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Jundo
11-08-2016, 02:27 AM
Dear All,

Kindly post all comments, questions, impressions and objections regarding this Series and any of the videos in this thread. (I have had to do so to keep the lessons in sequence).

If refrencing a particular talk, it woud be nice to mention which one. Thank you so much.


BACK TO SERIES LINK (http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showthread.php?14896-Sit-a-Long-with-Jundo-Zazen-for-Beginners-%28INTRODUCTION%29-Begin-Here%21)

Gassho, Jundo

SatToday

odiedoodie
11-08-2016, 10:33 PM
Zazen and kinhin while out and about.
Excellent idea, Jundo!
It's great that I will no longer be wasting time while just waiting, which happens every day.
Thank you for Treeleaf.
Jon T
SatToday

Jakuden
11-09-2016, 04:03 AM
Listened to and SatToday with "acceptance without acceptance." Seemed appropriate today. I like the notes at the end. Gassho
Jakuden
SatToday


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Tai Shi
11-15-2016, 11:31 PM
Zazen and Kinhin while in the waiting are of my doctor office seemed logical this afternoon. I waited a short time in an open area. I could have spent the time in Kinhin, and in the actual waiting room where I was to see my doctor, I sat quietly and practiced Zazen, Shikantaza, just sitting with my pain.

Tai Shi
sat today
Gassho

Tai Shi
11-15-2016, 11:43 PM
My acceptance is always with my pain. If I accept there is no other way, as my doctor has told me and then it is easier to accept who and what I am. I am a man who will always lives with my practice which is pain, and then I forget myself as I have done in writing these sentences. My practice is pain, thank you Daizan for this suggestion, and I forget myself in pain, so does the pain really exist for me? Maybe since I have forgotten myself in pain of just writing, an thus there no contrast, thus no self, no pain.

Tai Shi
sat today
Gassho

Shingen
11-16-2016, 01:12 AM
My acceptance is always with my pain. If I accept there is no other way, as my doctor has told me and then it is easier to accept who and what I am. I am a man who will always lives with my practice which is pain, and then I forget myself as I have done in writing these sentences. My practice is pain, thank you Daizan for this suggestion, and I forget myself in pain, so does the pain really exist for me? Maybe since I have forgotten myself in pain of just writing, an thus there no contrast, thus no self, no pain.

Tai Shi
sat today
Gassho

Hello Tai Shi,

You are not pain and pain is not you. Pain doesn't make you Tai Shi, but how you manage such moments of pain/discomfort does. Pain is a condition within our lives and is different for each of us. Doing your best to accept and being present in such moments of discomfort can actually reduce that level of pain/discomfort ... it sounds like you are doing a great job at it. =)

Gassho
Shingen

s@today

SeaChel
11-17-2016, 06:58 PM
Hello. I have a question about general practice. Just finished watching video 3. I use a timer to tell me when zazen is done but I have a habit of wanting to check it many times during practice I guess because I am impatient. Would there be a way to mitigate this that others found useful?
Thanks
Chelsea
Sat2day

Seishin
11-17-2016, 07:33 PM
Hi SeaChel and welcome on your first post.

I've just started sitting with a timer a couple of months back. What I tend to do is have the timer set up to include a period for sitting down and getting my posture settled, before my actual sitting time begins. I then start the timer but put it on the floor so its behind me when I sit. That way I know I won't be able to see the count down/up from where I am and it ceases to be a distraction. However, there are still times when my concentration wanders and I start to think about how long I've been sitting or that it can't be much longer until the end - and I'm wishing to continue!

For info I've also just started using Insight Timer, which allows you to select a warm up period before the gong(s) start for "sitting". My old timer allowed multiple "sections" per session, so I used to have a 10s start/get ready (start timer session and put phone/tablet down) 1 min Preparation (sit down and get settled) xx min zazen.

Hope my limited experience is of use to you.

Kyotai
11-17-2016, 08:02 PM
Let that need to keep checking be part of your practice. As Seishin-do said. Put it out of site, behind you. Keep returning to your sit and never mind that timer :)

Gassho, Kyotai
ST

Shingen
11-17-2016, 08:37 PM
Put it out of site, behind you. Keep returning to your sit and never mind that timer :)

And if your mind does go to the timer, recognize that, and bring your mind home (back to your zazen). If it happens again, rinse and repeat ... over time you will no longer remember the timer is there. =)

Gassho
Shingen

s@today

Kenshou
11-19-2016, 01:11 AM
I have just finished the Zazen for beginners and the Buddha basics series' and have to say thank you for the amazing work you are doing through Tree leaf.
To be able to access talks and teaching on Buddhism from where I live is awesome in the true sense of the word.
I am still getting the hang of the technology side of things, especially on Google+ and hangouts; but I will get there and join in the sits and participate more in the near future.

One question I do have is, are you only supposed to write "sat today" if you have done so online?

Gassho
Patrick

Geika
11-19-2016, 01:38 AM
Hello Patrick,

Jundo encourages us not to post unless we have sat in the past twenty-four hours, so we write, "sat today" as an indication that we have done so. It does not have to be an online sit.

Gassho, sat today

Shokai
11-19-2016, 06:07 PM
[welcome] Patrick

gassho, Shokai

satToday

dod
11-22-2016, 06:49 AM
I am finding the beginner series so helpful (I watched them over a year ago and am re-watching them until the things I learn begin to stick). I also really appreciate your teaching style Jundo. You are funny and engaging :)

Gassho,
Jessie
~sat today~

M.C. Easton
11-29-2016, 12:44 AM
I just watched #6 today, and it really helped my understanding of Buddhism. For many years, I've been troubled by the idea that Buddhists are supposed to have no attachments whatsoever--even to right and wrong, or kindness. The idea of indifference to suffering or injustice left me with doubts whether Buddhism was really right for me.

This was a beautiful talk that helped me understand we can experience non-attachment simultaneously alongside our powerful attachments. In fact, it seems to me that by practicing total acceptance in shikantaza, what we are really doing is giving ourselves space to choose. Where I so easily run around reacting to problems and needs from a place of attachment, the experience of non-attachment and acceptance each day helps clear my mind so that I can respond to the outer world from a clarity of intention and acceptance in my inner world. I am finding that the more I sit zazen, the more easily I choose behavior rather than instinctively DO.

Is this a reasonable beginning-to-understand the teaching?

And Jessie--I'm right there with you. I plan to watch them all over again once I finish! Thank you so much for your beginner series, Jundo.
Gassho,
M.C.
#SatToday

Jundo
11-29-2016, 02:45 AM
I just watched #6 today, and it really helped my understanding of Buddhism. For many years, I've been troubled by the idea that Buddhists are supposed to have no attachments whatsoever--even to right and wrong, or kindness. The idea of indifference to suffering or injustice left me with doubts whether Buddhism was really right for me.

This was a beautiful talk that helped me understand we can experience non-attachment simultaneously alongside our powerful attachments. In fact, it seems to me that by practicing total acceptance in shikantaza, what we are really doing is giving ourselves space to choose. Where I so easily run around reacting to problems and needs from a place of attachment, the experience of non-attachment and acceptance each day helps clear my mind so that I can respond to the outer world from a clarity of intention and acceptance in my inner world. I am finding that the more I sit zazen, the more easily I choose behavior rather than instinctively DO.

Is this a reasonable beginning-to-understand the teaching?

A good way to express tbings. One embodies choices and the Choiceless at once as one.

Gassho, Jundo in Sarnath

Makkusu
01-10-2017, 05:34 PM
Whenever I sit Shikantaza, my lower right leg "falls asleep". I sit in the Burmese position which works very well except for this. Will it get better after time or would some stretches before do the trick? (thought I will post it in here as this might be a common problem)

Gassho, Max
#sattoday

Jundo
01-10-2017, 05:39 PM
Whenever I sit Shikantaza, my lower right leg "falls asleep". I sit in the Burmese position which works very well except for this. Will it get better after time or would some stretches before do the trick? (thought I will post it in here as this might be a common problem)

Gassho, Max
#sattoday

Hi Max,

As to legs falling asleep, this is usually pressure on the sciatic nerve, which can be alleviated by shifting the weight off that spot, and also sitting on the Zafu correctly so that it does not pinch the spot. It still happens to anyone sometimes, but have a look here:

http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showthread.php?13209-Pins-and-Needles&p=148838&viewfull=1#post148838

Gassho, J

SatToday

Kyousui
02-15-2017, 06:18 PM
What posture is (other than walking) is good for a busy etc area to do Zazen in?

Jundo
02-16-2017, 02:00 AM
What posture is (other than walking) is good for a busy etc area to do Zazen in?

Hi Tom,

If I understand your question, any balanced posture ... sitting, walking, standing, flying through the air ... is fine, although sitting is what we usually Practice, and walking in Kinhin. The point is some balanced stable posture where the body can be naturally forgotten and left from mind.

If you mean what is the best posture for Zazen in Times Square, I would say anything that does not cause people to trip over you, or you to wander into traffic causing damage to the front of a bus.

Not sure if that is what you were asking.

Gassho, J

SatToday

AdamH
02-16-2017, 09:13 AM
Jundo, thank you for your wonderful videos. I loved Zazen for beginners 3.
Even though I had prior understood of all the information going in, I found your breakdown of posture and breathing to be indepth, fascinating and dare I say it, humourous!

Love it!
Gassho!

Adam

Jundo
02-16-2017, 10:22 AM
Jundo, thank you for your wonderful videos. I loved Zazen for beginners 3.
Even though I had prior understood of all the information going in, I found your breakdown of posture and breathing to be indepth, fascinating and dare I say it, humourous!

Love it!
Gassho!

Adam

Please recall, Adam that since you are sitting in South Africa, you are sitting upside-down from the rest of us up here. Please be careful to hold on to something.

(Oh, wait, maybe it is us who are sitting on our heads!)

http://www.outlookmaps.com/map-images/world-upside-down-political-map.jpg

Gassho, J

SatToday

Kyousui
02-16-2017, 11:23 AM
Yep, I was asking regarding this tradition's feelings on public display. Goenka (Vipassana) for instance cautions against meditating in public in an obvious manner, eyes closed and one of the cross leg postures, but does encourage meditating any time in a non-obvious way.

Myosha
02-16-2017, 11:31 AM
Please recall, Adam that since you are sitting in South Africa, you are sitting upside-down from the rest of us up here. Please be careful to hold on to something.

(Oh, wait, maybe it is us who are sitting on our heads!)

http://www.outlookmaps.com/map-images/world-upside-down-political-map.jpg

Gassho, J

SatToday

Hello,

The respect given to the "upside-down" image is incomparable. Please note: the Americas resemble a bird; India and Africa is flipping 'the bird' and Australia is shrugging, "It's all good."

Wonderful, thank you.


Gassho
Myosha
sat today

Jundo
02-16-2017, 11:43 AM
Yep, I was asking regarding this tradition's feelings on public display. Goenka (Vipassana) for instance cautions against meditating in public in an obvious manner, eyes closed and one of the cross leg postures, but does encourage meditating any time in a non-obvious way.

Hi Tom,

I don't think it is a matter of public display or not. Certainly, we do not try to be a spectacle in order to feel how special or spiritual we are personally. I often sit in public spaces, such as a park bench or on a train, but I do not try to be a spectacle. When on the train, I do not crawl into the Lotus Posture (that would certainly bother the person sitting next to me), but just put my hands together over my lap and sit ... until I reach my stop.

On the other hand, if somebody happens to see me sitting in Lotus under a tree in a park (I do sometimes), it might inspire somebody. In that case, it is not about me, but is helpful to inspire them to sit.

There has been a movement to engage in public sittings for Peace, a kind of Zen "sit in", and I support that. I tried to encourage that around here too (although I met with a surprising amount of resistance at the time). Our Sangha friend, Daiho Hilbert Roshi, is a practitioner. He earned it. I still feel that we should do that here.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hg1ArN--Wlo

Gassho, J

SatToday

AdamH
02-17-2017, 04:52 AM
Love it! :D

Makkusu
02-20-2017, 08:39 PM
Hi Max,

As to legs falling asleep, this is usually pressure on the sciatic nerve, which can be alleviated by shifting the weight off that spot, and also sitting on the Zafu correctly so that it does not pinch the spot. It still happens to anyone sometimes, but have a look here:

http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showthread.php?13209-Pins-and-Needles&p=148838&viewfull=1#post148838

Gassho, J

SatToday

Hey,

I fixed the leg problem now. I don't know how, but by spreading my legs slightly farther apart, they don't fall asleep. Or my body got used to it. Anyway, now that I sit pretty solid for 15 minutes straight, my butt starts to fall asleep. A while ago, I read that one should kinda "sit on his tailbone", at least this seems to be the most solid way.

Gassho, Max
#sattoday

Michael Joseph
03-30-2017, 11:19 PM
Jundo,

I just want to let you know that I have really been enjoying the talks and the techniques that you use to illustrate them. More than once, I've cleaned my mind with a hammer or a blender. They work as well as a broom. Also, I owe you particular thanks for the talk on cross-legged sitting. I have been having trouble with the legs (like you, I'm 50-something and not thin and limber--thimber, if you will), but I have been trying out different positions. Fortunately, you've reassured me that sitting is the point; whatever the position, I just make sure that I have no "loose ends."

Gassho,
Michael J.
SatToday

PClark1
04-09-2017, 07:02 PM
I have been going through the new member video series and I have to say that Jundo's teaching method really resonates with me. The points are so concise and well presented. I'm only seven videos in and I already have noticed an improvement in my zazen from putting those teachings into practice.

Thank you, so very much for this video series.

Gassho,

Paul

Sat today

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Tom
04-10-2017, 01:39 AM
its hard SeaChel, that impatience, for me at least, has been an important part of practice. ("hello impatience my old friend, it's nice to talk to you again.") There's a timer out there that gongs every five minutes, or whatever intervals you want it to. But for me the five-minute interval just facilitated more impatience. http://www.onlinemeditationtimer.com/. The settling period it allows, though, is useful. I use it to recite the precepts, say atonement, and read or chant the sutra I'm working on.
Gassho,
SatToday

Jundo
04-10-2017, 01:56 AM
The settling period it allows, though, is useful. I use it to recite the precepts, say atonement, and read or chant the sutra I'm working on.
Gassho,
SatToday

When sitting Shikantaza, just sit Shikantaza.

Before or after Shikantaza is a time to chant. Of course, Shikantaza has no measure, no before or after. Yet, it does ... so please do not break Shikantaza at such short intervals for other activities.

Gassho, Jundo

SatToday

PClark1
04-11-2017, 01:18 AM
In the Burmese pose, does it matter which leg is folded under first? I usually see folks with their left leg under and their right toward the outside, but I have a lot if hip pain when I try to sit that way. (Old hip injury) however, if I do the opposite, I'm usually quite comfortable.

I was just wondering if there was a traditional reason to have the left leg under and should I look for a different pose if I'm not able to adapt to that?

Gassho,
Paul

Sat today

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Jishin
04-11-2017, 01:33 AM
Do what's comfortable.

My 2 cents.

Gasho, Jishin, _/st\_

Shingen
04-11-2017, 01:46 AM
In the Burmese pose, does it matter which leg is folded under first? I usually see folks with their left leg under and their right toward the outside, but I have a lot if hip pain when I try to sit that way. (Old hip injury) however, if I do the opposite, I'm usually quite comfortable.

I was just wondering if there was a traditional reason to have the left leg under and should I look for a different pose if I'm not able to adapt to that?

Gassho,
Paul

Sat today

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Hello Paul,

I also agree that you should do what is best for your body type or injuries. Zazen is not suppose to be torture or cause undo pain and discomfort. There are times when we challenge ourselves and sit with some discomfort (like in sesshin or longer sittings), but this is only temporary. So listen to your body. Even if sitting in your normal position you need to shift, then gassho, shift, gassho, and continue with your sitting.

Hope this helps. =)

Gassho
Shingen

s@today

PClark1
04-11-2017, 01:52 AM
It does help, very much. Thank you both for your input.

Gassho,

Paul

Sat today

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RobotUnicorn
04-14-2017, 10:36 AM
Thank you, Jundo, these are great talks and I'm finding them really useful.

I've just finished listening to talk number 10 about mirror mind. Sometimes when I sit, I feel a deep sense of calm and 'rightness' with where I am - it's hard to describe, but I refer to it as (using a Christian reference) "the peace that transcends all understanding". Is this what mirror mind refers to?

In that moment, I 'know' it's there all along, but somehow it's not so easy to tap into in other moments!

Georgina
SatToday

(PS. What does Gassho mean, please?)

Kyonin
04-14-2017, 11:55 AM
Hi Georgina,

In my understanding of mirror mind, it's that place inside your zazen when you are just part of life, without thoughts governing you and you just flow with what is. Yes, it's a peace that transcends it all. It's a wholeness that melts you with the universe. It's where you just reflect life without opinions and judgment. It lasts just an instant but we don't get lost in it. It's what is.

And about gassho, it's pretty much like namastť in yoga. It's a greeting, a reverence, a salute, a symbol of union, peace and wish that all boundaries are lost. To me (can't talk for anyone else) is a sacred mudra (hand posture) that reminds me that we are one.

Gassho,

Kyonin
SatToday

RobotUnicorn
04-14-2017, 12:47 PM
Thank you for your explanations, Kyonini :) I hope I can learn to be in that mode a little more often!

Gassho,
Georgina

SatToday

Anka
04-14-2017, 09:31 PM
The explanation of mirror mind that I have heard and trust from experience is as follows.

When something happens (a noise, a taste, a feeling) our minds have been trained to instantly apply either "I like" or "I dislike". These notions effect how we experience the feelings or thoughts. Mirror mind generated from our practice allows us to experience what our senses are picking up without bias of like or dislike. As a result we see, hear, and feel what is truly there. As a result our judgement is not clouded and we can act according to these stimulants from a base of understanding and compassion.

Sat today

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Jundo
04-14-2017, 11:57 PM
Hi Georgina,

In my understanding of mirror mind, it's that place inside your zazen when you are just part of life, without thoughts governing you and you just flow with what is. Yes, it's a peace that transcends it all. It's a wholeness that melts you with the universe. It's where you just reflect life without opinions and judgment. It lasts just an instant but we don't get lost in it. It's what is.

And about gassho, it's pretty much like namastť in yoga. It's a greeting, a reverence, a salute, a symbol of union, peace and wish that all boundaries are lost. To me (can't talk for anyone else) is a sacred mudra (hand posture) that reminds me that we are one.

Gassho,

Kyonin
SatToday

What Kyonin said. gassho1

Gassho, palms together, two hands coming together as one.

I believe that mirror mind often brings to heart "peace that transcends all understanding" that's "there all along, but somehow it's not so easy to tap into." Yes. I simply remind folks to remember that the "clarity of the mirror" in our Shikantaza way is present seen or unseen, even if the mirror is completely obscured by the dusts of our human excess desires, anger and divided thinking, judgments and runaway emotions.

It is vital that we do not always demand to "feel peaceful" in this Way, and learn to trust in the "Peace and Clarity" that is present both when feeling peaceful and clear --and-- even when feeling upset or confused, as humans sometimes do. It is hard to explain, but it is something like the Sun which shines even when the skies are clear, open and boundless, and even on the cloudiest or stormiest days (still shining seen or not, clouds or no clouds). We learn to trust, and subtly sense, that the sun and clear boundlessness are yet present even when we are feeling obscured by the darkest clouds. We learn not to become lost in the clouds, and perhaps can find the light which illuminates even the clouds. Don't always demand clear skies!

