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

  1. #1

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



    Continuing our series “Zazen for Beginners” (because we’re always beginners) ...

    Here’s a basic perspective of Buddhism:

    Our mind creates conflict and separation from this life/world because our mind is constantly filled with thoughts dividing this from that, worries and “what if’s“, desires and “if only’s,” judgments of good and bad and high and low, resistance to situations, fears for the future and regrets about the past … all kinds of junk in the mental trunk. In this way, our “self” creates an image of itself separate from, and in frequent conflict with life, the world, everything it considers “not itself” (and even conflict with its image of itself too!)

    It is (as the old joke goes) a lot like your self mentally banging yourself with a hammer … Cause it is such a relief when you stop!

    Reverse the process … drop the dividing thoughts, the fears and worries, judgments, the likes and dislikes, ideas of past-present-future, resistance and the rest … and all conflicts and separation drop away too. The self is no longer in conflict and isolated from all that it sees as “not the self” … the war is over … and (depending on how much those borders soften or fully drop away) this ’world-life-self-not self-reality’ is known and experienced in very special way(s) too.

    Thus, in Shikantaza ‘Just Sitting’ Zazen we sit … allowing thoughts of this, that, past, future and all the rest to drift out of mind.

    The hammer is put down.



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

    [youtube] [/youtube]

    Remember: recording ends soon after the beginning bells; a sitting time of 15 to 35 minutes is recommended.

  2. #2

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

    In one of the videos about body posture, Taigu makes a point of simply letting your buttocks freely rest in its spot without trying to force it in some way either up or down or w/e and just letting you sit there as it goes without really trying. Is letting go mentally the same "function" as that? If not, could you talk about it a bit more? I've seen "letting go" mentioned often but I'd like to make sure I'm clear on this.

  3. #3

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Sleeps
    In one of the videos about body posture, Taigu makes a point of simply letting your buttocks freely rest in its spot without trying to force it in some way either up or down or w/e and just letting you sit there as it goes without really trying. Is letting go mentally the same "function" as that? If not, could you talk about it a bit more? I've seen "letting go" mentioned often but I'd like to make sure I'm clear on this.
    The mind and buttocks are one! 8)

    Yes, I would say that "letting go" means allowing the mind to rest freely (in one spot or all spots, focused on everything or anything, but nothing in particular), without trying to force it in any particular direction or into an particular experience or state of mind. We allow the thoughts that drift into mind to drift out again ... without latching onto them, stirring them up, getting caught in trains of thought (as Suzuki Roshi was quoted on another thread, "let them in but do not invite them for tea....". We let go of judgments, aversions and attractions, "should be" and "I wish it would be" thoughts ... and in this process, the "self" softens and is "let go" (fired, put out of a job) ...

    ... whereby the hard border and frictions between 'self' and 'other' are let go and drop away, the body-mind is let go and drops away** ... a certain illumination, Wisdom and Compassion, rises in this still silence that's life's moving, and we let life go where it will ...

    Gassho, J

    ** all the universe and the buttocks drops away. :wink:

    PS - "Sleeps" is an interesting name for a Zen fellow. While we need proper sleep to sit Zazen, we tend to avoid falling asleep during Zazen. We have some threads around on that subject too.

  4. #4

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

    I took heed of this for my sitting for the last 2 days and it is quite a different sitting. I managed to realize whilst sitting and just allowing my mind to basically rest and not really do anything is that I apparently was trying to drive thoughts out thinking I'm letting them go. When I do nothing stuff goes away and gets really soupyish and peaceful. I can see now how falling asleep becomes a issue, I'm able to more or less pick up on when it's turning into hypnagogic sleep and not drop off but yeah, you do have to be rested so it isn't a constant struggle. I used the search for the board looking for stuff specifically relating to what I should do about the sleep thing, also googled it, nothing really specific other then don't fall asleep. Is there a definitive thread somewhere about this because I can't find it.

    Not too many comments really about stuff like "dropping away of body and mind" and such, unless I'm wrong, a lot if not everything I read thusfar relating to those things is only really "understood" experimentally through practice. I dunno, for now I'd just like to work on sitting, I've spun my wheels in buddhist philosophy for a while, it was interesting, helpful even, put into context that I really shouldn't stress a lot of my theories about anything too much since I can't really ultimately substantiate any of them which in turn opens up options and makes you less neurotic. Of course you still need to do stuff, there is no road, but try crossing a highway wherever you want and you'll be hit by a car. xD Dunno if that's a correct understanding, keeps me out of some nihilistic hole which is just another view that can turn staticish and harmful, the dogmatic attachment of nothingness.

  5. #5

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Sleeps
    I used the search for the board looking for stuff specifically relating to what I should do about the sleep thing, also googled it, nothing really specific other then don't fall asleep. Is there a definitive thread somewhere about this because I can't find it.
    Hello, appropriately named "Sleeps"!

    Do me a favor, and please post a photo and first name when you can. More info here.

    viewtopic.php?f=9&t=3778

    As to sleeping ... many posts and threads, hopefully with tips to keep one wide awake ...

    viewtopic.php?p=62342#p62342

    viewtopic.php?p=58021#p58021

    viewtopic.php?p=52851#p52851

    viewtopic.php?p=41974#p41974

    viewtopic.php?p=41954#p41954

    If you do not find any help there, we can discuss it more with the Sangha.

    Not too many comments really about stuff like "dropping away of body and mind" and such, unless I'm wrong, a lot if not everything I read thusfar relating to those things is only really "understood" experimentally through practice. I dunno, for now I'd just like to work on sitting,
    Well, really all of Shikantaza is about "dropping away body-mind". That may become a bit clearer as you move through the Beginners talks and dive into the Forum a bit more. But, as you say, it is more about the practice than about talking about the practice, like the difference between swimming and talking about swimming.

    Gassho, Jundo

  6. #6

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

    Alright, fair enough, posted my picture. Thanks for the links. I'm still working through the beginners videos, have some other questions about them that I'll ask in the appropriate sections.

    Cheers,
    Greg

  7. #7
    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

  8. #8
    Senior Member Joyo's Avatar
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    I need to hear this today, you have no idea how much I needed to hear this!! And now, I go and do zazen, thank you.

    with metta,
    Treena

  9. #9
    "let them in but do not invite them for tea....". This made me smile. Thank you, David

  10. #10
    Member Jamie's Avatar
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    I am watching these talks again after 6 months of practice and they are so valuable
    "Put down the hammer- sit with what is"

    Thank you

  11. #11
    Treeleaf Unsui Shokai's Avatar
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    仁道 生開 - Jindo Shokai "Open to life in a benevolent way"
    Just another itinerant monk going nowhere; try somewhere else to listen to someone who really knows.

  12. #12
    Junior Member Rick's Avatar
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    Thank you! That was great.

    Rick

  13. #13
    Hee hee! Yes, I remember a lot of hammering in my head like that! Thank you for the kind reminder!

    Ajin
    Last edited by 124578k; 09-20-2013 at 02:18 PM.

  14. #14
    Thank you for this lesson Jundo. During my sitting today I could not help but to picture myself with my finger on the blender while hammering away at my skull with my other hand. But in the end I did arise from my zazen practice with a smile on my face .

    For those little moments in between...

    Josh

  15. #15
    Senior Member Joyo's Avatar
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    Thank you for this talk, Jundo. It has helped me tremendously with "just sitting shikantaza" and understanding what exactly that means--on and off the cushion.

    Deep bows to you,
    Joyo

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