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Thread: The Sangha Dunce Speaks

  1. #1

    The Sangha Dunce Speaks

    These monthly zazenkais really help.

    I don't start many threads because I have a bad habit of intellectualizing everything and I'm trying to avoid that. Plus, I always feel like the slow one in the class because people are always talking about their "experiences" and I don't seem to have any "experiences". ops:

    On the other hand, I did figure out a few things about Shikantaza and both times it happened during a four hour zazenkai.

    The first was the concept of "just sitting" as in don't concentrate on things, dummy! During Buddha's birthday zazenkai, I realized that I had been trying to concentrate on certain things for months. I knew intellectually that Shikantaza doesn't require that but when I stopped doing it and just sat back and was aware of the moment, I realized what I was doing before. (Actually, this kind of reminds me of gymnastics when you don't know you were doing something a certain way until you do it the 'proper' way)

    The second time was today. I think I was drifting back to "trying too hard" once again but today I realized what "radical goal-lessness" meant. I was sitting during the first zazen session with Jundo and the gang when I noticed that one of my bras was hanging off my Buddha statue's shoulder (Buddha sometimes sits near the laundry basket. Apparently I missed). So I put the bra completely on the Buddha and had a good snicker. Then came judgmental brain, chastising me for goofing around during zazen and I'll never reach my goal, blah, blah, blah. Then I realized, "what goal?" Wow! What a difference that made for the rest of the mini-retreat. Hard to explain though but it was like buttah. :wink: I realized that what I thought I understood during Buddha's birthday still needed tweaking.

    So, as you can see, Tracy's slowly plodding along but hasn't quit yet. Can anyone relate or am I really the dunce in the class? :lol:

    ***As a side note, not having a camera has its benefits, doesn't it?***** :wink:

  2. #2

    Re: The Sangha Dunce Speaks

    Hey Tracy,

    Excellent and thoughtful post (as usual). I can certainly relate. You're not the only dunce, you know!

    Gassho,
    Keith

  3. #3

    Re: The Sangha Dunce Speaks

    Count me in on the dunce club.

    Gassho

  4. #4

    Re: The Sangha Dunce Speaks

    Quote Originally Posted by TracyF
    I was sitting during the first zazen session with Jundo and the gang when I noticed that one of my bras was hanging off my Buddha statue's shoulder
    Buddha's Bra ... One size fits all. {snicker snicker}

  5. #5
    Senior Member KellyRok's Avatar
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    Re: The Sangha Dunce Speaks

    Hello Tracy,

    I'm a dunce too...I feel like a baby trying to walk for the first time. Fumbling around, falling backwards on your tush, but never giving up, just keep on trying...then once you take that first step...ahhh, you find it leads to another, and another and another.

    Thank you for sharing your very honest and funny experience. It definitely helps to know that others are having the same experiences as I am. Buddha with a bra :lol: - you just made my day!

    Gassho,
    Kelly Rok

  6. #6

    Re: The Sangha Dunce Speaks

    I thought it was a Manzier.

  7. #7

    Re: The Sangha Dunce Speaks

    Or a Bro! :mrgreen:

    Buddha Bro: it lifts, separates and transforms delusions. :wink:

  8. #8

    Re: The Sangha Dunce Speaks

    Quote Originally Posted by TracyF
    Or a Bro! :mrgreen:

    Buddha Bro: it lifts, separates and transforms delusions. :wink:
    :lol:

  9. #9

    Re: The Sangha Dunce Speaks

    Hi.

    You're not the only dunce, we all have bad hair days...
    The main thing not to forget is that they're there for a reason, what if everything in life were easy?
    How would that feel?

    Be grateful that you have something to sink your teeth in and remember this moment when you "break through".

    May the force be with you
    Tb

  10. #10

    Re: The Sangha Dunce Speaks

    I read sangha dunce and immediately thought ... is me. seriously :B

    im cool with my daftness. ... i realized early on that my Zen doesnt need a scholarly pursuit right now*. Perhaps if i live long enough to retire i will look then. right now ill expend that energy in making myself sit down and chasing the kid(s) and just living it- rather than reading about how long dead masters lived theirs.
    *i dont think i COULD im perdy dense


    Or a Bro!

    Buddha Bro: it lifts, separates and transforms delusions.
    ROFL!!

    Gassho
    Dunce

  11. #11

    Re: The Sangha Dunce Speaks

    Playtex Cross Your Heart Sutra.
    LOL

  12. #12

    Re: The Sangha Dunce Speaks

    Hey Tracy,

    Thanks for the post.

    We can have the Slow Olympics soon and see who wins :roll: . I am slow and I am enjoying it: I just figured out (after decades!) that I am not really in a hurry, nope, not really. So I take it real slow these days. Even intellectualise... slowly :wink:

    Hope to be able to join you and the rest of the "slow club" for the next zazenkai.

    Yours slow,

    Irina

  13. #13

    Re: The Sangha Dunce Speaks

    steve hagen, in one of his books, had a thing about how this isn't like all the other races we've run -- with this target, as you get closer to the center, each circle is actually less points(like getting to wear funny hats, and having a dharma name) -- only the absolute center counts, and who can hit that?(nobody :wink: ) -- so you're actually better off hitting the outermost ring -- more of the "beginner's mind" thing

    come to think of it, nobody seems to win these zen things all the time!

    gassho, bob

  14. #14

    Re: The Sangha Dunce Speaks

    Tracy
    I have spent most of my life feeling stupid & this Soto Zen malarky is no different. However, the older I get (45) the more comfortable I get with my ignorance and am prepared to admit it.
    I also found the zazenkai on Saturday of benefit. I have noticed the effects of the extended practice throughout the week.
    Kind regards
    Jools

    ps - I will adjust the webcam next time so I am more recognisable & so it's not just a view of my nostrils

  15. #15

    Re: The Sangha Dunce Speaks

    Quote Originally Posted by HezB
    Playtex Cross Your Heart Sutra.

    Regards,

    H.
    Quote Originally Posted by CinnamonGal
    We can have the Slow Olympics soon and see who wins
    Quote Originally Posted by Jools
    so it's not just a view of my nostrils
    :lol:

  16. #16
    Senior Member AlanLa's Avatar
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    Re: The Sangha Dunce Speaks

    Me?
    A dunce?
    Yup, uh-huh...
    So?

  17. #17
    Senior Member AlanLa's Avatar
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    Re: The Sangha Dunce Speaks

    You?
    A dunce?
    Yup, nuh-uh...
    So?

  18. #18

    Re: The Sangha Dunce Speaks

    That's a great story. I remember the first couple of sesshins I went to: I couldn't do anything right. I'd walk into the zendo with my shoes on, spill my oryoki meal on the floor, walk the wrong direction in kinhin...I just couldn't get with the protocol. It was a real humiliating experience. Then I heard someone else talking about feeling the same, and I realized that that's all part of the experience.
    Robert Aitken wrote, "Carry your practice lightly." You can take practice seriously without being all glum about it. I have a feeling the Buddha would have smiled at his image with a bra draped over it.

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