View Full Version : SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: Oh, What A Year It's Been!

12-31-2011, 03:36 AM
http://eco18.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/2012-sky.jpg Happy times, sad times, rainy days and sunny ... earthquake and nuclear disaster, good health and sickness ... the death of someone we love, our new daughter coming home ... getting older ... ups, downs, beginnings and endings ...

Oh, what a year this has been!

But in truth, a year like any year. The Buddha knew that such is the stuff of life, all of life filled with many things we long for and many we fear and resist ...

I usually describe Shikantaza Zazen to newcomers by a "sky-and -clouds" metaphor (one of the 'classic' metaphors in the Zen world) .... with the Light, Clear, Open, Boundless Shining Sun and Sky as Buddha Nature ... and clouds of ignorance, thoughts and emotions that may becloud or obstruct our experiencing such.

Yet our way of Shikantaza (unlike some flavors of meditation and Zazen) is not about attaining a mind always 100% totally free of clouds, though sometimes that may come too. Rather, sometimes we do and sometimes we don't ... clouds drift in, clouds drift out. Sometimes, the sky is so wide and blue and clear in all directions, without a cloud in the sky! That is good Zazen! Boundless, Cloud Free!

And sometimes (maybe most times), there are clouds drifting through the sky ... but we do not latch onto them or stir them up ... just let them go and drift away. Shining Blue peaks through the wide open spaces between the clouds. Moreover, the light of the sky can be seen to shine right through-and-through the clouds themselves ... so that clouds and sky are not seen as apart or in any conflict whatsoever. The clouds are now illuminated and transformed from their darkness, the Sun and Blue Shining right through-and-through each and all, and the Sky Whole. It is not "cloud free", but rather, the clouds are encountered as having been Free, Light and Clear All Along! 8) That is good Zazen too ... maybe even more precious than an all clear sky!

Now, sometimes (in human darkness and ignorance), the sky is so cloudy, fogged and stormy, filled with rampant thoughts and emotions, that the clear blue is completely hidden and bound in! That is not good Zazen ... that is just ignorance, confused and cloudy bad Zazen! And so, we should let the clouds clear and blow away, returning to the spacious, shining blue as described above.

However, even when the sky and sun are totally hidden ... not a patch of blue to see in the gray and stormy sky ... the sky and sun are still there even though we are blocked from seeing by the covering clouds. In fact, there is no bad Zazen ... even the bad Zazen.

More here:
"Right" Zazen and "Wrong" Zazen
viewtopic.php?f=23&t=2783 (http://http://www.treeleaf.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=2783)

Now, take those clouds as also representing too the events and times in our own life ... each cloud just happy times or sad times, rainy days and sunny ... earthquake and disaster, good health and sickness ... the death of someone we love, our new daughter coming home ... getting older ... beginnings and endings ...

... and just let them be too, the changing clouds of life moving along. Know the Light, Clear, Open, Boundless Shining Sun-and-Sky that illuminates each happening ... all the white clouds or black clouds or gray of daily life. Our way is not about always having a life free of problems, any more than there can be a sky always free of clouds! But each is instantly transformed in the Silent Illumination of the Bright Boundless Sky ... and the Sky and Clouds are seen as Whole ...

... even the darkest moment just Light, Clear, Open, Boundless, Shining when known as such!

It is a lovely way to live.

Happy New Year ...

... and a Peaceful Right This Moment to ALL!

Today’s Sit-A-Long video follows at this link. Remember: recording ends soon after the beginning bells; a sitting time of 15 to 35 minutes is recommended


01-02-2012, 03:54 PM
Thanks jundo.

I feel this talk ties up the loose ends of 2011 and also brings a lotn of your talks together from the last year. Which is the best way to end the year.

Happy new year to all the Treeleaf family and may all of you be free from suffering.



Omoi Otoshi
01-02-2012, 05:05 PM
I'm brainwashed!

The night before you posted this, after Zazen my wife asked me if the sitting "went well". I didn't know how to answer that since sitting is never good or bad... So I told her about the blue sky and clouds... She said she got it. The day after I showed her this thread and her response was: "Yes? Isn't that exactly what you said yesterday?" :D


01-02-2012, 05:17 PM
Thank you Jundo. Wishing you clear skies and a sky that is clear too.



PS - Posted to Podcast!

Myozan Kodo
01-02-2012, 08:13 PM
Thank you Jundo for the teaching. And Happy New Year.

01-02-2012, 10:52 PM
Thank you, Jundo.

Happy Right Now to all too!

01-03-2012, 04:08 AM
I'm looking forward to sitting with all of you this coming year!


01-05-2012, 02:58 AM
Happy right this moment! _/_

01-05-2012, 01:45 PM
Thank you Jundo, thank you all.
With gratitude

01-06-2012, 08:17 PM
Gassho! That was such a wonderful talk.


01-10-2012, 03:07 AM

Thank you for this teaching.


01-10-2012, 06:55 PM