Hi Anka,


The explanation of mirror mind that I have heard and trust from experience is as follows.

When something happens (a noise, a taste, a feeling) our minds have been trained to instantly apply either "I like" or "I dislike". These notions effect how we experience the feelings or thoughts. Mirror mind generated from our practice allows us to experience what our senses are picking up without bias of like or dislike. As a result we see, hear, and feel what is truly there. As a result our judgement is not clouded and we can act according to these stimulants from a base of understanding and compassion.

Sat today


(Is Anka your name? Would you mind to sign a human name to your posts? Helps us keep things human around here. :encouragement:)

Some Buddhist Teachers do say such things, but I do not believe it is quite so simple that "we see, hear, and feel what is truly there. As a result our judgement is not clouded and we can act according to these stimulants from a base of understanding and compassion." First, I believe that the processing of sense data by the human mind is so complicated, and so "reprocessed" to create the world we experience in the mind, that I hesitate to use the phrase "what is truly there." (If you were seeing truly unprocessed sense data, it might appear as completely uninterpreted blotches and unintelligible noise, for example, much like a newborn baby might experience. I don't believe that we are trying to experience that). Let us just say that what we experience is life less burdened and imprisoned by judgments and reactions to what appears in life.

Also, I am not a Buddhist teacher that believes that the result of "mirror mind" necessarily means that we will act with Wisdom and Compassion. Frankly, I believe that a sociopath who acts without empathy for the emotions and humanity of others might also be operating from a kind of cool "mirror mind" free of judgement. Certainly, I do not believe that experiencing the clarity and freedom of "mirror mind" will necessarily mean that our actions from there will always be wise and warm. We have to be sure to nurture Wisdom and Compassion in our Practice, through learning to live in such way, so that such is an aspect of "mirror mind" and all the rest of our Practice. The Precepts help us here.

Gassho, Jundo

SatToday

Anka
04-15-2017, 12:26 AM
Hi Jundo,

Thank you for those fantastic points.

Reality really is an interesting subject because in truth we have no idea if we are experiencing life as it truly is or if our minds warp the true sense data.

All decisions can be seen as both wise/warm and ignorant/cold based off the past experiences and mindset of the person analysing the decision.

Sat Today
James F

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RobotUnicorn
04-15-2017, 11:10 AM
That's really interesting, thank you Jundo and James for a really interesting discussion.

And yes, that's a really good point, Jundo, about not always chasing after feeling peaceful. That's a trap I fall into often, and then a whole slew of judgements against myself rise up when I can't quite see the peace behind the turmoil, either on or off the cushion (or seiza bench, in my case). Ah well, all the more reason to continue practicing!

Gassho,
Georgina

SatToday

Onkai
04-17-2017, 04:09 PM
Thank you, Jundo, for this series of talks. I just went through them, I think for the second time, although I didn't remember some of them at all. They are encouraging.

Gassho,
Onkai
SatToday

Oukan
04-21-2017, 01:16 PM
Thank you Jundo,

I watched these last year but I think that after you reorganized them and changed the format a little they are much easier to follow. Time to watch again.

Gassho

Oukan.

Tai Shi
04-30-2017, 12:35 PM
Hi ALL, Yes I am not my pain, and even on two non-narcotics, and at the real minimum, might go one more notch down, which I think I can handle, and really joyous that my mind is now so clear, and my wife says I'm somewhat better so keep working on the psychology of my situation, yes I AM NOT MY PAIN, and I use it as a tool in practice, to just forget sensations, great.

Now about timers, I've never used one in personal sitting, and I use some of our chants and bowing, but at first I checked and watched the clock, Truly even with my Treeleaf, almost three years, total I've been sitting 6 years. So watching the clocked has dropped away, and now naturally, 30 to 40 minutes seems so short a time as i emerge from sitting naturally. I often sit with Priests, great practice, and I sit alone or with a friend with a timer. Still sitting seems so short, and yet I know that those with a family must practice with 15 minutes here and there. At first my sitting was exactly this, 15 minutes, or even 10. So really do not worry about distractions, and with time and practice, timers might drop away and 15 minutes might feel just right. Be patient with yourselves, and keep sitting.

Tai Shi
std
Gassho

Tai Shi
04-30-2017, 01:39 PM
A very, very important warning, and word to the wise!

For my medications--I HAVE ALWAYS BEEN COMPLIANT with excellent doctors over the full duration of my treatment for pain! A person must never, ever try to treat themselves with any medication of any kind! I am under the care of two excellent doctors for opiates an ALL MY MEDICATIONS, so never, ever take ANY drug without full cooperation with excellent doctors! I have severe arthritis of the spine, called Ankylosing Spondylitis, and I have experienced pain levels of 8, 9, and 10. These doctors began treating me three years back, and have followed my case to the letter as I have been fully compliant! My doctors and I have been able to bring opiates down by 3/4 less, and now I am treated with two non-opiate medications. When I say we will bring down another notch, this means I will be on 4/5 less the amount I was on at one time, and the hope is that with safe medications we can come to nearly none. I have used ALL types of meditations, and mind body exercises with the help of a great psychologist. Shikantaza has helped me gain a wonderful outlook on my life, so with ALL tools and under the care of wonderful professionals I live with pain levels of 4, 5, and 6. NEVER EVER EXPERIMENT WITH SELF CARE! THIS IS AGAINST OUR PRECEPTS in our Zen practice.

Tai Shi
std
Gassho
Deep Bows

Shinshou
06-01-2017, 02:12 PM
In video four, you say shikantaza is the simplest form of meditation. I agree that it is simple, but is it the easiest? It seems to me that due to the nature of the mind, it's easier to have a focus, a goal. Perhaps an open awareness non-duality is the eventual end Ė or beginning Ė of all meditation, but beginning with the end seems like a very difficult endeavor, like a beginning runner starting training for a marathon by running 26 miles.

Sat today

Margherita
06-04-2017, 01:08 AM
Hello everybody,
I have a question regarding video number 13.
"Insta-Zazen" it's a thing I've been trying to do (it came out quite naturally really, even before watching Jundo's video), with some success in certain occasions and no success at all at other times. It won't work too well if I'm nervous or angry. But I discovered that being a bus driver I sit for long hours, so I try to concentrate on the breathing and then expand my concentration all around me, focusing on the driving of course. I find myself to be more attentive and if tangled thoughts arrive I try to let them go. Of course I won't drive crossed legged (but the thought made me laugh) and I won't do any Mudra with my hands, they can stay on the steering wheel!
My question for you more experienced people is: do you think it is safe to do so?

Thanks,
Mags

Kyousui
06-04-2017, 01:45 AM
I like to do "car zen" on long drives too, first it helps me focus on my driving (which is where my focus should be). Sending Metta to the other drivers also helps with my mindfullness.

Sat2day

Jundo
06-04-2017, 02:59 AM
Hello everybody,
I have a question regarding video number 13.
"Insta-Zazen" it's a thing I've been trying to do (it came out quite naturally really, even before watching Jundo's video), with some success in certain occasions and no success at all at other times. It won't work too well if I'm nervous or angry. But I discovered that being a bus driver I sit for long hours, so I try to concentrate on the breathing and then expand my concentration all around me, focusing on the driving of course. I find myself to be more attentive and if tangled thoughts arrive I try to let them go. Of course I won't drive crossed legged (but the thought made me laugh) and I won't do any Mudra with my hands, they can stay on the steering wheel!
My question for you more experienced people is: do you think it is safe to do so?

Thanks,
Mags

Sounds lovely but, whatever you do, road safety comes first. Keep your eyes on the road, watch the other cars, drive safely. I don't mix my Zazen with heavy machinery!

Maybe you could limit the practice to the time passengers are loading and getting off only? Door open, mind open. Door closed, back to the road. Passenger yells at you or is drunk ... mind VERY open. :)

Gassho, J

SatTodayLAH

Margherita
06-04-2017, 11:06 AM
Thanks for your answer. I would like to clarify that of course safety comes first, to injure someone (or worst) is my fear since I started this job. So I try my best not to do something stupid (and I've seen lots of unbelievable behaviours on the road), I just thought that to not lose myself into my own tangled thoughts would have been a good thing. I will follow your advice though, Jundo.

Gassho,
Mags
Sat today

Inviato dal mio SM-J510FN utilizzando Tapatalk

Iammichael
08-23-2017, 03:39 AM
Hi Jundo, Thanks you for these talks. Number 7 was specially important for me. I have been sitting zazen for ten years and your explanation of how thoughts become light, thinking/no thinking is encouraging to me. This is sometimes my experience. Thank you, Michael

Seishin
08-30-2017, 07:02 PM
Jundo Roshi

Tomorrow marks a year from when I applied and was accepted to join this wonderful Sangha. I have just gone through the Beginners lessons again for probably the fourth or fifth time today to see if I have actually learnt anything in the last year. Thought I would take the opportunity to thank you for your teaching and guidance. And to thank those Sangha members who have also provided guidance, support and friendship on my journey along this long trodden path.

I realize I still have much to learn and to some degree am still the miserable, short tempered, often angry, SOB I've always been, between bouts of normality and friendliness, acting the fool to the amusement of others but finally recognizing these failings.

I have sat daily since being accepted here, missing only one day (Sept 19 last year which felt very strange and does even now) and this practice has become an integral part of my life. Still not sure about committing 100% and undertaking Jukai but am happy where I am right now, moment by moment.

Thought this was appropriate....................

https://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwiN54y8zf_VAhWIBcAKHUKFDHwQ3ywIKjAA&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DAW tCittJyr0&usg=AFQjCNGUvvYKhAxmysX5mPTAAVnscg1_6w

Deep bows my esteemed Roshi. Safe journey home.

STMIZ lah

Francisco Toro
10-29-2017, 04:29 PM
Dear All,

Kindly post all comments, questions, impressions and objections regarding this Series and any of the videos in this thread. (I have had to do so to keep the lessons in sequence).

If refrencing a particular talk, it woud be nice to mention which one. Thank you so much.


BACK TO SERIES LINK (http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showthread.php?14896-Sit-a-Long-with-Jundo-Zazen-for-Beginners-%28INTRODUCTION%29-Begin-Here%21)

Gassho, Jundo

SatToday

[evilgrin]Gassho!
In the observation of respiration, particularly in the Hara area, it is the movement of the muscles of the lower abdomen that must be contemplated and not the breathing as such, this is the
correct consideration of how to observe the breath ?.
Thanks for your kindness.
Gassho.
Francisco

Jundo
10-29-2017, 04:56 PM
[evilgrin]Gassho!
In the observation of respiration, particularly in the Hara area, it is the movement of the muscles of the lower abdomen that must be contemplated and not the breathing as such, this is the
correct consideration of how to observe the breath ?.
Thanks for your kindness.
Gassho.
Francisco

Hi Francisco,

I would say that nothing should be contemplated. Generally, following the breath is a temporary measure in Soto Zen (I will explain below), but good for beginners to settle down a little by sensing the air enter and leave the nostrils. One should just be lightly aware.

Eventually, in Shikantaza, one should move to "Open Spacious Awareness" not focused on the breath or anything particular at all.

As to Dogen, all he advises (in Fukanzazengi and elsewhere) is to "take a breath and exhale fully", and then turn to "thinking not thinking non thinking". In a section of Eihei Kokoru he is extremely and explicitely critical of breath counting or following (p 114 here https://books.google.co.jp/books?id=dw0IdBImyRYC&pg=PA114&lpg=PA114&dq=dogen%20long%20breaths%20short%20hinayana&source=bl&ots=2940HXrwEf&sig=_Cj7ug5QwqlvU3afBP8M0RXVRyM&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiA5YLNtJLXAhWMu7wKHbVIBjYQ6AEIKDAA#v=on epage&q=dogen%20long%20breaths%20short%20hinayana&f=false ), calling it a "Hinayana" practice. He also is not too keen on the "Mahayana" way of breathing from the Hara either, seeming to say "long breaths are long, short are short" not coming or going to anywhere. In my opinion, modern teachers who instruct in counting breath might be helping newcomers get settled a bit (I tell newcomers to follow the breath for awhile or when the head is really running wild), but if they leave students doing so for years,or leave them with the impression that such calming is the point of Shikantaza, they are doing them a disservice. That IS NOT Shikantaza. I am not sure where the breath counting was reintroduced historically, but it is not really introducing students to the power of Shikantaza.

also point you to Keizan in Zazen yojinki, who does seem to recommend some breath following in limited uses, especially for particularly unsettled times .... "Sometimes [in Zazen] your body may feel hot or cold, rough or smooth, stiff or loose, heavy or light, or astonishingly wide-awake. Such sensations are caused by a disharmony of mind and breath. You should regulate your breathing as follows: open your mouth for a little while, letting long breaths be long and short breaths be short, and harmonize it gradually. Follow your breath for a while; when awareness comes, your breathing will be naturally harmonized. After that, breathe naturally through your nose" and "[At ordinary times:] Place the tongue on the palate and breathe through the nose. The mouth should be closed. The eyes should be open but not too wide nor too slight. Harmonizing the body in this way, breathe deeply with the mouth once or twice. Sitting steadily, sway the torso seven or eight times in decreasing movements. Sit straight and alert. Now think of what is without thought. How can you think of it? Be non-thinking. This is the essence of zazen."

Gassho, Jundo

SatTodayLAH

Hoyu
12-20-2017, 03:49 AM
Evening sit after watching A SERIES OF TALKS FOR NEW FOLKS #2
Ouch!

newby_x86
02-14-2018, 04:58 AM
Hello,

This concerns where we sit. I have been trying to sit up close with a wall just like the image posted a few posts back when I'd asked a related question. It feels a little too much and in my face. I find that sometimes sitting with the whole room in view or just keeping the gaze on the floor ahead works best. Just wanted to get your quick opinion.

Thanks,
Anant
SatToday

Jundo
02-14-2018, 09:55 AM
Hi Anant,

Move back away from the wall, or see the whole room or the floor. However, sit without thinking of wall, room or floor. Just let them be, and don't ponder them or be bothered.

Some commentators have noted that, more than sitting "facing the wall," we actually sit more "like a wall sits." A wall does not care if the sun is shining or it rains, if a child bounces a ball on it or a cat urinates on it. Just Sit.

Gassho, Jundo

SatTodayLAH

Jishin
02-14-2018, 11:50 AM
Hi,

I am generally a messy person so my wall looks like this:

4940

Way better than a boring white wall.

Gasho, Jishin, _/st\_ , LAH


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro

Jundo
02-14-2018, 01:31 PM
Hi,

I am generally a messy person so my wall looks like this:

4940

Way better than a boring white wall.

Gasho, Jishin, _/st\_ , LAH


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro

So long as one is not judging or getting caught in thoughts about the mess ... then what mess? One is then sitting with a mind that is the most pristine room in the universe.

Gassho, J

SatTodayLAH

newby_x86
02-15-2018, 03:04 AM
Thank you Jishin and Jundo for your thoughts. gassho1

Anant
SatToday

Geika
02-17-2018, 11:19 PM
I am rarely able to find a space to sit in my home that is just "wall." :) Usually, there is laundry nearby.

Gassho, sat today, lah.

aprapti
02-20-2018, 10:57 PM
sat to day i understand and since i sit every day, its not a point at all. but i am looking for the explanation of LAH...

gassho2
coos
std

Shinshi
02-20-2018, 11:00 PM
sat to day i understand and since i sit every day, its not a point at all. but i am looking for the explanation of LAH...

gassho2
coos
std

Hi aprapti,

Here you go

https://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showthread.php?15314-A-TREELEAF-EXPERIMENT-with-EVERYONE%C2%92S-PARTICIPATION-REQUESTED-%C2%93LAH%C2%94-%28Lend-A-Hand%29

In that thread Jundo asked of the Sangha:

"I am asking that all Treeleaf members, in some way, perform an extra “good deed” each day (something that they do not otherwise daily do) dedicated in their heart to Treeleaf Sangha. When they do so, they should put “LAH” or “Lent A Hand” next to their signature too, as a way to show their participation by having done a special deed during the previous day. For example:

“SatTodayLAH” or “ST/Lent A Hand” etc."


Gassho, Shinshi

SaT-LaH

aprapti
02-20-2018, 11:06 PM
thanks Shinshi, that is faster dan light...

that's what i thought it was, except for the dedication-part.

gassho2
Coos
std

Shinshi
02-20-2018, 11:32 PM
thanks Shinshi, that is faster dan light...

that's what i thought it was, except for the dedication-part.

gassho2
Coos
std

Glad to help!

Gassho, Shinshi

SaT-LaH

Cheyenne
02-21-2018, 07:20 PM
Jundo, thank you so much for the beginner series. I have just completed number 22. I am sitting for 20 min a day. Working up to thirty next week. I would like to have a joki with you. When may I do that? Where should be my next lesson?

Geika
02-21-2018, 11:16 PM
Jukai study takes place beginning around August and September, and the ceremony is in January. Feel free to study the precepts if you like until then! Keep up the sitting. :)

Gassho, sat today, lah

Cheyenne
02-21-2018, 11:38 PM
thank you. could you give me how to study the precepts. Is there a certain way? is there a good book on this?

Shinshi
02-22-2018, 12:34 AM
There is a lot of great information about studying the precepts in the thread announcing the last Jukai.

https://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showthread.php?15565-ANNOUNCEMENT-It-s-JUKAI-TIME-2017%21

Treeleaf uses the book "The Mind of Clover" by Robert Aitken.

In the forum JUKAI, PRECEPTS STUDY & SEWING FORUM (Oryoki & Tonglen Too!)

https://www.treeleaf.org/forums/forumdisplay.php?57-JUKAI-PRECEPTS-STUDY-SEWING-FORUM-%28Oryoki-Tonglen-Too%21%29

You can find threads that touch on each precept. Those threads contain links to additional readings.

Gassho, Shinshi

SaT-LaH

Ramsey
02-25-2018, 08:20 PM
I have a question about the mudra. I'm new to shikantaza practice (though not new to a regular meditation practice) and the mudra is new to me - and uncomfortable. Maybe I have oddly shaped thumb-tips? Even with very short nails, the fleshy part of my thumb tips do not touch each other and one nail edge slides under the other nail edge. It's distracting and uncomfortable. I have to tent my thumbs to get flesh-on-flesh. I have been sitting with this and observing it (I'm only on day 4 of the series). But I wondered if others have experienced this? Or am I holding my hands wrong?

Jakuden
02-25-2018, 09:51 PM
I have a question about the mudra. I'm new to shikantaza practice (though not new to a regular meditation practice) and the mudra is new to me - and uncomfortable. Maybe I have oddly shaped thumb-tips? Even with very short nails, the fleshy part of my thumb tips do not touch each other and one nail edge slides under the other nail edge. It's distracting and uncomfortable. I have to tent my thumbs to get flesh-on-flesh. I have been sitting with this and observing it (I'm only on day 4 of the series). But I wondered if others have experienced this? Or am I holding my hands wrong?

Hi Ramsey!

I knew there was a good mudra thread around somewhere, so I searched around and found it. There was also one just last week from someone else having trouble with it!

http://https://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showthread.php?13894-Is-the-cosmic-mudra-important (https://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showthread.php?13894-Is-the-cosmic-mudra-important")

Hope this helps!

You are a very cute Schnauzer, btw.

