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Thread: Why practice?

  1. #1

    Why practice?

    Birds sing
    Flowers bloom
    Enlightened people practice

    That is what they do
    But is it always so?

    Sometimes birds do not sing, but are they still not birds?
    Sometimes flowers are not in bloom, but are they still not flowers?
    Sometimes enlightened people do not practice, but are they still not enlightened?

    Sometimes people think they are enlightened and need to practice
    Sometimes people think they are unenlightened and need to practice
    Sometimes people think they are enlightened and do not need to practice
    Sometimes people think they can never be enlightened and do not need to practice

    Does the bird need a reason to sing?
    Does the flower need a reason to bloom?

    Sometimes people just practice and do not know why
    Do not need a reason why


    /Pontus

  2. #2

    Re: Why practice?

    Hi.

    _/_

    Mtfbwy
    Fugen

  3. #3

    Re: Why practice?

    There is "nothing to do" (exasperated eyeroll), yet we can can still very much drown in Samsara. I know dukkha, and Non -dukkha, and the difference. So practice is no choice at this point.

  4. #4

    Re: Why practice?

    Quote Originally Posted by Omoi Otoshi
    Does the bird need a reason to sing?
    Does the flower need a reason to bloom?
    And sometimes there is a practice and no one practicing it...
    Practicing or being practiced, with no intentions there is no practice and no practitioner.

    Thank you pontus

    gassho,
    Jinyu

  5. #5

    Re: Why practice?

    ....and no one flushing hot and cold when the doctor says "cancer"


    ...pardon moi, that's a bit pointed. No knock on the poetry.

  6. #6
    Treeleaf Unsui/Engineer Kyonin's Avatar
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    Re: Why practice?

    Birds are air. Air is life. Life is practice.

    Perfect circle.

    Thank you, Pontus.

  7. #7

    Re: Why practice?

    just to say. My post wasn't meant to foil or be a downer. Fairweather practice, air and birds and circles, is beautiful as beautiful.

    Peace. and happy 2012...the whole thing.. Gassho Trealeafers.

  8. #8

    Re: Why practice?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kojip
    There is "nothing to do" (exasperated eyeroll), yet we can can still very much drown in Samsara. I know dukkha, and Non -dukkha, and the difference. So practice is no choice at this point.
    Is there ever really a choice? Can we ever not be practicing? Perhaps the only real choice is whether we choose to realize practice as practice.

  9. #9

    Re: Why practice?

    Songs birding- blooms flowering ( improvised written crap on why practising)

    When shall you wake up to the fact that not a single thing is excluded,
    that nothing and nobody can jump out of the circle of as-it-isness,
    Not even the person you are?
    The whole thing transcends practice and non-practice
    every moment the whole body manifests itself and disappears
    moon whirls and sun spits
    steel and water share the same shadow
    dust and gold the same origin
    throw away this mind
    throw away what throws away too
    eyes not even blinking
    you will hug your beloved
    in the here-now
    your beloved will touch you
    beyond all touch
    for this is you
    but you are not entirely it

    Nothing hidden, take away; added
    two flames meeting
    clouds undone in clouds
    the vast sky in your hand
    mountains-rivers-cities-seas
    in your eyes

    all is well...

    all

    is



    gassho

    Taigu

  10. #10

    Re: Why practice?

    Thank you so much Rev Taigu!

    That was some golden crap poetry!
    Improvised written crap that can be read over and over again, that doesn't make much sense, but speak the universe!

    I wouldn't call my lines in the first post poetry... :mrgreen:
    Just some childish ramblings from the heart that came up and out in not so many moments, without too much premeditation. My way of telling myself not to overcomplicate stuff, not to think too much about practice, not to practice to achieve, remind myself to return to the beginner's mind.

    /Pontus

  11. #11

    Re: Why practice?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kojip
    There is "nothing to do" (exasperated eyeroll)
    Ha ha! Yes, there is nothing to do, so we might as well live and practice! :roll: :lol:

    yet we can can still very much drown in Samsara
    Yes, we're drowning in each moment!

