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Thread: Being mindful of 'mindful'

  1. #1

    Being mindful of 'mindful'

    It seems to me that many people in Zen Practice have come to confuse "being present/mindful in the moment" (for example, "when drinking tea, just drink tea" ... a sometimes appropriate and lovely way to experience life) ... with "being at one with the moment" (allowing and merging with conditions of life "just as they are"). The two are not quite the same, and are often confused, and the latter is much more at the heart of this Shikantaza Path ...

    Yes, I believe that there are times to be "mindful" ... and there are times not. Sometimes when I eat, I just eat ... when I sip tea, I just sip tea ... when bowing, just bowing ... fully absorbed in that action. A wonderful, insightful practice. When doing one thing, just do one thing with all one's body-and-mind.

    At other times, I just grab a sandwich and a coke while reading the newspaper and thinking about the job I have to do. That's life too. Nothing wrong with it.

    (I do not know where the idea started among some folks that the 'goal' of this practice is to live the first way every moment of every day. That would be pretty awful (if not harmful) to live like that all or even most of the time. What's wrong with also sometimes reading the paper, thinking about work, while grabbing a quick sandwich? There is a place for all of that.)

    Further, people get even more confused about "mindful" in Buddhism because the word is used in a couple of distinct ways.

    Another, rather different meaning of "mindful" often found in Buddhism is to develop awareness of the "mind theatre" running constantly in our heads (developing the ability to identify the thoughts and emotions that play through our heads, and how they create our experience of "reality" ... e.g., "now I am temporarily sad" "now I am reacting with anger") That is a wonderful, insightful practice too ... very very important ... but I caution against thinking that you must or can do that 24/7.

    In my view, the heart of this Practice is merely "being at one" with this self-life-world just as it is ... dropping the resistance, barriers, separation between our "self" and all the circumstances in which that "self" imagines it finds itself in ... until even the walls between "self" and "life-world" (or self and itself) soften or even fully drop away ...

    So, for example, when drinking tea, just do that and fully allow that. When grabbing a sandwich while reading the paper and thinking about your annoying co-worker in the office, just do that and fully allow that (and fully allow the craziness in the newspaper and your annoying co-worker too).** When your kid plops in your lap during tea drinking and the cup spills all over the table, just do and allow that. When your kid again plops in your lap during Zazen. ( http://www.shambhalasun.com/sunspace/?p=16432 ) When temporarily falling into sadness or anger, just do and allow that (although remember that "mind theatre" and see if you truly need to be that way, and seek to be not that way if you can). When overwrought with life for a moment, just do that and fully allow that (remembering in the back of your mind that the clear, boundless blue sky is behind the clouds of thought and emotion even when momentarily covered over). When suffering with old age and sickness of ourself or someone we love, even death, just do that and fully allow that.

    In my view, all of the above together is truly balanced, "mindful" living. That is "being the moment".

    Gassho, Jundo

    ** PS - "fully allowing" does not mean necessarily "fully allowing". We have something called "acceptance-without-acceptance" around here ... So, for example, we can "fully allow and be one with" the wars and pollution described in the newspaper or the bothersome person at work or the sickness we are suffering ... yet take steps to deal with each too. Not mutually exclusive perspectives.
    Last edited by Jundo; 01-28-2014 at 02:59 AM.

  2. #2
    Treeleaf Unsui Shokai's Avatar
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    Re: BEING MINDFUL OF 'MINDFUL'

    Jundo-oso;

    Thank you for that; well stated. However, watch the coke, it'll rot your teeth!

    gassho,

  3. #3

    Re: BEING MINDFUL OF 'MINDFUL'

    Jundo,

    Excellent, timely, and important distinctions. Very helpful.

    Grassho,

    Rod

  4. #4
    Senior Member Ronchan's Avatar
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    Re: BEING MINDFUL OF 'MINDFUL'

    Thank you very much, Jundo.
    So true, so familiar.


    in gassho,
    Ronald.

  5. #5

    Re: BEING MINDFUL OF 'MINDFUL'

    Very nice, and a very important distinction to be made aware of. Thank you for that!!

    Gassho

    Rafael

  6. #6
    Thank you for the teaching Jundo.

    JC.

  7. #7
    Senior Member galen's Avatar
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    Does not doing three things at once, perpetuate the confusion of the delusion? Is this not something that makes the ego smile with the devils twinkling smirk ?

    While; as said its ok, funny and even joyful, and so being human is ok (so to speak), it can create physical harm (the menu Jundo purposes here )and poor concentration guiding the train down the track. More repairs then needed... all ready?

    It does not seem a guidance from any master would reside here.


    Gassho
    Nothing Special

  8. #8
    Thank you.

    Sent from my PG86100 using Tapatalk 2
    Neika / Ian Adams

    寧 Nei - Peaceful/Courteous
    火 Ka - Fire

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

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by galen View Post
    Does not doing three things at once, perpetuate the confusion of the delusion?
    What does doing three things at once mean?

    Someone efforlessly playing the drums, non-thinking, one with the music, is he mindfully doing one thing, when playing drums, just playing drums? Or is he doing many things at the same time, when playing drums, just playing drums?

