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Thread: Just a Few Words

  1. #1

    Just a Few Words

    Hi all,

    Just wanted to announce that I am truly alive and still a part of this sangha even if I have fallen far behind (yet I'm still where I am). Glad to see things are still flowing smoothly along here even if at the present time my life is not, everything moves just as it will and in no other way. I ran into some rough patches in my personal life and practice but for now I can only see how they turn out. Many doubts about if I truly belong to the Soto Zen way, or maybe the Korean Zen, or maybe the Tibetan Sangha back home, blah blah blah...

    I have done this often before. Sampling everything in buffet only to end up hungry in the end. Mainly in the form of relationships. But that's another story...

    Anyways, what I have learned and why this relates in some way: You cannot force life to be something its not, just as you cannot force a person to be what they are not. Clear away the clouds of ignorance, sure, let the true person shine through. But really it isn't up to you to do that. Provide the fan, they themselves much move it. Just so, zazen is not any more than what you make it. If it is time to relax, then it is that. If it is merely going through the motions, it is just that too. But if it is so much of nothing that nothing fails to reach it, then it is just this. Just that. Just it.

    Hopefully that runs in a proper vein,
    Taylor

  2. #2
    Treeleaf Unsui Dosho's Avatar
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    Re: Just a Few Words

    Hi Taylor,

    I had begun to wonder where you may have gone and am glad to know you're still out there. Whether your path is here at Treeleaf or somewhere else, I wish you well....but we always leave a light on, so either way, don't ever be a stranger!

    Deep bows to you and your practice.

    Gassho,
    Dosho

  3. #3

    Re: Just a Few Words

    Hello Taylor!

    I really enjoyed your post. Each of us has a unique life and those of us who end up in the catch all term 'buddhist' also have the unique experiences of stiching together a practice.
    There is the starting out. Looking and not knowing what for, or thinking one knows what one is looking for.
    For some people this is as far as it goes: 'seeker's disease' is what one teacher of mine, Reverand Bob McNeil (Soto Lineage, Matsuoka Roshi) called it: attaching to seeking.
    Staying isn't all that difficult to acheive really, one just picks a place (or the place 'picks' them) and one attends on a regular basis. One just keeps going. Every week. No matter what.
    Those weeks add up. And voila, you've sat a year, 3 years!
    Things happen maybe, and let's say you have to move or something like that, now you don't go seeking, you go finding a new place to regularly attend. It's not the same as the first place...

    and that is a fact. Nothing is. Not even the first place you sat is the same as the first place you sat. You also are not the same as the you who sat that first time at that first place.
    Impermanence!

    Practice is like underwear--no one else needs to know you've got it on! No one else needs to know what shape it's in.
    Some people like showy undies, but I go for what I can live in. How do you find a living practice suitable to you? You don't. It grows within you, it is you.

    You mention rough patches you have run into in your life of late and you are waiting to see how things turn out.
    There is a zen story (probably many) about this... one I know goes something like this:
    a son, long away from home returns to the village just as harvest season is happening "what good luck" the neighbors tell the father "what joy he has returned and an extra pair of hands for the harvest" "We'll see" the father says. The next day, the son falls off the wagon and breaks his leg. "what bad luck" the neighbors say "he can't help at all and now someone has to help him!" "We'll see" says the father. A couple of days go by and the army comes through and rounds up all the available young men to go off to fight. "What good luck your son broke his leg" the neighbors say, "he doesn't have to go off to war." "We'll see," says the father.

    Good luck is bad luck is good luck, nothing 'turns out' it is always turning, turning, turning.

    If zen is for you, then lineage, smineage, -- Korean, Soto, Rinzai doesn't matter, in fact, one of the best ways to find out is to spend time with each of them. Let's say you spend 3 years sitting with each --that's 9 years of sitting, not bad!
    I'd tell you don't just 'sample' tastes, don't just nibble at the buffet, really chow down! get to find out what nourishes, what feeds you. Zen, zazen is intimate, as intimate as it ever gets: no place to hide. Other relationships may come and go, but you will always have you: you will never let yourself down, you will never leave yourself hungry.
    As far as what you say about zazen:
    just so, zazen is not any more than what you make it. If it is time to relax, then it is that. If it is merely going through the motions, it is just that too. But if it is so much of nothing that nothing fails to reach it, then it is just this. Just that. Just it.
    yes
    Matsuoka Roshi used to say 'every day, a happy day' I thought it was just a sweet, quaint expression years ago, when I first started sitting.
    He wasn't lying.
    He also would tell us to sit "every day, every day"
    I don't always follow directives. I like to find out for myself. Don't know if it takes longer or is the rougher road:
    I've gone the only way I could: no one takes my steps for me.
    No one can take yours for you.


    Something in your post resonated with me, and I have responded to you.

    I hope I have not spoken out of turn; I am not a sangha member here, but a guest at the forum.
    as a member of the larger sangha of things as it were, I wish you fortitude through the rough patches

  4. #4

    Re: Just a Few Words

    Hi everyone!

    Thank you all for this thread! Some really interesting things have been said here!
    Just take it easy Taylor! Your practice is where it is... just follow practicing :roll: Dosho already made my point :wink:
    But Keishin's message is also, very!, interesting! Thank you for your words! I really like the simple way you expressed things!

    Quote Originally Posted by Keishin
    Practice is like underwear--no one else needs to know you've got it on! No one else needs to know what shape it's in.
    Some people like showy undies, but I go for what I can live in. How do you find a living practice suitable to you? You don't. It grows within you, it is you.
    I've been thinking a lot, lately, about this!

    I really think in zazen something like a seed is planted in us. That thing is nurtured everyday, by each situations we are in, and the practice of the precepts is like fertilizer. Each day that thing grows, until we are ready to harvest his fruits!
    It is a personal view, but I truly believe, that nothing happened in zazen... other than seeing our ignorance, our arrogance in very simple and direct ways. And that in these moments, this seed (of attention, of realization) is planted directly in our ego, in our arrogance, in our ignorance.
    And the fruits of this seed, of this practice are harvested later, not especially on the cushion. Just moments of realizations blossoming in our everyday life, moments of clear view on our little ignorance and arrogance, our little ego... These moments of realization and doubt are great as they are, no need to interpret them as a mystical or a realization moment... just taste the fruit when it is ready!

    Thank you all for giving me the possibility to put all this in words... a long time that these things where growing inside me, maybe it was just time to harvest these fruits!

    deep gassho,
    Jinyu

  5. #5

    Re: Just a Few Words

    Quote Originally Posted by Keishin
    I hope I have not spoken out of turn; I am not a sangha member here, but a guest at the forum.
    as a member of the larger sangha of things as it were, I wish you fortitude through the rough patches
    Thank you.

  6. #6

    Re: Just a Few Words

    Wherever Life goes, Taylor, try not to think too much about it, better sit about it (see Jundo's talk: zazen compass)
    _()_
    Peter

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