January 2009 Archives

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... Just Breathing ... how do we breathe during Zazen meditation?



This diagram (kindly provided by a temple in Japan) might seem pretty obvious ... but what more do you want to know about 'just breathing'?


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(remember: recording ends soon after the beginning bells;
a sitting time of 20 to 35 minutes is recommended)


Zazen Meditation with Jundo : Married Monk?

Most Buddhist Clergy in Japan marry.

That may surprise some folks.

Buddhist clerics marrying is very unusual in the rest of Asia.




That's why calling us "Zen Monks" is kinda funny ... except for those short periods when most Zen clergy live and train in a monastery. After that, most live in temples, with their families ... wife and kids. So, maybe "Zen Priest" is a better term, or "Zen Minister" ... or perhaps just "Zen Teacher" ...

And now, as Zen has come West, most Zen clergy in American and Europe marry too, and often have outside jobs (I, for example, work as a translator of Japanese to keep my family fed).

So, we are not really, most of the time, "Zen Monks" in a "Monastery". We've come out into the world.

I think that is a good thing!



(remember: recording ends soon after the beginning bells;
a sitting time of 20 to 35 minutes is recommended)


Shikantaza 'Just Sitting' is profound 'Non-seeking' ...

... to attain that which cannot be attained.
The way to 'attain that which cannot be attained' is to drop, right to the marrow, the search for all attainments.

We find the ordinary, every day to be timeless, and anything but ordinary!

Thus, our teachings are of a different flavor from forms of Buddhism, and 'Koan'-centered Zazen (as taught by the Rinzai School), that speak of attaining special states, struggling for mind-bending 'Kensho' experiences, or gaining 'Enlightenment'

For, in our Way, the special-special state, mind-bending-est experience and true 'Enlightenement of Enlightenments' is ...


Non-Attainment!

(please join sit-a-long below)




(remember: recording ends soon after the beginning bells;
a sitting time of 20 to 35 minutes is recommended)


The 'Precepts' are at the heart of our Practice. Not hard and fast laws or 'Commandments' from heaven, each is an arrow pointing out a good path.


All basically come down to this ...


Seek, as you can, not to do harm ... and to live in a way healthful and helpful to yourself and others ... (that is not two)


Living by the Precepts supports and sustains the Practice of Zazen. The Practice of Zazen supports and nurtures Living by the Precepts. In fact, Zazen is living by the Precepts, Living by the Precepts nothing besides Zazen.

(Precept Poster available from ZMO Store]



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Press on arrow for 'play'
NOTE: IF YOU ARE HAVING TROUBLE TO SEE THE SCREEN OR START BUTTON,
PLEASE UPDATE FLASH. SEE HERE



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Reclining Buddha

The Buddha, when really very sick and unable to sit in the Lotus Posture, "sat" like this ...

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The subject came up today in our Forum ...

FORUM: SITTTING WITH CHRONIC PAIN

What about sitting with chronic pain? What if you just cannot get into the Lotus Posture, the Burmese, or even sit on a chair?

Does that mean that Zazen is not for you?



Absolutely Zazen is for you!

Tonight's "sit-a-long" will be Zazen flat on my back ... and is dedicated to all people who need to sit Zazen with chronic pain. Truly, while the Lotus Position and such is best for those who can manage it (and folks ... really try to manage it, and give it time) ... True Zazen is sitting, standing, falling through the air, walking or ... reclining.




(remember: recording ends soon after the beginning bells;
a sitting time of 20 to 35 minutes is recommended)

Although we usually practice Zazen sitting quietly, facing a wall ...

... we can practice Zazen anywhere. It is not limited by time or place. Nor is it simply a matter of sitting cross legged, standing, reclining, floating in a pond or falling through the air.

For anything, anywhere, anytime is Zazen if perceived as such.

Thus I recommend to everyone Jundo's Patented "Insta-Zazen" © throughout each day. You don't even have to "sit" for these "sittings". "Insta-Zazen" © can be of any length, starting from but a moment until infinite time (which may be the same!). We "Insta-Zazen" © at times in our day when just a bit of "Zen Mind"© will change our perspective on all things, when a touch of balance will bring life into balance ...

