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Thread: A visit from the three poisons

  1. #1
    Senior Member AlanLa's Avatar
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    A visit from the three poisons

    I was sitting zazen today with my mind in a very calm state listening to the birds outside. Then my old nemesis the refrigerator started, and I thought "I don't want to hear the fridge" (aversion), "I want to hear the birds" (desire). Wrestling with these two, I lost my awareness of where I was and what I was doing for a few moments (ignorance). Eventually, I dropped all that and found I could hear the birds AND the fridge, so calm open mind-body state returned. Then the air conditioning kicked in, which is even louder than the fridge! I felt aversion and desire rising up, but I dropped them before they disturbed my awareness too much, and ignorance was held at bay by attending to the sound of the AC and the feeling of cold air passing over me. Then the bell rang and I got up and went about my day.

    Like many house guests, I was thankful they came by for a visit (and some teaching, in this case), but I was also glad when they left.

  2. #2

    Re: A visit from the three poisons

    Hi Alan,

    Please see discussion here ... Kitchen appliances are well included ...

    Your 'self' wishes this world to be X, yet this world is not X. The mental state that may result to the 'self' from this disparity is Dukkha.
    ...
    [And] how do we weaken the grip of the "self" which is that source of the gap of judgments and views between "how things are" and "how the self selfishly wishes they would be" ?

    Why, "Just Sit", dropping all thought of "good" and "bad" , "right" , "wrong" , "just" and "unjust" , experiencing a world that just is-what-it-is without gap or separation. It goes-the-way-it-goes, even if that way is not the way we personally might desire. Letting aside both "cruel" and "gentle" , "ugly" and "kind" , we no longer resist, do not judge, and embrace it all ... even the most terrible.

    Then the "self" loses its fuel, is put out of a job ... Dukkha is extinguished in a flash.
    viewtopic.php?f=1&t=1769&view=unread#unread

  3. #3
    Senior Member AlanLa's Avatar
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    Re: A visit from the three poisons

    Yes, Jundo, I saw that, and that's what happened. I was just trying to share my experience of that whole process of dukka in general, and poisons in particular, rising and fading. I seem to be mildly fixated on household noises lately, but that will fade in time.

  4. #4

    Re: A visit from the three poisons

    Quote Originally Posted by AlanLa
    Eventually, I dropped all that and found I could hear the birds AND the fridge, so calm open mind-body state returned. Then the air conditioning kicked in, which is even louder than the fridge! .
    I like the way you say it! It's so true... Sometimes it is so hard to understand that there will always be something disturbing, so hard to stop trying to control everything, even the things we hear.
    thank you for sharing your experience Allan!

    Gassho,
    Luis

  5. #5
    Senior Member AlanLa's Avatar
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    Re: A visit from the three poisons

    Jundo, I see your point more clearly today. I was still subtly messing around with the concepts of "good" and "bad" in the zazen I described. So I dropped that during today's zazen (which was lousy, by the way :twisted: :mrgreen: ). Uchiyama calls it opening the hand of thought, but for me it is more like dirty sticky fingers becoming clean and slippery fingers.

    I think recognizing the subtlety of those three poisons and then dropping them is a good practice for day to day activities, but it's not zazen. It could be nurturing seeds practice, however.

    Gassho

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