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Thread: Formal Sittings ?

  1. #1

    Formal Sittings ?

    I have a Zen problem . . .

    I have not been able to commit to a regular schedule of formal sittings. Partially, this is because there is nothing available within in my immediate area. There are several options available within an hour or two. However, I don't have much desire to put the time and money into commuting on a regular basis to a Zendo.

    Currently, I've been spending lots of time and money pursuing my interests in a competitive sport and am much happier putting my limited resources into this.

    Perhaps I'm a lazy Buddhist, but . . . I'm interested in sticking w/ a home based Zazen practice. I'll mix in a rare retreat or Zazenkai a few times a year but that's about all I want to commit to right now.

    What do you all think? Am I setting myself up for failure here? I'm interested in hearing what ya'll think.

  2. #2

    Re: Formal Sittings ?

    Hi Greg,

    I am curious as to your experience when you attended sittings at the Antaiji-affiliated (that's Uchiyama and Kodo Roshis' temple in Japan) Valley Zendo in your area, rather formal, maintained by a Japanese Soto priest.

    http://www.valleyzendo.org/history.htm

    Gassho, Jundo

  3. #3

    Re: Formal Sittings ?

    Hi Greg,

    What's wrong with that? I think most of us here are in a similar situation with respect to sitting with local groups. My current life situation doesn't allow for it either and all of us here at Treeleaf are only as far away as your PC. You can't get much more local than that! As far as how 'formal' your Zazen is, that's entirely up to you and not dependent upon where you sit or with whom you sit. As the sign on the door here says, "Life is our temple".

    Gassho
    Ken

  4. #4
    Treeleaf Unsui Shohei's Avatar
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    Re: Formal Sittings ?

    Im all for doing it as formal or as informal as suits your schedule and frame of mind.

    For me, I always try to put a bit of formality into my sitting , when im about to sit i get prepared and then leave the room and re-enter following as close as i can, the guidelines for entering a real zendo. Gassho's and prostrations and the like.
    Then there are days i have 20 mins before i crash so i sit right then. and sometimes i just stand there doing what im doing and take the moments i have and use that.

    Heck i cant even make the saturday morning sitting schedule here. I, self-labled "super geek", actually had to shy away from all the nice work skye put up here because i am in the "information super highway's" (heh i remember that being a huge buzz term for awhile- made me laugh then and still does now) biggest pothole (no cable, no high speed, no cell reception, and some times no power) so the only access i get is when im here @ work (and then I am supposed to be working ).

    As ive mentioned before i have a young child whom i chase around all evening, and for the past while weekends have been spent working on my parents house and my a spare hour working on a couple of game mods and testing another. the only way i could make a sitting schedule set by someone else would be to look into cloning.

    So i don't think that is setting your self up for failure. For me, putting any kind of pressure on myself to HAVE to do X with X group at X time, when X time isnt available = failure... i will be come stressed or flustered, and probably end up not getting any thing done :/

  5. #5

    Re: Formal Sittings ?

    Jundo,

    Not to proud on about this. But, I have not made it to Valley Zendo yet. Everytime I planned to make it up there something would come up either with my schedule or their and throw it off. I'm hoping to make the visit sometime in July. I'll definitely post here once I make it.

    Funny you mention the book, the "unfettered mind"; I have it, actually the priciples are very usefull. You cannot actually be thinking about them to use them. However, there definitely is that sense of effortless action present when I'm fencing at my best. Very much like Zazen.


    Kenneth,

    Nice point. Can't say enough about treeleaf. In fact there are so many advantages, we are here 24/7 for each other.

    Krid,

    Yeah I get your point. No pressure here, at least not anymore. I used to get worked up about it and apply a lot of pressure. Right now I'm working at be happy with what I am doing and just appreciating where am at and what time I can put into practice.

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