    Gassho,
    Pontus
    Last edited by Omoi Otoshi; 11-24-2012 at 10:38 AM.
    In a spring outside time, flowers bloom on a withered tree;
    you ride a jade elephant backwards, chasing the winged dragon-deer;
    now as you hide far beyond innumerable peaks--
    the white moon, a cool breeze, the dawn of a fortunate day

  10. #10
    This is such an important teaching. I want to say more but don't want to muck it all up. Thanks so much, Jundo.

    Gassho,
    Alan

  11. #11
    Senior Member galen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Omoi Otoshi View Post
    What does doing three things at once mean?

    Someone efforlessly playing the drums, non-thinking, one with the music, is he mindfully doing one thing, when playing drums, just playing drums? Or is he doing many things at the same time, when playing drums, just playing drums?

    Gassho,
    Pontus


    Pontus.... just keep that drum beating if it works. Pound the hell out of it .


    Gassho
    Nothing Special

  12. #12
    Just sayin' you can do several things at once with a mindful mind, or you can muck up one activity by being too self-conscious and trying to hard to be mindful. But there seem to be millions of views on mindfulness, so whatever works!

    Gassho,
    Pontus
    In a spring outside time, flowers bloom on a withered tree;
    you ride a jade elephant backwards, chasing the winged dragon-deer;
    now as you hide far beyond innumerable peaks--
    the white moon, a cool breeze, the dawn of a fortunate day

  13. #13
    Senior Member galen's Avatar
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    While what you say can be true, I just have a real hard time with this being mindful, when the mind is full of various tasks. This appears to the larger problem with modernism, and leaves Zen looking silly if true. That seems to throw out everything that being totally immersed in the moment stands for, whether from the ancient masters or more modern.

    Most of the koans point to full embodiment of nothing special, no toys and no excess brain activities. For those who seem to feel so proud of multitasking and so clever, and attempt to justify that foolery, that is fine, my direction attempts to be fully on the other side of that coin. Tasking is for ego and show, and no go. That is why for many with their first tastes of Zen or Buddhism, they feel bored with not enough toys, distractions and inauthentic joys to fill the void they so desperately seek. There is nothing in there getting to the marrow of what Is our real nature, that all this stimulation can do but point to more suffering. Any defense of such is seemingly denial of the ego. How can one Feel the moment of embodiment of true `presence? And for those who say what a great lesson this is in mindfulness, please step and share this remarkable insight right Now, it must have been something the masters missed, they did not get that memo.


    Gassho
    Last edited by galen; 11-25-2012 at 06:20 PM.
    Nothing Special

  14. #14
    I agree Galen.

    I think we often do several things at once either to distract ourselves or because we believe there is so little time and so much to do. Sometimes we do have to be efficient, but much of the time we're only fooling ourselves, running around like headless chickens chasing our desires. If I try to play with my kids, talk with my mum on the phone and read an article on the computer at the same time, I will probably not be very mindful. Likewise, if I'm reading the back of a shampoo bottle while I'm taking a dump, that's probably a sign of stress, not mindfulness... (Speaking from experience).

    It's easier to be mindful when life is simple. I'm more often mindful when I'm on my own, hiking outdoors for example, than when I'm stressed out after work and surrounded by crying kids. Just like Zazen comes easier when we are calm, relaxed and sitting in a quiet, perfectly temperated room, mindfulness comes easier under similar good conditions. But the Zazen practiced here is not dependant on our ability to concentrate or our strong discipline. It's also not dependant on ideal conditions. We let Zazen mind arrive by letting go of all resistance. It's not something we achieve by great effort, concentrating relentlessly on a single focus. There can be Zazen mind in the middle of chaos. The same goes for mindfulness. Try too hard to be mindful and there's no mindfulness, only clinging to an idea of mindfulness. As has been said before in this thread, some people try to be mindful by acting like brain-dead, slow moving robots, capable of doing only one simple task at a time, which I find delusional.

    Gassho,
    Pontus
    Last edited by Omoi Otoshi; 11-25-2012 at 07:16 PM.
    In a spring outside time, flowers bloom on a withered tree;
    you ride a jade elephant backwards, chasing the winged dragon-deer;
    now as you hide far beyond innumerable peaks--
    the white moon, a cool breeze, the dawn of a fortunate day

  15. #15
    Senior Member galen's Avatar
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    When I walk I just try to walk, feeling the ground and the muscles in my legs. When I drive I try to just drive, I may have classical music on, but I attempt to join that beauty in with watching traffic, no thinking needed. When I eat I try to just eat, no tv, no radio, just the taste of what I am lucky enough to have been given to better move my body forward, nothing special. (well one could say, I have children and so and so... does not Practice of this beautiful teaching of Zen allow for the early lessons of our children, or is Zen only when on line or sitting??) I just try, that is all, but feel `processing the moment to moment, while of course not in full presence for a lot of the time, it does further my personal improvement of staying on a tract to less suffering and the pains the ego spends every waking and sleep moment trying to the defilement of. There is no winning, or attachment to, just moving down the track towards the emptiness we all came from.

