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Thread: 12/7 - Tragedy p.119

  1. #1

    12/7 - Tragedy p.119

    Apparently, only a couple of people found our last chapter, "It's OK", to be "OK".

    That's a tragedy, because I think it is a great description of the "enlightened state". (Still time to read it, by the way).

    But, it is a tragedy ... which happens to be the name of the next chapter ...

    I remind everyone that we start the new edition of Kosho Uchiyama Roshi's "OPENING THE HAND OF THOUGHT" from January. Jundo

  2. #2
    Joko says “we can begin to sense the error of an exclusive identification of mind and body” I find it hard enough to identify even with other people never mind other animals. I suppose she's talking about people like St Francis of Assisi here. But how do we get to that point? I suppose it’s a matter of long years of practice. We have to remember that most of these talks were given to encourage people sitting during sesshin, periods, and what resonated with me in this chapter was the really important need for these long and intense periods of concentrated sitting. As she intimates, it is hard to get rid of intrusive thoughts about present concerns that our cunning mind readily brings up during our daily periods of sitting. It’s only when we can get away from these concerns for a while that we can get really into our meditation and start to see through ‘ our thoughts, our needs, our attachments’, I think. I really will have to get to some retreats next year – that’s a resolution!

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by John
    We have to remember that most of these talks were given to encourage people sitting during sesshin, periods, and what resonated with me in this chapter was the really important need for these long and intense periods of concentrated sitting. As she intimates, it is hard to get rid of intrusive thoughts about present concerns that our cunning mind readily brings up during our daily periods of sitting. It’s only when we can get away from these concerns for a while that we can get really into our meditation and start to see through ‘ our thoughts, our needs, our attachments’, I think. I really will have to get to some retreats next year – that’s a resolution!
    Hi John,

    Doing long retreats is a vital and necessary part of Practice. I have usually done 1 or 2 a year. That being said, I do not think that reality is to be found in the retreat, or "something less" in our daily meditation. How to say this? The Sesshin is an intense period of Zazen ... a little like taking you car into the garage for the big 30,000 mile (or 50,000 kilo for our friends in the rest of the world) engine overhall. But the real driving is to be done out on the road, day by day, while servicing your car at the local gas station (our daily Zazen) with new oil and wiper blades.

    Okay, not the best analogy, but I think you get the point. If you kept you car in the garage all the time for overhall (lived in the monastery) you might miss the joy of the open road and real driving (daily life).

    Sesshin provides some very profound experiences. The hours upon hours of meditation and mindfulness cause the brain to experience things, and settle in, in ways we cannot do in short meditation. So, it is good. If we do a Sesshin for about a week or two, we come out (most people) rather blissful ... then float around like that for a couple of days.

    It tends not to last. It is like the old Chinese saying "Get Married, be Happy for 3 Days"

    Our practice is NOT ABOUT FLOATING AROUND IN CONSTANT BLISS FOREVER AND EVER. Sure, a little bliss is nice. So is everything else on the open road.

    So, think of Sesshin as another necessary reference point in our Practice, but just one more aspect. Don't wish to keep your car all shiny and covered up in the garage.

    Gassho, Jundo

  4. #4
    I'll be rejoining the book club in January with the new book, just need a little Buddhist book break.

  5. #5
    Thanks Jundo, (my voice recognition software keeps calling you John Doe!). The way another teacher put it to me was that sitting sesshin is not essential but is very helpful in a practice. I have sat three retreats so far, two five day and one three-day. The reason I didn't get to any this year was because my local Zen Centre held them at an old priory which was not very disabled accessible. I am in a wheelchair and I didn't want them having to bump me up and down steps all day. But I'm hoping to find a way around that this year :-)

    Gassho,
    John

  6. #6
    Jundo wrote:
    Apparently, only a couple of people found our last chapter, "It's OK", to be "OK".

    That's a tragedy, because I think it is a great description of the "enlightened state". (Still time to read it, by the way).
    Sorry, boss. I'm a bit behind on my homework . . . finals week and all that mess. I'll catch back up in a couple of days.

    Bill

  7. #7
    I read a recent interview with Leonard Cohen (think it was in Shambala Sun) where he talked a bit about the benefits of long retreats. I don't remember the exact quote - something like "You sit there and run through your sexual fantasies, your revenge fantasies, your world domination fantasies. You go over them so many times that they cease to have any impact. They bore themselves into non-existence."

    Like I said, not an exact quote, but I think that was the gist of it.

  8. #8
    Hi,

    I'm somehow at a loss for words with this chapter. Strawberries aren't in season here, so I'll just have a nice clementine and let Joko's words sink in.

    Gassho
    Ken

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