Hello everyone,

Just joined and this is my first post, I am hoping I can get some clarity on a 'thorn in my side' that I have been unable to remove for over two decades....no pressure then eh?

A long time Buddhist (not relevant) I have, like many others been through the various traditions before coming to settle (or so I think) in a Shikantaza/Silent Illumination practice.

What I have found over the years is that my practice has a taste. If 'Zen' it tastes of Japan and Japanese culture....it would often affect what I eat and what music I listen to. If I practice Vipassana it would taste of all things Thai.....Hwadu, Korean etc....etc....

the problem is that despite being able to be relatively strong willed and disciplined, if when practicing say Shikantaza for several months we had a really hot day ( a rarity here in the UK) it would remind me of my last trip to Thailand and KABOOM!...before you can say "shit there I go again..." I am irresistibly drawn into reading the Suttas rather than Dogen and my practice would shift into Anapanasati. At these times the utter legitimacy of my new found nest is beyond question and I shudder to think of why I didn't remain in that practice in the past.

Then, (yep you guessed it) I might hear a Shakuhachi playing on a film and KABOOM! <again>....away I go into Zen(land).

...I read something extolling the practice of Hwadu....KABOOOM!


This can often happen several times a day too...it never inhibits me from my practice but it often infects it with a questioning and weighing up of the virtues of each method.

Has anyone else experienced this or am I just a stupid grasping fool!

Thanks in advance, I am glad to be 'in here'....feels good!