Tugas Gunadarma Gunadarma Tutorial VB.NET Download OST Anime Soundtrack Anime Opening Anime Ending Anime OST Anime Japan Download Lagu Anime Jepang

Results 1 to 16 of 16

Thread: Brain Music in zazen

  1. #1

    Brain Music in zazen

    Hi all,

    So I wanted to ask if anyone else has a jukebox in their head during shikantaza besides me.
    I have Google-searched this phenomenon and read numerous meditation primers from several schools but the advice is sparse.
    In fact, it surprises me because it seems to me that this would be a relatively common event.

    In my own experience, attempting to drive the music out of my head only works temporarily and then it comes back with a vengeance.
    Trying to focus on actual, real-time, current auditory sensations helps (like hearing the AC turning on, a car passing by, etc.), but unless you meditate near a freeway, there will be periods of silence (during which the melodies return).
    In fact, that's kind of the point, isn't it; to find a quiet place to sit zazen??
    So using real sounds to fight "mind sounds" has limited value for me.

    Anyway, when I just leave it alone, as I enter a deeper phase of samhadi the music eventually goes away but this is only accomplished after using focused concentration efforts (such as following the breath) which I know is antithetical to the technique of shikantaza.

    As a consequence I tend to initiate my meditation sessions first with a brief metta meditation just to "set the mood", then following the breath to reach a state of "one-pointed" concentration, then, eventually, quieting of the mind and expansion of awareness/presence into a more typical shikantaza style of zazen.
    At this level I simply focus on posture as per Nishijima Roshi's instructions in "To Meet the Real Dragon". It takes me on average about 20 minutes to reach this point and then I can "ride the wave" for the rest of my session.

    But the bottom line is that (for me) just "taking the plunge" into real-time awareness right from the start results in sloppy focus, continuous brain chatter and, of course, that damn music.
    (Actually it's not so bad if it's Enya or James Taylor but if I get Ronnie James Dio screaming "The mob ruuuulles!" over and over it's a bit hard to take...)

    So I'm curious to ask others here at Treeleaf if about their experiences and what methods and means they employ or recommend!
    (I apologize if this topic has been addressed elsewhere; I'm new 'round here!)

    Warmest Regards,
    -K2

  2. #2

    Re: Brain Music in zazen

    It has been addressed before, if you'd like to hunt it down, but since the firs go-round my thoughts on the matter have evolved- plus I'm feeling wordy, so here goes:

    1. Pick a good song, not too obnoxious, not too mellow (you don't want to put yourself to sleep.)
    2. Put a quarter in your mental jukebox and play song from step 1.
    3. Move on, 'cause it ain't going away.

    I tried listening to only instrumental music for a month. That helped a bit, but it only emphasized the times when it did not help. Now I just let the music play, but I turn my back. I drop the music and move off to another place, and I can still hear it, but who cares? Eventually, usually, it fades in importance and I don't notice it anymore, which is the same as it not being there, except it is...

    Music is emotional. It gets linked in your brain to the emotions that it evokes. Emotions are very strong and pervasive, therefore the music you associate with emotion is along for the ride.

    I started off intending to add my 2 cents, but that looks more like $1.73

    gassho
    tobiishi

  3. #3

    Re: Brain Music in zazen

    Hi Doc,

    We have a definite "object of focus" in Shikantaza (at least, in the style I encourage) which I term "focused on everything and nothing specific at all" ... everything in the room, everything in our body, everything in the world (and whole cosmos really) is our "focused object of meditation" ... no different from if we were focused on observing the breath or posture.

    The sensation may be one of "open, spacious awareness" ... letting thoughts come and go, latching on or stirring up none of them.

    I say our object of meditation is "everything and nothing in particular" because we do not "latch on" to what we observe or that comes into mind ... meaning, you may have a "table" in your field of vision, but do not get tangled in thought about it. Do not say "I am looking at a table, nice table, I really must buy a new table cloth, then I can invite my friend for dinner, I like my friend, I wonder what he wants for dinner, etc. etc. etc. "

    Okay, so in your case with the music ... the "solution" (or dissolution) or the issue is "very Zen" ... radically do nothing, to the marrow just let the music go. If the song plays, briefly observe that fact ... then return to just sitting focused on everything and nothing at all. Return again and again ... 10,000 times and 10,000 times again ... to open, spacious awareness. The "music" is just like the chair in your line of vision. Please see this particular talk in our "Beginners" series ...

    http://blog.beliefnet.com/treeleafzen/2 ... fo-26.html

    To truly be quiet and still, do not think in terms of "quiet" and "still". True stillness is not a matter of quiet. Thus, while we usually practice in a "quiet room" ... and many Buddhist Masters, Master Dogen among them, advise us to sit in a "quiet room".(that is how I usually sit too) ... is not the true "quiet room" to be found when the mind is roomy and quiet?