Gassho,
Jakuden
SatToday/LAH

Jundo
02-26-2018, 02:00 AM
I have a question about the mudra. I'm new to shikantaza practice (though not new to a regular meditation practice) and the mudra is new to me - and uncomfortable. Maybe I have oddly shaped thumb-tips? Even with very short nails, the fleshy part of my thumb tips do not touch each other and one nail edge slides under the other nail edge. It's distracting and uncomfortable. I have to tent my thumbs to get flesh-on-flesh. I have been sitting with this and observing it (I'm only on day 4 of the series). But I wondered if others have experienced this? Or am I holding my hands wrong?

Hi Ramsey,

Yes, so interesting to have two Mudra questions back to back! Folks rarely have problems.

The nails should not slide into each other. Yes, "tent" the fingers, but very slightly, lightly and comfortable. No forcing, not too much pressure. It should be a "do it, and then forget about it" pose, very easy.

https://lovemeditating.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/zazen.jpeg

Gassho, J

SatTodayLAH

Ryudo
02-26-2018, 12:15 PM
I have a question about the mudra. I'm new to shikantaza practice (though not new to a regular meditation practice) and the mudra is new to me - and uncomfortable. Maybe I have oddly shaped thumb-tips? Even with very short nails, the fleshy part of my thumb tips do not touch each other and one nail edge slides under the other nail edge. It's distracting and uncomfortable. I have to tent my thumbs to get flesh-on-flesh. I have been sitting with this and observing it (I'm only on day 4 of the series). But I wondered if others have experienced this? Or am I holding my hands wrong?

Hi Ramsey,
Try relaxing the hand/wrist more, so that the knuckles of your fingers are realy facing down (see picture that Jundo posted) and not forward (as this might be the problem).

Gassho
Ryundo
SatToday/LAH

Ramsey
02-26-2018, 01:58 PM
I knew there was a good mudra thread around somewhere, so I searched around and found it. There was also one just last week from someone else having trouble with it!

http://https://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showthread.php?13894-Is-the-cosmic-mudra-important (https://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showthread.php?13894-Is-the-cosmic-mudra-important")

Hope this helps!

You are a very cute Schnauzer, btw.

Thank you, Jakuden, and woof! :)
Gave me some ideas to work with. I will try placing a support under my hands because I wonder if supporting them will change the angle/amount of thumb extension required. I also have some injuries in wrists & elbows and perhaps that is contributing to the discomfort of keeping thumbs in position.

And thank you as well, Jundo and Ryudo! I just saw your thoughtful replies. gassho2

Ramsey
02-26-2018, 10:28 PM
Quick update: Raising my hands on a cushion on my lap made a huge difference. Thanks!

newby_x86
03-27-2018, 09:50 AM
Hello all,

Just wanted to run this by you guys. I do a short round of mantra recitation or some pranayama breathing exercises right before sittings at times. Is this something yall would recommend I keep up so long as it helps with the sittings. Looking for opinions really.

[wave]
newby/Sat

Jundo
03-27-2018, 10:29 AM
Hello all,

Just wanted to run this by you guys. I do a short round of mantra recitation or some pranayama breathing exercises right before sittings at times. Is this something yall would recommend I keep up so long as it helps with the sittings. Looking for opinions really.

[wave]
newby/Sat

Hi Anant,

We don't tend to emphasize special breathing exercises in Soto Zen, where Master Dogen's advice was to let the long breaths be long, the short breaths be short, and just breathe naturally (apart from three deep breaths at the start of Zazen):

https://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showthread.php?14885-Sit-a-Long-with-Jundo-Zazen-for-Beginners-%2811%29&p=189094#post189094

Also, although there are some Dharani and Mantra common in Soto Zen, such as the Daihishin (Nīlakaṇṭha/Great Compassion Dhāraṇī) and the Sho Sai Myo Kichijo (The Dharani for Preventing Disaster) ...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/N%C4%ABlaka%E1%B9%87%E1%B9%ADha_Dh%C4%81ra%E1%B9%8 7%C4%AB
https://redcedarzen.org/Sho-Sai-Myo-Kichijo-Dharani

... I do not include them in our Rituals and Ceremonies here at Treeleaf because of my view that they were originally, and primarily, used as something like magic spells, "abracadabra". You can read more of my skepticism here ...

https://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showthread.php?15129-Daily-Prayer-Practice&p=194904&viewfull=1#post194904

That is just my view, and I know that others can find great power there. If you feel that it helps you settle, then please do what feels right. For me, it is not much different from singing "Happy Birthday" before Zazen if it helps you. If it helps you settle for Zazen, then sing so.

However, in doing so, do you truly understand the radical power of Shikantaza as non-gaining, not intentionally seeking any special state, or are you hoping to induce some special or unusual state of mind? That is another question.

Gassho, Jundo

SatTodayLAH

newby_x86
03-27-2018, 01:46 PM
Hi Jundo, thanks for the reply.

In the past, and even off and on (on bad days), the temptation for escapism has been there, I must confess. (no different than tuning out to drinking for instance, or anything else on a bad day). Naturally, it has always led to despair in the past. I guess I'm more aware of it now instead, try to be anyway. And that is not at all my intention from this practise. It may be a while before I really get it in my bones.

Edit - I forgot to mention, the breathing exercise I take up helps with the sittings. I steer clear of the more overt forms or forceful breath retention exercises. I should hope that is fine.

gassho1
newby/Sat

newby_x86
04-16-2018, 07:42 AM
Hi all,

I struggle with dullness especially these days. To deal with it I have started turning to these Contemplations by Atisha I found here (https://www.upaya.org/dox/Contemplations.pdf). Ever so often, during sittings or walking, when I find myself slipping into dullness, I would briefly just reiterate one or so points from these contemplations. Sometimes it helps to liven me up a bit, other times, it can be somewhat agitating.

Please advise if contemplations on death should be done during sittings or kinhin, or should they be done separately, such as at the start of sittings or as a separate practise altogether.

Also, some tips on promoting wakefulnes/keeping up motivation to practise in general would help.

Thanks a lot guys. gassho1

newby/Sat

Shingen
04-16-2018, 01:52 PM
Hi all,

I struggle with dullness especially these days. To deal with it I have started turning to these Contemplations by Atisha I found here (https://www.upaya.org/dox/Contemplations.pdf). Ever so often, during sittings or walking, when I find myself slipping into dullness, I would briefly just reiterate one or so points from these contemplations. Sometimes it helps to liven me up a bit, other times, it can be somewhat agitating.

Please advise if contemplations on death should be done during sittings or kinhin, or should they be done separately, such as at the start of sittings or as a separate practise altogether.

Also, some tips on promoting wakefulnes/keeping up motivation to practise in general would help.

Thanks a lot guys. gassho1

newby/Sat

Hello,

In our tradition we don't contemplate on such matters, when sitting just sit and be engaged/present with life as it is, as it is unfolding.

Why contemplate on death when you are alive and here? When we fixate our mind or attention on a single point we cannot see life, we can only see that single point of fixation. Again just be present with the wholeness, the completeness of life. If you find yourself being dull or lazy during zazen or kinhin, recognized that, acknowledge it, and come back to being present with the whole completeness of this life.

To keep up practice really is to just practice ... to dedicate yourself to zazen. The more you do this, the easier sitting becomes. But even when sitting is not so easy, just sit. Know in your heart and mind the benefit zazen has for both you and the world around you.

Hope this helps. =)

Gasho
Shingen

Sat/LAH

Jundo
04-17-2018, 01:18 AM
Yes, as was said, whether one finds such Contemplations helpful is according to your own heart. If they are helpful reminders for you, then I see nothing wrong with them at all, and much so right.

However, when sitting Shikantaza Zazen, there is only Zazen and we do not engage in Contemplations. When sitting Zazen, nothing more is needed but sitting and nothing is lacking. Likewise for Kinhin, when walking Kinhin just walk. Do not engage in thoughts or intentionally contemplate.

On motivation, Shingen says it so well ...


To keep up practice really is to just practice ... to dedicate yourself to zazen. The more you do this, the easier sitting becomes. But even when sitting is not so easy, just sit. Know in your heart and mind the benefit zazen has for both you and the world around you.

You know, coming each day to sit in stillness for awhile is so hard for human beings, who feel we must run and chase and get done and ponder. The little self does not wish to pause.

Gassho, J

SatTodayLAH

newby_x86
04-17-2018, 07:31 AM
Thank you both for your thoughts, gassho1

newby, SatToday

SNPII
05-05-2018, 02:09 AM
Jundo and group! Hello!

I just completed the first video (Lesson One) and must say I am excited to continue on! I did meditate earlier for about 45 minutes in a hammock in the backyard and have to say I probably got about 10 minutes of peace there. I am looking forward to learning this method of sitting as I am definately new to Buddhism and my practice. I have heard this form is a very formal form, but I am going to remain open and continue!

Hoping everyone is well!

Shane

SNPII
05-08-2018, 07:24 PM
Hey All! I needed this message today! The mind was rampant, the body was tense (maybe a little still). Nothing to do and nothing to accomplish. I think I will sit some more in the beautiful sunny weather and ease this mental state some more!

Sattoday Will sit more today.

Genjun
05-09-2018, 02:40 PM
Oh, don't do that!

Here is an past thread on eyes ...



https://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showthread.php?13811-Eyes-focus-and-sleep&p=162390&viewfull=1#post162390



I hope that answers your question, "wander quite naturally, resting where they rest" but not particularly thinking about or judging what I am looking at. Eyes about 1/2 or 1/3 open. Let me know if that helps.

Gassho, Jundo

That answers what I was just about to ask about. Thanks, Jundo.

Sat today.

Kenny
05-16-2018, 10:07 PM
I have heard this form is a very formal form, but I am going to remain open and continue!

There are many different meditation methods out there (and only some of them are explicitly "Buddhist"). I posted about this elsewhere so sorry if you've already read this: I first learned zazen from a book, but only met and sat in group meditation many years later with a college professor who is Tibetan Buddhist. He regarded Zen-style sitting as more strict than necessary, and encouraged things such as guided meditation, visualizing various things in tune with your breathing, and other concentration methods that are definitely not "not-thinking", as well as a much more lax attitude about posture. It gave me a bit of context for zazen, which in retrospect was incredibly helpful in teaching me more about zazen itself simply through contrast.

That said, I find myself coming back to zazen and shikantaza in particular for a few major reasons:
- No nonsense: I have trouble taking things like reciting mantras out loud seriously, or doing particular mudras, or concentrating on energy flows through chakras. Apologies to folks who take them extremely seriously!
- It's technical, but not too technical: Zen is the "sitting" school, so of course a lot of thought goes in to how precisely you should be sitting. At the same time, there's leeway, the ultimate goal is to just sit still for long periods of time, ideally without any back support. It feels very grounding: these are things people could discover without ever having heard of Zen or Buddhism. (There's even a word for this: pratyekabuddha)
- Koans, visualizations, etc tend to just complicate my practice and make me feel like I'm always doing it wrong. A few years ago I attempted regular sitting but got frustrated and quit because I felt like I was either getting distracted too much or making no progress. Now I just sit no matter what. Maybe I don't have enough of a type-A personality for those methods.
- It's just really practical! When you sit, you just sit, there are no mantras, koans, or visualizations to remember. I have a full-time job and a hobby which has become a part-time job, so my brain is under constant assault from non-Zen stuff. When I carve out the time to sit, there's nothing to prepare, I just do it.

However, I would not have discovered those reasons without researching or practicing other methods. It's probably not necessary for everyone, but it's certainly helped me get through doubts about whether this is really the best practice for me.

Gassho,
Kenny
Sat Today

newby_x86
05-19-2018, 12:13 AM
Dear Fellas,

This concerns holding our hands in Shashu while doing kinhin. I find that it starts to feel a little special when I do that and that puts me off doing the whole thing entirely at times. Is there any particular reason, postural or otherwise, why holding our hands in Shashu is recommended?

Please render your thoughts, I'd rather it just be an ordinary activity and not feel special or anything in particular at all. For now, I just keep my hands clasped behind my back while doing slow walkings.

Thank you and best wishes,
newby / SaT

Jundo
05-19-2018, 03:09 AM
Dear Fellas,

This concerns holding our hands in Shashu while doing kinhin. I find that it starts to feel a little special when I do that and that puts me off doing the whole thing entirely at times. Is there any particular reason, postural or otherwise, why holding our hands in Shashu is recommended?

Please render your thoughts, I'd rather it just be an ordinary activity and not feel special or anything in particular at all. For now, I just keep my hands clasped behind my back while doing slow walkings.

Thank you and best wishes,
newby / SaT

As an alternative, you can stick your fingers in your nose and walk. That is special too. Everything is special. I am not making a joke or kidding you.

However, our Tradition is to hold the hands in Shashu. I am not sure if that was done in India, but records show something like that in China for a few thousand years, without regard to Zen in particular. It is just a calm and respectful way to stand. It should not feel uncomfortable or strange at all, and is just a good way to hold the hands when not in use. This is Confucius, I believe, not a Zen fellow ...

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_sGOSS_6GPUM/TUhMfTIbRBI/AAAAAAAABsg/yG-DIQLZxtY/s1600/10.jpg

There was recently a discussion about this by some Soto Teachers. There are many esoteric meanings given to the Shashu Mudra by some. Here is one that apparently comes from the Late Soto Teacher, Kobun Chino ...


The left fist is a vajra mudra expressing diamond-like clarity or will or intent. The left hand in this and other mudras represents the human realm, the right the Buddha realm. The left thumb represents the human realm specifically ... (with other digits of both hands represent other various realms). So it seems in this mudra the human realm, which is frail and vulnerable, is being protected or embraced by all the other realms. The whole right hand, representing the Buddha realm, covers it.

Whatever. Nice interpretation I suppose. People can always come up with such symbolism for almost anything.

I think that Shashu is just a nice, calm, respectful way to place the hands. Two become one. Hard to walk calmly and nicely while picking the nose, sacred or not.

Please hold your hands in Shashu, Newby (what is your human name?) whether you wish to or not because your likes and dislikes are mostly between your ears.

http://www.centralaikido.org/images/shashu.jpg

Gassho, J

SatTodayLAH

Shingen
05-19-2018, 03:36 AM
Dear Fellas,

This concerns holding our hands in Shashu while doing kinhin. I find that it starts to feel a little special when I do that and that puts me off doing the whole thing entirely at times. Is there any particular reason, postural or otherwise, why holding our hands in Shashu is recommended?

Please render your thoughts, I'd rather it just be an ordinary activity and not feel special or anything in particular at all. For now, I just keep my hands clasped behind my back while doing slow walkings.

Thank you and best wishes,
newby / SaT

Hello there,

I have to say, I do like Jundo's replay,


Please hold your hands in Shashu, Newby (what is your human name?) whether you wish to or not because your likes and dislikes are mostly between your ears.

I also once heard this explanation and I do feel this explanation was a mixture of traditions and ideas and not our traditional understanding, but I thought it to be a nice expression none the less. They said when we sit zazen we are cutting away the separation our minds brings into this world and brings a state of unity and wholeness. The zazen mudra is this unity, unifying "wisdom" and "compassion" ... it also can apply to kinhin and the shashu position, here we are bring that wisdom, compassion, and non-separation into our hearts (as our hands are close to our hearts).

I also agree it is a nice relaxed and welcoming position ... so give a try, over time you will see the benefit.

Something like that. =)

Gassho
Shingen

Sat/LAH

newby_x86
05-19-2018, 05:38 AM
Thank you for the reply Jundo and Shingen.

At work, I'd taken to doing kinhin with just hands behind the back, I feared the shashu mudra may attract a little too much attention! :D (Not an excuse, just some context) I'll learn to swing it both ways between work and home.

Thanks again!
Gassho,
Anant
Sat gassho1

Jundo
05-19-2018, 06:15 AM
Hi Anant

I am curious if you know of any way of traditional holding the hands in India like Shashu in China, or use of that mudra in Indian / Hindu traditional art. I am wondering if it was a Chinese thing, or has Indian roots.

Gassho J

SatTodayLah

newby_x86
05-19-2018, 08:16 AM
Umm, the only bit of tradition that we do get to see around here every day that may be familiar to everyone is Namaste or Hands in Gassho. Other than that, in the form of everyday greetings or the use of hands in general, I don't think I've seen anything besides. (for walking or while sitting)

I should mention that I live in the city and haven't had a great deal of exposure beyond there parts so please forgive my ignorance there.

Gassho,
Anant
Sat gassho1

Jundo
05-19-2018, 11:54 AM
Just out of curiosity, I looked to see if I could find anything similar in Indian Yoga mudra. Not exactly the same, because the left hand in facing outward, but the "Ganesh Mudra" seems rather similar. I have no idea if there is a relationship in origin. It may just be coincidence, because it seems a rather natural way to lock the hands.

https://www.yogajournal.com/.image/c_limit%2Ccs_srgb%2Cq_auto:good%2Cw_700/MTQ2MTgwNjcyNzU2OTE3Njkz/ganesha-mudra.webp

https://www.yogajournal.com/poses/ganesha-mudra

Gassho, J

SatTodayLAH

newby_x86
05-19-2018, 02:00 PM
That's interesting. There are far too many of those mudras but can't say I've seen that one in use before. :)

Gassho,
Anant
Sat

SNPII
05-20-2018, 02:59 AM
Thanks to all! I have reached out in PM to some with personal commentary. Does anyone know of a better way to be notified about posts Iím participating and such when mobile? For now I have just been going to the my profile section and clicking on the posts it says Iíve commented on. it is also a bit challenging to utilize and stay on top of this forum on my mobile devices, but they are so much a part of my life than 5ey should be, but still a reality.

Sattoday

Shane

Shingen
05-20-2018, 03:18 AM
Thanks to all! I have reached out in PM to some with personal commentary. Does anyone know of a better way to be notified about posts Iím participating and such when mobile? For now I have just been going to the my profile section and clicking on the posts it says Iíve commented on. it is also a bit challenging to utilize and stay on top of this forum on my mobile devices, but they are so much a part of my life than 5ey should be, but still a reality.

Sattoday

ShaneHey Shane,

Yes you can. If you go into your profile on Tapatalk (see attached image), then goto "settings", then under your "push notifications" and "email notifications" yoi can set what you want to be notified about.

Let me know if this helps. =)

Gassho
Shingen

Sat/LAHhttps://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20180520/01894d77202fd202edeb4df15a14f4a5.jpg

Geika
05-20-2018, 08:22 PM
Choosing to hold your hands behind your back to eschew tradition is the same as holding your hands in the mudra to embrace tradition. No matter which, a choice is being made, thought of, mulled over, decided, questioned, etc. Choosing to simply follow the rituals whether we know what the significance is yet or not removes the questioning from the action, which I feel is the point.

Gassho, sat today, lah

Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk

Jundo
05-20-2018, 11:48 PM
Choosing to hold your hands behind your back to eschew tradition is the same as holding your hands in the mudra to embrace tradition. No matter which, a choice is being made, thought of, mulled over, decided, questioned, etc. Choosing to simply follow the rituals whether we know what the significance is yet or not removes the questioning from the action, which I feel is the point.

Gassho, sat today, lah



I agree with this.

Unless one is being asked to jump off a high cliff, sleep with the "teacher" or do some other really harmful action, or to become a spiritual Zombie, there is great beauty in this Practice of leaving your personal preferences, likes and dislikes, at the door and just throwing oneself into an activity. It is an important part of Zen, and most Eastern religious, Practices.

