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Thread: SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: HOW TO CLEAN THE KITCHEN

  1. #1

    SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: HOW TO CLEAN THE KITCHEN

    .
    A member of our Sangha asked whether cleaning the kitchen while listening to music is not "Zen" enough. He used to believe that "Zen" (whatever that is) means spending one's every waking moment, morning to night, doing one action at one time with total attention and mindfulness.

    Hmmm. Well, there are certainly moments when we practice in such way ... when drinking tea, just drinking tea ... when walking, just walking ... when seeing a sunset, just experiencing/being this. But not every moment need be so.

    So, please sometimes clean while listening to music and drinking iced tea too ... or sometimes clean while watching t.v. or phoning a friend.

    Please also sometimes clean while not listening to music etc. etc., just being present with the cleaning, one action at one time with total awareness.

    Both fine ways to clean
    ... try each from time to time.

    Ya see, some might think that cleaning while doing something else is not being "present in the moment" enough. But when are we not "present right in this moment"?

    What makes you think that that cleaning while music listening and thinking about overdue bills to pay or your pesky boyfriend is not your complete present too? Just be present and totally aware of that! It is your instant "in the kitchen listening to 'tunes while thinking about bills and the boyfriend" just this present! How did you want to be more in the present? Why were you rejecting this "kitchen-music-bills-boyfriend" present to try to be somewhere else, perhaps in some other "more present than my present" present?

    Oh, I am not saying that it is good to be always multi-tasking, swept up in a mix of activities and busy thoughts. I am just saying that it is lovely and very human to be like that much of our day, perfectly fine and natural. At other times, drop all that ... find simplicity, awareness of this present moment, one action at one time, and just do that! Live each way, each in its proper moment.

    There is a time to stop and smell the roses ... there is a time to be totally mindful and "do one thing at one time with total attention" ... and there are times to do ten things at once, and just be totally "present" with that.

    This practice is never about "leaving the present to be present with the present" ... but just to be presently present with what the present presents as a gift-wrapped present.

    Everything in its proper time. There are times to be in the present experiencing fully just the present, and times to be in the present which is thinking about tomorrow or something that happened last Tuesday. Push none of it away.

    Oh, in Zen practice, we come to find a kind of inner switch that we can push to be "IN THE NOW" when appropriate, when we want to be. But it is not a switch to push constantly ... because then the richness of this life can be missed in other ways.

    BUT DOES THAT MEAN THAT ONE CAN JUST CLEAN THE KITCHEN ANY OLD WAY ONE WISHES AND IT'S STILL 'ALL GOOD PRACTICE'? ABSOLUTELY NOT! One thing to completely master in cleaning a kitchen the "Zen Way" ... whether just cleaning to clean as the one and only activity in all time and space ... or just cleaning while listening to tunes, drinking tea and chatting on the phone ... is this vital way of being, to wit:


    In all cases, clean diligently to attain making the room clean, while simultaneously dropping all thought of "clean vs. dirty" and anything to attain.

    Also, even though part of your heart may wish to be on a sunny beach on a tropical island instead of spending one's precious time cleaning a dirty kitchen, simultaneously drop any thought of somewhere else to be or where you need/can be.

    Such truly being "one with the moment just as it is" is much more vital to our practice than whether one is listening to tunes, talking on the phone or not ... than being totally focused on the moment.

    Today’s Sit-A-Long video follows at this link. Remember: recording ends soon after the beginning bells; a sitting time of 15 to 35 minutes is recommended.

    [youtube] [/youtube]
    .

  2. #2

    Re: SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: HOW TO CLEAN THE KITCHEN

    Gassho Jundo Thanks for a great talk.To swim on the surface and simultaneously walk at the bottom of ocean comes to mind!

    Gassho

    John

  3. #3
    Senior Member Hoyu's Avatar
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    Re: SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: HOW TO CLEAN THE KITCHEN

    Thank you.........and Thank you ops: _/_
    There is also another option for audio indulgence while working. Instead of music, one could listen to Dharma talks!

    Gassho,
    John

  4. #4

    Re: SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: HOW TO CLEAN THE KITCHEN

    I really enjoyed this talk.
    You are absolutely right. To be fully present doesn't mean to only be present to one thing at a time, since we are never doing only one thing at a time. When drinking tea, if we are truly present to that, we will also be present to our breathing, the sounds that come in, the smells that strike us, the pulse of our beating heart.