Just standing in a creeping postal line, in the dentist's chair, when the car won't start on a cold morning, when driving and stuck in traffic, when the computer crashes, waiting for the crossing light to change, the toast to toast, wherever and whenever ... just do what you do in Zazen, with the Lotus Position fully optional (it tends to get in the way while driving or having a root canal, although it might work in the postal line if you keep pushing along.).

This is actually not such a radical departure from "traditional" practice. Life in a Zen monastery, for example, is filled with countless opportunities to bring the "Way of Non-Seeking" tasted on the cushion into daily activities ... what's the difference between the "Dokusan" line and the postal line? Even monks need to wash the windows and do the laundry (folding and sorting socks is an excellent time for a bit of "Folding Kinhin". Each place is a place for Practice. In fact, if what we do on the cushion stays on the cushion, what's the point??

So, please try Jundo's Patented "Insta-Zazen Sittings" © throughout your day. In fact, for a limited time only, three (3) "Insta-Zazens" © can subsitute for one (1) traditional sitting (if sitting a minimum of (one) 1 or more traditional sittings each day. ).

Today I sit a bit on the train, between stations. There is no talk today, no opening or closing bells, not even sound. No special lesson. Just a guy sitting Zazen on the train ...




(remember: there are no beginning or ending bells today;
a sitting time of 20 to 35 minutes is recommended)

BIG MIND small mind

John from Australia, a Sangha member, asked if I would talk about "BIG MIND small mind" ...

... Hmmm.  That's BIG!

The same fellow suggested I put a "sit-a-long suggestion box" on our forum ...


... for anyone who would like to request a theme for a sit-along talk! Good suggestion!

I can't promise that I wlll get to every topic (or even will have something to say about some things) but I will do my best.



(remember: recording ends soon after the beginning bells;
a sitting time of 20 to 35 minutes is recommended)

Zazen for Beginners (We're All Beginners) X


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In Soto style, we 'face the wall' ... we sit with our backbone slightly forward of the center of the Zafu,  ... back straight, as if a tiny thread were running to the ceiling through the crown of the head ... give that thread a small tug, ever so slightly, to stretch the neck and pull the chin in ... your eyes should be 1/3 or 2/3 open ( ... the point is to remain present in this world and not drift into some dreamy state) ... gazing at a downward angle to the wall (In Rinzai style, as above, one faces into the room)

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It does not have to be beautiful, nor a model of perfection (just perfectly what-it-is), but it should be balanced and comfortable such that the body can be dropped from mind (most of the time ... there will always be days of little aches and pains).
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(remember: recording ends soon after the beginning bells;
a sitting time of 20 to 35 minutes is recommended)
I am about to break a cardinal rule of 'Soto Zen' (not the first time): However, I hereby officially state that I do not think that the 'Lotus' Postures (although ideal if you can) are necessarily the best postures for most beginners ... I suggest the Burmese ...


meditation+position+burmese.jpg
... and for beginners, next the Half-Lotus (and the Full Lotus if one can manage), then the 'Seiza Bench' (I think many people sit this way because they have not given the other postures a sufficient chance)

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And I view chair sitting as to be done only if truly necessary.

We will talk more about this tomorrow, and what to do with the rest of the body from head to toe.

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Please see a video by my teacher, Nishijima Gudo Roshi, on how to sit in the Full Lotus posture, look HERE


(remember: recording ends soon after the beginning bells;
a sitting time of 20 to 35 minutes is recommended)

All Things Change!


It is a fundamental Buddhist teaching that "All Things Change" ...



Some of those changes can be in ways we want, some in ways we surely do not want.



But Buddhists learn to be 'Masters of Change'  ... going with the flow of it all ...



 


(remember: recording ends soon after the beginning bells;
a sitting time of 20 to 35 minutes is recommended)



The question came up today about whether a Buddha would ever feel frustration ... did he always feel peace and contentment?

I believe he knew how to feel peace and contentment, even amid a world that can often be frustrating!

