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

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  1. #1

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

    There was a devastating earthquake in the news yesterday — great human suffering. So much sadness in this world… war and violence, poverty, hunger, disease.

    Yet, in our Shikantaza Zazen, we are to instructed to sit with life without thinking “good” or “bad,” dropping all resistance and judgments about how things are, not wishing that our self or the world ’should be’ or ‘had better be’ some other way than just as we find them.

    We drop all thoughts of “good” and “bad,” “right” vs. “wrong,” “just” and “unjust,” “happy” and “sad,” we experience a world that just-is-what-it-is. It goes-the-way-it-goes, even if that way is not the way we personally might desire. And we go with its flow, abandoning resistance to the direction taken. Letting aside both “cruel” and “gentle,“ “ugly” and “kind,” we no longer resist, do not judge, and embrace it all … even the most terrible.

    In doing so, the hard borders between our self and this life-world soften or fully tumble away… and there is just oneness-beyond-one with all conditions.

    But need we stop there? In that wholeness and tranquility, are we not left uncaring, blind, emotionless, apathetic, cold-hearted, passive to the pain of others?

    NOT AT ALL!

    For ours can be a path of acceptance without acceptance, inner stillness and outward action combined, allowing and tolerant yet resisting what needs to be resisted, judging what must be judged in life (while also dropping all judgments) – all at once, as if precisely blending views of life seen from different angles. It is much the same in the case of a man or woman who, facing an illness, perhaps some cancer, accepts the condition fully — yet fights the good fight for a cure. We need not feel anger within at the natural state which is the disease, we can accept within that all life is impermanent and that death and sickness are just the reality… but still we might search for the healing medicine, struggling without for health and life. We can know that within and without are not two.

    Our Zen practice teaches us that we can live by seemingly contradictory viewpoints at once, uniting all, without conflict. We might say that this world, our life, is much like living in an imperfect house, in need of work, with perhaps a leaky roof, dust and spiders, and broken windows. In “Just Sitting,” we simply sit to drop all resistance to the house we have been living in all along, to realize that there is nowhere to “go” in life, to cease all efforts to add to or take away from the structure, to let go of the ego’s insisting on how things “should be” in order for the house to be “good” … we ARE that house, at Peace in our True Home! Then we find, in dropping that resistance, that the house we have always been in is “perfectly what it is,” and we can be joyful right where we are. HOWEVER, we can be content with that house even as, hand in hand, there is still much serious repair work to do (an acceptance-without-acceptance of the leaky windows, spiders and creaky doors). There is nothing to prevent our fixing those, even as we accept their existence! We can accept and not accept simultaneously, repair what needs to be repaired.

    Thus, in our “Just Sitting” Shikantaza, we completely accept, embrace and allow the universe, and all in it, just as it is. We drop all thoughts of likes and dislikes, dreams and regrets and need for change, hopes and fears. But simultaneously, hand in hand without the slightest deviation (on another mental “track,” we might say), we live our lives as human beings, and living life requires choices, goals, likes and dislikes, dreams and hopes for change.

    War, fire, flood, death and disease, humanity and nature’s most horrible turns can all be observed dispassionately and from an unshakable inner peace, fully accepted… all while we choose to resist what we can, to extend comfort and compassion as we can, to make the world and our selves better when and where we can.

    CLICK HERE for today’s Sit-A-Long video.



    Remember: recording ends soon after the beginning bells; a sitting time of 15 to 35 minutes is recommended.
    Last edited by Jundo; 01-25-2013 at 01:53 AM.

  2. #2
    Thank you.
    Neika / Ian Adams

    寧 Nei - Peaceful/Courteous
    火 Ka - Fire

    Look for Buddha outside your own mind, and Buddha becomes the devil. --Dogen

  3. #3
    Does this mean I should accept the world as it is at the same time as I accept my will to try to change things that I don`t like or add things that make the world better? Things that I don`t accept, I accept that I don`t accept, so I do something about it, things that I like, I accept that I like and don`t try to get rid of my will to get more of it.
    At the same time as letting everything be as it is. I`m not shure if I`m really getting this...
    Gassho

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Milarepa View Post
    Does this mean ...
    Exactly and absolutely not. Your question is the result of trying to intellectually understand, put into boxes, label it. Thats normal, I do this too. However, when you just listen, soak up the teaching and sit with it, I'm sure you will come to the answer. Or just loose the question on the way,
    Gassho
    Myoku

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Myoku View Post
    Exactly and absolutely not. Your question is the result of trying to intellectually understand, put into boxes, label it. Thats normal, I do this too. However, when you just listen, soak up the teaching and sit with it, I'm sure you will come to the answer. Or just loose the question on the way,
    Gassho
    Myoku
    Thank you Myoku!

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Myoku View Post
    Exactly and absolutely not. Your question is the result of trying to intellectually understand, put into boxes, label it. Thats normal, I do this too. However, when you just listen, soak up the teaching and sit with it, I'm sure you will come to the answer. Or just loose the question on the way,
    Gassho
    Myoku
    Hi, Yes. This is something that must be felt in the bones, pierced and lived.

    Buddhas sit beyond attachments and aversions, choices and desires, need and lack, you and me, this and that. A moment of Zazen is a moment of Buddha.

