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Thread: Sit-a-Long with Jundo: Zazen for Beginners (Part XXIII)

  1. #1

    Sit-a-Long with Jundo: Zazen for Beginners (Part XXIII)

    — A Quiet Room.

    Most days, we’d best sit Zazen in a quiet room, with little noise and few distractions. The reason is simply that a peaceful, still, quiet environment helps us allow the mind to become peaceful, still and quiet, with thoughts and emotions drifting away as the mind settles down.

    But once in awhile, maybe every two or three weeks or so, I recommend you sit Zazen in a truly disturbing place. Today, I am sitting Zazen in one of the busiest, brightest, noisiest parts of downtown Tokyo — to make the point that the true quiet room is within us as much as out. In fact, if we always need a calm and tranquil environment in order to reach the balance, stillness, ease, and freedom of this practice, then I believe Zazen loses much of its power. It is right at the eye of the storm that one can know stillness, and in the middle of chaos that we can taste peace.

    So, for that reason, I hope everyone will sit, once in awhile, in a truly disturbing, disagreeable, ugly, noisy, smelly, busy, and distracting place. In a stinking garbage dump, next to a construction site with jackhammers pounding, at an Ozzy Osbourne concert, in a game room, while crushed in a crowded city bus or parked in a parking lot off a busy highway.

    We can drop all thoughts of beautiful or ugly, moving or still, noisy or silent, chaotic or peaceful .. and just sit as what remains
    .
    Following is our sitting today, in downtown Tokyo. Unfortunately, the broadcast signal cut out after only 30 seconds (just another disturbance of life that we sit with). So, the talk and starting bells are gone. However, what I wrote above is pretty much the point, and you can join me sitting with some such disturbance-non-disturbance in your own life.



    A sitting time of 15 to 30 minutes is recommended.
    Last edited by Jundo; 02-12-2013 at 02:05 AM.

  2. #2
    A very good point!

    I just sat through my wife baking in the kitchen with carols cranked up to listen to... having recently seen this video (short as it was!) and reading the blog, I found the lesson VERY timely! Now I get to sample the results... from both!

    Gassho... Dennis

  3. #3
    Thanks for this, Jundo! I will make this a regular part of my practice. The video.google.com link you provided is no longer working.

    Gassho,

    Jeff

  4. #4
    Senior Member Myosha's Avatar
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    Uhmm. . .what?


    Thank you.

    Gassho,
    Edward
    Practice with humility, respect all beings, avoid attachments, give rise to prajña from your own awareness, put an end to delusions - Hui-neng

  5. #5
    Thank you, Jundo.

    Sometimes I have the feeling that it is easier to achieve stillness at very noisy and busy places. The external noise seems to capture my attention and anchor me in the present moment. Is that so?

    Gassho.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Clark's Avatar
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    I went to a Unity Church a few times where the Pastor would engage us in a guided meditation during the service and invariably there would be "noise", cars, babies crying, birds, and he would just say, rather than let the noises become distractions just accept them as part of the wonderful everything. I have found this attitude really helps me when I sit. I often have boys running around, phones ringing, trucks driving down the street, or the cat reporting a hungry and I really think it helps my practice to not be in total quiet. I think of the general in the middle of the battlefield, or the surgeon in the ER with all hell breaking out around them, and yet inside still.
    Gassho
    C

  7. #7
    the wonderful everything ... lovely.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  8. #8

    Wow! Just in time!

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    — A Quiet Room.

    Most days, we’d best sit Zazen in a quiet room, with little noise and few distractions. The reason is simply that a peaceful, still, quiet environment helps us allow the mind to become peaceful, still and quiet, with thoughts and emotions drifting away as the mind settles down.

    But once in awhile, maybe every two or three weeks or so, I recommend you sit Zazen in a truly disturbing place. Today, I am sitting Zazen in one of the busiest, brightest, noisiest parts of downtown Tokyo — to make the point that the true quiet room is within us as much as out. In fact, if we always need a calm and tranquil environment in order to reach the balance, stillness, ease, and freedom of this practice, then I believe Zazen loses much of its power. It is right at the eye of the storm that one can know stillness, and in the middle of chaos that we can taste peace.

    So, for that reason, I hope everyone will sit, once in awhile, in a truly disturbing, disagreeable, ugly, noisy, smelly, busy, and distracting place. In a stinking garbage dump, next to a construction site with jackhammers pounding, at an Ozzy Osbourne concert, in a game room, while crushed in a crowded city bus or parked in a parking lot off a busy highway.

    We can drop all thoughts of beautiful or ugly, moving or still, noisy or silent, chaotic or peaceful .. and just sit as what remains
    .
    Following is our sitting today, in downtown Tokyo. Unfortunately, the broadcast signal cut out after only 30 seconds (just another disturbance of life that we sit with). So, the talk and starting bells are gone. However, what I wrote above is pretty much the point, and you can join me sitting with some such disturbance-non-disturbance in your own life.



    A sitting time of 15 to 30 minutes is recommended.

    My neighbors have been making lots of noise lately and driving me crazy. I have been sitting amongst the disturbance, but now I have a more positive outlook.

  9. #9
    Junior Member i_am's Avatar
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    I like to sit at King's Cross Station when I am in London. I 'sit' where I can, on a bench, up against a wall, on the floor... somewhere I wont get trodden on. Then I gaze across the concourse with a far focus (like looking at the mountains) and I take in the busy sounds, flashes of movement, smells, etc whilst not 'labelling' any of them. I hear the PA announcements but don't identify the words and don't listen to them. I see people walking briskly in front of me but I don't identify them as people and I don't look at them. I smell stuff, but don't attempt to figure out what type of food it is. I just sit.

    The whole sitting is just about being aware of the chaos around me and not picking out any of it.

    Gassho
    Richard

  10. #10
    Member Nandi's Avatar
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    Gassho

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