You see, the highest Contentment, attained through dropping all thought of sameness or difference, is being Content with not being content all the time. We can experience a deep, abiding Contentment ... fully present even with daily pains and sometime discontent.

The best way to be "at home in" and "at one with" life is by always being at home ... lacking all thought of somewhere else to go ... even when life takes us places where we do not want to go. Drop all resistance to sometimes resisting (sometimes not resisting) ... and that is Deep Liberation.

The True Peace sees right through this messy world we live in that is sometimes peace sometimes war.

To hope for one's experience on the Zafu to always be a joyful, blissful, happy time is ... in our view ... not the Highest Samadhi.  To favor only the blissful moments, and to reject the bored or painful moments is (in our view) not Enlightenment ... for Enlightenment is to understand the Bliss that is sometimes being amused, sometimes bored ... for that is wonderful life, no place other to be (or where you should be).

Oh, for sure, our Zen practice will also teach us many ways to drop resistance to life we normally feel. So, very often, we can drop resistance, discontentment, pain and the like that is present in life and on the Zafu (we become "masters of the mind", who know 1000 tricks to change the mind). Yet, still, the Greatest Change is knowing that we flow with whatever comes.

And how do we do this? "Just Sitting", moment by moment on the Zafu, dropping all thought of anything to add, anything to take away, all goals and ideas of other places to be, knowing that a pure moment of Zazen is the whole universe sitting Zazen in that moment (like the cosmos in a grain of sand), all the world living life as you live life. We come to observe our coming and going boredom, discontent or small resistances as if a spectator watching a bit of mental theatre, all while comfortably at rest in our True Seat. We "go with the flow" because we ARE the Flow!

Those meditators who seek only bliss states, only joy, only peace as "right" meditation ... not only miss the complexity of this wonderous life, but overlook that Joy and Peace beyond some mere joy and peace.





(remember: recording ends soon after the beginning bells;
a sitting time of 20 to 35 minutes is recommended)


JUKAI! JUKAI! JUKAI!

Well, the day has arrived for our JUKAI (Undertaking the Precepts) CEREMONY ...


... our first ever for Treeleaf Sangha ...


... and (we believe) the first Jukai Ceremony ever conducted fully online since, well, Buddhism began!!


There is more about the meaning of "Jukai" below. But first, here is the record of our ceremony held today, and we hope you will celebrate with us ...





What exactly is "Jukai"??

Jukai literally means "to receive" or "to undertake the Precepts". It is the ceremony both of one's formally committing to the Buddhist Sangha and to the Practice of Zen Buddhism, and of one's undertaking the "Sixteen Mahayana Bodhisattva Precepts" as guidelines for life. Traditionally for Jukai, one receives from a teacher the "Rakusu", which represents the robe of the Buddha, the "Kechimyaku", a written lineage chart connecting the recipient to the Buddhas and Ancestors of the past, and a "Dharma Name" selected by the teacher and representing qualities of the recipient's personality and practice.

My teacher, Nishijima Roshi, has written this ...

When a Buddhist seeks to commence upon the study of Buddhism, there is first a ceremony which should be undertaken: It is called 'Jukai,' the "Receipt of the Precepts", the ceremony in which one receives and undertakes the Precepts as a disciple of the Buddha. ... Master Dogen specifically left us a chapter entitled 'Jukai,' in which it is strongly emphasized that, when the Buddhist believer first sets out to commence Buddhist practice ..... be it monk, be it lay person, no matter ..... the initial needed steps include the holding of the ceremony of Jukai and the undertaking of the Precepts ...

Nishijima Roshi also offers this description of the Precepts ...

The rationale of all of the Buddhist Precepts, the Mahayana Boddhisattva Precepts ...... is as a pointing toward the best ways for us to live in this life, in this real world.... how to live benefiting both ourselves and others as best we can.

Daido Loori Roshi of Zen Mountain Monastery has described "Jukai" this way:

The Buddhist Precepts are one of the most vital areas of practice for students... In essence, the Precepts are a definition of the life of a Buddha, of how a Buddha functions in the world. They are how enlightened beings live their lives, relate to other human beings and this planet, and make moral and ethical decisions while manifesting wisdom and compassion in everyday life.

The Soto Sect's "Shumucho" (Religious Affairs Office in Japan) reminds us ...

[T]hough people approach it with different motivations, all participants must realize that in Jukai-e they inherit the life and quintessence of Buddhism as passed down correctly by generation after generation of Ancestors since the days of ancient India.

Taiun Michael Ellison says:

[We] hold the Jukai or lay Zen Buddhist initiation ceremony for those wishing to receive (ju) the precepts (kai or sila) and formally confirm entering the Buddhist path. This is an important and powerful event in the life of a practitioner and in the life of the Sangha. This ceremony, historically known as "entering the stream," has been performed continually since the time of the Buddha. In the Soto Zen tradition, the ceremony continues to be offered exactly as set down by Master Dogen in his text Kyojukaimon (Instructions on Giving the Precepts) more than 800 years ago.

[It] is available to anyone who has been practicing steadily for several months and who wishes to deepen and formalize their commitment to practice and to the Sangha. So the ceremony is at once both a beginning and a confirmation of something that has already occurred.

John Tarrant Roshi offers this perspective ...

Every year around the beginning of winter we do the ceremony of Jukai in the Sangha. It is the primary initiation ceremony of Zen. ... In Jukai you receive the Rakusu, which represents the robe of the Buddha, and your connection to all in the ancient lineage of people who have walked the Way and suffered for wisdom and also gained wisdom. You share in their light and their effort. You take on a Buddhist name, identifying yourself in the tradition in that way.

You engage with the precepts of the Bodhisattva. There are sixteen of them. Pretty much they are common sense undertakings. "I take up the way of not killing," "not stealing," "not lying," "not undertaking sexual misconduct," "not misusing drugs." Things like that, simple things. "Not indulging in anger," "not praising myself while abusing others." And as well as that there is taking refuge as part of the precepts. "I take refuge in the Buddha." "I take refuge in the Dharma." "I take refuge in the Sangha." ... [It is] to say that I trust that there is a Way and I commit myself to it.


Barry Magid of Ordinary Mind Zendo writes ...

[W]hat does Jukai itself mean? That's a question I don't intend to answer, but leave for each individual to decide for themselves.

                                                          PLEASE JOIN THE CELEBRATION!

As we get ready for our Jukai (Undertaking the Precepts Ceremony) this Saturday (see here) ...

... some folks wrote to ask whether the Precepts were really necessary.

Don't the Precepts, and gentleness ... a dropping of greed, anger and ignorance ... naturally arise in our Zazen and Zen practice?

Well, perhaps it is not so simple:

Yes they naturally arise, and become more and more our way of living.

But, as with the garden I am sitting by today, they also require some careful cultivation.





(remember: recording ends soon after the beginning bells;
a sitting time of 20 to 35 minutes is recommended)


This Saturday, our Treeleaf Sangha will be having our first ... and what seems to be the ...

"World's First"... ALL ONLINE JUKAI (Undertaking the Precepts) CEREMONY!!

Please come watch, if you have the time. The live netcast will start here (and on this blog) at this link ...

http://www.ustream.tv/channel/sit-a-long-with-jundo

from

SATURDAY, JANUARY 17th 2009 at MIDNIGHT (Saturday/Sunday) JAPAN TIME (which should be SATURDAY 10AM in NY, 7AM on the West Coast, 3pm in London, 4pm in Paris).

Now, the fact that this is an "ALL ONLINE" Jukai should not take away from the fact that several dozen people in our Sangha have been working diligently for several months to study and understand each of the Precepts, to sew a Rakusu (a traditional Buddhist robe), and sit in Retreats and such ... all in preparation. You can see some of our activities and discussion on our Forum.

The 'Precepts' are at the heart of our Practice. Not hard and fast laws or 'Commandments' from heaven, each is an arrow pointing out a good path.


All basically come down to this ...


