Results 1 to 43 of 43

Thread: commitment

  1. #1
    Senior Member rculver's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Cincinnati Ohio Area (Northern Kentucky)
    Posts
    1,627

    commitment

    Stephanie posted something on another thread that has me thinking:

    This is the difficulty, and one of my reservations, about an Internet sangha, that it is easy to be casual, half-engaged about it. One might drop in every once in a while to post a comment, or one might be a persistent presence but not be engaged on any real or personal level.
    How committed am I to my practice? I read the forum daily, I listen to podcasts and watch Jundo's and Taigu's talks on occasion, I sit 4 or 5 nights a week. I don't do metta, or chant. I haven't been doing the zazenkais. I did the jukai ceremony, but rarely if ever wear my rakusa. How is commitment to be judged? Why do I feel unwilling to commit to sewing the okesa? Is this all just my search for "answers" like Stepanie also posted about? I seem to be at an interesting juncture in my practice.

    I am glad you came back Stephanie.

    Ron

  2. #2
    Treeleaf Unsui Shohei's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    New Brunswick, Canada
    Posts
    2,939

    Re: commitment

    Hi Shugen

    "How is commitment to be judged?"
    You know the answer there. Others can just point but you know where to look.

    Now as already said before, Some trappings we discover we can do with out, lets say chanting, however explore and exhaust them first before tossing them aside. Now, however in the case of the kesa, it would be better to explore your reluctance FIRST! Sewing and the commitment to the kesa is not required nor is it for every single person!

    The rakusu, however, is not an optional garb, its your commitment, its shikantaza, you should try to wear it every time you sit and bring it with you when you travel (insta zazen its not necessary or always possible but remember your wearing it even when your not!).

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts here and dont mind me blabbering on you just got me thinking too! (so thank you too Steph!)
    Anywho your commitment to practice is inspiring to me, So keep on keeping on!

    Gassho
    Shohei who should also go sit

  3. #3
    Senior Member rculver's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Cincinnati Ohio Area (Northern Kentucky)
    Posts
    1,627

    Re: commitment

    "How is commitment to be judged?"
    You know the answer there. Others can just point but you know where to look.
    Sometimes I just need to see my thoughts.

    Last year at this time I was doing Tricycle's "Big Sit" I believe.

    I just can't decide if I need to back off - stop thinking about it so much. Maybe take a break, or really push myself to sit more.

    It's a holiday weekend here, so maybe I'll take some time off and just enjoy cook-outs and beer and swimming pools.

    Dirk, your wisdom is inspiring.

    Thank You,
    Ron

    Jundo quoting Suzuki Roshi on another thread:

    ... When you empty your mind, when you give up everything and just practice zazen with an open mind, then whatever you see you meet yourself. That is you, beyond she or he or me. As long as you are clinging to the idea of self and trying to improve your practice or discover something, trying to create an improved, better self, then your practice has gone astray. You have no time to reach the goal, so eventually you will get tired out, and you will say, "Zen is no good. I practiced zazen for ten years, but I didn't gain anything!"

  4. #4
    disastermouse
    Guest

    Re: commitment

    Quote Originally Posted by rculver
    "How is commitment to be judged?"
    You know the answer there. Others can just point but you know where to look.
    Sometimes I just need to see my thoughts.

    Last year at this time I was doing Tricycle's "Big Sit" I believe.

    I just can't decide if I need to back off - stop thinking about it so much. Maybe take a break, or really push myself to sit more.

    It's a holiday weekend here, so maybe I'll take some time off and just enjoy cook-outs and beer and swimming pools.

    Dirk, your wisdom is inspiring.

    Thank You,
    Ron

    Jundo quoting Suzuki Roshi on another thread:

    ... When you empty your mind, when you give up everything and just practice zazen with an open mind, then whatever you see you meet yourself. That is you, beyond she or he or me. As long as you are clinging to the idea of self and trying to improve your practice or discover something, trying to create an improved, better self, then your practice has gone astray. You have no time to reach the goal, so eventually you will get tired out, and you will say, "Zen is no good. I practiced zazen for ten years, but I didn't gain anything!"
    Or you could always just polish a tile instead.

    /insider Zen humor

    Chet

  5. #5
    Senior Member rculver's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Cincinnati Ohio Area (Northern Kentucky)
    Posts
    1,627

    Re: commitment

    When he saw Daoyi meditating he asked, “Why are you sitting in meditation?” Daoyi said, “To become a Buddha.” Master Huaizang took hold of a piece of tile and began rubbing it. Daoyi asked Huaizang “What are you rubbing the tile for master?” “I want to polish it into a mirror.” Huaizang answered. Daoyi felt puzzled. He asked, “How can you hope to polish a piece of tile into a mirror?” Huaizang replied, “Since a piece of tile can’t be polished into a mirror, how can simply practicing sitting meditation make you become a Buddha?”
    “What must I do then to attain Buddhahood?” Daoyi asked. But Huaizang countered with a question, “Take the case of an ox-cart. If the cart doesn’t move, do you whip the cart or do you whip the ox?” Daoyi didn’t know how to answer so he just kept quiet. Huaizang continued, “In learning sitting meditation, do you aspire to learn sitting Zen, or do you aspire to imitate the sitting Buddha? If the former, Zen doesn’t consist in sitting or lying down. If the latter you must know the Buddha has no fixed postures.” Huaizang kept talk to Daoyi, “The dharma goes on forever and never abides in anything. You most not therefore be attached to or abandon any particular phase of it. To sit with the purpose of becoming a Buddha is to kill the Buddha. To be attached to the sitting posture is to fail to comprehend the essential principle.” After listened to Huaizang, Daoyi realized that just practice sitting in meditation is a wrong way to reach enlightenment. This is because Buddhahood is the great clarity of enlightenment; it is not dependent on practicing physical postures.