    I know dukkha, and Non -dukkha, and the difference.
    I don't know dukkha, at least not intimately. But I can experience the dukka almost every moment. I sure as hell don't know non-dukkha, but I have occasionally experienced a slight lessening in dukkha, enough that I can trust in the possibility of liberation. I don't know the difference, but I have this idea that liberation, freedom from dukkha in the midst of dukkha, might be a difference.

    So practice is no choice at this point.
    I like to think that there's always a choice. But in the face of eternal dukkha, it would be hard not to practice in any way. The word "self-preservation" came into my mind! That's funny! :mrgreen:

    /Pontus

  12. #12

    Re: Why practice?

    ....and no one flushing hot and cold when the doctor says "cancer"
    ...pardon moi, that's a bit pointed. No knock on the poetry.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kojip
    just to say. My post wasn't meant to foil or be a downer. Fairweather practice, air and birds and circles, is beautiful as beautiful.
    Peace. and happy 2012...the whole thing.. Gassho Trealeafers.
    No worries Kojip. Knock all you want on the "poetry". It's not intended as fine art!
    Nothing wrong with being a bit pointed, to the point!

    There's a lot of doomsday news and winter depression going on, so if I get to choose, I rather think of birds singing and flowers blossoming than birds dying from cold and starvation and withering flowers. That's self-delusion in a way, but as long as we're not getting lost too much in the illusion, I don't see much harm coming from it. Sometimes though we may feel like all the dukkha in the universe has landed on top of us all of a sudden, weighing us down. In those times, talk about birdsong, flowers and perfect circles might not be what you want to hear... If that is true for you, I apologize. If you only want to point to the whole experience of life and samsara, not just the fairweather part, then that is fair. All is well.

    Thank you,
    Pontus

  13. #13

    Re: Why practice?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jinyu
    And sometimes there is a practice and no one practicing it...
    This point of view I tend to forget. We're so much more used to thinking the other way around.

    Practicing or being practiced, with no intentions there is no practice and no practitioner.
    And practicing and being practiced at the same time. In no practice/no practicioner practice there is pure practice, the empty practice of emptiness, isn't there? :wink:
    Thanks for giving me a head ache! :evil:
    I'll just have to let it be for now.

    /Pontus

  14. #14

    Re: Why practice?

    Quote Originally Posted by Omoi Otoshi
    ....and no one flushing hot and cold when the doctor says "cancer"
    ...pardon moi, that's a bit pointed. No knock on the poetry.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kojip
    just to say. My post wasn't meant to foil or be a downer. Fairweather practice, air and birds and circles, is beautiful as beautiful.
    Peace. and happy 2012...the whole thing.. Gassho Trealeafers.
    No worries Kojip. Knock all you want on the "poetry". It's not intended as fine art!
    Nothing wrong with being a bit pointed, to the point!

    There's a lot of doomsday news and winter depression going on, so if I get to choose, I rather think of birds singing and flowers blossoming than birds dying from cold and starvation and withering flowers. That's self-delusion in a way, but as long as we're not getting lost too much in the illusion, I don't see much harm coming from it. Sometimes though we may feel like all the dukkha in the universe has landed on top of us all of a sudden, weighing us down. In those times, talk about birdsong, flowers and perfect circles might not be what you want to hear... If that is true for you, I apologize. If you only want to point to the whole experience of life and samsara, not just the fairweather part, then that is fair. All is well.

    Thank you,
    Pontus
    It's different for different people maybe , but for me Dukkha is always there, whether it is the beauty of the world or the darkness. The question of the OP was "Why practice" and that is why. Practice is the practice of Non-dukkha in the midst of pleasure/pain. I think that existence, extension in space, time/unfolding is Dukkha, and Dukkha is existence, so there is no Dukha free corner of conditions, only the practice of letting go/be conditions over and over again in all conditions. In a way when things are nice, when things are "going my way" practice suffers more because I can sometimes buy the compensations. Oddly I don't feel bad about the state of the world at all, it doesn't look particularly bad to me, and besides, compared to what? Life is good, it just hurts.

