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Thread: Sitting Alone vs Sitting Together

  1. #1

    Sitting Alone vs Sitting Together

    Is there a difference between sitting alone and sitting together?

    I've noticed that attendance at the Saturday Zazenkai when it is live is limited to at most a handful of people. It seems that nearly everyone here does not find it worthwhile to take part in this at the same time as other people. Is it because the on the web there is not much of a difference between the live and the pre-recorded version? Or that people see Zen Buddhism as an individual activity, or an intellectual hobby?

    I experience a big difference between sitting with the Zazenkai when it is live compared to when it is pre-recorded. Maybe this reflects on some emotional need I have, or some throwback to feelings of community when I have been to church, but on the other hand most religious groups I can think of seem to value some sort of shared ritual.

    :Charles

  2. #2

    Re: Sitting Alone vs Sitting Together

    I'm guessing a lot of sangha members have the same issue I do: insufficient upload bandwidth- I simply don't have the technical ability to "be there", and since I have limits on usage (satellite internet) I can't even download the four hour video at home. I have to go to my parent's house and bum their DSL :cry:

  3. #3

    Re: Sitting Alone vs Sitting Together

    Hiyas
    There are differences for sure, But when i sit, i sit with all of you. I enjoy sitting live with you all when i can. But when i watch Jundo's sit alongs or past Zazenkai etc i still smile, laugh cry and Always gassho too - people think im bowing at the screen/computer or image of my teacher... its really im bowing to All things including my teachers - time and place are not issues to me that way.

    Im sure there are many reasons amongst many of us. I will only speak for myself here.
    Personally - im on dialup at home (which may be changing in a few months to Sat. which is fine but lagged horridly... still better than not).
    So in order to take part in any sangha events i must travel 25km one way to work and set up shop. No biggie but My wife works (worked, now shes off work in prep for the baby coming and will be off for 12 more month), nights and i work days. that means we see each other on the weekends and saturday is our little ones music class, the rest of the day is spent cleaning, laundry, groceries and generally work around this Zendo.

    I have spoke about this before and i really do wish to partake but with our second one coming it will be a bit of time (even with a new network connection) before i can do so. Like the sign says "Life is our temple". Right now this temple need some serious samui (snow) samu!!

    Gassho, Shohei

  4. #4

    Re: Sitting Alone vs Sitting Together

    I like Dirk's take on things. Mine is similar. I sit every single day, and at every sitting we are all sitting together. How can it be otherwise?
    Sometimes I can make it happen at the time of the Saturday live sittings, sometimes it's later in the day . . . It's not for a lack of trying. Regardless, daily sitting with the sangha is the way I think of my practice even if we are oceans and timezones apart.

    Gassho,
    Bill

  5. #5

    Re: Sitting Alone vs Sitting Together

    Hi.

    "Sitting, alone together with buddha's" ring a bell? :twisted:

    Mtfbwy
    Tb

  6. #6
    Treeleaf Unsui Dosho's Avatar
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    Re: Sitting Alone vs Sitting Together

    Hey Charles,

    When I first started here at Treeleaf I bent over backwards to try and make the Saturday sittings, but life inevitably got in the way. I expressed this to Jundo one day and he said much like Dirk suggested that no matter when, no matter where, we are all sitting together. I take that with me wherever I go and really do get that sense when I sit. However, it is still true that it is nice to be able to see other folks. My issue right now is not having a webcam in the spot where I have to sit, but I'm working on it!

    Gassho,
    Scott

  7. #7

    Re: Sitting Alone vs Sitting Together

    Hey,

    I have had webcam/UStream issues the last two Saturdays. Even -I- was not at the 'Live Saturday' Sittings (or, rather, I was ... but it was not netcast).

    No separation, even if we must be apart. (Sound like a certain book we are reading in the Book Club?)

    Gassho, Jundo

  8. #8

    Re: Sitting Alone vs Sitting Together

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo
    Hey,

    I have had webcam/UStream issues the last two Saturdays. Even -I- was not at the 'Live Saturday' Sittings (or, rather, I was ... but it was not netcast).

    No separation, even if we must be apart. (Sound like a certain book we are reading in the Book Club?)

    Gassho, Jundo
    Hi Jundo: actually you were at the live Saturday sitting the Saturday before last, at least it seemed like myself and one other person were viewing a live feed on you on UStream, but I suppose from your point of view we weren't there

    The reason I started to make more of an effort to sit in live on Saturdays was something you posted on 27th December:

    BY THE WAY, I HOPE MORE FOLKS WILL TRY TO MAKE THE LIVE SATURDAY SITTINGS! :evil:
    :Charles

  9. #9

    Re: Sitting Alone vs Sitting Together

    Quote Originally Posted by CharlesC
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo
    Hey,

    I have had webcam/UStream issues the last two Saturdays. Even -I- was not at the 'Live Saturday' Sittings (or, rather, I was ... but it was not netcast).

    No separation, even if we must be apart. (Sound like a certain book we are reading in the Book Club?)

    Gassho, Jundo
    Hi Jundo: actually you were at the live Saturday sitting the Saturday before last, at least it seemed like myself and one other person were viewing a live feed on you on UStream, but I suppose from your point of view we weren't there

    The reason I started to make more of an effort to sit in live on Saturdays was something you posted on 27th December:

    BY THE WAY, I HOPE MORE FOLKS WILL TRY TO MAKE THE LIVE SATURDAY SITTINGS! :evil:

    :Charles
    Yes, it was netcast live ... but the recording did not take that time. That was my meaning.

    I saw you there!

  10. #10
    Senior Member Martin's Avatar
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    Re: Sitting Alone vs Sitting Together

    As others have said, when I sit I sit with all of the Treeleaf Sangha.

    But I certainly don't view the Saturday sitting as "Not worth while". I have two logistical issues, that's all (insufficient bandwidth at home - I could only do the Jukai by coming into the office -and, secondly, 3.00pm Saturday is when football (soccer) games kick off in the UK and as a parent of three teenage boys I have other commitments). I shall be at the football as usual this Saturday, but at kick off time I think of the Treeleafers round the world sitting.

    Gassho

    Martin

  11. #11

    Re: Sitting Alone vs Sitting Together

    Quote Originally Posted by CharlesC
    Is there a difference between sitting alone and sitting together?

    I've noticed that attendance at the Saturday Zazenkai when it is live is limited to at most a handful of people. It seems that nearly everyone here does not find it worthwhile to take part in this at the same time as other people. Is it because the on the web there is not much of a difference between the live and the pre-recorded version? Or that people see Zen Buddhism as an individual activity, or an intellectual hobby?
    :Charles
    When I sit, I sit with you all and all santient beings

    I find it helpful to sit together with others. When I sit with a friend online, whenever it works for us, i can hear the sounds the other person makes - sounds of life - and it is encouraging. At the same time I think there are benefits to sitting alone as well.

    Hope to be able to join Jundo and the rest of you on Saturdays.

    Gassho,

    Irina

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