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Thread: Guilt and doubt

  1. #1

    Guilt and doubt

    You know, I have off days. Actually, I have off moments. By off moments I mean: moments where I'm a little drowsy or unbalanced.

    This is life. Do you expect to conquer delusion and exalt radiance on everything that presents itself moment after moment?

    Good luck.

    This is a practice of humanity.

    Suzuki Roshi:
    The goal of Buddhism is to bring about human life where there is no Buddhism.
    We're human guys/Gals! We are going to have off days. Zazen is Beautiful. Zazen is "Awake". However, we must keep sitting Zazen le! ("le" is used in Chinese at the end of a sentence, to show emphasis)

    One thing that comes up is guilt. Thinking our practice is not good enough. This actually might be beneficial in that it keeps us sitting, but it must be let go. What happens when you don't accept who you are? You feel guilt and anguish at not being perfect. Not being good enough.

    When we are clear, we are clear. We maintain Buddha mind in all our activities. But when our eyes are focused, and we are thinking a lot, we need to remember that this is just a fact of being human.

    Answer this question:

    "Why do I think?"

    Answer:

    Because you do. Not because you can, or because it is tool used for analysis. We think because we think. It is human to think. Do cats think? Don't know. But I know that humans like to go on and on about what "they" think.

    There are a lot of "Buddhas" practicing and maintaining a lifestyle that is in line with Buddhist thought and practice. I am not one of them. I have off days. I eat chocolate and shop for video games. But this is just habit. Just something I do. This is one of many koans. I am not going to say that I am worthless and am not in sync with the Buddhist teachings. However, I am going to continue to practice, and carry Buddha mind with me a little more each day. That's the plan. Will it work? Don't know. Because I don't know, I have to trust this practice.

    Thanks

    Gassho

    Will

  2. #2

    Re: Guilt and doubt

    To keep practicing is the vital part.

    It is the same as breathing ... sometimes long breaths, sometimes short. Sometimes good, sometimes bad ... some days we are out of breath, congested and wheezy ... other days, every breath is smooth and fresh.

    The vital thing is, so long as one is alive in this body and world ... KEEP BREATHING!

    It is the same as practicing.

    Each breath ... long or short, deep or shallow ... is perfectly life, and perfect that moment's breath.

    Gassho, J

  3. #3

    Re: Guilt and doubt

    "One thing that comes up is guilt. Thinking our practice is not good enough. This actually might be beneficial in that it keeps us sitting, but it must be let go. What happens when you don't accept who you are? You feel guilt and anguish at not being perfect. Not being good enough."

    I was thinking about this recently. Sometimes there is a disconnect between my action and my idea of how the action could have been different or better. If I am trying, this is perfect action. But my idealistic thinking mind sees a different or better way, and I can try that next time. So I am perfectly imperfect. Accepting this, the guilt and anguish drops away. Trying to sit, trying to do what needs to be done is good enough for now.

  4. #4
    Treeleaf Unsui Shohei's Avatar
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    Re: Guilt and doubt

    Yes Will thank you for saying it!
    Thank you for the reminder Jundo.

    Gassho
    Shohei

  5. #5

    Re: Guilt and doubt

    Quote Originally Posted by Rich
    "One thing that comes up is guilt. Thinking our practice is not good enough. This actually might be beneficial in that it keeps us sitting, but it must be let go. What happens when you don't accept who you are? You feel guilt and anguish at not being perfect. Not being good enough."

    I was thinking about this recently. Sometimes there is a disconnect between my action and my idea of how the action could have been different or better. If I am trying, this is perfect action. But my idealistic thinking mind sees a different or better way, and I can try that next time. So I am perfectly imperfect. Accepting this, the guilt and anguish drops away. Trying to sit, trying to do what needs to be done is good enough for now.
    Thank you, Rich.

  6. #6

    Re: Guilt and doubt

    Hello all,

    Will and Rich - thank you!

    I find I have to tell myself this when I have a 'bad' day...keep trying, keep practicing.

    Gassho,
    Kelly (Jinmei)

  7. #7

    Re: Guilt and doubt

    Quote Originally Posted by will
    One thing that comes up is guilt. Thinking our practice is not good enough. This actually might be beneficial in that it keeps us sitting, but it must be let go. What happens when you don't accept who you are? You feel guilt and anguish at not being perfect. Not being good enough.
    Thanks Will for that post.
    The line quoted is one thing I thought about too.
    On the one hand, when you sit, you sit. And it is perfect, because it is done.
    On the other hand, the intellect kicks in and you think about aspects that could be done "better".

    Sometimes when I sit my mind reflects all the time about how to straighten the pose or adjust the mudra or whether I'd put a pillow under my right knee.
    Then, other days I sit and sit and I can feel that the mind really calms down and it seems like everything is just in it's place (not only me and my body, but "everything").

    I think both is good and I tend to accept both. The one helps me to improve sitting in ways of execution, the other one helps "see" what the sitting is all about. Both work together, maybe both are even the same. I do not know.

  8. #8

    Re: Guilt and doubt

    I think both is good and I tend to accept both. The one helps me to improve sitting in ways of execution, the other one helps "see" what the sitting is all about. Both work together, maybe both are even the same. I do not know.
    Yes. The most important is that we keep practicing. Guilt arises when it arises. We continue to practice through that. Zazen is perfectly Zazen. Drop thoughts of right and wrong, sit on the edge of the Zafu in Lotus posture (if you can manage), and wear loose clothing.

    Gassho

  9. #9

    Re: Guilt and doubt

    Quote Originally Posted by StephanCOH
    Quote Originally Posted by will
    One thing that comes up is guilt. Thinking our practice is not good enough. This actually might be beneficial in that it keeps us sitting, but it must be let go. What happens when you don't accept who you are? You feel guilt and anguish at not being perfect. Not being good enough.
    Thanks Will for that post.
    The line quoted is one thing I thought about too.
    On the one hand, when you sit, you sit. And it is perfect, because it is done.
    On the other hand, the intellect kicks in and you think about aspects that could be done "better".

    Sometimes when I sit my mind reflects all the time about how to straighten the pose or adjust the mudra or whether I'd put a pillow under my right knee.
    Then, other days I sit and sit and I can feel that the mind really calms down and it seems like everything is just in it's place (not only me and my body, but "everything").

    I think both is good and I tend to accept both. The one helps me to improve sitting in ways of execution, the other one helps "see" what the sitting is all about. Both work together, maybe both are even the same. I do not know.
    Wonderful. "It is perfect, because it is done."

    "The one helps me to improve sitting in ways of execution, the other one helps "see" what the sitting is all about."

    And what if there is dropped all idea of "one" "me" "improve" "sitting" "execution" and something to "see" ... even as there's a "one" and "me" to "execute sitting" and to "see what the sitting is all about" ...

    ... would the sitting be "together" or the "same" ?

  10. #10

    Re: Guilt and doubt

    After sitting with that this morning I think it is both. Same pose. Two facettes of the same original, together forming that whole again. Both are experienced one at a time (ok, one might ask "what time?"). Both seem to be connected, they are not that separated that it is only A or B, but they are floating, melting, one follows the other. Like a stream, or the picture of the sky and clouds you used in one of your talks.

    And after all it is just sitting.

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