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Thread: more subtraction by addition

  1. #1

    more subtraction by addition

    Gassho everyone,

    This past weekend , my wife and I traveled about 5 hours away to attend a reunion for a softball team she had played on as a girl and young woman. I spent a lot of time in the passenger's seat trying to experience her driving without having it completely frazzle me. I decided to sit during the trip both there and coming home. I had the most wonderful rounds of zazen.

    My OCD seems to have left me with a wild mind that never calms down. As soon as I start my zazen, the thoughts at times are like the know it all in a classroom, " ooh ooh call on me, I know all the answers, me me me!!!!!"

    I have come to accept this and to appreciate that my practice is often opening around the wild thoughts, bringing myself back to the touch stone of the breath sand reopening.

    While sitting during the ride, there were so many experiences around me, the passing road, the cars being constantly overtaken by the vehicle i was in, the rocking side to side, and yes the country western music. The fact that all around me was "busier" then the the wild thoughts in my mind made it easy to open around all of the thoughts and feelings and sites and sounds and smells. It was as though the addition of all the activity subtracted from my own distraction.

    They were the two most calming, fulfilling rounds of zazen in a long time for me.

    Now all I need is a Zafu that does 75 mph in my living room

    Gassho,

    Marty

  2. #2

    Re: more subtraction by addition

    Thank you for sharing that, Marty.

  3. #3

    Re: more subtraction by addition

    Indeed!! thank you for sharing that.
    No worries though...some days that Zafu does feel like its going 75 mph

    Gassho
    Shohei

  4. #4

    Re: more subtraction by addition

    Thank you for sharing Marty!

    I often experienced quite the same when I get home on the bus or on the train...
    But when I'm on the zafu in a "quite" room... grrr it seems so difficult in comparison. Sometimes I'm even happy when a train pass doing a lot of noise or when a car pass on the street :lol:
    But on the other the contrary happens too... I mean, sometimes all we want is a peaceful place to sit and everything around us seems soooo noisy and disturbing! It is all good practice as Fugen would say :wink:

    gassho,
    Luis-Jinyu

  5. #5
    Senior Member murasaki's Avatar
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    Re: more subtraction by addition

    I'm inspired right out of lurker mode to reply to this thread. I don't know if I have OCD or not, but I do cope with a lot of anxiety and other issues that involve habitually racing thoughts, so I really related to your description of the class know-it-all, Marty.

    I think this might be why I have to always do my studying out in a coffeehouse or some other type of semi-busy environment with lots of background noise. When I'm in the campus library's "red light" zones (absolutely no talking or noise by pain of death) I can't study...even the "green light" zones are a little too quiet for me. Forget about studying at home -- if it's not the silence that distracts me, it's all the chores and temptations around.

    I have come to accept this and to appreciate that my practice is often opening around the wild thoughts, bringing myself back to the touch stone of the breath sand reopening.
    This is beautifully stated. I will keep that thought with me when I approach my ever-distracted, faltering practice.

    Gassho
    Julia

  6. #6

    Re: more subtraction by addition

    Quote Originally Posted by mhoke46375
    My OCD seems to have left me with a wild mind that never calms down. As soon as I start my zazen, the thoughts at times are like the know it all in a classroom, " ooh ooh call on me, I know all the answers, me me me!!!!!"
    :lol:

    Nice. Thanks for sharing.

    gassho
    Greg

  7. #7

    Re: more subtraction by addition

    Quote Originally Posted by murasaki
    I'm inspired right out of lurker mode to reply to this thread. I don't know if I have OCD or not, but I do cope with a lot of anxiety and other issues that involve habitually racing thoughts, so I really related to your description of the class know-it-all, Marty.

    Julia
    I think this why I sit alot - to get some relief from anxiety and habitually racing thoughts

    /Rich

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