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Thread: Fighting the am I doing this correctly feeling

  1. #1
    Senior Member bayamo's Avatar
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    Fighting the am I doing this correctly feeling

    Not so much on the mental side, but the physical. I have read Jundo's clouds post, and I understand, some days the mind is clear, others may be cloudy, not to fight it but met it naturally evolve. But what about the physical side, which I have read and understand to be very important? Am I sitting up straight? Is my chin tucked in? Are my hands in a proper position? How important is hand position anyways? Are my ears in line with my shoulders? Am I leaning to one side or the other? aside from the "sway to one side, then the other to find your center", what can one do to find "correct posture"? BTW I sit Burmese style. I will admit, I over think and over analyze things WAY to much. I research stuff into the ground and then some, and am working on it. But when I do something, or a topic interests me I really like to get as much info as I can on it.
    Gassho

  2. #2
    disastermouse
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    Re: Fighting the am I doing this correctly feeling

    Quote Originally Posted by bayamo
    Not so much on the mental side, but the physical. I have read Jundo's clouds post, and I understand, some days the mind is clear, others may be cloudy, not to fight it but met it naturally evolve. But what about the physical side, which I have read and understand to be very important? Am I sitting up straight? Is my chin tucked in? Are my hands in a proper position? How important is hand position anyways? Are my ears in line with my shoulders? Am I leaning to one side or the other? aside from the "sway to one side, then the other to find your center", what can one do to find "correct posture"? BTW I sit Burmese style. I will admit, I over think and over analyze things WAY to much. I research stuff into the ground and then some, and am working on it. But when I do something, or a topic interests me I really like to get as much info as I can on it.
    Gassho
    I think Jundo recommends seeing a yoga instructor for the posture.

    I don't sweat my posture too much...but I guess I better get it in order before I go on a retreat.

    Chet

  3. #3
    Blue Mountain White Clouds Hermitage Priest Taigu's Avatar
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    Re: Fighting the am I doing this correctly feeling

    Hi Bayamo,

    For many years, twenty or so, I was chased by the "am I doing this correctly?" ghost. Needless to say, I was chasing myself. There is no correct posture, there is just the right direction. The idea to separate the mind from the body doesn't have a leg to stand on. There is nothing to fix. Of course, if you really want to bend and erect your body using physical and muscle tension, you may give the impression of a very majestic sitting and most people teach that way. If it is the way you want to sit, go on. But In my limited experience, and thanks to the real breakthrough I had about sitting with my teacher Chodo Cross and the insights of Alexander Technique, I can tell you that there is a way to let go of all these useless worries. By the way, do you notice that in doing so, namely worrying, one actually translates into Buddhist practice other anxieties of the Samsara? Isn't it a paradox that we end up building up a body of fears, and a thirst and thriving attitude where we are kindly invited to open up and let go of everything? Please have a look again at the vids that Jundo and I recorded recently, because although he seems to adress the mind thing and I seem to talk about the physical side, we are talking about the same thing. Lookiing at the same mountain from two different yet identical spots. On the same subject I recently had a heated exchange on another forum, people are just not ready to listen. They cannot accept the idea that there is no booklet that will show you how to in twenty lessons. They don't understand that the directions given by Dogen and largely borrowed from previous Chinese meditation texts are intentionaly vague. Not because there is a secret concealed somewhere, because the main thing is to open up to this vast space that pervades your back, your bones, your jaws, internal organs. No need to stretch. Allow the natural response to gravity. Ask flowers how they do it. Open your eyes on trees. Watch animals and toddlers and babies, the way they do it...No yoga, gym or physical effort. You are the secret. Begging for approval, trying to be right is a great prison of all minds, including mind. The practice of just sitting is to relinquish these. To surrender, not to a big daddy, just to the natural flow of your own being-breath-mind. Bayamo, please, listen to this old fool of Taigu. And yes, your will to the truth is great and admirable. But info won't do, data, instructions won't work. The world of shikantaza makes you the traveler and the very path on which you are traveling, it also empowers you as the beginning and the end, you are object and subject at once, in the timeless now. Please, pay attention to this, allow zazen to sit you. And yes, getting in touch with a good Alexander teacher can be very helpful to drop any idea and misconception about right and wrong sitting, walking and being. It is not necessary though. Your greatest teacher is Bayamo sensei.

    bows

    Taigu

  4. #4
    Senior Member bayamo's Avatar
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    Re: Fighting the am I doing this correctly feeling

    Gassho, Taigu, Gassho..

