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Thread: 4/18 - The Scenery of Life p. 68

  1. #1

    4/18 - The Scenery of Life p. 68

    Let us observe ...

    The Scenery of Life ...


    Gassho, Jundo

  2. #2

    Re: 4/18 - The Scenery of Life p. 68

    Is this why there is no talk of kensho experience? Because it can often (or always) be attributed to our psychological states or other "scenery" in our consciousness and therefore can never be verified or authenticated?

    Gassho, Tony

  3. #3

    Re: 4/18 - The Scenery of Life p. 68

    Quote Originally Posted by boone enoch
    Is this why there is no talk of kensho experience? Because it can often (or always) be attributed to our psychological states or other "scenery" in our consciousness and therefore can never be verified or authenticated?

    Gassho, Tony
    Hi Tony,

    Well, I would not quite say that.

    During Zazen, over many years of Practice, we have all manner of tastes, large and small ... Sometimes often, sometimes very few and far between if even once. We have all manner of experiences, some profound, some mundane, some self-revealing, some confusing, some long lasting, some momentary, etc. This is also the scenery of Zazen.

    As to the "profound" experiences, I take these as just fine vantage points on the mountain, getting to see the scenery from angles and heights we are not used to ... we taste them, learn from them, see the world in this wonderful way, then move on. They are not the stopping point of our Practice in Soto Zen, only points of interest or reference. We learn from them then return to Just Sitting and to life in the day-to-day world.

    Nice place to visit, wouldn't want to live there (nor really could we live there, I think, not if we are to live our even more wondrous ordinary lives).

    I think a good Zen teacher can "authenticate" what a student has experienced to a large degree. You can tell by how the student expresses themselves, how they react to it, and rather know with experience what the person has tasted. (I am not too much for the overblown idea in old Zen stories that the "master" can "read the mind" of the student ... I think it is more being able to "read" the other person by experience and subtle clues, and it is hard to completely know another's experience no matter what the old stories make it sound like. In any event, when folks come to me describing such things, I tell them to have a look then move on).

    Anway, that is my interpretation of such things.

    Gassho, Jundo

  4. #4

    Re: 4/18 - The Scenery of Life p. 68

    Thanks for your answer, Jundo. Kensho is an idea that I seem often to get "hung up" on in Zen. Much appreciated.

    Gassho, Tony

  5. #5

    Re: 4/18 - The Scenery of Life p. 68

    Quote Originally Posted by Uchiyama
    …..I hope that people who practise Zazen will continue regular sesshins and daily Zazen for at least 10 years. It's a tremendous thing to be able to give oneself to this kind of practice and not be caught up in distractions. Our deepest mental suffering will come up during these years of Zazen, and we will be able to continue our practice only if we have the stability to see the suffering as the scenery of our life and not be carried away by it….
    I love his metaphor of 'scenery'. It makes us realise we don't have to be so anxious and worried about the events in our lives, or give them undue importance, or spend too much time repainting the scenery. It's just our own unique version of suffering acting itself out.

    Gassho,
    John

  6. #6

    Re: 4/18 - The Scenery of Life p. 68

    Hi,

    Quote Originally Posted by Uchiyama Roshi
    The essential matter here is the attitude of just striving to wake up regardless of the conditions you are in. It is not about arriving at some state where all thoughts have disappeared. To calmly sit amidst these cause-and-effect relationships without being carried away by them is shikantaza.
    When I'm doing Zazen, it's almost never the case that it's completely quiet, the temperature, humdity and lighting are optimal, etc. It's a wonderful, liberating experience to discover that these things only pose a problem as long as we resist them and let ourselves be carried away by them. It's not a case of this vs. that, where 'this' is me doing Zazen and 'that' is a disturbance, but rather there is no me, no disturbance, it's all just Zazen.

    Gassho
    Ken

  7. #7

    Re: 4/18 - The Scenery of Life p. 68

    John, I agree. The scenery metaphor is helpful. The scenery surrounds us. We are passing it by. It causes our suffering if we attach to it while it is passing. Nice.

    Yet, I still struggle with what is it that is real? The buddha nature is there. But doesn't it contain the scenery?

    Gassho,

    Linda

  8. #8

    Re: 4/18 - The Scenery of Life p. 68

    I was just re-reading Jundo's post on Shikantaza and found a quote that helped me with the "real" problem I mentioned above.

    "So, we see the falsity of the senses, the fiction of the "self" ... even as we go through life as if the senses and the self are really real. So, we do not reject the self as much as "see through it" (like knowing that a theatre play is just a fiction, but watching it anyway ... that theatre play is our life, after all, so we might as well live it). We are not attached to sense objects EVEN AS we must experience them as human beings. Here but (on another level) not here. We consider this to be living in Samsara that is just Nirvana, Nirvana is just Samsara.

    Thanks Jundo,

    Gassho,

    Linda

  9. #9

    Re: 4/18 - The Scenery of Life p. 68

    I'm a bit late in jumping in.

    Related to Uchiyama's hope that will continue regular meditation practice for ten years . . . I believe that there's been research across a variety of fields that shows it takes about ten years to develop expertise or proficiency in a profession or sport .

    Trying to verify my memory, I was able to locate a reference to this ten-year rule. Cambridge Handbook of Expertise and Expert Performance refers to “an intriguing finding dating to 1899, which shows that even the most talented individual requires a decade of committed practice before reaching world-class level.”

    Having less than a year of practice, I find greater ease and joy in approach sitting and a deepening desire to reach out and act with compassion and understanding. I wonder what ten years will bring!

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