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Thread: Getting yourself to sit when...

  1. #1
    Stephanie
    Guest

    Getting yourself to sit when...

    ...you've realized you're not going to get anything out of it?

    My experience of being crushed by my own spiritual strivings, and the subsequent insights that have come through letting go in shikantaza, have taught me thoroughly that there really is no gain to be had through this practice. That the idea of "gain" is completely out of tune with reality. That my previous approaches to practice were fueled solely by my ego's acquisitive spiritual materialism.

    So I realize--partially, on some level--I can't get anything through practice, because there is nothing to get. And yet I'm still dissatisfied. I still feel removed from my day to day experience--as if a glass wall stands between me and all the input coming in through my senses--and I still feel separated from Truth. I saw very clearly yesterday that my mind is still struggling to get something, trying to find experiences that will shatter the glass wall.

    In the past, this would have been a spur into practice. I would sit in order to break through the glass wall. But now, at least partially, I realize it doesn't work that way. So I'm at the strange place where I know getting my practice going again would help me see more clearly and more often that this feeling of separation is a delusion, not an actual obstacle... but I'm still deluded and confused enough that I want to try to use the practice to get something.

    So I know I should sit, and I start, and sit a few times, and then I stop. All my efforts at discipline are not working; it's hard to get myself to practice when I know it's not going to get me any of the things I used to think I'd get from practice. But yet there's still things I'm wanting... so my deluded mind seems to have this attitude that I might as well not sit, because it's not going to get me what I want. And there's not enough realization there to sit in the knowing that there is nothing to get, because I still feel fundamentally separated from 'something.'

    Does this make any sense? How do I break through this resistance and get myself to sit every day, when I no longer have any carrot to dangle in front of myself?

  2. #2

    Re: Getting yourself to sit when...

    Just 'cause we drop all goals of getting ... who says there's not something wondrous thus gotten? (That was there all along too)

    Here's a little game I played today in the park, where I had taken my son. The cherry blossoms were blooming, spring was in the air. It was a lovely day.

    But something in me caused a "something's missing" feeling, ... that itch that arises from somewhere deep in the psyche making me feel that I needed to make the moment more than it was, "do something", add something, "achieve a memorable day". I was antsy, felt I couldn't sit still. I felt somehow "let down" or "disappointed" by it all, for no particular reason. There was "I" divided from the moment.

    Instantly, however, I managed to switch to "Shikantaza" mode ... dropping all feeling of lack, freed from "something to add, something to take away". The feeling of 'just being and let be' arose, and all was whole and complete. As a result, the resistance to the moment was fully gone. No place else to be, no place to rather be ... just being.

    The game was that ... for many minutes ... I was able to switch back and forth between the two perspectives and feelings several times ... wholeness, lack ... wholeness, lack. Like flipping a switch. The 'back & forth' experience offered great insight into the mind's resistance.

    I recommend that folks try it if they can, if they know how to summon the "Shikantaza" mode (most folks who have been sitting for awhile will know). I may add this as a recommended exercise around here, really a variation on "insta-Zazen".

    Nothing more to get ... just to be, TRULY be, in the park with nothing in need of getting., undivided from the moment That's what was gotten.

    Gassho, J

  3. #3
    Stephanie
    Guest

    Re: Getting yourself to sit when...

    Wow, that's really helpful. A good reminder that sense of lack is always going to come up. Look at it, see it, stop trying to change it. Got it

    Thanks, Jundo. Gassho!

    Although that only partially helps with the getting my butt on the cushion part :wink:

  4. #4

    Re: Getting yourself to sit when...

    I donīt get it, whatīs the problem...?

    You donīt gain some "thing", off course, you learn to drop attachments, thats the "gain", or gain of non-gaining, right?

    So there is something to gain, just donīt try to gain it.

    Janne

  5. #5

    Re: Getting yourself to sit when...

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo
    Instantly, however, I managed to switch to "Shikantaza" mode ... dropping all feeling of lack, freed from "something to add, something to take away". The feeling of 'just being and let be' arose, and all was whole and complete. As a result, the resistance to the moment was fully gone. No place else to be, no place to rather be ... just being.

    The game was that ... for many minutes ... I was able to switch back and forth between the two perspectives and feelings several times ... wholeness, lack ... wholeness, lack. Like flipping a switch. The 'back & forth' experience offered great insight into the mind's resistance.

    I recommend that folks try it if they can, if they know how to summon the "Shikantaza" mode (most folks who have been sitting for awhile will know). I may add this as a recommended exercise around here, really a variation on "insta-Zazen".

    Nothing more to get ... just to be, TRULY be, in the park with nothing in need of getting., undivided from the moment That's what was gotten.

    Gassho, J
    The form of sitting is great for letting thinking and feeling settle down and just being with the moment but we spend most of our time in other forms and situations so how we keep our mind in that time is also meditation and I am a big fan of "Shikantaza" mode and insta-Zazen. It's like love and marriage, yu can't have one without the other There was a time when I hardly sat at all but I did 'driving meditation' during the 2.5 hours I commuted each day. So Getting yourself to sit when... the only when is how much time you can commit to morning and evening.
    /Rich

  6. #6

    Re: Getting yourself to sit when...

