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Thread: Ango Keepers

  1. #1

    Ango Keepers

    To clarify for those unfamiliar with US idioms, a "keeper" is something that you once thought was temporary or provisional but that you come to decide is worth keeping around. I thought I'd see who else is thinking of folding some of his or her ango commitments into their post-ango practice.

    Me? Well, I'd like to think that I'll stay clear of donuts post-ango. We'll see about that. Ahem.

    The one thing I'm certain to keep is the brief midday sit on workdays. I've consistently been able to sit zazen for ten minutes every M-F since ango started, and I now have a couple of spots to choose from. I've even got a little cardboard mat I can sit on when the ground or cement is moist. Today was the first day I've missed since starting, thanks to a string of really difficult situations, and as soon as I got into my car to pick up my younger daughter at school, I found the first spot to pull over and do an improvised car-seat sit. That's when I realized that, yep, the midday sit was a keeper.

    How about other folks? Anyone else finding ango components that they'll be sticking with?

  2. #2
    Friends of Treeleaf Dokan's Avatar
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    Re: Ango Keepers

    I will keep some of my commitments as well. I will try to keep the two sittings but may drop them down from 45 and 30 to 30/30. Either that or just go to one 45. Also I plan on keeping my vegan commitment currently although that discussion topic is still open and I could return to vegetarianism...or even start eating steak! But currently it'll stay as is. My shakuhachi/sewing daily also will stay. I will go back to drinking socially and I will probably also return to coffee, though probably will continue abstaining from sodas. Since Ango started I have dropped about 12 pounds and really haven't done anything special exercise wise. I attribute it to the dropping of soda and dairy (aka chocolate.)

    Gassho

    Shawn

    Sent from my I897 using Tapatalk

  3. #3

    Re: Ango Keepers

    I dont know what I will keep or not, I just only do as best as I can (or as best as i believe I can ?) now. I'm really not much into plans, so time will tell
    _()_
    Peter

  4. #4

    Re: Ango Keepers

    Well, you are doing the ango, though, Peter, so you do kinda like some plans!

  5. #5
    Treeleaf Unsui Shokai's Avatar
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    Re: Ango Keepers

    I'll keep whichever habits stick. I will also most definitely keep the mental image of Chris and his cardboard prayer mat. In Saudi, most taxi drivers store their prayer mat on the dashboard; you never know when you're going to need it. Of course, one should never say never! :lol:

  6. #6
    Treeleaf Unsui/Engineer Kyonin's Avatar
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    Re: Ango Keepers

    I'm planning on keeping the no bread thing. So far it's been a great experience to be able to challenge the way my family has been eating for generations. I have learned a a lot and I am much more aware of what I eat. Same goes for the meal gatha.

    Not only I'm losing weight now but I am also able to run races!!

    Also I'll keep the twice a day zazen. My second session will be shorter, though. But my morning session will be about 35 minutes or maybe I'll make it a 40 minutes.

  7. #7
    Treeleaf Unsui Dosho's Avatar
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    Re: Ango Keepers

    Hi all,

    I'm just going to add a new commitment for the rest of Ango which is not to speculate about what I will or won't do when it's over.

    My advice? Keep your focus on the commitments you have already made and not those you may or may not keep months from now. Today, tomorrow, next week, and next month are more than enough.

    Gassho,
    Dosho

  8. #8

    Re: Ango Keepers

    Quote Originally Posted by Dosho
    I'm just going to add a new commitment for the rest of Ango which is not to speculate about what I will or won't do when it's over.

    My advice? Keep your focus on the commitments you have already made and not those you may or may not keep months from now. Today, tomorrow, next week, and next month are more than enough.
    What you're really talking about here is scale, as far as I can tell: your advice is that one should plan for the period defined as ango but any more is "more than enough." What is enough? What is more? Did/do you approach precept study and commitments in the same way? What about sitting? Is 20 minutes enough? 45 too much? :?

    All this concern about planning and commitment is curious to me. I mean, I get it: Zen is about the this here & now. But everyone plans, like it or not; as Jundo is often saying, life forces planning upon us and we are forever finding the middle path through these seeming contradictions -- it's the stuff of Zen.

    And, let's face it, all of us are doing it to some extent -- or else we wouldn't be in some more or less arbitrary time period called "ango"!

    The debate about how much or little is enough reminds me of an old Winston Churchill joke:

    At a dinner party Churchill says to his dinner companion, "Madam, would you sleep with me for five million pounds?"

    The woman responds, "My goodness, Mr. Churchill. I suppose I would."

    Churchill replies, "Would you sleep with me for five pounds?"

    She answers, "Mr. Churchill, what kind of woman do you think I am?"

    Churchill answers, "Madam, we've already established that. Now we are haggling about the price."
    Too much planning, too little planning; one person's commitment is another person's speculation; what's enough, what's more than enough: it seems to me that we're haggling about the price.

    Me? I'm grateful for this ango, my commitment to which has required me to confront some resistances (that meal gatha!) and embrace new routines that are ennobling my practice. Not giving anyone else advice, mind you, but that's a level of commitment I'm glad to extend. Yes, into the unknowable future!

    Gassho for this interesting discussion, which I hadn't planned for!

  9. #9

    Re: Ango Keepers

    I've kept the meal gatha from last year and i'm keeping it again

  10. #10
    Treeleaf Unsui Dosho's Avatar
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    Re: Ango Keepers

    Chris,

    I was merely suggesting that, having made your ango commitments some weeks ago, that you wait until the end of the practice period to decide if you plan to continue any particular aspect of it. There was a time for each of us before ango began to debate which practices we would undertake or add to our practice and we each committed to doing them for a full 90 days. So, what I am offering is the idea that you take that 90 days fully and completely to undertake each commitment without thought to whether they have been good or bad, useful or not useful, important or unimportant. Just do them. Nothing more, nothing less. And after the 90 days is over there will be plenty of time to decide if we should incorporate them into our daily lives beyond that point.

    And if at any point I gave the impression that it is not human nature to speculate about the future, please accept my apologies because I'm as guilty of that as anyone! I only meant to offer a reminder that dropping such things is an aspect of practice we should not neglect.

    Gassho,
    Dosho


    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisA

    What you're really talking about here is scale, as far as I can tell: your advice is that one should plan for the period defined as ango but any more is "more than enough." What is enough? What is more? Did/do you approach precept study and commitments in the same way? What about sitting? Is 20 minutes enough? 45 too much? :?

    All this concern about planning and commitment is curious to me. I mean, I get it: Zen is about the this here & now. But everyone plans, like it or not; as Jundo is often saying, life forces planning upon us and we are forever finding the middle path through these seeming contradictions -- it's the stuff of Zen.

    And, let's face it, all of us are doing it to some extent -- or else we wouldn't be in some more or less arbitrary time period called "ango"!

    The debate about how much or little is enough reminds me of an old Winston Churchill joke:

    At a dinner party Churchill says to his dinner companion, "Madam, would you sleep with me for five million pounds?"

    The woman responds, "My goodness, Mr. Churchill. I suppose I would."

    Churchill replies, "Would you sleep with me for five pounds?"

    She answers, "Mr. Churchill, what kind of woman do you think I am?"

    Churchill answers, "Madam, we've already established that. Now we are haggling about the price."
    Too much planning, too little planning; one person's commitment is another person's speculation; what's enough, what's more than enough: it seems to me that we're haggling about the price.

    Me? I'm grateful for this ango, my commitment to which has required me to confront some resistances (that meal gatha!) and embrace new routines that are ennobling my practice. Not giving anyone else advice, mind you, but that's a level of commitment I'm glad to extend. Yes, into the unknowable future!

    Gassho for this interesting discussion, which I hadn't planned for!

  11. #11

    Re: Ango Keepers

    Thanks for writing, Dosho. I think I understand what you were trying to say a bit better.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dosho
    And if at any point I gave the impression that it is not human nature to speculate about the future, please accept my apologies because I'm as guilty of that as anyone! I only meant to offer a reminder that dropping such things is an aspect of practice we should not neglect.
    Agreed! Believe me, I'm all for holding to the 90 day commitment! I even said my meal gatha at lunch!!

  12. #12
    Senior Member Hoyu's Avatar
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    Re: Ango Keepers

    Dosho wrote:
    So, what I am offering is the idea that you take that 90 days fully and completely to undertake each commitment without thought to whether they have been good or bad, useful or not useful, important or unimportant. Just do them. Nothing more, nothing less.
    Hi Dosho,

    What you put forward here is just wonderful! _/_
    I understand what Chris is thinking because I have gone through the very same questions he posed as well. The perspective you have shared here made me decide to put such thoughts on the back burner for now(easier said than done :shock: ).

    I'd love to take this post up and add my list of "keepers" to it once we finish the ango period. In the meantime I will definitely continue to enjoy reading from anyone who decides, at this time, to share.

    Gassho,
    John

  13. #13
    Senior Member Hoyu's Avatar
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    Re: Ango Keepers

    Hi All,

    As promised here is my Ango keepers report.
    The things I have kept up to date most are:

    The meal chant. Every day. Occasionally breakfast or lunch but always for supper while gathered around the table with family.
    Metta practice. Plenty of opportunity as of lately. Much sending of Metta to all our members, their families, and friends who are in need.

    How about everyone else?

