result in a deluded experience. In both cases, reason suffers because our point of view become absolute.

    By practicing shikantaza we let go of all that. It helps us see problems in a different light, outside us with little emotional attachments to things. We accept things as they are.

    Lets say I get fired (been there a few times). That's a big problem right there, and it's super easy to fall into useless drama that will prevent you to take the right actions to try and fix things. By sitting zazen I can let go of emotions and see things as they are. I accept reality and that there is a situation (not a problem anymore) I need to take care of.

    Shikantaza allows me to see reality, which is the building blocks I get to play with.

    And then I am ready to construct, one day at a time.

    Or at least that's what I see. But then again I just woke up and maybe I just babbled something I'll regret later.

    Need coffee

    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

  4. #4

    The Fine line of Letting Go and Suppressing

    Hi Ben,

    I think that this is a Christian prayer but I like it so much that I have a tattoo of it:

    God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.

    Gassho, Jishin
    Last edited by Jishin; 07-08-2014 at 12:14 PM.
    治 Ji (Healing)
    心​ Shin (Heart-Mind)

  5. #5
    Senior Member Tiwala's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Philippines
    Posts
    200
    Quote Originally Posted by Kyonin View Post
    Hi Ben,

    By no means I am zen expert and I might be pretty wrong, but here's what I think.

    Shikantaza allows us to accept things as they are and to let go of thoughts and feelings that take us to extreme emotions. Extreme emotions means we take extreme actions that could result in harm for us or for other living beings. Extreme emotions also distort the way we see the universe.

    Too much sadness result in a sad experience of the universe. Too much happiness and passion result in a deluded experience. In both cases, reason suffers because our point of view become absolute.

    By practicing shikantaza we let go of all that. It helps us see problems in a different light, outside us with little emotional attachments to things. We accept things as they are.

    Lets say I get fired (been there a few times). That's a big problem right there, and it's super easy to fall into useless drama that will prevent you to take the right actions to try and fix things. By sitting zazen I can let go of emotions and see things as they are. I accept reality and that there is a situation (not a problem anymore) I need to take care of.

    Shikantaza allows me to see reality, which is the building blocks I get to play with.

    And then I am ready to construct, one day at a time.

    Or at least that's what I see. But then again I just woke up and maybe I just babbled something I'll regret later.

    Need coffee

    Gassho,

    Kyonin
    I get the rational part, definitely. But I also feel that there might be a need for compassion? How do we become compassionate and yet rational at the same time? Isn't compassion some sort of feeling as well, isn't being too rational a possibility as well that you discount or downplay emotions? Which is why I feel that shikantaza must be a spaciousness that allows these thoughts and emotions to be and to say what they want to say.

    My personal answer is that we have to listen to all of what they have to say, suspending judgment and being open, and then, after we sit, we decide whether they have reason or not. I say this because it's been incredibly easy for me to fall into too much rationalization and discounting the validity of emotions in decisions. Meditation gave me the ability to completely separate myself from my emotions, but now I'm learning how important it is to actually FEEL them even in the meditation practice itself.

    I downplayed my own emotions, and I downplayed others' emotions, and it caused me to alienate myself from myself and from others who wanted to connect with me. Needless to say, a life without feeling is not a life at all. It's searching for nirvana apart from samsara. Perhaps I'm just a bit weird and unlucky in that regard... and that's why it's taken me so incredibly long to 'get' shikantaza. Instead of connecting me to the beautiful fundamental nature of reality by being honest, my mistaken understanding of shikantaza detached me further and further from it because I refused to consider emotion as relevant and 'real'. I mean it isn't real... but as Dogen said, "Though all this may be true, flowers fall even if we love them, and weeds grow even if we hate them. And that is all"
    Gassho
    Ben

  6. #6
    Senior Member kirkmc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Near Stratford-upon-Avon, England
    Posts
    913
    Quote Originally Posted by Jishin View Post
    Hi Ben,

    I think that this is a Christian prayer but I like it so much that I have a tattoo of it:

    God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.

    Gassho, Jishin
    Interestingly, it was written by the guy who founded Alcoholics Anonymous, which, in a n-degrees-of-separation twist, comes from the same town as Brad Warner. (I only know that because is the documentary about him, he goes to visit the guy's grave.)

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serenity_Prayer

    :-)

    Gassho,

    Kirk
    -----

    I know nothing.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by kirkmc View Post
    Interestingly, it was written by the guy who founded Alcoholics Anonymous, which, in a n-degrees-of-separation twist, comes from the same town as Brad Warner. (I only know that because is the documentary about him, he goes to visit the guy's grave.)