  6. #6

    Re: commitment

    Ron, you are free to take what you need and leave the rest. I think the most important part of practice is sitting 20-30 minutes morning and evening.

    Regarding answers,
    'If you want something
    You cannot see things as they are'

  7. #7

    Re: commitment

    hi ron - if you didn't sit so damn late in the zen hall, i'd sit with you

    commitment: i've sat at least daily since about age 25, and i just turned 62 -- sure, i've missed a few days, but not many, same as with my jogging -- i'm just not into the online part of the online sangha thing, as it seems to emphasize the intellectual side of practice, and then i find it to be just another philosophy

    more generalizations: we all are beginners/and we aren't: a part of my practice is always new, each day, each moment -- but there is a difference in a practice of 1 year vs. 40, if the practice has been steady -- particularly with the understanding that "its all practice", i.e., the divorces, babies, deaths, aging, supporting family, that is, paying the dues that only come with time

    so about once/month i check to see if the zen hall schedule is still blank(except for ron) -- it is, so i go back to sitting alone

    sorry if it sounds like "ageism", but my fascination with buddhist thought wore off in the '80s -- or at least i think there is about a 90/10 balance of sitting/talking, i.e., i'd need to sit with someone a whole bunch before wanting to discuss buddhism with them

    gassho, roky

  8. #8
    Senior Member rculver's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Cincinnati Ohio Area (Northern Kentucky)
    Posts
    1,627

    Re: commitment

    Hey Roky,

    Good to hear you're still around.

    I've been thinking I need to S.T.F.U. and just sit.

    Ron

    (Keep checking the sitting schedule, maybe I'll throw in a morning sit now and again )

  9. #9
    Stephanie
    Guest

    Re: commitment

    Gods, my commitment level is atrocious right now. My resistance to sitting remains extremely high. I can psych myself up all day for sitting when I get home, and get distracted by the first shiny thing that grabs my attention when I walk through the door. My practice, at least on a formal level, is a mess right now. Minimal discipline. And it bothers me, because I know that how lost I feel at times on a spiritual level is directly related to my lack of consistent practice, especially consistent sitting.

    I do practice in more informal ways in daily life--I don't think I really have any option not to at this point. I've seen too clearly how delusions serve themselves not to notice them at work in my daily activity and reactivity. "Oh, that's just a thought. Got me again!" Other than that, I'm a disaster zone of aggressiveness, distractedness, and bad habits right now. I would make the baby Buddha cry :lol:

    Anyway, thanks for the welcome back, Ron. Your commitment and practice inspire me.

  10. #10
    Senior Member rculver's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Cincinnati Ohio Area (Northern Kentucky)
    Posts
    1,627

    Re: commitment


  11. #11

    Re: commitment

    howdy, steph, glad you're still pounding your head against the wall, together with the rest of us

    ron, i'll be doing a bit of a retreat from the 7th to the 21st, while my wife is away -- maybe i'll put on the webcam for some of the sits -- i'm less technically challenged since buying a netbook with built in webcam -- even been using skype -- my kinhin may be impaired, as i'm tearing up the floor here while mireille is gone

    i still think the online zen hall was a great idea, but it just has never taken off -- after my "save the zen hall" post last year, i came to the conclusion that it was not a priority of treeleaf, so gave up

    roky

  12. #12
    Senior Member rculver's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Cincinnati Ohio Area (Northern Kentucky)
    Posts
    1,627

    Re: commitment

    Roky,

    Hope to see ya!

    (By the way - what time do you think I sit? It's usually somewhere from 8:30pm Eastern Standard Time and 10pm Eastern Standard Time)

    Ron

  13. #13

    Re: commitment

    ron -- i know its later in the evening then i can do without coffee, which i continue to need to avoid -- even at retreat centers i've always had difficulty with late sits, with a few rare exceptions -- just an old fart, i guess

    my own theory is that i wear myself down all day with my head games to the point that i'm exhausted by evening -- different rhythms for different folks? -- i'm not exactly what folks would describe as "hyper"

    anyway, just did a test sit on the new netbook, and it worked beautifully, though so far i have to do it on windows, not linux

    roky

  14. #14
    Senior Member rculver's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Cincinnati Ohio Area (Northern Kentucky)
    Posts
    1,627

    Re: commitment

    I was at work but peeked in on you. Looking Good!

