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Thread: Zazen only a drop in the bucket?

  1. #51
    Quote Originally Posted by Dojin View Post
    I agree a quiet place is nice sometimes for zazen. nature could be wonderful but in the end i dont care where i sit. if its at home facing a wall, a mountain top (would love to try that but i dont have any places like that anywhere close to home). or anything else i think one must find focus in any situation and just see it as it is!.

    Gassho, Dojin.
    This is a very good point, thank you Dojin.

    Gassho,
    Darrell

  2. #52
    Quote Originally Posted by murasaki View Post
    I am sitting more regularly (people who've heard me say that 30 times please ignore that statement), and learning to drop thoughts in a way I thought was good enough, but I am really having lots of chatter going on and on in my head.
    I find this in evening sits. Morning time I find my mind is still and so nothing to settle.

    One thing I have adopted as of late is to be aware of my breathing when my mind is agitated. Not counting, but rather the flow of cool air through the bridge of my nose and its warmth when being expelled. Not something I use frequently, but in those instances I can't seem to calm the waters. :-)

    Gassho

    Dokan

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  3. #53
    Senior Member murasaki's Avatar
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    I don't think I was all that clear in my original post -- most likely because of the constant chatter in my head The core of the problem is not what to do about excessive chatter in my sitting, but that the chatter is with me constantly and at a high enough level to really bother me and interfere with my general effectiveness in life. I thought maybe that because I had been sitting more regularly that I would see a reduction in the chatter in my off-the-cushion life. But this wasn't the case.

    I have come to accept that there's a baseline chatter level that I need to deal with while sitting, but my tendency to play mind-dramas in my head every moment of the day is what is really bothering me lately, and something I would like to find a way to resolve.

    Gassho,
    Julia
    "The Girl Dragon Demon", the random Buddhist name generator calls me....you have been warned.

    Feed your good wolf.

  4. #54
    Hey Julia.
    i think that maybe you could try not to get the chatter to stop but to accept it and just let it go. be aware of it, see it for what it is. but dont get caught up in it.

    hope thats not to vague of an answer....

    Gassho, Dojin.
    I gained nothing at all from supreme enlightenment, and for that very reason it is called supreme enlightenment
    - the Buddha

  5. #55
    Senior Member Nengyo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by murasaki View Post
    I have come to accept that there's a baseline chatter level that I need to deal with while sitting, but my tendency to play mind-dramas in my head every moment of the day is what is really bothering me lately, and something I would like to find a way to resolve.
    Have you tried repeating a mantra when you find yourself getting caught up? When I find myself playing out fantastical hypothetical situations over and over I usually just try chanting mantras out loud (or to myself if it is a bad place for chanting.) I don't the particular mantra matters too much, I just give it a go and try to remain mindful for several repetitions. Sometimes it works like a charm, other times it is more like a break in between thoughts, but it may be worth a shot.

  6. #56
    Quote Originally Posted by catfish View Post
    Have you tried repeating a mantra when you find yourself getting caught up? When I find myself playing out fantastical hypothetical situations over and over I usually just try chanting mantras out loud (or to myself if it is a bad place for chanting.) I don't the particular mantra matters too much, I just give it a go and try to remain mindful for several repetitions. Sometimes it works like a charm, other times it is more like a break in between thoughts, but it may be worth a shot.
    I often repeat to myself "No more stories, no more stories" or simply "Sweep, sweep".

    Gassho
    Gary
    Drinking tea and eating rice.

  7. #57
    Quote Originally Posted by Gary View Post
    I often repeat to myself "No more stories, no more stories" or simply "Sweep, sweep".

    Gassho
    Gary
    I think this can be one VERY good tool on the Dharma toolbelt. Very fine. A Mantra does not necessarily have to be some mysterious phrase in Sanskrit, a Koan, the name of a Buddha or the like. These sound like a lesson that's very "to the point"and which hammer the message home. This might be an effective, momentary tool for when someone gets too caught up in the thoughts and drama, a good short term measure to pull one out of the clouds of thought and emotions.

    Hmmm. Perhaps we should develop this into one tool for our recommended Daily "Nurturing Seeds" Practice!

    http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showt...Seeds-PRACTICE

    Gassho, Jundo

    PS - Another alternative may be this, care of American TV show Seinfeld .... SERENITY NOW!

    Last edited by Jundo; 06-25-2012 at 05:15 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  8. #58
    Senior Member Koshin's Avatar
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    I always have loved "Serenity Now"
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  9. #59
    Treeleaf Unsui/Engineer Kyonin's Avatar
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    Julia,

    I have found that when I limit my Internet and other media consumption for a while, the chatter fades away.

    Watching the news, for instance, makes my mind very chatty. These days with the political turmoil here, the news is non stop mind-troll food.

    I don't know. Maybe that helps.

    And yes... Serenity now!!
    Please remember I am only a priest in training. I could be wrong in everything I say. Slap me if needed.