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serenity_Prayer

    :-)

    Gassho,

    Kirk
    The inspiration for the tattoo came from a blurb hanging on the wall of a secret society that I belong to.

    Gassho, Jishin

  8. #8
    Senior Member kirkmc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Near Stratford-upon-Avon, England
    Posts
    913
    Got it.

    Gassho,

    Kirk


    (Posted from my iPhone; please excuse any typos or brevity.)
    -----

    I know nothing.

  9. #9
    Yes, I also think emotions and feelings are very important and the cultivation of positive emotions is virtuous. I don't think that compassion is an emotion. It's more of a state of being where you can empathize with your own and others struggles and suffering and find ways to help. With empathy you are not overtaken by the emotions and negative energies of others, but seeing their situation motivates you to try and help without causing more suffering for yourself or others.
    One of the benefits of just sitting is you start seeing your body mind as it is so you start noticing stuff you never noticed before.

    Kind regards. /\
    _/_
    Rich
    MUHYO
    無 (MU, Emptiness) and 氷 (HYO, Ice) ... Emptiness Ice ...

  10. #10
    I had to learn how to be appropriate about it. But emotional balance is important to the practice of zen. I have found that as I have practiced zazen in my daily life.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Nameless's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    La Salle County, IL
    Posts
    376
    Hiya Ben, great post. Yes, there is a fine line between pushing away and letting go. The difference, for me, can usually be felt rather than rationalized. Tension results (and remains for the duration) when I push away a thought during Shikantaza. If I accept and am just aware, there may be some tension but it passes. Also, going to the "no-me," extreme can be harmful. The Buddha warned about nihilism and eternalism, advised us to walk in the Middle, the edge of he no-coin coin. So sure, there's no self because we're all dependent and ever changing, but there is also the self, an independent expression of nature that affects all other expressions of nature. When the absolute is neither this nor that, and the common is this or that, what can we do but compromise and live by this and that? Take care.

    Gassho, John/no-John

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Tiwala View Post

    I find that this sort of practice, as so far described, is theoretically good when you're just sitting down and live a simple life. But what if you have an abusive relationship, or a job you hate, or in a state of poverty? What if you're plagued by emotions and thoughts that should be analysed, should be looked at into deeply, and so on? Couldn't "Complete and Holy" easily become "complete and holy"? Isn't it extremely easy for shikantaza to fall into some kind of suppression? Isn't there a very real danger that this sort of treatment of emotions and thoughts as clouds passing by be seen as shrugging emotions aside and downplaying them as 'just clouds' that will come and go away? Can't acceptance easily devolve into placidity and learned helplessness?

    At least that is how I see it for now. Any thoughts or opinions?
    Hello!

    Are you in an abusive relationship or a job you hate? If not, you're trying to solve a problem that literally doesn't exist. In the actual living of these sorts of situations, my experience is that earnest practice is a TERRIBLE place to try to hide. That is to say that what you're talking about looks pertinent in theory but is not always a problem in the light of practice. Also, in picking up the 'everything is perfect' side of the rope, you've neglected the other, 'this situation could use some improvement' side of the rope. Whichever side of the rope you pick up, there's a hungry tiger attached to the side you've neglected. If you hold both sides of the rope, you can be assured there is no tiger on the other end because YOU'RE the tiger! The tiger is on every end! Sit with the actual tiger! I think you'll find then that Zen is an awful place to hide, strategically.

    Gassho,

    Chet

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Peacemouse View Post
    Also, in picking up the 'everything is perfect' side of the rope, you've neglected the other, 'this situation could use some improvement' side of the rope. Whichever side of the rope you pick up, there's a hungry tiger attached to the side you've neglected. If you hold both sides of the rope, you can be assured there is no tiger on the other end because YOU'RE the tiger! The tiger is on every end! Sit with the actual tiger! I think you'll find then that Zen is an awful place to hide, strategically.

    Gassho,

    Chet
    I just love that.

    Untie all those ropes, let the tiger free!

    Gassho, J
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Peacemouse View Post
    Hello!

    Sit with the actual tiger! I think you'll find then that Zen is an awful place to hide, strategically.
    Nice Chet.

    Gassho, Jishin
    治 Ji (Healing)
    心​ Shin (Heart-Mind)

  15. #15
    Senior Member Tiwala's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Philippines
    Posts
    200
    Quote Originally Posted by Peacemouse View Post
    Hello!