    So, I encourage folks to also sit in noisy, busy, smelly, so-called "disturbing" place every few days or so ...

    http://blog.beliefnet.com/treeleafzen/2 ... -view.html

    http://blog.beliefnet.com/treeleafzen/2 ... sic-1.html

    Gassho, Jundo

  4. #4

    Re: Brain Music in zazen

    Quote Originally Posted by Al Coleman

    I know Brad isn't the most popular guy around here, but I really found this post helpful(as I do most of his stuff). http://hardcorezen.blogspot.com/2007/11 ... lable.html
    I often sit with Brad ... and other so-called disturbances. 8)

    Anyway, seriously great great great post.

  5. #5

    Re: Brain Music in zazen

    Hi Klifford,

    Well, first off... everything that Jundo said on the subject.

    Apart from that, perhaps you could think about whether you're listening to too much music, too often? When I was much younger I used to listen to music all day at work or listen to my walkman (please, no snide remarks ) during various outdoor activities and have the stereo on at home most of the time, as well. In a sense, I was 'polluting' my psyche with it. Nowadays, I listen to music much less, but when I do, I make a point to savor it, give it my full attention and really listen to it. And if it happens to appear during Zazen, it's just part of the scenery of life, like everything else. Nothing to push away, nothing to latch on to.

    Gassho
    Bansho

  6. #6

    Re: Brain Music in zazen

    Quote Originally Posted by Al Coleman
    I have the jukebox playing in my head 24-7. For the past year it has been Joy Division ever since I watched the Ian Curtis biopic "Control". Before that Black Flag and all things Danzig.
    That's what I call an AWESOME jukebox!!!

    @jundo: On a sidenote, it's pretty cool to see the "zen-"ny stuff fall into places. I remember when I got here and read about "focused on everything and nothing specific at all" and stuff I tried to grasp it intellectually but it made hardly sense at all. But after not thinking about it and just sitting some more time it's like the most natural and obvious thing on earth (though I still doubt that I got it 100% right ).

  7. #7

    Re: Brain Music in zazen

    Quote Originally Posted by kliffkapus
    I have Google-searched this phenomenon and read numerous meditation primers from several schools but the advice is sparse.
    In fact, it surprises me because it seems to me that this would be a relatively common event.

    In my own experience, attempting to drive the music out of my head only works temporarily and then it comes back with a vengeance.
    Hi, K2.

    I think the reason there is little mention of it is that to do so would imply that the music in our heads is any different than all the other stuff in our heads that we learn to drop during zazen. I go through periods where music is a constant sub-routine. I realized that to treat it any differently than the millions of other distractions that I have floating around in my brain would be to "put energy into the system" as Warner puts it. So, just let it happen . . . it is much like a child who is throwing a tantrum, leave it alone and it will evaporate on its own (or not!).

    Peace,
    Bill

  8. #8
    Senior Member AlanLa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    East Texas
    Posts
    1,263

    Re: Brain Music in zazen

    I have found there are levels of "noise" in my head during zazen. Loudest is conversations with myself ("when I'm done here today I'm going to post about background noise on the forum, but maybe someone already made my point, well that's fine if so, and if not..." and so on). Not quite so loud is monkey mind associations ("that car door slamming reminds me I need to buy windshield wipers, when was the last rain, anyway? what's the weather going to be today? yesterday was nice, remember that nice day at the park, etc.). When either of these two types of noise are realized or caught, I drop them, let them go, and just go back to sitting. Least noisy is the music that pops in from time to time and often stays a long time. Letting this go never works, and when I try to let it go it gets worse, louder and more persistent. Brad wrote something in Tricycle or Buddhadharma a while back that said to just ignore the background noise in your head while doing zazen; don't pay attention to it, don't even drop it, just leave it alone. That seemed like good advice at the time, but I had no real idea what he was talking about. Which of all the noises in my head was background? They all seem quite in the foreground of awareness. It took me a long time to realize these levels of noise and that the music was in the background level. what clued me in finally was that conversations and associations have some ego involvement, some "I" stuff going on, so I know to drop that. But music is just brain secretions without ego involvement. As long as I don't start singing along or start to play DJ with the music ("after this Dylan tune I'm gonna think about some Mellencamp"), there is no ego involvement, so nothing to drop. The funny thing is that I have found by approaching it that way, the music drops anyway. So it's all good!