    The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one. Mr. Spock

  10. #60
    Quote Originally Posted by Kyonin View Post
    Watching the news, for instance, makes my mind very chatty. These days with the political turmoil here, the news is non stop mind-troll food.
    I agree there ... plus I find just doing things that i enjoy that really don't take much thought works as well ... just allowing myself to do, instead of thinking what to do.

    Gassho,
    Michael
    Last edited by Shingen; 07-04-2012 at 12:43 PM. Reason: ooppsss, spelling mistake :/

  11. #61
    After sitting regularly for twenty-five years.. this mind is no less chatty than it ever was, the difference is that the chatter is not believed nearly as much, and that occasionally it settles out into ineffable forgetting/presence. When I first began sitting(in another tradition) the goal was the Jhanas, so developing calm and one-pointed concentration was important. The problem was that after getting up from the cushion, Samsara was still not a friend. Zazen, especially as taught by Jundo and Taigu, has brought home practice as being about realizing the unconditioned in both a chatty and a still mind.
    Last edited by Daizan; 07-04-2012 at 01:49 PM.

  12. #62
    Serenity now _ that was a funny video from a tv show about nothing .

    Wouldn't it be nice towatch the chatter like you were watching seinfeld. That would be funny.
    _/_
    Rich

  13. #63
    disastermouse
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rich View Post
    Serenity now _ that was a funny video from a tv show about nothing .

    Wouldn't it be nice towatch the chatter like you were watching seinfeld. That would be funny.
    You'd just start talking to yourself about the show....which would become its own show.

    Chet

  14. #64
    Senior Member ZenHarmony's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary View Post
    I often repeat to myself "No more stories, no more stories" or simply "Sweep, sweep".

    Gassho
    Gary
    "Sweep, sweep." I like that, Gary; short, sweet, to the point, and probably very effective. I'll give that a try!

    Gassho,

    Lisa

  15. #65
    Quote Originally Posted by disastermouse View Post
    You'd just start talking to yourself about the show....which would become its own show.

    Chet
    Consider this, Chet. Before ever practicing every thought and perception that arises is unseen for the most part, because I am completely involved in the content of thought....100%.... overlapping and endless. No gap of clear sky, not a single taste of non-dukkha, the Third Noble Truth.. Total delusion. Then consider after practicing, watching thoughts come and go on the cushion for some years .... thoughts aren't all absolute and end to end... there is a genuine taste of the The third Noble truth, of genuine clear sky.... and generally thoughts are a little bit more transparent. Many, maybe even most thoughts are still being reified all the time... and there is still deeply ingrained habitual delusion. Even so, the latter, deluded, practitioner has realized a great liberation and miracle, IMHO. .and practice goes on.



    Just riffing.. posted waaay too much this week. gassho, kojip

  16. #66
    disastermouse
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    Hey Kojip,

    If you think it's hard and takes forever, lo and behold, it's hard and takes forever. I think we like being invested in our thoughts and maybe sometimes we think we can substitute 'bad' story thoughts with 'good Buddhist' story thoughts.

    I'm never so encouraged as when I hear Taigu say he doesn't give a shit about Buddhism. I think it's a quintessentially Buddhist thing to say. It's uplifting because I don't think I could ever be a very 'good' Buddhist.

    Chet

  17. #67
    Quote Originally Posted by disastermouse View Post
    Hey Kojip,

    If you think it's hard and takes forever, lo and behold, it's hard and takes forever. I think we like being invested in our thoughts and maybe sometimes we think we can substitute 'bad' story thoughts with 'good Buddhist' story thoughts.

    I'm never so encouraged as when I hear Taigu say he doesn't give a shit about Buddhism. I think it's a quintessentially Buddhist thing to say. It's uplifting because I don't think I could ever be a very 'good' Buddhist.

    Chet
    You are quite wholly lost in thought, Chet... and no amount of "sudden" fairy dust will change that. I am not saying "it" takes a long time or a short time... only that just as there is "nothing to do" there is "something to do"... If "not giving a shit about Buddhism" means being stuck in emptiness.. I'm at the wrong party.

    Gassho, kojip.

  18. #68
    disastermouse
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kojip View Post
    You are quite wholly lost in thought, Chet... and no amount of "sudden" fairy dust will change that. I am not saying "it" takes a long time or a short time... only that just as there is "nothing to do" there is "something to do"... If "not giving a shit about Buddhism" means being stuck in emptiness.. I'm at the wrong party.

    Gassho, kojip.
    I don't want to believe any of my thoughts, Kojip. Not even the ones you're responding to. I think what I was trying to say is that the blue sky is immediate, even at midnight - even with the rain falling. In your metaphor, whether the clouds part or not is hardly the point. I don't think I meant to write what I wrote the way you read it - as the reaction is unexpected. I'm not placing blame, just saying that my intention wasn't to provoke (but looking back at what I wrote, I see why it did).

    I took up the mantle of the 'good Buddhist' once and I won't ever do it again. I think your words about being stuck in emptiness were picked up somewhere along the way, but it's not for me to say - you could be right! Regardless, I don't want to fight and I don't want to be right. I don't want to beat myself over the head with some of the thicker planks of the great way only because I don't see how they are accurate. If the deficiency is mine, well - it will be until it isn't. I'm open to correction.

    Gassho,

    Chet

  19. #69
    Hi Chet.. I must be sounding harsher than I mean to,..... Where what i have been taught and practice meets the teachings of Treeleaf (as best i can tell).. is that each moment of practice is complete... whole, yet at the same time there is beginningless greed, hatred, and delusion we are working with. Each moment we truly look and hear is an awake moment... but I also know from experience that looking and hearing can be conditioned by layers of unconscious thinking... and genuinely unconditioned seeing.. requires some sitting.. and more sitting... and more, that's all..

    Gassho... kojip. ...and by the way I am frequently swept up in thought as well.
    Last edited by Daizan; 07-05-2012 at 09:09 AM.

  20. #70
    disastermouse
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kojip View Post
    Hi Chet.. I must be sounding harsher than I mean to,..... Where what i have been taught and practice meets the teachings of Treeleaf (as best i can tell).. is that each moment of practice is complete... whole, yet at the same time there is beginningless greed, hatred, and delusion we are working with. Each moment we truly look and hear is an awake moment... but I also know from experience that looking and hearing can be conditioned by layers of unconscious thinking... and genuinely unconditioned seeing.. requires some sitting.. and more sitting... and more, that's all..

    Gassho... kojip. ...and by the way I am frequently swept up in thought as well.
    We're all prone to this - and I didn't mean to imply in any way that I don't get caught up in it. Anyone can tell I'm most definitely quite susceptible to it - that's not even self-flagelation, it's just a simple fact. I'm baffled (after the fact, of course) at where some of my strong feelings come from. A lot of it is basic insecurity masked by righteous indignation and the need to be right. I don't know if I have more existential dread and ego insecurity than most, but I know that in a way I'm glad that I suck so bad at pasting over it with a 'good' Buddhist persona that doesn't portray my flaws to everyone. It's like constantly getting a chance to chuck everything out and start again.

    And I think you're right - a large part of the practice is just not feeding back into the layers of delusion - but like a heavy wheel with a lot of momentum, it spins for a long while after you stop pushing it - and from my perspective, I don't even stop pushing it completely, I just push it less than I used to - LOL! I didn't mean to imply that one simply gets an experience of real emptiness and then suddenly it's done. I just meant that in spite of deepest delusion, awake-ness is immediately available in the next breath.

    Getting back to the original post in the thread - I'm not sure that anything can be done to banish the mental shit-storm going on in our heads. I just know that even though it isn't 'you' or even 'yours' - that doesn't mean it has to be an enemy either. The wind doesn't push on you for personal reasons, and hating it doesn't help. Once again, not a judgment - just an observation that it doesn't help.

    Gassho

    Chet

  21. #71
    Quote Originally Posted by Kojip View Post
    Hi Chet.. I must be sounding harsher than I mean to,..... Where what i have been taught and practice meets the teachings of Treeleaf (as best i can tell).. is that each moment of practice is complete... whole, yet at the same time there is beginningless greed, hatred, and delusion we are working with. Each moment we truly look and hear is an awake moment... but I also know from experience that looking and hearing can be conditioned by layers of unconscious thinking... and genuinely unconditioned seeing.. requires some sitting.. and more sitting... and more, that's all..

    Gassho... kojip. ...and by the way I am frequently swept up in thought as well.
    Hi,

    I have to say that I feel this is a lovely lovely way to put this, Kojip ... and I also feel that you and Chet are actually not so far apart in what you are saying, and are merely talking past each other a bit.

    Yes, as I wrote you recently ...

    Well, I would rather say that we are fine as we are, always already Buddha AND we can always do better... until we are perfect Buddha.

    Buddha not Buddha ... makes sense to Zennies!
    We are always already Buddha ... yet we need to act to realize that fact, clear of greed, anger and ignorance.

    There is absolutely no place to fall ... yet we can each fall at any step, acting like a fool or a crook. Buddhism is not an excuse just to act like greedy, hateful, angry asses merely because we are Buddha sitting Zazen on our asses!

    Gassho, J

    PS - Even a master tight rope walker can tumble with the next step. Anyone can stumble with the next choice, and even some Buddhist Teachers stumble from time to time, some worse than others. I've talked about that before.

    http://www.treeleaf.org/sit-a-long/w...t-masters.html
    Last edited by Jundo; 07-05-2012 at 10:28 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  22. #72
    Quote Originally Posted by ZenHarmony View Post
    "Sweep, sweep." I like that, Gary; short, sweet, to the point, and probably very effective. I'll give that a try!

    Gassho,

    Lisa
    Dont know if you two are aware of the talk Taigu gave on Sweeping, one of my favorites btw,

    http://shambhalasun.com/sunspace/?p=17245

    Gassho
    Myoku

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