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Thread: Practice in Daily Life

  1. #1

    Practice in Daily Life

    Taigu responded to a post I made in the "Is Zazen the highlight of your day?" thread, that leads me to a question, or rather a request for tips on how to deepen my practice. Taigu said,

    Trying is extra. Trying is misleading, I am afraid. Allow your practice to flow into your life and let your life turn into practice, allow the moment where you cannot separate one from the other. That's practice. Otherwise you are pretty caught up in the trying and trying again.
    I feel that the path I am on is helping me to a greater understanding of the Dharma everyday, but I do not feel that this is enough. There are still times when I won't let another car in front of me at an intersection because I'm in a rush and I'll think afterwards, " Well that wasn't very compassionate of me." or my son will be sitting behind me on the couch and regardless of how many times I have told him to cover his mouth when he sneezes, will sneeze directly overtop of me and cover me in snot (true story) and I will loose my temper and later think, "That was not in keeping with the Precept on Anger." Sometimes a person will cut me off in traffic and I will curse them and stew about it for the rest of the day, knowing full well that they might have been in an emergency (they might have cut me off to take their son to the hospital for all I know), and if they didn't have an emergency and just cut me off because they felt like it, I know that that karma and the karma of their other actions is theirs to bear. Later, sometimes much later, I'll think about that and feel bad for how I reacted in the moment, what if they really did have an emergency? How could I not be understanding? What if they cut me off because they were just trapped by their delusions and desires? How unfortunate for them, how I wish I could help them get free from that. But that's only later. In that moment, and sometimes for a while afterwards, I react as though I did before coming to the Way.

    So, my question is..... How do you guys and gals keep the faith in your every day lives? What helps you to speak and act from a place of buddha-nature, when things pop up through out the day? How do you live your practice? And do you have set backs? Or rather, is it as difficult for any of you as it seems to sometimes be for me?

  2. #2

    Re: Practice in Daily Life

    Hello Johnson,
    Thank you for your post. I too think a lot about how to keep my practice present through out the day.

    I've found that for me, it is important to try to create a lot of space, in time and in mind. I try to make sure I won't be a in a hurry or have too many things going. I'm much less likely to loose my grounding in practice if I have plenty of time to deal with whatever comes up, whether it is to be able to listen carefully to what someone has to say or to handle an emergency or mistake.

    Something else I do is to make sure I practice in the morning so that I can carry that with me through out the day. Listening to a dharma talk, for example from San Francisco Zen Center, can also help remind me of my practice and the precepts. Often when I wait for elevators or wait in line for things I am reminded of practice and try to return to my breath for a bit.

    That said, I still struggle and can identify quite a bit with Taigus comment.

    Gassho,
    em

  3. #3
    disastermouse
    Guest

    Re: Practice in Daily Life

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnsonCM
    So, my question is..... How do you guys and gals keep the faith in your every day lives? What helps you to speak and act from a place of buddha-nature, when things pop up through out the day? How do you live your practice? And do you have set backs? Or rather, is it as difficult for any of you as it seems to sometimes be for me?
    The essential problem is wholeheartedly believing 'this should not have happened'. Delusion is the root of anger, but when anger is there, anger is there.

    It's further delusion to look at anger and say, "You - anger - you shouldn't be there'. Also delusion to say, 'Anger is here, I must express it'. Also delusion to say, 'Anger, I expressed it and should not have.'

    The cup, once broken may be fixable, but instead we further smash it to bits. Nonetheless, it's never unrecoverable - just stop smashing.

    Chet

  4. #4

    Re: Practice in Daily Life

    Hey Johnson.