    While administering what could be lethal injection so one can be operated on, does that not give one the chance to practice the very thing Zen teaches. Would this be a time for multitasking and any loss of full concentration, Pontus? The same in life in general, no `time to waste in impermanence, in the realization of what practice practice without clinging or attachment can bring with no expectations to full emptiness, from where we came.
    Nothing Special

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by galen View Post
    While administering what could be lethal injection so one can be operated on, does that not give one the chance to practice the very thing Zen teaches. Would this be a time for multitasking and any loss of full concentration, Pontus?
    Yes, it's a very good example!
    Just after I started working with anesthesia and intensive care I attended a course that included an introduction to mindfulness. Using breathing as an anchor, focusing all attention on the texture, color, shape and smell of a raisin. Stuff like that. Supposedly this practice could be used to anchor oneself and relax during a stressful workday. But when I'm holding that potentially lethal injection in my hand (which is something I do almost every day, several times a day), I can't practice "when administrating a deadly drug, administer the deadly drug only", follow my breath or admire the color of Propofol. Patients would die. I have to keep track of a number of things while simultaneously administrating the drug. What's the nurse doing? Are there any signs of anaphylaxia? What do the vital signs look like? Is the patient asleep yet? How is the airway? Is the patient still breathing spontaneously? It is a time and place for awareness, for being fully present. It's not the time or place to be thinking about how much I hate that surgeon, how pretty the nurse looks today, what's for lunch, how badly it went for the last patient. I must be present and focused, but not on one simple, separate activity, such as applying the perfect amount of pressure on the syringe, but on the whole situation. (I tend to focus on one thing only when I calculate the dose or intubate though!) Most of the time I must keep my mind relaxed and open, so that it is ready for anything. If I concentrate too hard on any one thing, I risk losing the whole picture and react too slowly when circumstances change. So yes, multitasking mindfulness is an important part of my job!

    Gassho,
    Pontus
    Last edited by Omoi Otoshi; 11-25-2012 at 08:35 PM.
    In a spring outside time, flowers bloom on a withered tree;
    you ride a jade elephant backwards, chasing the winged dragon-deer;
    now as you hide far beyond innumerable peaks--
    the white moon, a cool breeze, the dawn of a fortunate day

  17. #17
    Senior Member galen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Omoi Otoshi View Post
    Yes, it's a very good example!
    Just after I started working with anesthesia and intensive care I attended a course that included an introduction to mindfulness. Using breathing as an anchor, focusing all attention on the texture, color, shape and smell of a raisin. Stuff like that. Supposedly this practice could be used to anchor oneself and relax during a stressful workday. But when I'm holding that potentially lethal injection in my hand (which is something I do almost every day, several times a day), I can't practice "when administrating a deadly drug, administer the deadly drug only", follow my breath or admire the color of Propofol. Patients would die. I have to keep track of a number of things while simultaneously administrating the drug. What's the nurse doing? Are there any signs of anaphylaxia? What do the vital signs look like? Is the patient asleep yet? How is the airway? Is the patient still breathing spontaneously? It is a time and place for awareness, for being fully present. It's not the time or place to be thinking about how much I hate that surgeon, how pretty the nurse looks today, what's for lunch, how badly it went for the last patient. I must be present and focused, but not on one simple, separate activity, such as applying the perfect amount of pressure on the syringe, but on the whole situation. (I tend to focus on one thing only when I calculate the dose or intubate though!) Most of the time I must keep my mind relaxed and open, so that it is ready for anything. If I concentrate too hard on any one thing, I risk losing the whole picture and react too slowly when circumstances change. So yes, multitasking mindfulness is an important part of my job!

    Gassho,
    Pontus

    And I realized your occupation by putting that out there. I would say its more one mindedness, then what today is considered multitasking, where somethings are not as important, and still while doing them, and bouncing around to the other tasks, not totally committed to any of them, because no ones life in their hands at the time. That is what most of us do on our moment to moment lives. What you do has layered attention, but you are and have to be fully absorbed in the moment, that `lets everything fall into place as they are happening at once. While that is a very serious business, I feel generally we need to treat each moment more closely to those type of moments but also relax inside of that presence.
    Nothing Special

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by galen View Post
    While what you say can be true, I just have a real hard time with this being mindful, when the mind is full of various tasks. This appears to the larger problem with modernism, and leaves Zen looking silly if true. That seems to throw out everything that being totally immersed in the moment stands for, whether from the ancient masters or more modern.

    Most of the koans point to full embodiment of nothing special, no toys and no excess brain activities. For those who seem to feel so proud of multitasking and so clever, and attempt to justify that foolery, that is fine, my direction attempts to be fully on the other side of that coin
    Hi Galen,

    I think that demanding that one never multi-task, and that one must engage in one mindful activity at a time 24/7, is a very idealist image of Buddhist Practice. If saying so, one may have never resided in an actual Zen monastery. If one ever visits a large Zen monastery, you might be surprised at how hectic things can get ... guests visiting, phones to answer, ceremonies to arrange, robes to clean, bills to pay and food orders to make ... it is quite like any business office in the administrative office of the monastery.

    I usually say ...

    Some people believe that the point of Zen Practice is to learn to "always be in the moment", every moment ... just absorbed in one task, not thinking future or past or any other thing.

    However, I do not know anybody ... Zen folks included ... who can or should be like that all the time.

