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Thread: What is the best way to follow Treeleaf Sangha practices?

  1. #1

    What is the best way to follow Treeleaf Sangha practices?

    Hi all,

    Due to the huge ammount of information and topics here in this forum, I want to ask you for advice: what is the best "sequence" of topics/messages/books/practices recommended to begginers, to "get the rhytm" of the Sangha? is there a sequence you experienced brothers/sisters and/or teachers do recommend?

    (I mean, after completing "A SERIES OF TALKS FOR NEW FOLKS" topic)

    From where should I start? :roll:

    My daily practice consists in sitting on the Zafu, light a candle and an incense for two Zazen periods of 30 minutes each, sometimes 4 periods at morning (right after waking-up) and evening (before bed), reading "Zen Mind, Begginer´s Mind" and "Everyday Zen", and eventually reading to some topics on this forum as they catch my interest. Posting silly begginers questions, eventually, too. ops:

    Well, I´m decided to practice/study Zen serioulsy and - who knows - even take Jukai if I can... if I deserve it.

    I want to participate more, be in contact with the teachers and Sangha...!

    So, let me ask another begginer´s question.

    I´ve heard about a kind of mantra, they call of "Heart Sutra", which is singed before Zazen practice. I found it in portuguese, and found it quite interesting maybe more "mysterious" than these "koans" you talk about sometimes.

    Should I use it on my Zazen practice? how? why people gives so much importance to it?

    How can I start to understand it´s meaning?

    Can I sing it in portuguese or do you recommend I do it in Japanese...?

    Many thanks, again.

  2. #2

    Re: What is the best way to follow Treeleaf Sangha practices?

    EDIT: I put the links. haahahah

    There are a plethora of awesome posts here. I mean it truly is ridiculous (american slang for good) how much stuff is here. I would check out the teachings by Jundo and Taigu (viewforum.php?f=17). especially the Buddha Basics, and beginner stuff at first, not to mention the new stuff.

    Just sit; it seems like you have that down pretty good. We have the weekly Zazenkai's which Jundo sensei hosts. There is chanting done there. Then there is the daily liturgy recommendation thread (It's one of the fixed topics at the top of the Topics about Zazen, Zen, Buddhism & MORE ZAZEN!; it's called RECOMMENDED 'AT HOME' LITURGY ).

    Then just post on topics that you feel like you'd like to post to. You know sometimes I get worried about posting questions and that I'd feel stupid. Then I realize that I bet someone else has the same or similar question, and it really helps the Sangha tremendously. Whenever I see questions posted, the responses are incredible. This is a great Sangha.

    But no need to rush. just take it easy, take your time, we're here and glad to have you

    Gassho,

    Risho

    P.S. I dont' know what you mean about deserving Jukai, but I can tell you that Jukai preparation and the Rakusu sewing is loads of fun.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Marek's Avatar
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    Re: What is the best way to follow Treeleaf Sangha practices?

    Hello, Marcos!

    Quote Originally Posted by mpdalles
    From where should I start? :roll:
    That was a very important question for me when I was newcomer here. I think your intuition will lead you in this matter :wink: I found a lot of interesting topics here and still discover some new, and I think there is no end of this! :shock:. Fortunately o f course

    Joined us to the next zazenkai if you can:
    viewforum.php?f=11

    And here is link to the helpful tips made by Jundo about preparation to it and about Heart Sutra chanting then:
    http://www.treeleaf.org/library/zazenkai-prep.php

    Also join as in Google+ group where we can all sit together, and we do every day!
    viewtopic.php?f=1&t=4564&p=70446&hilit=google+#p70 446

    Quote Originally Posted by mpdalles
    Posting silly begginers questions, eventually, too. ops:
    Something like ,,silly question" doesn't exist IMHO

    I like your questions here because I can learn a lot from them and as Jundo says: ,,We are all beginners!" :wink:

  4. #4
    Senior Member Marek's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Cracow, Poland
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    Re: What is the best way to follow Treeleaf Sangha practices?