    You're right. It is hard. I don't know how to do it. I try and fail everyday.
    Every...single...day. But I try to keep in mind what Jundo said about
    mindfulness, that no one can do it 24/7. We're not supposed to. That
    would be a narrow and unnatural way to live. The fact is, sometimes I
    am selfish, sometimes I am selfless. Both are aspects of who I am.
    But the more I sit, like you said, the more aware I become of these
    episodes. Somedays I get caught up in thinking all this "buddhismstuff"
    is supposed to be making me better at the game of life. Then I look
    at my life and think, "What's the use? I suck!" Then I remember that
    the point of zazen is to "suck" with all my might. Otherwise, I am
    just picking and choosing what I want my life to be. My life knows
    what it is. A tree doesn't choose the weather of the day. It just stays
    rooted and grows. It knows when to blossoms, it knows when to bend.
    Yesterday, after just finishing cutting grass in 98 degree Alabama
    humidity and heat, I came inside stinking and sweating and headed
    straight for the shower. Well guess what? The water was cut off.
    They are building an overpass close to my appartment and had
    turned off the water. It stayed off for hours. Buddha doesn't cuss,
    but I did. Then when the water finally came back on (brown) it
    blew the aerator out of the bathroom faucet. Then, when I finally
    made it into the shower, the cold water stem broke and I couldn't
    turn the cold water off. Man. What an episode. I was far, far
    from being a buddha then. I was more like a Tasmanian Devil.
    But that's me. Right now. Sometimes it seems like life is just
    having fun at our expense. Then I thought about Jen's father,
    and my Dad's cancer, and my brother's loneliness, and the oil
    spill in the gulf, and on and on and on. And the shower thing
    didn't seem like such a big deal. But in the heat of the moment
    I always seem to fail. I lose my temper. I say things I shouldn't.
    I look when I should look away. It shows me how far I have to go.
    Which really is no farther than right here, right now.

    bows

  5. #5

    Re: Practice in Daily Life

    I don't try to stop the anger of manage my reactions. I do attempt to be aware of the anger as it grows. I find if I am aware of things as they happen, and don't feed them, the anger goes away. Not always, but usually.

  6. #6
    Senior Member KellyRok's Avatar
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    Selinsgrove, PA
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    Re: Practice in Daily Life

    Hello all,

    Christopher - I think perhaps you are being too hard on yourself. I think we all have setbacks from time to time...very recently for me if you've read the "crumbling" post. ops: I guess the best we can do is to try to learn from these setbacks and focus on being more mindful the next time. I do have bad days, when anger is the first emotion that arises toward pretty much everything...kids misbehaving, things not going the way I would like them too, etc. When I have these days, I can usually tell that I'm not myself and I avoid speaking or reacting immediately, that way I try to let that original anger settle and transform. Sometimes it helps to just sit even for ten minutes to let the anger fade. This is all part of our practice.

    How do I keep the practice in my life? Well...I find that if I keep up with the book club readings, the sit-a-longs, and recite my metta verses along with sitting zazen on a daily basis...it really keeps me grounded in my practice. These little things stay with you throughout the day. Find something that works for you - one of the chants, reviewing the precepts, or simply reading from a text in our lineage.

    I try to live the practice by being the best example for my kids that I can be. Granted it doesn't always work out in the best way possible, but my kids are pretty good at pointing out my flaws which is a teaching in and of itself. So when you mess up, apologize or do whatever you can to make amends. It's okay to screw up, we all do. Then forgive yourself and try to do/be better.

    These are just some things I use...hopefully they help in some manner.

    take care,

    Kelly-Jinmei

  7. #7
    disastermouse
    Guest

    Re: Practice in Daily Life

    Quote Originally Posted by ghop
    Hey Johnson.

