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Thread: 9/30 Zen Seeds: Pgs 50-57

  1. #1

    9/30 Zen Seeds: Pgs 50-57

    You Are Now at Your Youngest

    If I would have read this essay ten years ago, in my early twenties, I don't think it would have had the same impact. Now, even still relatively young in my early 30s, the signs of aging are already setting in. Most of my hair is gone, I'm out of shape, I've got a bad knee, ankle, and shoulder, etc. etc. Everyone says "it only gets worse from there!" Perhaps... but what can you do? There is only now.

    There is a such a wide age range in our Sangha, so I am interested to ask: How do you feel about your current age, and how has your practice shaped or changed your feelings about aging, if at all?

    Hearing the Wind in the Pines

    "The voice of the wind in the pines is the most beautiful sound there is." -- but only if you truly listen. Any sound can be a beautiful sound if you truly listen. It is only the vibration of membrane and bones in your ears... your perception makes it beautiful or strident.

    Listen to something you normally dislike. Can you hear its beauty?

  2. #2

    Re: 9/30 Zen Seeds: Pgs 50-57

    You are now at your youngest
    Funny thing, being 20 :P Well, it's hard to say. I certainly feel that I might be a bit more introspective than some of my peers, but sometimes that boils down to Buddhist pretension Instead, I don't think I look at life as constantly passing me by havetolivewhileI'myoung! I just live. Go to a party when I want to, stay in and read when I want to. Life lives itself, are we awake to it?

    Hearing Wind in the Pines
    I live by a busy road in a house with thin walls. I hear semi-trucks roaring down the road from dusk till dawn carrying loads of inhumanely caged chickens and turkeys (Harrisonburg VA is the poultry capital of the east coast). Wind in the pines, pumpkin soup cooking, trucks driving. The first two are easy, the last one takes some work!

  3. #3

    Re: 9/30 Zen Seeds: Pgs 50-57

    Not sure about the old age advices, I feel when we live here and now and see memories as just memories and our ideas and plans as just that, we're fine. There is only now, this very moment, again and again, but always this very moment. What spoke loudest to me, is that "we often worry unnecessarily", indeed. I do certainly. I worry about tomorrows income, about my health, about the future in general.

    Yokoyama didnt had to make a whistle from a pine needle, he was playing it right away, just like you and me.

    _()_
    Peter (currently away from home, but posting more frequently again next week)

  4. #4
    Senior Member Heisoku's Avatar
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    Re: 9/30 Zen Seeds: Pgs 50-57

    You are now at your youngest
    Well I guess I feel like Popeye now I am 50. 'I am what I am'... and there ain't nothing that anyone can do about it!
    What this practice has helped dispell is that I am any age at all. I have really found that 'now' is a wonderful age to be and what is more people of all ages seem to respond to my expression of this ... Maybe it's being around kids, but I don't feel any differences or personal separation as I did when I was younger. Maybe that's the first delusion that this practice revealed for me.

    Hearing the Wind in the Pines
    To truly hear there must be silence of mind. When this does occur the deep sense of peace and beauty flows through that moment.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Amelia's Avatar
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    Re: 9/30 Zen Seeds: Pgs 50-57

    Quote Originally Posted by Matto
    Now, even still relatively young in my early 30s, the signs of aging are already setting in. Most of my hair is gone, I'm out of shape, I've got a bad knee, ankle, and shoulder, etc. etc. Everyone says "it only gets worse from there!"
    No such thing as "worse." :P

    Quote Originally Posted by Matto
    There is a such a wide age range in our Sangha, so I am interested to ask: How do you feel about your current age, and how has your practice shaped or changed your feelings about aging, if at all?
    I am young still, and trying not to take it for granted. I am beginning to notice the small lines beginning around my mouth and near my eyes, and I feel a little panicky. However, with my practice, there is also a part of me that deeply acknowledges the lines as part of me and what I've done in my life, neither desirable or undesirable.

    Quote Originally Posted by Matto
    Listen to something you normally dislike. Can you hear its beauty?
    I've had experience in yogic practices and a lot of them center around the sound OM. I still like to meditate on this sound that can come from any source. I find it beautiful and calming, even if the noise it originates from (or the noise originating from it) isn't to my liking. Right now, it is the computer hum.

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Lin
    What spoke loudest to me, is that "we often worry unnecessarily", indeed. I do certainly. I worry about tomorrows income, about my health, about the future in general.
    Me as well, chronically so! There is hope, though, because lately whenever I start to worry I can recognize it and tell myself that my worries have rarely, if ever, come to fruition. It helps.

  6. #6
    Treeleaf Unsui Dosho's Avatar
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    Re: 9/30 Zen Seeds: Pgs 50-57

    Hi all,

    You Are Now at Your Youngest

    I don't think I've led a "sad" or "shameful" life, but I do think I dwell in the past far too much and think back on the times in my life where things did not go as I expected or wanted them to go. And I certainly was someone who lamented getting sick and still do, but with practice I have been better able to look at the trials of life as challenges rather than obstacles. Even now as I am writing this, I am having some pain in my sinuses, which usually get better with rest. I really wanted to exercise today because of some weight I've put on recently, but I suppose I am being challenged to take it easy. And, in the spirit of this week's PPE, I should say thank you to the pain for showing me that I need to slow down today. Thank you.

    Quote Originally Posted by Matto
    How do you feel about your current age, and how has your practice shaped or changed your feelings about aging, if at all?
    I've started to see some evidence of getting older, although I lost my hair some time ago so I had to get used to that right as I hit my 30s. It wasn't so bad though and I'm sure I have more ahead of me, but I think I've been able to take Aoyama's message to heart and see that each day this is where I start from and age is truly just a number. In fact, I've felt old in some respects for a long time, often being told by people even when I was young that I had an "old soul". I'm not sure what that means, but usually when I check how old I am I tend to already feel older than that! But, I expect that may change as I actually get older....we shall see.

    Hearing the Wind in the Pines

    It's funny that I never thought of the wind through the pines making a particular sound, especially given that I grew up in the mountains right next to a forest area refered to by the locals as "The Pines". However, I was keenly aware when I moved away that there was a sound I had gotten used to as a child that was no longer there. It is amazing at what you'll hear when you stop to listen, but there will always be a sound to a place that you may never hear until it is gone. I was once watching a movie where one of the premises of the film was that no children had been born in nearly 20 years, leaving all schools deserted and the sound of children playing was a thing of the past. And while many had said they strongly disliked the loud and sometimes obnoxious sounds of children in their youth, it left the population in utter despair and without hope for the future when they could not hear it anymore.

    Listen to something you normally dislike. Can you hear its beauty?
    Yes.

    Gassho,
    Dosho

  7. #7

    Re: 9/30 Zen Seeds: Pgs 50-57

    You Are Now at Your Youngest

    I have had an attitude shift as I have gotten older. Probably the most difficult time for me was hitting 30 and noticing I was not just "maturing" as in my early 20's, but getting "older", as in moving in the direction of old age...albeit quite a ways off. At 54 age has more or less went away as an issue. In some respects it just doesn't matter ... I am the age I am. In addition, I was helped quite a bit by Dogen's Uji as I found it expressed a radical departure from the usual way we see time. On one level, and as Jundo says always many levels operating at the same time, the present moment contains all of the past....it contains everything. Certainly there is loss as one moment drifts into another and, on one level, our life marches on, but feeling really rooted in time as being, does add a new dimension. What else can time be except for being?

    Gassho,
    Jisen/BrianW

  8. #8

    Re: 9/30 Zen Seeds: Pgs 50-57

    How do you feel about your current age, and how has your practice shaped or changed your feelings about aging, if at all?
    In my twenties, that's 20 years ago cof cof cof, I was vrry impresed with the lyrics of Tower of Song by Leonard Cohen. Here is how it starts:

    All my friends are gone
    And my hair is grey
    I ache in the places where I used to play"
    a very vivid image of getting old: to ache in the places that were just for having fun. Being young then I pitied old fellas for such a cruel destiny.
    Last week, after a 4 hours drive, my whole body ached for two days. It never happened to me before. Of course it remined me of Leonard Cohen's song and gave me a bitter smile.
    My hair is white in some parts, and plenty of aches, fortunately my friends are not gone, and have new ones here in the sangha, and thanks to zen, I don't view getting older as a curse, but just my life as it is, even if zazen is a little more painful than before.