    Are you in an abusive relationship or a job you hate? If not, you're trying to solve a problem that literally doesn't exist. In the actual living of these sorts of situations, my experience is that earnest practice is a TERRIBLE place to try to hide. That is to say that what you're talking about looks pertinent in theory but is not always a problem in the light of practice. Also, in picking up the 'everything is perfect' side of the rope, you've neglected the other, 'this situation could use some improvement' side of the rope. Whichever side of the rope you pick up, there's a hungry tiger attached to the side you've neglected. If you hold both sides of the rope, you can be assured there is no tiger on the other end because YOU'RE the tiger! The tiger is on every end! Sit with the actual tiger! I think you'll find then that Zen is an awful place to hide, strategically.

    Gassho,

    Chet
    Thank you. That's wonderful. Zen isn't supposed to be someplace we hide. But ultimately, I think, even if we do treat it as such, we inevitably come face to face with reality. It predisposes us to meet reality face to face. You cannot dream for too long in the bare, naked act of sitting.

    I don't want to say much, but just trust me that I may have held the everything is perfect end of the rope a bit too long. And now I am making amends.

    I wish everyone who posted in this thread peace. Take care and take it easy.
    Gassho
    Ben

  16. #16
    Member Nandi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    West Palm Beach Florida
    Posts
    76
    Thank you Thank you Thank you Tiwala You voiced everything I have been thinking lately. And thank you to everyone that answered.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Troy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Kansas City, MO (USA)
    Posts
    362
    Great post! Thank you

  18. #18
    I think that the responses here have been amazing. Since I've wondered about these issues too I'd like to add my related thoughts to see what people think.

    Often in reading about shikantaza it seems to often be described as you did in your first paragraph. To borrow from your post: "Nothing else to do. Immediately when a thought comes, we return without analysis or reflection (accurate?) to "everything and nothing" and sit there and be content with whatever state we find ourselves in." That is how I used to think about it too.

    But lately I think the last part of the sentence should read: "and sit there and be awake with whatever state we find ourselves in". Lately it seems to me that when we sit we strip all the delusion away, and become awake to what is before us, we come to see more clearly.

    When we sit we often strip it all away and then there is nothing left. So we strip away the worries, and perceptions, and delusions and we find contentment - we awaken to contentment. But in other cases we strip away all the delusions and there is something that needs to be dealt with! Shikantaza allows us to see more clearly what we need to do.

    It isn't about passive acceptance, it is about cutting through delusion so that we can better see how to proceed.

    I now believe that Zen allows you to come fully alive - vibrant. Fully awake to your life.

    Maybe a different way to say this is that I now see shikantaza as a polishing cloth. It polishes our thinking, making it shine. Rubbing out the imperfections. Then we can see more deeply what needs to be done in the moment to deal with whatever life presents to us. Not just accepting it, but engaging it with clarity and awareness.

    Just my .02 cents.

  19. #19
    Hi.

    Quote Originally Posted by Peacemouse View Post
    Sit with the actual tiger!
    Thank you Tiwala, all in this thread and Chet, wonderful!

    Mtfbwy
    Fugen
    Treeleaf Unsui
    Blog: http://fugenblog.blogspot.com/

  20. #20
    Lovely Shoshin!

    I do not think that Zazen always tells us what needs to be done in the moment to deal with what life presents. It may help us listen to our hearts more, which may help our decision making and finding a good course ... but sometimes the heart is foolish nonetheless.

    But Zazen is sure to teach us what needs to be non-done and nothing in need of doing. Whatever choice one ends up making or not making, nothing was done and just be there. We may have much to polish all to find there was no place for dust to alight from the first. In such way one sits Awake and Clear.

    Gassho J
    Last edited by Jundo; 08-26-2014 at 09:27 PM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    Lovely Shoshin!

    I do not think that Zazen always tells us what needs to be done in the moment to deal with what life presents. It may help us listen to our hearts more, which may help our decision making and finding a good course ... but sometimes the heart is foolish nonetheless.

    But Zazen is sure to teach us what needs to be non-done and nothing in need of doing. Whatever choice one ends up making or not making, nothing was done and just be there. We may have much to polish all to find there was no place for dust to alight from the first. In such way one sits Awake and Clear.

    Gassho J
    Thank you Jundo,

    Even a blind squirrel finds a nut now and again.

    Gassho

    Allan

  22. #22
    Senior Member Amelia's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    San Diego County, California
    Posts
    1,719
    Thank you, Jundo
    迎 Geika

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
  •