  9. #9
    Senior Member AlanLa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    East Texas
    Posts
    1,263

    Re: Brain Music in zazen

    K2 wrote: I tend to initiate my meditation sessions first with a brief metta meditation just to "set the mood", then following the breath to reach a state of "one-pointed" concentration, then, eventually, quieting of the mind and expansion of awareness/presence into a more typical shikantaza style of zazen.
    At this level I simply focus on posture as per Nishijima Roshi's instructions in "To Meet the Real Dragon". It takes me on average about 20 minutes to reach this point and then I can "ride the wave" for the rest of my session.
    This sounds like you are trying to get somewhere, as in reach some meditative state as a goal. Have I got that right?

  10. #10

    Re: Brain Music in zazen

    This sounds like you are trying to get somewhere, as in reach some meditative state as a goal. Have I got that right?
    You know, re-reading that quote is sure sounds like that's what I'm aiming for, doesn't it?
    Truth is, I've never had formal meditation instruction and I've cobbled together my own "thing".
    As I get more exposure to different styles it's starting to sound like the bastard lovechild of Vipassana and shikantaza! :P

    I can tell you I'm not aiming for a "jhana" or any special state of attainment.
    In fact, I tried that and kept a journal for 6 months. When I re-read my notes I realized my meditation sessions were like snowflakes: no two were the same!
    So I figured that if I couldn't get it by aiming at it, I should probably just stop aiming.

    When I first tried shikantaza as instructed by Sekida I was lost.
    Theravada Buddhism teaches Vipassana technique which sort of "holds your hand" so it's a little easier for beginners.
    In fact, in "Mindfulness is Plain English" the author Bhante G makes it very clear "Zen is hard!".
    As a consequence I ended up adopting a lot of that Vipassana-style "flavor" in my meditation.

    A lot of Zen teachers just seem to want to throw you in the pool headfirst to see if you "sink or swim"!
    I had one Zen teacher tell me to just keep plugging away at it until "zazen teaches you what it's all about".
    That seemed a little ass-backwards to me.

    But now that I've been at this for a while and have stumbled upon good information (such as Jundo's series of talks for newbies) I am trying to shed the meditation "toys" (as Ven. Brad Warner would call they) and dive right in to a more pure shikantaza.

    I'm learning as I go and flailing about (and I say this after 5 years of consistent practice) but I will get it eventually.
    Finding my way here to Treeleaf has encouraged me a great deal in that regard.

    So in answer to your question, "I hope not!" is the best answer I can give you!

    Gassho,
    -K2

  11. #11

    Re: Brain Music in zazen

    Quote Originally Posted by AlanLa
    K2 wrote: I tend to initiate my meditation sessions first with a brief metta meditation just to "set the mood", then following the breath to reach a state of "one-pointed" concentration, then, eventually, quieting of the mind and expansion of awareness/presence into a more typical shikantaza style of zazen.
    At this level I simply focus on posture as per Nishijima Roshi's instructions in "To Meet the Real Dragon". It takes me on average about 20 minutes to reach this point and then I can "ride the wave" for the rest of my session.
    This sounds like you are trying to get somewhere, as in reach some meditative state as a goal. Have I got that right?
    This is very important ... thank you, Alan, for pointing that out.

    Around here, I do not emphasize intentionally seeking to attain any special or unusual state of mind, mood or concentration ... Instead, we concentrate very hard on (and we work very diligently at) seeking to attain the very special state of to-the-marrow dropping of all need to attain any special state or anything at all ... :shock:

    That sitting-living having radically dropped all need or goal of attaining a special state --IS-- a most special state attained!

    Sitting is a perfect act, the only place to be at that moment in the whole world ... ya have no place else to get to, nothing else to do or which can be better done in that moment.

