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Thread: what do you experience during Zazen?

  1. #1

    what do you experience during Zazen?

    what do you experience during Zazen?
    describe your feelings? what do you go through? try to explain what it is you experience....

    when i sit i dont feel much. mostly just thoughts that come and go, they arise and just float by while i continue sitting, at times i experience brief moments without any thoughts at all, but they are actually not different from thought, having thoughts or not does not matter, as i write these lines i suddenly feel no difference between the 2 states. they are truly one.
    thought or no thought does not exist, yet they exist at the same time.

    at times i sense like everything i see blurs and becomes darker yet it is the same as always. it somehow blurs and becomes focused at the same time. i do not know how to even explain it. it is like everything becomes part of everything else and yet stays itself. it feels like everything is still yet the world moves.

    i feel nothing yet i feel everything all at once. as i write these words it seems to me that everything i wrote does not describe what i experience during Zazen. i guess i lac the words to describe it, or it is more likely it is beyond words? ( i do not know )

    i am reminded of a koan i once read :

    Gutei's Finger

    Gutei raised his finger whenever he was asked a question about Zen. A boy attendant began to imitate him in this way. When anyone asked the boy what his master had preached about, the boy would raise his finger.

    Gutei heard about the boy's mischief. He seized him and cut off his finger. The boy cried and ran away. Gutei called and stopped him. When the boy turned his head to Gutei, Gutei raised up his own finger. In that instant the boy was enlightened.

    When Gutei was about to pass from this world he gathered his monks around him. `I attained my finger-Zen,' he said, `from my teacher Tenryu, and in my whole life I could not exhaust it.' Then he passed away.
    forgive me if what i wrote seems like the rambling of an idiot, i humbly bow my head to you all.
    forgive me if i have wasted your time.

  2. #2

    Re: what do you experience during Zazen?

    It'll be interesting to read what people feel during their Zazen.
    As for me:
    Sometimes I feel like there's no barrier anymore between me and my life and nothing left to do but just do the stuff I do. I often leave the Zabuton with the feeling that I don't need to do anything or be anyone particularly interesting or clever or funny - Just be what I am.
    Sometimes I get stuck to my thoughts but more often than not I stay quite focused and it's nice and comfortable during my Zazen. I don't sit very long but daily, and I find each time I sit, I can quite easily resume that kind of feeling.
    I guess I just feel balanced during Zazen.
    Yup, for 10 minutes of the day I feel balanced :P

  3. #3

    Re: what do you experience during Zazen?

    what do you experience during Zazen?
    describe your feelings? what do you go through? try to explain what it is you experience....
    At times thoughts are cut through into the heart of the moment. Into the actual experience of what is going on right now. Actually seeing the wall, hearing the rain, seeing the movement of thoughts and how they quiet down. To get beyond this, it must not be attached to, but just let be. It was usually rare that this was the case in my sitting. At times there was a goal, a "wanting to penetrate the moment" or an attachment to something, which just causes tension and a deteriation of practice. The moment is lost. Although it goes no where, it is not recognized or felt.

    Every sitting is not the same, but gradually there is becoming a consistency.

    G,W

  4. #4

    Re: what do you experience during Zazen?

    "Just sit to sit" is a simple and profound teaching. There is no need to wonder why or experience this or that. It just comes naturally if you let it be.

    What comes naturally? Well, that is something for poets to write about.

    W

  5. #5

    Re: what do you experience during Zazen?

    What comes naturally? Well, that is something for poets to write about.

    No right. No wrong.

    Just be yourself.

    W

  6. #6

    Re: what do you experience during Zazen?