  5. #5

    Re: Fighting the am I doing this correctly feeling

    Indeed - I needed to read this today too. Thank you very much Bayamo, Chet and Taigu.

    Gassho

  6. #6

    Re: Fighting the am I doing this correctly feeling

    Wonderful threads thus far. Thank you to all.

    Gassho,

    SZ

  7. #7
    Senior Member Silva's Avatar
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    Re: Fighting the am I doing this correctly feeling

    Another wall crumbles...

    thank-you Taigu

  8. #8

    Re: Fighting the am I doing this correctly feeling

    I would like to repost the link to this book ... which Taigu generally approve, and which seems in keeping with the organic, changing nature of sitting he describes ...

    I believe that its philosophy of finding a sitting posture is very much as Taigu and I encourage here at Treeleaf, namely, we each have to experiment with our own self and make small adjustments to find (within certain rules) the posture "right for my particular body" (one size does not fit all). Further, sitting is not rigid and fixed, but always subtly fluid and changing, such that the posture at the start of a sitting period will not be precisely the same as at the end (or on different days!).

    For this reason, the author presents a philosophy of sitting, and a series of exercises, to help each of us find our "sweet spot" (again, a "sweet spot" that is not stagnant, but needs to flow and change even during one sitting period). It is based on finding (1) an alignment of the body (head, neck, spine, buttocks, legs) that is balanced and in line with gravity (2) relaxed, yet (3) resilient. YOU KNOW IT WHEN YOU FEEL IT. Better said ... when the body feels right, and when the body feels balanced and "drops from mind" (becomes no longer a distraction), it probably is right and balanced.
    THE POSTURE OF MEDITATION" (by Will Johnson)

    viewtopic.php?p=30208#p30208

  9. #9
    disastermouse
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    Re: Fighting the am I doing this correctly feeling

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo
    I would like to repost the link to this book ... which Taigu generally approve, and which seems in keeping with the organic, changing nature of sitting he describes ...

    I believe that its philosophy of finding a sitting posture is very much as Taigu and I encourage here at Treeleaf, namely, we each have to experiment with our own self and make small adjustments to find (within certain rules) the posture "right for my particular body" (one size does not fit all). Further, sitting is not rigid and fixed, but always subtly fluid and changing, such that the posture at the start of a sitting period will not be precisely the same as at the end (or on different days!).

    For this reason, the author presents a philosophy of sitting, and a series of exercises, to help each of us find our "sweet spot" (again, a "sweet spot" that is not stagnant, but needs to flow and change even during one sitting period). It is based on finding (1) an alignment of the body (head, neck, spine, buttocks, legs) that is balanced and in line with gravity (2) relaxed, yet (3) resilient. YOU KNOW IT WHEN YOU FEEL IT. Better said ... when the body feels right, and when the body feels balanced and "drops from mind" (becomes no longer a distraction), it probably is right and balanced.
    THE POSTURE OF MEDITATION" (by Will Johnson)

    viewtopic.php?p=30208#p30208
    You know what's funny? I don't know if this applies to everyone or just me - but sometimes I need to keep seeing or hearing the same message - over and over and over again - before I give anything the attention it deserves. It's the same with Taigu and Jundo's teachings as it is with so many other things in my life.

    Please keep putting stuff out there, even if we've heard or seen it a ba-zillion times (all of ya, not just Taigu and Jundo, of course).

    Chet

  10. #10
    Treeleaf Unsui Dosho's Avatar
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    Re: Fighting the am I doing this correctly feeling

    Quote Originally Posted by disastermouse

    You know what's funny? I don't know if this applies to everyone or just me - but sometimes I need to keep seeing or hearing the same message - over and over and over again - before I give anything the attention it deserves. It's the same with Taigu and Jundo's teachings as it is with so many other things in my life.

    Please keep putting stuff out there, even if we've heard or seen it a ba-zillion times (all of ya, not just Taigu and Jundo, of course).
    It isn't just you...not by a longshot.

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