    You're right. It is hard. I don't know how to do it. I try and fail everyday.
    Every...single...day. But I try to keep in mind what Jundo said about
    mindfulness, that no one can do it 24/7. We're not supposed to. That
    would be a narrow and unnatural way to live. The fact is, sometimes I
    am selfish, sometimes I am selfless. Both are aspects of who I am.
    But the more I sit, like you said, the more aware I become of these
    episodes. Somedays I get caught up in thinking all this "buddhismstuff"
    is supposed to be making me better at the game of life. Then I look
    at my life and think, "What's the use? I suck!" Then I remember that
    the point of zazen is to "suck" with all my might. Otherwise, I am
    just picking and choosing what I want my life to be. My life knows
    what it is. A tree doesn't choose the weather of the day. It just stays
    rooted and grows. It knows when to blossoms, it knows when to bend.
    Yesterday, after just finishing cutting grass in 98 degree Alabama
    humidity and heat, I came inside stinking and sweating and headed
    straight for the shower. Well guess what? The water was cut off.
    They are building an overpass close to my appartment and had
    turned off the water. It stayed off for hours. Buddha doesn't cuss,
    but I did. Then when the water finally came back on (brown) it
    blew the aerator out of the bathroom faucet. Then, when I finally
    made it into the shower, the cold water stem broke and I couldn't
    turn the cold water off. Man. What an episode. I was far, far
    from being a buddha then. I was more like a Tasmanian Devil.
    But that's me. Right now. Sometimes it seems like life is just
    having fun at our expense. Then I thought about Jen's father,
    and my Dad's cancer, and my brother's loneliness, and the oil
    spill in the gulf, and on and on and on. And the shower thing
    didn't seem like such a big deal. But in the heat of the moment
    I always seem to fail. I lose my temper. I say things I shouldn't.
    I look when I should look away. It shows me how far I have to go.
    Which really is no farther than right here, right now.

    bows
    Look into Byron Katie's 'The Work'.

    Chet

  8. #8
    disastermouse
    Guest

    Re: Practice in Daily Life

    Quote Originally Posted by CraigfromAz
    I don't try to stop the anger of manage my reactions. I do attempt to be aware of the anger as it grows. I find if I am aware of things as they happen, and don't feed them, the anger goes away. Not always, but usually.
    Heh heh! I think this is why the Buddha praised restraint. Countering fire by fire doesn't work - if the fire is there, sometimes just not feeding it will help immensely.

    I wish I was better at doing this in my own life.

    Chet

  9. #9

    Re: Practice in Daily Life

    Quote Originally Posted by disastermouse
    Look into Byron Katie's 'The Work'.
    Thanks man. Will do.

    bows

  10. #10

    Re: Practice in Daily Life

    Quote Originally Posted by disastermouse
    Quote Originally Posted by JohnsonCM
    So, my question is..... How do you guys and gals keep the faith in your every day lives? What helps you to speak and act from a place of buddha-nature, when things pop up through out the day? How do you live your practice? And do you have set backs? Or rather, is it as difficult for any of you as it seems to sometimes be for me?
    The essential problem is wholeheartedly believing 'this should not have happened'. Delusion is the root of anger, but when anger is there, anger is there.

    It's further delusion to look at anger and say, "You - anger - you shouldn't be there'. Also delusion to say, 'Anger is here, I must express it'. Also delusion to say, 'Anger, I expressed it and should not have.'

    The cup, once broken may be fixable, but instead we further smash it to bits. Nonetheless, it's never unrecoverable - just stop smashing.

    Chet
    Many thanks for that. My sequence of thought goes something along the lines of: *insert negative emotion here* > Damnit, shouldn't have done that > Why can't I get rid of this > Damnit! Don't get rid of it > Why can't... etc... until I end up snapping out of it.

    Indeed there are small setbacks all the time. Sometimes I try to understand all of this, get some kind of angle so that Shikantaza is something I can hold onto and say "I've got it!". I've managed to do that with a fair number of things but I get rather discouraged because I'm still finding my footing. Often times I'll think I understand a concept, or an idea, only to find out I'm way in left field (like I probably am right now :? ). I find it hard not to try to be "Zen" or whatever you want to call it. The enlightenment in every moment hasn't really clicked yet. But! We see a thought come up, and we can always let it go (well, maybe not ALWAYS).

    Gasshos to avoid smashing the cup any further,
    Taylor

  11. #11

    Re: Practice in Daily Life

    Quote Originally Posted by Taylor
    Sometimes I try to understand all of this, get some kind of angle so that Shikantaza is something I can hold onto and say "I've got it!". I've managed to do that with a fair number of things but I get rather discouraged because I'm still finding my footing. Often times I'll think I understand a concept, or an idea, only to find out I'm way in left field (like I probably am right now ). I find it hard not to try to be "Zen" or whatever you want to call it.
    This helps me...