Seek, as you can, not to do harm ... and to live in a way healthful and helpful to yourself and others ... (who are not two)


Living by the Precepts supports and sustains the Practice of Zazen. The Practice of Zazen supports and nurtures Living by the Precepts. In fact, Zazen is living by the Precepts, Living by the Precepts nothing besides Zazen.



(remember: recording ends soon after the beginning bells;
a sitting time of 20 to 35 minutes is recommended)



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Today, some more to do in our "How To" Zazen ...

Life is a million things to do. These days, all of us are juggling so much ...

Is Buddhism a teaching of passivity? Must it mean withdrawal from the world?


Not at all!



"Just Sitting" Shikantaza is stillness ... whether sitting or when moving.

We never leave our True Home ... though there are places we must go.

Whether 'stopping to smell the roses' or working hard in the office or factory ... it is all quiet (we learn to be at rest while not).

We drop all likes and dislikes ... while simultaneously choosing what we like.

The world is embraced 'just-as-it-is' ... then we change what we can.

Dogen taught True Goallessness ... but was a man of many goals.

Like two sides of a single coin ...


For there is nothing to achieve ... amid a million things to accomplish.

 


(remember: recording ends soon after the beginning bells;
a sitting time of 20 to 35 minutes is recommended)



More in our series on "How To" Zazen ...



In "Just Sitting" Zen Practice, we learn to take life like the weather ...



... whatever comes, comes.

 
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(remember: recording ends soon after the beginning bells;
a sitting time of 20 to 35 minutes is recommended)


We continue our series on "How To" Zazen ...

... and how to handle thoughts that appear during Zazen.

I often used the analogy of clouds (of thought) drifting in and out of a clear, blue spacious sky (a mind open and clear of thoughts).

Our mind in Zazen may be compared to the sky ... We are open, clear, spacious, boundless, like the clear blue sky ... Our attention is focused on everything and nothing in particular, just as the sky covers all the world without discrimination ... Thoughts, like clouds, often come and go.

Clouds drift in and out, that is natural. However, we bring our attention again and again (10,000 times and 10,000 times again) to the open, blue sky between, allowing the clouds of thought to drift away. More clouds will come, and so we repeat the process endlessly, once more and once more bringing our attention back to the blue sky ... to the open spaces between thoughts.

However, this is important to bear in mind:

We do not try to "silence the thoughts forcefully" in Skikantaza. It is more that we allow the thoughts that naturally drift into mind to naturally drift out of mind, much as clouds naturally drift in and out of a clear blue sky. In this way, return again and again to the open, clear blue sky.Although we seek to appreciate the blue, open sky between the clouds, we do not resist the clouds of thought that drift through our mind. We are not disturbed by them, we do not actively chase them out, neither do we welcome them, focus on them, play with them or stir them up. We allow them to pass, and return our focus once more to the quiet blue. Again and again.

As in the real sky, both blue expanse and clouds are at home there. We should reject neither, not think the blue somehow "truer" than the clouds. In fact, some days will be very cloudy, some days totally blue ... both are fine. We never say "this cloudy day is not good because there is no blue sky today". When the sky is blue and empty, let it be so. When the sky is cloudy, our mind filled with thoughts, let it be so. You see, even when hidden by clouds, the blue is there all along. Both the blue sky and the clouds are the sky ... do not seek to break up the sky by rejecting any part of it. (In other words, do not think one good and the other bad). WE DO NOT SEEK TO BREAK UP OR RESIST ANY PART OF THE SKY, CLOUDS OR BLUE ... It is all the unbroken sky. Though we reject neither, we allow the clouds to drift from mind and return our attention again and again to the blue. Throughout, we are awake, aware and alert, conscious and present ... we are not in some mysterious or extreme state.

The clouds of thought and the clear blue are not two, are simultaneously functioning and whole ... a single sky. This is our way in 'Just Sitting' Shikantaza Zazen. When you see the clouds, be as if you are thereby seeing the clouds as blue. When you see the blue, you may also see the blue as clouds.

Master Dogen called that 'thinking not thinking' or 'non-thinking' ...


blueskybuddha.jpgClick HERE  to Play Today's TALK & SITTING  VIDEO
(SITTING TIME: Approx. 30 Minutes)
Continuing our series on "How To" Zazen ...