    Different strokes. ...and that Op is fine poetry, though I'm not one to judge writing.

  15. #15

    Re: Why practice?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kojip
    for me Dukkha is always there, whether it is the beauty of the world or the darkness. The question of the OP was "Why practice" and that is why. Practice is the practice of Non-dukkha in the midst of pleasure/pain. I think that existence, extension in space, time/unfolding is Dukkha, and Dukkha is existence, so there is no Dukha free corner of conditions, only the practice of letting go/be conditions over and over again in all conditions. In a way when things are nice, when things are "going my way" practice suffers more because I can sometimes buy the compensations. Oddly I don't feel bad about the state of the world at all, it doesn't look particularly bad to me, and besides, compared to what? Life is good, it just hurts.
    Thank you for this...
    Dukkha is also non-Dukkha, a moment of suffering is never totally suffering, there is always the seed of non-Dukkha, joy and equanimity, in every moment.
    No need to run after joy or anything to practice non-Dhukkha, just like a moment of true concentration is never 100% concentration, a moment of suffering is never just suffering.

    I'm thinking about these guys in camps in all times and countries... even there a smile, an attention could make joy flourish in the flames of suffering...

    just thoughts... As always I'm a bit off the subject sorry folks..

    Have a very nice day everyone,
    gassho,
    Jinyu

  16. #16

    Re: Why practice?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kojip
    It's different for different people maybe , but for me Dukkha is always there, whether it is the beauty of the world or the darkness. The question of the OP was "Why practice" and that is why. Practice is the practice of Non-dukkha in the midst of pleasure/pain. I think that existence, extension in space, time/unfolding is Dukkha, and Dukkha is existence, so there is no Dukha free corner of conditions, only the practice of letting go/be conditions over and over again in all conditions. In a way when things are nice, when things are "going my way" practice suffers more because I can sometimes buy the compensations. Oddly I don't feel bad about the state of the world at all, it doesn't look particularly bad to me, and besides, compared to what? Life is good, it just hurts.
    Thank you, I see what you mean. The darkest moments are, in a way, great practice, causing Great Doubt, showing us dukkha in an undeniable way and functioning as a proving ground for practice, but may also make us despair, doubt, lose faith, get angry, hateful, unbalanced. When we are feeling really good about ourselves and our practice, life is easy and as you say, practice may suffer. Our attachments and delusions are well hidden and our ego has no interest letting us see through that veil of feelgood. On the other hand, we can more easily be energetic, compassionate, balanced etc. There is a middle way here.

    /Pontus

  17. #17

    Re: Why practice?

    Quote Originally Posted by Omoi Otoshi
    Quote Originally Posted by Kojip
    It's different for different people maybe , but for me Dukkha is always there, whether it is the beauty of the world or the darkness. The question of the OP was "Why practice" and that is why. Practice is the practice of Non-dukkha in the midst of pleasure/pain. I think that existence, extension in space, time/unfolding is Dukkha, and Dukkha is existence, so there is no Dukha free corner of conditions, only the practice of letting go/be conditions over and over again in all conditions. In a way when things are nice, when things are "going my way" practice suffers more because I can sometimes buy the compensations. Oddly I don't feel bad about the state of the world at all, it doesn't look particularly bad to me, and besides, compared to what? Life is good, it just hurts.
    Thank you, I see what you mean. The darkest moments are, in a way, great practice, causing Great Doubt, showing us dukkha in an undeniable way and functioning as a proving ground for practice, but may also make us despair, doubt, lose faith, get angry, hateful, unbalanced. When we are feeling really good about ourselves and our practice, life is easy and as you say, practice may suffer. Our attachments and delusions are well hidden and our ego has no interest letting us see through that veil of feelgood. On the other hand, we can more easily be energetic, compassionate, balanced etc. There is a middle way here.

