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Thread: How long have you been practicing Soto Zen?

  1. #1

    How long have you been practicing Soto Zen?

    Hi Guys. I thought it might be great to know how long everyone's been sitting (I don't mean on the sofa) or practicing

    I know we have the introductions, but I thought maybe a thread would be good. Like who's a beginner and who's old skool.

    Hi I'm Will :lol:

    I've been doing the Soto Zen thing on and off for about 6 years (on for the last 2 years ).

    Gassho

  2. #2

    Re: How long have you been practicing Soto Zen?

    I'm a beginner. I've been sitting for less than four months.

    --Charles

  3. #3

    Re: How long have you been practicing Soto Zen?

    I've been sitting regularly since december.

    Started listening to dharma talks from IMC and SFZC maybe three years ago which helped me edge closer to a regular practice.

    Before that I've had a few years of short periods of sitting very rarely and without instruction. Mostly a few weeks of 5 minute dailies here and there.

  4. #4

    Re: How long have you been practicing Soto Zen?

    Been sitting soto zen with my local group and visiting Throssel Hole for about 2 years.

    Before that I've practised various types of meditation on and off since I was about 14/15 and been to few FWBO (Friends of the Western Buddhist Order) occassions and a weeks retreat with them.

    In gassho, Kev

  5. #5

    Re: How long have you been practicing Soto Zen?

    Hi... I'm Shui Di...

    I've practiced Zazen since 2 years ago. But I stopped to practice for a long time because I was confused, and no one could help me.
    And started to practice again last year, but stoped for a while again for the same reason. And then started to practice again after I joined Treeleaf about a month ago.

    Gassho, Shui Di

  6. #6

    Re: How long have you been practicing Soto Zen?

    And started to practice again last year, but stoped for a while again for the same reason. And then started to practice again after I joined Treeleaf about a month ago.
    Keep at it. That sounds familiar.

    G,W

  7. #7

    Re: How long have you been practicing Soto Zen?

    Hey,
    I've been practicing off and on for 7 years: on for 4, off for 2, back on for 1!
    But I still only sit 10 minutes a day. Want to increase my sitting time and sitting online is helping :-)

  8. #8

    Re: How long have you been practicing Soto Zen?

    Great thread, Will.

    I just realized I've been sitting with Jundo for almost 9 months (I sat long before I joined the board). Thanks to Treeleaf, I finally got the guts to start visiting a local sangha last Feb but its not Soto. We don't have any Soto zendo's in my area.

    I used to sit every day religiously (heh) but lately I've been so busy, it's impossible. I still sit a minimum of 3 times a week but average about 5.

  9. #9

    Re: How long have you been practicing Soto Zen?

    Hi,

    I started sitting regularly 4 years ago, initially early in the morning every day before work for about 40 minutes, but not on the weekends. Since I've joined Treeleaf over a year ago I've been sitting each and every day, the only exception being a one week's vacation last year. Now that I've learned about Jundo's Insta-Zazen (TM), however, I won't be making exceptions for vacations any longer. I plan to continue to sit every day regardless of what happens until I turn to dust.

    Gassho
    Ken

  10. #10

    Re: How long have you been practicing Soto Zen?

    Great thread. It's interesting to hear folks' journey to Soto Zen.

    I started sitting 14 years ago with a Tibetan group. Even then I was drawn to Zen literature and Zen's emphasis on sitting and simplicity, but there was no Zen group in the area and there was a Vajrayana group so I went there. I didn't care for all of the visualization stuff, so I simply sat with breath counting. I did that fairly seriously until I went away to grad school. I also didn't practice much for a couple of years after the births of my kids. Last summer, for a variety of reasons, I felt I really needed to return to the practice and so I started sitting everyday again last summer (still breath counting at that point). When I joined Treeleaf in the fall of last year I switched to shikantaza. I made an internal vow to sit everyday at that point and have been able to live up to that (with the exception of 2 days where I had the flu). I feel that shikantaza is the most subtly powerful meditation practice I have had experience with . . . it suits me.

    Not to be a sycophant, but I am continually impressed with the collective wisdom of the folks in the sangha. You all have helped me in many ways and I appreciate it. I hope to remain here for the entirety of Jundo's presence here.

    Gassho,
    Bill

  11. #11

    Re: How long have you been practicing Soto Zen?

    Hey Guys, Just to keep it short and simple with the topic ops:

    How long have you been practicing Soto Zen or Shikantaza?

    Gassho

  12. #12

    Re: How long have you been practicing Soto Zen?

    Since last November.

    Gassho,

    Tony

  13. #13

    Re: How long have you been practicing Soto Zen?

