Okay, lets fall out of love and start 'The Search' ...
Okay, lets fall out of love and start 'The Search' ...
I kind of feal this was more about giving up the search.
Hello Jundo, Jordan:
Right now the search is on--for the book!--I had it just a couple of days ago--now where'd I put it???
This strikes me as being very very funny!
I was struck by a couple things. Joko's metaphor of the Northern Cross:
That worked for me. Searching for something that isn't there, we will never find it. GO and DO, and there it will be. No searching, no discovery. It is just there.If you look in the skies of San Diego at night, hoping to see the Northern Cross, you'll never find it. All you have to do is go to Australia, and there it is.
I was a little concerned by something else:
This is the second or third time that Joko has called me out directly on something I do regularly! In the course of conflict, or especially when I recognize conflict or anger about to arise/arising, I make non-effort to release my attachments and simply experience. Typically when I do this the conflict melts away. But here is Joko, once more confounding my expectations, saying this is wrong.Practice doesn't mean, in the middle of a fight with somebody, to stop and say, "I'm going to experience this." The more mature our practice, the more we can do that naturally as the anger arises.
The more mature our practice, the more we can do that naturally as the anger arises.Sounds like you are doing the right thing to me. Maybe we are reading it differently?I make non-effort to release my attachments and simply experience.
Still can't find the book.
Can't say I'm searching for it any more: I'm just waiting to come across it, to have it appear as I go about my business.
Yet, I think this is pertinent to the topic. One group I sat with (Soto/Shikantaza) would give sitting instructions almost each and every time. I never got tired of hearing them. At the end of instructions was the closing phrase: "This is Dogen's zen or shikantaza: sitting for the sake of sitting, no goals, no attainment, just sit."
We are so lucky to be able to sit this fresh moment and the next fresh moment, and the next fresh moment and whatever arises, moment by moment completely and totally satisfying. (The opposite of 'dukkha'). I think this is the greatest 'gift' any of us can give the ourself, our family, our world, our universe: a being content, thoroughly content, completely content with thingsastheyarethismoment, thismoment,
The 'search' would be to find the state of nothing to search for. Like me and Harry with our books, wherever they happen to be!
in gratitude to Zengaku Soyu Matsuoka Roshi and to all teachers past, present and future,
I think this is a great chapter, since searching is, IMHO, fundamental to human existence. For instance, what do the 3 'poisons' (i.e. greed, hate, ignorance) have in common? Searching, of course. Trying to satisfy our greed by searching for pleasant things or experiences, searching for ways to get around or destroy that which is unpleasant and causes us to hate, the eternal search for the 'self' somewhere outside of ourselves which will magically solve all of our problems... The tricky thing is, we need to search to be able to survive. We look for a loving partner, a place to live, a job, something to eat, etc. I think at the same time though, if we understand and really come to terms with the fact that we are always searching, we can see that our search will never be complete, perhaps begin to recognize what is worth searching for, and just accept the present moment 'as-is', without feeling compelled to search for this or that. Isn’t that what Zazen is, just stopping our constant search for a while?
I agree, Kenneth. We do need to do some searching, I find knowing the middle way between passivity and trying too hard is difficult.Originally Posted by Kenneth
But basically what we are all searching for is happiness, right? I know people who move from place to place, job to job, partner to partner etc. driven by a sort of restless hope that the next move will be the right one and they will be happy at last. I’ve done this myself at times – isn’t it a kind of ‘futuring’ , always thinking about the future instead of living and enjoying the present moment to the full?
It seems to be an attempt at controlling life that usually doesn’t work. Maybe we should be able to trust more in the working out of co-dependent origination, trusting that things will work out harmoniously by themselves without all this searching and trying to manipulate future outcomes. This happens more naturally when we can clear the veils of discursive thought that stop us seeing more clearly what each next most appropriate action should be.
