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Thread: What Else?

  1. #1

    What Else?

    Hi Friends
    As you may have seen from my introduction I'm very new and have only been practicing Buddhism for about 8 months although there has been a lingering interest for many years.
    My question is;
    What else could I be doing to strengthen/deepen/better/improve add more value to my practice. (I wasn't sure which word to use so I used all of them). I practice Zazen for 20 minutes most days, I read Buddhim books and have begun to watch the sit along videos, I do Metta practice before and after Zazen and have been trying nurturing seed practice. I am mindful of trying to be mindful, as I run and cycle alot these are great opportunities for being mindful, concentrating on breathing, heart rate, stride or cadence, not thinking of how far you've been or got to go.
    In fact this morning whilst cycling I spent most of the time looking at the reflection of the sky in the wet black front tyre, the tyre was spinning but the sky stayed completely still.
    Anyway what do you think are there any little things I could be doing throughout the day to keep me in the "zone"?
    With gratitude
    Gary

  2. #2

    Re: What Else?

    Hi Gary,

    What I'd suggest (and I have a lot of trouble with this as well) is don't daydream!

    You're a cyclist? Wonderful! I used to race, and may get back into it here in a few years.

    Treat every single activity like a 50mph descent down switchbacks; very careful, very "tuned in," lest the road rise up and smite thee.

    Just my thought. If you find a good way to do it, please let me know!

    Metta,

    Perry

  3. #3

    Re: What Else?

    Thanks Perry,
    I know what you mean, I do daydream and have conversations or I kind of rehearse situations in my head.
    I'll work on it.
    Metta
    Gary
    BTW I ride fixed gear, even more reason to be mindful.

  4. #4

    Re: What Else?

    Yes, sometimes be very mindful in bike riding.

    Yet at other times, when you daydream, just daydream! Enjoy your bike ride. Just move your feet on the pedals with your head lost in thought or not. Think about silly stuff or serious stuff or nothing. That is okay too. There are times to be mindful, times to just ride the bike.

    A strange facet of our Practice is that it is a lifetime walk through the mountains. Just walk, some days faster, some days slower, some days mindful of each leaf ... some days dreaming dreams ... some miles smiling, some perhaps with tears ... IT IS ALL ZAZEN.

    So, you describe a fine Practice ...

    I practice Zazen for 20 minutes most days, I read Buddhim books and have begun to watch the sit along videos, I do Metta practice before and after Zazen and have been trying nurturing seed practice.
    WONDERFUL! Like running or swimming, the most vital aspect is to be consistent day by day. It is not a sprint to a goalline in our way. It is more a sincere, dedicated step by step on this hike which is ever right here in each step.

    Sure, some days you may wish to sit a bit more intensely such as for our upcoming 2-day Retreat ...

    viewtopic.php?f=1&t=3146

    ... or, even more so, long Sesshin of a week or two or more, sitting from before dawn until late at night.

    It is good practice to push a little harder sometimes, all for attaining "no place to go".

    But the most important is just step by step, slow and steady hike up the mountain ... always arriving.

    Gassho, Jundo

    PS - On the subject of being 'mindful', and why that should not be overplayed in my view, please look here ...

    BEING MINDFUL OF 'MINDFUL'

    viewtopic.php?p=43964#p43964

  5. #5

    Re: What Else?

    Thank you for that Jundo...

    I have to remind myself just take it easy... sometimes I try to mindful all the time, and I feel like I'm a robot.

    Gassho,

    Cyril

  6. #6

    Re: What Else?

    Jundo thank you so much for your reply, this truely is the middle way.
    I would like to learn more about the "rituals" (not sure if thats the correct word) of the retreat.
    I will be working the weekend of the 2 day retreat but I will do a retreat on my rest days after.
    With much gratitude
    Gary

  7. #7

    Re: What Else?

    Very good directions, Chugai.

    gassho


    Taigu

  8. #8

    Re: What Else?

    Gassho all

    Gary

  9. #9
    Senior Member AlanLa's Avatar
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    Re: What Else?

    Why need there be any thing else? Careful to not be grasping that which cannot be grasped. I recently found myself trying to do too much Ango stuff, and I sort of crashed from it. Running or crawling on the Path makes no difference, speed is not the issue, nor is amount of else-things that you do, just do enough to keep you on the Path.

  10. #10

    Re: What Else?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chugai
    Do not let yourself become too hungry, lonely, angry or tired. Get enough sleep, drink lots of water, eat food, not too much, mostly plants, keep yourself clean, brush your teeth, go to the doctor every once and a while, exercise vigorously , note the beauty in everything, cultivate a sense of humor and help others reflexively ... keep sitting Zazen.
    Well said.

  11. #11

    Re: What Else?

    Quote Originally Posted by AlanLa
    Why need there be any thing else? Careful to not be grasping that which cannot be grasped. I recently found myself trying to do too much Ango stuff, and I sort of crashed from it. Running or crawling on the Path makes no difference, speed is not the issue, nor is amount of else-things that you do, just do enough to keep you on the Path.
    There is no place to get to, no need to rush there, no attainment, no place to fall.

    HOWEVER don't be lazy, do not be careless, do not dawdle or waste time. Do not lose the eye of attained attaining non-attainment. Do not put it off or give up. Sit, but do not remain sitting. Move ahead, although with stillness. Try not to fall, oversleep or wander in circles.

    Something like that. This is the Bodhisattva Way of repairing the world which is not in need of repair.

    Gassho, J

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