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Thread: Blank Walls and Potted Plants

  1. #1
    Senior Member bayamo's Avatar
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    Blank Walls and Potted Plants

    I wanted to get some opinions on meditating facing a blank wall versus a potted plant. I live on a first floor and have a pretty big terrace. My wife loves her plants and there is pretty much no place to sit and turn without seeing one. Does it really matter if the space you stare at is not blank?
    Gassho

  2. #2

    Re: Blank Walls and Potted Plants

    do you have enough space in front of you so that your gaze is on the floor?

  3. #3
    Senior Member bayamo's Avatar
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    Re: Blank Walls and Potted Plants

    My gaze hits the base of the plant, but the way I look at it, its not so much what is in front of me but in my mind, which is nothing...

  4. #4

    Re: Blank Walls and Potted Plants

    The reason why the wall is so popular, supposedly, is because of sensory deprivation ie. Nothing to look at, or be distracted by, but a blank wall (as apposed to looking at nice plants). You turn your gaze inward, so to speak.

    But you can do Zazen anywhere. That's just the reason for the blank wall. If you could do both, I think that's fine. I sit at the wall.

    Gasshooo...o

  5. #5
    Senior Member bayamo's Avatar
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    Re: Blank Walls and Potted Plants

    One of the better explanations of the why behind a blank wall, gassho...

  6. #6

    Re: Blank Walls and Potted Plants

    When I was living in a similar situation, I used a roller-blind suspended from a bedroom door-jam. I put hooks in the frame and used wires to suspend the blind, that way I could remove it and put away in the closet. Worked great except on summer nights when the breeze would move the blind!

    -Jim

  7. #7

    Re: Blank Walls and Potted Plants

    Quote Originally Posted by bayamo
    My gaze hits the base of the plant, but the way I look at it, its not so much what is in front of me but in my mind, which is nothing...
    So there is no problem. But I think whatever comes in front of you is your mind so as Will said 'Nothing to look at, or be distracted by, but a blank wall' or a blank floor. In zazen most of the distractions come from within. But consider that inside and outside might be the same.
    /Rich

  8. #8

    Re: Blank Walls and Potted Plants

    I just wish to second the points of Will, Rich and the other folks.

    The key is to see without seeing. Not to be caught in trains of thought about plants, one's wife watering the plants, one's wife, etc. etc. Not caught in judgements of "pretty plant" or "ugly plant". Just let it be there.

    We do usually sit in a quiet room, facing a bare wall or open floor, because some mild quiet and removal of sensory stimuli can aid in the the mind settling. However, more vital is to just "sit with what is" ... wherever, whatever is ...

    http://www.shambhalasun.com/sunspace/?p=15188

    There has been some discussion among scholars of late about whether Bodhidharma's instructions for "wall sitting" (pi-kuan . “perception” (kuan) “wall” (pi)) meant to actually sit facing a wall ... or more to sit as unmoving as a wall ... as whole and non-plussed as a wall, open and nonclinging to anything,

    Search the word "wall" here, and read pages 30 to 31 here for a bit of history.

    http://books.google.com/books?id=z0v-xn ... ll&f=false

    Gassho, J

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