    Emptiness is form
    Form is emptiness

    O/ Sha/ri/pu/tra/, form/ is/ no/ o/ther/ than/ emp/ti/ness/,
    Emp/ti/ness/ no/ o/ther/ than/ form/;
    Form/ is/ pre/cise/ly/ emp/ti/ness/, emp/ti/ness/ pre/cise/ly/ form/.
    Sen/sa/tions/, per/cep/tions/, for/ma/tions/ and/ con/scious/ness/ are/ al/so/ like/ this/.
    O/ Sha/ri/pu/tra/, all/ things/ are/ ex/pres/sions/ of/ emp/ti/ness/,
    Not/ born/, not/ des/troyed/, not/ stained/, not/ pure/;
    Nei/ther/ wax/ing/ nor/ wan/ing/.
    Thus/ emp/ti/ness/ is/ not/ form/; not/ sen/sa/tion/ nor/ per/cep/tion/,
    not/ for/ma/tion/ nor/ con/scious/ness/.
    No/ eye/, ear/, nose/, tongue/, bo/dy/, mind/;
    No/ sight/, sound/, smell/, taste/, touch/, nor/ ob/ject/ of/ mind/;
    2
    No/ realm/ of/ sight/, no/ realm/ of/ con/scious/ness/;
    No/ ig/no/rance/, no/ end/ to/ ig/no/rance/;
    No/ old/ age/ and/ death/,
    No/ ces/sa/tion/ of/ old/ age/ and/ death/;
    No/ suf/fer/ing/, nor/ cause/ or/ end/ to/ suf/fer/ing/;
    No/ path/, no/ wis/dom/ and/ no/ gain/.
    No/ gain/ Ė thus/ Bod/dhi/satt/vas/ live/ this/ Praj/na/ Pa/ra/mi/ta/*
    With/ no/ hin/drance/ of/ mind/ Ė
    No/ hin/drance/ there/fore/ no/ fear/.
    ----------
    At moments, In the center of coming and going letting whatever happens happen. Letting whatever be. Does this mean being a zombie? Nope. It's different than zombie


    So we can make choices (because no right or wrong) that are beneficial or otherwise. Use your BRAIN my boy. And don't get down on yourself. Enjoy it. No Buddhas. You can never in countless Kalpas be a Buddha. That's just my take on it. :wink:

    I was 'Zen' with it til people started to point.


    G,W

  7. #7
    Stephanie
    Guest

    Re: what do you experience during Zazen?

    Gassho, Harry, your warped sense of humor never fails to increase my momentary share of mirth :wink:

    As for the question of what I experience in zazen: My mind is very chatty and it usually takes anywhere from ten to twenty minutes to settle down. During the heaviest onslaught of mental activity, usually the first five minutes of sitting, I don't even try to do anything. I just let myself be washed over by my mental activity until it begins to slow down of its own accord. In the past, I used to then bring my attention to my hara; these days, I direct my attention to the activity of my mind. Repeatedly bringing attention to the content of the mind itself has an immediate effect. The activity lessens and it is clear that this activity is neither reality nor me. Then bliss arises. The bliss I experience I would compare to the feeling you get when you've been carrying something heavy and then set it down. My mind and body are flooded with a sensation hard to describe, it is almost too subtle to be called "pleasure" and yet it is intense and profound.

  8. #8
    Stephanie
    Guest

    Re: what do you experience during Zazen?

    I should add that in the past zazen was very painful and difficult for me and sometimes still is. You can't hide anything from yourself in zazen if you are sitting with honest and wholehearted commitment to waking up to the truth. And some pretty dark and gnarly stuff can rain down on you if it is something you carry with you.

  9. #9

    Re: what do you experience during Zazen?

    thanks for the contributions.

    actually i totally agree with will, it is something for poets to write about
    mostly i realize that zazen could not be summed up in words, nor could it ever be expressed in anything but zazen.
    zazen is its own explanation, manifestation.
    it is like a finger pointing to itself without a mirror. just be. just sit.
    words are lacking to express most of what needs to be conveyed, it is such a basic crude tool. in silence and sitting we express what we are, what the world around us is, what we become, we break the barriers of self and no self.
    we are part of the world, we are the world.

    it seems that no matter how much i try i could not say what i mean... i feel like Alice in wonder land

    i think the only way to explain it all is to just sit zazen

  10. #10

    Re: what do you experience during Zazen?

    BTw Just to let "whoever" know. My posts are usually just general statements unless otherwise indicated.

    G,W

  11. #11

    Re: what do you experience during Zazen?

    Well my experiences are more mundane & I don't experience bliss (maybe fleeting well being if I am lucky ). I have given up conciously calming my mind & these days after 15 minutes or so it seems to happen naturally. Often, I sit & wonder what on earth I am doing - but then during the day I will catch a glimpse of perspective, balance & equanimity - then I know why.

    Kind regards

    Jools

    ps - I also experience leg going to sleep & bachache :lol:

  12. #12
    Senior Member kirkmc's Avatar
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    Re: what do you experience during Zazen?

    Yes, I agree with what several people have said that after ten minutes or so, regardless of what I do, my mind quiets itself. Generally, I just float with my thoughts for a few minutes, then do something I figured out recently: I "turn off" discursive thought (words), leaving only images, which, when they go away, leave profound "emptiness".