    /Pontus
    It seems to be different for different people, that middle ground. Perhaps a teacher could shed light? For me this is, pardon heaviness, a matter of living and dying. I've seen how ephemeral life is, and how deep suffering can be. And although the existential fear of being a lone particle in a cold universe gets resolved with certain openings and realizations, there is still seeing those I love suffer and die, or them suffering my dying. My heart still goes out with my 13 year old on his bike, or with my partner to her mammogram. This body is aging yet has to work harder and keep inventing. "Ultimately" all this is "just so", no problem, yet it is suffering and it is imminent. So for me the middle has to be wherever I find myself. "just like this". The compensations, those things that make me feel up, good , valued, have come and gone too many times and the reflex to build upon them has played out. Not that I don't enjoy too many holiday chocolates, or enjoy playing the wii with my kid. It's just that I've been in the "God realm" and back down to the "Hells", and have also been a Hungry Ghost. There is only one option now, practice. There was an art show here not long ago, an "installation" about beavers (kind of tongue in cheek). It was called "CHEW OR DIE" That kind of of says it in a way.

    Don't get me wrong, life is fun. It's just that's where thing are at for me. Anyway I should stop just posting here and participate in stuff.

    Gassho to you Pontus.

  18. #18

    Re: Why practice?

    Thank you Kojip,
    You are much more experienced in life, sitting and buddhism than I am, and I thank you for your patience. Although I do not know you, I must say I already respect you greatly and I always look forward to your posts, so please don't stop posting! :shock: But participating in stuff doesn't sound like a bad idea either! :lol: Not that I agree with everything you say, but your posts always seem to come from your heart and grounded in experience. I appreciate that you share your views with us. It's only views after all, but I have always liked to hear as many points of view as possible to shed light on a subject. Don't forget to keep that beginner's mind and thanks for practicing!

    Gassho,
    Pontus

  19. #19

    Re: Why practice?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kojip
    It seems to be different for different people, that middle ground. Perhaps a teacher could shed light? For me this is, pardon heaviness, a matter of living and dying. I've seen how ephemeral life is, and how deep suffering can be.
    One has to be one's own teacher on such things ... or perhaps life's Dukkha is the teacher of Dukkha. One can't write down in an easy formula the ways in which Buddhist Practice's "Rubber Meets the Road" of life's sweetness and bitterness (our dear member Rich, writing on another thread about the heartbreak of the recent death of his daughter, is a case in point).

    I'll just say this: For most folks (until we are all perfect Buddhas), sometimes Dukkha is very strong, sometimes it can greatly or wholly drop away, sometimes more one or the other ... sometimes (and this is the True Treasure of Buddhist Practice) both At Once, As One (Dukkha fully dropped away as we hand-in-hand live in a sometimes heart breaking world of Dukkha!).

    I also think it depends on the person ... some folks being natural "glass is half empty" types, some "glass is half full" types (Buddhists learn to find the Non-Empty Emptyness by which the clear clear glass was Always Empty-Full From the Start! 8) ) The Buddha taught that Dukkha is always present even in happy times (for example, to the degree we cling to them, run after them, clutch at them, do not wish to see them go). Dukkha is inherent in the human condition and our ever impermanent world.

    However, Nirvana is always inherent in this human condition too ... in both the happy and the sad ... in the unchanging impermanent world ... shining in/as/behind/through-and-through Dukkha when seen as such (in Zazen, of course! 8) ).

    For folks who might not know Dukkha ... and 'What Dukkha Do" ... here are a couple of introductory talks on the topic ...

    viewtopic.php?f=21&t=2942

    viewtopic.php?f=21&t=2941

    Gassho, J

  20. #20

    Re: Why practice?

    I haven't read all the replies so this may have been mentioned. The direction we are headed is to help all beings. If we were perfect beings we wouldn't need practice because we would naturally just be well - perfect. But this isn't the way things are - we are imperfect and this little I,me,my keeps leading us astray. So we practice just sitting or just don't knowing so our action and our suffering is for all beings.

  21. #21

    Re: Why practice?

    Quote Originally Posted by Omoi Otoshi
    Thank you Kojip,
    You are much more experienced in life, sitting and buddhism than I am, and I thank you for your patience. Although I do not know you, I must say I already respect you greatly and I always look forward to your posts, so please don't stop posting! :shock: But participating in stuff doesn't sound like a bad idea either! :lol: Not that I agree with everything you say, but your posts always seem to come from your heart and grounded in experience. I appreciate that you share your views with us. It's only views after all, but I have always liked to hear as many points of view as possible to shed light on a subject. Don't forget to keep that beginner's mind and thanks for practicing!