    Gassho,
    Hoyu

  14. #14
    Treeleaf Unsui rculver's Avatar
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    Ango Keepers

    I've kept up with a short version of the meal chant and do it with my family. Not so good with the metta but I do it occasionally. gone back to sitting 5 days a week instead of 7 and sitting for 25 minutes instead of 30.

    Thanks for bringing the thread back up.

    Ron


    Shugen

  15. #15

    Re: Ango Keepers

    I chant the metta verse every midday when I sit -- and now and then as needed.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Ekai's Avatar
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    Re: Ango Keepers

    I still chant the meal chant usually everday, sit for 15-25 minutes daily (depends on how well Hunter goes to sleep :cry: ), metta practice, nurturing seeds practice and dana every month. I want to add some sutra study and more chanting (Bodhisattva Vow, Verse on Atonement, Heart Sutra). But I will take one step at a time.

    Gassho,
    Jodi/Ekai

  17. #17
    Friends of Treeleaf Dokan's Avatar
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    Re: Ango Keepers

    Mostly things have become habit.

    - Zazen has shortened from 40m 2x/day to about 30 minutes.
    - Shakuhachi &/or Sewing practice continues daily (been dabbling with calligraphy as well)
    - Daily reading continues, although I've been bouncing off of Shobo to a few other books, I keep coming back to Shobo as my core.
    - Vegan has been dropped for Lacto-Veggie diet. My meal chants have been all that more meaningful. Dropping lacto for Ango I found very challenging. Now eating it again, I eat with much deeper gratitude.
    - Due to the former point, it has really helped solidify my meal chant.

    Gassho,

    Dokan

  18. #18

    Re: Ango Keepers

    I always chant the meal chant; I love it... just love it. It grounds my practice. I also really like the nurturing seeds practice; although I find it difficult to remember to do it. I usually get used by my emotions, so I'm at the phase where I catch it, but I'm still caught at that point

    I will be incorporating Metta. I also need to become more consistent with sitting. I've been studying for a professional certification for the past 6 months, so I was swamped. My time is coming back to normal, so I'm trying to sit with more regularity again.

    Gassho,

    Risho

  19. #19
    Senior Member Heisoku's Avatar
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    Re: Ango Keepers

    It's great that much of the practice has become so embedded. I love the metta chant particularly when I find myself p***** at someone, I usually go and chant for that person. I have also been chanting for all treeleafers and it kinda keeps this place in my daily practice. I do the shortb meal chant at lunch and sit once a day for 30mins and add a 15 min sit in the evenings if I can. The book club focuses my reading but I have been going over Shobogenzo commentaries by Uchiyama as well as some of the Paramita sutra commentaries. Thich Nhat Nahn's commentary on the Diamond Sutra really struch a chord during my reading this time round...particularly in describing the self as a lifespan..dunno why!

    My resolution is to attend a live G+ event and to just participate more in Treeleaf. It's good knowing you all.

  20. #20
    Treeleaf Unsui/Engineer Kyonin's Avatar
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    Re: Ango Keepers

    Yes, the meal gatha turned into a habit for me, so I do it all the time. It gives you a special connection and understanding of what you're eating.

    I also kept the no bread thingy. I stopped eating bread for Ango and now it's out of my system. Sure, I have eaten pizza a couple of times, but here at home we simply don't buy bread anymore.

    For Ango I raised my zazen session to 35 minutes and it's stayed that way.

    Oh and I will keep the sewing too. I will start my Okesa soon.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dokan
    Mostly things have become habit.

    - Zazen has shortened from 40m 2x/day to about 30 minutes.
    - Shakuhachi &/or Sewing practice continues daily (been dabbling with calligraphy as well)
    - Daily reading continues, although I've been bouncing off of Shobo to a few other books, I keep coming back to Shobo as my core.
    - Vegan has been dropped for Lacto-Veggie diet. My meal chants have been all that more meaningful. Dropping lacto for Ango I found very challenging. Now eating it again, I eat with much deeper gratitude.
    - Due to the former point, it has really helped solidify my meal chant.

    Gassho,

    Dokan

  21. #21
    Senior Member KellyRok's Avatar
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    Re: Ango Keepers

    Hello all,

    I've had to go back to one sitting most days, I do try to squeeze in 2 some days when I can. I try to do metta everyday and I find the nurturing seeds practice very helpful too. I try to chant the heart sutra at least once a week and I say the verse of atonement almost daily. I say meal gathas a few times a week and I have a few different versions that we use (my children are learning them too).

    Since our crazy basketball season is winding down now, I will be picking up the needle again very soon. I'm almost ready to start sewing my kesa panels together.

    Thank you for this thread...I will look at it when I lack motivation .

    bows,
    Kelly/Jinmei

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