    We don't look to make a place for practice, instead we take the place we are in and practice.

    What makes you think that that cleaning while music listening and thinking about overdue bills to pay or your pesky boyfriend is not your complete present too? Just be present and totally aware of that! It is your instant "in the kitchen listening to 'tunes while thinking about bills and the boyfriend" just this present! How did you want to be more in the present? Why were you rejecting this "kitchen-music-bills-boyfriend" present to try to be somewhere else, perhaps in some other "more present than my present" present?
    _/_

    Seiryu

  5. #5

    Re: SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: HOW TO CLEAN THE KITCHEN

    This reminds me of a story from one of Korean master Seung Sahn Sunim's books (sorry don't remember which one).

    He was giving a talk about mindfulness, and explaining "when eating, just eat. When reading, just read." To give one's full self to the activity at hand. The next day a zendo resident walked into the kitchen and found Seung Sahn eating a bowl of cereal while reading the newspaper! When the resident asked how he could violate what he just discussed the day before, he responded;

    "When eating and reading the newspaper, just eat and read the newspaper!" :mrgreen:

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    Treeleaf Unsui Shokai's Avatar
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    Re: SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: HOW TO CLEAN THE KITCHEN

    Once more, thank you Jundo-oso; Just remember multi-tasking all the time is not where you want to be. While in the kitchen, be in the kitchen and btw, don't fry bacon while in the nude

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    Treeleaf Unsui Dosho's Avatar
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    Re: SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: HOW TO CLEAN THE KITCHEN

    Jundo,

    Thank you for this teaching.

    Gassho,
    Dosho

  8. #8

    Re: SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: HOW TO CLEAN THE KITCHEN

    Gassho Jundo. You have no idea how much I needed this talk.

    I read some blogs and try to take the mindset of not multi-tasking. I mean we multitask whether we like it or not. Our body/mind keeps us living while we do other things. But I mean in terms of conscious things we do, I try to single task, and I get into this single tasking mindset. So when things come along where I may need to multitask I actually get resentful.

    So this was good for; just sit back relax. Be with life, don't control it. That is the practice.

    Gassho,

    Risho

    P.S. I still do believe that although we may multiple things going on, we really can only focus on one of them, albeit we have to shift our focus from thing to thing. Otherwise the quality of work that results = work/.

    But if we can just eat and read the newspaper... as Matt said.. now that's the trick. hahhah

  9. #9

    Re: SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: HOW TO CLEAN THE KITCHEN

    Quote Originally Posted by Matto
    This reminds me of a story from one of Korean master Seung Sahn Sunim's books (sorry don't remember which one).

    He was giving a talk about mindfulness, and explaining "when eating, just eat. When reading, just read." To give one's full self to the activity at hand. The next day a zendo resident walked into the kitchen and found Seung Sahn eating a bowl of cereal while reading the newspaper! When the resident asked how he could violate what he just discussed the day before, he responded;

    "When eating and reading the newspaper, just eat and read the newspaper!" :mrgreen:
    Ah, great (said while typing and drinking my coffee).

    Gassho, J

  10. #10
    Senior Member Hoyu's Avatar
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    Re: SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: HOW TO CLEAN THE KITCHEN

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo
    Quote Originally Posted by Matto
    This reminds me of a story from one of Korean master Seung Sahn Sunim's books (sorry don't remember which one).

    He was giving a talk about mindfulness, and explaining "when eating, just eat. When reading, just read." To give one's full self to the activity at hand. The next day a zendo resident walked into the kitchen and found Seung Sahn eating a bowl of cereal while reading the newspaper! When the resident asked how he could violate what he just discussed the day before, he responded;

    "When eating and reading the newspaper, just eat and read the newspaper!" :mrgreen:
    Ah, great (said while typing and drinking my coffee).

    Gassho, J
    :lol:

  11. #11
    Senior Member Nenka's Avatar
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    Re: SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: HOW TO CLEAN THE KITCHEN

    Anyone here ever had a job waiting tables in a restaurant? It's nothing but multitasking . . . and yet all one job . . . are there new customers, are they ready to order, are they ready to pay, are there dirty dishes to remove, did I get all the sides and the bread basket and the drinks and the salads, is anyone waiting for a table, did the cook forget anything because he's hung over again, where is the manager, what are we out of, who's going to answer the phone, do I have to wrap up any to-go orders . . it's a constant dance that doesn't end until the shift is over. You just go into that mode and do it.