    Gassho,
    Pontus
    I don't know how long you have been practicing, but there seems to be seasons to it. Most people I know have, through the years, gone through going away and coming back, being diligent and slacking. One thing that changes is that inspiration stops being a hidden support condition. You go through being inspired and uninspired enough times until practice does not depend on inspiration. The First Noble Truth has spoiled the party and practice is the only option... at wit's end. Until then, at least for me, there was an element of charade, and there can still be at times, it's amazing. This is, like you say, just a view, but it is a sincere one. No claim to gospel.

  22. #22

    Re: Why practice?

    On analysis, I would have to say that I practice to stabilise my life. Sitting results in a re-grounding and a degree of normality - regardless of the situation or my mood, when I sit. It is truly a 'coming home'. What a wonderful home this is. So many times when first sitting on the cushion the thought has run through my head; 'this is so simple, so easy; just 1 cushion, that is all one needs'.
    m

  23. #23

    Re: Why practice?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kojip
    I don't know how long you have been practicing, but there seems to be seasons to it. Most people I know have, through the years, gone through going away and coming back, being diligent and slacking. One thing that changes is that inspiration stops being a hidden support condition. You go through being inspired and uninspired enough times until practice does not depend on inspiration. The First Noble Truth has spoiled the party and practice is the only option... at wit's end. Until then, at least for me, there was an element of charade, and there can still be at times, it's amazing. This is, like you say, just a view, but it is a sincere one. No claim to gospel.
    Thank you. Much of what you say is my view also.

    My own practice has been very patchy over the years. I had my first small glimpses of no-self and samadhi maybe twenty years ago. I first sat Zazen maybe fifteen years ago. I only recently started to sit regulary, maybe a couple of years ago. This was when I encountered Soto Zen and Dogen. I can't really say how long I have been practicing. Formally, not for long.

    I too have always been going away (to where?) and coming back (to what?) during the years. Many times I have been "away" for years. Sometimes inspiration has been key to coming back, say after reading a book, having a certain experience in life. Other times, dukkha. Other times I had no idea. It wasn't a premeditated decision. Sometimes when I "left" the path, I still felt some kind of faith that I would eventually "be back". But I felt I still had to explore that feeling of doubt fully, follow it all the way, study it, get to know it. I didn't want to try to chase it away and I didn't want to charade "practice", trying to be diligent and not slacking, when it wasn't what I would call true practice and I felt I was deluding myself too much. In those times away from it all, it felt better to take a step back and just experience life, live life as a decent person, even though I didn't sit regularly. No hurry. Sometimes other samsaric issues at hand felt more important than practice, I'm just an ordinary deluded human after all. Different seasons in practice and what you consider to be practice, like you say. I have this idea that we're all charading all the time, sometimes more, sometimes less. If not we are truly liberated. We may not be aware of the charade, but it's still there, in the background. And that's OK. But this is only a view of things, a deluded one, but what I believe to be an honest view. I may have had some small insight into the four noble truths, but I don't believe I have realized them fully, to the bones, but maybe to a degree where I can at least understand what you mean by practice being the only option.

    /Pontus

  24. #24

    Re: Why practice?

    Quote Originally Posted by Taigu
    Songs birding- blooms flowering ( improvised written crap on why practising)

    When shall you wake up to the fact that not a single thing is excluded,
    that nothing and nobody can jump out of the circle of as-it-isness,
    Not even the person you are?
    The whole thing transcends practice and non-practice
    every moment the whole body manifests itself and disappears
    moon whirls and sun spits
    steel and water share the same shadow
    dust and gold the same origin
    throw away this mind
    throw away what throws away too
    eyes not even blinking
    you will hug your beloved
    in the here-now
    your beloved will touch you
    beyond all touch
    for this is you
    but you are not entirely it

    Nothing hidden, take away; added
    two flames meeting
    clouds undone in clouds
    the vast sky in your hand
    mountains-rivers-cities-seas
    in your eyes

    all is well...

    all

    is



    gassho

    Taigu
    With words like these who needs sutras. Just beautiful Taigu. I printed a copy and gave it my little sitting mate the first writings I thought appropriate. It is wonderful to see how she has progressed with no other instruction than 'Just sit, you already have it all'.

    m

  25. #25

    Re: Why practice?