    Listen to something you normally dislike. Can you hear its beauty?
    I have a very fond memory of that. It was like 2 years ago. My wife and I were doing a hiking for a month, walking from one village to the other and sleeping in small inns. One night we stopped at a beautiful place by a lake. I was standing at the window, watching the fool moon reflecting on the water. You got the picture. Soooo zenny . Then I notice the sound of a waterfall and it really got it more zenny. I was in a sort of meditative state, enjoying the sound and suddenly I realized that this was a lake, so there wasn't any waterfalls at all. Then I realized that it was someone flushing the toilette in the upper floor. Now I remember the event and smile, but in that precise moment, when I found out that the sacred suddenly turned really profane I didn't care at all, and keep enjoying the sound of flushing the toilette and the water running through the conduits as it were the most precious waterfall. I even wrote a haiku about it, but alas -or fortunately for you - I can't find it anymore.

    Gassho

    RImon

  9. #9
    Friends of Treeleaf Dokan's Avatar
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    Re: 9/30 Zen Seeds: Pgs 50-57

    You Are Now at Your Youngest

    My father (73 y/o) is in town for the weekend and this reading really spoke to me. Perfect visual application. I am edging 40 (next year) and really don't feel so bad about it. Have already had some grey hairs show up on my goatee, but somehow I think it shows my years of wisdom. :twisted: One thing that comes to mind when thinking of my age is how I struggle with wanting to do more and share my practice more. So many times I've thought about starting a sitting group. Meeting a need that is very apparent in my area. How I want to volunteer more. How I want to do all this with my wife and kids. But then I struggle with trying to have too many goals. Also feels somehow odd to want to share the dharma with others since I am so ignorant in my practice.

    Hearing the Wind in the Pines

    Listen to something you normally dislike. Can you hear its beauty?[/quote]

    Thanks for this...I listened to my daughter's cries. Really listened. The life, the power, the compassion and pain. Was amazing and strangely beautiful. She's alive and vibrant and wonderful. Very powerful and moving.


    g

    s

  10. #10
    Senior Member Ekai's Avatar
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    Re: 9/30 Zen Seeds: Pgs 50-57

    You are now at your youngest.

    I am 38 with wrinkles being added everyday to my face. I would rather have more wrinkles than be the wild and stupid 20 year old I was again. I definitely feel much more at peace with myself than when I was younger and can handle stressful situations more calmly. I rather aquire more wisdom than regain youth.

    Funny thing happened this past month, in Kyuki-Do I keep pulling my groin muscle, and my instructor kindly reminds me "Jodi, your not 21 years old anymore, take it easy" I have a tendency to push myself too hard. Still working on the overly driven part of myself.


    Thanks,
    Jodi

  11. #11
    Senior Member murasaki's Avatar
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    Re: 9/30 Zen Seeds: Pgs 50-57

    I still act like I can do the things I did when I was younger, which is why I run into a lot of frustration. My studies are so difficult for me, and I think that it's something wrong with me, until I'm reminded that I'm 20 years older than many of my colleagues, and I have a child and health issues.

    I still get carded sometimes when I buy alcohol, which makes me feel good, because I'm still young-looking for my age apparently. But those aches and pains multiply, and the fatigue sets in good and early in the day, and I know I won't keep being carded for alcohol for another 20 years.

    Gassho
    Julia

  12. #12

    Re: 9/30 Zen Seeds: Pgs 50-57

    NOW IS THE YOUNGEST I WILL EVER BE

    My nails have been dug into the planet for 66yrs now. To be here now is the youngest I will ever be. If I longed for something else it would be an effort in futility. ( Dukkha) To be able to savor this precious and delicious moment is truly a gift that should be consistently given to oneself by oneself. Being in this moment now and being the youngest I will ever be is simply a choice of recognizing and accepting what is. My version of an old prayer, " There will always be things that I will not be able to change. There will always be things that I will be able to change. I hope that I will acquire the wisdom to know the difference."

    HEARING THE WIND IN THE PINES

    Listen, truly listen, to the wind passing over anothers vocal cords. It says so much about the one listening.

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