    Ron

  15. #15

    Re: commitment

    Commitment is what you make it. Sometimes it seems to be a blessing, pushing us forward to practice because we have committed ourselves to peace, liberation, zazen. Sometimes a burden; pulling us from things we find more productive, thoughts we find more interesting.

    Currently, at this very moment, I have terrible heartburn (damn tomatoes find their way into everything I eat, sheesh, I age faster than I realize :roll: ). It is 1 am at my home. I will brush my teeth, and sit. It seems to be a burden now because all I want to do is curl up and sleep this physical pain away. But through rain, through sleet, through acid reflux we sit on! Not because we have to but exactly because we HAVE to! Because without zazen this would be permanent pain, or would seem so. Zazen is exactly zazen, pain, pleasure, storm, and sun. Commitment is zazen and zazen is certainly a commitment. Do whatever is best for you.

    I apologize if that was ranty, it is the witching hour for ranty posts 8)

    Gassho
    Taylor

  16. #16

    Re: commitment

    I don't sit with acid reflux, I take alka-selzer. There are also many stronger medicines available.
    /Rich

  17. #17

    Re: commitment

    Quote Originally Posted by Rich
    I don't sit with acid reflux, I take alka-selzer. There are also many stronger medicines available.
    /Rich
    Sat shifting last night,
    Burning gone deep down inside,
    TUMS, chalky goodness.

    Think they'll pick me up for advertising? 8)

    Gassho
    Taylor

  18. #18

    Re: commitment

    what is that saying "you can't beat a dead horse"? -- well, i guess you could, but its rather silly -- of course, being a good buddhist, i'm not inclined to beat an alive one either :lol:

    anyway, after sitting in the virtual zen hall a couple times this week, i realized that i had been there/done that before, way back in '08, and caught myself in the act of denial -- again wanting things to be as they aren't, for the hall to be filled with fellow meditators -- so its best if i just stop doing that, and do my mini-retreat without the webcam -- a formal retreat will follow with the goenka people(only cause they're free, can keep quiet, and have no teachers)

    ron, as one who only came to sit in the zen hall, i wish you well, as it is your companionship which i have shared in the hall most often -- i continue to feel the hall is potentially the most valuable part of treeleaf, for some -- it is the part which sets it apart from being just a zen blog/forum/t.v. show

    for those who would respond, again, that "we are all sitting together "now"", with no need for a webcam -- spare me -- my first acid trip in the '60s made it ever so clear how illusory this time and space is -- however, being everything, everywhere, at once, does create problems in doing the dishes, etc. -- in the same vein, a visual reference point is ever so helpful in establishing our "togetherness

    be well, roky

  19. #19

    Re: commitment

    Why is the rakusu required to sit?

  20. #20
    Senior Member rculver's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Cincinnati Ohio Area (Northern Kentucky)
    Posts
    1,627

    Re: commitment

    Quote Originally Posted by cyril
    Why is the rakusu required to sit?
    It's not. I'm assuming you are referring to Shohei's reply to me? I don't think he was being literal but maybe he'll explain what he meant.

    Ron

  21. #21
    Senior Member rculver's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Cincinnati Ohio Area (Northern Kentucky)
    Posts
    1,627

    Re: commitment

    Quote Originally Posted by roky
    what is that saying "you can't beat a dead horse"? -- well, i guess you could, but its rather silly -- of course, being a good buddhist, i'm not inclined to beat an alive one either :lol:

    anyway, after sitting in the virtual zen hall a couple times this week, i realized that i had been there/done that before, way back in '08, and caught myself in the act of denial -- again wanting things to be as they aren't, for the hall to be filled with fellow meditators -- so its best if i just stop doing that, and do my mini-retreat without the webcam -- a formal retreat will follow with the goenka people(only cause they're free, can keep quiet, and have no teachers)

    ron, as one who only came to sit in the zen hall, i wish you well, as it is your companionship which i have shared in the hall most often -- i continue to feel the hall is potentially the most valuable part of treeleaf, for some -- it is the part which sets it apart from being just a zen blog/forum/t.v. show

    for those who would respond, again, that "we are all sitting together "now"", with no need for a webcam -- spare me -- my first acid trip in the '60s made it ever so clear how illusory this time and space is -- however, being everything, everywhere, at once, does create problems in doing the dishes, etc. -- in the same vein, a visual reference point is ever so helpful in establishing our "togetherness

    be well, roky
    Keep checking in. And if you feel like sitting together, let me know. I had pretty much given up on the zenhall myself, but I guess I'm stubborn so I started sitting in there again this last week. I always get a little kick when someone joins me but, if not that is fine also.

    You be well also,

    Ron

  22. #22
    disastermouse
    Guest

    Re: commitment

    There were times at ZCLA when I'd have wished for an empty zendo all to myself.

    Chet

  23. #23
    Treeleaf Unsui Shohei's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    New Brunswick, Canada
    Posts
    2,939

    Re: commitment

    Hiya cyril,
    what I meant is what I wrote

    Really Shugen is free to choose, of course, I was pointing towards looking at the fact he was a bit reluctant to sit with it on and since he mentioned it in the context of commitment, perhaps it was significant.