    I think that is not true, nor very realistic. It could even be deadly, if one were "so in the moment" that one did not recognize that the road ahead leads right over a cliff!

    I believe that such "being in the moment" is a skill we develop in the Practice, one of many skills, that we can "pull out of the tool kit" when appropriate, and put back when not. We do not live like that every moment, and only should in the right moments. When drinking tea, just drink tea ... but then the coffee break is over, the boss is yelling, the clients demanding ... and 10,000 other things to do!

    There are other times in life when it is perfectly appropriate to be lost in thoughts recalling the past, or planning for the future. There are times when we can be completely distracted and even overwhelmed. At those times "being in the moment" means being fully at one with however life is in that moment ... if it is momentarily chaotic, be "at one" with that.

    When doing one thing ... drinking tea, working in the garden, sitting Zazen ... just do that one thing. Yes, that is true. But a moment of "multi-tasking" is also "one thing" too ... called "multi-tasking". So, when multi-tasking, just multi-task ... just do that one thing whole heartedly in that moment too.

    Folks encounter lots of Zen teachings like "when you eat, just eat. When you sleep just sleep..." But those Zenny words can sound rather idealistic if they imply that we must be "mindful" or in "Zen Mind" 24/7. (Don't misunderstand me, I think it a good power ... and it is just the "24/7" I am protesting). My view is more balanced I believe, namely, that "when mindful of one thing, just be mindful of one thing ... when distracted, overwrought and multi-tasking, just be distracted, overwrought and multi-task". There is a time for everything, and we cannot be "mindful" each minute. All of it is life. (If one ever visits a large Zen monastery, you might be surprised at how hectic things can get ... guests visiting, phones to answer, ceremonies to arrange, robes to clean, bills to pay and food orders to make ... it is quite like any business office in the administrative office of the monastery).

    However, one of the great fruits of our Zen Practice is that, even when we are distracted, overwrought and multi-tasking, feeling completely rushed and off balance ... and even when "Zen Mind" feels very far away ... we can still know it is 'there' even if we do not feel it at that moment [the blue sky always behind the clouds even on cloudy days]. So I say, when feeling completely "rushed and off balance", just be "rushed and off balance" in that moment ... it too is a temporary state of mind.

    If you try to be "Zen" 24/7 you are trying to be a "Zen robot" ... not a true human being who, for better or worse, will often be in human situations reacting in a human way. We do get better and better, through this practice, at finding our center and stillness amid the storm ... but so long as we are living as humans, we will always be human.

    So, in other words, have a balanced and realistic view of life ... even a balanced view of sometimes or frequently being unbalanced, overworked, distracted and such.

    Some moments, be "mindful" and "in the moment" ... other moments just be "at one with the moment" even if a moment when you are not "in the moment" that moment ... In other words, JUST DO THAT! IT TOO IS A PERFECT ACT IN THAT MOMENT!!
    We cannot always live feeling "in the moment" or just do one task at one time with our total being. There is a time for feeling in the moment, but we need not feel "in the moment" every moment (or, better said, every moment is always "in the moment" whether we feel in the moment or not ... and one is truly "in the moment" even when not feeling so). If you can feel at home with each moment, even moments when you do not feel at home in the moment as well as those when you do ... that is truly being "at one with the moment", thus truly "in the moment". That is the way of "in the moment, whatever is that moment" that I tend to teach and emphasize around here.

    Now, gotta run ... because I am BUSY! A million things to do! (Dr. Omoi Otoshi, by the way, works in a hospital emergency room, I believe. I would think he is a master of "being in the moment" with "a million tasks to do at once").

    Gassho, J

    Ps -

    As a side note, multi-tasking is not necessarily the most efficient way to get things done ...

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/0..._n_925958.html

    But still, in this modern life ... or even in a monastery in the deep mountains ... there are times we all have to do it!

    ...
    Last edited by Jundo; 11-26-2012 at 03:08 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  19. #19
    Let me add ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Omoi Otoshi View Post
    ... Zazen comes easier when we are calm, relaxed and sitting in a quiet, perfectly temperated room, mindfulness comes easier under similar good conditions. But the Zazen practiced here is not dependant on our ability to concentrate or our strong discipline. It's also not dependant on ideal conditions. We let Zazen mind arrive by letting go of all resistance. It's not something we achieve by great effort, concentrating relentlessly on a single focus. There can be Zazen mind in the middle of chaos. The same goes for mindfulness. Try too hard to be mindful and there's no mindfulness, only clinging to an idea of mindfulness. As has been said before in this thread, some people try to be mindful by acting like brain-dead, slow moving robots, capable of doing only one simple task at a time, which I find delusional.

    Gassho,
    Pontus
    I believe this is just right.

    The Masters of old demonstrated that there are times in this Practice to head into the mountains, away from people and worldly concerns. There is also a time for highly structured monastic practice in which we pour our whole being into one action at a time. There is a time to head deeply into the concentrated state, removed from the sensory impressions of this world. But there is also a time ... much of life ... when there is chaos more than structure, the stove is boiling over, the baby is crying and the phone is ringing, and a million things to do. If you think that "Buddha" or "Liberation" or "Zazen" is found in only one of those, you are sadly mistaken.

