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Thread: being careful

  1. #1

    being careful

    I just thought I'd post this about my past 5 years of zen practice.

    In the years of my life I have had moments where their was intimacy(not with a lover) where I just sat and felt the wind or smelt the rain or whatever I was doing. When i started to practice it seemed that throughout my practice I began to focus more on my thoughts, analyzing and talking to myself about what I was doing. My Idea of practice became twisted through the concepts that I kept coming up with. I didn't have any realization of intimacy and just sitting for a long time. From this experience I have learned that it is tremendously easy to grasp concepts and thoughts about what practice should be instead of actually practicing.

    I was actually doing the opposite of what you are supposed to do when practicing. Instead of opening attention, I was just focusing more and more on concepts, tension, and thoughts, entirely intellectual.

    It's hard to say exactly when I actually paid attention to my experience (even in the slightest degree). I think it is when I started to actually listen to the sounds going on. I think that perhaps it is when bodymind or ego had had enough of this searching and analytical view of what practice is. Perhaps I had eaten and eaten without satisfaction. Perhaps I had listened to thousands of songs without real enjoyment. Perhaps I had tried so many things without satisfaction. When the only one thing that I really needed to do was just let things be.

    Anyway, what I'm trying to say to anyone who might find practice difficult and tense and really troublesome, is: be careful. Don't do the opposite of what sitting is and don't be convinced by your thoughts. Be vawy vawy carefow. As Elmer Fudd would say.

    Gassho

  2. #2
    Hi Will,

    Our Practice is words and no words. When the words are too much, or obscure the Truth ... then wordless experience is the Truth,

    Gassho, Jundo

  3. #3

    Re: being careful

    Quote Originally Posted by will
    ...When i started to practice it seemed that throughout my practice I began to focus more on my thoughts, analyzing and talking to myself about what I was doing...It's hard to say exactly when I actually paid attention to my experience...I think it is when I started to actually listen to the sounds going on.
    Brother Will,

    I hear you. For a long time I also thought that the answer was going to be in the form of a change or realization in thoughts. For me one of the practices that helped, was listening to my thoughts as if they were like any other sound. Not identifying with them, but noticing them come and go like the sound of the rain on the metal roof, or the wind in the trees, or the crowing of my roosters.

    For me the change was not so much in how I thought, but in how I felt. The subjective experience of being is different now than it had been before. And that does seem to have an effect on my thoughts, but the primary focus for me seems to be how it feels to be alive, not what I think about it.

    Jundo once (or maybe more than once) said it was like riding a bicycle. I think that is a very good analogy. I don't "know" how to ride a bicycle in the sense that I could explain it or even really understand it, but I can ride a bicycle by feel.

    I don't "know" exactly what occurs when I change from typical left brain analytic solve a problem thought based mode to sitting right brain experiential intuitive be here now mode, but I can take a breath and...

    ...ride that bicycle down that long gentle hill through the trees and breeze...

    Peace & Love Brother...Gassho...

    Urug 8)

  4. #4
    Will,

    Thanks for sharing those observations. Our natural tendency is to try to think our way out of a problem. Sometimes its better to consider the mind as just another excretory organ. For instance, right now, my mind is spewing:

    Elmer: Oh Bwunhiwda, you soo wuv-wee!
    Bugs: Yes I know, I can't help it.

    As Don noted (when over analyzing), just shake the Etch a Sketch and just Sit.
    Gassho,
    Louis

  5. #5

  6. #6
    Senior Member kirkmc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo

    Our Practice is words and no words. When the words are too much, or obscure the Truth ... then wordless experience is the Truth,

    Gassho, Jundo
    Boom! Engrave that on your wall...

    Kirk

  7. #7
    Senior Member kirkmc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo

    Our Practice is words and no words. When the words are too much, or obscure the Truth ... then wordless experience is the Truth,

    Gassho, Jundo
    Boom! Engrave that on your wall...

    Kirk

  8. #8
    Kirkmc

    Boom! Engrave that on your wall...
    I think I might.

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