    Of course no one must wear a robe to sit... Hell, you do not have to sit to Sit.( LOL of course you must sit and wear your robe if ya got one :P)

    The robe is the buddhas teachings,taking Jukai, sewing the robe(in this case the rakusu) is part of the process along with precept study. Once you have received the precepts and the robe you have made the commitment to try to keep the precepts and as symbol of thus comitment, you wear it when you sit. If you are reluctant to do so then you should look at why or maybe who is reluctant to do so.

    Or do not. Throw it aside. The robe is beyond that heap of thread, it's already on you. Just that some times we need a reminder. That reminder is the robe, in soto zen the robe is important ( just take a peak in the shobogenzo!).

    Well any who that's the long and the long of it. Ron's commitment is not a question in my mind!
    Quote Originally Posted by roky
    for those who would respond, again, that "we are all sitting together "now"", with no need for a webcam -- spare me -- my first acid trip in the '60s made it ever so clear how illusory this time and space is -- however, being everything, everywhere, at once, does create problems in doing the dishes, etc. -- in the same vein, a visual reference point is ever so helpful in establishing our "togetherness

    be well, roky
    Hi again roky!
    Since I am one who would respond with the above - I did so last time you brought up the zen hall, I figure I should say here that You're right it is important to sit with others in pixel, or flesh! I humbly apologize for giving the impression that you should have to accept anything else. That dont fly for you - no worries. I also include the ones I can't see/ hear etc as some times that's all that is left of em and i find it helpful. I was voicing my own opinion on a matter that didn't need it, again please accept my apology.

    Gassho
    Shohei

  24. #24

    Re: commitment

    I came to wonder " what is a commitment on this level?" May not post daily, I may not read daily, I lurk quite alot, yes....and I'm here even if I dont have anything to say.

    I sit daily to sit, not because I feel like I have to. I follow a philosophy not because I need to, but chose to...and for the Sangha I'd bend over backwards to help when it's asked or needed. If Jundo e-mailed me " Hey Mue, Could you design ________ for _____________ by next week? "
    I'd do it in a heartbeat. do those count as being committed?

    I even shave my head... but that's for other reasons that genetics decided to give me :wink:

    It's a situation I think that is more to ones interpretations. In my book. I don't find a post count to be indicative of ones true nature, or intentions and commitments.

  25. #25
    Senior Member rculver's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Cincinnati Ohio Area (Northern Kentucky)
    Posts
    1,627

    Re: commitment

    I knew he could explain it a lot better than I could.

    Ron

  26. #26

    Re: commitment

    Hi Cyril,

    Not much to add to Shohei excellent answer.
    One does not wear the robe for onself or others, the robe that the rakusu stands for represents the totality of this boundless world and the very body of Buddha, your true body.
    It is the very flesh andd bones and marrow of shikantaza.
    You see, our school was called the school of the robe by Sawaki Kodo. What we generally do is that we shave our heads, wear the robe and sit. These three things kind of go together.


    gassho


    Taigu

  27. #27

    Re: commitment

    Thank you for your answers

    aikoku, I too am genetically pre-disposed to the zen hairdo. hahahaha

    This may have already been posted, or should be a topic unto itself, but when does one take the precepts? I've heard of lay precepts, but do laypeople also take them formally like monks/nuns?

  28. #28

    Re: commitment

    Quote Originally Posted by cyril
    This may have already been posted, or should be a topic unto itself, but when does one take the precepts? I've heard of lay precepts, but do laypeople also take them formally like monks/nuns?
    Hi Cyril,

    As most Zen Buddhist Sangha in the West (as well as in Japan and China), we have an "Undertaking the Precepts" ceremony each year for members who feel that is right for them. They are usually termed the "lay Precepts", and we reflect on each one over many weeks ... and sew a Rakusu ... in preparation for that. The Ceremony itself merely celebrates that and a life living as one can to avoid harm.

    Please read more here ... We will begin preparations again in the Fall.

    viewtopic.php?p=25641#p25641

    There is never a "too early" or "too late" for the Precepts ... and we should undertake them in each moment through our words thoughts and deeds.

    Gassho, Jundo

  29. #29

    Re: commitment

    There's just not enough info on that link you provided... just kidding :mrgreen:

    Seriously, this is great. Just like the beginning zazen talks that I've been going through; they answer my questions. Of course I keep getting more and more questions. lol

    It's like this thing in me.. I don't know how to explain it, but I think I get something and then poof a new question So thank you all for bearing with my newbie ways.

  30. #30
    Senior Member rculver's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Cincinnati Ohio Area (Northern Kentucky)
    Posts
    1,627

    Re: commitment

    Takkesage (Verse of the Kesa)

    Robe of liberation boundless

    Field beyond both form and formless

    Wearing the Tathagatha's teachings

    Vowing to free all sentient beings
    Ron
    (Who has started wearing his rakusu again when he sits)

    Thank You Shohei.