    "No eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, mind;
    No sight, sound, smell, taste, touch, nor object of mind;
    No realm of sight, no realm of consciousness;
    No ignorance, no end to ignorance;
    No old age and death,
    No cessation of old age and death;
    No suffering, nor cause or end to suffering;
    NO PATH, NO WISDOM, AND NO GAIN."

    Quote Originally Posted by Taylor
    I find it hard not to try to be "Zen" or whatever you want to call it.
    Just be yourself. Problem solved.

    gassho

  12. #12
    Treeleaf Unsui Kyrillos's Avatar
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    Re: Practice in Daily Life

    Hey Chris,

    The best way to keep it going is to get up after you fall down, get up after you fall down, get up after you fall down, get up after you fall down, get up after you fall down :? Don't expect the magic door to open at the bottom , or the top of the escalator you (and I and all of us) are on, to reveal the perfect place, with perfect understanding, etc., etc. Anyone who says they got to that place, ain't got there. We are all still slogging along. Some days are better, easier; some are harder. The important part of this practice is to not stop when we get a boo-boo, or kick the wall, or get snotted on. Know it has happened, learn something about ourselves by it happening and get up after you fall down.

    Gassho,

    Seishin Kyrill

  13. #13

    Re: Practice in Daily Life

    Quote Originally Posted by Kyrillos
    Know it has happened, learn something about ourselves by it happening and get up after you fall down.
    Could seem a bit "mushy" but this is so true. You are precious Seishin!
    Getting up without a spirit of revenge, of trying again... just getting up like you wash your face, or eat your breakfast... without any "zenny" spirit just with your very ordinary way!
    Easy to say... but not to do :roll: or is there something to do?

    Gassho,
    Luis/Jinyu

  14. #14

    Re: Practice in Daily Life

    I wish I had more to add to this thread. I don't. Ghop, Chet (d-mouse), you are both brilliant. I also love the bit about not feeding the anger, like a fire hopefully it extinguishes, and again like Chet said. This is something I always wish for in my own life. Sadly I am rarely able to achieve it.

    Usually I just find myself thinking post-incident about how I know I shouldn't have acted/reacted that way. Self-loathing usually ensues. My practice is seriously lacking lately, hence why I love this thread I think. Misery loves company...

    Bowing and all that...

    Rob

  15. #15
    Senior Member pinoybuddhist's Avatar
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    Re: Practice in Daily Life

    Thank you for the wise words. I know this already, but I need to remind myself of this.

    Quote Originally Posted by disastermouse
    Quote Originally Posted by JohnsonCM
    So, my question is..... How do you guys and gals keep the faith in your every day lives? What helps you to speak and act from a place of buddha-nature, when things pop up through out the day? How do you live your practice? And do you have set backs? Or rather, is it as difficult for any of you as it seems to sometimes be for me?
    The essential problem is wholeheartedly believing 'this should not have happened'. Delusion is the root of anger, but when anger is there, anger is there.

    It's further delusion to look at anger and say, "You - anger - you shouldn't be there'. Also delusion to say, 'Anger is here, I must express it'. Also delusion to say, 'Anger, I expressed it and should not have.'

    The cup, once broken may be fixable, but instead we further smash it to bits. Nonetheless, it's never unrecoverable - just stop smashing.

    Chet

  16. #16

    Re: Practice in Daily Life

    Try to stay on surfboard and practice surfing ... sometimes fall off surfboard, get back on learning from the experience. Fall again, repeat.

    It is all surfing, it is all enlightenment. See here:

    viewtopic.php?p=37288#p37288

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnsonCM
    There are still times when I won't let another car in front of me at an intersection because I'm in a rush and I'll think afterwards, " Well that wasn't very compassionate of me."

    So, my question is..... How do you live your practice? And do you have set backs?
    Realizing and regretting and fixing what can be fixed and learning from the experience, perhaps not to repeat it again ... this is "living your practice".

    It is all practice. There are no set backs whatsoever ... even the very real and painful set backs. Set backs and no set backs, real but not real, falling and no place to fall ... etc. etc.

