I get that, Jundo. And I appreciate that perspective, and that function of zazen, immensely. Believe me, I do. But my point in bringing my "storm of thoughts and emotions" here isn't to say, "Thinking and feeling all of this stuff is great," or "Thinking and feeling all of this stuff is horrible." It's simply to say, "This is my experience; this is what I bring to the cushion and this is what I bring to you," and to hopefully find some support and guidance in working with these things.Originally Posted by Jundo
I've been sitting for years now, and daily or near-daily for at least three. I have tried that practice, and I'm still trying it, and I've told you about that. If anything, it's stirred all this stuff up even more for me. Telling me to "just sit" doesn't help me. I get that, I already do that. The thing is, I've sat enough that I don't have these silly ideas any more about what it's going to accomplish. I've made a lot of peace with "myself," with the bundle of traits and quirks that comprise my subjective experience.
And what I've tried to say, is I've already been through that grinder, of sitting in hopes of silencing or stilling this "storm," and not only has it not happened, I've grown to question whether desiring such a thing ever was wise. I've learned from experience that simply taking the "Absolute-ist" perspective toward thoughts and emotions that it's all ephemeral, let go of it all, etc., can not only be problematic, but can even be destructive. Our thoughts and feelings can tell us important things and give us important pointers.
Going through social work school and studying these things and coming to an understanding about my particular psychological hang-ups has been immensely healing. If I'd "just sat" and ignored the "storm" and let it go, I wouldn't have experienced that healing. But it's an ongoing process, and I am really wrestling with a lot of this stuff in a visceral way; it's not just idle intellectual masturbation. And maybe my perspective, that simply letting go of it all and sitting in silence is incomplete, doesn't quite fit in here; I won't take it personally if you don't want me bringing my stuff here. I'll just move on.
But I personally believe that practicing Zen doesn't necessitate dismissing and not engaging with this stuff. And that's why I thought perhaps I would "fit in" here, because the consensus when I came here at first seemed to be that it's all grist for the mill, that it's all practice, that it's all Buddhism. That's what I cherished and respected about this place. If it's not the case, I can move on. Like I said before, I'm not even all that certain how much of a "Soto gal" I am, so maybe I really am an odd duck here. But at the very least, I feel like if that's the opinion, it could have been handled with more grace and respect toward me, instead of a presumptuous attitude that I'm coming from a place of idle intellectual speculation.