The mind is like a noisy kitchen blender ... filled with all kinds of rattlin' stuff.



Let it settle!


(  if using headphones, loud noise at times in video !!  )
blender.jpg

 


(remember: recording ends soon after the beginning bells;
a sitting time of 20 to 35 minutes is recommended)

Continuing our series on "How To" Zazen ...

In our Soto Zen perspective, Zazen is Enlightenment itself ...

... just crossing the legs, stretching the back, gazing at a wall, and all's done!

Like saying that merely running a race --is-- the finish line crossed.

In this race, there is nothing to gain or attain, nothing to win or lose ...

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... yet, attaining non-attaining is the prize!

 


(remember: recording ends soon after the beginning bells;
a sitting time of 20 to 35 minutes is recommended)

We are so often chasing after things, rarely still ... whether it is attainments, dreams and goals, fame and fortune and possessions, whatever we think will 'finally' make us happy and content in life (once we get there, if we get there).

It may be the same in our spiritual practices, if we are always searching for something, someone or some truth distant or just out of reach. It may be Enlightenment, the Buddha or some other Power that seems so far away.

The Practice of Shikantaza may be unique in being, unlike most other ways of seeking, a radical stopping of the search, a true union with life 'just-as-it-is', dropping of all looking 'beyond' so to make life complete here and now.

Yet, far from being mere resignation, a half-satisfied complacency or lazy "giving up" ... Shikantaza is, instead, finding what we are longing for by allowing all just to be. Life is complete when one allows life to be so. All things are perfectly just what they are if we see them as such.

We discover stillness and peace, not by running after stillness and peace ... but by being truly still and at rest.

Thus, we find that what we have been searching for here all along!
 
 

(remember: recording ends soon after the beginning bells;
a sitting time of 20 to 35 minutes is recommended)


New Years 4-Hour 'Live' Zazenkai Netcast

Hi,

Please join our NEW YEARS/JANUARY MONTHLY 4-hour ZAZENKAI, recorded in "real time" and available at the following link:


Remember, when we drop all thought of 'here' 'there' 'now' and 'then' ... we are sitting all together!

Our Zazenkai consists of our chanting the 'Heart Sutra' and the 'Identity of Relative and Absolute (Sandokai)' in English (please download our Chant Book at the link below), some full floor prostrations (please follow along with me ... or a simple Gassho can be substituted if you wish), a little talk by me ... and we close with the 'Metta Chant', followed at the end with the 'Verse of Atonement' and 'The Four Vows'.

Please download and print out the Chant Book (PDF) at the following link:


The schedule is as follows:

00:00 - 00:50 CEREMONY (HEART SUTRA / SANDOKAI) & ZAZEN
00:50 - 01:00 KINHIN
01:00 - 01:40 ZAZEN
01:40 - 01:50 KINHIN
01:50 - 02:30 DHARMA TALK & ZAZEN
02:30 - 02:40 KINHIN
02:40 - 03:20 ZAZEN
03:20 - 03:30 KINHIN
03:30 - 04:00 METTA CHANT & ZAZEN, VERSE OF ATONEMENT, FOUR VOWS, & CLOSING


I SUGGEST THAT YOU POSITION YOUR ZAFU ON THE FLOOR IN A PLACE WHERE YOU ARE NOT STARING DIRECTLY AT THE COMPUTER SCREEN, BUT CAN GLANCE OVER AND SEE THE SCREEN WHEN NECESSARY. YOUR ZAFU SHOULD ALSO BE IN A POSITION WHERE YOU CAN SEE THE COMPUTER SCREEN WHILE STANDING IN FRONT OF THE ZAFU FOR THE CEREMONIES.

ALSO, REMEMBER TO SET YOUR COMPUTER (& SCREEN SAVER) SO THAT IT DOES NOT SHUT OFF DURING THE 4 HOURS.


Please join in, one and all.

Gassho, Jundo


Sitting Zazen all together online, and having a video 'Zencast', can present some technical conundrums sometimes.