    (I hope I'm not misquoting)

  31. #31

    Re: commitment

    Just read a section from Being Upright: Zen Meditation and the Bodhisattva Precepts by Reb Anderson (Prep for Jukai, perhaps? ) that spoke about commitment. Rather long passage but it went something along the lines of this. When we set up a rigid schedule, something like what is done in monasteries, where we are responsible not only to ourselves but to our fellow sangha members and must go so far as to ask permission to miss a sitting, we learn something about ourselves. We see what gets in our way of practice; the doubts, the frustration, the greed we have for our "precious time". And then once it is out in the open, we can work with it.

    Sometimes I feel it is even harder here at Treeleaf because no one will REALLY know if you miss a sitting, aren't wearing your robe, or not chanting. It may open the way for sneaking about, excusing this, excusing that, as to why we don't and won't sit. We must be our own disciplinarians, one of the hardest things to do! But if we can do it, if we can commit to a sitting time and truly and wholeheartedly observe it, we come out farther ahead because we need no encouragement from a group who will notice if we are not there. Zazen becomes our ever watchful disciplinarian.

    When the alarm rings, awake without a second thought. When the bell rings, don the robe and sit. No matter if it is an hour early, on time, or an hour late. When the bell rings, sit.

    Gassho
    Taylor

  32. #32

    Re: commitment

    Quote Originally Posted by rculver
    Takkesage (Verse of the Kesa)

    Robe of liberation boundless

    Field beyond both form and formless

    Wearing the Tathagatha's teachings

    Vowing to free all sentient beings
    Hi Ron!
    Those verses are really beautiful, the first time I heard them in a Sesshin I almost cried. And still today in Japanese, English, French or whatever... these verses still go deep in my heart!
    I'm also happy for you that you sit again with your rakusu, the kesa and zazen are the two sides of a beautiful thing... To keep sitting and wearing the rakusu daily can be seen as a kind of duty sometimes... but they are such an amazing gift for our life!
    Sorry I'm totally out of the subject :?

    gassho to everyone,
    Jinyu

  33. #33

    Re: commitment

    Quote Originally Posted by Taylor
    Sometimes I feel it is even harder here at Treeleaf because no one will REALLY know if you miss a sitting, aren't wearing your robe, or not chanting. It may open the way for sneaking about, excusing this, excusing that, as to why we don't and won't sit. We must be our own disciplinarians, one of the hardest things to do!
    What does self-discipline mean from a Zen perspective? A lot of my past self-discipline has been goal oriented - I will not miss a workout because I want to win such and such race, I will work overtime to get the next promotion, etc. This seems very far from the Buddhist way. Why do we sit in the first place? It should not be to attain anything, because that is not the way. But the transition to the Buddhist mindset does not happen overnight, and deep inside I still believe I sit because I desire the effect it has on me. Not sure how to get out of this dillema - I just sit every day with confidence that it is the right thing to do. I am a newbie, though, and only speak from a few months experience.

    Craig

  34. #34

    Re: commitment

    Quote Originally Posted by Taylor
    Sometimes I feel it is even harder here at Treeleaf because no one will REALLY know if you miss a sitting, aren't wearing your robe, or not chanting. It may open the way for sneaking about, excusing this, excusing that, as to why we don't and won't sit. We must be our own disciplinarians, one of the hardest things to do! But if we can do it, if we can commit to a sitting time and truly and wholeheartedly observe it, we come out farther ahead because we need no encouragement from a group who will notice if we are not there. Zazen becomes our ever watchful disciplinarian.

    When the alarm rings, awake without a second thought. When the bell rings, don the robe and sit. No matter if it is an hour early, on time, or an hour late. When the bell rings, sit.
    Thank you, Taylor, for so nicely saying this. So much of this practice is wrestling with "me, myself and I" ... and if one can do so even when nobody is looking, all the better!

    Quote Originally Posted by CraigfromAz
    What does self-discipline mean from a Zen perspective? A lot of my past self-discipline has been goal oriented - I will not miss a workout because I want to win such and such race, I will work overtime to get the next promotion, etc. This seems very far from the Buddhist way. Why do we sit in the first place? It should not be to attain anything, because that is not the way. But the transition to the Buddhist mindset does not happen overnight, and deep inside I still believe I sit because I desire the effect it has on me. Not sure how to get out of this dillema - I just sit every day with confidence that it is the right thing to do. I am a newbie, though, and only speak from a few months experience.
    This is right too ... We sit very very diligently and with sincerity, yet with no thought of gain! Practice is enlightenment itself, with no place to get to ... thus we practice ever going forward ...

    Here is something I usually say on this ...

    Shikantaza is "radical non-doing", radical goallessness, to-the-marrow non-attaining. However, it is vital to know that "radical non-doing" is worlds away from merely "sitting doing nothing, attaining nothing". I post the following description from time to time:

    So, we have to work very diligently to sit every day, and strive with great effort, all to realize that there is nothing to attain ... It is the way of effortless effort. We must aim carefully for the goalless goal!

    Being the "Buddha" all along, and having not a thing about you that is in need of change ... that does not mean you don't have some work to do to realize truly that you are the Buddha without need of change. To realize that you are never, from the outset, in need of change is a VERY BIG CHANGE! There is absolutely nothing about you and the universe (not two) to add or take away, and tasting that there is "nothing to add" is an important addition!

    And how do you realize that non-realization?