    As well, in our sitting, sometimes various states will come ... sometimes not. THAT IS ALL SPECIAL, nothing to be rejected. There is no special experience that must be reached, maintained or clung to. Perhaps it is the first time, or a rare time, in one's life for one to have fully, completely dropped all need to change, attain or be something else. One has dropped all judgments, resistance, divisions and pushing away.

    The very special, mind-blowing states are special and sacred ... the very ordinary states are special and sacred ...

    And being there ... without need for mind-blowing states, all sacred ... is a sacred, mind-blowing state.

    One is not "doing Zazen right" only when one feels "peaceful" or "in the groove" or "riding the wave" for example. In fact, absolute Peace is a peace so peaceful ... that it is at peace, totally at peace, with sometimes feeling peaceful, sometimes perhaps not. NOW THAT's PEACE WITH THE WORLD, NO DEMANDS OR SEPARATION!

    Thzt's truly riding the wave, being the wave ... only the wave waving.

    The "self" ... with its judgments, demands, dissatisfactions, divisions ... it put out of a job.

    It is a radical, to-the-marrow non-seeking ... at peace with things as-they-are. One is "one pointed" because one is perfectly "at one" with all things. Such peace with things "just as they are without change" works a tremendous change in how we experience all things.

    By Just Sitting to-the-marrow, radically dropping all goals, judgments, attempts to get somewhere or to achieve some realization. ... That truly gets us somewhere, and a revolutionary realization!

    Truly understanding that everything is completely beyond need for change is a complete change, and finding that there was never a place to get to is finally getting somewhere.


    Get how that goes?! 8)

    New folks around Treeleaf should read the following, which will tell you how to do Zazen "right"

    It is the "there is good Zazen, and bad Zazen ... but never any bad Zazen" post ...

    viewtopic.php?p=22966#p22966

    Gassho, J

  12. #12
    Blue Mountain White Clouds Hermitage Priest Taigu's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    2,907

    Re: Brain Music in zazen

    Hi All,

    Jundo puts it very clearly. it is often said that Zazen is mushotoku, without goal or intention. It t means that any aim is useless for everything is already full, complete. as soon as you sit, there it is. The doing and the being are one, the begining and the end are not two, the path is the goal. We all worry too much, it is all right, moment after moment. I don't know any other path which is so direct and intimitate. Zazen alone is enough, it takes you right at the mountain top and beyond, that is to say being free of being anywhere, instantly, right on the spot.

    gassho


    Taigu

  13. #13
    disastermouse
    Guest

    Re: Brain Music in zazen

    My friend Steve always plays whatever song that gets stuck in his head to the Dead Kennedy's 'California Uber Alles' when he wants it to drop out of his brain.

    Chet

  14. #14

    Re: Brain Music in zazen

    One of the people on the "Zen is Stupid" podcast (Patrick, I think, if anyone knows who I'm referring to) said that some advice he was given once is to pay attention to the music til it gets to the guitar solo...after that, it usually goes away. :-D

  15. #15
    Treeleaf Unsui rculver's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Cincinnati Ohio Area (Northern Kentucky)
    Posts
    1,963

    Re: Brain Music in zazen

    Quote Originally Posted by disastermouse
    My friend Steve always plays whatever song that gets stuck in his head to the Dead Kennedy's 'California Uber Alles' when he wants it to drop out of his brain.

    Chet
    Crap! I haven't heard that song in years. now it's stuck in my head! (the parts I can remember anyway)

    Thanks Chet, :evil: :wink:
    Ron

  16. #16
    Senior Member AlanLa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    East Texas
    Posts
    1,263

    Re: Brain Music in zazen

    "I hope not"
    is a very fine answer, K2. And your doing zazen while getting "mauled" seems evidence of pure lack of aim in the very best way :lol:

Similar Threads

  1. Music and its affects on the mind/brain
    By Aswini in forum TREELEAF COMMUNITY: Topics about Zazen, Zen, Buddhism & MORE ZAZEN!
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 07-31-2008, 06:53 PM
  2. Left Brain/Right Brain and practice
    By Aswini in forum TREELEAF COMMUNITY: Topics about Zazen, Zen, Buddhism & MORE ZAZEN!
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 05-27-2008, 11:41 AM
  3. Zen and the brain
    By kirkmc in forum TREELEAF COMMUNITY: Topics about Zazen, Zen, Buddhism & MORE ZAZEN!
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 05-27-2007, 03:45 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •