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Thread: The Real Deal?

  1. #51
    disastermouse
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    Re: The Real Deal?

    I have no doubt that Treeleaf is the 'real deal' Jundo and Taigu have been the most 'available' teachers I've ever had access to, both in Soto, White Plum, or any other lineage. It's really quite remarkable. The question becomes not whether Treeleaf is the 'real deal' but whether we are the 'real deal'. Are we sitting diligently (with no goal)? Do we make adequate use of the resources available here?

    Personally, I have been woefully inadequate here - but I take responsibility for that. It is not due to a flaw with the Sangha, certainly. Here's a thought - and maybe it's addressed - perhaps we can have a transcript of the pre- and post-zazen rituals/chants so that we can perform them divorced from the justin.tv thing?

    If you want to find flaw in the sangha, the teachers, the teachings, or the rest of the people here - it's easy to do. For myself, it may be more useful to examine first the flaws in my own practice or lack of practice.

    Gassho

    Chet

  2. #52

    Re: The Real Deal?

    ...just another vote for something Flash-less - my primary is an iPad...

  3. #53

    Re: The Real Deal?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo
    Quote Originally Posted by Omoi Otoshi
    If I started sitting Zazenkai with you 1am in the night, my wife would throw me out! :shock: :wink:
    Hey Pontus,

    Our weekly Zazenkai sittings are available 24 hours, on demand, any place and any time at the click of a button (besides being timeless and all places, of course!) ... They are not bound by time zones, so there is no reason one must sit at 1am ... Here they are:

    viewforum.php?f=11

    I believe that folks should sit them because sitting is at the heart and soul (if we believed in a soul 8) ) of this Practice ... AND TO EVIDENCE AND SUPPORT COMMUNITY UNITY! It is much like parents say to their children, "We must gather now for a family meal, all together, no matter how busy we all are," Just for someone to make the silly effort to participate ... even from a distance ... with the recorded ceremony and sitting together ... AND TO LEAVE A MESSAGE AFTER SAYING, "THANK YOU, I WAS THERE WITH YOU" ... builds this small family and encourages others.

    Imagine a Zen Sangha meeting in a building where most folks would show up for the Zen discussions ... then leave to go home before the sitting started! It would be ridiculous.

    Therefore, I am now considering and discussing imposing a rule soon: Our members who have been around here for more than a year must sit at least one community Zazenkai every month (unless they have a very good excuse and reason not to) ... and post a message to the community that they have so sat ... or their access to this forum/registration and participation in the Sangha will be suspended (after a polite reminder or two). This rule is now under discussion between Taigu and me, but I want to go for it.

    Frankly, sitting Zazen and joining in our little Heart Sutra Ceremony at Zazenkai ... TOGETHER AS A COMMUNITY, not just in our own little rooms ... even if symbolically and at a distance ... is too central to Practice. In a brick and mortar Sangha, if you only showed up for the cookies and chit chat ... and did not come to sittings ... I think they would ask you not to do so too.

    Gassho, Jundo
    I'm almost always sitting at -New York 7pm, (Friday night) - so I will check into the live zazenkai.

  4. #54

    Re: The Real Deal?

    'Technical? Problem? '

    Hi Dokan - don't take that hat off yet

    I have two problems - the picture breaks up and a lot of sound interference. Not sure if the problem's my
    end or if this is something that will be resolved with new donated equipment?

    Thanks

    Willow

  5. #55
    Senior Member pinoybuddhist's Avatar
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    Re: The Real Deal?

    This is great! I also have trouble getting the recorded Justin TV to play.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dokan
    Quote Originally Posted by Nenka
    I do have a technical problem.
    Technical? Problem?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nenka
    I've been struggling to make the recorded Justin TV sits work for me for some time now, but within the last month it has just plain become impossible, and I've noticed others struggling to make it work as well.
    What about something like this:

    [youtube] [/youtube]

    All I did was download the flv file from Justin.tv and then uploaded it to YouTube.

    In this way, the live sitters still get the personal interaction of Justin.tv and those who sit after can still get the ease of use with YouTube.

    Would be wonderful one day to get G+ but there are two major issues today, no recording of the video & only 10 persons. I haven't seen anything in the development area of G+ that shows this will change anytime soon...but would be nice.

    Gassho,

    Dokan

  6. #56
    Friends of Treeleaf Dokan's Avatar
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    Re: The Real Deal?

    Quote Originally Posted by willow
    I have two problems - the picture breaks up and a lot of sound interference. Not sure if the problem's my
    end or if this is something that will be resolved with new donated equipment?
    I think this is a problem with the recording but not 100% sure without evidence. Do you remember which recording this was and I can check. If it's all of them then I think it could be something on your side unfortunately. Lots of times the recorded talks can over-utilize bandwidth on your internet connection. You'll need a broadband connection of 500+Kbps for the best viewing experience. If you are watching YouTube and your video download speed is slow or inconsistent, you can try pausing the video until the entire stream is downloaded and then playing the video.

    Justin.tv is a whole other animal. Since it's live streaming (when watching live) it will buffer on the fly and may/may not work on slower connections. Playback afterwards can be a bit wonky as well. I have 25Mbps up and down internet at home and I can't play some of the Zazenkais...othertimes I can. Seems hit or miss.

    Hope this helps!

    Gassho,

    Dokan

  7. #57

    Re: The Real Deal?

    Quote Originally Posted by willow

    I would think newbies might need a few months to settle down to this - if someone's never meditated before it may take time to get used to longer periods?
    Just to mention on the length ...

    Almost every one of the many many many Zazen groups I have visited in Europe, America and Japan over the years has had a weekly Zazen meeting in length from 90 minutes to 4 hours each time, for new and old alike. If you went to any Zazen sitting in a building you would be expected to sit the same lengths, and it is not considered particularly long.

    Although it varies from place to place, standard sitting time for each single Zazen period is often even longer than ours, sometimes 40 to 50 minutes until Kinhin, followed by another 40 to 50 minutes, repeated two or three sets. (At our Zazenkai, sittings are mostly 30 minutes with lots of Kinhin).

    The feeling "this is long" is psychological, not really a matter of the legs and such not being able to do so (especially since, at our extremely liberal and forgiving Sangha, I let people walk Kinhin any time the wish when the legs hurt).

    Gassho, J

  8. #58

    Re: The Real Deal?

    One more point, if I may ...

    It is rather a RIDUCULOUS, POINTLESS thing to sit Zazenkai and a Ceremony with a video from the other side of the world, by yourself and days later, staring at a computer screen. Silly and useless to have to boot up and set up the computer to do that, even as the computer noise may be felt to distract us in the peace and quiet of our Zazen room.

    But ya know ...

    So many rituals, old customs and strange procedures in a Zen monastery in China or Japan are seemingly just as RIDICULOUS AND POINTLESS .... In fact, the very heart of this Practice is dropping from mind in Zazen all judgments and thoughts of "ridiculous" "pointless" "reason and goal" "here and there" "yesterday today tomorrow" ... and then the Real Point is found. If you think it is distracting ... you have yet to learn that the "distraction" is found right between your own ears.

    So, in fact, this RIDICULOUS, POINTLESS, USELESS act of sitting with a silly recording of a silly ceremony and sitting is very useful in such mastery beyond "useful and useless"! As Kodo Sawaki Roshi said ...

    In the world, it’s always about winning or losing, plus or minus. Yet in Zazen, it’s about nothing. It’s good for nothing. That’s why it is the greatest and most all-inclusive thing there is.

    ...

    When somebody asks me what zazen is good for, I say that zazen isn’t good for anything at all. And then some say that in that case they’d rather stop doing zazen. But what’s running around satisfying your desires good for? What is gambling good for? And dancing? What is it good for to get worked up over winning or losing in baseball? It’s all good for absolutely nothing! That’s why nothing is as sensible as sitting silently in zazen. In the world, “good for nothing” just means that you can’t make money out of it.

    ...

    What’s zazen good for? Absolutely nothing! This “good for nothing” has got to sink into your flesh and bones until you’re?truly practicing what’s good for nothing. Until then, your zazen is really good for nothing.


    Gassho, J

  9. #59
    Senior Member murasaki's Avatar
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    Re: The Real Deal?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo
    So, in fact, this RIDICULOUS, POINTLESS and useless act of sitting with a silly recording of a silly ceremony and sitting is very useful in such mastery beyond "useful and useless"! As Kodo Sawaki Roshi said ...
    ...aaaaaand with that go my excuses for not doing the recordings! I concur with Chet that I acknowledge my own shortcomings and they've got nothing to do with Treeleaf.

    Are the zazenkai some of us have the ability to do locally a separate issue then, or would it be counted in any way towards the new requirements? Not that I am promoting that (it would seem to me that it shouldn't count), but just to clarify as there are several members here who do have access to local sitting. I think that needs to be put in perspective relative to Internet practice for us. I would appreciate hearing your thoughts on this, Jundo and Taigu.

    Gassho
    Julia

  10. #60

    Re: The Real Deal?

    Quote Originally Posted by murasaki
    Are the zazenkai some of us have the ability to do locally a separate issue then, or would it be counted in any way towards the new requirements? Not that I am promoting that (it would seem to me that it shouldn't count), but just to clarify as there are several members here who do have access to local sitting. I think that needs to be put in perspective relative to Internet practice for us. I would appreciate hearing your thoughts on this, Jundo and Taigu.

    Gassho
    Julia
    Our weekly Zazenkai is our Sangha Community sitting and is the time we all gather, so local sittings "don't count" towards that.

    I mean ... they count, but not towards that ... and anyway, who's counting? :wink:

    Gassho, J

  11. #61
    disastermouse
    Guest

    Re: The Real Deal?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo
    Quote Originally Posted by willow

    I would think newbies might need a few months to settle down to this - if someone's never meditated before it may take time to get used to longer periods?
    Just to mention on the length ...

    Almost every one of the many many many Zazen groups I have visited in Europe, America and Japan over the years has had a weekly Zazen meeting in length from 90 minutes to 4 hours each time, for new and old alike. If you went to any Zazen sitting in a building you would be expected to sit the same lengths, and it is not considered particularly long.

    Although it varies from place to place, standard sitting time for each single Zazen period is often even longer than ours, sometimes 40 to 50 minutes until Kinhin, followed by another 40 to 50 minutes, repeated two or three sets. (At our Zazenkai, sittings are mostly 30 minutes with lots of Kinhin).

    The feeling "this is long" is psychological, not really a matter of the legs and such not being able to do so (especially since, at our extremely liberal and forgiving Sangha, I let people walk Kinhin any time the wish when the legs hurt).

    Gassho, J
    Even at a 'normal sitting' at a zen center, it's usually two 35 minute 'sits' with kinhin between. In my experience. It is actually a bit easier psychologically when you sit with other people because there's a bit of peer pressure.

    Chet

  12. #62

    Re: The Real Deal?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo
    As Kodo Sawaki Roshi said ...

    In the world, it’s always about winning or losing, plus or minus. Yet in Zazen, it’s about nothing. It’s good for nothing. That’s why it is the greatest and most all-inclusive thing there is.

    ...

    When somebody asks me what zazen is good for, I say that zazen isn’t good for anything at all. And then some say that in that case they’d rather stop doing zazen. But what’s running around satisfying your desires good for? What is gambling good for? And dancing? What is it good for to get worked up over winning or losing in baseball? It’s all good for absolutely nothing! That’s why nothing is as sensible as sitting silently in zazen. In the world, “good for nothing” just means that you can’t make money out of it.

    ...

    What’s zazen good for? Absolutely nothing! This “good for nothing” has got to sink into your flesh and bones until you’re?truly practicing what’s good for nothing. Until then, your zazen is really good for nothing.
    Ahhh...
    How can I resist when you tie an excellent point to my most favorite Zen quotes of all time?
    I surrender. I'm looking forward to sitting the Zazenkai this weekend!
    It will be silly and great practice.

    Gassho,
    Pontus

  13. #63

    Re: The Real Deal?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dokan

    What about something like this:

    [youtube] [/youtube]

    All I did was download the flv file from Justin.tv and then uploaded it to YouTube.
    This suggestion is wonderful, and we will find a good way to start doing this on a regular basis in the coming weeks. Perhaps I can ask someone to download and upload it, or perhaps we can simultaneously sit the Zazenkai with two cameras on two computers ... one for Justin and one loading right to Youtube.

    Very good suggestion that should resolve the access issues with Justin and like services. Gassho, J

  14. #64
    disastermouse
    Guest

    Re: The Real Deal?

    I have a hard time sitting a zazenkai in realtime - but I can sit along to a YouTube or something. I'm doing overtime to pay down medical bills. If I can't check in with the Justin.tv cast once a month, will my membership be broken?

    I can commit to the time and watch and follow the YouTube - I just don't know if I can do it in real time.

    Chet

  15. #65

    Re: The Real Deal?

    When Willow wrote

    'newbies might need a few months - if they are new to meditation' etc

    it was in response to Jundo writing this

    'Therefore, I am now considering and discussing imposing a rule soon: Our members who have been around here for more than a year must sit at least one community Zazenkai every month'

    my simply meaning that a year seemed a long time - but maybe a few months would be good to give new members a chance to settle in. Was not actually questioning the length of time for sitting in the community Zazenkai in any way.

    Maybe I am being particularly over-sensitive but I almost wish I hadn't started this thread. I think it needed to stop and a new thread begun - because fundamental issues are coming up.

    I'm going to take a rest for a while - not log on - just sit and do a bit of reading.

    Thanks for your input - Treeleaf is 'gold' amongst a great deal of dross in this world - but right now I just feel :cry:

    (and that - as inadequate as it may seem - is my answer to Taigu's suggestion to ask the question 'who is it in me that doesn't like bad cops?'

    :cry: that 'me' and a whole lot more I could say but what would be the point?


    Gassho

    Willow

  16. #66
    Friends of Treeleaf Dokan's Avatar
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    Re: The Real Deal?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo
    Perhaps I can ask someone to download and upload it
    If this is helpful to the sangha then please consider my name in the hat to manage it. I already download the FLV and then convert it to MP3 for the podcasts on the Monthly Dharma talks so it's not too much work. However, of course, if someone really has a desire and calling then I don't mind either!

    Right now, I am using my personal YouTube account for these uploads. Maybe it makes no difference, but maybe it's wiser to setup a Treeleaf YouTube. In this way we could share the credentials between authors. Wouldn't want someone to come sit zazen with us and run across one of my Christmas videos:

    [youtube] [/youtube]

    Quote Originally Posted by willow
    Maybe I am being particularly over-sensitive but I almost wish I hadn't started this thread. I think it needed to stop and a new thread begun - because fundamental issues are coming up.

    I'm going to take a rest for a while - not log on - just sit and do a bit of reading.
    Please know that the idea of a required monthly zazenkai has been something that I believe has been kicking around for a while. It's not because of your thread.

    Internet communication is troubled and flawed, so please do not take any of the dialogue personally directed! In fact, because fundamental issues are arising, I would argue this thread is a wonderful success! Addressing Justin.TV limitations, the creation of a YouTube conversion process, the drawing in of the Sangha for closer ties through zazenkai...it's all wonderful development of our practice. But I will never argue with someone wanting to sit...please take care of yourself.

    Gassho!

    Dokan

  17. #67

    The Real Deal?

    Quote Originally Posted by willow
    Maybe I am being particularly over-sensitive but I almost wish I hadn't started this thread. I think it needed to stop and a new thread begun - because fundamental issues are coming up.
    Maybe those fundamental issues needed to come up. I agree that this thread is a great success. This isn't really about you, your practice or about you starting a thread. Neither is it about my practice, nor Chet's practice, but about this Sangha and how we're going to go about saving all sentient beings together, so don't feel sorry. No need for worry, regret or wishing things were different. It's all good!

    Take care,
    Pontus

  18. #68
    Treeleaf Unsui rculver's Avatar
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    The Real Deal?

    I would also like to thank you for this thread Willow.

    Ron


    Shugen

  19. #69
    Treeleaf Unsui Dosho's Avatar
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    Re: The Real Deal?

    Willow,

    I agree with the others...thank you for this thread. And if you do need some time to yourself, that's fine, but please come back!

    We're always here.

    Gassho,
    Dosho

  20. #70

    Re: The Real Deal?

    Doken, Pontus, Ron and Dosho - thankyou for posting a supportive message.

    I needed a couple of days grace to try and work out why I was feeling upset.

    I've re-read this thread and decided that the vulnerability lies within me and I
    probably overeacted to a few words and magnified their intent.

    At a general level I do feel that words need to be used with care. When I first joined Treeleaf I asked Jundo if this was a
    'safe' place to be? This was an unfair question because I didn't really elaborate why I was asking it. I didn't elaborate because I didn't
    want to go on about all the negative/nasty stuff that's on the net (about Treeleaf) - written by individuals who take a delight in stirring up dirt. Reading back
    through some early threads I can see that this matter has been openly discussed at Treeleaf. I was however (naively?) shocked to see that words from some members postings
    had been lifted and copied onto other message boards - that take no responsibilty for moderation.

    What has this to do with our Sangha?

    I think the clearest way I can explain my upset is that I momentarily (well - perhaps for a few days) felt like I'd be publically ticked off (though - I can see reading
    back that I hadn't) and that although I didn't mind so much if this stayed within Treeleaf - there is no guarantee that it will.


    I'm just a bit confused about the bounderies of privacy/confidentiality - and what get released into the public arena - or has the potential to be 'lifted'.

    Anyway - I have no wish to leave Treeleaf - I stand by what I said in this thread - a supportive community with dedicated teaching.

    Gassho

    Willow

  21. #71

    Re: The Real Deal?

    Quote Originally Posted by willow

    I'm just a bit confused about the bounderies of privacy/confidentiality - and what get released into the public arena - or has the potential to be 'lifted'.

    Anyway - I have no wish to leave Treeleaf - I stand by what I said in this thread - a supportive community with dedicated teaching.

    Gassho

    Willow
    Hi Willow,

    We have tried to deal with these issues in a few ways, some of which take some care on our members' part about their own way of communicating.

    One thing is a reminder that postings on this "Topics about Zazen" portion of the Forum are open to the internet, but postings in the "All about Life" and "Jukai" sections are only visible to registered members (as folks tended to discuss rather more personal issues and problems in their lives there). That is not a very strong protection at all, but it is something.

    However, much more helpful are the steps we have asked our members to take so that we can still have personal, heart to heart discussion AND keep some protection from spying eyes with ill intents. Those are spelled out in the below thread AND I ASK ALL OUR SANGHA MEMBERS TO REVIEW THE CONTENT AND TAKE IT TO HEART:

    CONFIDENTIALITY TIPS for Sangha Members

    Dear Leafers,

    Our Forum is meant as a place where Sangha members can discuss honestly and frankly matters of Zen Practice and all of life (not two, by the way). We hope that people here feel the confidence, mutual trust and acceptance to be able to “open up,” drop walls, and talk about any subjects in their lives, including very difficult and personal matters, and their connection to Buddhist Teachings.

    However, the nature of our Sangha makes it very open to prying eyes via the internet.

    Thus, a few simple steps by our members can let us have both the security to talk absolutely openly and great privacy from the “rest of the internet”.

    viewtopic.php?f=9&t=3778
    Gassho, Jundo

  22. #72

    Re: The Real Deal?

    Quote Originally Posted by willow
    I thought I would start a new thread on this within the Zazen discussion because it felt more appropriate. I hope it's Ok to begin with a quote from Pontus
    that made me think.

    'In an internet Sangha, unless we spend a lot of time in Dokusan, talking about our private life and practice with the teacher, it is hard for him to know for sure how real of a deal we are. That is the drawback with an internet Sangha. It's an experiment, a process, breaking new ground. '
    Hi.

    I'm no authority of any kind, a humble ordained Zen Priest in training, and just an modest fool at best, so take this for what its worth...
    So just to jump back to the OP, it doesn't have to take alot of time in dokusan, although it might help, to really show you're true face.
    And just to indulge in myself for a bit, i have been skyping almost weekly with both Jundo and Taigu from almost the beginning/s of their, and mine, involvement in Treeleaf. I have been in KFC's and Treeleaf Teaparties with a lot of people around here. Does that show anything? :twisted:

    On a second thought does it matter if you show your true face to someone else?

    And the drawbackthing doesn't only apply to us, it applies to any sangha, it's always an experiment, an process, a breaking of new ground.
    So, let it go.
    Contribute in any way you can and let things settle on themselves.

    Thank you for your practice.

    Mtfbwy
    Fugen

  23. #73

    The Real Deal?

    Yes, I agree (although I do believe Treeleaf is breaking more new ground than most other Sanghas)!

    I apologize for the clumsy wording in my cited post!

    Real is made real by our mind, it doesn't have any inherent "realness". We are the real deal when we perceive ourselves as such. In my eyes, I am the real deal, this Sangha is the real deal, our teachers are the real deal. In someone else's mind, an internet Sangha may not be the real deal. It really doesn't matter. Maybe they should focus on their own practice.

    The only proof is in the pudding, and this pudding is starting to look delicious!

