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

  1. #1

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

    So, today, let's begin “Zazen for Beginners.” Because we’re always beginners.

    We’ll talk the basics of “Just Sitting” Shikantaza Zazen… There’s a bit more to “Just Sitting” than “just sitting around.“

    In a series of talks over the coming days, Taigu and I will discuss this and that about “Just Sitting,” which has much to do with dropping thoughts of “this” and “that.” We’ll talk about where you can expect to “go” in your practice, and what you can expect to attain, which is, of course …

    ABSOLUTELY NOWHERE AND NOTHING!

    Don’t think, however, that not thinking of “attaining” means that a treasure is not attained.

    And freeing our “self” of all need to get somewhere can be truly getting somewhere.


    These talks are meant for beginners in “Just Sitting” Shikantaza Zazen and newcomers to Treeleaf Sangha. Shikantaza is our central practice at Treeleaf. But I hope that both new folks and old timers will watch. We are all, of course, ever beginning now and now and now, with “Beginner’s Mind.“

    Let’s start by seeing the mind as like a noisy kitchen blender… filled with all kinds of rattlin’ stuff.

    Let it settle!

    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.

    (Using headphones? Do note that there is loud noise at times in this video!)

  2. #2
    Why is it recommended that one sit for 15 to 35 minutes?
    gassho
    -Lou

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by mr.Lou View Post
    Why is it recommended that one sit for 15 to 35 minutes?
    Hi Lou,

    We get to that in a later talk in this series, with more details ...

    http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showt...%28Part-XXI%29

    ... but in a nutshell ...

    Zazen is truly not a matter of long or short, and one instant of Zazen is Timeless and All Time when experienced as such. Yet, on practical term, at least 15 to 35 minutes is a good period to settle into that Timeless by letting the mind-and-body settle.

    You will also see that we recommended sometime longer sittings (including attending multi-day retreats and Sesshin now and then), and even many "insta-sittings" throughout the day (also discussed later in this series of Beginners talks).

    http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showt...-%28Part-XX%29

    Gassho, Jundo
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

    #SAT TODAY!

  4. #4
    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

  5. #5
    Kbuck
    Guest
    Thank you for this video. Though I've had similar instruction many times, your presentation of the material is very memorable. I've found myself bringing it to mind at various points throughout the past few days and "taking my finger off the blend button".

    KB

  6. #6
    Gassho

    David

  7. #7
    Thank you Jundo, an elegant analogy of the busy mind

    Jamie

  8. #8
    Thanks! That was great. I am really looking forward to going through these sit along videos over the coming weeks.

    Rick
    Last edited by Rick; 08-29-2013 at 09:39 PM.

  9. #9
    Thank you very much for your surprising and original Overview of the agitation of our minds in zazen and of course in the life.
    Last edited by Anshu; 09-10-2013 at 03:23 PM.
    Le secret consiste donc seulement à dire "OUI" et à se jeter dans le vide. Dès lors, il n'y a plus de problème. Il s'agit d'être soi-même dans l'instant présent, toujours soi-même, sans s'accrocher à son vieux moi.
    Shunryu Suzuki Roshi

  10. #10
    A vivid and meaningful demonstration of inner noise! Thank you for it!

    Ajin

  11. #11
    Thank you Jundo for this all to real lesson. I took my first step today and sat zazen for the first time. My mind's blender had to have been set on frappe mode! So many thoughts coming and going and reappearing and then disappearing only to come back again. There were however; if ever so brief, moments of calmness and quiet. It is my hope with time that I can learn to turn off that blender .

    Gassho,

    Josh

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by jlewis View Post
    Thank you Jundo for this all to real lesson. I took my first step today and sat zazen for the first time. My mind's blender had to have been set on frappe mode! So many thoughts coming and going and reappearing and then disappearing only to come back again. There were however; if ever so brief, moments of calmness and quiet. It is my hope with time that I can learn to turn off that blender .

    Gassho,

    Josh
    Hi Josh,

    We don't turn off the blender.

