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Thread: Buddhism vs Speed

  1. #1

    Buddhism vs Speed

    I read this this morning and it changed my day.

    It took the busyness and list making right off the agenda and I went to sit right away.

    It hit me that this is exactly what I am doing ...and that this has been preventing this Ango from really striking the core.
    Anyway my new vow is to put the items on the list down and to pay attention....
    ... especially to my family when I am at home.
    Maybe there is something in the article for you?
    Heisoku 平 息
    Every day is a journey, and the journey itself is home. (Basho)

  2. #2
    Like he said, make sitting meditation a priority and most everything else kind of falls into place. Now let me check my to do list
    無 (MU, Emptiness) and 氷 (HYO, Ice) ... Emptiness Ice ...

  3. #3
    Oh man...

    This article hit home hard. Will read it a few more times.

    Need to go sit now.

    Thank you for posting it.


    Hondō Kyōnin
    奔道 協忍

  4. #4
    Thank you.

    "Recognize suffering, remove suffering." - Shakyamuni Buddha when asked, "Uhm . . .what?"

  5. #5
    A very good article.

    I am not against schedules and busyness, for we often need them in this daily world of "places to go, people we have to see". If one thinks that monastery life is just "sitting around" all day, one has never been to a typical Japanese monastery, where the day starts before the sunrise and includes a tight schedule of work, administrative tasks and obligations to people, food to cook and serve, floors to clean, ceremonies to rehearse, bosses barking orders, events to plan or attend, a parade of visitors to greet. At most monasteries I know, the monks run around like busy beavers with never enough time or sleep, and the atmosphere looks like any Japanese office or factory.

    But there is a time to put down the schedules and speed and distractions (and amusements too) ... and just be. What Reggie says in the article is right on. Monastery life includes plenty of opportunities for that too, not just at Zazen times. Please thoroughly drop, to the bone, all the schedules and planning during seated Zazen.

    And what is more (Reggie does not touch on this much, but I think such is the heart of this Practice), rising from the Zazen cushion, one can live in what I would call "schedules without schedule, calendars free of time" ... moving and still AT ONCE .... busy and still AT ONCE, AS ONE. This is also our Way of Zazen. One can be busy as all get-out, places to go and people to see ... while simultaneously tasting that there is no place in need of going, no people to see (no people to see them!)

    Gassho, J

    PS - I also disagree a bit with Regge when he says this ...

    America is probably the most extreme example of a speed-driven culture—and this is not my particular personal discovery, but something that has been said to me by many people from other traditional cultures. The first time this was said to me was when I was 19 and I went to Japan.

    Oh, the busiest, most run-around, sleep deprived from morning to night people I know (as much as Americans if not more) is the average Japanese person. But, you also need to cultivate a certain inner stillness to be able to do the following. That is rush hour by the way, in Tokyo ... and not the way the trains are the rest of the day ...

    Last edited by Jundo; 10-01-2013 at 04:40 AM.

  6. #6
    Thank you! Busyness is definitely one of my own "addictions". I like some of the questions the author suggested we ask ourselves before engaging the tendency to be busy and plan to try them.

  7. #7
    Thank you for posting this article.
    求道芸化 Kyūdō Geika
    I am just a priest-in-training, please do not take anything I say as a teaching.

  8. #8
    About half way through this article I thought, "I think I will just stop reading now and go sit because I have time to read this article". I am glad I read the whole article.
    Thanks for sharing

  9. #9
    A big thanks for sharing!

    I've been thinking about this kind of thing often lately. With Ango just beginning, which is also when my classes I teach are just beginning, which is also when the editing work I do is just starting again, etc, I felt, literally, like there was no way to complete all the things I felt I needed to complete in any given day. Some of this was actual pressure (deadlines I have no real choice about if I want to be paid and eat food), but some of it is self-imposed. One of the big problems was getting in more zen time! Need to sit more! Need to read more! Need to be more dedicated! I sat a zazenkai for the first time in a while before things got really busy, and it was wonderful, but then the next two weeks I felt guilty for not having time to sit a full zazenkai! So, I do it with zen stuff, get myself all busy with zen stuff, which, well, I mean, the contradiction must be pretty obvious. It's always around such a point when I realize that I'm taking things way too seriously, In this case, I realized that I needed to step away from the cushion to get back on the cushion. So, my wife and I invited some friends over; I immersed myself in cooking a meal for some people; it felt really nice to do something, however small, for others and that others would enjoy, and just being around friends, sharing with them. That was the slowing down I needed; that was the sitting that I wasn't sitting.

    Here's a thing I wrote about it some time ago:

    taking the trash out
    to forget this zen.
    dead dog on the wet road

    Gassho and thanks again!

  10. #10
    More reflection....on walking into work this morning I seemed inundated with requests for help...all well meaning and polite ..but not one was prefaced by 'Good morning'.
    I have got used to this as I realise that people need their IT to work ...and they are in a rush...but hey so was I! I realised though that I was not being confronted by my colleagues, but by their lists of things to do. Now where I think this differs from monastic life is, I guess (I read Eat, Sleep, Sit), that most people don't have a practice which creates space. Monastics are training to do just that, so are we here in our lives, through shikantaza. So in noticing this I must have a little more space around my list to realise it for what it is, but we live in such a target and deadline driven culture that it seems to take over the core of many people's being. It's quite insidious how it can creep into our interactions. I like the bit quoting Trungpa about communication and I try to keep my mind open and 'spacious' to prevent this closing down from crowding me out of my life and out of those around me!
    Gassho, and thanks for your responses and views.
    Last edited by Heisoku; 10-01-2013 at 05:56 PM.
    Heisoku 平 息
    Every day is a journey, and the journey itself is home. (Basho)

  11. #11
    I like it! Thanks for sharing. So many people think monks are hiding from themselves by going to monasteries and meditating for long periods of time; but little do they know that they are the ones hiding from themselves and the monks are the ones confronting life.

    Thank you

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Clarinetist! View Post
    I like it! Thanks for sharing. So many people think monks are hiding from themselves by going to monasteries and meditating for long periods of time; but little do they know that they are the ones hiding from themselves and the monks are the ones confronting life.

    Thank you
    Well, inside a monastery or outside, there is no place to hide ... nor "inside" and "outside".

    Some folks may hide from life right in the heart of life, some folks may hide by fleeing behind monastery walls. Some folks might confront life in life, right where they stand. The Wise ones are not only inside the monasteries, nor the ignorant all on the outside. In fact, walls are within the mind.

    Gassho, J

  13. #13
    Thank you for the supportive and insightful responses, Jundo!

    Deep gassho,

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