    What I meant to say with the Dokusan part was that in an internet Sangha, if you can't sit Zazenkai live due to time zones and you seldom or never have Dokusan, a teacher really has no idea how much of a real deal you are. Your practice could be very wholehearted or very sporadic. In a physical Zendo, you either show up or you don't. Here, you could show up on the forums every day, but your practice could still be non-existant. Or never be seen on the forums and never participate live, but still sit every Zazenkai and dedicate your life to practice, without anyone knowing.

    So I agree that it's important to participate in the Zazenkai, even if it isn't live, and to share that we did with the Sangha. That way there's no doubt in anyone's mind.

    Gassho,
    Pontus

  24. #74
    Senior Member Hoyu's Avatar
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    Re: The Real Deal?

    Pontus wrote:
    Your practice could be very wholehearted or very sporadic. In a physical Zendo, you either show up or you don't. Here, you could show up on the forums every day, but your practice could still be non-existant. Or never be seen on the forums and never participate live, but still sit every Zazenkai and dedicate your life to practice, without anyone knowing.
    I see your point but I disagree. Here's why. When doing live sittings during Zazenkai justinTV has a sidebar for chatting. When people come online they message everyone with a greeting of Gassho. After sitting everyone drops a thank you message as well. You can truly know they are there because they are communicating by typing in real time.

    Everyone's daily sittings(or sitting with the live or recorded Zazenkai) on G+ can be posted for all to join in. After, everyone can see that you sat. Our teachers, fellow members, etc. can go there anytime and scroll through the postings and know that quite a few people are sitting regularly. We even encourage eachother by taking notice and dropping a +1 or comment when it is seen that people have sat(one of my favorite features of g+ by the way).

    There is no doubt that ones dedication can be easily seen if they wish to participate in using these features.

    It's not all roses though. It's actually more time consuming/hassle to have to sign into so many sites to drop a message or set up the computer for G+. Some people may even choose to avoid all that in preference of a simpler practice. That's totally fine. I'm just saying that there are many resources available to us. So much so that I feel there is nothing lacking here in relation to a brick and mortar Zendo. It's just a slightly different route, given our virtual nature, but the destination of the two is the same!

    Gassho,
    Hoyu(who is about to go sit on G+ now)

  25. #75

    Re: The Real Deal?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hoyu
    Pontus wrote:
    Your practice could be very wholehearted or very sporadic. In a physical Zendo, you either show up or you don't. Here, you could show up on the forums every day, but your practice could still be non-existant. Or never be seen on the forums and never participate live, but still sit every Zazenkai and dedicate your life to practice, without anyone knowing.
    I see your point but I disagree. Here's why. When doing live sittings during Zazenkai justinTV has a sidebar for chatting. When people come online they message everyone with a greeting of Gassho. After sitting everyone drops a thank you message as well. You can truly know they are there because they are communicating by typing in real time.
    Well, ya know, Zen Practice ... like much of life ... must really be on the honor system. A fellow can look like she is sitting lovely Zazen ... but just be sitting there thinking inside about baseball and the latest episode of her favorite tv show. One can act like a saint on the outside, yet on the inside be thinking how to cheat someone. Is that "showing up"? Do we not cheat ourselves even if giving the appearance of going through the motions?

    Believe me, monasteries of wood and stone are filled with scoundrels, cheats, predators, apple polishers and "just trying to get enough credits to graduate" types among all the sincere, hard working and even saintly folks found there too (as in any school or institution)! Sometimes, hard to tell who is who, and the scoundrels sometimes seem to win the day! It is not much different in any Sangha, either this one or one under a roof (and believe me, having sat with enough of the latter kind, they get all kinds of people too and often get fooled by someone's skin deep piety and fake sincerity!). While a Zen teacher can read minds ... that doesn't mean the teacher can read minds! :shock:

    We don't need time clocks here for people to check in proof of their sitting times. However, we also do need to come together at times for sittings and other community events and projects to support each other.

    Gassho, J

  26. #76
    disastermouse
    Guest

    Re: The Real Deal?

    Not only is there nothing lacking here, as I've said earlier - the teachers are very accessible, the teachings are all recorded and can be accessed regardless of time zone and even watched repeatedly. G+ looks like its really helping us sit together more frequently. To top it off, the conversations can include anyone because they don't happen in a particular time or place.

    Chet

  27. #77
    Senior Member Hoyu's Avatar
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    Re: The Real Deal?

    We don't need time clocks here for people to check in proof of their sitting times. However, we also do need to come together at times for sittings and other community events and projects to support each other.
    Well my post wasn't really about proving ones practice but rather as you said comming together. All those things I mentioned are what I feel are ways of supporting and encouraging eachothers practice. Honestly every morning I get up for work one of the first things I do is check G+ to see who is sitting or has sat. To me it just feels great to see others practice. Kind of like enjoying viewing contrails in the sky. It's not about proof that there was a jet plane but rather just seeing and appreciating what's there.

    Ultimately my point was that there is never anything lacking here in relation to a brick and mortar Zendo.
    I'm sure I didn't explain all this too well as my lengthly post was encroaching on my sitting time and to me that's a no no!

    Gassho,
    Houu

  28. #78
    Senior Member pinoybuddhist's Avatar
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    Re: The Real Deal?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo
    Well, ya know, Zen Practice ... like much of life ... must really be on the honor system...

    We don't need time clocks here for people to check in proof of their sitting times. However, we also do need to come together at times for sittings and other community events and projects to support each other.