    Learn to see things from simultaneous angles, folks! All true!


    Quote Originally Posted by disastermouse
    ... Delusion is the root of anger, but when anger is there, anger is there.

    It's further delusion to look at anger and say, "You - anger - you shouldn't be there'. Also delusion to say, 'Anger is here, I must express it'. Also delusion to say, 'Anger, I expressed it and should not have.'
    Yet, at the same time, without the least conflict, we may say "anger ... you shouldn't be there" "Anger, I expressed it and should not have."

    We fully drop all "shoulds". Yet, hand in hand, without the least resistance, we have many "shoulds". We should not yield to anger, say the Precepts. When we do, we should realize we did, regret, fix what can be fixed, learn and, perhaps, not repeat again.

    Dropping all regrets and demands on how things "should be" ... and having some regrets and expectations for how things "should be" ... are possible simultaneously without the least conflict. Try not to fall off surfboard ... totally wipe out and totally accept it ... repeat ... know that there is no place to fall to, even as we fall hard. All one wild ride!

    ... Countering fire by fire doesn't work - if the fire is there, sometimes just not feeding it will help immensely.
    Sometimes we fight fire by letting it burn itself out, sometimes by not putting fuel on, sometimes with a bucket of water. Whatever works. Anyway, the point is not to completely kill the campfire, but just to bring it down to what we need to cook dinner.

    Quote Originally Posted by ghop
    Somedays I get caught up in thinking all this "buddhismstuff" is supposed to be making me better at the game of life.
    There is nothing about this life that needs or can be made "better".

    That being said, there are many ugly things about it that we can and should try to make better. What is more, Zazen will help and things will get much better.

    Making better ... that which cannot and need not be "better"!


    Start thinking on multiple channels, folks, seemingly contradictory multiple channels that are only one harmonious whole!


    Quote Originally Posted by CraigfromAz
    I don't try to stop the anger of manage my reactions. I do attempt to be aware of the anger as it grows. I find if I am aware of things as they happen, and don't feed them, the anger goes away. Not always, but usually.
    For me too.

    Keep on surfing!

    Gassho, J

  17. #17

    Re: Practice in Daily Life

    Gassho to you all.

    I appreciate your candor and your thoughts on how to deepen the practice. I do want to make sure that you understand that I'm not just talking about angry feelings, but sometimes just thoughtlessness. Sometimes in line at the grocery store they will ask me to donate a dollar for something, and most times I say yes, but others I am thinking of something else, not being in the moment and I just say no. Later I think on that and realize that I could easily have been charitable, and did not have a reason to say no. But from everyones posts, what I believe I am seeing is that, this is life. We try to be there, but sometimes we just aren't. Realize what happened, and try again. From your posts it looks like I need to be ok with falling of the Buddha-Wagon, as long as I accept that I fell, dust off the old rakusu and get back on. Thanks to every one. But I'm going to substitute surfing for skateboarding, Jundo, no sharks on the side walk :shock: .

  18. #18
    Stephanie
    Guest

    Re: Practice in Daily Life

    Quote Originally Posted by ghop
    Yesterday, after just finishing cutting grass in 98 degree Alabama
    humidity and heat, I came inside stinking and sweating and headed
    straight for the shower. Well guess what? The water was cut off.
    They are building an overpass close to my appartment and had
    turned off the water. It stayed off for hours. Buddha doesn't cuss,
    but I did. Then when the water finally came back on (brown) it
    blew the aerator out of the bathroom faucet. Then, when I finally
    made it into the shower, the cold water stem broke and I couldn't
    turn the cold water off. Man. What an episode. I was far, far
    from being a buddha then. I was more like a Tasmanian Devil.
    Gosh, I LOL'ed :lol:

    Seriously, I think you perfectly expressed the Buddha nature of that moment by flipping out. It was the perfect occasion to flip out. I would just enjoy flipping out completely in such moments... and accept the consequences of having to buy a new shower head after you've thrown it across the room :wink:

    I work as a substance abuse counselor. I often tell my clients that it's sane to have an insane reaction to insane circumstances. I've had many clients who have developed substance abuse problems because they try to numb and/or feel like they shouldn't have certain negative feelings even though they are living in very negative/insane circumstances. Depression and anxiety aren't always 'pathological'--they can be very natural, sane, and appropriate responses to particular life circumstances, as can anger. It's not natural, sane, or healthy to fight against and try to suppress your sane, natural reactions to insane circumstances like abuse, poverty, trauma, or isolation.