(Of course, nobody will be asked that around here to do anything harmful or become a zombie, and run from any group or guru that asks that ... and there are quite a few, including a couple of Zen groups (Joshu Sasaki, Eido Shimano and some others) who went that bad way. We just had a discussion of two such groups):

https://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showthread.php?16066-Andrew-Cohen-Surviving-A-Cult&p=221174&viewfull=1#post221174

Gassho, Jundo

SatTodayLAH

Geika
05-21-2018, 12:17 AM
Thanks, Jundo. I forgot to throw in that important bit!

I am personally very minimal on ritual, but I only became that way after a few years of getting them in my muscle memory.

The result of that is sometimes shashu while walking to the fridge, bowing to the toilet, and sometimes just sitting straight on the cushion for zazen and not bowing or doing any ritual until after the bell, or even at all. Sometimes I chant the Heart Sutra without thinking, and sometimes before or after sitting. I really just kind of go with how practice strikes me at each moment. I enjoy it all and have a great love of zen ritual as a practice, even the long form stuff. It merges with my more fluid daily life in a way that becomes natural with time. And I'm always ready for a formal zazenkai, robes and all.

Gassho, sat today, lah

Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk

Jundo
05-21-2018, 02:16 AM
I am personally very minimal on ritual, but I only became that way after a few years of getting them in my muscle memory.

The result of that is sometimes shashu while walking to the fridge, bowing to the toilet, and sometimes just sitting straight on the cushion for zazen and not bowing or doing any ritual until after the bell, or even at all. Sometimes I chant the Heart Sutra without thinking, and sometimes before or after sitting. I really just kind of go with how practice strikes me at each moment. I enjoy it all and have a great love of zen ritual as a practice, even the long form stuff. It merges with my more fluid daily life in a way that becomes natural with time. And I'm always ready for a formal zazenkai, robes and all.

Gassho, sat today, lah



Yep, me too. :)

Gassho, J

SatTodayLah

Shingen
05-21-2018, 03:23 AM
Thanks, Jundo. I forgot to throw in that important bit!

I am personally very minimal on ritual, but I only became that way after a few years of getting them in my muscle memory.

The result of that is sometimes shashu while walking to the fridge, bowing to the toilet, and sometimes just sitting straight on the cushion for zazen and not bowing or doing any ritual until after the bell, or even at all. Sometimes I chant the Heart Sutra without thinking, and sometimes before or after sitting. I really just kind of go with how practice strikes me at each moment. I enjoy it all and have a great love of zen ritual as a practice, even the long form stuff. It merges with my more fluid daily life in a way that becomes natural with time. And I'm always ready for a formal zazenkai, robes and all.

Gassho, sat today, lah

Sent from my SM-G950U using TapatalkI too like this Geika, thank you. =)

Gassho
Shingen

Sat/LAH

Meitou
05-21-2018, 07:36 AM
Thanks, Jundo. I forgot to throw in that important bit!

I am personally very minimal on ritual, but I only became that way after a few years of getting them in my muscle memory.

The result of that is sometimes shashu while walking to the fridge, bowing to the toilet, and sometimes just sitting straight on the cushion for zazen and not bowing or doing any ritual until after the bell, or even at all. Sometimes I chant the Heart Sutra without thinking, and sometimes before or after sitting. I really just kind of go with how practice strikes me at each moment. I enjoy it all and have a great love of zen ritual as a practice, even the long form stuff. It merges with my more fluid daily life in a way that becomes natural with time. And I'm always ready for a formal zazenkai, robes and all.

Gassho, sat today, lah

Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk

Both of your posts here really resonate. Beautiful words Geika, thank you.
Gassho
Meitou
Satwithyoualltoday

SNPII
05-23-2018, 06:18 AM
Many thanks for the cloud reference and seeing through them at some point in practice. I cannot say I see through them completely quite yet, but I do have an appreciation now as to the clouds and crystal clear blue luminescent sky co existing! It brings joy!

Sat2daymanyX's

In Sincerity
Shane

Shinshi
05-23-2018, 01:47 PM
Choosing to hold your hands behind your back to eschew tradition is the same as holding your hands in the mudra to embrace tradition. No matter which, a choice is being made, thought of, mulled over, decided, questioned, etc. Choosing to simply follow the rituals whether we know what the significance is yet or not removes the questioning from the action, which I feel is the point.

Gassho, sat today, lah

Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk

gassho2

Gassho, Shinshi

SaT-LaH

Kenny
05-30-2018, 07:43 PM
I've been sitting regularly (missing a few days) for a month now, and I'm finding I still have a bit of trouble with breathing. I reviewed the Sit-a-Long about breath (here (https://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showthread.php?14885-Sit-a-Long-with-Jundo-Zazen-for-Beginners-%2811%29&p=189094#post189094)) to help me but I think I could use a tiny bit more advice.

I keep catching myself taking such shallow breaths that I'm barely breathing at all. Ideally I should just let those breaths be short, but honestly it feels like I'd just stop breathing entirely. My body doesn't really appreciate that, so I start intentionally taking very deep breaths. Maybe it's the rush of oxygen, or endorphins or something, but it just feels so much better to breathe very deeply and slowly, but that unfortunately takes a bit of intention. Any specific advice here?

Gassho,
Kenny
Sat Today

Shingen
05-30-2018, 08:19 PM
I've been sitting regularly (missing a few days) for a month now, and I'm finding I still have a bit of trouble with breathing. I reviewed the Sit-a-Long about breath (here (https://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showthread.php?14885-Sit-a-Long-with-Jundo-Zazen-for-Beginners-%2811%29&p=189094#post189094)) to help me but I think I could use a tiny bit more advice.

I keep catching myself taking such shallow breaths that I'm barely breathing at all. Ideally I should just let those breaths be short, but honestly it feels like I'd just stop breathing entirely. My body doesn't really appreciate that, so I start intentionally taking very deep breaths. Maybe it's the rush of oxygen, or endorphins or something, but it just feels so much better to breathe very deeply and slowly, but that unfortunately takes a bit of intention. Any specific advice here?

Gassho,
Kenny
Sat Today

Hey Kenny,

The first thing that comes to mind is your posture ... are you keeping a natural straight spine?

Gassho
Shingen

Sat/LAH

Kenny
05-31-2018, 03:37 AM
As far as I can tell, yes! I try to envision a rope pulling my head up directly above and the rest of my body following suit, then relaxing the rest of my body as if it were "hanging" off of my now-straightened spine. I of course also do the rocking back and forth to make sure that "up" is actually up. Once in awhile I notice I am slouching a little and correct it, but it never feels like a major adjustment. Even then, I could be doing something a little wrong, like leaning forward or back unintentionally or my spine not actually really being straight despite it feeling like it is.

Gassho
Kenny
Sat Today

Jundo
05-31-2018, 03:50 AM
Hmmm. I would just say to be breathing from the diaphram all through Zazen. It is natural that, as one relaxes, the breaths become slower and lighter. Sometimes it seems that I might breathe less than twice a minutes.

However, are you actually then gasping for breath, and feel like you are holding your breath in a pool? Or is it only that you suddenly focus on your breath and panic or become obsessed with it a bit? If the latter, it is just your mind. If the former, it is actually a physical breath issue.

Just relax and breathe. Normal, natural breathing. You do it all day, sitting or standing, so what is different now? There should be nothing different about breathing in Zazen and just breathing while sitting, so I am not sure what could be causing this. It should be the same as breathing while on the sofa or breathing on the bus.

Gassho, Jundo

SatTodayLAH

Shingen
05-31-2018, 03:56 AM
As far as I can tell, yes! I try to envision a rope pulling my head up directly above and the rest of my body following suit, then relaxing the rest of my body as if it were "hanging" off of my now-straightened spine. I of course also do the rocking back and forth to make sure that "up" is actually up. Once in awhile I notice I am slouching a little and correct it, but it never feels like a major adjustment. Even then, I could be doing something a little wrong, like leaning forward or back unintentionally or my spine not actually really being straight despite it feeling like it is.

Gassho
Kenny
Sat TodayHmmm, hard to say then. It might be that, as if one sloaches it can interfer with the abdomen.

Maybe try and experiment and keep an eye on your shoulders. Once you move from side to side to find your alignment, roll your shoulders back, dropping your shoulder blades. This can help straighten the spine, but also open the chest. Give it a try and see if it helps with the breathe.

This again is not the normal procedure, but jist rather a test to see if your situation is related to posture. =)

Gassho
Shingen

Sat/LAH

Kenny
05-31-2018, 02:23 PM
The sensation I get is that my body is becoming so calm and still that my lungs are unfortunately following suit and trying to be as still as possible. There's no gasping for breath, more of just a feeling of "hey, doofus, you stopped breathing, I need air". Perhaps I'm being too intentional in becoming calm so it's causing my body to act unnaturally, but at some kind of subconscious level, because I'm definitely not intentionally trying to take shallow breaths. I will try out your suggestions and report back after a few days. Thanks for the help!

Gassho,
Kenny
Sat Today

Shingen
05-31-2018, 02:55 PM
The sensation I get is that my body is becoming so calm and still that my lungs are unfortunately following suit and trying to be as still as possible. There's no gasping for breath, more of just a feeling of "hey, doofus, you stopped breathing, I need air". Perhaps I'm being too intentional in becoming calm so it's causing my body to act unnaturally, but at some kind of subconscious level, because I'm definitely not intentionally trying to take shallow breaths. I will try out your suggestions and report back after a few days. Thanks for the help!

Gassho,
Kenny
Sat Today

Ahh, but in zazen we are neither like a monkey or like a sloth ... even though we are calm and still, we are still engaged with our body, still engaged with our breath. So try not to be ridge like a stick or loose like a ramen noodle. =)

Gassho
Shingen

Sat/LAH

Jundo
05-31-2018, 02:56 PM
Yes, just sit like you are on the bus watching the scenery out the window. Nothing strange should happen to the breath.

Gassho, J

STLAH

SNPII
05-31-2018, 03:27 PM
The sensation I get is that my body is becoming so calm and still that my lungs are unfortunately following suit and trying to be as still as possible. There's no gasping for breath, more of just a feeling of "hey, doofus, you stopped breathing, I need air". Perhaps I'm being too intentional in becoming calm so it's causing my body to act unnaturally, but at some kind of subconscious level, because I'm definitely not intentionally trying to take shallow breaths. I will try out your suggestions and report back after a few days. Thanks for the help!

Gassho,
Kenny
Sat TodayKenny! Thanks for bringing this up! I often have the same experience when sitting. My respirations seem to become so calm I am almost startled and wondering if I'm getting enough oxygen.

I work in healthcare and monitor things like this on a regular basis. I have not counted my own respirations while meditating as it is a very innacurate thing to do and would defeat the purpose of sitting.

Sat2day

In Sincerity
Shane

Jundo
05-31-2018, 04:54 PM
Kenny! Thanks for bringing this up! I often have the same experience when sitting. My respirations seem to become so calm I am almost startled and wondering if I'm getting enough oxygen.

I work in healthcare and monitor things like this on a regular basis. I have not counted my own respirations while meditating as it is a very innacurate thing to do and would defeat the purpose of sitting.

Sat2day

In Sincerity
Shane

I have never heard of anyone becoming so slow in breathing during Shikantaza as to actually become oxygen deprived, let alone pass out or do some damage. There may be Indian and other forms of intense meditation where something like that could happen, but Shikantaza is so ordinary and gentle ... I can't imagine. The body would really let you know ... by gasping, by headache or light headedness, feeling like fainting ... if you truly were becoming oxygen deprived. You should just be breathing like you are sitting on the bus looking out the window at passing scenery, i.e., normally.

It is sounding to me most likely that you guys are just latching on to this and maybe talking yourself into it. However, if there really are some physical symptoms of oxygen deprivation, that is a different story.

The only other thing I can think of (and I am reaching here) is someone who suffers from sleep apnea. That should be checked by a doctor if you think it a possibility. I am finding some small amount of discussion online of that (and, in fact, meditation seems to be commonly used as a treatment for apnea, although I do not know a lot about it). This fellow is discussing what seems to be an intense form of Kundalini meditation ...


The other cause is called “central,” in which the cessation of breathing is caused because the brain doesn’t to send the message to breathe. As far as I know, when the oxygen-carbon dioxide balance gets bad enough, the brain eventually restarts the breathing. Talk to your doctor.

I had been meditating for years with no difficulties even though having both obstructive and central sleep apnea, fortunately mild. I had never heard of kundalini in either the Shaivist or Thelemite forms, so when its physical symptoms started while in meditation one day, I was startled and stopped the process. Once started, Kundalini never stops, and sometimes takes years to complete because it seems to involve a complete rebuilding of the autonomic nervous system.

...

My doctor was of no help. He sent me to a specialist who refused to listen to my symptoms, and to another who simply dismissed them. Eventually two doctors diagnosed it as atrial fibrillation, but it was anomalous because the shaking happened only when I was asleep, and by the time I awoke enough to start a recording device the shaking stopped. I could stop the shaking by taking 20 deep breaths, by massaging my carotid artery (not a good idea, because it could dislodge plaque which might cause a stroke) or by taking a deep breath and “bearing down” this latter is a known technique called the Valsalva maneuver.

The symptoms have abated over time, and their severity has lessened to a moderate shaking which no longer upsets me. It happens now about three times a week. My current doctors insist that it’s not atrial fib, but have given me no other diagnosis. Otherwise I’m fine. I meditate now only while sitting up so that my relaxed jaw does not obstruct my airways. And yoga Nidra? Forget it!

So, if you snore, and especially if you stop breathing while you sleep, I suggest that you be most careful in your meditations, and do not attempt yoga Nidra.

https://tedmacgillivray.com/2012/09/30/meditation-and-sleep-apnea-be-really-careful/

In the case of anything like that, talk to your doctor! However, Shikantaza is very far from any kind of intense meditation like that.

Gassho, J

STLAH

SNPII
05-31-2018, 05:53 PM
I have never heard of anyone becoming so slow in breathing during Shikantaza as to actually become oxygen deprived, let alone pass out or do some damage. There may be Indian and other forms of intense meditation where something like that could happen, but Shikantaza is so ordinary and gentle ... I can't imagine. The body would really let you know ... by gasping, by headache or light headedness, feeling like fainting ... if you truly were becoming oxygen deprived. You should just be breathing like you are sitting on the bus looking out the window at passing scenery, i.e., normally.

It is sounding to me most likely that you guys are just latching on to this and maybe talking yourself into it. However, if there really are some physical symptoms of oxygen deprivation, that is a different story.

The only other thing I can think of (and I am reaching here) is someone who suffers from sleep apnea. That should be checked by a doctor if you think it a possibility. I am finding some small amount of discussion online of that (and, in fact, meditation seems to be commonly used as a treatment for apnea, although I do not know a lot about it). This fellow is discussing what seems to be an intense form of Kundalini meditation ...



In the case of anything like that, talk to your doctor! However, Shikantaza is very far from any kind of intense meditation like that.

Gassho, J

STLAHI'm gonna stay with the agreement that maybe I am latching onto this more than I should.

Maybe I should just enjoy the calmness I'm not so used to experiencing more and sit with that.[emoji6]

Sat2day

In Sincerity
Shane

Shingen
05-31-2018, 06:29 PM
I'm gonna stay with the agreement that maybe I am latching onto this more than I should.

Maybe I should just enjoy the calmness I'm not so used to experiencing more and sit with that.[emoji6]

Sat2day

In Sincerity
ShaneYes, in Shikantaza we are not searching for something or chasing a curtain state or mind or being.

Calmness is not the only condition that can arise in zazen, other conditions can arise as well. However, in zazen all is whole and complete regardless of what condition maybe present. One state of mind or being is not better or worse then the other. Being open and accpeting of all conditions of life allows allow for moments of kensho to arise naturally. =)

Gassho
Shingen

Sat/LAH

Kenny
06-04-2018, 09:11 PM
Shingen: I sat a few times now, and I am definitely seeing benefits from lowering the shoulders and pushing them back slightly, and even more if I intentionally stick out my chest a little bit. I still take very shallow breaths when I'm not paying attention, but I never get the sensation that I'm running out of air. Thanks for the tip!

Jundo:

It is sounding to me most likely that you guys are just latching on to this and maybe talking yourself into it.
That actually sounds pretty sensible to me, so I'm wondering why it's the case! I am still a bit perplexed by the shallow breaths, so I guess I'm relaxing just a bit too much? I can try focusing on my breath a bit more, or "everything and nothing in particular" / "the clear blue sky", which might bring me just enough "presence" to keep my breath a bit more natural and not so shallow. I'll sit on that a bit longer, it could be that I'm just overthinking the shallow breathing and it's not actually getting in the way of anything.

Gassho,
Kenny
Sat Today

Shingen
06-04-2018, 10:50 PM
Shingen: I sat a few times now, and I am definitely seeing benefits from lowering the shoulders and pushing them back slightly, and even more if I intentionally stick out my chest a little bit. I still take very shallow breaths when I'm not paying attention, but I never get the sensation that I'm running out of air. Thanks for the tip!

Jundo:

That actually sounds pretty sensible to me, so I'm wondering why it's the case! I am still a bit perplexed by the shallow breaths, so I guess I'm relaxing just a bit too much? I can try focusing on my breath a bit more, or "everything and nothing in particular" / "the clear blue sky", which might bring me just enough "presence" to keep my breath a bit more natural and not so shallow. I'll sit on that a bit longer, it could be that I'm just overthinking the shallow breathing and it's not actually getting in the way of anything.

Gassho,
Kenny
Sat Today

Hey Kenny,

Excellent, I am happy to hear it is providing some help. As Jundo has also mentioned, just find a nice balance of being present with the breath and the posture. Try not to focus too much, but just enough so that you can stay engaged and find that natural place. Keep at it. =)

Gassho
Shingen

Sat/LAH

RisingCrow
06-06-2018, 08:04 PM
I have severe Cerebral Palsy. My. body moves almost constantly. However, when I focus on my breath my body becomes still without me trying. If I try to be still, my body starts to move. If I move while doing zazen in my wheelchair I just notice it and gently return my focus to the breath.

Jakuden
06-06-2018, 08:26 PM
I have severe Cerebral Palsy. My. body moves almost constantly. However, when I focus on my breath my body becomes still without me trying. If I try to be still, my body starts to move. If I move while doing zazen in my wheelchair I just notice it and gently return my focus to the breath.

Hello Rising Crow, [emoji112] it is good to see you.

Gassho
Jakuden
SatToday/LAH


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Jundo
06-06-2018, 11:37 PM
I have severe Cerebral Palsy. My. body moves almost constantly. However, when I focus on my breath my body becomes still without me trying. If I try to be still, my body starts to move. If I move while doing zazen in my wheelchair I just notice it and gently return my focus to the breath.

Hi Jesse,

Good to see you.

Then, you do what works for you.

Gassho, Jundo

SatTodayLAH

SNPII
06-12-2018, 01:51 AM
Okay all, I haven't posted a lot in tree leaf lately because I have truly been focusing on the hinderances and my other studies and practices.

I have now reached the fourth week of my hinderance practice where I am to focus at least one meditation for the next 7 days on: restlessness, anxiety and worry. The opposite being focus and stillness.

I am reviewing beginner's teaching #11 about the breath and not focusing on it during meditation to sit Zazen. I feel I am now open to getting a little deeper with Shikantaza Zazen now, but still find difficulty in the "just sit" aspect. I am familiar with the Samatha and vipassana meditations and less with appasati and even less with Zazen (other than what I'm learning in here).

Can any of you share your journey about transitioning into Shikantaza Zazen as described in number 11 and the like?

Sat2daymaysitagain

In Sincerity
Shane

Jundo
06-12-2018, 02:16 AM
I have now reached the fourth week of my hinderance practice where I am to focus at least one meditation for the next 7 days on: restlessness, anxiety and worry. The opposite being focus and stillness.

I am reviewing beginner's teaching #11 about the breath and not focusing on it during meditation to sit Zazen. I feel I am now open to getting a little deeper with Shikantaza Zazen now, but still find difficulty in the "just sit" aspect. I am familiar with the Samatha and vipassana meditations and less with appasati and even less with Zazen (other than what I'm learning in here).



Hi Shane,

Shikantaza is not a breath practice (apart from allowing the breath to be deep and natural). It is also a radical allowing of things as they are. One does not beat "restlessness, anxiety and worry" be trying to sweep them away, but rather by radically pay em no nevermind, not being bothered by any condition of life. I posted something else about this to explain ...


In most forms of Zazen or meditation, there is good and bad, successful and not successful sitting. In Shikantaza, it is impossible by definition to have any bad or unsuccessful sitting. Simply sitting is, ipso facto, success. Good or bad, successful or unsuccessful judgments are washed away in automatic "Good Sitting which is Successful Just By Sitting" (one possible way to translate the meaning of the word "Shikantaza" right there). Unlike most forms of meditation, that means that even those sometime days of angry, confused, cloudy, wallowing in emotions sitting is "good, successful sitting."

However (now the wondrous twist, the tricky catch!), when one truly lets each and every sitting be itself, good and successful just by being itself, there is thus something transcendent of anger, confusion, cloudiness and wallowing simply by letting "anger, confusion, clouds and wallowing" (and all conditions of life) just be "anger, confusion, clouds and wallowing" (and all conditions of life as they are). As strange as it sounds, one is thus "free" of anger, confusion, clouds and wallowing even in the continued presence of anger, confusion, clouds and wallowing, as much as in their absence too. The "anger, confusion, cloudiness and wallowing" is completely transformed in Wisdom and Clarity by our non-resistance and equanimity about even our passing feelings of resistance and lack of equanimity. So long as one is sitting, with the act of sitting as all that is demanded of the act of sitting, this is the universe in fruition.
https://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showthread.php?16275-The-Counter-Intuitive-Approach-to-Mental-Disturbance-in-Shikantaza

We are always trying to "fix" life. The cause of the "restlessness, anxiety and worry" is precisely our dissatisfaction with the state of things, need to fix or resistance to how things are. I am not proposing to wallow in "restlessness, anxiety and worry." Rather, the radical dropping of need to fix ... including to fix anything including some passing "restlessness, anxiety and worry" ... is precisely the contentment that is the cure for "restlessness, anxiety and worry". Rather counter-intuitive, but it works.

I am not sure what a "hindrance practice" is. Shikantaza is our "no hindrances even in a world of hindrances" practice.

Gassho, Jundo

SatTodayLAH

Geika
06-12-2018, 07:52 PM
I know that you sometimes feel like a broken record, Jundo, but sometimes rereading the "Jundo Classics" will cause something to click in a way it never has before, despite having read it the same way for years. Thanks for your persistence, and patience. :)

Gassho, sat today, lah

dialectbird
08-21-2018, 05:16 PM
Hello all!
I seem to be having some troubles with using ĎHangoutsí. Iím not sure this is the correct thread to be posting this question in, but here goes.
Iíve been a member for a little while now, and manage to attend Zazenkai with my regular sangha often, but in the times in which I cannot attend, or make the drive to temple, I sit by the altar in our home. I wish to sit with this community when doing so, but have troubles with hangouts. I have noticed that there seems to be two sitting schedules on the site, one says Mon-Sunday sittings, and the other is a list that says ďZazenĒ with... and whoever the respective person is, Iím assuming leading the zazenkai. That being said, Iíve tried sittings from either list, and cannot see, nor hear if Iím in the right place, no bells, and either a blank screen or just myself on screen. Iíve checked the settings of the app on my phone, and it should be working properly, but this still keeps happening. Perhaps someone could help me determine what Iím doing wrong? Thank you so much.
Gassho
合掌
DB

Troy
08-21-2018, 06:06 PM
Hello all!
I seem to be having some troubles with using ĎHangoutsí. Iím not sure this is the correct thread to be posting this question in, but here goes.
Iíve been a member for a little while now, and manage to attend Zazenkai with my regular sangha often, but in the times in which I cannot attend, or make the drive to temple, I sit by the altar in our home. I wish to sit with this community when doing so, but have troubles with hangouts. I have noticed that there seems to be two sitting schedules on the site, one says Mon-Sunday sittings, and the other is a list that says ďZazenĒ with... and whoever the respective person is, Iím assuming leading the zazenkai. That being said, Iíve tried sittings from either list, and cannot see, nor hear if Iím in the right place, no bells, and either a blank screen or just myself on screen. Iíve checked the settings of the app on my phone, and it should be working properly, but this still keeps happening. Perhaps someone could help me determine what Iím doing wrong? Thank you so much.
Gassho
合掌
DB

I had the same problem with my phone for the weekly Zazenkai. My solution was to use Google Chrome on my computer instead. My phone seems to work for the daily sits though. Donít know why but that is how I got it to work.


Sat2day

Shingen
08-21-2018, 06:41 PM
Hello all!
I seem to be having some troubles with using ĎHangoutsí. Iím not sure this is the correct thread to be posting this question in, but here goes.
Iíve been a member for a little while now, and manage to attend Zazenkai with my regular sangha often, but in the times in which I cannot attend, or make the drive to temple, I sit by the altar in our home. I wish to sit with this community when doing so, but have troubles with hangouts. I have noticed that there seems to be two sitting schedules on the site, one says Mon-Sunday sittings, and the other is a list that says ďZazenĒ with... and whoever the respective person is, Iím assuming leading the zazenkai. That being said, Iíve tried sittings from either list, and cannot see, nor hear if Iím in the right place, no bells, and either a blank screen or just myself on screen. Iíve checked the settings of the app on my phone, and it should be working properly, but this still keeps happening. Perhaps someone could help me determine what Iím doing wrong? Thank you so much.
Gassho
合掌
DB

Hello DB,

Are you checking out our Calendar? They have all the sittings and times ... here it is: https://www.treeleaf.org/now/#calendar

If this is not the case and oyu have checked it out, can you PM me and I will help you out. =)

Gassho
Shingen

Sat/LAH

dialectbird
08-21-2018, 08:17 PM
Hiya Shingen,
I have tried sitting with groups from that link as well as the other one that has a green heading, but each to no avail. Iíll try again today at four, and if that doesnít work Iíll let you know.
Thank you very much.
Gassho
合掌
DB

dialectbird
08-21-2018, 08:20 PM
Hiya Troy,
Yeah, Iíve been trying to sit with any group sitting really for some time, but neither my phone nor computer are working. I donít think Iíve tried using Chrome on my computer, but Iíll give that a shot first today, and see what happens.
Gassho
合掌
DB

Shingen
08-21-2018, 08:28 PM
Hiya Shingen,
I have tried sitting with groups from that link as well as the other one that has a green heading, but each to no avail. Iíll try again today at four, and if that doesnít work Iíll let you know.
Thank you very much.
Gassho
合掌
DB

Sounds good ... I see you are in the PST time zone. I sit at 7pm PST, maybe you can try then as well? But do let me know what happens today and with what sitting time and host please. =)

Gassho
Shingen

Sat/LAH

Troy
08-21-2018, 08:44 PM
Sounds good ... I see you are in the PST time zone. I sit at 7pm PST, maybe you can try then as well? But do let me know what happens today and with what sitting time and host please. =)

Gassho
Shingen

Sat/LAH

DB may need to be added to the Google Circle if he is not already. I remember I could not see your links until I was part of the circle.


Sat2day

Shingen
08-21-2018, 08:55 PM
DB may need to be added to the Google Circle if he is not already. I remember I could not see your links until I was part of the circle.


Sat2day

Hey DB .... can you give me your real name and Google+ profile url please. =)

Gassho
Shingen

Sat/LAH

dialectbird
08-22-2018, 02:41 AM
Shingen,
My name is Dale, and hereís the link. :)

https://plus.google.com/113895207268648791993

Shingen
08-22-2018, 02:53 AM
Shingen,
My name is Dale, and hereís the link. :)

https://plus.google.com/113895207268648791993

Cool, thank you. I have added you to my sitting group just in case ...

Also, did yah get a chance to sit today online and what was the outcome? Are you getting into a room and it is just that no one is there?

Gassho
Shingen

Sat/LAH

dialectbird
08-23-2018, 09:58 AM
Cool, thank you. I have added you to my sitting group just in case ...

Also, did yah get a chance to sit today online and what was the outcome? Are you getting into a room and it is just that no one is there?

Gassho
Shingen

Sat/LAH

Hoya Shingen,
Unfortunately I was called in a bit early to work that time. I am absolutely going to keep making attempts until it works out. I thought that too, but I ended up sitting for about an hour with no bells.

Shingen
08-23-2018, 02:08 PM
Hoya Shingen,
Unfortunately I was called in a bit early to work that time. I am absolutely going to keep making attempts until it works out. I thought that too, but I ended up sitting for about an hour with no bells.

Called into work? Geezzzz ... don't they know zazen always comes first? LOL =)

No worries, keep at it and let me know what happens. If you and I need to do a test run to make sure all the bells are working, we can do that too. Keep me posted. =)

Gassho
Shingen

Sat/LAH

Vanayr
01-02-2019, 10:07 PM
Jundo, have you considered creating some playlists on YouTube? Would make going from talk to talk a whole lot easer. Other than that nitpicking, this has been fantastic, thank you so much!

edit: Here is a playlist in the meantime if anyone would like it https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLDHrkz4DJAkaJVClTAYdOg9CsUuYSCtDZ

Jundo
01-03-2019, 01:51 AM
Jundo, have you considered creating some playlists on YouTube? Would make going from talk to talk a whole lot easer. Other than that nitpicking, this has been fantastic, thank you so much!

edit: Here is a playlist in the meantime if anyone would like it https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLDHrkz4DJAkaJVClTAYdOg9CsUuYSCtDZ

Thank you for the suggestion.

I would like folks to read the accompanying text explanations for each video, however, and I think that the playlist by itself only gives the video talk without the accompanying written explanation. So, we have this list ...

https://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showthread.php?14896-Sit-a-Long-with-Jundo-Zazen-for-Beginners-%28INTRODUCTION%29-Begin-Here%21

Gassho, Jundo

STLah

MMorr
01-03-2019, 05:15 AM
Still having a heck of a time navigating this forum- still, like a blind squirrel, I am occasionally finding the nut! Please forgive me if I post in the wrong place until I get this figured out.

I am up to video 6 of the Intro series. Must stop to comment! These are truly wonderful lessons!!!!! Uniquely so for me. I was one of Fr. Pat Hawk's students in the Zen Desert Sangha in AZ for several years before he passed. I entered that relationship and training on an inner calling but no experience with zen at all. And Roshi's style was indescribably hands-off and yet laser clear in dokusan as I discovered the challenges of zazen. I read many many books, but it was two years in, when in utter frustration, I brought them all in a paper sack to the zendo and donated them. He said, "Good! Now we can begin." Not because I had read enough, but because I saw the futility of intellectualizing and was ready to experience.

All that frustration, and giving up on habitual intellectualizing were for me, a necessary part of the learning how to just sit. Obviously not for everyone, but yes, for me. Your clear and generously well prepared videos complete the picture and clarify the soto tradition more fully. I believe the Diamond Sangha lineage in which I began is somewhat different, though not greatly.

I believe I have stepped in to a manageable new kind of practice here- doing this online. I have not been able to find a "compatible" zen master. I was trained out of all the ideological stuff, the guided meditations, the concepts, the dogmas, and I never found another teacher who could teach with so few words as my skillful first zen master. Perhaps many of us have a hard time finding another teacher if we lose our first one.

I am old enough now that travels and retreat/sesshins are difficult. So I thank you for these wonderful lessons, in which I have learned much already in just 6 video lessons, even after several years of active practice. Once I figure out to navigate this complex forum and website, I'll be up and running and trying to find out how to do a live sit. Now I will proceed with the beginners lessons. And beginning my daily sits at home. My goodness, I have lived long enough to be able to do this! Imagine that.

Gassho
MMorr

Jundo
01-03-2019, 05:40 AM
Please forgive me if I post in the wrong place ...


You are in JUST the right place. Always so. :)

If you need some help to find your way around the halls and closets of our little electric monastery ...

FEELING LOST AROUND THE COMMUNITY? Contact our "SANGHA BUDDHIES"

https://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showthread.php?15768-FEELING-LOST-AROUND-THE-COMMUNITY-Contact-our-SANGHA-BUDDHIES

Gassho, J

SatTodayLAH

Beakon
01-10-2019, 04:45 PM
I found this thread this morning after yoga class. There has been difficulties with my practice in zazen. I am attending a kundalini yoga class that's run by my friend Jitendradas. The aim is to help me not master yoga, but to help me be determined to wake up in the morning and exercise. I am hoping I will learn in Shikantaza what do do about falling asleep all the time this year.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Seibu
01-22-2019, 10:13 AM
The 6th video has been a real mind-opener because it was something I didn't quite understand. In my mind and daily life both sides of the same coin clashed sometimes because I didn't know how to unify them. Your insightful video also reminded me of a part of Mumon's verse found below the koan Pai Chang's Fox:


Not falling, not evading--

two faces of the same die.

Not evading, not falling--

a thousand mistakes, ten thousand mistakes.

Quoted from The Gateless Barrier (Robert Aitken)



Thank you for sharing.

Gassho

Kakedashi


SatToday

Landrew
01-24-2019, 03:57 AM
Just watched first video for beginners. The best explanation/demonstration of what meditation is all about that I have ever heard.
Thank You.

Jundo
01-24-2019, 05:19 AM
Just watched first video for beginners. The best explanation/demonstration of what meditation is all about that I have ever heard.
Thank You.

It is all downhill from there! :p

Gassho J

StLAH

Victor
03-22-2019, 03:47 PM
Thank you so much for this teaching series! I'm on either 5 or 6 and find them both informative and also rather entertaining! Well thought out and the message sticks! I look forward to learning with you all and sitting together!

mateus.baldin
03-24-2019, 05:30 PM
Just finished the Beginnerís Series. Iíve sat everyday since I joined Treeleaf in January, but not everyday Iíve watched and read the series (sometimes I forgot, sometimes I was in a hurry so just sat).
Thank you for this, Jundo. I second Landrew: it is the best explanation of zazen Iíve encountered.
Gassho,
Mateus
Sat today

Jundo
03-24-2019, 10:46 PM
Just finished the Beginner’s Series.

Of course, being a "beginner" never ends on this Path too, even when we are very very experienced and no longer a "beginner" at all ...

... and also being a "no beginner no ender" never ends, of begins for that matter. (A Koan) :)

Gassho, J

STLah

Victor
03-25-2019, 10:03 PM
Hello all! I do have a question about my home "Zendo."

I do not have a room I can dedicate fully to my Zen practice. I kind of just use a small area in a corner of my den. Unfortunately it is a bit messy in there as we haven't been able to find good places yet to get everything unpacked and cleaned up, so this makes for even less space. When I walk around the contour of the room, does this even include walking around the contour left by the current cluttered state of the room?

Also, a question about my zafu. My zafu doesn't have its own place where it stays. For now I keep it under my altar table so my cat can't lay on it or puke on it. I also hope this will keep the dog from peeing on it if the dog is misbehaving. That said, will this be ok, or will I have to adjust that? I tend to either sit in front of my altar or I move the zafu to a blank wall and then sit. Are there any suggestions for how I could do this in a more proper way, taking my situation into account?

Shingen
03-25-2019, 10:12 PM
Hello all! I do have a question about my home "Zendo."

I do not have a room I can dedicate fully to my Zen practice. I kind of just use a small area in a corner of my den. Unfortunately it is a bit messy in there as we haven't been able to find good places yet to get everything unpacked and cleaned up, so this makes for even less space. When I walk around the contour of the room, does this even include walking around the contour left by the current cluttered state of the room?

Also, a question about my zafu. My zafu doesn't have its own place where it stays. For now I keep it under my altar table so my cat can't lay on it or puke on it. I also hope this will keep the dog from peeing on it if the dog is misbehaving. That said, will this be ok, or will I have to adjust that? I tend to either sit in front of my altar or I move the zafu to a blank wall and then sit. Are there any suggestions for how I could do this in a more proper way, taking my situation into account?

Hey Victor,

When you walk around the clutter, when you walk around the contour of the tiny room, you are walking around the universe. We practice in all areas of life, whether big or small, it is all good practice. =)

As for the zafu, life can brings ups and downs; accidents and the like ... even to our zafus. But we do try our best to take care and maintain them as best we can. Where ever you sit, that is the place for your zafu. In time you will have a dedicated place, but if in the meantime you need to move it about to care for it ... that is all good. =)

Gassho
Shingen

Sat/LAH

Victor
03-26-2019, 02:27 AM
Thank you so much! I will remember it!

Gassho

Victor
03-28-2019, 06:59 PM
Today, I started putting insta-zazen into practice. It is simultaneously simple and difficult for sure! I tried maintaining the state of zazen while washing dishes. It worked well for a while, until life started happening and my wife and daughter started asking me for things :P

Such is life, and the value of this practice is not at all diminished :)

mateus.baldin
03-28-2019, 07:06 PM
Of course, being a "beginner" never ends on this Path too, even when we are very very experienced and no longer a "beginner" at all ...

... and also being a "no beginner no ender" never ends, of begins for that matter. (A Koan) :)

Gassho, J

STLah

gassho1
Mateus
Sat today/LAH

Jundo
03-29-2019, 01:25 AM
Today, I started putting insta-zazen into practice. It is simultaneously simple and difficult for sure! I tried maintaining the state of zazen while washing dishes. It worked well for a while, until life started happening and my wife and daughter started asking me for things :P

Such is life, and the value of this practice is not at all diminished :)

Life happening and your wife and daughter asking for things --is-- Shikantaza too. Why is such moment different from sitting or washing dishes?

We sit each day facing a wall to realize such fact.

(That is also the reason I banged a big "disturbing" gong during last weekend's Zazenkai .... Have a listen (59:00 mark) ...


https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=3542&v=JsgZQ1npmzI

Gassho, J

SYLah

yuridayananda
04-11-2019, 04:33 PM
Hi everyone, I just watched the talk "Sit-a-Long with Jundo: Zazen for Beginners (6)" and I think it is the most important point ever: I always thought Buddhism as a passive religion and never fully agree because I think we should act to improve our own situation and the world. But now I finally understand [claps]!!! I have read dozens of books on Zen but never saw/understood this point. I thank you very much for Mr. Jundo and the sangha for this teaching. It changed me.

Victor
04-22-2019, 11:06 PM
I want to thank you again, Jundo-sensei. These lessons have been a blessing for me. I finally saw the final video today and will definitely review them all from time to time as solid reminders!

Ippo
05-03-2019, 04:10 AM
I want to thank you again, Jundo-sensei. These lessons have been a blessing for me. I finally saw the final video today and will definitely review them all from time to time as solid reminders!