    I, too, have leg and back pain, and sometimes have to move when sitting long periods (more than 20 min or so).

    Kirk

  13. #13

    Re: what do you experience during Zazen?

    Hi,

    I donít think itís possible to accurately convey what we experience in Zazen. This is not primarily due to the limitations of language (although this is clearly an issue), but rather due to the fact that we practice Zazen with our complete body and mind, that is, body, feelings, perception, mental formations and consciousness. Zazen encompasses our whole being. When we practice Zazen, there is nothing but Zazen. When we are then confronted with the question of what we experience, we can only attempt to retrospectively intellectualize that which is inherently non-intellectual. Itís like asking what color tastes best to you? What fragrance is music to your ears? Also, our recollection of what we experience is fragmental, what we mean to have experienced is not that which we have experienced as a whole, but rather only certain aspects which we happen to think about at any given moment. Heat, cold, bliss, dispair, pain, peace, boredom, thinking, non-thinking, sleepiness, delusion, enlightenment... Itís like trying to take in the whole beauty of a vast landscape by looking through a pinhole in a piece of cardboard.

    Gassho
    Ken

  14. #14

    Re: what do you experience during Zazen?

    Hi....

    In my experience, some imes when I sit, there are a lot of thought in my mind, sometimes not.

    Sometimes my mind is so noisy, sometimes my mind is calm
    Sometimes it's full of anger, but some times it's in peace.
    Sometimes my body feels comfortable, sometimes full of pain...

    But, I just don't care about that... :wink:

    I just accept those as what they are...

    if noisy, just noisy.
    If calm, just calm...

    I just sit. Beside that, I don't care.... :wink:

    Gassho, Shui Di

  15. #15

    Re: what do you experience during Zazen?

    Let's see. Today the sun's shining. Temperature is moderate. Birds and stuff. Cooked supper. Had a strawberry gum (that was good). Guess I should do the dishes now :roll:

    G,W

  16. #16
    Senior Member Martin's Avatar
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    Re: what do you experience during Zazen?

    It varies. Sometimes there's anxiety, worry, planning for the future or going over the past. Often there's a voice in my head making imaginary speaches to people who aren't really there about how well I did this or why I did that or why they should do or have done the other, and sometimes it just talks about how well I'm sitting zazen. Somtimes, I just experience the room I'm sitting in. Sometimes the room just experiences me. Like I say, it varies and on the whole I'm ok with that.

    Gassho

    Martin

  17. #17

    Re: what do you experience during Zazen?

    It varies. Sometimes there's anxiety, worry, planning for the future or going over the past. Often there's a voice in my head making imaginary speaches to people who aren't really there about how well I did this or why I did that or why they should do or have done the other, and sometimes it just talks about how well I'm sitting zazen. Somtimes, I just experience the room I'm sitting in. Sometimes the room just experiences me. Like I say, it varies and on the whole I'm ok with that.

    Gassho

    Martin
    Same with me.

    Other times I feel I get to glimpse how "I" operate, my feelings and just what this whole universe is all about. Other times still my mind is anxious and constantly making crazy statements defending "me" and my position (like last night).

    Mettha.

  18. #18

    Re: what do you experience during Zazen?

    i noticed that all the answers are so different yet are actually all the same...
    i guess it doesnt matter what you feel or experience, since it is all the same. you fell what you feel and it is just that....
    there is no difference between everything and nothing and anything at all

  19. #19

    Re: what do you experience during Zazen?

    The thing is Zen. Is it "YOU" that is experiencing it?

    Gassho Will

  20. #20

    Re: what do you experience during Zazen?

    Quote Originally Posted by will
    The thing is Zen. Is it "YOU" that is experiencing it?

    Gassho Will

    good question

    I dont know!

  21. #21

    Re: what do you experience during Zazen?


  22. #22

    Re: what do you experience during Zazen?

    I don't know if this is helpful, ultimately.
    I think it's like kids asking around about what sex is like.
    There is the question am I 'doing it right.' There is curiosity.
    Yes, I can share descriptions of my different experiences, but we can never really know another's experience and their experience really doesn't mean anything with regard to my own.
    It's a phase: this comparison stuff, not to worry, it will pass.
    Is it helpful? So is sitting with questions unasked. So is sitting with questions the answers to which make no sense.
    There just is no point in comparing any part of your life with anyone else's.
    That doesn't stop us!

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