    Let yourself feel what you're feeling. Of course, that's different from acting out your emotions all the time. That's the balance in my practice--acknowledging my emotions, feeling them, but finding the best 'container' for them until they pass. Finding the best space to be angry might be finding the space where there's the least china for you to knock off the shelves. It's probably not on the other end of the phone with someone you care about.

    I got into this practice out of a desire to know the truth. Along the way, the desire to be perfect or good has come up, but it's faded over time. I've been through enough shit that whether other people think I'm 'good' doesn't amount to a hill of beans any more. And the part of the truth I've uncovered so far is that you can't escape. You can never become perfect. You can't practice enough that you'll be in perfect Zen concentration all the time, or that you will always be kind, or compassionate.

    I'm at a point in my life right now where I'm kind of numbed out. I'm not nearly as compassionate as I have been at past times in my life. And I've realized that's okay--that's the perfect expression of the situation I'm in right now in my life, which is being stuck in a big city where the most consistent factors of my day to day life are stress, isolation, and exposure to the aggression of others. I know I need to heal, and need to find the right space in which to heal--conditions that are conducive to healing.

    I used to think that Buddhist practice was about transcending conditions. It can be, in the sense that one becomes able to detach from what is arising in the moment. But at the same time, I've found it's also about accepting conditions and working with them. We are a perfect expression of the nexus at which we find ourselves at any given time in our lives. Having sweated doing outdoor labor in 100 degree heat, then not being able to take a shower, then the shower getting broken--a temper tantrum is the perfect expression of being at the nexus of those conditions, in my opinion :lol:

    I'm tired of fighting. I've spent most of my life fighting, mostly with myself, wanting to change what's going on in and/or around me. And I still do it. This practice, for me, is a refuge from the fighting--a place to drop the fighting. If you just turn it into another way to fight with yourself, what kind of liberation is that? This isn't the same as saying, "Do whatever you want." There's a way to acknowledge the conditions you're in and how your response is (or isn't) a natural and sane reaction to those conditions, without expressing your response in a destructive way or context.

    I think it's a lot harder to drop the perfectionism and drop the fighting with yourself than it is to find the restraint not to throw the shower head at the dog :lol:

  19. #19

    Re: Practice in Daily Life

    Quote Originally Posted by Stephanie
    Let yourself feel what you're feeling. Of course, that's different from acting out your emotions all the time. That's the balance in my practice--acknowledging my emotions, feeling them, but finding the best 'container' for them until they pass. Finding the best space to be angry might be finding the space where there's the least china for you to knock off the shelves. It's probably not on the other end of the phone with someone you care about.

    I got into this practice out of a desire to know the truth. Along the way, the desire to be perfect or good has come up, but it's faded over time. I've been through enough shit that whether other people think I'm 'good' doesn't amount to a hill of beans any more. And the part of the truth I've uncovered so far is that you can't escape. You can never become perfect. You can't practice enough that you'll be in perfect Zen concentration all the time, or that you will always be kind, or compassionate.

    I'm at a point in my life right now where I'm kind of numbed out. I'm not nearly as compassionate as I have been at past times in my life. And I've realized that's okay--that's the perfect expression of the situation I'm in right now in my life, which is being stuck in a big city where the most consistent factors of my day to day life are stress, isolation, and exposure to the aggression of others. I know I need to heal, and need to find the right space in which to heal--conditions that are conducive to healing.