I have just finished video 6 in the beginner series. I have been sitting for many years and I am enjoying learning all that Jundo has to say. These lessons really are insightful and helps me to cultivate beginners mind. Looking forward to the rest of them.

Thank You Jundo and the Tree Leaf Sangha,

Gassho,

Brad

Sat Today

Onka
06-03-2019, 07:07 AM
Re: Lesson 3
Thank you Jundo.
I have spinal disabilities and have to date metaphorically beaten myself up because I couldn't 'sit' Zazen properly. Depending on the day I 'sit' Zazen either in a chair or lying down. I will try it reclining and standing to see how that goes.
Thanks again Jundo. The Treeleaf Sangha member who suggested I visit Treeleaf gets a huge virtual hug from me for their recommendation. After only being a member for a week or so I have regained my belief that sometime in the future I may indeed be able to take/receive the Precepts despite my physical limitations.
Anna [emoji120]

Sent from my ZTE BLADE A125 using Tapatalk

Jundo
06-03-2019, 07:34 AM
Re: Lesson 3
Thank you Jundo.
I have spinal disabilities and have to date metaphorically beaten myself up because I couldn't 'sit' Zazen properly. Depending on the day I 'sit' Zazen either in a chair or lying down. I will try it reclining and standing to see how that goes.
Thanks again Jundo. The Treeleaf Sangha member who suggested I visit Treeleaf gets a huge virtual hug from me for their recommendation. After only being a member for a week or so I have regained my belief that sometime in the future I may indeed be able to take/receive the Precepts despite my physical limitations.
Anna [emoji120]

Sent from my ZTE BLADE A125 using Tapatalk

Anna, the sitting is "proper" when the heart is at home in "sitting" (reclining etc.) such way, and the secret to that is between one's own ears. lf one feels at home, then one is at home.

Gassho, J

STLah

silence
06-04-2019, 05:40 PM
Hello

I have a question about sitting shikantaza.
Almost every time when I'm sitting, my left thumb hurts. Mainly the left joint hurts. Sometimes i am not able to stay my hands in this position.
Do you have any ideas what i am making wrong? Or what i can do better?

Thank you very much for your help!

Gassho
John

Sat today

Geika
06-04-2019, 07:19 PM
John,

I don't know if you are doing anything wrong, but it sounds like one of your left joints might be having some trouble. If it hurts, perhaps maybe a check up at the doctor to make sure that there isn't some underlying issue?

Gassho

Sat today, lah

Shingen
06-04-2019, 07:36 PM
John,

I don't know if you are doing anything wrong, but it sounds like one of your left joints might be having some trouble. If it hurts, perhaps maybe a check up at the doctor to make sure that there isn't some underlying issue?

Gassho

Sat today, lahHey John,

I echo what Geika is sayin here.

Be well.

Gassho
Shingen

Sat/LAH

silence
06-04-2019, 08:06 PM
Hello

Thank you for your fast answers.

There is no long time, that a doctor checked it. There is nothing.
When I get relex, it stop hurting. But it is difficult to relax for me.

A folded cloth under my handis stabilitizong my hands. And then it gets better. I tried just now for one Zazen-period.
Do you think thats a good idea? Can i use a folded colth?

Gassho
John

Sat today

Shingen
06-04-2019, 08:28 PM
Hello

Thank you for your fast answers.

There is no long time, that a doctor checked it. There is nothing.
When I get relex, it stop hurting. But it is difficult to relax for me.

A folded cloth under my handis stabilitizong my hands. And then it gets better. I tried just now for one Zazen-period.
Do you think thats a good idea? Can i use a folded colth?

Gassho
John

Sat today

Hey John,

Sometimes when we are holding our hand mudra we are also unconsciously holding it too tight or firm. Have you tried a couple different hand positions to see if it helps?

This is the Soto tradition that we do here ...

5678

Here is a Rinzai style ...

5679

And here is an example of relaxing the thumbs ... (maybe give this one a try and see if it helps relax the thumbs).

5680

Also, it is find it you want to add a blanket or some support on your lap for your hands to rest.

Let us know how you get along. =)

Gassho
Shingen

Sat/LAH

mateus.baldin
06-04-2019, 08:31 PM
Hi John,
Good that you already saw a doctor. We cannot reject professional help when needed. But as he found nothing wrong...
I think that if helps you with your pain, it is OK to use a folded cloth in your lap. I myself already did the same when my back was hurting a lot that I couldnít bring my hands together without pain between the shoulders. Perhaps it has something to do with the strength with which you are doing the mudra, or the overall position of your body. Iím constantly experimenting small variations in my positioning (even during a sit) in order to avoid pain. I think there is nothing wrong with it, but our veterans and teachers can certainly guide you better than me.
Gassho,
Mateus
Sat/LAH

Onka
06-04-2019, 11:45 PM
Anna, the sitting is "proper" when the heart is at home in "sitting" (reclining etc.) such way, and the secret to that is between one's own ears. lf one feels at home, then one is at home.

Gassho, J

STLahJundo
May I ask how I should have my hands while doing Zazen both standing and lying down.
Anna.

ST/LAH

Sent from my ZTE BLADE A125 using Tapatalk

Jundo
06-05-2019, 12:00 AM
Jundo
May I ask how I should have my hands while doing Zazen both standing and lying down.
Anna.

ST/LAH

Sent from my ZTE BLADE A125 using Tapatalk

Hi Anna,

I echo what others have said. Our usual position (Mudra) of the hands during Zazen is this, and I bet that you are just too forceful, and not relaxed, in holding your fingers lightly together.

The hands should be like Suzuki Roshi here ... very light, low pressure, not too loose or too tight ...

http://suzukiroshi.sfzc.org/dharma-talks/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/SR0047.jpg

The hands should rest in the lap, not be up in the air or on the chest. It is okay to put cloths, a small towel or pillow under the hands if they don't rest in the lap nicely. (Sometimes I see folks who hold it high up on the chest or resting on their pot belly, and I don't recommend that usually).

The whole sitting posture of the entire body should be upright and balanced, but relaxed and nice ... not too lose or too tight.

Our other main hand position is for walking Kinhin (walking Zazen) called Shashu, held in the middle of the chest while walking.

https://kotaiji.net/files/libs/240/201811051559017014.jpg?1541403895

There is a little more description in our Guide to Basic Sitting (PDF) which I sent you in the "Welcome" email.

https://sites.google.com/site/jundotreeleaf/TreeleafBasicZazenInstructions.pdf?attredirects=0&d=1

I have some early arthritis in my fingers, so I can empathize.

Gassho, Jundo

Onka
06-05-2019, 04:44 AM
I'm afraid you answered John's question Mundo not mine.
Respectfully, Anna
Sat today/LAH

silence
06-05-2019, 05:22 AM
They are so many good ideas!
Thank you very much for your help.

Gassho
John

Sat today

Kendrick
06-07-2019, 03:35 AM
Just finished sitting after Lesson 3. I have been watching a lesson each night before I sit, though I did the order as 1,2,4,3 so far (because I had less time last night and saved the longer lesson I skipped over for tonight).

Jundo,

Thank you greatly for the teaching. In Lesson 3 you mentioned the siatic nerve as a source of tingling/numbness - tonight I sat Burmese for the first time for zazen (I have always sat Half-Lotus). Usually my top leg will go numb after 15-20 minutes. Not a game-stopper during zazen at all but the standing up when finished, yikes! I found Burmese very comfortable, and I will be trying it some more in my sitting. Even so, tonight BOTH legs went probably 75% numb. Having tried this and had that result, and after watching the video, I think I have narrowed my search for the issue causing the numbness now. I have always sat with a small rectangular, stiff, kapok filled meditation cushion. In Burmese, I think my knees relaxed more into the floor which put more pressure on both of my legs, and that nerve, over the edge of my cushion. I am going to find a traditional round zafu (probably buckwheat filled) soon and see how that goes. I think the softer zafu without the harsh edges pressing into my legs may help.

Gassho
Kendrick
SatToday and LAH

Jundo
06-07-2019, 05:47 AM
Just finished sitting after Lesson 3. I have been watching a lesson each night before I sit, though I did the order as 1,2,4,3 so far (because I had less time last night and saved the longer lesson I skipped over for tonight).

Jundo,

Thank you greatly for the teaching. In Lesson 3 you mentioned the siatic nerve as a source of tingling/numbness - tonight I sat Burmese for the first time for zazen (I have always sat Half-Lotus). Usually my top leg will go numb after 15-20 minutes. Not a game-stopper during zazen at all but the standing up when finished, yikes! I found Burmese very comfortable, and I will be trying it some more in my sitting. Even so, tonight BOTH legs went probably 75% numb. Having tried this and had that result, and after watching the video, I think I have narrowed my search for the issue causing the numbness now. I have always sat with a small rectangular, stiff, kapok filled meditation cushion. In Burmese, I think my knees relaxed more into the floor which put more pressure on both of my legs, and that nerve, over the edge of my cushion. I am going to find a traditional round zafu (probably buckwheat filled) soon and see how that goes. I think the softer zafu without the harsh edges pressing into my legs may help.

Gassho
Kendrick
SatToday and LAH

Yes, experiment, experiment ... hard and soft, round, high or low Zafu, sitting a bit more forward or back, looser pants, shifting weight a bit when the symptoms start.

Please report back what you find the key for your body. I bet the square cushion is a cause.

Gassho, Jundo

STLah

Dean Weaver
06-12-2019, 07:42 PM
Hi guys

I just finished watching episode 3 of the beginners course, regarding how to sit. Is there a particular reason why one cant sit cross-legged?

Shingen
06-12-2019, 07:59 PM
Hi guys

I just finished watching episode 3 of the beginners course, regarding how to sit. Is there a particular reason why one cant sit cross-legged?

Hey Dean,

If one sat in the standard cross legged position, with the one foot tucked under the leg that foot would fall asleep for one. Second, it actually doesn't create a solid balanced foundation, as they hips will be tilted to the one side.

Have you tired to Burmese position? You can see it in the top right.

5705

Gassho
Shingen

Sat/LAH

Tai Shi
06-12-2019, 11:12 PM
It is my intent to review all the videos in order. I have been just sitting Shikantaza for five years this coming October, and I am but a novice. I believe I am running on my own autopilot. It is time to review. The hand pictures were most helpful because I have severe arthritis in my spine which has moved out into my hands. I am 67 so less strength is predictable, but now I think can relax into hand positions that help me. I have discovered a method of dual support in a straight back chair, back against chair, left shoulder against wall such that I am supported into proper posture without strain on my spine. Since the spine is the location of most of my pain especially neck, I can let my breath happen without so much work and allow nostrils without mouth to breathe. In group computer sits, It's best that I sit before screen in an office chair with arms, so I don't fall out of the chair on my left. All this is for older, and disabled members.

Tai Shi
sat/lah
Gassho

Kendrick
06-16-2019, 05:13 AM
Yes, experiment, experiment ... hard and soft, round, high or low Zafu, sitting a bit more forward or back, looser pants, shifting weight a bit when the symptoms start.

Please report back what you find the key for your body. I bet the square cushion is a cause.

Gassho, Jundo

STLah

Jundo,

I received my new zafu and zabuton a few days ago. I chose to try a traditional round, buckwheat hull stuffed zafu and thicker kapok filled (but soft) zabuton. I have been sitting mostly Burmese now as well. These changes have helped tremendously! I barely get any tingling or numbness going on now and what minor bit may occur goes away immediately upon standing (no long lasting numbness of rush of sensation/pain when I get up now). I removed a bit of fill from the zafu after my first zazen with it and that improved it for me too.

I was able to sit my first Zazenkai tonight without pain thanks to the changes. Thank you!

Gassho /\
Kendrick
SatTonight/LAH

Tai Shi
06-16-2019, 10:38 AM
Jundo,

I received my new zafu and zabuton a few days ago. I chose to try a traditional round, buckwheat hull stuffed zafu and thicker kapok filled (but soft) zabuton. I have been sitting mostly Burmese now as well. These changes have helped tremendously! I barely get any tingling or numbness going on now and what minor bit may occur goes away immediately upon standing (no long lasting numbness of rush of sensation/pain when I get up now). I removed a bit of fill from the zafu after my first zazen with it and that improved it for me too.

I was able to sit my first Zazenkai tonight without pain thanks to the changes. Thank you!

Gassho /\
Kendrick
SatTonight/LAH

Hello Jundo, I have what is called a Buddhist chair cushion, from Amazon, and it is a wedge, larger side facing out from legs places back against strait back chair such that with proper distance feet to floor, back against chair easily, and as I said a Buddhist chair cushion, $40, my wife helped me purchase. I think it may come from a Buddhist supply company or even a monastery. It has been helpful on my back bottom side. I believe with left shoulder supported, I sit proper chair formation, and from Bring the Sacred to Life, the daily practice of Zen Ritual, John Daido Loori, Shambhala. 2008, I am beginning to learn much. I highly recommend this little book-- 122 pages--

Gassho
sat
Tai Shi

Jundo
06-16-2019, 10:49 AM
Jundo,

I received my new zafu and zabuton a few days ago. I chose to try a traditional round, buckwheat hull stuffed zafu and thicker kapok filled (but soft) zabuton. I have been sitting mostly Burmese now as well. These changes have helped tremendously! I barely get any tingling or numbness going on now and what minor bit may occur goes away immediately upon standing (no long lasting numbness of rush of sensation/pain when I get up now). I removed a bit of fill from the zafu after my first zazen with it and that improved it for me too.

I was able to sit my first Zazenkai tonight without pain thanks to the changes. Thank you!

Gassho /\
Kendrick
SatTonight/LAH

Good!

Gassho, J

STLah

Shinshi
07-25-2019, 07:00 PM
I have a question about protocol / correct form when sitting Zazen seiza style - either using the Zafu or a bench.

I am one of the least flexible people on the planet and I gave up trying to sit any other way than seiza back in the 90s. What I do currently is that I follow the steps as outlined in Video 12 except that rather than sit and rotate I just kind of climb up on my Zafu like an Ox climbing over a rock. :) Not very elegant.

I have tried sitting, rotating and then re-arranging but it feels a little cumbersome, and how would that even work with a bench?

So I was wondering if there is a correct form for settling into the seiza position at the beginning of Zazen.

Gassho, Shinshi

SaT-LaH

Jundo
07-25-2019, 07:08 PM
I have a question about protocol / correct form when sitting Zazen seiza style - either using the Zafu or a bench.

I am one of the least flexible people on the planet and I gave up trying to sit any other way than seiza back in the 90s. What I do currently is that I follow the steps as outlined in Video 12 except that rather than sit and rotate I just kind of climb up on my Zafu like an Ox climbing over a rock. :) Not very elegant.

I have tried sitting, rotating and then re-arranging but it feels a little cumbersome, and how would that even work with a bench?

So I was wondering if there is a correct form for settling into the seiza position at the beginning of Zazen.

Gassho, Shinshi

SaT-LaH

Hi,

I would say that, since this is not really a traditional form of sitting, but rather a lovely posture that has become common in recent decades for those with physical need, that you are free to create your own new "tradition." :)

Perhaps you can consider how to get seated practically, but also with some eye for being as balanced and graceful as possible in moving. I leave it to you. Also, add as many of the traditional elements as possible, such as Gassho toward the wall and room, turning always clockwise, fluffing the cushion with the two fingers and thumb of each hand ...

All traditions of the past started just so.

Gassho, J

STLah

Shinshi
07-25-2019, 07:24 PM
Hi,

I would say that, since this is not really a traditional form of sitting, but rather a lovely posture that has become common in recent decades for those with physical need, that you are free to create your own new "tradition." :)

Perhaps you can consider how to get seated practically, but also with some eye for being as balanced and graceful as possible in moving. I leave it to you. Also, add as many of the traditional elements as possible, such as Gassho toward the wall and room, turning always clockwise, fluffing the cushion with the two fingers and thumb of each hand ...

All traditions of the past started just so.

Gassho, J

STLah

Thank you Jundo. I do follow all the other traditional steps when I sit. I will see if I can come up with something at least a little graceful - but really isn't one of my areas of strength. :)

Gassho, Shinshi

SaT-LaH

BevBee
09-05-2019, 04:43 AM
I am enjoying the talks in Shikantaza meditation videos, something I am already familiar with doing. What I really enjoyed in particular so far, was the blender noise in the first video, then the hammer analogy in the second one. These made me laugh, but they are so realistic about how a beginner actually needs to get the point of understanding how their mind has been operating throughout the day. If I ever get an opportunity to teach meditation again, I would certainly use these tools!

Kyotai
09-14-2019, 01:23 PM
I was wondering if anyone knows where to find a particular video Jundo had done years back titled "What's Next.."? I really enjoyed it and wanted to share it with my ango partner.

Gassho, Kyotai
ST

Byokan
09-14-2019, 05:02 PM
Ah, a classic for sure! Here it is Kyotai:

https://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showthread.php?9471-SIT-A-LONG-with-Jundo-WHAT-s-NEXT%21-%21&p=71930&viewfull=1#post71930

Gassho
Byokan
sat + lah

Kyotai
09-14-2019, 05:54 PM
Ah, a classic for sure! Here it is Kyotai:

https://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showthread.php?9471-SIT-A-LONG-with-Jundo-WHAT-s-NEXT%21-%21&p=71930&viewfull=1#post71930

Gassho
Byokan
sat + lah

Thank you so much Byokan!

Kyotai
ST

Tai Shi
09-19-2019, 02:09 PM
I began with a talk for beginners about non- sitting, sitting, correction of misconception of mysticism, which is not Shikantaza, or not just sitting, is sitting not Stoicism, but just sitting. At 8:30 pm Central USA daylight a.m. sat after reciting robe verse, no one else showed up, sat up out after 20 min. of sitting, time non sitting. My usual sitting unless I'm sitting with a group; then I reflected on my posture sitting upright in straight back chair, legs, feet tucked under chair, checking feet from time to time without breaking Shikantaza, and at the end of my 20 min. no one had shown up on sitting space, so I had sat in proper form in not a Burmese style with feet tucked under chair. Disabilities can be worked with. Ended up on this page listening to beginning of Zazenkai in March, today being Thur. Sept. 19, 2019.

Tai Shi
sat
Gassho

Marw
09-24-2019, 08:53 AM
Hello everybody,

I watch an episode almost everyday before I sit. I have already learned that there are some some good sits and on other days some not so good sits. I'm fine with that. It's ok as Jundo would say. [happy]

I think I'm not really stretchy so I try to sit in burmese style. But not even there my knees touch the ground. Are there some exercises so that i can reach it? My goal is to sit at some point in the future in lotus style or at least in half lotus. But that doesn't have to be done yet.

The other point I keep thinking about ist the right time to sit. Actually I sit in the evening after I watched a lesson from the Series. But there is the problem that I feel sometimes already a little bit sleepy and it's hard not to fall asleep while I sit. But I don't want to skip it and sit at least one time a day. Because of this is it better to sit in the morning? Or should I sit in the morning as a kind of backup if I can't sit in the evening? Or is it already to much thinking about some irrelevant stuff? ... I thing I confused myself now. :confused:

Gassho
Marwin
SatToday

Jundo
09-24-2019, 11:15 AM
I think I'm not really stretchy so I try to sit in burmese style. But not even there my knees touch the ground. Are there some exercises so that i can reach it? My goal is to sit at some point in the future in lotus style or at least in half lotus. But that doesn't have to be done yet.

