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Thread: Thinking / Non thinking

  1. #1

    Thinking / Non thinking

    Hi all,

    A doubt has recently arose in me.

    When, for example Jundo says "shall we sit with that?" after a teaching, does it mean we reflect on that while sitting?
    The same doubt can be applied to sitting after reading a text.
    How does it combine with the "just sitting" "non-thinking" attitude?

    Do I have to just let the thoughts come and go or should I actively think about the subject?

    How does one learn and incorporate the teachings to one's life?

    Excuse me if this topic has already been discused, I couldn't figure out how to search.


    Thanks and Gassho


    Walter

  2. #2
    Hey Walter,

    How I see it, when we sit, we reset our consciousness. When we do that, after a sitting what we have learned prior will be unblocked by a million other things we could be thinking. That way we absorb without thinking to much, it just becomes knowledge. Our minds are always scrambled eggs during the day, so its learn - sit - then absorb. This is just my thoughts on the subject

    Gassho,

    James
    Last edited by Cumminjd; 07-16-2014 at 05:08 PM.

  3. #3
    Hi Walter

    I wonder if sometimes Jundo's 'sit with that' is rather more of a metaphor than an actual instruction on sitting shikantaza? In shikantaza it is true that thoughts may meander around but Soto Zen practice is not sitting with the aim of contemplating a subject or understanding it better.

    I like what James says about letting things absorb naturally during sitting. Otherwise we can 'sit' with teachings and problems during our daily life and let them permeate. Logical thinking is the way most of us are used to dealing with our problems and that can be useful in this context too but it is not the only way to 'sit with' something.

    Gassho
    Andy

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Kokuu View Post
    Hi Walter

    I wonder if sometimes Jundo's 'sit with that' is rather more of a metaphor than an actual instruction on sitting shikantaza? In shikantaza it is true that thoughts may meander around but Soto Zen practice is not sitting with the aim of contemplating a subject or understanding it better.

    I like what James says about letting things absorb naturally during sitting. Otherwise we can 'sit' with teachings and problems during our daily life and let them permeate. Logical thinking is the way most of us are used to dealing with our problems and that can be useful in this context too but it is not the only way to 'sit with' something.

    Gassho
    Andy
    Hey Andy,

    Im glad you understood the point I was getting at. Sometimes I know what I want to write, and it would be easier to tell someone in person. But with writing sometimes I feel I get confusing. I run into this problem at college a lot haha. Anyway, thank you for your thoughts, and I wonder if you are closer to the truth with the metaphor example.

    Gassho,

    James

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Cumminjd View Post
    Hey Walter,

    How I see it, when we sit, we reset our consciousness. When we do that, after a sitting what we have learned prior will be unblocked by a million other things we could be thinking. That way we absorb without thinking to much, it just becomes knowledge. Our minds are always scrambled eggs during the day, so its learn - sit - then absorb. This is just my thoughts on the subject

    Gassho,

    James
    I like that -- I work in computer programming, software engineering (i'm not sure what the buzzword is today, but I code. lol). In any case, when you get into the "weeds", you have to let go of your problem solving. You let "it" solve itself. There is some magic (for lack of a better term) part of our consciousness that can just work things out. It doesn't mean to be passive.... we are not sitting like zombies, but we learn to act "naturally" -- when to actively act, when to rest.

    but it's practice... we learn as we go I suppose.

    Note -- these are the words of a beginner; just my opinions about practice; they are to be taken with a crapload of salt.

    Gassho,

    Risho

  6. #6
    Senior Member Troy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Risho View Post
    It doesn't mean to be passive.... we are not sitting like zombies, but we learn to act "naturally" -- when to actively act, when to rest.

    Gassho,

    Risho
    Love that

  7. #7
    Hello Walter,

    Thinking, non-thinking ... just sit. =)

    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.

  8. #8
    For what it's worth, I have never managed to "learn and incorporate the teachings into one's life" . It has all been by a stumbling along, and continues to be. Any time i get smart about it, or think I have learned something, a Garuda bird shows how vain it is.

    Gassho
    Daizan
    大山

  9. #9
    Senior Member Jakudo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daizan View Post
    For what it's worth, I have never managed to "learn and incorporate the teachings into one's life" . It has all been by a stumbling along, and continues to be. Any time i get smart about it, or think I have learned something, a Garuda bird shows how vain it is.

    Gassho
    Daizan
    I think after hearing the teachings over and over you become saturated with them, it sinks in, then you just smile.
    Gassho, Shawn Jakudo Hinton
    It all begins when we say, I. Everything that follows is illusion.
    "Even to speak the word Buddha is dragging in the mud soaking wet; Even to say the word Zen is a total embarrassment."
    寂道

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by walter View Post

    When, for example Jundo says "shall we sit with that?" after a teaching, does it mean we reflect on that while sitting?
    The same doubt can be applied to sitting after reading a text.
    How does it combine with the "just sitting" "non-thinking" attitude?

    Do I have to just let the thoughts come and go or should I actively think about the subject?

    How does one learn and incorporate the teachings to one's life?
    Dosho once said I should better say, "Shall We Sit As That". He is right.

    Just let the idea rest, like all thoughts and emotions during Zazen. Do not focus upon nor think about it during Zazen, any more than the chair across the room or anything in sight or in the world and in life. Let it be, let it drift away. We do not sit around and contemplate during Shikantaza. If it stubbornly stays in mind and will not go, just let it be just as the chair and whole world-life just are. A Clarity of Illumination may thus come to shine right through all, all is Empty and all is Whole. This Silent Light that shines in/behind/right through/as thoughts or no thoughts is Thinking-Non-Thinking.

    Incorporating this Clarity of Illumination, Allowing, Emptiness-Wholeness, into all our life ... the great and small, happy and sad, ugly and beautiful, up and down on and off the cushion ... such is our Practice, Enlightenment-Practice.

    Sometimes, rising from the cushion, an answer to a problem suddenly presents itself. And that is fine.

    Sometimes, rising from the cushion, the problem has evaporated into air. And that is fine.

    Sometimes, rising from the cushion, the problem remains bigger and harder than ever. And that is fine.

    That is my jetlag comment as I sit on Yugen's floor at 5am.

    Gassho, J
    Last edited by Jundo; 07-17-2014 at 11:47 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

    #SAT TODAY!

  11. #11
    Jundo, thank you so much for taking the time to answer having just arrived.
    It is clear now.

    Shingen, yes of course, you 're simply so right.

    I am re-reading "Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind" and somehow rediscovering it.
    Having read those two chapters Jundo recommended of "Once Born Twice Born Zen" has helped me a lot to focus and stay in context.

    So I'd better sit down "as it" (and shut up)

    Gassho

    Walter

  12. #12
    Senior Member Troy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daizan View Post
    For what it's worth, I have never managed to "learn and incorporate the teachings into one's life" . It has all been by a stumbling along, and continues to be. Any time i get smart about it, or think I have learned something, a Garuda bird shows how vain it is.

    Gassho
    Daizan
    That is so me. Thanks for posting that.

  13. #13
    Thank you Walter for posing the question and thank you Jundo for your words.

    Gassho.

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