    One might be a bit misled by the idealistic style of many old stories, like Sutras and tales of the old masters, where in the skit the character acts in a very idealized way, dealing flawlessly with whatever is going on in the story at the time. However, if one reads closely the old Zen stories, one finds that we must sometimes also return to the business and "total ongoing catastrophe" of the marketplace to thoroughly taste the fruits of this way. Fully of this world, yet fully not. No need to stay isolated in the mountains, or escape this messy world, to embody Freedom!

    Thus, for example, the Sixth Ancestor Hui-neng advises in the Platform Sutra ...

    The capacity of the mind is broad and huge, like the vast sky. Do not sit with a mind fixed on emptiness.
    If you do you will fall into a neutral kind of emptiness. Emptiness
    includes the sun, moon, stars, and planets, the great earth, mountains
    and rivers, all trees and grasses, bad men and good men, bad things and
    good things, heaven and hell; they are all in the midst of emptiness.
    The emptiness of human nature is also like this.

    Self-nature contains the ten thousand things ...The
    ten thousand things are all in self-nature. Although you see all men
    and non-men, evil and good, evil things and good things, you must
    not throw them aside, nor must you cling to them, nor must you be
    stained by them
    , but you must regard them as being just like the
    empty sky. .... There are deluded men who make their minds empty
    and do not think, and to this they give the name of 'great.' This, too,
    is wrong.

    ...

    No-thought is not to think even when involved in thought. ...
    To be unstained in all environments is called no-thought. ...
    True Reality is the substance of thoughts; thoughts are the function
    of True Reality. If you give rise to thoughts from your self-nature,
    then, although you see, hear, perceive, and know, you are not stained
    by the manifold environments, and are always free.
    The Vimalakirti
    Sutra says: 'Externally, while distinguishing well all the forms of the
    various dharmas, internally he stands firm within the First Principle.' ...

    If you have awakened to the prajna samadhi, this then is no-thought, What is no-thought? The Dharma
    of no-thought means: even though you see all things, you do not attach
    to them, but, always keeping your own nature pure
    ... Even though you are in the
    midst of the six dusts [sight, sound, smell, taste, touch, and idea], you do not stand apart from them, yet are not
    stained by them, and are free to come and go.
    This is the prajna samadhi,
    and being free and having achieved release is known as the practice
    of no-thought.
    ...

    From the outset the Dharma has been in the world;
    Being in the world, it transcends the world.
    Hence do not seek the transcendental world outside,
    By discarding the present world itself.

    Erroneous views are of this world,
    Correct views transcend this world.
    If you smash completely the erroneous and the correct,
    Then the nature of enlightenment (bodhi) will be revealed as it is.
    Last edited by Jundo; 11-26-2012 at 03:17 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by galen View Post
    What you do has layered attention, but you are and have to be fully absorbed in the moment, that `lets everything fall into place as they are happening at once. While that is a very serious business, I feel generally we need to treat each moment more closely to those type of moments but also relax inside of that presence.
    Yes, I agree with what you say here!

    If full absorption in the moment is arriving moment after moment, that's great! But I'm not sure we should demand that every moment is like that. For most people, there will be unmindful moments too, and that is OK. If I try hard to stay in mindfulness all the time, the end result for me isn't mindfulness, but frustration and disappointment. True mindfulness for me is spontaneous and effortless. It feels like l can choose to return to the moment, when I realize I'm trapped by thoughts and emotions. But the moment I realize I have been trapped, when I become aware of it, I'm already free. Mindfulness has already arrived. While I was trapped I had no choice, because I was a prisoner, unaware of being trapped. What was it that woke me up? Who/what was it that set me free? I don't know.

    Gassho,
    Pontus
    In a spring outside time, flowers bloom on a withered tree;
    you ride a jade elephant backwards, chasing the winged dragon-deer;
    now as you hide far beyond innumerable peaks--
    the white moon, a cool breeze, the dawn of a fortunate day

  21. #21
    I realise that I'm very, very new to this Zazen tradition, but I find that when I seem to be the most 'mindul', my mind disappears, and it's just my body and the world as one thing in one moment. Then I realise I've lost my mind and it comes back. Maybe it will settle down when I get to grips with things...

  22. #22
    Senior Member galen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    Hi Galen,

    I think that demanding that one never multi-task, and that one must engage in one mindful activity at a time 24/7, is a very idealist image of Buddhist Practice. If saying so, one may have never resided in an actual Zen monastery. If one ever visits a large Zen monastery, you might be surprised at how hectic things can get ... guests visiting, phones to answer, ceremonies to arrange, robes to clean, bills to pay and food orders to make ... it is quite like any business office in the administrative office of the monastery.

    I usually say ...



    We cannot always live feeling "in the moment" or just do one task at one time with our total being. There is a time for feeling in the moment, but we need not feel "in the moment" every moment (or, better said, every moment is always "in the moment" whether we feel in the moment or not ... and one is truly "in the moment" even when not feeling so). If you can feel at home with each moment, even moments when you do not feel at home in the moment as well as those when you do ... that is truly being "at one with the moment", thus truly "in the moment". That is the way of "in the moment, whatever is that moment" that I tend to teach and emphasize around here.