Probably, but I think 'happiness' in the conventional sense is quite evasive and often short-lived, if found at all. I think the unique thing about our Practice is that we learn to be happy with the fact that we are sometimes unhappy, a kind of 'meta-happiness'.Originally Posted by John
Sure, 'futuring' and 'pasting' too, anything but the dreaded present! :wink:Originally Posted by John
That's great Kenneth. I'm learning how inadequate and ambiguous words like 'happiness' really are. This 'meta hapiness' or Nirvana or whatever it is is probably indescribable in words. I read a book by a Tibetan Buddhist guy called Matthieu Ricard but felt uneasy with this line from the book compared to another quote from Katagiri:Originally Posted by Kenneth
Matthieu Ricard says: " However we go about looking for it, and
whether we call it joy or duty, passion or contentment, isn't
happiness the goal of all goals? Aristotle called it the only goal
"we always choose for its own sake and never as a means to something
else." Anyone who says otherwise doesn't really know what he wants;
he is simply seeking happiness under another name." 'Happiness' p26.
In 'Returning to Life' p 133, Dainin Katagiri says "For what reason do
you become happy? For what reason do you become healthy? I don't
mean you should ignore your health and happiness. Everyone wants to
be happy, but it is not the final goal. We cannot always hang on to
it or depend on it, because when we die, we are inevitably completely
unhappy and completely unhealthy.."
I think I'm 'happy' with this idea now
In this chapter Joko writes, "Do I understand the necessity for my whole life to be practice?"
I've read and heard this teaching before, but never really understood what it meant. However, I am just beginning to. In the past, I'd think, "Well, when things in my life settle down, then I'll really commit to my practice," which usually meant sitting zazen. Of course sitting is most important to our practice, but as Joko says, our whole lives are our practice.
While I never searched for "enlightenment" or Nirvana or whatever, I did hope for a time when I'd have no problems (perhaps that's the same thing as enlightenment and Nirvana!). But as my practice matures, I see that things in my life will never "settle down" the way that I thought they would. I'll never get to that idealistic state when I'll have no problems. My practice is right here and now - as I'm writing this, with two ill children, and feeling exhausted from being in the hospital the last few nights.
So, perhaps it's not really what happens in my life (because stuff will happen, whether I like it or plan for it or not) that's important, but how I live and practice with it. Am I trying to be as compassionate, open, and balanced with the situation as possible? Am I fully with it, not making any more or less out of the situation, and am I letting it go when appropriate? That, I see clearer than ever, is my practice.
My Bad, I missed this chapter. . . seems like I have not been doing my homework. Sorry Teach!
My search for the book is over! Well, to be honest, I just stopped searching and trusted that it would appear in due course of normal activities (because those are the circumstances in which it became 'lost').
So! the search....
Joko says it isn't the search, but where we are looking. What is it underneath the searching... searching won't exhaust desires. Desires arise from unease, distress, fear, and these are what we are left with when we stop searching.
Practice is to be with that which motivates the search.
Do I know what practice is? Do I really know? Do I understand the necessity for practice? the necessity for my whole life to be practice?
Yes and no, No and yes, I think I do, then I don't. I don't think, and then I do.
Some days yes, yes, yes. Some days oh my god why me why why? Some days coulda shoulda woulda.
Maybe it would be more accurate to say some months, some years. During the course of a day it can cycle really quickly moment by moment, coming in and out of belief that something out there changing will make it a-ok in here; and reality.
The more I practice satisfaction with what is (or better said maybe the more I experience just 'what is'/reality) the less distress, unease and fear I experience.
Even when I am distressed, uneasy and fearful, a part of me can now hold this distress, unease and fear, without experiencing fear or distress or unease at having to do so. As it is being 'held' it dissolves. This sometimes takes a while--like holding a colicky baby--but in the process of 'holding' is this thing, which feels like it must be what Nishijima Roshi calls the 'will to the truth' which emerges.
It is comforting to me, like my heart, like my breathing, like homeostasis, equinimity, mindfulness, wisdom are constant activities, my heart--for the rest of my life, my lungs for the rest of my life, my practice, for the rest of my life.