    3 years

    first year jumping from a tradition/technique to an other, then i definitely switched to zazen.

    There are a lot of zazen descriptions over the web or in books, some of these encourage you to focus on the breath counting or simply the breath or on some part of the body or also on the wholesome body position, but i always preferred the Jundo's way even before knowing Jundo's teachings.

    The last 2 years i did zazen quite regularly.

  14. #14

    Re: How long have you been practicing Soto Zen?

    Quote Originally Posted by will
    I've been doing the Soto Zen thing on and off for about 6 years (on for the last 2 years ).
    I started studying/reading/exploring Soto Zen way back in 1989 or 1990. When I went to a local bookstore, I found two books. One was a comic book version of zen stories. The other one was "Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind" by Shunryu Suzuki. I found both books interesting which lead me to explore more Soto Zen and Buddhism in general. Of course, in 1990 or so, with very limited materials in this part of the world on Buddhism, my understanding of Zen took a bit longer. Now, with internet and more Buddhist materials available via this medium, has really helped me a lot.

    As far as practice, I have been practicing Sloppy Zen :mrgreen: since the mid-90's. With a local meditation group starting to get its act together, I have working on meditation practice.

    To recap... :wink:

    1. Reading/Studying.....17 years.
    2. Sloppy Zen....about the same amount.
    3. Local meditation group.....three/four moths.

  15. #15
    Stephanie
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    Re: How long have you been practicing Soto Zen?

    I have no idea.

  16. #16
    Treeleaf Unsui rculver's Avatar
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    Re: How long have you been practicing Soto Zen?

    Reading about it......about 10 years.

    Sitting about 1/2 an hour every week (counting breath)......about 8 years.

    Sitting 6 days a week for 1/2 an hour or longer(shikantaza)......about 6 months.

    Thank you Treeleaf.

    Ron

  17. #17

    Re: How long have you been practicing Soto Zen?

    i guess for about 4-5 years now. i have started sitting and i do it at least 3 times a week sometimes more quite some time ago. sometimes i dont sit for a week or so sometimes i sit every day for month.
    the thing is that zazen is even beyond sitting, with time i have noticed how it has affected and virtually became a part of everything i do and everything in my life.

  18. #18

    Re: How long have you been practicing Soto Zen?

    About 15 months now.

  19. #19
    Senior Member kirkmc's Avatar
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    Re: How long have you been practicing Soto Zen?

    I'm a beginner; I first started meditating about 18 years ago (though that was in a different tradition). I've sat off and on during that period; there have been years that I haven't sat and years that I have.

    I first read Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind about 27 years ago, but, at the time, didn't follow up on the book.

    Kirk

  20. #20

    Re: How long have you been practicing Soto Zen?

    Will wrote:
    Hey Guys, Just to keep it short and simple with the topic

    How long have you been practicing Soto Zen or Shikantaza?

    Sir, yes Sir!
    272 days,Sir!


    Bill

  21. #21

    Re: How long have you been practicing Soto Zen?

    about this long

  22. #22

    Re: How long have you been practicing Soto Zen?

    Bil
    Sir, yes Sir!
    272 days,Sir!
    :lol: :lol:

    Gassho

  23. #23

    Re: How long have you been practicing Soto Zen?

    6 yrs

  24. #24
    Senior Member Kent's Avatar
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    Re: How long have you been practicing Soto Zen?

    Four months

  25. #25

    Re: How long have you been practicing Soto Zen?

    DOGEN: "Similarly, do not judge monks as deserving of respect or as being worhless, nor pay attention to whether a person has been practicing for only a short time or many years. Without knowing where to find our own stability, how are we to know where someone else would be more stable?"

    (hint: remember the banana)

  26. #26

    Re: How long have you been practicing Soto Zen?

    DOGEN: "Similarly, do not judge monks as deserving of respect or as being worhless, nor pay attention to whether a person has been practicing for only a short time or many years. Without knowing where to find our own stability, how are we to know where someone else would be more stable?"
    Thank you for posting that Alberto. Good point. However, not the reason for this thread. This was started with the intention of adding some closeness to the community, not a yard stick to measure our practice with.

    I am very happy to see so many people come together for this practice and this thread has been fun.

    Without knowing where to find our own stability, how are we to know where someone else would be more stable?"
    A good thing to keep in mind.

    Gassho Will

  27. #27

    Re: How long have you been practicing Soto Zen?

    Hi Will,

    Quote Originally Posted by will
    Hey Guys, Just to keep it short and simple with the topic ops:

    How long have you been practicing Soto Zen or Shikantaza?
    Well, I became very interested in Buddhism about 6 years ago, but I'd say my Soto Zen practice didn't really begin until I started with Shikantaza about 4 years ago. Nuff said?