    I don't know, this talk just made me think of that. And I haven't waited tables in 15 years.

    Jen

  12. #12

    Re: SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: HOW TO CLEAN THE KITCHEN

    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer G P
    You just go into that mode and do it.
    Boom!

    I worked in fast food, even my job now is pretty hectic at times. Calm in the storm.

  13. #13

    Re: SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: HOW TO CLEAN THE KITCHEN

    Gassho Jundo.

    Just as an FYI (and since you mentioned iTunes) you can get all the talks (Sit-A-Longs & Zazenkai) here:

    http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/tree ... d417051167

    For your cleanings.

    Gassho,

    Shawn

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    Senior Member Ekai's Avatar
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    Re: SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: HOW TO CLEAN THE KITCHEN

    Quote Originally Posted by JRBrisson
    There is also another option for audio indulgence while working. Instead of music, one could listen to Dharma talks!

    Gassho,
    John
    Ditto! I listen to the Sit-a-Long talks while working on mundane tasks.

    Thanks,
    Jodi

  15. #15

    Re: SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: HOW TO CLEAN THE KITCHEN

    Quote Originally Posted by jodi_h
    Quote Originally Posted by JRBrisson
    There is also another option for audio indulgence while working. Instead of music, one could listen to Dharma talks!

    Gassho,
    John
    Ditto! I listen to the Sit-a-Long talks while working on mundane tasks.

    Thanks,
    Jodi
    Ah, well, hmmm ... yeah, but that's different!

    When listening to Jundo and Taigu, just listen to Jundo and Taigu!

    When sitting-a-long ... just Sit-A-Long! :wink:

    Gassho, J

  16. #16

    SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: HOW TO CLEAN THE KITCHEN

    A very illumintating task Jundo. Deep bow of gratitude. These days I've been thinking a lot about the "proper zen" way of doing things and today I realized that the very important thing is "being one with the moment just as it is".
    This post has been Just typing action as I don't know how to do anything else while typing on my smartphone

    Gassho from the seaside

    Rimon

  17. #17
    Senior Member Ekai's Avatar
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    Re: SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: HOW TO CLEAN THE KITCHEN

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo
    Quote Originally Posted by jodi_h
    Quote Originally Posted by JRBrisson
    There is also another option for audio indulgence while working. Instead of music, one could listen to Dharma talks!

    Gassho,
    John
    Ditto! I listen to the Sit-a-Long talks while working on mundane tasks.

    Thanks,
    Jodi
    Ah, well, hmmm ... yeah, but that's different!

    When listening to Jundo and Taigu, just listen to Jundo and Taigu!

    When sitting-a-long ... just Sit-A-Long! :wink:

    Gassho, J

    Ok!

    Thanks,
    Jodi

  18. #18

    Re: SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: HOW TO CLEAN THE KITCHEN

    Thanks Jundo,
    lovely talk! And thanks John and Jodi for your idea, and Jundo for clarifying that this might not be as good,
    _()_
    Peter

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    Treeleaf Unsui/Engineer Kyonin's Avatar
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    Re: SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: HOW TO CLEAN THE KITCHEN

    Thanks for this teaching.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Hoyu's Avatar
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    Re: SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: HOW TO CLEAN THE KITCHEN

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Lin
    Thanks Jundo,
    lovely talk! And thanks John and Jodi for your idea, and Jundo for clarifying that this might not be as good,
    _()_
    Peter
    Hi Peter,

    Just to clarify I feel that the sit a longs here at Treeleaf are best if one views it and then sits. I suggested Dharma talks which I listen to while driving, shoveling snow etc. The Dharma talks I listen to are from various Sangha such as the Toledo Zen Center, Minnesota Zen Meditation Center, and Dharma Field just to name a few.

    Gassho,
    John

  21. #21

    Re: SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: HOW TO CLEAN THE KITCHEN

    Thanks John for the additional info,
    however, not trying to be right or so, but for me music is ok to have it side by side with a main task occasionally, its like the wind or rain on the roof. For me however, a dharma talk requires my full attention. Its not about the sitting afterwards, I not even do this often with treeleaf sit-alongs, but the talk itself is something I just cant get when doing something else.
    No judgement about you or anybody else intended,
    _()_
    Peter

  22. #22

    Re: SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: HOW TO CLEAN THE KITCHEN

    Thanks jundo so very much for the talk,

    This talk was so powerful and yet so simple! Wow!

    Gassho

    Ray

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