    Now, gotta run ... because I am BUSY! A million things to do! (Dr. Omoi Otoshi, by the way, works in a hospital emergency room, I believe. I would think he is a master of "being in the moment" with "a million tasks to do at once").

    Gassho, J

    Ps -

    As a side note, multi-tasking is not necessarily the most efficient way to get things done ...

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/0..._n_925958.html

    But still, in this modern life ... or even in a monastery in the deep mountains ... there are times we all have to do it!

    ...


    Thank you for your patience here Jundo, and the wise council of you and Pontus.

    I very much enjoy the invigorating and stimulation with Pontus on many of our exchanges and with yourself. I don't know that it could be said by my posts here that there is any requirement of any 24/7 none multi-stimulation, on many levels that does not seem possible unless one is what could be considered fully enlightened, and even then. Its part of life esp in the modern world. I just felt putting it into the context of mindfulness, as in big Mind, was a stretch, at least for me and maybe I missed something there. While pointing to my idealism, that could be said to be very true, but I have come a long way in that regard, which in the past was overwhelming at times, thanks to the blessings of my fathers very overbearing perfectionism.

    Also you posting on a past take of yours on this subject was enlightening.

    As far as Pontus occupation, I was the one that brought it up, and our discussion was not about who was right or wrong, esp since there is no such thing. I just found it hard in comparison to having a chemically induced drink , reading and whatever, was not a comparable defense, esp given the responsibility of a life or death situation. My feelings there was that once he is readying for the task ahead, from his personal prep, to getting everything in-line to take the patient under, is all big Minded with multi layers to make it happen, and not reading the paper and such, which is more relaxation and small minded stimulation.


    Gassho
    Last edited by galen; 11-26-2012 at 06:18 PM.
    Nothing Special

  23. #23
    Thank you Galen,
    I enjoy these exchanges too.
    No right or wrong.
    (As long as I get the last word!)

    Gassho,
    Pontus
    In a spring outside time, flowers bloom on a withered tree;
    you ride a jade elephant backwards, chasing the winged dragon-deer;
    now as you hide far beyond innumerable peaks--
    the white moon, a cool breeze, the dawn of a fortunate day

  24. #24
    Senior Member galen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Omoi Otoshi View Post
    Yes, I agree with what you say here!

    If full absorption in the moment is arriving moment after moment, that's great! But I'm not sure we should demand that every moment is like that. For most people, there will be unmindful moments too, and that is OK. If I try hard to stay in mindfulness all the time, the end result for me isn't mindfulness, but frustration and disappointment. True mindfulness for me is spontaneous and effortless. It feels like l can choose to return to the moment, when I realize I'm trapped by thoughts and emotions. But the moment I realize I have been trapped, when I become aware of it, I'm already free. Mindfulness has already arrived. While I was trapped I had no choice, because I was a prisoner, unaware of being trapped. What was it that woke me up? Who/what was it that set me free? I don't know.

    Gassho,
    Pontus


    Actually at some level you do know, in just sitting with that, it seems.

    Its probably is when there is a little voice that brings us back, its the intuition (even if it comes in the form of a Freudian slip, which comes up from the collective unconscious, so says Jung), a 'tummy ache or just an OK wake up' from that voice bringing us back home. It seems most of life suffering is when the small intuit voice is block by the big loud insecure ego, and sitting gradually will give more chance for the small voice to be more prevalent, which seemingly is always right, just ask a women, as most are much more in touch with that side of their personality then men and so get a better reading of what is real. We men are much more about ego, for the most part.

    Great post Pontus.


    Gassho
    Nothing Special

  25. #25
    Senior Member galen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wordsmith View Post
    I realise that I'm very, very new to this Zazen tradition, but I find that when I seem to be the most 'mindul', my mind disappears, and it's just my body and the world as one thing in one moment. Then I realise I've lost my mind and it comes back. Maybe it will settle down when I get to grips with things...


    Hi Wordsmith.... it seems you have hit on a good point of the embodiment of things, as apposed to the chatter, well done.



    Gassho
    Nothing Special

  26. #26
    Senior Member galen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Omoi Otoshi View Post
    Thank you Galen,
    I enjoy these exchanges too.
    No right or wrong.
    (As long as I get the last word!)

    Gassho,
    Pontus

    Pontus.. always wanted to ask you about what your country men (and women of course) think of Jung? I spent many years with this man in readings, and also to get a clearer picture by reading books about him and Jungian theory from his students. Many of which head college psych departments here in the US, there are Jungian Institutes all over the world. I had to read these books over and over, and much to my delight. He was very into the ancients of the East.


    Gassho
    Nothing Special

  27. #27
    I don't know much about Jung, but I think he has a good reputation in Sweden.

    Gassho,
    Pontus
    In a spring outside time, flowers bloom on a withered tree;
    you ride a jade elephant backwards, chasing the winged dragon-deer;
    now as you hide far beyond innumerable peaks--
    the white moon, a cool breeze, the dawn of a fortunate day

  28. #28
    Hi Galen,

    I wish I knew what you meant, but thank you. I think... :-D

    _/\_

    Ian

    Quote Originally Posted by galen View Post
    Hi Wordsmith.... it seems you have hit on a good point of the embodiment of things, as apposed to the chatter, well done.



