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Thread: How I Spent My Summer Vacation

  1. #1

    How I Spent My Summer Vacation

    Gassho

    For me, trying to find the Middle Way of moderation in all things is kinda like following Farmer Orville's directions to the Amish open-air market: "Well son, yer gonna falla this road about a mile 'n a half, and take the second left fork. Then yer gonna turn left where Paulson's meat shed used to be, and hang a right about two-hunnert yard before the T over the low hill."

    For this reason, I'm considering leaning a bit into the ascetic side of things, without going on a hunger strike or lashing myself with leather straps or anything. My intention is to start on the summer equinox and finish on the winter equinox, and to follow something like the following rules:

    -Eat only vegetables, absolutely no meat or fish. This follows the first of the five precepts.
    -Abstain from caffeine. This follows the fifth precept.
    -No snacking between meals. Maybe 2 meals per day, not sure.

    -Carry no money, or only have what is necessary to purchase what is needed for a specific trip to the store.
    -Buy nothing new for myself, except personal hygiene items.

    -Sit two half-hour zazen per day minimum.

    -Start a volunteer relationship somewhere (does an animal shelter count?)


    So this is just off the top of my head- if anyone has comments, suggestions, or just to tell me I'm being stupid, let's have it!

    Gassho,
    Tobiishi

  2. #2

    Re: How I Spent My Summer Vacation

    So what you're describing actually looks quite practical, depending of course on your personal attachments & aversions.
    Yes. Don't get down if you slip.

    Do it. It might start to become a habit. however, keep in mind here and now. It is morning; time to sit. It evening; time to sit etc..

    Don't feel guilt if you do not adhere to say "eating meat". Our existence alone takes up space, but it's a compassionate effort.

    If you have the time, the ability, and the gumption. Do it.

    W

  3. #3

    Re: How I Spent My Summer Vacation

    Just this:

    -Start a volunteer relationship somewhere (does an animal shelter count?)

    absolutely.

    well and this:
    Sounds like a sound plan for a healthy life style anyway you slice it.

    Gassho Shohei

  4. #4

    Re: How I Spent My Summer Vacation

    Hi,

    Yes, of course, this is wonderous Practice ... the Buddha's Practice! It is a "retreat" from the world, out in the world.

    In fact, I have not announced this yet, but I am thinking to combine our Jukai/Precepts study this year with a 100 day Ango (concentrated Zazen and Practice period) culminating about the end of the year ... similar to what Tricycle magazine hosted recently, and combining some elements very much as you are describing. So, Tobiah, you are our guniea pig ... please start a thread on the forum, and diary how it is going for you so that many can learn from your experience.

    Our way is moderation, neither punishing the body nor giving in to excess. We do not starve ourselves ( the Buddha tried that ... gave up ... here are a couple of scary Buddha statues for ya') ...






    nor stuffing ourselves. The rule of thumb is what is healthful, what we truly "need", what does not encourage excess attachments or greed and allows us to release our attachments.

    In our tradition ... even for householders who would take up the life for a time ... practice has traditionally involved periods (of various length ... often lasting a lifetime, good to do all the time as much as we can) in which we would put down our reliance on things and pleasures, eat simply just for sustenance, avoid overstimulating the senses, release our desires.

    (We had a surprise retreat in Florida a couple of years ago when a hurricane came through and we were without electric power ... including grocery stores, refrigerators, tv, computers, telephones and cars ... for nearly a month. Lovely! We think we need these things for happiness ... when they are taken away we resist ... then find we did not need any of that for life and happiness at all!)

    As to reducing our need for material goods and pleasures, one's caloric intake (and even fasting for a time ... if with medical supervision) and cutting back on the material aspects ... let me make clear that this is, in fact, the path of the Buddhas. We all should do this from time to time.

    Now, also pay attention to what Will said ... this practice is not a race, no finish line to cross ... even as we continue our journey forward step by step. Like counting the breaths, we go back and back should we slip. There is no "falling off the horse" even as we "fall off the horse" ... which does NOT mean, of course, that we should not try diligently to stay on the horse, or get back on if taking a tumble. Remember, we work very hard, very carefully and diligently ... all while knowing that there is nothing to achieve. This is very important.

    So, we look forward to your posting your diary here ...

    Gassho, Jundo

    PS- Yes, volunteering with animals does count, if you put your sincerity into it. Clean up the dog turds, knowing that there is nothing to clean.