Hi Marwin,

Asia was a more floor based sitting culture, with generally thinner bodies in the past. Don't do the impossible in forcing yourself into extreme position. l know more than a few Buddhist teachers who attribute their knee problems to the Lotus.

That said, we have had a few threads on this, and some other folks may be able to offer advice. l usually sit in Burmese or Half, but once in a long while Full Lotus to honor tradition. l may stop as my knees are getting worse with age.

Also, l strongly advise to read this book ...

https://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showthread.php?6913-Book-Recommendation-THE-POSTURE-OF-MEDITATION

One of our Yoga teachers made the below comment connected to the youtube posted there ...

https://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showthread.php?16689-Sat-without-pain-stretches-for-hips&p=235400&viewfull=1#post235400



The other point I keep thinking about ist the right time to sit. Actually I sit in the evening after I watched a lesson from the Series. But there is the problem that I feel sometimes already a little bit sleepy and it's hard not to fall asleep while I sit. But I don't want to skip it and sit at least one time a day. Because of this is it better to sit in the morning? Or should I sit in the morning as a kind of backup if I can't sit in the evening? Or is it already to much thinking about some irrelevant stuff? ... I thing I confused myself now. :confused:

More threads to look at Marwin. Generally, it is best to sit when not sleepy, so may you should change time to morning or afternoon if possible. lf not, when sleepy ... just be sleepy.

https://www.treeleaf.org/forums/search.php?searchid=992507

You will find a few tips in some of those threads, and you must simply find what seems to work for you.

Gassho, Jundo

STLah

Tai Shi
09-24-2019, 01:06 PM
I've reviewed these videos for beginners, and Jundo tells me that there is no problem sitting in straight-back chair. I have severe back and knee problems, and for me I've even sat in easy chair, and lying on operating table just before going under for an operation. Jundo tells me that sitting is possible in nearly any position though admittedly some positions are much easier. I'm a beginner even though I've been sitting for 5 years. Shikantaza means just sitting and I've found this is as much just sitting or just reclining, or just reclining fully.
Tai Shi
Gassho
sat

Shokai
09-26-2019, 02:19 AM
It's approximately 350 feet from our house to the corner store. When i first moved here five years ago at age 78 I could usually take maybe two or three minutes to get there. Now, due to knee damage, it takes over five minutes. I say to myself, "Dam, I look like an old man." :D And, I must admit the pain is excruciating. I used to sit Zazen in the half lotus position up until three years ago when it became very painful to sit that way. Now I sit Zazen preferably in a straight back chair without arms. It seems very uncomfortable to have my elbows up high like that because my shoulders become hunched and painful. But hey, I'm already three years older than Buddha and still enjoying every good day. As Yogi Berra would have said, "Life is 90% attitude, the other half is just showing up!"

bows in gassho, Shokai

stlah
p.s. As to Jundo's comment
with generally thinner bodies in the past. He was being very kind by invoking the myth that Japanese are very petite. Owing to the swift world wide explosion of fast food diets, modern Japanese body style is much the same as everywhere else. Having had the experience of embalming over 3000 Japanese bodies, thin, obese, muscular or not, I can truthfully say, their hips were much more open than westerners and it is attributable to sitting cross legged on the ground from day one. Westerner's illio-psoas muscles are in general, tighter than drum strings as a result of the way we sit.

Onka
09-26-2019, 02:37 AM
Hello everybody,

I watch an episode almost everyday before I sit. I have already learned that there are some some good sits and on other days some not so good sits. I'm fine with that. It's ok as Jundo would say. [happy]

I think I'm not really stretchy so I try to sit in burmese style. But not even there my knees touch the ground. Are there some exercises so that i can reach it? My goal is to sit at some point in the future in lotus style or at least in half lotus. But that doesn't have to be done yet.

The other point I keep thinking about ist the right time to sit. Actually I sit in the evening after I watched a lesson from the Series. But there is the problem that I feel sometimes already a little bit sleepy and it's hard not to fall asleep while I sit. But I don't want to skip it and sit at least one time a day. Because of this is it better to sit in the morning? Or should I sit in the morning as a kind of backup if I can't sit in the evening? Or is it already to much thinking about some irrelevant stuff? ... I thing I confused myself now. :confused:

Gassho
Marwin
SatToday

Hey Marwin

Welcome to Treeleaf. I'm a new practitioner and also not very stretchy but was told by anyone I've ever asked that I should sit however I can sit. Mostly I sit in a comfortable lounge chair, sometimes sitting up but more often reclined. I often 'sit' lying down either on my back or on my side. If I'm really feeling ok I sit leaning against a tree in the bush. Sitting is sitting... The important thing is to sit. Oh yeah, give yourself permission to sit however long you can on a particular day whether 5 minutes or 5 hours. Again just sit. Every day I sit at 4am. I always set my meditation timer for 45 minutes but mostly only make it to between 15 and 30 minutes. This morning was only 10 minutes because my spine was sore but it was a good quality 10 minutes but again, I sat.
Be kind to yourself comrade.

Gassho
Anna

Sat today/Lent a hand

Jundo
09-26-2019, 03:42 AM
p.s. As to Jundo's comment He was being very kind by invoking the myth that Japanese are very petite. Owing to the swift world wide explosion of fast food diets, modern Japanese body style is much the same as everywhere else. Having had the experience of embalming over 3000 Japanese bodies, thin, obese, muscular or not, I can truthfully say, their hips were much more open than westerners and it is attributable to sitting cross legged on the ground from day one. Westerner's illio-psoas muscles are in general, tighter than drum strings as a result of the way we sit.

This is fascinating, and I hope that I may requote you on this to some other Zen folk.

We will dedicate a part of our Zazenkai tomorrow with Kyonin to all the folks with creaky knees, hips and backs.

Gassho, Jundo

STLah

Byokan
09-26-2019, 05:55 AM
Hi Marwin,

sounds like you're on the right track. I would caution you to be careful with those knees! Yoga is a great exercise to prepare the body for sitting, but again, use caution. A good teacher is the best thing if you want to try to increase your flexibility. Nothing wrong with Burmese. I used to sit Lotus, but then I got fat like a Buddha and now it's Burmese for me. What's important is finding a position that allows you to sit with stability, and the minimum of effort, while remaining alert.

You didn't say what you sit on? I wonder if sitting a little higher, and/or a little more forward, would help the knees to touch the floor for more stability? Think tripod: three points of contact to spread your weight and allow good balance and stability. Like Jundo says, you have to experiment and find the best way for you. Remember, you have the rest of your life to refine your sitting position, so no need to hurry or force anything.

You're already doing the hardest part, which is sitting every day! Go ahead and try a few morning sits if you like, and see how you do. A daily 15 minute (or more if you have time) sit in the morning would be good "insurance" as you say, and makes a great start to the day. There's no better or worse time, really, what counts is the consistency, so find the time that's best for you and let it become a natural part of your day.

Enjoy your sitting :)

Gassho
Byōkan
sat + lah

Marw
09-26-2019, 08:42 AM
Thank you all for your answers. [happy]

Yes, maybe I think about my sitting position too much. Shame on me. it's just that I've never been physically impaired in any situation until now. Probably I've to lern that these situations exist. But that's what I'm here for - to learn and to develop further.
Or maybe I'm just to fat. [morehappy]
No matter that the real reason is, I will do what you do. Sit everyday in a comfortable position.



Also, l strongly advise to read this book ...

https://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showthread.php?6913-Book-Recommendation-THE-POSTURE-OF-MEDITATION

Thanks for the book tip Jundo.
I would read it. But at the moment I've started to read "Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind" from Shunryu Suzuki. After I finished I will start the next one.



More threads to look at Marwin. Generally, it is best to sit when not sleepy, so may you should change time to morning or afternoon if possible. lf not, when sleepy ... just be sleepy.

https://www.treeleaf.org/forums/search.php?searchid=992507

You will find a few tips in some of those threads, and you must simply find what seems to work for you.

Unfortunately, the link doesn't work. But I have listend to your advice. At the beginning I sit in the evening to get a clear mind without the thoughts of the day. The last days I sat in the morning after getting up even before breakfast. I must say it feels good. I will try to make it a habit.



We will dedicate a part of our Zazenkai tomorrow with Kyonin to all the folks with creaky knees, hips and backs.

I will try to be there. But 3 am is a little early. So maybe I'll take a look at the recording later.



You didn't say what you sit on? I wonder if sitting a little higher, and/or a little more forward, would help the knees to touch the floor for more stability? Think tripod: three points of contact to spread your weight and allow good balance and stability. Like Jundo says, you have to experiment and find the best way for you. Remember, you have the rest of your life to refine your sitting position, so no need to hurry or force anything.

I sit on a yoga pillow filled with buckwheat fur. After I read your tip I've filled it a little more. And what should I say it's better know. My knees get to the ground without any pain.

So thank you all again for your help and tips and stories and all of it. I feel very comfortable here thanks to you. [grouphug]

Gassho
Marwin
SatbetterToday

Onkai
10-10-2019, 02:00 AM
Thank you, Jundo, for having these talks up. For Ango, I'm listening to a sit-a-longs followed by fifteen minutes sitting. I listened to the Sit-a-longs a few years ago Listening to them again has renewed my practice.

Gassho,
Onkai
Sat/LAH

Hokin
10-23-2019, 11:00 PM
Hello Sangha!
I have a little question...:
The thing is...I try sit Zazen every time I can...but at least I sit once in the morning before anything else and once befor going to sleep...
Now...these, you should have guessed, are my "principal" sittings during my every day...
The "problem"(and I don't know if I should call it like that, actually...and you'll find out why...) is that since two months ago my family and I moved to live in a new house for rent which has a very "loud" neighborhood (and remember, especially if you don't know firsthand, that the word "loud" here in Mexico has a superpowerful connotation, given the fact that here everybody can do what he or she pleases without bothering if that could ever be "irrespectful" towards other's situation...and anyway police won't do...if you thought of it).
So...the thing is they (Yes, "they", because there are so many!) play music and shout and make any possible noise imaginable (I mean it...I am not overdoing anything!)...and almost all day long, but especially at those times when I actually can sit Zazen.
Now...I am just sticking to Zazen and going through all that and my emotions and opinions and breathing and letting go, breathing, accepting, embracing, breathing and just sitting...just sitting with Mexican popular music playing loud just outside the window and the shouts and the loud talk...and there I am...just sitting...with all that...and even so...just trying to keep Zazen easy and pure "just sitting" with no thought of gain or expectations about it at all...and I sometimes actually "succeed" in wholeheartedly accepting and being one with it.
Actually I feel that it all is making me every time a little bit more tolerant and open to welcome (or at least accept) "what I don't like".
As Yoka Daishi wrote: "A lotus lives in the midst of the fire". (Kind of, we could say, I'm trying to fake the lotus until I make it!)
But in the meanwhile still persists a more or less "strong" resistance in me, specially at times, and a certain kind of doubt concerning if I am actually doing it right...but the thing is, I don't or can't see many alternatives.
One could be, "I quit practicing Zazen"(and to that I firmly answer a rotund "NO, NEVER! ")
The other is "Change house"...but who will convince my wife?! (Careful if you ever give it a try...! Lol)
And the other is I can play some kind of stuff such as "nature sounds" track on the stereo and sort of half-drown the noise outside...which i tried...but then I feel as though I were running away from the truth of the here and now and that i doubt is "the Way"...so I keep it "natural"(which doesn't mean birds and singing wind throuh pines, but "Mexican Town" "natural" kind of stuff...i.e.: ranch music and yelling drunkards and so on...don't know if I should cry or laugh out loud...I prefer the latter...)
Now...there is so much more that could (and maybe "should") be said...but I'll leave it at that...i hope i am made mysel clear...for now...
I genuinely trust your intuition and experience (even though not everybody among you has ever dealt with Mexico...I guess)...
I just want to know your thougts/advises/suggestions/guidance with respect to this situation I'm facing with in this period of my life/practice (And now more than ever I sense how these two are so inseparably linked!...and maybe that's the answer...but I want to receive feedback from you...some different opinions and reflections about it all...)

Thank you beforehand.

Gassho.
Arya.
ST&LAH.

Hokin
10-23-2019, 11:02 PM
Yes...you are right...it was no "little question" at all, in the end...but you see..."big" and "little" are just a concept...and a very relative one at that! :p

Lol

Gassho.

Jundo
10-23-2019, 11:32 PM
...
The "problem"(and I don't know if I should call it like that, actually...and you'll find out why...) is that since two months ago my family and I moved to live in a new house for rent which has a very "loud" neighborhood

Ah, you are fortunate to have the best Zendo!

Recall that the true "Silent Room" is in one's heart and between one's ears, not outside them. This is for you ...

- Zazen for Beginners (21) - The True 'Quiet Room' (LINK)
https://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showthread.php?14875-Sit-a-Long-with-Jundo-Zazen-for-Beginners-%2821%29

You can run to a new house, but where can you run? Stay where one is, and know one's True Home.

Gassho, J

STLah

Hokin
10-24-2019, 12:14 AM
Ah, you are fortunate to have the best Zendo!

Recall that the true "Silent Room" is in one's heart and between one's ears, not outside them. This is for you ...

- Zazen for Beginners (21) - The True 'Quiet Room' (LINK)
https://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showthread.php?14875-Sit-a-Long-with-Jundo-Zazen-for-Beginners-%2821%29

You can run to a new house, but where can you run? Stay where one is, and know one's True Home.

Gassho, J

STLah
Wow Jundo.
Thank you very much!
I can't tell you how much I needed to hear exactly that!
There was already something deep within me suggesting that THAT was the right answer...but as I said...I needed some feedback...It kinda helps me disperse those doubts I nurtured at times...

Thank you, Jundo.
Now I will of course appreciate evermore my True Home.
So...Back to the Zafu!

GASSHO.
Arya.
ST&LAH.

Hokin
10-24-2019, 01:11 AM
Oh...and that link you suggested I watch...that'll be my "Dharma talk" tonight, before Zazen!

Thank you again, GASSHO

Koki
10-24-2019, 12:26 PM
Thank you Jundo!
You are quite the "Realtor" at pointing out our TRUE HOME ;)

Gassho
Koki
Sattoday

Jundo
10-24-2019, 12:33 PM
Thank you Jundo!
You are quite the "Realtor" at pointing out our TRUE HOME ;)

Gassho
Koki
Sattoday

l get 6% for every closing ... and opening. [monk]

Gassho, J

STLah

DogBreath
11-06-2019, 08:33 PM
Hello
I have some questions about video 20 - what can it actually mean to save another sentient being?
How can anyone "save" anyone else?
Aren't we "saved" when we sit?
So if someone refuses to sit?.....

As I understand it in Mahayana the Bodhisatva vow is usually some form of "May I attain Buddhahood for the benefit of all sentient beings".
Is it the same/similar in this tradition?
If so, I save other sentient beings by attaining my own buddhahood? (Hhmmm truly talking in two directions at the same time - I am slowly starting to pick this zen thing up!)


Also, how is compassion defined in this tradition?
If I want to be "compassionate" then knowing what constitutes that is kind of important!
Previously, I heard from a teacher (different tradition) who defined compassion as seeing the source of a persons suffering; so, a compassionate act is always one that diminishes suffering; this means to assist a suffering person to see their cause of suffering as a result of being in conflict (somewhere along the line) with, or denial of, the four noble truths - the remedy being the Noble Eightfold Path (a self-referential feedback loop for the four noble truths). Is it the same in zen or am I looking for some emotional content based around "heart"?
(I am compassionate in daily life - ask all my rescue dogs! - and I put the flies outside too)

Thanks
Gassho
Scott

Jundo
11-07-2019, 01:18 AM
Hello
I have some questions about video 20 - what can it actually mean to save another sentient being?
How can anyone "save" anyone else?
Aren't we "saved" when we sit?
So if someone refuses to sit?.....

As I understand it in Mahayana the Bodhisatva vow is usually some form of "May I attain Buddhahood for the benefit of all sentient beings".
Is it the same/similar in this tradition?
If so, I save other sentient beings by attaining my own buddhahood? (Hhmmm truly talking in two directions at the same time - I am slowly starting to pick this zen thing up!)


Also, how is compassion defined in this tradition?
If I want to be "compassionate" then knowing what constitutes that is kind of important!
Previously, I heard from a teacher (different tradition) who defined compassion as seeing the source of a persons suffering; so, a compassionate act is always one that diminishes suffering; this means to assist a suffering person to see their cause of suffering as a result of being in conflict (somewhere along the line) with, or denial of, the four noble truths - the remedy being the Noble Eightfold Path (a self-referential feedback loop for the four noble truths). Is it the same in zen or am I looking for some emotional content based around "heart"?
(I am compassionate in daily life - ask all my rescue dogs! - and I put the flies outside too)

Thanks
Gassho
Scott

Hi Scott,

First, may I ask you to change your photo from a dog to a human face? Although a dog has Buddha Nature, and although we love dogs, there is something about a human face that let's us look each other in the eyes and be a bit warmer here. Thank you.

Next, on saving sentient beings ... although, truly there were never any sentient beings from the first in need of saving ... I usually tell folks this:


This wise-crazy [Mahayana] Way is to realize, and allow other sentient beings to realize, that there have never been (ultimately) any sentient beings from the start, and thus (in the Wholeness which is "Emptiness") no conflict or lack from the start in need of repairing and rescuing! In the Wholeness which is emptiness, there is no lack in need of filling. Allowing sentient being to experience so in this world of separate beings who conflict and lack is how we rescue-non-rescue these beings-non-beings.

However, so long as they/we are alive ("birth and death", by the way, are also ultimately only one way to view things), the sentient beings still need to live in this complicated, sometimes beautiful and sometimes ugly world, so another way to rescue sentient beings is to help them master how to live in the interplay of these two ways of viewing ... lack and no lack, fear and nothing originally to fear, conflicts and no individuals to conflict, death but no death etc. It's tricky!

Finally, in modern times, many Buddhists have become a bit more focused on "rescuing sentient beings" by material actions in this world, e.g., feeding the hungry, housing the homeless, etc. It was not that Buddhists would not have liked to do such in the past (and there were many ancient Buddhists who did good charitable work like that in the past), but it was much harder in the medieval, agricultural, traditional, class bound kingdoms and empires of old Asia. So, a lot of Buddhists took the attitude that this world was just hopeless, best to "get out of Dodge," either by escaping rebirth completely or just building a wall and shutting the monastery gates. Now, today, in modern societies, "engaged" Buddhist efforts to make an impact on the problems of society such as hunger, war and poverty are possible for the first time, so many Buddhists (Treeleaf folks among them) are more socially involved.

Many ways to rescue even if ... ultimately ... nobody in need of rescue. Even if there are no hungry mouths to feed "ultimately" ... there are hungry mouths to feed in this world, so let's feed them! :encouragement:

It is not merely a matter of compelling others to sit Zazen (I don't know that it would be legal!), nor even something that we can even accomplish. However, the above also tells us that, while we keep working, there was never anything to "accomplish" from the start. Thus our crazy-wise Bodhisattva Vows which many of us recite say this ...


To save all sentient beings, though beings numberless

To transform all delusions, though delusions inexhaustible

To perceive Reality, though Reality is boundless

To attain the Enlightened Way, a Way non-attainable

As to Compassion, it is really all of the above too, and has many facets. First, reality is already "Compassionate" because there is not suffering from the startless start. Yet, sentient beings in their broken vision of the world do not realize this, so we are Compassionate when we seek to get suffering sentient beings to realize this Wholeness of Emptiness. We are also Compassionate when we reach out to aid people in their earthly needs and pains. Alas, it is an endless road, yet we have never but arrived!