Zen teachers back in the 13th Century, for example, probably only had to face running out of ink for their writing brushes ... while now we must 'sit with' the Koan of JAVA script and browser conflicts.

But the wonderful thing, truly, that Zen offers to all of us is this: Accept that computers, just like all of life, will not do what we wish all (or most) of the time. Go with the flow. Allow the computer to crash endless times ... for it is all a perfect moment in time. "Be at one" with slowness and freezing ... for a slow boot-up is an excellent opportunity for a moment of patient Zazen.  Accept program conflicts as "just-what-they-are" and allow them to be! Remember that the "Blue Screen of Death" is beyond all thought of "life" and "death" ... and that rebooting is a kind of rebirth.

A monk asked Master Jōshū, "Does a hard drive have Buddha nature"??

So, it is not so much "frustrating", as just what it is. As opposed to cussin' my computer ... I have added the "Help Desk" folk at Ustream as the subject of my Metta (Lovingkindness) Chanting ... may they be 'free of suffering ... loving, grateful and kind ...'  It is a kind of 'Beta Version Metta Chanting'!!

But, in any event, 'Ustream' (the video system I have been using until today) seems to present some conflicts with 'FLASH' and certain browsers that results in crashing. To solve the problem, I will now try to experiment with switching to YouTube (which seems more glitch free). I will still use Ustream for certain special events (like our longer 'LIVE' Saturday sittings and monthly Zazenkai) because it has certain advantages.

One issue with YouTube, however, for those folks 'sitting-a-long' is that there is a 10 minute time limit. That means that, from now on, WE CAN START ZAZEN TOGETHER, and I will ring the beginning bells ... BUT YOU MUST KEEP TRACK OF YOUR SITTING TIME, and ring the ending bells yourself. Truly, Zazen is endless anyway!

Let's see if this works a bit better for most folks, and I apologize for any crashing if we need to use Ustream sometimes.   
 



We begin 'Zazen for Beginners (We're All Beginners)' ...


We'll talk the basics of 'Just Sitting' Shikantaza Zazen ...


...
There's a bit more to it than 'just sitting' !!


In a series of talks over the coming days, I will discuss the "ins" and "outs" of "Just Sitting", which all has to do a lot with dropping thoughts like "in" and "out". I'll talk about where you can expect to "go" in your Practice, and what you can expect to attain, which is, of course, ABSOLUTELY NO WHERE AND NOTHING!

These talks are meant for beginners in "Just Sitting" Shikantaza Zazen and newcomers to Treeleaf Sangha. Shikantaza is our central Practice at Treeleaf. But I hope that both new folks and old timers will give a listen. We are all, of course, ever beginning now and now and now, with 'Beginner's Mind'  ...

Today, we'll see how "Just Sitting" is much like "just stopping"
to hit own's own hand with a hammer ... cause it feels so good when ya stop!

PLEASE CLICK THE FOLLOWING LINK TO JOIN THE SITTING:


(if you cannot see the screen at that link, please update FLASH PLAYER )

We begin 'Zazen for Beginners (We're All Beginners)' ...


We'll talk the basics of 'Just Sitting' Shikantaza Zazen ...


...
There's a bit more to it than 'just sitting' !!


In a series of talks over the coming days, I will discuss the "ins" and "outs" of "Just Sitting", which all has to do a lot with dropping thoughts like "in" and "out". I'll talk about where you can expect to "go" in your Practice, and what you can expect to attain, which is, of course, ABSOLUTELY NO WHERE AND NOTHING!

These talks are meant for beginners in "Just Sitting" Shikantaza Zazen and newcomers to Treeleaf Sangha. Shikantaza is our central Practice at Treeleaf. But I hope that both new folks and old timers will give a listen. We are all, of course, ever beginning now and now and now, with 'Beginner's Mind'  ...

Today, we'll see how "Just Sitting" is much like "just stopping"
to hit own's own hand with a hammer ... cause it feels so good when ya stop!

PLEASE CLICK THE FOLLOWING LINK TO JOIN THE SITTING:


(if you cannot see the screen at that link, please update FLASH PLAYER )