    Gassho

  29. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by galen View Post
    Actually at some level you do know, in just sitting with that, it seems.

    Its probably is when there is a little voice that brings us back, its the intuition (even if it comes in the form of a Freudian slip, which comes up from the collective unconscious, so says Jung), a 'tummy ache or just an OK wake up' from that voice bringing us back home.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tozan, 9th century Zen teacher
    For whom do you bathe and make yourself beautiful?
    The voice of the cuckoo is calling you home.
    Hundreds of flowers fall, yet that voice is not stilled;
    even deep in jumbled mountains, it is calling clearly.
    The voice of the cuckoo, the voice of your heart's innermost desire.
    I think we all know it on some level. And we all heed the call, or we wouldn't be practicing.
    But who truly knows?

    Gassho,
    Pontus
    In a spring outside time, flowers bloom on a withered tree;
    you ride a jade elephant backwards, chasing the winged dragon-deer;
    now as you hide far beyond innumerable peaks--
    the white moon, a cool breeze, the dawn of a fortunate day

  30. #30
    Senior Member galen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wordsmith View Post
    Hi Galen,

    I wish I knew what you meant, but thank you. I think... :-D

    _/\_

    Ian


    you seemed to have expressed losing your mind (depending how that was meant) and that can be a good thing, going with bodily feelings as apposed to intellectualizing everything, when it (mind or brain) can become nothing but ego chatter.....


    Gassho
    Nothing Special

  31. #31
    Senior Member galen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Omoi Otoshi View Post
    The voice of the cuckoo, the voice of your heart's innermost desire.
    I think we all know it on some level. And we all heed the call, or we wouldn't be practicing.
    But who truly knows?

    Gassho,
    Pontus


    It seems his statement is quite clear here, as everyone does really know, if the chatter can be quieted enough to hear this voice he says 'is not still'... ie, never still just sometimes misunderstood as the ego because of the loudness of its insecure nature. `The voice, our true nature, seems to beckon from far away but yet it is so close. Quite, tranquil even in the noise and chaos it awaits us always. Staying with our body, not somewhere 'out there', and really feeling our way through the day, the quiet in chaos. Breath, hara, feeling, a quiet mind even when having to think and speak, that seems to inhale our true nature, the Buddha within all of us.


    Gassho
    Nothing Special

  32. #32
    Senior Member galen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Omoi Otoshi View Post
    The voice of the cuckoo, the voice of your heart's innermost desire.
    I think we all know it on some level. And we all heed the call, or we wouldn't be practicing.
    But who truly knows?

    Gassho,
    Pontus


    It seems you have expressed it well, except you do know, sit with That.


    Gassho
    Last edited by galen; 11-27-2012 at 03:25 PM.
    Nothing Special

  33. #33
    Yes, pretty much that's it - the narrative stops and all that remains is the experience itself. It's very peaceful, even if noisy, windy or raining lol

    Gassho,

    ian

    Quote Originally Posted by Wordsmith View Post
    Hi Galen,

    I wish I knew what you meant, but thank you. I think... :-D

    _/\_

    Ian

  34. #34
    Quote Originally Posted by Wordsmith View Post
    Yes, pretty much that's it - the narrative stops and all that remains is the experience itself. It's very peaceful, even if noisy, windy or raining lol

    Gassho,

    ian
    Just don't get caught up in the need to feel peaceful all the time, in sitting or any aspect of life. True Equanimity is so 'equanimious' that one embodies Equanimity (capital "E") that sweeps in and through even not feeling peaceful equanimity all the time! Don't cling to any one state, run after it or try to hold on to it. True Peace is Thoroughly At Peace (Capital "P") with sometimes feeling peace and sometimes not, a Peace of One Piece that hold all the pieces of life. It is a Joy of Joys that is expressed both on the happy days and the very sad, and every day in between.

    When one's heart is At Peace with whatever comes, the beautiful and the ugly ... (and even as we try to nourish one and avoid the other) ... such is True Peace.

    Gassho, J
    Last edited by Jundo; 11-27-2012 at 05:31 PM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  35. #35
    Quote Originally Posted by galen View Post
    It seems you have expressed it well, except you do know, sit with That.
    I thought I knew, but the truth is, I don't know.
    I fool myself into believing I know, just enough to have faith. In just sitting there is knowing. In practice there is enlightenment, awakening. But I don't know. The I is obscuring the knowing. I can just practice accepting not knowing, learning to see through the greed to know and the aversion to not knowing. (There's a book about the not knowing mind called "Zen mind, Beginner's mind" ).

    Gassho,
    Pontus
    Last edited by Omoi Otoshi; 11-27-2012 at 05:26 PM.
    In a spring outside time, flowers bloom on a withered tree;
    you ride a jade elephant backwards, chasing the winged dragon-deer;
    now as you hide far beyond innumerable peaks--
    the white moon, a cool breeze, the dawn of a fortunate day

  36. #36
    Senior Member galen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    Just don't get caught up in the need to feel peaceful all the time, in sitting or any aspect of life. True Equanimity is so 'equanimious' that one embodies Equanimity (capital "E") that sweeps in and through even not feeling peaceful equanimity all the time! Don't cling to any one state, run after it or try to hold on to it. True Peace is Thoroughly At Peace (Capital "P") with sometimes feeling peace and sometimes not, a Peace of One Piece that hold all the pieces of life. It is a Joy of Joys that is expressed both on the happy days and the very sad, and every day in between.