    Quote Originally Posted by Risho
    You know sometimes I get worried about posting questions and that I'd feel stupid. Then I realize that I bet someone else has the same or similar question, and it really helps the Sangha tremendously. Whenever I see questions posted, the responses are incredible. This is a great Sangha.
    Haha, so true, so true

    Always, I mean ALWAYS, when I have some question I'm sure that I'll find it with answers for it somewhere on Treeleaf

  5. #5

    Re: What is the best way to follow Treeleaf Sangha practices?

    Thank you Marek and Risho.

    Tonight it will be my first time participating on the Zazenkai (which is tonight for me, here in Brasil). Hope I can see you!

    What do Sensei Jundo and Taigu says about my questions?

    Specially, it would be lovely to understand a little more about that (as it also makes part of the Zazenkai rituals):

    I´ve heard about a kind of mantra, they call of "Heart Sutra", which is singed before Zazen practice. I found it in portuguese, and found it quite interesting maybe more "mysterious" than these "koans" you talk about sometimes.

    Should I use it on my Zazen practice? how? why people gives so much importance to it?

    How can I start to understand it´s meaning?

    Can I sing it in portuguese or do you recommend I do it in Japanese...?
    Thanks in advance,

    Marcos

  6. #6

    Re: What is the best way to follow Treeleaf Sangha practices?

    Hi Marcos

    I think the best advice giveen in the above posts is simply “take your time”. When I found Treeleaf about four years ago I was then and still am overwhelmed with the wealth of resources and knowledge here at our sangha. I have finally settled into what is a comfortable practice for me.

    I look at Treeleaf as a well of pure water, available when ever I feel the need. I have learned to sip from that well and not try to swim in it. My practice is rather simple, I sit each morning with the cats, try and live my life by the precepts and continually try to understand the heart sutra. My life is very complex and it itself is my practice. This is a lesson Jundo and Taigu keep repeating, practice is not escaping from life, but immersing completely in it, the good, bad and sometimes very ugly. Lots of folks are here willing and able to help you along..

    Anyway, don’t stress out, welcome to Treeleaf.

  7. #7

    Re: What is the best way to follow Treeleaf Sangha practices?

    Quote Originally Posted by lorax
    I look at Treeleaf as a well of pure water, available when ever I feel the need. I have learned to sip from that well and not try to swim in it. My practice is rather simple, I sit each morning with the cats, try and live my life by the precepts and continually try to understand the heart sutra. My life is very complex and it itself is my practice.
    Beautiful. Simply beautiful.

    May I offer a bow?

    gassho
    greg

    p.s. my cat can be in the other room under the bed, and if she hears my knees pop she knows i'm getting on the zafu for a sit. out she comes, and she doesn't leave til i do.

  8. #8

    Re: What is the best way to follow Treeleaf Sangha practices?

    Thank you all for some very good tips and guidance here. Very helpful to all of us, not just the new folks.

    We are also planning a redesign of Treeleaf in the near future to make it a bit simpler to navigate and "user friendly". We want to come as close as we can (and sometimes even richer than) the experience of any Sangha that meets and sits together in a building of wood or brick somewhere!

    The best advice was this ...

    I look at Treeleaf as a well of pure water, available when ever I feel the need. I have learned to sip from that well and not try to swim in it.
    Take it in small sips, don't try to drink in everything. Don't reach for every shiny bottle on the shelf, but only what is needed in that moment. Same for all of life! This is how one learns to Drink In All Of Life In One Gulp!

    Today's Sit-a-Long is connected to all this. It is called, "WHAT's NEXT?" ....

    Almost each week, someone asks me, "What comes next in my practice? How do I deepen it? What should I do now? What book should I read with all the secrets? I feel like something is still missing and that I must do more."

    But how can I respond to such a question when the very heart of this Path is learning to live and be this life radically FREE OF THE NEED FOR 'WHAT'S NEXT, LIBERATED OF SOMETHING MORE THAT NEED BE DONE, FULFILLED OF 'ANYTHING MISSING'!
    viewtopic.php?f=17&t=4745&p=70989#p70989

    Gassho, J

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