    By Just Sitting to-the-marrow, radically dropping all goals, judgments, attempts to get somewhere or to achieve some realization. That gets you 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? :shock:

    Oh, and by the way ... even as there is not a thing about us to change ... still we have much greed, anger and ignorance, various harmful habits and ways, to change about us.
    Gassho, J

  35. #35

    Re: commitment

    More on this same non-topic ...

    I was asked how Shikantaza Zazen is different from most other ways of meditation ... other styles of Zazen too ...

    If one is sitting Zazen with the intent -- in any way -- to discover some Truth, experience something special, change one's current life, attain some exotic state of mind or special wisdom, be happier or more peaceful, pierce some mystery or conundrum, solve some problem in life, understand "life and death" or the "meaning of time", taste "oneness", or accomplish some goal or purpose --in any manner, even but one of the foregoing -- ... then that is not true "Shikantaza" by definition.

    I think that one or more of the foregoing applies to most every style of meditation in some way. I think most styles of meditation pay lip service to dropping such goals and hopes ... but I think that most folks actually continue to hold such accomplishments as the "pay off" of Zazen in some manner.

    In the sitting of "Shikantaza"... one radically drops (and is dropped from) all thought of discovery, 'special' or not 'special', attainment, wish for change, opposites of happy/sad peaceful/disturbed, all desire to pierce a mystery, worry of "problems" to resolve, concepts of "life" and "death" or "time", idea of "oneness" ... all purpose to accomplish some goal. All of that is dropped clean through ... even the thought of "someone to achieve" some goal too. All fully discarded, not needed in any way.

    Of course, there's a lovely twist ... :wink:

    For in true "Shikantaza" ... living without need to discover some Truth -is precisely- Truth discovered. The foresaking of all desire for "something special" or to change one's life in some way -is- profoundly special, working a radical change in life. Giving up all hopes of attaining exotic states of mind or special wisdom ... manifests clear & illuminating states of mind ever flowing with life's changing kaleidoscope ... and thus a panoply of the Buddha's Wisdom in many shapes and colors.

    By foresaking all need for peace and happiness in one's day-to-day ... one finds the Happiness of one's day to day just-as-it-is, at home where one stands ... standing everyplace and no place in particular (a "Happiness" that does not even require one to feel "happy" all the time! ) ... and a Peace that washes away and holds all reactions to peace or disturbance (thus forsaking even the demand on life that it cause us to feel "peaceful" Now THAT's Peaceful!).

    Great mysteries are resolved when dropped from mind (like asking about "how many angels on the head of a pin"), "problems" are not "problems" when we simply stop thinking of each as "problems" (even when the "problems" still remain! ... That's very important: Zen practice won't cure your cancer, return lost loved ones or even fix a flat tire ... but may change how we refuse each). "Life" and "death" are not "life" and "death" when the human mind stops cutting "life" from "death" (same for "past" and "future", thus deconstructing "time").

    Many people run around (and around internet forums! ) claiming "enlightenment" because they have tasted, or can access, some feeling of "oneness". The seeker may have even seen for a time visions of "oneness beyond oneness beyond time or place" without even a separate see'r to do the seeing. They may know that that this world of "samsara" is like a dream. Such folks then proclaim themselves "enlightened" though they are "playing in the entranceway, still short of the vital path of emancipation.” Such persons mistake "oneness" or "oneness beyond beyond" for truly being "at one" with this life of chaos, division, both beauty and ugliness, peace and war. The error is that they want this world of samsara to feel like enlightenment (or want to constantly see the multiplicity through the eyes of "oneness" or "oneness beyond oneness"), but do not know the non-enlightenment of just allowing samsara to be samsara.

    For by allowing samsara to be samsara, all conflicts are resolved, all thoughts and divisions of "how things must be" vanish. Instantly, samsara is not merely samsara ... for the chaos, divisions, weighing of beauty and ugliness vanish too. What presents is a Peace which is at "one piece" whether there is peace and war (not an excuse not to settle the war, by the way 8) ). The infinite complexity of life is -one- with the infinite complexity of life. Greed anger and ignorance dissipate as all tension, division, and need for reward drop away. Merely by letting the world be the world, a better world results.

    In that way, the "self" is put out of a job, loses its functions, is rendered mute. For the normal work of the "self" is desiring, complaining, contrasting & dividing, wishing, regretting, remembering, anticipating, fearing etc. etc. ... Simply remove from mind-body all thoughts of desire (via faith in completeness), complaint at "how things are", contrasts and divisions, wishes, regrets, thoughts of past and future, fear ... and the "self" loses its fire and goes out. POOF!

    Then, rising from where we are endlessly sitting, we can return to a world of desires, incompleteness, contrast and divisions, wishes, regrets, past and future, sometime fears. Yet, something is different about difference ... we taste the completeness of incompleteness, divisions undivided, wishes without fundamental care of attainment or not attainment ... resisted pain that is not "suffering" because we human beings embrace and allow human resistance to the painful state.

    One is not "one" with the universe or "enlightened" ... but "at one" with this crazy universe, just-as-it-is. Up down up down ... YIPPEE! :dance: The roller coaster is just us! Then, even thought of "the ride" and "someone riding" is just a convenience.