    What Jundo describes is the very way to take it to the market place, the playful coming and going, the switching, the shikantaza mode being realized in every kind of situation: moving, working, eating...
    That's what I sometimes do and sometimes...forget to do. The thing is to do it as soon as we are aware of the something missing feling, of the emotional state arising. If you wait for too long, what tends to happen, at least in my limited experience, is that you find yourself all caught up in the confusion, so much so you cannot get out of it for a while. But even there, it is possible. It is always available because it just yours already. The very jewel in the pocket.



    gassho


    Taigu

  7. #7

    Re: Getting yourself to sit when...

    Quote Originally Posted by Stephanie
    Wow, that's really helpful. A good reminder that sense of lack is always going to come up. Look at it, see it, stop trying to change it. Got it

    Thanks, Jundo. Gassho!

    Although that only partially helps with the getting my butt on the cushion part :wink:
    Let me just add to this topic of "not adding a thing" ...

    In its wider meaning, --all-- activity (or inactivity) in life is Zazen ... and this is sitting, reclining, walking, running, mountain hiking, doing homework or housework, changing diapers, scratching one's nose or buying new tires.

    Nonetheless, we also must spend time "on the Zafu" each day. Although all is "Zazen", only Zazen is Zazen.

    In fact, we sit because we may resist sitting, because it is pointless, there is nothing to achieve, it is frequently boring. We sit whether we feel "sublime peace and wholeness" or "outer tumult and inner division".

    Why?

    Well, all of this "self-world-life" is inherently, says the Buddha, experienced as disappointing, resisted with friction, thought of as divided and tumultuous, restless, boring (or overly stimulated), unpleasant, painful, going round in circles.

    Thus we sit (without getting "attaining" about it) because "on the cushion" is the "flight simulator" for this whole (often bumpy) voyage to no where to get, no place not now, always arriving as we move on. It is practice in flipping that switch that was flipped in the park by the mind. It is the "cooking school" for learning to put the egg back in the once shattered shell, realizing that taste that was right on the tip of the tongue, yet there all along. 8) ... So the "sitting" part of sitting should not be neglected.

    The most self-world-life shattering, as well as the simplest, of fruits of this Practice will all be found in that kitchen! The great voyage is revealed, this self-world-life encountered, seen right through then reconstructed with a Buddha's eyes.

    We've had several good threads ... some recent ... on sitting when one does not feel like sitting ...

    viewtopic.php?p=24562#p24562

    viewtopic.php?p=33050#p33050

    viewtopic.php?p=30908#p30908

    viewtopic.php?p=28885#p28885

    And the Zafu is calling ...

    Gassho, J

  8. #8

    Re: Getting yourself to sit when...

    After all this time, I finally get what Shikantaza really is all about. Letting thoughts/actions rise and fall, but not becoming attached to them....(slaps forehead). :P

    Thanks Jundo. Gassho

  9. #9

    Re: Getting yourself to sit when...

    Wow. Thank you for this.


    Let me just add to this topic of "not adding a thing" ...

    In its wider meaning, --all-- activity (or inactivity) in life is Zazen ... and this is sitting, reclining, walking, running, mountain hiking, doing homework or housework, changing diapers, scratching one's nose or buying new tires.

    Nonetheless, we also must spend time "on the Zafu" each day. Although all is "Zazen", only Zazen is Zazen.

    In fact, we sit because we may resist sitting, because it is pointless, there is nothing to achieve, it is frequently boring. We sit whether we feel "sublime peace and wholeness" or "outer tumult and inner division".

    Why?

    Well, all of this "self-world-life" is inherently, says the Buddha, experienced as disappointing, resisted with friction, thought of as divided and tumultuous, restless, boring (or overly stimulated), unpleasant, painful, going round in circles.

    Thus we sit (without getting "attaining" about it) because "on the cushion" is the "flight simulator" for this whole (often bumpy) voyage to no where to get, no place not now, always arriving as we move on. It is practice in flipping that switch that was flipped in the park by the mind. It is the "cooking school" for learning to put the egg back in the once shattered shell, realizing that taste that was right on the tip of the tongue, yet there all along. 8) ... So the "sitting" part of sitting should not be neglected.

    The most self-world-life shattering, as well as the simplest, of fruits of this Practice will all be found in that kitchen! The great voyage is revealed, this self-world-life encountered, seen right through then reconstructed with a Buddha's eyes.

    We've had several good threads ... some recent ... on sitting when one does not feel like sitting ...

    viewtopic.php?p=24562#p24562

    viewtopic.php?p=33050#p33050

    viewtopic.php?p=30908#p30908

    viewtopic.php?p=28885#p28885

    And the Zafu is calling ...

    Gassho, J

  10. #10

    Re: Getting yourself to sit when...

    Hi everyone!

    Again Jundo and Taigu's answers to Stephanie's questions are SO precious!

    It makes me think about something...
    Well, I'm just here since a year (not yet in fact) but A LOT of SO precious things have been said...
    Is someone keeping, or assembling the teachings given on the forum by Jundo, Taigu and everyone?

    I mean, in many "brick and wall" Sanghas when someone give a talk, it is recorded and then transcribed
    and then shared... here we have have the chance that everyone is able to read or listen to the teachings...
    but is it kept somewhere?
    It could seem a very "egotic" kind of need, the need to keep things, to accumulate... but in fact it is just
    the hope to be able to share teachings with people, to re-read some of them in ten years...

    Well, I'm a bit out of the subject again ... but again Thank you all!

    Deep Gassho,

    Luis/Jinyu

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