    Quote Originally Posted by Omoi Otoshi

    I too have always been going away (to where?) and coming back (to what?) during the years.
    Yes of course no coming and no going. We can put coming and going in quotes. But that can also precisely be the charade, and usually is, because although there is no coming and going, there is effectively coming and going. If you want to know about my coming and going, my time of strong practice and of slacking, ask my wife, ask those I work with, live with. That is where putting quotes around conventional truth and evoking emptiness rings hollow or not. :wink:

  26. #26
    disastermouse
    Guest

    Re: Why practice?

    Quote Originally Posted by Taigu
    Songs birding- blooms flowering ( improvised written crap on why practising)

    When shall you wake up to the fact that not a single thing is excluded,
    that nothing and nobody can jump out of the circle of as-it-isness,
    Not even the person you are?
    The whole thing transcends practice and non-practice
    every moment the whole body manifests itself and disappears
    moon whirls and sun spits
    steel and water share the same shadow
    dust and gold the same origin
    throw away this mind
    throw away what throws away too
    eyes not even blinking
    you will hug your beloved
    in the here-now
    your beloved will touch you
    beyond all touch
    for this is you
    but you are not entirely it

    Nothing hidden, take away; added
    two flames meeting
    clouds undone in clouds
    the vast sky in your hand
    mountains-rivers-cities-seas
    in your eyes

    all is well...

    all

    is



    gassho

    Taigu
    Lin Chi said it in fewer words...or maybe not - maybe he said more but only the kernel remained over the years:

    "What at this very moment is missing?"

    Chet

  27. #27

    Why practice?

    These questions (to where? to what?) can be understood both from an absolute and relative perspective. Even though I have not fully realized emptiness, I can understand how there is no coming or going in the absolute, non-dual, no-self sense. But I have also asked myself these questions in the relative, conventional sense, ie what coming and going away means for my everyday life and my practice. And the meaning of the quotation marks was not so much charading no-self, as pointing out that I'm not certain we ever really leave the path and practice, when we are going away. As you say, the people around us are often the best judges of our practice. Although sometimes we can fool both ourselves and the ones closest to us for quite some time. Sometimes, in retrospect, I see that my time away from practice has been important, revitalizing it. Sometimes it has been more like chasing an illusion for far too long, before finally opening my eyes again. But what is important is practice, and life, now.

  28. #28
    disastermouse
    Guest

    Re: Why practice?

    Quote Originally Posted by Omoi Otoshi
    These questions (to where? to what?) can be understood both from an absolute and relative perspective. Even though I have not fully realized emptiness, I can understand how there is no coming or going in the absolute, non-dual, no-self sense. But I have also asked myself these questions in the relative, conventional sense, ie what coming and going away means for my everyday life and my practice. And the meaning of the quotation marks was not so much charading no-self, as pointing out that I'm not certain we ever really leave the path and practice, when we are going away. As you say, the people around us are often the best judges of our practice. Although sometimes we can fool both ourselves and the ones closest to us for quite some time. Sometimes, in retrospect, I see that my time away from practice has been important, revitalizing it. Sometimes it has been more like chasing an illusion for far too long, before finally opening my eyes again. But what is important is practice, and life, now.
    You won't realize emptiness - it's not something that's realized I don't think. It's more like ..... have you ever been holding your breath but didn't realize it until you exhaled? It's a bit like that. IMHE, of course.

    Chet

  29. #29

    Re: Re: Why practice?

    Quote Originally Posted by disastermouse
    You won't realize emptiness - it's not something that's realized I don't think.
    Just started reading Hanh's Heart Sutra commentary and thought his words on emptiness were quite interesting.:

    "Form is the wave and emptiness is the water"

    "Emptiness means empty of a separate self. It is full of everything, full of life."

