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Thread: Beginner path?

  1. #1

    Beginner path?

    So right now, Zen is not much more than a hobby but I'd like to learn more about Buddhist teachings etc. The problem is that I'm not sure where to start.

    I've been listening to Podcasts like buudhistgeeks and audiodharma which I love.
    Does anyone have any suggested starting points?

  2. #2

    Re: Beginner path?

    You have already ventured in, the starting point(if there is one) is when one decides to sit at all. Hobby or not, sitting zazen, no matter if short or long is a starting point, an end point, and all other points in between.

    But to your question, there are a lot of videos done by Jundo Sensei on Zazen for beginners, as I'm sure he will post the links once he sees this thread. There is a wealth of information out there so it can be mind boggling to sort through. If you like zen, my recommendation as a book would be John Daido Rosho's "The eight gates of Zen" (Don't know if others would agree with me.)

    Although, the best way to start, or really get into this practice, is to sit down and jump right into zazen. Everything else after that is secondary.

    Gassho

    Seiryu

  3. #3
    Senior Member Hoyu's Avatar
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    Re: Beginner path?

    Seiryu wrote:
    But to your question, there are a lot of videos done by Jundo Sensei on Zazen for beginners
    I'm with Seiryu on this one. There is a wealth of information right here! There are many great video lessons from both Taigu Sensei and Jundo Sensei. Not much need at this point to look further. But in the mean time just sit, sit, sit.

    Gassho,
    John

  4. #4

    Re: Beginner path?

    Quote Originally Posted by Seiryu
    But to your question, there are a lot of videos done by Jundo Sensei on Zazen for beginners, as I'm sure he will post the links once he sees this thread.
    Don't be so quick to assume! 8)

    But here are the links to our talks for beginners (we are all beginners!) There are 23 !! in the series, a few minutes each. I ask that you do look at those, even if you have been practicing forever or are new to practice, and hope they are helpful. Please have a look to get a taste of the style of Shikantaza Zazen emphasized here ...

    viewforum.php?f=20

    (this thread may also be helpful) ...

    viewforum.php?f=23

    We have a suggested booklist which has many books appropriate for those new and old to the practice (books for newer folks are marked) ...

    viewtopic.php?f=1&t=889

    Oh, and SIT, SIT MORE, PUT TEACHINGS INTO PRACTICE IN LIFE, SIT, SIT, LIVE!

    Come here to our Forum to ask about anything, or what comes up in your practice. Ask about anything at all, easy questions or hard.

    Gassho, J

    PS - A wealth of great information on the internet. Know that different Zen teachers tend to teach somewhat different approaches ... like different chefs have very different ways to make a simple bowl of tomato soup! So, don't be surprised if different teachers say seemingly contradictory things. I am not a big fan of Daido's approach to Shikantaza (which he tended to put in a back seat to Koan Zazen sometimes, I feel, and a little too much emphasis on following the breath as its core), although I am a big fan of Daido's recorded talks on Koans! His other writings are wonderful, such as his book we recommend on a home Liturgy ...

    viewtopic.php?f=1&t=3308

  5. #5

    Re: Beginner path?

    Personally, I think one of the best ways to 'jump off the hundred foot pole" as it were, is to talk and listen here and then do a little reading. I found a lot of Buddhist writings read like stereo instructions written in a foreign language! But after I got more of a feel for the way Buddhists saw things and expressed things, I got more of an understanding of what the readings were saying. Also I do enjoy Aitken Roshi's books, like Taking the Path of Zen, just remember that his school focuses on koans more than we do here, having shikantaza as the core of our practice.

  6. #6

    Re: Beginner path?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo
    Ask about anything at all, easy questions or hard.
    I know this is totally off topic, but jeez, I live in Alabama, and it's getting hot, and when the dang tornados aren't blowing things my way, which is less and less recently, I like to eat ice cream. And I remember the talk you once gave on ice cream cones...so, I was wondering Sensei, what is your favorite flavor? :shock:

    gassho
    Greg

  7. #7
    Senior Member Hoyu's Avatar
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    Re: Beginner path?

    I was wondering Sensei, what is your favorite flavor?
    I'm hoping he says matcha

    Gassho,
    John

  8. #8

    Re: Beginner path?

    Quote Originally Posted by ghop
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo
    Ask about anything at all, easy questions or hard.
    I know this is totally off topic, but jeez, I live in Alabama, and it's getting hot, and when the dang tornados aren't blowing things my way, which is less and less recently, I like to eat ice cream. And I remember the talk you once gave on ice cream cones...so, I was wondering Sensei, what is your favorite flavor? :shock:

    gassho
    Greg

    All Flavors! (Even Spinach and Brocolli!). The Flavorless Flavor too!*

    (but Cookies and Cream when I can get it!) 8)

    Gassho, J

    * Ask a question around here, get a smartass Zenny answer.

  9. #9
    Treeleaf Unsui Shokai's Avatar
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    Re: Beginner path?

    Ever try that squid ink pasta ? :shock:

  10. #10
    Treeleaf Unsui/Engineer Kyonin's Avatar
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    Re: Beginner path?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo
    SIT, SIT MORE, PUT TEACHINGS INTO PRACTICE IN LIFE, SIT, SIT, LIVE!
    This is perhaps the most useful piece of advise you can get and you will see it everywhere in the forums.

    Just sit, meditate.

    And try to watch all the videos. It will help you a lot to understand why we practice.

    Enjoy!

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