    Gassho
    Ken

  28. #28
    Senior Member Martin's Avatar
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    Re: How long have you been practicing Soto Zen?

    Two and a half years.

    Before that, on and off, some time with the Quakers, whose practice has some similarities. And some differences.

    Gassho

    Martin

  29. #29

    Re: How long have you been practicing Soto Zen?

    .

  30. #30

    Re: How long have you been practicing Soto Zen?

    Interested in buddhism - 15 yrs.

    Pracising any meditation - 4-5 yrs

    Zazen (shikitanza) - 6 months. After reading Hardcore Zen just sitting just became a natural meditation after doing breath meditation before.

  31. #31

    Re: How long have you been practicing Soto Zen?

    how long have I been sitting? long enough to know there is no 'end' to sitting--except for a rear-end!

  32. #32

    Re: How long have you been practicing Soto Zen?

    long enough to know there is no 'end' to sitting--except for a rear-end!
    :lol: :lol:

    Gassho

  33. #33

    Re: How long have you been practicing Soto Zen?

    Hi all,

    I've been sitting for about 8 years (mostly Tibetan) but switched to Soto and Treeleaf about 6 months ago.

    Gassho,

    Linda

  34. #34

    Re: How long have you been practicing Soto Zen?

    various forms of relaxation & meditation techniques - 7 years or so
    joined treeleaf & started practicing this style a few months ago
    Kind regards
    Jools

    ps:
    Alive - 45 years
    Married - 24 years
    NHS Employee - 22 years
    Father - 13 Years
    Runner - 5 years
    Cancer Survivor - 2 years

  35. #35
    Treeleaf Unsui Yugen's Avatar
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    Re: How long have you been practicing Soto Zen?

    Zen study and practice: 4 years

    Soto and shikantaza: 4 mos.

    Feeling at peace among trees, mountains, and the ocean: an entire lifetime, and then some

    Gassho,
    Alex

  36. #36

    Re: How long have you been practicing Soto Zen?

    Hopefully, nobody's practicing Soto Zen.

    G,W

  37. #37
    Treeleaf Unsui Yugen's Avatar
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    Re: How long have you been practicing Soto Zen?

    Who's asking? :wink:

    Gassho,
    Alex

  38. #38

    Re: How long have you been practicing Soto Zen?

    Who's asking?
    :lol:

    Not me.

    G,W

  39. #39

    Re: How long have you been practicing Soto Zen?

    I started in 2002, but then stopped after about five minutes. And so it's been since then: starting, and then stopping again after 10 minutes or half an hour or whatever.

  40. #40

    Re: How long have you been practicing Soto Zen?

    Hi,

    I am just starting! :wink: I think I will start again tomorrow.

    Although I have been practicing about 25 years (pretty much all in the same style), I faded in and out a few times ... maybe for months or a year or more. In fact, I even think it a good thing. It is like leaving a lover who you only appreciate when you are away (something my wife and I are experiencing a little after my recent absence).

    Gassho, Jundo

  41. #41

    Re: How long have you been practicing Soto Zen?

    I've been practicing sitting for about 5 years. My wife (who studied religion in college) told me I was a Buddhist 8 years ago because I meditated while riding my bicycle into work. I still ride, so I must still be meditating while riding.

    I'm taking massage therapy classes and I'm finding that you have to Pay Attention while working on a client. I guess that counts as practice too?

  42. #42

    Re: How long have you been practicing Soto Zen?

    Hmmm i started not too long before i was turned on to Treeleaf. so id guess-timate around september of 2007ish. Before that I was trying different flavours of the many buddhist soy creams for around 6 months.

    Gassho
    Dirk

  43. #43

    Re: How long have you been practicing Soto Zen?

    2 years.

    I had a small break recently becasue of some personal issues that had to be solved off the zafu. But I am back on regular track again.

    Gasso to all!

  44. #44

    Re: How long have you been practicing Soto Zen?

    End of 2005, Early 2006 --- Not so long.

  45. #45

    Re: How long have you been practicing Soto Zen?

    Hey Agata. Long time no see (four days late)

    G,W

  46. #46

    Re: How long have you been practicing Soto Zen?

    I've been practising zazen (shikantaza) for about 8 years now. When my girlfriend asks why I do it, I find it hard to respond. I say It's completely changed my life: I still have the same old shitty problems, I've just learned to accept them, change what I can, then move on. She thinks it's a waste of time.

  47. #47
    Senior Member AlanLa's Avatar
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    Re: How long have you been practicing Soto Zen?

    I am a four year old beginner, a toddler, infinitely so, or so I hope.

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