    When one's heart is At Peace with whatever comes, the beautiful and the ugly ... (and even as we try to nourish one and avoid the other) ... such is True Peace.

    Gassho, J


    Thank you Jundo.

    So Peace within what could be called non-peace, always Peace?


    Gassho
    Nothing Special

  37. #37
    Senior Member galen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wordsmith View Post
    Yes, pretty much that's it - the narrative stops and all that remains is the experience itself. It's very peaceful, even if noisy, windy or raining lol

    Gassho,

    ian


    Well done.


    Gassho
    Nothing Special

  38. #38
    Senior Member galen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Omoi Otoshi View Post
    I thought I knew, but the truth is, I don't know.
    I fool myself into believing I know, just enough to have faith. In just sitting there is knowing. In practice there is enlightenment, awakening. But I don't know. The I is obscuring the knowing. I can just practice accepting not knowing, learning to see through the greed to know and the aversion to not knowing. (There's a book about the not knowing mind called "Zen mind, Beginner's mind" ).

    Gassho,
    Pontus


    good one! What a book to run into! In your not knowing you know all there is... chap. on Attachment, Nonattachment.. "To learn something is not to acquire something which you did not know before." "You know (it could be capitalized here) something before you learn it." !!!!

    If the insinuation is that practice is enlightenment as you say, is not practice 24/7, and not just when sitting? Is not zazen 24/7, and also from the beginning of no-time (emptiness) to the end of no-time, never an end? Without the cling-thing to the 'I' thing, is that not practice. It seems a good practice is posting without out using the word I (try it), and once that is more comfortable and communicable, attempt to taking that out into the real `world... is that not practice, slowly decimating the ego to a more quiet self and opening the possibility's of hearing the cuckoo? From my limited perspective (I) try not to use I (online here), that seems to come from a more egoless place from (me). If you notice, if its worth noticing , (I) try to post not using it (I). Instead, using we, our, it seems, it could be that (etc), it may be or seeming/seemingly, that seems to not put one in the position of knowing more then or talking down to the other one is posting to... less ego of a know-it-all, who knows nothing (me)!!



    Gassho
    Nothing Special

  39. #39


    /Pontus
    In a spring outside time, flowers bloom on a withered tree;
    you ride a jade elephant backwards, chasing the winged dragon-deer;
    now as you hide far beyond innumerable peaks--
    the white moon, a cool breeze, the dawn of a fortunate day

  40. #40
    Senior Member galen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Omoi Otoshi View Post


    /Pontus


    No (I) in those faces, they seemingly are we, they or us . The operating room seems nothing but cockoo, big Mind moving through levels of deep concentration putting one in the Zone. No looking at the pretty young women surgeon (who is also wealthy and single , just being totally there, because one f-up could be death, and the death of ones career. Taking my Zen-a-fied focus to the gym, later gator!


    Gassho
    Nothing Special

  41. #41
    Thank you Jundo,
    one of the gems which I missed in the flood of posts,
    Gassho
    Myoku (fully allowing the flood of posts)

  42. #42
    oldie but goodie. Thank you!
    Gassho,
    Onken

  43. #43
    Lost in thought, I awoke to the beautifull surroundings of my family visiting the San Diego Zoo this past weekend. I did not fight the awareness, awareness of awareness or no awareness, just went with it. Lost and not lost in thought, at once. The hell with 'mindfulness'. I was present, all the way, I think.

    Roars of lions, trumpets of elephants, mind noise or whatever. Heard some, none, or all of it. Who cares. Just chilled out. And that was cool.

    Gassho, John
    Last edited by Jishin; 12-31-2012 at 04:31 AM. Reason: Spelling?
    治 Ji (Healing)
    心​ Shin (Heart-Mind)

  44. #44
    Roars of lions, trumpets of elephants.

    Gassho, J
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  45. #45
    Senior Member Amelia's Avatar
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    Do you live here in beautiful San Diego, John? "You stay classy..."
    迎 Geika

  46. #46
    Quote Originally Posted by Amelia View Post
    Do you live here in beautiful San Diego, John? "You stay classy..."
    Amelia, I wish. I live in Lubbock, Texas. The city is about 200,000 and the nearest 'big' city is about 2 hours away in Amarillo. The population there is about 150,000. In between there is a LOT of flat land growing cotton.

    Home is home and Lubbock is my home. Always get a little sad when coming home from super cool places like San Diego. Guess don't matter where one settles down. In the end (beginning), I wake up, zazen, breakfast, shit, shower, shave, work, home, family, bed, and the cycle begins (ends) again. Could do this anywhere, even in prison (don't know what kind of 'girlfriend' would have there).

    Gassho, John
    治 Ji (Healing)
    心​ Shin (Heart-Mind)

  47. #47
    Senior Member Amelia's Avatar
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    Home is home.
    迎 Geika

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