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Thread: 11/23 - Renunciation p.110

  1. #1

    11/23 - Renunciation p.110

    Renunciation ... from the verb "renun", meaning to become a "nun" for a second time.

    Gassho, Jundo

  2. #2
    Joko Beck writes: "We have to see that we are chasing ideals of perfection rather than acknowledging our imperfection." p. 113
    This really resonated with me. I am guilty of being a perfectionist about most of my efforts. Teaching, playing piano, fatherhood, etc, I want to be the BEST at it. I want to be the BEST Zen student, the best pianist, the best ________. But, I have come to know this about myself through zazen. It constantly reminds me (off the zafu and sometimes on :? ) that my endless striving for perfection is out of balance. I've come to see that hard-work, effort, and diligence are great (I have a car, a house, food, etc all because I work hard) but I must let go of the idea that I will ever be the best at any of my endeavors . . . now I think I should work AS IF I'm striving for greatness while simultaneously realizing that I should drop all desire for perfection/achievement and be satisfied with my life as it is, even the screwed-up parts. Maybe this is still wrong-headed, but it is where I am now.

    __/__,
    Bill

  3. #3
    Hello,

    apologies but I'm going to have to bow out of the book club for now. Just too busy and have lost the interest in "dharma books" for the time being.

    I read the Heart Sutra a few times a day and it seems to be enough for me right now.


    Count me in on the sitting, however! I'm still looking forward to going over the shobogenzo via the blog and will be tunning in there.

    Gassho

    Greg

  4. #4
    Hi Bill,

    Quote Originally Posted by DontKnow
    I am guilty of being a perfectionist about most of my efforts. Teaching, playing piano, fatherhood, etc, I want to be the BEST at it. I want to be the BEST Zen student, the best pianist, the best ________.
    Yes, that sounds familiar. Around 18 years ago I became interested in playing the mandolin, took lessons from someone in a local mandolin orchestra, and eventually was invited to join that orchestra. I played with them for a few years, and also occasionally played in a quartett with my teacher and 2 other people from the orchestra. After a few years I moved further away due to a new job, went back to university to complete my graduate work (M.S. in Computer Science) in the evenings, and was also busy learning German. I had enough real reasons why I couldn't participate in the orchestra any longer, but I'd be a liar if I denied that it was also a big relief, as if a huge burden had been taken from my chest. Why? Because I was a perfectionist. Besides working full time, going for lessons and giving concerts, at one point I was spending over 3 hours a night practicing, every night. Once those job/study changes arose in my life I stopped playing completely, I had pushed myself over the edge and simply had no desire to do it anymore. Due to my Buddhist practice I've come to realize that superlatives like 'best', 'greatest', 'ultimate' are only ideas in our heads, and that they can be dangerous ones at that. (Please tell me to stop if I should ever mention that I'm doing Zazen 12 hours a day. )

    Quote Originally Posted by DontKnow
    now I think I should work AS IF I'm striving for greatness while simultaneously realizing that I should drop all desire for perfection/achievement and be satisfied with my life as it is, even the screwed-up parts.
    I agree with what you're saying. I think that we should indeed strive for greatness, whilst accepting that each moment is complete in and of itself, and when it's gone, it's just gone, nothing to gain, nothing to lose.

    Gassho
    Ken

  5. #5
    Oh, gosh, Joko nailed me but good with every single one of her five obstacles to practice. ops:

  6. #6
    The fifth obstacle – ‘ substituting talk and discussion and reading for persistent practice itself ‘ is the one that I have to watch at the moment. I do have a strong desire to discuss things that I am really interested in, I always seem to want to go deeply into things, to be inquisitive and always want to find out more. I notice that others are content to just keep their practice to themselves. But I suppose that what she is pointing out is that it’s okay to read and study and discuss the Dharma so long as we don’t make that a substitute for practice,

    Gassho,
    John

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