View Full Version : 8/1 - Seven Points of Practice Point 5 6 - p. 164

08-02-2008, 02:51 AM
Heading into the home stretch on this book ... even though Uchiyama Roshi's Wisdom is without beginning or end ...

08-03-2008, 12:56 PM
The saying "one inch sitting--one inch buddha" struck me as limiting. I have this reaction to measurement sometimes -- an odd reaction for an accounting professor, I admit. But it seems equivalent to saying "one hour sitting, one hour buddha" as if to imply that when one is not sitting, there is no buddha. I think I'm just interpreting this too narrowly.

However, I do "get it" when Uchiyama writes:
when we keep on practicing zazen steadily, we will understand deeply that whenever, wherever, whatever happens, everything is universal. We are practicing an openness of mind that allows us to live more freely, less controlled by ego, desires, and aversions. The more sitting practice, the more likely this openness may exhibit itself off the cushion.

-- Janice

08-03-2008, 01:29 PM

To spend your life being blinded and dragged around by your own desires is a pathetic thing. However you live, what you do with your life depends upon you.

The time which is available to us passes very quickly, and who knows how much time we have left? I think accepting that what we do with our lives depends upon us is a very liberating idea, but at the same time also a huge responsibility. Continually questioning my own motivation and actions is an essential part of my practice. And it's not always easy.


08-03-2008, 07:26 PM
… when we keep on practicing zazen steadily, we will understand deeply that whenever, wherever, whatever happens, everything is universal. It is in that manner that all evil comes not to be produced.

He seems to be saying here that the more we practice, the less separation there is between ourselves and everything else in life. In other words, the less we see or feel a need to see ourselves as a separate self, there will be less desire or need to differentiate or elevate ourselves above others - a self-ishness that only generates suffering for ourselves and others. This inward change is infinitely superior to ‘trying to avoid doing something evil by moral effort’ as he says earlier. We then act and react in an ethically virtuous way automatically.

I keep seeing parallels in Christian thought in what Uchiyama taught.

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God”.
Matthew 5:8 TNIV
People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart."1 Samuel 16:7 TNIV


08-06-2008, 12:35 PM
Hi all,

When I read point 6, I kept thinking of dieting! If you want to maintain a specific weight, you have to change your caloric intake and exercise, not just for a month or 6 months, but forever. Your weight reflects your actions. "To be aware of our universal self" we must practice zazen forever. Our awareness reflects our actions. There is no goal, only action in the present.

I wonder if I'll be hungry while sitting from now on :wink: ?



08-07-2008, 10:05 AM

One thing that struck me was how true it was when he said "Beginners zazen and zazen after ten years of practice are not two different things."

I think that somehow summons up my 15 years (or so...) of "sitting". :wink:

May the force be with you