    Gassho, J
    I think this is an important point to remember. I started using G+ as a means to reach out and sit with the sangha even though we sit at different times. Actually, there's not much difference between my previous sits and the sits with G+ in the sense that I'm still usually doing it alone (due to different time zones). But somehow there's the sense that I'm not sitting alone, that this practice is not just for me but for others as well. Of course it's the same when I am offline as well. Offline, online, connected, not connected - ah! I just sit. And the universe sits. Life sits.

    Anyway, I digress. As I was saying, this is important to remember. I can easily turn this online thing into a practice of punching a time clock and showing everyone "See?! I sat for twenty minutes!) and secretly hope for - what? A gold star? An A? A pat on the head from Jundo and Taigu? "Good boy! Have a doggie biscuit. Now roll over..." That sort of thing. Or I can use this to connect and give/receive support to/from the sangha.

    _/|_

  29. #79
    Senior Member pinoybuddhist's Avatar
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    Re: The Real Deal?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hoyu
    To me it just feels great to see others practice. Kind of like enjoying viewing contrails in the sky. It's not about proof that there was a jet plane but rather just seeing and appreciating what's there.
    Exactly. It's so nice to see other people practicing, even if all we see sometimes are words like "So-and-so hung out" with some +1s. Helps fuel our own practice.

  30. #80

    Re: The Real Deal?

    Quote Originally Posted by pinoybuddhist
    Quote Originally Posted by Hoyu
    To me it just feels great to see others practice. Kind of like enjoying viewing contrails in the sky. It's not about proof that there was a jet plane but rather just seeing and appreciating what's there.
    Exactly. It's so nice to see other people practicing, even if all we see sometimes are words like "So-and-so hung out" with some +1s. Helps fuel our own practice.
    There is no doubt that sitting as a group makes us somehow stronger and more "stick with it" than sitting alone.

    How many mornings do I say to myself before Saturday Zazenkai "I could stay here in bed and sleep a little longer, but Hoyu, Dosho, Dokan and the others are waiting for me to light the candles and turn on the camera!"? How many times during Sesshin, on the third or fourth day when the legs are achy and the mind is wondering whether it is worth it (and how much nicer it would be to go to a movie 8) ), have I kept sitting because my companions are sitting around me?

    Is it because of peer pressure, not wanting to be embarrassed by quitting, or just wanting to look like I am hanging in there and doing my role? Yes, honestly, sometimes. Humans are like that (We should sit while dropping ego, but humans are like this nonetheless. Even Dogen probably wanted folks to think well of him and not be thought a crazy old fool by his monksl.).

    Is it simply because of the wish to support the group and be part of the "team"? Yes, always. Is it simply because of the extra "energy" (a word I usually try to avoid as spirtual newage fiddle faddle, but which applies here) that the group brings together into the room? Yes, always.

    Is it simply that humans ... even Buddhist humans ... are generally social animals and thrive on companionship? Yes, sure (except perhaps during our hermit periods in the hills).

    Whatever keeps one practicing beyond ego-non-ego ... keeps one practicing.

    Gassho, J

  31. #81

    The Real Deal?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hoyu
    We don't need time clocks here for people to check in proof of their sitting times. However, we also do need to come together at times for sittings and other community events and projects to support each other.
    Well my post wasn't really about proving ones practice but rather as you said comming together. All those things I mentioned are what I feel are ways of supporting and encouraging eachothers practice. Honestly every morning I get up for work one of the first things I do is check G+ to see who is sitting or has sat. To me it just feels great to see others practice. Kind of like enjoying viewing contrails in the sky. It's not about proof that there was a jet plane but rather just seeing and appreciating what's there.

    Ultimately my point was that there is never anything lacking here in relation to a brick and mortar Zendo.
    I'm sure I didn't explain all this too well as my lengthly post was encroaching on my sitting time and to me that's a no no!

    Gassho,
    Houu
    Thank you Hoyu!
    I realize I have seen G+ from an egoistic perspective. I've only tried sitting on G+ a few times, but it made me self-conscious, so I reverted to sitting alone. Another reason was that I can't plan my sittings in advance, because I don't know when the kid will fall asleep etc, so there was nobody sitting with me most times. But you have shown me that sitting alone on G+ could mean something to somebody, and I believe the self-conscious part may be very good practice. If you can't let go just because the camera is on, can you really let go in other situations, or are you dependant on being alone in a quiet room with a Zafu and a Budda statue?

    This thread has really been an eye opener for me. Thanks everybody.

    /Pontus

  32. #82

    Re: The Real Deal?

    Hello,

    I have nothing new to add other than saying that I really really appreciate all the wonderful thought provoking input that went into the joint creation of this thread.


    Deep gassho,

    Hans Chudo Mongen

  33. #83
    Friend of Treeleaf Daido's Avatar
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    Re: The Real Deal?

    Indeed. As Hans said "thought provoking". I'm sure that everybody at some point has asked this question at some point. As I understand it Treeleaf was and experiment from the start. Non Traditional. In the beginning I would question if Treeleaf was legitimate because it did not feel like I thought it should (no wooden floors or zen master in a cave ). Zazen for me was the same. Sitting and my idea of sitting were totally different. Not as mystical or romantic as I had imagined and I was disappointed. With practice...time it now seems to be much more than I ever realized. In the end whether or not it is the real deal will have to be determined by the question asker him or herself. My opinion is that Jundo, Taigu, the priests and Treeleaf sangha are definitely pointing fingers at the hazy moon and I am grateful to be involved.

  34. #84

    Re: The Real Deal?