    So from Hanh's pespective, maybe you can realize emptiness, but only as it appears as form?


    Gassho

    Dokan

    Sent from my SGH-I897 using Tapatalk

  30. #30
    disastermouse
    Guest

    Re: Re: Why practice?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dokan
    Quote Originally Posted by disastermouse
    You won't realize emptiness - it's not something that's realized I don't think.
    Just started reading Hanh's Heart Sutra commentary and thought his words on emptiness were quite interesting.:

    "Form is the wave and emptiness is the water"

    "Emptiness means empty of a separate self. It is full of everything, full of life."

    So from Hanh's pespective, maybe you can realize emptiness, but only as it appears as form?


    Gassho

    Dokan

    Sent from my SGH-I897 using Tapatalk
    Same thing.

    Funny story....a year or two after sitting regularly, I was walking after meditation, and was having a difficult time not seeing things as separate-not-separate. I could see them separate, but not not-separate...and so I looked very closely at a snowbank or something and it began it irritate me....I was obsessed with seeing things as not-separate, but I couldn't! Suddenly, it occurred to me that I was STARTING from separate and trying to make them not-separate. But you can't make separate things not-separate. Not-separate (empty) is not something that has to be made out of things - it's what's there before separate comes about. They are not fundamentally different. Yet, if you get stuck trying to see them a particular way, even a way that you've experienced before as essentially 'true', you are still stuck.

    You can not see emptiness if you insist on form. Remember the sutra - emptiness is form but it is also EMPTINESS. IMHE.

    Chet

  31. #31

    Re: Why practice?

    I'm not sure I follow you here. In my view, you cannot realize no-self, non-duality, buddha nature, dependant origination, if you don't realize emptiness. Without realizing emptiness, how can you realize nothing has true existance? And if you don't, how can you escape dukkha, samsara. How can you be liberated? With emptiness, we probably mean different things. Both Dogen and Nagarjuna discussed emptiness from several different perspectives, if I recall correctly (I'm no buddhist scholar and I tend to forget details). Like buddha nature, emptiness is impossible to define in conceptual terms.

    Thanks for sharing your experiences Chet,
    Pontus

  32. #32

    Re: Why practice?

    Quote Originally Posted by Omoi Otoshi
    Sometimes, in retrospect, I see that my time away from practice has been important, revitalizing it. Sometimes it has been more like chasing an illusion for far too long, before finally opening my eyes again. But what is important is practice, and life, now.
    In this sense we are on the same page, for sure.

  33. #33

    Re: Re: Why practice?

    Quote Originally Posted by disastermouse
    Quote Originally Posted by Dokan
    Quote Originally Posted by disastermouse
    You won't realize emptiness - it's not something that's realized I don't think.
    Just started reading Hanh's Heart Sutra commentary and thought his words on emptiness were quite interesting.:

    "Form is the wave and emptiness is the water"

    "Emptiness means empty of a separate self. It is full of everything, full of life."

    So from Hanh's pespective, maybe you can realize emptiness, but only as it appears as form?


    Gassho

    Dokan

    Sent from my SGH-I897 using Tapatalk
    Same thing.

    Funny story....a year or two after sitting regularly, I was walking after meditation, and was having a difficult time not seeing things as separate-not-separate. I could see them separate, but not not-separate...and so I looked very closely at a snowbank or something and it began it irritate me....I was obsessed with seeing things as not-separate, but I couldn't! Suddenly, it occurred to me that I was STARTING from separate and trying to make them not-separate. But you can't make separate things not-separate. Not-separate (empty) is not something that has to be made out of things - it's what's there before separate comes about. They are not fundamentally different. Yet, if you get stuck trying to see them a particular way, even a way that you've experienced before as essentially 'true', you are still stuck.

    You can not see emptiness if you insist on form. Remember the sutra - emptiness is form but it is also EMPTINESS. IMHE.

    Chet
    Emptiness talk is slippery but I'll describe the basic practice taught to me and my own experience.