    Eventually, we learn to not hit the "puree" button so much, to let go of the button quicker when we find the blender-mind spinning out of control ... and in the end, to hear the Silence and Stillness that is both silent or slicing, still or spinning, like the quiet eye at the heart of the milkshake. Sometimes it spins, sometimes not ... always Silent even when rattling and humming.

    It is not a matter of making the blender totally unplugged and the glass jar empty, although there may be such moments too.

    Gassho, Jundo
    Last edited by Jundo; 10-09-2013 at 03:26 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

    #SAT TODAY!

  13. #13
    Thank you.


    Gassho,
    Edward
    "Recognize suffering, remove suffering." - Shakyamuni Buddha when asked, "Uhm . . .what?"

  14. #14
    Thank you for your wonderful example Jundo. "The quiet eye at the heart of a milkshake" is definitely the coolest phrase I have heard in some time .

    Gassho,

    Josh

  15. #15
    I always find myself coming back to this video, Jundo. Thank you for posting.

    Gassho,
    Treena

  16. #16
    Scotymike
    Guest
    thank you. I found my self feeling fear of not being prepared to let things go...Your examples of the chatter are so common real, and even a tear as you mentioned my house being lost. This feels like the right place to be BTW I see people respond Gassho, what does this word mean. Scott

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Scotymike View Post
    BTW I see people respond Gassho, what does this word mean. Scott
    Hi Scott,

    Pressed Palms. Namaste. Two hands just One ...



    Welcome again.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

    #SAT TODAY!

  18. #18

  19. #19
    Thank you. After reading "how to's" and attempting the various "tricks" to keep my mind quiet for the past month in attempting Zazen, your demonstration of the chattering, noisy mind is very effective. Your video of "just sitting" is elegant and peaceful. I feel like I am now in the right place here. Gasso. Ka

  20. #20
    Thank you. Great analogy! I found it very useful while meditating.
    -Charles
    Just sat.

  21. #21
    _( )_ Gassho

    Sat today

  22. #22
    Thank you Jundo.
    -Paul.

    Sat today.

  23. #23
    As an eventual musician, and having a fairly good "musical memory" for melodies and such, sometimes when I sit, my mind keep "singing aleatory songs", turning from one "radio station" to another, it is difficult to turn it off! Sometimes its occurs simultaneously with that-kind-of-thinking (when we thinks on something that calls something else and so...)... it that case is it good to have something to focus (even temporarily and then returning to the non-focused practice)? if so, how should I focus my mind? Or should I just leave it be that way?
    Gassho,

    Marcos (former username: mpdalles)

    ***SAttODAY***

    "Does anyone else have a question? If so, let him ask now! But
    the instant you open your mouth you’re already way off. Why is this? Don’t
    you know that Venerable Śākyamuni said, ‘Dharma is separate from words,
    because it is neither subject to causation nor dependent upon conditions’?"

    Master Linji Yixuan

  24. #24
    Hi Marcos,

    Yes, in such case one may focus on following the breath for a time, and then return to open, spacious awareness when settled a bit.

    Let the tunes play, like music down the hall. Just pay no notice, don't sing along.

    I have a friend here in Japan who lives in a little house almost right next to the Bullet Train tracks. Every 10 minutes or so, a train come flying by, rattling the windows. After so much time living there, he neither is aware of the train nor bothered in the least.

    Just let the music be, as one leave a table and chair be in the room where one sits. Part of the furniture, nothing to ponder or even note. (Do not note the notes! )

    Gassho, Jundo

    SatToday
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

    #SAT TODAY!

  25. #25
    Thank you Jundo.
    Gassho,

    Marcos (former username: mpdalles)

    ***SAttODAY***

    "Does anyone else have a question? If so, let him ask now! But
    the instant you open your mouth you’re already way off. Why is this? Don’t
    you know that Venerable Śākyamuni said, ‘Dharma is separate from words,
    because it is neither subject to causation nor dependent upon conditions’?"

    Master Linji Yixuan

  26. #26

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