    Quote Originally Posted by Taigu
    For instance if we give you a pointer, a teaching of some sort, you are invited to put it to practice before opening your mouth and not throw praises and criticisms before the reality check.
    Thanks again for your words. I think I will stick to a simple gassho or "thanks" when commenting on Talks I've just watched until I've had time to really let the words seep into my bones, at which time more commentary may be warranted. That way, at least, you and Jundo know I am watching!

    P.S. This seems to be a perennial problem for students. Just came across this in Shobogenzo Zuimonki recently :mrgreen:

    Quote Originally Posted by Dogen Zenji
    These days, many people who are learning the Way listen to a talk on the dharma, and above all want their teacher to know that they have a correct understanding and want to give good replies. This is why the words they listen to go in one ear and out the other. They still lack bodhi-mind and remain self-centered.
    First of all, forget your ego and listen quietly to what others say, and later ponder it well. Then, if you find some faults or have some doubts, you may make criticism. When you have grasped the point, you should present your understanding to your teacher. Waiting to claim immediate understanding shows that you are not really listening to the dharma.

  35. #85

    Re: The Real Deal?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo
    filled with scoundrels...
    The union prefers we encourage people to use the term "rogue". It has a much sexier connotation.

  36. #86

    The Real Deal?

    I prefer "rouge"!
    :lol:

    /Pontus

  37. #87

    Re: The Real Deal?

    Quote Originally Posted by Daido
    Zazen for me was the same. Sitting and my idea of sitting were totally different. Not as mystical or romantic as I had imagined and I was disappointed. With practice...time it now seems to be much more than I ever realized.
    Well, for me, transcending 'birth' and 'death', and experiencing all time and space in every grain of sand ...

    ... is magical and romantic enough! 8)

  38. #88
    Friend of Treeleaf Daido's Avatar
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    Re: The Real Deal?

    Yes. I guess that would be enough :lol: I had not thought of it like that. Gassho

    Daido

  39. #89

    Re: The Real Deal?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo
    Is it because of peer pressure, not wanting to be embarrassed by quitting, or just wanting to look like I am hanging in there and doing my role? Yes, honestly, sometimes. Humans are like that (We should sit while dropping ego, but humans are like this nonetheless. Even Dogen probably wanted folks to think well of him and not be thought a crazy old fool by his monksl.).

    Is it simply because of the wish to support the group and be part of the "team"? Yes, always. Is it simply because of the extra "energy" (a word I usually try to avoid as spirtual newage fiddle faddle, but which applies here) that the group brings together into the room? Yes, always.

    Is it simply that humans ... even Buddhist humans ... are generally social animals and thrive on companionship? Yes, sure (except perhaps during our hermit periods in the hills).

    Whatever keeps one practicing beyond ego-non-ego ... keeps one practicing.
    Nicely put.

    So many wonderful people here, so many wonderful views of the same misty mountain.

    So grateful for Treeleaf. So grateful to be here. This place (no-place) has literally changed my life.

    deep deep bows to all of you, my teachers and friends, my brothers and sisters

    gassho
    Greg

  40. #90

    Re: The Real Deal?

    The original post at the beginning of this thread brought up a few thoughts that I wish to share. I hope these serve as some benefit through the offering of another perspective.

    The idea of an online sangha is definitely something difficult to rectify for some with regard to authenticity. Humans still live in a transitory stage of development in our collective consciousness where we prioritize the physical as seemingly more authentic. I experienced the same feelings of self-doubt and concern over authenticity when I first started attending the University of Phoenix online back in 2003. Online schooling was new then, and there were only three schools that were offering accredited degrees that were completely attainable online. It took me seven years to complete my bachelors degree, and over the course of that time my school grew. By the time I graduated, UoP had grown into the largest university in the world. My school went from being obscure an uncredible by the masses to being widely recognized and uncredible by the masses.

    People have criticized my degree by saying its not "real school" or that can't be compared to going to "real college". It really hurt my feelings for a long time because I allowed others to rob me of what I had earned because they believed it to be unauthentic based on the fact that it was online. Then one day, I had an epiphany and something changed in my mind. I cannot tell you how it came about or what caused it, but one day I decided that I knew what I had accomplished and regardless of the opinion of others I still had a bachelors of science in information technology for media and visual communication. I know it represented seven years of struggles to get to internet cafes daily regardless of my location around the world. I know that it represented 120 academic hours of course work completed. I know it is authentic simply because I know it.

    People, I have found, use the word "authentic" quite frequently but the truth is that nothing is authentic and everything is authentic. My online degree is "not authentic" because I have never actually been to the University of Phoenix campus in Phoenix, AZ. It is authentic because my brain has endured and shared the same experience that other students there have experienced. It is authentic because I have a piece of paper to prove I have attained this intellectual benchmark. It is not authentic because all I have is this piece of paper that says I have attained this intellectual benchmark.

    Authenticity is something that is I have learned through experience, exists and doesn't exist simultaneously; but it is up to the individual to make peace with it. For example, The "authentic" image of an Indian sadoo is a Hindu monk of great spirituality wearing the traditional loan cloth, beard and a bold colorful tikka on their forehead. People believe that is the authentic image because that is the one most frequently depicted in pictures contained within credible sources like national Geographic. However, is the fact that many sadoos bare the look and smell of the destitute and homeless with a bit of mental instability thrown in the more authentic image because that is the one you are most likely to physically encounter in India?

