Zazen Meditation with Jundo : Even Buddhas Get the Blues

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It is much easier to be at peace with a disaster or war on the other side of the world ...

... than with the little troubles in one's own home or family. The people we are closest to, and most emotionally involved with, can certainly push our buttons sometimes ... even after years of Zen practice.

And that is just natural.

Some folks think that, if we are practicing Zen "right", we should be free of all fear, annoyance, worry, frustration. But I think that, if we were, we would lose so much of what it means to be human.

The point, I think, is that we need not be a prisoner of never ending fear, worry, depression and the like. But a sometime blue period, or reasonable fear for the future, or ordinary upset at some event in life, is nothing to reject. We are not robots, we are not stones ... and do not want to be so.

Sometimes the Buddhas in the old stories are portrayed as beyond all human emotion, but I feel that that may be a bit of fiction. As the stories were told, gradually the Buddha was turned into a golden statue or superhuman entity beyond human concern. Anyway, I feel that that is not the best way to be in our lives. One can be a Buddha with a heart!

I think that we should avoid to fall into excess harmful emotions, and try not to let them take us over. And I think that we should develop, as Buddhists, the ability always to know that all emotions are just our "self" playing games, like a dream and (in a very real way) they are not real.

But, so long as we have these human bodies and lives, we will feel. Do not be frustrated about a bit of frustration, do not be sad about some grieving, do no be angry even if once in awhile you get angry. It's okay.

I promise you that, if you follow this Zazen road for awhile, you will quickly realize that the way you experience all those emotions has become quite different from how you did before you took the Buddhist Way. The fear and other emotions will sometimes be there, but not like they were before.

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

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