    I used to think that Buddhist practice was about transcending conditions. It can be, in the sense that one becomes able to detach from what is arising in the moment. But at the same time, I've found it's also about accepting conditions and working with them. We are a perfect expression of the nexus at which we find ourselves at any given time in our lives. Having sweated doing outdoor labor in 100 degree heat, then not being able to take a shower, then the shower getting broken--a temper tantrum is the perfect expression of being at the nexus of those conditions, in my opinion
    I have the feeling there is an amazing person behind this amazing writer.
    Thanks Stephanie, for the insight and humor.

    gassho

  20. #20

    Re: Practice in Daily Life

    I'm tired of fighting. I've spent most of my life fighting, mostly with myself, wanting to change what's going on in and/or around me. And I still do it. This practice, for me, is a refuge from the fighting--a place to drop the fighting. If you just turn it into another way to fight with yourself, what kind of liberation is that? This isn't the same as saying, "Do whatever you want." There's a way to acknowledge the conditions you're in and how your response is (or isn't) a natural and sane reaction to those conditions, without expressing your response in a destructive way or context.
    What a perfect statement. I spend so much time fighting and trying to change my "surroundings or situations" as if I have some sort of omnipotent control. It rarely, if ever, turns out well for myself or those around me. I wonder though if this practice isn't just another form of me fighting to change circumstances. Or maybe I'm just over-thinking things again.

    Gassho

    Rob

  21. #21
    Stephanie
    Guest

    Re: Practice in Daily Life

    Quote Originally Posted by ghop
    I have the feeling there is an amazing person behind this amazing writer.
    Thanks Stephanie, for the insight and humor.

    gassho
    Wow, this means a lot, Greg, thanks ops:

    And Rob, you too--gassho.

  22. #22

    Re: Practice in Daily Life

    I was in L.A. recently, and as I waited for my bag to come through the xray machine at the airport, a guy beside me says, "THINK YOU HAVE ENOUGH PERSONAL SPACE??"-extremely rudely. I suppose I was a little too close for his comfort (we were in a line..sheesh!). That really soured me, and my mind started racing with very angry thoughts. I then tried to visualize my angry thoughts like mere clouds in a vast, empty, perfectly blue sky..coming and going. I caught my anger rising up the entire afternoon, and had to refocus on visualizing my anger as mere clouds..coming and going.

    The Practice is in every aspect of our lives, whether we recognize it or even understand it.

    Thank you for this post.

    Gassho,

    SZ

  23. #23

    Re: Practice in Daily Life

    Hello Christopher!

    You asked a question way up at the top of this interesting thread
    you started.
    You asked how one keeps one's faith
    you asked this question after giving examples of losing patience or other behavior which seemed to you to not be behavior in keeping with one who
    practices zazen

    (at least this was my sense of your post)

    In my experience there is no such thing as 'keeping faith' there isn't anything to keep
    like my trying to keep my breath. I can't hold on to faith any more than I can hold air in my lungs
    breath moves--breath is breathing--, faith, in my experience moves also--call it 'faithing'

    there is moment to moment

    holding on to ideas, even ideas of holding on are ideas

    Nishijima Roshi describes zazen as a philosophy of action
    (this is enough for me to masticate on for a good while)

    observe, notice: things come into awareness, things drop out of awareness, go unnoticed, unobserved...

    You on the couch, your son with the soaker of a sneeze
    a juicy moment
    a rich, rich moment full of everything and not one thing missing
    just like thisa here moment right now

    Faith ('faithing') if I want to call it that is returns me to this moment 'faithing' helps me out of my mental clothing and gets me as close to naked, I seem to grow more mental clothing in an eyeblink from one moment to the next--this 'faithing' then is continual, this returning to this moment

    why does this happen? (the mental clothing) How can I NOT be in this moment; well, ironic as it may seem my NOT being in this moment IS this moment as well

    little by little the NOTs come out like the hidden images in those pictures to amuse children: the pot o' gold hidden in the bark of the tree trunk, the flag hidden in the bowl of soup and the wagon hidden in the cloud:

    in this moment my 'nots' are also

    Sharing this life together! sharing practice together!
    Sharing the phenomenon of sneezing together
    the mysterious violence of near gale force proportion emitted
    from a nostril!

    BLESS YOU!




    There is no question in my mind: this is for life, for the rest of my life, no end to it!

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