    As I have traveled the world, I have seen many firsthand examples where the National Geographic idea of what the world looked like is not the reality I experienced, and it left me to ask which one was authentic. I have concluded that they both are authentic and neither is authentic. They both are because they both exist, whether in the mind on paper or in the corporeal reality, they are manifested. However, neither is authentic because authenticity itself is a figment of human imagination.

    The internet is a giant crowd of strangers, and with any such crowd there is the danger of feeling disconnected. I believe, the way to make anything "real" is to manifest the details. Willow mentioned a sense of disconnection and a feeling loss. I believe those feelings are actually internally generated responses that are produced by our own doubts or concerns on the authenticity of the sangha. People can have the same doubts about physical sanghas too because it is a matter of perspective. To change it does not require a changing of the sangha so much as a changing of one's perspective about the sangha. It is as real to an individual as that individual believes it to be. It is as authentic to an individual as they are willing to make it. If one doubts it, then one will be hyper aware of details that confirm its non-existence and lack of authenticity. If one believes it, then one will be hyper aware of details that confirm its existence and marks of authenticity. In a lot of ways, I believe the online temple is the most fitting manifestation of a place for a Soto Zen sangha to practice and gather because it is itself a koan.

  41. #91

    The Real Deal?

    _/_

    /Pontus

  42. #92

    Re: The Real Deal?

    Mr. Lou,

    I'm a prof at a college with a decent regional reputation and to those students I am constantly having to remind them that their degree isn't worth a cent. What will determine an education's worth is what the learner does with what they learned along the way. So, the proof is in the pudding. Treeleaf is like this, I think. The debate or opinions about the "realness" of this place are largely speculation as the viability will be determined later. I think it works but that's not enough. Jundo has said in the past that this is an experiment. Like all experiments, NO conclusion can be drawn until the data are in and verified. That'll take a while. So, if someone needs a sure bet, then they should go to a traditional zendo, but if you are game for experiments, hang out with us and see what the results are. I think the process of inquiry is more fun and interesting than millennia-old answers.
    So, your degree is no more or less valid than one from any other place so long as it is doing for you what you intended it to do for you.

    Gassho,
    Eika

  43. #93

    Re: The Real Deal?

    Been taking some online courses and learned more than similar classroom courses in the past. Interesting post mr.lou

  44. #94

    Re: The Real Deal?

    Quote Originally Posted by mr.Lou

    As I have traveled the world, I have seen many firsthand examples where the National Geographic idea of what the world looked like is not the reality I experienced, and it left me to ask which one was authentic.
    Thank you, Lou. Some kinds of experience and contact are "authentic" when we let them be. Your sincerity and hard work in being a diligent student, coupled with the quality and sincerity of the teachings and teachers you encountered in your college education, are what make it authentic. Oh, sure, you may have missed a frat party or football game alone the way, but those experiences can be had in other ways (and the hangovers from those frat parties are best missed anyway!) :?

    Your comment reminds me of an experience I have had many times here in Japan, especially when I was a kind of unofficial translator and guide for foreigners who would show up at the Japanese language Zazen group at Sojiji years ago. Newcomers would often first be so thrilled to see a "real Zen temple" and meet a "real Japanese Zen master" in "real Japan" ... and then often so disappointed when both turned out to be not quite the posed, idealistic, shangri-la version from a postcard or "like in the movies". They would find pretty wonderful people and places ... but a mixed bag too, as found with any people and places. Many left, disillusioned, as soon as the shine wore off.

    However, the Wise ones (in my view) stayed ... and found out how Wondrous and "Authentic" a "mixed bag" can be! The Reality is much richer than the movie version to one who can see.

    Gassho, J (Delta Sigma Phi)

  45. #95
    disastermouse
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    Re: The Real Deal?

    Quote Originally Posted by mr.Lou
    In a lot of ways, I believe the online temple is the most fitting manifestation of a place for a Soto Zen sangha to practice and gather because it is itself a koan.
    Sorry, wrong Zen school. They do koans at the Rinzai internet sangha down the street.

    (Kidding, of course.)

    Chet

  46. #96

    Re: The Real Deal?

    Quote Originally Posted by disastermouse
    Quote Originally Posted by mr.Lou
    In a lot of ways, I believe the online temple is the most fitting manifestation of a place for a Soto Zen sangha to practice and gather because it is itself a koan.
    Sorry, wrong Zen school. They do koans at the Rinzai internet sangha down the street.

    (Kidding, of course.)

    Chet
    :lol:
    /Pontus

  47. #97

    Re: The Real Deal?

    Quote Originally Posted by disastermouse
    Quote Originally Posted by mr.Lou
    In a lot of ways, I believe the online temple is the most fitting manifestation of a place for a Soto Zen sangha to practice and gather because it is itself a koan.
    Sorry, wrong Zen school. They do koans at the Rinzai internet sangha down the street.

    (Kidding, of course.)

    Chet
    I do believe we are, cause we will be beginning the Book of Serenity ... NEXT WEEK! No kidding here either.

    Gasso, J

  48. #98

    Re: The Real Deal?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo
    we will be beginning the Book of Serenity ... NEXT WEEK!
    :shock: :shock: :shock:
    CAN IT BE TRUE!

    :lol:

    Gassho,
    Pontus

  49. #99

    Re: The Real Deal?

    :shock: :shock: :shock:
    CAN IT BE TRUE!


    probably not!!!

    Willow :lol:

  50. #100
    Treeleaf Unsui Shokai's Avatar
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    Re: The Real Deal?

    Le BOOK is still where i placed it when the World Honored one descended the platform but, hey, what's next?? :lol:

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