    True "Shikantaza" ... .

    Gassho, J

  36. #36

    Re: commitment

    And even more ...

    Zazen is rather like a diet in which we drop all thought of loss (or gain), and see that we are always 'perfect' just at whatever weight we are. If we 'cheat' and eat a big piece of chocolate cake ... that is just what is. If we are 'good' and eat lots of carrots and celery ... that is just what is. We drop all thought of a target, any need to be or look some way other than we do. Be at one with all, just as it is ... even one's rotundness. We are always a perfect Buddha ... whether we look like this ...



    ... or like this ...



    However, we should yet strive, as we can with sincerity ... to avoid the chocolate cake and to eat more carrots with each and every meal. Eating too much chocolate cake, under the excuse that "it is all the same" or "there is no goal, nothing in need of change", is not truly dieting. (On the other hand, expecting to only eat carrots ... and never taste chocolate cake again ... may not be realistic. Our diet is the 'Middle Way' diet to a smaller middle. Our way is one of sensible "balance" in a balanced diet. It is not spiritual anorexia either!).

    What is more, this practice of dropping likes and dislikes, dropping desires ... will likely reduce one's craving for chocolate cake, and allow one to choose and be satisfied with carrots and celery more and more. One develops greater control over one's cravings through non-resistance. One drops the "need" for the cake, and learns to drop away too the stress that makes many of us head to the refrigerator. In dropping desires, one will end up dropping a few pounds.

    All that from dropping all thought of loss or gain, something to achieve or find. In doing so, one will likely achieve losing a few pounds and find a healthier way to live.

    So, in Zazen we find peace, meaning, balance, improved concentration, mindfulness, letting go of bad habits, one-with-the-universe-ness, things like that ... all by dropping all thought or need to attain peace, meaning, balance, improved concentration, mindfulness, letting go of bad habits, one-with-the-universe-ness, things like that! :shock: Truly attaining "non-attaining", and realizing to the marrow "no need for change" ... works a revolutionary change.

    However, 5 minutes of Zazen is really not enough to attain the non-attaining of a settled and balanced body-mind, any more than dieting only 1 day a week is sufficient to lose weight. We should shoot to diet 7 days a week, realizing that we may realistically cheat once or twice a week. The rules for "Insta-Zazen" state ...

    That does NOT mean, however,that we can give up “Zazen” on our sitting cushion, cross-legged or the like and facing the wall or floor. Please don’t misunderstand!

    “All of life” is Zazen — but only – seated Zazen is Zazen, too, and is indispensable. (Please remember that Zen teachers often speak out of both sides of their no-sided mouths). In other words, every moment of the day can be a chance to practice Zazen in its all encompassing meaning, but one must still sit Zazen the old fashioned way as well ...

    So, please try Jundo’s Patented Insta-Zazen © sittings throughout your day. In fact, for a limited time only, three (3) Insta-Zazens © can substitute for one (1) traditional sitting. (That is, if you’re sitting a minimum of (one) 1 or more traditional sittings each day. That’s still indispensable!)
    http://www.shambhalasun.com/sunspace/?p=14965

    A lot of people say "I can't diet" or "I have big bones" or "I don't have time". Find the time.

    So, having sat with this today ... I will officially say that 5 minutes of Zazen is not sufficient (Taigu, I would appreciate your weighing in on this ... pun intended). Although 5 minutes of Zazen is 5 minutes of Buddha ... and although all time and space is folded into a single tick of the clock ... ONE MUST SIT A MINIMUM OF 15 minutes per day (really 20 is better, 30 to 40 minutes even better) ONCE PER DAY (really twice is better), WITH INSTA-ZAZENS ON TOP OF THAT shooting for EACH AND EVERY DAY (realistically knowing that ... well ... ) ... and get on a bus and find a weekend retreat or Sesshin now and then ... sit with our online retreat if that is not possible ....

    http://www.treeleaf.org/sit-a-long/arch ... 09---.html

    No excuses ... find the time. Amida Buddha will not do the dieting for you, and don't wait to drop those pounds in the Pure Land (I understand you can eat all the chocolate cake you want there without gaining an ounce, and the rivers run with no-calorie milk shakes ... but that's in the next life).

    That is all.

    Gassho, Jundo

  37. #37

    Re: commitment

    Quote Originally Posted by CraigfromAz
    What does self-discipline mean from a Zen perspective?
    Craig
    I think it means just trying to be present with what is happening right now. So if you are riding your bike, it's just paying attention to riding. Coming back to just this right now over and over requires self discipline or will power. Some call it 'will to the truth'

    Quote Originally Posted by CraigfromAz
    Why do we sit in the first place? It should not be to attain anything, because that is not the way. But the transition to the Buddhist mindset does not happen overnight, and deep inside I still believe I sit because I desire the effect it has on me. Not sure how to get out of this dillema - I just sit every day with confidence that it is the right thing to do. I am a newbie, though, and only speak from a few months experience.
    Craig
    Sitting is kind of a naturally balanced state where you can practice just sitting. Instead of getting lost in your thinking, dreaming and feelings you just keep coming back to what is happening which is well 'just sitting'. Since the just being or in this case 'just sitting' is nothing special there is nothing to attain and there is no effect - its the desire or grasping that causes a problem or as you called it dillema.

