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Thread: The scale of practice

  1. #1

    The scale of practice

    Nama Rupa (Name and form)

    The smell of wet trees after a spring rain.
    The sun is warm on your skin, and your back.
    Myriads of sounds come and go.
    There is no one place where it comes from.
    There is no place where you are standing.

    We might for a monent smell the trees and feel our shirt, but then we begin to name it.

    The "trees" smell good. The Sun feels warm, and so on. Then we start to get caught up in all the things we have to do that day or something else. Our thoughts are random. When we start to attach importance to them, at that moment, we have lost the smell of the trees. We now only have some faint cloudy awareness that they are there. Or we might focus our attention on them and exclude everything else.

    Instantly we name something. Attach some emotion or idea to it. Rarely do we experience it as it is without judgement. Rarely are we just open to the moment of awareness and experience. We have moments in our life where we experience this, but if they were constant then we wouldn't have to run around doing Zazen would we?

    Dropping bodymind. You are the trees, Sun, sounds, smells, colors, skin, heart, hair, breath. There is no need to name them, and there is no point from which they come from.

    Whatever you are doing, there is no point or place where you are. Are you spinning on that stool, or is the room spinning? No need to ask. It is what it is.

    Now. This is where Jundo turns it around. He says that we balance the two states of being. We are at times open to the moment, and drop Bodymind. Yet, we are also aware that we need to organize, caculate, and "think" about things in order to get them done. If we are nothing but direct experience all the time, then who is going to pick up the kids from school? Sometimes we have to think about stuff. This is great wisdom.

    We may say there are no kids to pick up in the first place, but just use your intelligence and wisdom. We have a place here in this world. A "role to play". We can very easily discard it for a astetic seclusive lifestyle, but the point is "you don't have to". Life is full of rich experiences that don't have to only be experienced from a place of tranquility. The tranquility is really in us and the experiences are too vast to calculate. Experience is everywhere at all times. It might come in the shape of a salad, a toothache, a latenight discussion, and on and on... But ,we should use our wisdom and be aware of Nama Rupa . Understand it, and balance it. Understand reaction and attention.

    We make choices day after day. No right, no wrong. Only choice. Choosing not to make a choice is a choice. We have the ability to make choices.

    In some places Zen monks don't make choices, but follow the same mantra day in and day out. Get up, Wash, Sit Zazen, Eat, Do some work, Do more Zazen, Lunch, Zazen, Samu, Zazen, Study, Sleep, Get up.

    This is one way to just do what you do without judgment. To be in the moment day in and day out. However, something human is being ignored. We must come back from that place which is no place sometimes to experience what being human is. We have such great capabilities, and capacities. We were given a gift. From where? Don't know. In Zen we don't really care too much.

    For those who are beginners, it is helpful to sit without a goal. It is helpful to sit often. It is Helpful to get a taste of the moment from no place, every place. Actually, it is good for even seasoned and acient students to continue to do this. However, 50 years of sitting is 50 years of Buddha. Use the wisdom of the dear old teachers that live in the center to balance it out.

    G,W

  2. #2

    Re: The scale of practice

    Ah, somebody truly listening!

    Another nice one, Will.

    Gassho, Jundo

  3. #3
    Senior Member Kent's Avatar
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    Re: The scale of practice

    Will, as a Zen beginner i found your post to be incredibly helpful, beautifully written and worth printing for further reference, thank you. Gassho Kent

  4. #4

  5. #5

    Re: The scale of practice

    thank you will.

    this is the first thing i read, i have just got up from bed.
    your words rang very loud with me right now, it is exactly what i feel is right but van not put in to words.

    and once again, thank you.

  6. #6

    Re: The scale of practice

    Were you with me on my walk yesterday :wink: I felt I was everything at times.

    A great post Will reflecting some of my thinking/non-thinking as I pushed Beren through the lanes and woods yesterday, same this morning out with the dogs. They are fleeting moments before 'I' kick in again, but wonderful ones.

    Hope all's well over there

    In gassho, Kev

  7. #7

    Re: The scale of practice

    Hi Will,

    Yes, very nice - thank you.

    Gassho
    Ken

  8. #8

    Re: The scale of practice

    Thanks Will,

    I needed that.

    Gassho,

    Linda

  9. #9

    Re: The scale of practice

    Great post Will, thanks,

    G, J

  10. #10

    Re: The scale of practice

    Thanks Will

    Gassho Louise

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