  5. #5

    Re: How I Spent My Summer Vacation

    Sure, go for it.

    Remember, "Life is what happens while you're busy making other plans"

    While you lay out these noble guidelines for your behavior
    your behavior ultimately cannot be regulated in such a manner.
    There are aspects of human nature which defy being 'regulated' this way.
    Befriending these aspects--this comes from understanding them

    You can say 'its a start,' 'cause you (we all) have to start somewhere; but a start to what? where is this start going?
    This practice (of zazen) really and truly doesn't go anywhere.
    I would suggest what you've outlined is a self improvement program; one which uses aspects of zen buddhism.
    Fuggetaboutit!
    Zen buddhism is not a self improvement program.
    For one thing here is no such thing as 'improvement,' For another there is no one to be 'improved' and lastly no one to do the 'improving.'
    But by all means go ahead and make yourself a summer program--make the very best one you can devise.
    Then just let yourself be a zen buddhist trying to follow it the best way you can.
    Certainly you can have ideas about what you want your life to include and exclude.
    For silly example, you can make a rule you won't step on any cracks (or you'll break your mother's back!!). This means your walk becomes less smooth and less in harmony with what each step requires: now up hill, now stairs, now steps, now potholes, now ice.
    Avoiding cracks does make for a more entertaining way for the walker to walk!
    Just because I am bringing up silly no-stepping-on-cracks walking doesn't mean I am saying don't have improvement programs--they are useful for what they are--
    Zen buddhists can (and do) have all manner of projects and undertakings and endeavors.
    Anyone can.
    Anyway, what makes a zen buddhist's approach to such project, undertaking, endeavor different from 'anyone's'??
    Good luck from equinox to equinox!!
    keishin

  6. #6

    Re: How I Spent My Summer Vacation

    It sounds really great Tobiishi. Just be very mindful no to become a pain for people around you, allow them to eat, drink and go they own way ( as an ex heavy smoker, I tend to be intolerant with smoking...). I think you could add this to your vows. And Will, Teishin, jundo , they all said it very eloquently: don't have a goal in mind, allow this path to be really vast and serene. We may have the impression of starting something which will take us somewhere. Our path is endless. Dieting is not our path. We just sometimes do it. Moderation is a real nice guideline.
    Good luck,

    gassho


    Taigu

  7. #7

    Re: How I Spent My Summer Vacation

    Gassho

    The root idea for this project was the question "Does ethical discipline follow more easily in the footsteps of physical discipline?" Like one person following another's footsteps in deep snow. Since forming that question a couple of weeks ago, the idea of ascetism has rolled around in my head and become more than a goal or experiment. Actually, it is not a goal at all anymore. I know intellectually that there is nothing to gain from this, no finish line (I set a six month limit precisely because I don't want to be a pain for my family. They will have to adjust little enough if I do it right though.) I hope to find out more viscerally that this is true. I know that this will not make me a better Buddhist, or a better human being. I do hope it opens my eyes a bit to what truly is required to be content.

    Keishin brought up something important:
    I would suggest what you've outlined is a self improvement program; one which uses aspects of zen buddhism.
    Fuggetaboutit!
    Zen buddhism is not a self improvement program.
    For one thing here is no such thing as 'improvement,' For another there is no one to be 'improved' and lastly no one to do the 'improving.'
    I agree completely. I am in no way attempting to use Zen. I am using lifestyle adjustments to deepen my practice, to better understand things which cannot be put into words, explained to someone who has only book knowledge of them. If my practice becomes more meaningful to me or those around me, happy day. I'm still most interested in the original question of ethical discipline.

    And Jundo Sensei, bless your clairvoyance! I had intended to say to the head of the animal shelter, (insert cheesy Indian accent here) "Please for me, a humble job- Jundo says I must pick up turds."

    I will of course post for you all the grizzly details of my summer- hair falling out, ribs protruding, being arrested for vagrancy at Wal-Mart :wink:

    Gassho
    Tobiishi

  8. #8

    Re: How I Spent My Summer Vacation

    Quote Originally Posted by Tobiishi
    I know that this will not make me a better Buddhist, or a better human being.
    Just because we have no goals, nothing to obtain, and as beings not the slightest need of "self improvement" ... don't think that there is nothing to be improved, or that this might not make you a better Buddhist and human being in some ways. Why not?

    Gassho, Jundo (he who always speak out of both sides of no sided mouth)

  9. #9
    disastermouse
    Guest

    Re: How I Spent My Summer Vacation

    I often wonder how to enforce such disciplines without egoic intrusion into such plans. Perhaps you can let us know about that as you discover it in your experiment?

    Chet

  10. #10

    Re: How I Spent My Summer Vacation

    Quote Originally Posted by disastermouse
    I often wonder how to enforce such disciplines without egoic intrusion into such plans. Perhaps you can let us know about that as you discover it in your experiment?

    Chet
    You're going to have to elaborate here, I don't follow.

  11. #11

    Re: How I Spent My Summer Vacation

    During the Kamakura Period in which Dogen lived, there were some who neglected the precepts and regulations and others who put emphasis on observing them. Representatives of the former were the Pure-land-Buddhists, especially Shinran, an example of the latter was Eisai. It seems that Dogen sought the middle-way, that is keeping the precepts without clinging to them, without expectation of some reward from observing them. Dogen emphasized just keeping them and practicing without the defilements of human sentiments.
    -From Shobogenzo-Zuimonki, 1-2

    The bald-headed fool
    draped in an invisible robe
    skulking in the Buddha Hall-
    better to fall off the mountain
    and attain enlightenment
    on the way down.

    -Tobiishi

    Gassho

  12. #12

    Re: How I Spent My Summer Vacation

    Hi Tobiishi-
    I wish you all the best on your journey for the summer. For the past 3 years, I've observed my own little version of the traditional Vassa rains retreat. This year, Vassa runs from July 8 through October 4. I wrote a bit about it on my blog last year, but here's the short version of my usual Vassa practice:

    - Listen to a Dharma talk daily
    - Intensify my meditation practice
    - Follow the 5 precepts wholeheartedly
    - Refrain from alcohol and other objects of craving that are personal to me

    At first, these things were a real challenge. When I look back on my journals from the first year, I was SO irritable I couldn't have a drink with my friends. However, now I hardly drink at all and it's not even an issue. So I found that the practice soaked in over time and somehow became everyday life instead of just a practice period.

    The traditional rules of Vassa observance are a bit much for me (and probably many people in modern life) but learning about Vassa gave me a lot of inspiration when I was first starting this kind of practice period. I love the idea of Jundo's ango and I look forward to undertaking that practice with the sangha.

  13. #13

    Re: How I Spent My Summer Vacation

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo
    Quote Originally Posted by Tobiishi
    I know that this will not make me a better Buddhist, or a better human being.
    Just because we have no goals, nothing to obtain, and as beings not the slightest need of "self improvement" ... don't think that there is nothing to be improved, or that this might not make you a better Buddhist and human being in some ways. Why not?

    Gassho, Jundo (he who always speak out of both sides of no sided mouth)
    Hi Jundo,

    thank you for mentioning this. I feel it is important to remember that every moment is a choice, every moment is an action, there is no such thing as inaction. and while it is true that "all things are exactly as they are at that particular moment", because I MUST make a choice at every moment (it is not possible not to make a choice) the best I can do is try to make the best choice at each moment. It is important not to ignore Form, while embracing Emptiness. Form does exist. Part of enlightened understanding is understanding the inseparable, simultaneous reality of Form and Emptiness. In fact, perhaps it is better to say "Form/Emptiness" as one word, also "Relative/Absolute" and "Impermanence/Absolute" (I am sure other people can think of better words).

    And while it is true that we are all enlightened just as we are, there is a WHOLE lot of uncovering to be done, not to mention a ton of polishing (reminder to self - must make BIG order for rouge......)

    gassho,
    Jinho/rowan

  14. #14
    disastermouse
    Guest

    Re: How I Spent My Summer Vacation

    Quote Originally Posted by Tobiishi
    Quote Originally Posted by disastermouse
    I often wonder how to enforce such disciplines without egoic intrusion into such plans. Perhaps you can let us know about that as you discover it in your experiment?

    Chet
    You're going to have to elaborate here, I don't follow.
    How do you prevent it from becoming 'Spiritual Heroism'?

    Chet

  15. #15

    Re: How I Spent My Summer Vacation

    Quote Originally Posted by disastermouse
    Quote Originally Posted by Tobiishi
    Quote Originally Posted by disastermouse
    I often wonder how to enforce such disciplines without egoic intrusion into such plans. Perhaps you can let us know about that as you discover it in your experiment?

    Chet
    You're going to have to elaborate here, I don't follow.
    How do you prevent it from becoming 'Spiritual Heroism'?

    Chet
    The only way I can think of for this whole enterprise to stay completely free of anything that could be interpreted as 'Spiritual Heroism' is for this to be my last word on the subject. It was not my idea to post a 'diary'- my original question went PM to Jundo. He suggested I keep the Sangha informed, but if its going to be an issue of "Look at what I'm doing!" then I'll wait for the Ango, when perhaps everyone will be able to ride in the same boat and compare experiences.

    Gassho
    Tobiishi

  16. #16
    disastermouse
    Guest

    Re: How I Spent My Summer Vacation

    Quote Originally Posted by Tobiishi

    The only way I can think of for this whole enterprise to stay completely free of anything that could be interpreted as 'Spiritual Heroism' is for this to be my last word on the subject. It was not my idea to post a 'diary'- my original question went PM to Jundo. He suggested I keep the Sangha informed, but if its going to be an issue of "Look at what I'm doing!" then I'll wait for the Ango, when perhaps everyone will be able to ride in the same boat and compare experiences.

    Gassho
    Tobiishi
    I wasn't accusing you of anything - I'm genuinely curious... And I don't mean to say that being public about it is what may cause it to be spiritual heroism either.

    Chet

  17. #17
    Senior Member Shonin's Avatar
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    Re: How I Spent My Summer Vacation

    Tobiishi, whether it counts for anything or not, I'd like to hear about it if ya don't mind sharing. And if your intention was not to report or be "spiritually heroic" , but you're doing it because others asked, then i don't see how you fall into any form of "trap to be avoided".

    What's really the difference between that and talking about any other aspect of your life? I think it may be quite inspiring, and who knows maybe we can even support you if you stumble on the road.

    But that's just me. *shrugs*

    Dave

  18. #18

    Re: How I Spent My Summer Vacation

    Quote Originally Posted by Tobiishi

    The only way I can think of for this whole enterprise to stay completely free of anything that could be interpreted as 'Spiritual Heroism' is for this to be my last word on the subject. It was not my idea to post a 'diary'- my original question went PM to Jundo. He suggested I keep the Sangha informed, but if its going to be an issue of "Look at what I'm doing!" then I'll wait for the Ango, when perhaps everyone will be able to ride in the same boat and compare experiences.

    Gassho
    Tobiishi
    Like so many aspects of this practice, we move ahead diligently ... knowing that we are only human, knowing that we will rarely if ever be "perfect" (only perfectly imperfect), knowing that there is no "goal" at the finish line. If you are sincere and energetic about this, but stay humble and common sensical about it all ... I do not see that it can be "spiritual heroism". Not at all.

    As a matter of fact, posting a diary should be medicine for "spiritual heroism" if it honestly shares all the joys and difficulties, up downs and trips in holes. Then it is not "look at me" or "see how wonderful I am" ... not at all, but more, laugh and cry along with me. I am sure it will be a Bodhisattva's aid for others who may wish to learn from your experiences and perhaps follow the same road. An honest record of the goods days -and- any not so good days (I assume there may be a few), as well as what you encounter including some surprises, will be a great resource for all of us.

    So, I hope you will post a diary, Toby.

    Gassho, Jundo

    Ps - If you want to be private, that is okay too. Sometimes these practices should be private.

  19. #19
    Treeleaf Unsui rculver's Avatar
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    Re: How I Spent My Summer Vacation

    Tobiishi,
    I would be interested to know how it goes. So, if you feel inclined, post.

    Ron

  20. #20

    Re: How I Spent My Summer Vacation

    Sorry Chet for jumping to conclusions- my fault for getting defensive.

    Ok, if its going to be a diary of good and bad days, I'll jump right in:

    Yesterday I thought I would test the idea of a restricted diet. I took my lunch to work: tub of home-grown salad greens w/ radishes, and 1/2 C. (dry) Jasmine white rice. I ate those at about 10:am. At lunchtime, I got rilly friggin hungry, man, and went to Culvers for a fish sandwich, cheese curds and a black-cherry smoothie. It was too much food, but I ate it. It was like subconsciously I was storing up. The problem is, it shakes my confidence.

    Today was better- rice and greens again, and this time my only slip was a Coke from the vending machine in the afternoon.

    Incidentally, it took me about 40 tries to quit smoking. Willpower is not my strong suit.

    I have 16 days to convince myself that it is possible to only have what is necessary. Intellectually, I know it. I just gotta convince my traitorous stomach. I think food will be the hardest part.

    gassho
    tobiishi

  21. #21

    Re: How I Spent My Summer Vacation

    Quote Originally Posted by Tobiishi
    Sorry Chet for jumping to conclusions- my fault for getting defensive.

    Ok, if its going to be a diary of good and bad days, I'll jump right in:

    Yesterday I thought I would test the idea of a restricted diet. I took my lunch to work: tub of home-grown salad greens w/ radishes, and 1/2 C. (dry) Jasmine white rice. I ate those at about 10:am. At lunchtime, I got rilly friggin hungry, man, and went to Culvers for a fish sandwich, cheese curds and a black-cherry smoothie. It was too much food, but I ate it. It was like subconsciously I was storing up. The problem is, it shakes my confidence.

    Today was better- rice and greens again, and this time my only slip was a Coke from the vending machine in the afternoon.

    Incidentally, it took me about 40 tries to quit smoking. Willpower is not my strong suit.

    I have 16 days to convince myself that it is possible to only have what is necessary. Intellectually, I know it. I just gotta convince my traitorous stomach. I think food will be the hardest part.

    gassho
    tobiishi
    HI,

    I suspect greens and white rice is not a sufficient diet for you (or anyone). Your body probably needs wholegrains and protein (white rice is not a very healthy grain). Tofu, seitan, cheese made with vegetarian rennet, cottage cheese, etc. Also eating every 3-4 hours (breakfast, midmorning snack, lunch, 3pm snack, dinner, snack before bed so as to keep your blood sugar even. I am hypoglycemic and have found that wholegrain bread has made a BIG difference for me (note "wholegrain" is not the same as "whole wheat".) Try to stay away from caffeine as it jacks up your metabolism. Cut out refined sugar (eat fruit and use fruit spread instead of jam, etc.) These are of course just stating the obvious. I guess what I am trying to say this that it is not your stomach being traitorous.

    cheers,
    rowan

  22. #22

    Re: How I Spent My Summer Vacation

    HI Tobiishi,

    Regarding "spiritual heroism", it could only be a problem if one actually intellectually believes "I am a SUPERIOR being because I am doing XYZ". I highly doubt, based on your writings that you would seriously be trapped intellectually by that particular delusion. That one might have the EMOTION that one is a superior person, etc. - well that is just an emotion, emotions come and go. Perhaps it is important NOT to avoid "spiritual heroism", just let it come and then go, being kind and gentle with all one's delusions, just practicing with whatever arises, taking care of whatever needs doing at every moment.

    thank your for your time, hope this is useful?
    gassho,
    Rowan/Jinho

  23. #23

    Re: How I Spent My Summer Vacation

    Thanks Rowan for the tips- I actually was only intending to do the rice & vegetable thing for lunch. I will have a good day-starting breakfast, and a sufficient dinner, although still vegetarian.

    One thing I thought might simplify the decision on how much to eat: I have a square wooden bowl (Wal-Mart Special!) about 6" (9cm) square that I thought looked like a good size to limit to. Most nutrition info I've seen since I was a kid talks about how Americans' serving size is so grossly overdone, and we would be a lot healthier if we just ate a bit less of what we eat. I already eat my salads from this bowl* and I think 3 meals daily of this size (being nutritionally conscious of course- I have no desire to end up with a vitamin deficiency) will be enough.

    *note on the bowl: try eating salad with chop sticks, one piece at a time, from a wooden bowl, at work. Never have I had so many weird looks. Well, except for when I got my head tattoo'd.

    gassho
    tobiishi

  24. #24

    Re: How I Spent My Summer Vacation

    Very inspiring Tobiishi!

    Gassho, Shohei.

  25. #25

    Re: How I Spent My Summer Vacation

    Quote Originally Posted by Jinho
    I suspect greens and white rice is not a sufficient diet for you (or anyone). Your body probably needs wholegrains and protein (white rice is not a very healthy grain). Tofu, seitan, cheese made with vegetarian rennet, cottage cheese, etc. Also eating every 3-4 hours (breakfast, midmorning snack, lunch, 3pm snack, dinner, snack before bed so as to keep your blood sugar even. I am hypoglycemic and have found that wholegrain bread has made a BIG difference for me (note "wholegrain" is not the same as "whole wheat".)
    Beans, baby! Eat more beans.

    Abstain from caffeine. This follows the fifth precept.
    I don't believe that caffeine is forbidden and I'm sticking to it.

  26. #26

    Re: How I Spent My Summer Vacation

    (posting deleted by Jinho because it was stupid)

    more brain later.......
    j

  27. #27

    Re: How I Spent My Summer Vacation

    Beans, baby! Eat more beans.
    Oh, I eat beans. Just ask my wife. :roll:

    Rowan, I can't figure out what this
    more brain later.......
    is supposed to mean, so I decided to make a haiku out of it:

    rush hour scares buzzard-
    he figures to eat
    more brain later...

    I'm so sorry, sometimes my humor gets out ahead of my manners and makes a scene. :roll:

    gassho
    tobiishi

  28. #28

    Re: How I Spent My Summer Vacation

    Quote Originally Posted by Tobiishi

    Rowan, I can't figure out what this
    more brain later.......
    is supposed to mean, so I decided to make a haiku out of it:

    rush hour scares buzzard-
    he figures to eat
    more brain later...

    I'm so sorry, sometimes my humor gets out ahead of my manners and makes a scene. :roll:

    gassho
    tobiishi
    tobiishi, your manners are perfection! Lovely poem. my note means I wrote and posted something, looked at it and thought "this is a waste of space" then deleted the text (noting that my brain was not awake, or here or something) Thank you for all you posts.

    gassho,
    rowan
    who is still asleep.....

  29. #29

    Re: How I Spent My Summer Vacation

    The biggest problem is going to be food. I can see that from trials over the past few days. I should get the Golden Arches tatoo'd on my nose, for the sake of pete.

    I read a little book long ago in which the author posited the idea that maybe overweight people were just hungrier than 'ideal weight' people. That certainly seems to bite me in the ass on the days when I try to eat less. A couple days ago I ate my brought-to-work lunch mid-morning, and then had a #13 from Mickey-D's at lunch. The madness has to stop!

    OK, I know I CAN eat less. I just have to be held accountable. That's the problem with not being a monk, I guess- no one else in my family is on this restrictive regimen, and my wife even lamented that one of her great joys in life has always been to cook for me. I had to tell her she either needed to put that joy aside, or learn to cook meatless for awhile. I've already told her I don't expect her to cook special for me. I can throw something together for myself. But, we are the classic Practical Male/Emotional Female couple, so you can imagine how those discussions end.

    OK, also in the interest of pure honesty, this is how I ramble when I've had a bit of Mountain Dew with JB Straight Kentucky Bourbon mixed in. I've had to backspace and re-spell so many times my fingers hurt.

    I'm not pathetic, I just smell that way :mrgreen:

    OK, don't mind me. Here is the final Tobiishi's Rule:

    1. No more than 3 vegetarian meals per day, each of which could fit in my 6" square bowl, even if I don't actually eat it from that. No snacking between meals. (Or, a snack must be subtracted from the volume of the preceding or next meal)

    2. No cash on hand. I'm counting on my wife to hold me to the vow of not spending money unnecessarily, since I do carry a bank card.

    3. No purchases for self, other than necessary hygene items. (Gotta keep that shine)

    4. 60 minutes zazen daily, however it works out.

    5. If any of the above rules threaten, on a specific occasion, to be a hardship to another person (besides myself), I will bend as much as necessary to avoid being a pain in the ass. I don't want to be "that pain-in-the-ass buddhist nut"

    If I had a camera I could wear all the time, that would upload in real time to the internet, where you could all keep tabs on my vow without me knowing, in order to hold me accountable, I would probably forget to turn it on.

    gassho
    tobiishi

    ps- I'm still open to ideas for additional vows, if you think I've left something out.

    EDIT: Oh yeah,I forgot: No Caffeine or alcohol.

  30. #30

    Re: How I Spent My Summer Vacation

    Look. One day some habits are going to eventually smack you in the face and you are going to put them down (for a while at least). Greed, craving etc.. Things that we realize and drop through our practice. The benefits of a monastery, as you said, is the environment. Working, sitting, chanting, etc.. No time for lounging.

    Just keep practicing and sitting.

    I lay on my side when I watch movies (on my left arm) for hours. My arm falls asleep. This effect Bodymind and I start to go back to unnecessarily stretching the legs, and what not.

    Has anybody ever fake yawned? like you know your not tired but you yawn anyway. It happens a lot when one's bored.

    Don't underestimate Bodymind.

    And lay off the booze.

    Gassho

    W

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