    But I don't really know anything. These are just words I made up and you have to come up with your own answers.
    /Rich

  38. #38

    Re: commitment

    Quote Originally Posted by Rich
    I think it means just trying to be present with what is happening right now. So if you are riding your bike, it's just paying attention to riding. Coming back to just this right now over and over requires self discipline or will power. Some call it 'will to the truth'
    More than merely 'paying attention' to what is happening right now, or paying attention to what one is doing right in this moment ... perhaps it is better to say that we drop all barriers, judgments and resistance** to what is happening and doing/done in this moment. That is something more vital than just 'paying attention'.

    The difference, perhaps, is just in the words. However, some folks mistakenly think that this practice is just about focusing in on one's actions one at a time.

    Gassho, J

    PS ** Dropping judgments and resistance even as, hand in hand, we may have judgments and resistance ... resistance without resistance.

  39. #39

    Re: commitment

    Hi all,

    Indeed, as Jundo states clearly, our practice is sitting everyday at least 20 minutes. No other option really. Topping it with insta-zazens and one or two retreats a year. This is our way. And there is no other way. That the way we cook our life.

    gassho

    Taigu

  40. #40

    Re: commitment

    Quote Originally Posted by CraigfromAz

    What does self-discipline mean from a Zen perspective? A lot of my past self-discipline has been goal oriented - I will not miss a workout because I want to win such and such race, I will work overtime to get the next promotion, etc. This seems very far from the Buddhist way. Why do we sit in the first place? It should not be to attain anything, because that is not the way. But the transition to the Buddhist mindset does not happen overnight, and deep inside I still believe I sit because I desire the effect it has on me. Not sure how to get out of this dillema - I just sit every day with confidence that it is the right thing to do. I am a newbie, though, and only speak from a few months experience.

    Craig
    You and I both, Craig! Haha, newbies we shall forever be I suppose that is all why we come to Buddhism, Zen or not. We want something, some peace, some THING that validates all the sitting we do. At first we must be selfish to be selfless. We, at first, sit for ourselves, wanting something for us so we can have some peace. Then when we see that there is peace literally in every step, every moment, we wish peace for others. Then "I" and "you" suddenly become less concrete. Then we sit to sit. A process and no process. I speak with words taken from others' mouths however. I have yet to experience non-experience :roll: Best Wishes to you.

    Gassho
    Taylor

  41. #41

    Re: commitment

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo
    Quote Originally Posted by Rich
    I think it means just trying to be present with what is happening right now. So if you are riding your bike, it's just paying attention to riding. Coming back to just this right now over and over requires self discipline or will power. Some call it 'will to the truth'
    More than merely 'paying attention' to what is happening right now, or paying attention to what one is doing right in this moment ... perhaps it is better to say that we drop all barriers, judgments and resistance** to what is happening and doing/done in this moment. That is something more vital than just 'paying attention'.

    The difference, perhaps, is just in the words. However, some folks mistakenly think that this practice is just about focusing in on one's actions one at a time.

    Gassho, J

    PS ** Dropping judgments and resistance even as, hand in hand, we may have judgments and resistance ... resistance without resistance.
    Jundo, thanks for clarifying that. It is best that we just 'put it all down' or as you say 'drop all barriers, judgments and resistance**' I'm still a work in progress and my expressions are somewhat limited
    /Rich

  42. #42

    Re: commitment

    Quote Originally Posted by Rich
    I'm still a work in progress and my expressions are somewhat limited
    /Rich
    You me and the Buddha too.

  43. #43

    Re: commitment

    As Aitken Roshi relates from his teacher Yammada Roshi, 5% sincerity is enough to begin with, if you were 100% sincere from the outset you'd be enlightened.

    Now of course that isn't to say that there is a beginning, middle, or end to this practice, but it is to say that where you are is where you are right now. With that in mind, we should strive to be more sincere with our practice everyday (myself sooooo included) with the understanding that even when we are 100% sincere, we aren't 100% complete. There were posts about being in the moment and, when riding your bike pay attention to riding your bike, etc. The way I have interpreted this concept is to "be" so completely that you drop all else. So when riding your bike, "be" riding your bike, while consciously directing it, looking out for cars, enjoying the scenery, and waiving hi to your neighbors, so completely that you drop all wants, attachments, and delusions.

    So, if not 100% committed, you are committed to 100% of your current level of committment. Just continue to practice as you are able, while practicing to practice at a higher level of committment every day. The thing about the Buddha Dharma is that the more you live it, and work to realize it (in that ever Zen non-attaining way), the more you will find your "self" being committed to the path, and the practice sort of happens by it's self.

Similar Threads

  1. Ango Commitment Thread
    By Mari in forum TREELEAF COMMUNITY: Topics about Zazen, Zen, Buddhism & MORE ZAZEN!
    Replies: 73
    Last Post: 09-12-2011, 04:08 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
  •