    Poetically speaking, sitting emptiness is sitting alone. Body, mind, and world, internal, external, subtle, and gross,... alone. If there is any checking back, this sitting is partial. If there is no checking back, this sitting is forgotten. Forgetting is like this...

    On this spot where I am typing there used to be a farm house. For someone who saw that farmhouse before it was torn down, there is here the absence of a farmhouse. For someone who never saw that farmhouse, there is here no absence of a farmhouse.

    Sitting and forgetting is like the person who sees no absence of a farmhouse.. That is just sitting, just bowing, just chanting, just walking etc..

    Not sure if this is the tea served here, but I suspect it is in part.

  34. #34

    Re: Why practice?

    Why practice?

    Why, practice!


    the why shows up in the doing/not doing of practice

    the question becomes its own answer


    Hellos to all posting and not posting here; to all those asking and not asking questions, to those practicing and wondering why, to those who don't practice and don't wonder about any of it

  35. #35

    Why practice?

    Emptiness in a philosophical sense is difficult to discuss, because if all is empty, even our view of emptiness is false, not true.

    Our experiences of emptiness in Shikantaza can more easily be put into words, but as Rev Jundo sometimes says, talking about water and swimming in it isn't the same. For me, now, emptiness in sitting is when the ego is silent there is no longer anywhere to go, nothing do to. This emptiness is empty of ego, craving, dissatisfaction, and yet doesn't feel empty at all, but full of beautiful, warm, tranquil presence, an experience of coming home.

    To me, this is emptiness, and the experience could perhaps be called an insight, but I don't feel I have realized emptiness fully, because once I get up from the Zafu, BOOM, the ego takes over and there is suddenly so much I need to do, so many places I need to go...

    /Pontus

  36. #36

    Why practice?

    Quote Originally Posted by Keishin
    the question becomes its own answer
    Wow, Keishin, you amaze me sometimes. No, not sometimes, often. I'm stunned. So few words, so much impact. Thank you so very much.

    Gassho,
    Pontus

  37. #37
    Senior Member Hoyu's Avatar
    Join Date
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    Re: Why practice?

    Quote Originally Posted by Keishin
    Why practice?

    Why, practice!


    the why shows up in the doing/not doing of practice

    the question becomes its own answer
    Beautiful!! _/_
    Thank you for this wonderful reminder Keishin! I would also like to suggest to all, a similar expression of this given in a talk by Rev. Jundo. They compliment one another very well
    viewtopic.php?f=17&t=4071

  38. #38

    Re: Why practice?

    The top 10 reasons to practice

    #10. Its the only way to visit hell and return unscathed.

    #9. Its good for your posture.

    #8

  39. #39
    Senior Member Heisoku's Avatar
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    Re: Why practice?

    Thanks Rich. Seconded.

  40. #40

    Re: Why practice?

    Quote Originally Posted by Heisoku
    Thanks Rich. Seconded.
    #8. Its a low risk behavior.

    #7.

  41. #41
    disastermouse
    Guest

    Re: Re: Why practice?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kojip

    Emptiness talk is slippery but I'll describe the basic practice taught to me and my own experience.

    Poetically speaking, sitting emptiness is sitting alone. Body, mind, and world, internal, external, subtle, and gross,... alone. If there is any checking back, this sitting is partial. If there is no checking back, this sitting is forgotten. Forgetting is like this...

    On this spot where I am typing there used to be a farm house. For someone who saw that farmhouse before it was torn down, there is here the absence of a farmhouse. For someone who never saw that farmhouse, there is here no absence of a farmhouse.

    Sitting and forgetting is like the person who sees no absence of a farmhouse.. That is just sitting, just bowing, just chanting, just walking etc..

    Not sure if this is the tea served here, but I suspect it is in part.
    This struck me as a very helpful description. It reminded me of the Zen teacher and the student walking near the lake in late fall. The student says that the ducks (or geese? I forget) have gone for the winter. The teacher twists the students nose and drives him to the ground and says, "Tell me, where have they gone?!"

    *gassho*

    Chet

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