Peace to you all,
Peace to you all,
Does it have to be anything? Do we have to separate at all?
That's the heart of it.
Thanks Eika and Will.
Life is practice, practice is life.
Yeah, good article- your zazen is whatever your zazen is.
Thank you for sharing the article Eika
I didn't know much about this magazine "Tricycle", is it a good one? I don't think it exists in Belgium.
ps: Tobiishi I love the hat on your new avatar!
Oh, I thoroughly endorse that article! Wonderful! Thank you, Eika, for providing it.
Yes, in our practice-life every single action can be tasted as sacred, a place and time for wisdom and compassion to manifest, and it is all walking/talking/sleeping/waking/laughing/crying "Zazen" ... It is not only when we are in formal "Zen Practice", chanting, reading a Sutra or sitting cross legged staring at the wall. That is one reason I encourage everyone to sit/stand/walk/run Jundo's Patented "Insta-Zazens©" a few times each day.
On the other hand, we must not neglect those more formal Buddhist activities ... and especially sitting Zazen each day. We sit because it is one-pointed pointlessness. Yes, even though we seek no 'benefits' from that, and know that there is nothing to attain ... that does not mean that learning though-and-through to seek no benefits is not a GREAT BENEFIT, and that needing to-the-marrow nothing to attain is not a GREAT ATTAINMENT! :shock: And we learn to keep still even as we are moving forward actively in life!For new folks who don't know about Jundo's PATENTED 'INSTA-ZAZEN©' please look here ...
In fact, I recently described seated daily Zazen as much likes a trained airline pilot's visit to the flight simulator ... the artificial "flight simulator" that helps the pilot when it is actually time to fly a real plane in 'daily life'. The lessons (and non-lessons) of the Zafu can be brought into all our life ... as in the article.
Yes, each step of the foot, gesture of the hand, moment and place is sacred when tasted as such ... all one great function ... and our Zazen practice lets us learn to taste that.
So, ZAZEN IS ALL OF LIFE ... BUT THAT DOES NOT MEAN THAT ALL OF LIFE IS ZAZEN. 8) KEEP ON SITTIN'
I recently posted this at IZF and it fits here too ... it was in answer to the comment in boldface ...
If interested, the rest is here ...
4- Some folks think that True Zen is about iconoclasm ... smash the statues, skip the boring ceremonies and arcane rituals, only do the stuff that is not "stupid"
Yes, there is that. But folks who think it is mostly that do not know their history of Zen.
... even the great "iconoclastic" Tang Dynasty Zen masters probably lived within a monastic system so hide bound, ritual laden and behavior restricted that their "iconoclasm" was any minor breach of the rigid rules! "Oh, he kicked over the water bucket ... he used his left hand instead of his right hand to place the incense ... what a 'free spirit' he must be!" :roll:
The fact is that these guys were monks, following the Chinese version of the Vinaya, and there "transgressions" where "shocking" just because of the tremendous rigidity of their life ...
And that is actually something very valuable about this practice that some folks miss:
Namely, there is much about Zen practice that involves doing inefficient, hide bound, ritual laden, behavior restricted dumb, unfair and boring stuff ... BECAUSE IT IS DUMB, BORING and BEHAVIOR RESTRICTED, because it is not what you "want to do". Reason? Life in general is often inefficient, behavior restricted, boring and not what we "want to do" ... and if you can learn freedom amid the restrictions, well, that is true freedom.
Outward lack of freedom of choice can teach us about inner freedom too.
I used to volunteer as a Zen teacher in a maximum security prison. I noticed that the structure of a prison is much like a monastery, actually (except for the guards and violence of course ), with a daily schedule filled with fixed, rigid, pointless, boring rituals that one often does not want to do. But the lack of outward freedom and the set routine can teach us an inner tranquility and freedom that even monastery/prison walls cannot hold ... and one learns how to handle dull, pointless, silly, waste of time, arcane, "I hate this" rituals BECAUSE one resists doing them. It is a part of the training. Why? BECAUSE life is so often what we do not like it to be ... and thus we learn to find freedom amid what we resist and do not like.
That is one reason I often engage in practices I REALLY HATE, THINK OF AS 'DUMB' AND FIND I RESIST ... like holding the Sutra book a certain way, bowing a certain way, chanting a certain way.
Folks who run away from everything they don't "like" in traditional Zen practice, and who cannot find freedom even when compelled to do something they resist, will be doing that through much of the rest of their lives too.
That does not mean that you need to do everything just because it is unpleasant, and it does not mean you cannot pick and choose to leave behind some rituals and such which do not speak to you. However, a good part of your practice must be activities that are not "fun", that you do not "enjoy", which you find "dumb" or "boring" ... and which you "resist" a bit. Because if you want your practice to always be "fun" and "make sense" ... well, good chance you do not understand real "freedom".
That also does not mean that one cannot practice with all the "unpleasantries" of general life, without adding practice with the artificial "unpleasantries" of Zen monastic life. However, consider the latter ... when done well ... like the artificial "flight simulator" that helps the pilot when it is actually time to fly a real plane.
http://www.zenforuminternational.org/vi ... 445#p22445
Someone wrote to ask if I were lowering Zen ritual by referring to some as "ordinary", sometimes "pointless" and often "dull".
Quite the contrary. In fact, my hope is to raise the ordinary up as sacred.
It would be nice to get rid of the ritual altogether - it attracts the insincere anyway. It's only job seems to be to annoy, and my life without ritual is plenty annoying enough as it is, thanks.Originally Posted by Jundo
(the tone of this post is intended to be ambiguously facetious)
you go, chet- facetious is my favorite color too
:mrgreen:Originally Posted by Tobiishi
Thanks to Eika and Jundo!