    People, by necessity, live in a world (we call it delusion, "Samsara") of that which we love and that which we do not, choices and desires, need and lack, you and me, this and that bumping into each other.

    Most people live only in delusion, in Samsara.

    In this practice, sitting on the cushion, we may come to embody Buddha.

    But the magic trick is to be and live both at once, as one. That's our Practice.

    It is kind of like living two sides of a no sided coin. Not to be understood intellectually so much as tasted, embodied and manifested in living.

    Gassho, J
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

    #SAT TODAY!

  7. #7

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    But the magic trick is to be and live both at once, as one. That's our Practice.

    It is kind of like living two sides of a no sided coin. Not to be understood intellectually so much as tasted, embodied and manifested in living.
    Wonderful Jundo ...

    Gassho
    Shingen
    倫道 真現

    As a trainee priest, please take any commentary by me on matters of the Dharma with a pinch of salt.

  9. #9
    Junior Member Rick's Avatar
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    Thank you.

    Rick

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  11. #11
    Thank you Jundo for this lesson.



    Josh

  12. #12
    Junior Member Edward E's Avatar
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    Great lesson Jundo. I thank you for your teaching. I'm still trying to suss out acceptance-without-acceptance without lapsing into passivity; your talk has been very helpful.

    Gassho,
    Eddie

  13. #13
    Thank you Jundo, your teaching is very timely and exactly what I need right now.

    Many years ago, when my practise was much stronger, I would face a difficult situation by saying to myself, "I have buddha-nature and a buddha remains undisturbed." I realize from your teaching that this statement is incomplete because buddha-nature also gives us compassion, so now the saying can become, "I have buddha-nature and a buddha remains undisturbed while desiring relief from suffering for all beings."

    Or, to shorten it further: "let go, accept and act with love." Much easier said than done (as always).

    Thank you again.

    Blessings to all,
    mm

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by monkeymind View Post
    Or, to shorten it further: "let go, accept and act with love." Much easier said than done (as always).
    Oh, that rings the bell! I am going to steal that (in a non-Precept violatin' sorta way).

    Gassho, Jundo

    Monkeymind, would you mind posting a human picture 'avatar' and signing a regular 'ol name? Please read this when you can ...

    http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showt...Sangha-Members
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

    #SAT TODAY!

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    Monkeymind, would you mind posting a human picture 'avatar' and signing a regular 'ol name?
    Certainly. My apologies.

    Gassho,
    Richard

  16. #16
    Junior Member i_am's Avatar
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    This talk was very good for me as it dealt with an issue that I sometimes struggle with. After much sitting, and a life changing 'realisation' I had back in 2011, I had found that I had become somewhat neutral to the human world around me; non judgemental, accepting, I had come to understand the 'suchness' of everything. I was approaching life with equanimity to the point of passivity and detachment. My wife told me that she preferred the Richard before he stepped on the path!

    Over time I have begun to interact more on a 'human' level than in a metaphysical one. I see it as I have 'gone up the mountain and returned to the village'.. only I have not returned quite the same. Now I see and feel things differently. My journey had allowed me to pull myself and the world and everything apart and then put it back together again with an understanding. I had wondered, as a child, where I fit in with life the universe and everything. 30 or so years on I had realised that there was no separate 'I'.

    For a time, since 2011, I was seeing things with suchness and equanimity. Duality had ceased and descriptions such as good and bad had become meaningless. What was good to one person was bad to another so an event or situation was both good and bad at the same time. i.e. it was just an event or situation. It was as if I had now got 'Zen eyes' and I could no longer look at things with feeling, compassion, judgement, emotion... I had become 'cold'.

    I dealt with this by considering that I could put on some glasses and see things with a 'human eye' again. I could look at things with two perspectives: Glasses off = zen eyes / Glasses on = human eyes. Yet all the time knowing that the glasses just helped me to see things the way that human kind saw them... remove the glasses and the reality of impermanence and suchness was revealed.

    It took me a long time to get used to wearing the glasses and regaining the love and compassion that I have for life and those in it. Now I can remove them 'in my mind' and keep them on all the time but I still struggle sometimes, as if the lenses have fallen out and I am just seeing things as they are.. Your lesson IV has given me a great tool to help complete this step: A monocle!

    I have just traded in my glasses for a monocle and now I can look out of both eyes (Zen and human) at the same time!

    Thank You
    Richard

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by i_am View Post
    Over time I have begun to interact more on a 'human' level
    Hello Richard,

    Ahh the human level, right here, right now ... a wonderful place to be! =)

    Gassho
    Shingen
    倫道 真現

    As a trainee priest, please take any commentary by me on matters of the Dharma with a pinch of salt.

  18. #18
    Hi Richard,

    Yes, come back to just being human, Return to the Marketplace, love and laugh and cry, have aversions and attractions and all range of emotions (hopefully without falling to harmful extremes or being their prisoner) ... even if one can see through them as one wants.

    No reason to be numb to life. Live.

    I sometimes use the analogy of glasses or seeing out of two eyes too. Seeing out of only one eye is a form of blindness.

    Gassho, J
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

    #SAT TODAY!

  19. #19
    Senior Member Myosha's Avatar
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    Thank you.


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

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    Senior Member Nandi's Avatar
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