Does that make any sense?

Gassho, Jundo

STLah

Kevin Benbow
11-07-2019, 02:17 AM
<gassho>

Klb
Sat today

DogBreath
11-08-2019, 09:31 PM
Thanks, I will check out the links and try to upload another photo.
Gassho
Scott

DogBreath
11-08-2019, 09:44 PM
Hello Jundo
Profile pic:-
I just went to my profile page and the second photo I tried to upload is there - is that one ok, or would you prefer a different one without the dog and shades? Please let me know if I need to change it or not.
avatar image:-
I assume I still need to upload a 80x80 pixel photo? Am not sure how to find something so small (I'm a Luddite by choice which can be a problem when you actually need to use the machine!) - I will work on that later today.
Gassho
Scott

Jundo
11-08-2019, 11:39 PM
Hello Jundo
Profile pic:-
I just went to my profile page and the second photo I tried to upload is there - is that one ok, or would you prefer a different one without the dog and shades? Please let me know if I need to change it or not.
avatar image:-
I assume I still need to upload a 80x80 pixel photo? Am not sure how to find something so small (I'm a Luddite by choice which can be a problem when you actually need to use the machine!) - I will work on that later today.
Gassho
Scott

Hi Scott,

I love dogs (honestly, well, I am more of a cat fellow although dogs are great too!), but would prefer a human face. It helps keep things warm and human (not furry) around here. Thank you.

Instructions are here ...

https://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showthread.php?12837-Often-Asked-How-to-Add-an-Avatar-Photo

Gassho, Jundo

STLah

Nikos
12-19-2019, 06:32 PM
Hello Sangha,

I just realised that it is a good idea to review the basics from time to time (especially if you've been absent like me ...). If you have the time, maybe sit with Jundo and his Beginners Series!

Gassho,
Sat

Tai Shi
01-06-2020, 02:08 PM
Could you please look at posts at end of Precepts on anger? I have I think been angry about weather or not Shikantaza was going well, but today somewhat sadí I followed directions for Zazen as best I can and used insight timer. Time felt like nothing and when I finished at about 17 min 40 sec I felt nothing at first then calm.
Tai Shi
sat
Gassho
https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20200106/3a4795460002e82013f7cd007daf179b.jpg


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Jundo
01-06-2020, 02:52 PM
Could you please look at posts at end of Precepts on anger? I have I think been angry about weather or not Shikantaza was going well, but today somewhat sad’ I followed directions for Zazen as best I can and used insight timer. Time felt like nothing and when I finished at about 17 min 40 sec I felt nothing at first then calm.
Tai Shi
sat
Gassho
https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20200106/3a4795460002e82013f7cd007daf179b.jpg


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

One should sit in equanimity and patience, accepting even days when it is sunny or when it rains, when Zazen feels "right and calm" or feels "off" somehow. Then, if sitting with such equanimity and patience, Zazen is always right and there is nothing to be angry about.

Gassho, Jundo

STLah

drew
01-06-2020, 11:13 PM
True beginners mind here.

History:
I have been sitting zazen twice a day for 30 minutes each session. I've been doing this for the last 14 days. I've also read "Beginners Mind" by Suzuki, "Why Buddhism is true" by Wright, "What is Zen" by Fisher and Moon, "The Circle of the Way" by O'Brian, and now reading "Taking the Path of Zen" by Aitken.

Question:
When I sit, the "clouds" that come into my mind are zen sayings and zen focused thoughts instead of being emotions or other issues in my life. Should I quit reading about zen until I asorb what's bouncing around and the zen clouds quite down?

Gassho, Drew

Shokai
01-07-2020, 01:05 AM
Hi Drew;

It almost sounds as if you are seeing these clouds like the balloons in comics. This reminds me of a few months ago a lady in our Monday sitting group (she has been sitting Zazen for over thirty years) asked how one opens the hand of thought and lets the thoughts go because she thinks mostly in pictures and it takes some time for the images to dissipate. Well, I put the question out here on the forum and one of our members replied that for years he has been struggling with images of hand positions demonstrating various ways to play chords on a keyboard. It finally occurred to him that this was his egos way of catching his attention; being a pianist and practicing different voicings is a preoccupation with him and his ego recognized that. Once he caught on to this he no longer saw it as a problem and his brain stopped showing the hand positions. Nothing has power except what you give it (quote from a greek philosopher) There is no good Zazen and there is no bad Zazen. There is just YOUR Zazen. Shall we dance?

gassho, Shokai gassho1
stlah

P.s. can we see your avatar sometime soon?

Jundo
01-07-2020, 01:15 AM
True beginners mind here.

History:
I have been sitting zazen twice a day for 30 minutes each session. I've been doing this for the last 14 days. I've also read "Beginners Mind" by Suzuki, "Why Buddhism is true" by Wright, "What is Zen" by Fisher and Moon, "The Circle of the Way" by O'Brian, and now reading "Taking the Path of Zen" by Aitken.

Question:
When I sit, the "clouds" that come into my mind are zen sayings and zen focused thoughts instead of being emotions or other issues in my life. Should I quit reading about zen until I asorb what's bouncing around and the zen clouds quite down?

Gassho, Drew

Hi Drew,

Welcome again, and Happy New This Moment! gassho1

When clouds of thought come, whether on Zen sayings or that you need to buy eggs or whatever, just let them drift by and away without engaging with them too much. Know the clarity, openness and light of the clear sky that shines between AND right through the clouds as they drift. Clouds come and clouds go, to be met with the same nonengagement and equanimity as anything else in the room where you sit, like a table in the corner or the sound of a car passing outside.

So, it is okay to keep reading and studying a bit (when off the sitting cushion, of course! :) )

By the way, those books you mention are all wonderful, but know that they each come from somewhat different approaches to Buddhism and/or Zen, like different chefs talking about how they make soup. Beginners Mind is a Soto Zen classic, and "What Is Zen" is also about at the top of my own list of books recommended for folks new to Soto Zen. But why Buddhism is true is a very stripped down psychological approach to vipassana and "mindfulness" meditation. "Taking the Path of Zen" is also excellent, but Aitken Roshi comes from a corner of Zen Buddhism that emphasizes Koan centered Zazen to attain Kensho experiences, and that comes through on some pages of the book. "Circle of Zen" is a wonderful history, but might be a lot of information for somebody so new to the Practice.

In any case ... keep sitting!

Gassho, Jundo

SatTodayLAH

drew
01-07-2020, 03:20 AM
Jundo,

thank you. I did notice the different biases or basis in each book. I did find the walkthrough history in circle of Zen very interesting and also realized that I will need to read it again later to gain better insight. I forgot to mention that I have also listen all 22 of your intro videos, thanks for those as well.

I'm off to sit.

Gassho, drew

Ryan-S
01-09-2020, 02:24 AM
First off, wanted to say that the beginner talks are excellent! Thank you. They have been very helpful (...and I love how Yuriko comes in to steal the spot light from time to time ;) ) I kind of like to go slow, so I'm only up to video 12 -- hence why I've been a little quiet.

Anyway, I do have a couple personal observations that I am curious about...

I'm not exactly brand new to the Zazen posture, but I am 100% self-taught. The Basic Postures and Mechanics of Sitting (https://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showthread.php?14893-Sit-a-Long-with-Jundo-Zazen-for-Beginners-%283%29) talk was very helpful. I have always found the Burmese sitting style the most comfortable.

When I sit (currently about 15 - 20 minutes a day, occasionally twice a day, and sometimes half hour sessions on weekends) I always start out feeling pretty balanced and relaxed. Sometimes, about midway in, it is as if my thigh muscles are flexing to help keep me balanced. I am using a zafu and my knees touch the floor, so its not that. It is almost like my thigh muscles are working to keep my core posture in alignment. I know this is probably hard without seeing my posture, but is this normal? It can be distracting sometimes, but I also thought maybe it is just something that will get better as I condition myself more to sitting? Or is this a sign that I might need to readjust my posture when I notice my thigh muscles doing this?

Gasho,
Ryan
Sat Today

Jundo
01-09-2020, 03:51 AM
First off, wanted to say that the beginner talks are excellent! Thank you. They have been very helpful (...and I love how Yuriko comes in to steal the spot light from time to time ;) ) I kind of like to go slow, so I'm only up to video 12 -- hence why I've been a little quiet.

Anyway, I do have a couple personal observations that I am curious about...

I'm not exactly brand new to the Zazen posture, but I am 100% self-taught. The Basic Postures and Mechanics of Sitting (https://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showthread.php?14893-Sit-a-Long-with-Jundo-Zazen-for-Beginners-%283%29) talk was very helpful. I have always found the Burmese sitting style the most comfortable.

When I sit (currently about 15 - 20 minutes a day, occasionally twice a day, and sometimes half hour sessions on weekends) I always start out feeling pretty balanced and relaxed. Sometimes, about midway in, it is as if my thigh muscles are flexing to help keep me balanced. I am using a zafu and my knees touch the floor, so its not that. It is almost like my thigh muscles are working to keep my core posture in alignment. I know this is probably hard without seeing my posture, but is this normal? It can be distracting sometimes, but I also thought maybe it is just something that will get better as I condition myself more to sitting? Or is this a sign that I might need to readjust my posture when I notice my thigh muscles doing this?

Gasho,
Ryan
Sat Today

Hi Ryan,

Is you Zafu perhaps rather tall, or are you sitting a bit far back on the Zafu? Your spine should be slightly in front of the center axle of the round Zafu, and the Zafu should wedge nicely to offer support. Like here:

https://zmm.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/May-Lee-full-lotus-side-600x725_c.jpg

This fellow is too far back ...

https://awakeandmindful.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/zafu-zabuton-meditation-cushion-set-820x661.jpg

I am thinking that something like this is too high, and would also put strain to stay on board ...

https://www.dharmacrafts.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/101h_1-2-300x300.jpg

There should be no such strain to stay in position. Experiment and report back.

Gassho, J

STLah

Tai Shi
01-09-2020, 01:35 PM
I have found that in the past year Iíve been asking more about actually Soto Zen practice. I started the book Genjokoan and this next year will continue reading. It is my hope to get into the Diamond Sutra, to review Red Pine on the Heart Sutra, not sure I got much initially and continue learning about history of Buddhism, specifically b differences between Theravada, Tibetan, and Mahayana.
Tai Shi
sat
Gassho


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Tai Shi
01-09-2020, 01:38 PM
Wish to know more about Dogen. Iíve watched the film on Facebook, read a little more in How to Cook Your Life. Maybe read a short biography now. So MUCH reading!
Gassho
Tai Shi


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Ryan-S
01-10-2020, 02:54 AM
Hi Ryan,

Is you Zafu perhaps rather tall, or are you sitting a bit far back on the Zafu? Your spine should be slightly in front of the center axle of the round Zafu, and the Zafu should wedge nicely to offer support. Like here:

https://zmm.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/May-Lee-full-lotus-side-600x725_c.jpg

This fellow is too far back ...

https://awakeandmindful.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/zafu-zabuton-meditation-cushion-set-820x661.jpg

I am thinking that something like this is too high, and would also put strain to stay on board ...

https://www.dharmacrafts.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/101h_1-2-300x300.jpg

There should be no such strain to stay in position. Experiment and report back.

Gassho, J

STLah

Hi Jundo,

Thank you for the advice and visual references. Much appreciated!

I did some experimenting this morning with what you shared in mind and think I might be onto something now.

I was very careful to ensure I was sitting so my spine was slightly in front of the center of my zafu and still experienced what I described. However, I took a moment to examine my posture after my session, and think my thigh muscles flexing is a result of me pitching forward slightly as I sit. It was such a gradual shift that I didn't notice. My back was still straight, but I was leaning forward a bit from the waist.

My zafu looks similar in size and fullness to the one you use in your Beginners Series. Even so, I think it could be a little too high for me. Mine is stuffed with buckwheat hulls, and doesn't squish down much when I settle into it (gets pretty much daily use and I haven't noticed it breaking down much yet).

I'll keep experimenting and work to keep my posture more centered. I also think I would like to try removing a cup or so of the buckwheat hulls. It may not be wedging enough for proper support, and therefore partially responsible for me pitching forward like this as I sit.

Gassho,
Ryan

Sat Today

Jundo
01-10-2020, 03:20 AM
Hi Jundo,

Thank you for the advice and visual references. Much appreciated!

I did some experimenting this morning with what you shared in mind and think I might be onto something now.

I was very careful to ensure I was sitting so my spine was slightly in front of the center of my zafu and still experienced what I described. However, I took a moment to examine my posture after my session, and think my thigh muscles flexing is a result of me pitching forward slightly as I sit. It was such a gradual shift that I didn't notice. My back was still straight, but I was leaning forward a bit from the waist.

My zafu looks similar in size and fullness to the one you use in your Beginners Series. Even so, I think it could be a little too high for me. Mine is stuffed with buckwheat hulls, and doesn't squish down much when I settle into it (gets pretty much daily use and I haven't noticed it breaking down much yet).

I'll keep experimenting and work to keep my posture more centered. I also think I would like to try removing a cup or so of the buckwheat hulls. It may not be wedging enough for proper support, and therefore partially responsible for me pitching forward like this as I sit.

Gassho,
Ryan

Sat Today

Yes, you are actually the best judge of posture. This book is highly recommended for finding the posture(s) for you (plural, because the body is actually a bit fluid in sitting).

https://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showthread.php?6913-Book-Recommendation-THE-POSTURE-OF-MEDITATION

However, I was just think to ask folks to post some pictures in another thread. You may want to do so so that I can take a look.

Gassho, Jundo

Jishin
01-10-2020, 05:07 AM
Yes, you are actually the best judge of posture.

Prior to Treeleaf, about 7 years ago, I was able to sit one hour or more at a time without any pain. It was not till I joined Treeleaf and began reading and taking other folks advice on how to sit properly that I began to have pain and difficulty with sitting or kneeling for extended periods. Sitting is intuitive. Little instruction is needed. Attachment to ďright sittingĒ or ďpostureĒ in my case has caused a lot of problems. I always do better when I ignore advice on how to sit and just sit.

Gassho, Jishin, __/stlah\__

Jundo
01-10-2020, 08:06 AM
Prior to Treeleaf, about 7 years ago, I was able to sit one hour or more at a time without any pain. It was not till I joined Treeleaf and began reading and taking other folks advice on how to sit properly that I began to have pain and difficulty with sitting or kneeling for extended periods. Sitting is intuitive. Little instruction is needed. Attachment to “right sitting” or “posture” in my case has caused a lot of problems. I always do better when I ignore advice on how to sit and just sit.

Gassho, Jishin, __/stlah\__

Ya see, this place does have effects on people! :crushed:

Gassho, J

STLah

Jishin
01-10-2020, 02:20 PM
[emoji3]

drew
01-10-2020, 03:08 PM
It had another effect too. At work, there is somebody that was thrown on our team during a re-org who irritates everybody. Strongly suspect narcissistic issues. Today there was an IM thread complaining about and disparaging that person. I started to type my own comment and then thought. "There is much suffering that causes him to act this way" I will feel compassion and will not say anything disparaging.


A small thing but a shift in thoughts and actions.

Gassho, drew
Sat

Tai Shi
01-10-2020, 06:10 PM
Lately my Zazen has been mixed because of discomfort, not exactly the sensations Iím used to, Iíve been going without Lidocaine patches more often, so what I feel is more natural to my norm. Yet, I feel this may have nothing to do with how I feel during Shikantaza so maybe ignore sensation as best I can no matter the situation? Especially when sitting Zazen?
Tai Shi
sat
Gassho


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Jundo
01-10-2020, 11:51 PM
Lately my Zazen has been mixed because of discomfort, not exactly the sensations I’m used to, I’ve been going without Lidocaine patches more often, so what I feel is more natural to my norm. Yet, I feel this may have nothing to do with how I feel during Shikantaza so maybe ignore sensation as best I can no matter the situation? Especially when sitting Zazen?
Tai Shi
sat
Gassho


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Do not ignore the situation, but do as you can not to run toward the situation or become tangled in thoughts about it.

If you need (and it sounds like you may), sit focused on following the breath or counting the breath. If you need something stronger, I may even recommend a mantra (you can make your own, Tai Shi, that speaks to your heart and let me know. Perhaps something with your Christian faith would be fine.)

Gassho, Jundo

STLah

Tai Shi
01-11-2020, 12:46 AM
Thank you Jundoóthink Iíll loop my mantra to simple breath counting then punctuate with The a Serenity Prayer.
Tai Sho
sat/ lah
Gassho


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Ryan-S
01-11-2020, 01:35 AM
Yes, you are actually the best judge of posture. This book is highly recommended for finding the posture(s) for you (plural, because the body is actually a bit fluid in sitting).

https://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showthread.php?6913-Book-Recommendation-THE-POSTURE-OF-MEDITATION

However, I was just think to ask folks to post some pictures in another thread. You may want to do so so that I can take a look.

Gassho, Jundo

Hi Jundo,

I added the book to my list, I'll be sure to check it out. Thanks!

I'll see about posting a picture sometime if you kick a thread up for that. I really appreciate how the focus is on being comfortable, and that this fact is brought up repeatedly in the intro video. I need to keep that my focus when it comes to posture.

Short update -- I did experiment more this morning, removed a full cup of the buckwheat hulls (boy did I nearly make a mess there!) and my session was better. I definitely think the zafu height is part of it.

Gassho,

Ryan
Sat Today

Ryan-S
01-11-2020, 01:46 AM
Prior to Treeleaf, about 7 years ago, I was able to sit one hour or more at a time without any pain. It was not till I joined Treeleaf and began reading and taking other folks advice on how to sit properly that I began to have pain and difficulty with sitting or kneeling for extended periods. Sitting is intuitive. Little instruction is needed. Attachment to “right sitting” or “posture” in my case has caused a lot of problems. I always do better when I ignore advice on how to sit and just sit.

Gassho, Jishin, __/stlah\__

Hi Jishin,

I'm certainly one to overthink things, and can totally see where I might be working too hard to be in what I have in my head as an "authentic" posture. Thank you for this -- I think I needed a reminder/reinforcement that the whole idea is quite simple: "just sit"

I'll be sure to keep this in mind as I settle in next time.

Gassho,
Ryan

Sat Today

bayamo
01-12-2020, 03:59 PM
Aw geez how this bugs me. For all me years sitting, watching paint dry (actually now it's tiles, my wall has tiles), I've never been able to shake the "is my back straight?", and always check my shadow on the wall.
#sattoday

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ChrisKiwi
01-13-2020, 11:56 PM
Listened to Zazen for Beginners 1. Incisive. My head is full of blenders! Many thanks Jundo. Gasho Chris - sat today -

allwhowander
01-14-2020, 12:40 AM
If not for Treeleaf I would not be practicing at all.

Due to certain issues, I am unable to straighten my spine, nor am I able to hold certain postures for lengths of time without severe pain or lingering side effects.

Here, I don't have to - I sit or recline in a way that minimizes problems while fulfilling the intent and purpose of shikantaza.

And sometimes, when the pain is there no matter what, I sit with that also and let things be as they are.

Gassho
Meian
St lh

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Shokai
01-14-2020, 04:40 PM
[claps]:encouragement: