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Thread: Proposal for Sangha Discussion: "SAT TODAY!" - Sitting Before Talking

  1. #1

    Proposal for Sangha Discussion: "SAT TODAY!" - Sitting Before Talking

    Dear All,

    I have a proposal that I would like to try in this Sangha for a month, then keep if it works out. Comments please.

    It is great that we talk on this forum so warmly about so many topics regarding Zen Practice and All of Life. However, before talking, this community is ultimately a Practice Place for Zazen Sitting!

    So, the idea is that folks (not including relatively new members) will be asked to print the words "SAT TODAY!" next to their signature on any posting they make to this Forum!

    "Sat Today" will mean that they have sat Zazen for even a few minutes within the previous 24 hours or so.

    The rule would not apply to relatively new members during their first 3 months of membership. Also, it would not apply to folks who have a good reason not to have sat such as health, life emergencies or genuine trouble with sitting. They are always welcome to post if they could not sit.

    However, for other folks, I will remind in a gentle way, "Did you sit today, because we should not talk until we have sat. Please include 'Sat Today' by your name to show!" I will ask people kindly not to engage in chit chat until they have sat, unless their is some special reason.

    What do you feel?

    I feel it will be lovely to see long strings of ...

    "Sat Today!"

    "Sat Today!"

    "Sat Today!"

    ... by our various members names! I hope it will built energy and community spirit for all of us sitting around the world!

    Well, that is the proposal.

    Gassho, Jundo SAT TODAY!

    PS - Some folks might wonder why "Sat Today!" and not "I Sat Today!"? Well, there reason is simply there is no "I" in Shikantaza sitting!!
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  2. #2
    Or, perhaps, use the common form used on certain social media platforms...

    Gassho,

    Kirk
    #SatToday
    Last edited by kirkmc; 11-04-2014 at 10:12 AM.
    -----
    I know nothing.

  3. #3
    Seems it keeps the emphasis on where it should be.

    Shawn
    (Sat today)
    I am a student at Treeleaf. Please take what I say with a grain of salt. Gassho

  4. #4
    new to the site/sangha but open to the idea...however, in reading recent threads and watching the sit-alongs, energy and spirit are already here to inspire sitting and vice versa!

    Gassho,
    Jon
    #SatToday

  5. #5
    Hi All,

    When I joined the forum, like many newbies, I was sooo happy to be here, I was posting many times a day. It soon occurred to me that I was spending much more time on the forum than I was spending on the zafu, so I made that rule for myself; sit first. It just makes sense. As for noting it by your name, I donít have any strong feelings pro or con. I think, if nothing else, simple peer pressure will encourage folks to want to have the note by their name. Lets try it for a month, see what comes up and how it feels!

    Gassho
    Lisa
    Sat Today!
    sat2day
    ST

  6. #6
    Love it!

    Gassho,

    Bryson

    Sat today (this morning before work. And just about to go home and sit all over again!)

  7. #7
    Sounds good to me.

    Gassho,
    Walter

    SAT TODAY!
    Gassho,Walter

  8. #8


    - Nandi - sat today

  9. #9
    I think this will cut down on my worthless posts.

    Gassho, Jishin, SAT TODAY

  10. #10
    Will do.


    -sat today
    Gassho
    Daizan

  11. #11
    Sat today !

    Ugrok - Sat today.

  12. #12


    Gassho,
    Jeff
    (Sat Today)

  13. #13
    Okie doke!
    -sat today
    Thanks,
    Kaishin (Open Heart aka Matt)
    Please take this layman's words with a grain of salt.

  14. #14
    I have to remember myself.

    I have already posted a couple of times today while forgetting the "Sat Today!"

    Gassho, Jundo Sat Today
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  15. #15
    Nindo
    Guest
    I see your point, but ... (am I always the only one with a "but"???)

    Where is the fine line to bragging about sitting? To "look at me, I'm an A student"?
    Where is the fine line to discouraging folks from reporting their problems with sitting, when they haven't managed for a couple of days or longer?
    What about the notion that all of life is our continuation of zazen, not just a defined period on a cushion?

    Woke, washed, put the porridge on, sat, woke husband, had breakfast, brushed teeth, put on new jacket (present from Mum), waved to husband from street, saw a white rabbit, crossed the bridge, walked up the hill, went to work today.

    Gassho,
    Nindo

  16. #16
    Yes all life is practice, but you still have to sit; there still has to be proper zazen, otherwise, anyone can say hey I've been sitting for years, but they are just watching tv. IMHO

    Gassho,

    Risho
    Sat Today

  17. #17
    Hi Nindo,

    I don't feel it is bragging if everyone does it, and is just encouragement. Is it bragging to say "Brushed My Teeth Today!"? Not really. Or these "I Voted Today" badges that are common on election day in the US ... more of an encouragement and reminder to others to do the same.



    Folks can continue to post and say (as they do now) that they cannot sit because life is in the way, or they are have some difficulty with sitting. No problem. That is what we are here for.

    Finally, all of life is Zazen, and nothing is left out ... from waking the husband to brushing teeth. However, ONLY seated Zazen is Zazen. Yes, that is a Koan and, if you have been around here long enough, you know.

    Gassho, J

    PS - Today IS election day in the USA. If registered there .... VOTE!
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  18. #18
    Thank you, it is a nice idea.
    And - "Sat Today!"


    Gassho
    Ernst

  19. #19
    Hi,

    I thought that was an assumption. But yes I sat today, voted two weeks ago in absentee voting, fed dog, etc. I will follow this ruleless rule

    Gassho
    John

  20. #20
    Thank you, Teacher.


    Gassho,
    Myosha sat today
    "Recognize suffering, remove suffering." - Shakyamuni Buddha when asked, "Uhm . . .what?"

  21. #21
    Nothing wrong with this idea, only that it gets a bit difficult to type those additional words every time we post

    Gassho,
    Sam sat today

  22. #22
    I like it. I find it encouraging.


    Gassho,
    Stacy

    #SatToday

  23. #23
    Sat today and as usual nothing happened.
    Gassho Heisoku
    Sat today.
    Heisoku 平 息
    Every day is a journey, and the journey itself is home. (Basho)

  24. #24
    I think it's a good idea - sometimes I need reminding to sit before thinking/reading/writing.

    It's a shame we don't have some kind of shared symbol - maybe the one?

    Anyway - sat today,

    Gassho,

    Willow

  25. #25
    Gassho

    Josh
    Sat Today

  26. #26
    Wonderful idea!

    Gassho
    Bobby
    Sat today
    "When you do something, you should burn yourself completely, like a good bonfire, leaving no trace of yourself."
    Shunryu Suzuki

  27. #27
    It's worth a try.

    Gassho,
    Raf
    Sat today

  28. #28
    Count me in!

    Gassho,

    Kyonin
    #SatToday
    Hondō Kyōnin
    奔道 協忍

  29. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by Kyonin View Post
    #SatToday
    Oh yah ... the "Treeleaf Hashtag Movement" begins. =)

    Gassho
    Shingen

    #SatToday
    RINDO SHINGEN
    倫道 真現

  30. #30
    Nindo,

    If it makes you feel any better, I raised similar issues but was in the minority (the only one I believe!). So, that seems to indicate we should at least try it and report back after the trial period has ended. We will encourage everyone to share their feelings before considering any permanent change.

    Gassho,
    Dosho

    Quote Originally Posted by Nindo View Post
    I see your point, but ... (am I always the only one with a "but"???)

    Where is the fine line to bragging about sitting? To "look at me, I'm an A student"?
    Where is the fine line to discouraging folks from reporting their problems with sitting, when they haven't managed for a couple of days or longer?
    What about the notion that all of life is our continuation of zazen, not just a defined period on a cushion?

    Woke, washed, put the porridge on, sat, woke husband, had breakfast, brushed teeth, put on new jacket (present from Mum), waved to husband from street, saw a white rabbit, crossed the bridge, walked up the hill, went to work today.

    Gassho,
    Nindo

  31. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by willow View Post
    I think it's a good idea - sometimes I need reminding to sit before thinking/reading/writing.

    It's a shame we don't have some kind of shared symbol - maybe the one?

    Anyway - sat today,

    Gassho,

    Willow
    Here you go, just invented one:

    0
    ( )
    ==

    Oh dang, it will not let me put a space before the 0. Looks like falling asleep sitting. Well, it might be easier to type "sat today" after all!

    Gassho
    Lisa
    sat today!

    ps. Nindo, follow the white rabbit!
    Last edited by Byokan; 11-05-2014 at 12:30 AM.

  32. #32
    Hi all,

    One of my concerns about this "Sat Today!" idea was that it would be very discouraging to someone who is having trouble sitting. Jundo has said explicitly that people who fall into that category can post, but what do people think about a subforum or sticky specifically for such posts. Basically it would be a place for folks to say, "Did NOT sit today...can you help?"

    Just a thought.

    Gassho,
    Dosho

    P.S. I sat today. I also breathed, laughed, growled, and walked today.

  33. #33

    Proposal for Sangha Discussion: "SAT TODAY!" - Sitting Before Talking

    I can vouch for Oheso. I see him sitting in the Insight Timer App all the time.

    Gassho, Jishin

    Sat today

  34. #34
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    What do you feel?
    well, don't care for it. thought the daily sitting was a given, don't see what the I sat post would add to that. also don't care to be told I should vote or brush my teeth. do you really want to tell people not to post so much or to do so more mindfully?

    I use insight timer app as do several other treeleafers. If you friend me, I think you'll have access to my daily log, which I would gladly share.
    will follow the rules, but don't follow the logic.

    gassho, I sat O

    ps Jishin, I see you too! same eye?
    Last edited by Oheso; 11-05-2014 at 01:14 AM.
    and neither are they otherwise.


  35. #35
    I have mixed feelings on this topic. Encouragements to sit are good (and already make up the bulk of the communication here, at least as I see it). On the other hand, I know the silly feeling of "I'm a bad Buddhist because I skipped sitting", which can evolve into a sort of "Why should I even bother sitting if I'm just going to be bad at it?". Just a bit of vacuous mental trickery, but easy to buy into when you're mired in it.

    That said, I did feel inspired to sit a second time today, which I hadn't done yet since reestablishing my practice. It's possible all the "Sat Today" messages had something to do with it. I'm remembering that if I'm feeling the accumulation of clutter in my mind, I actually have tools at my disposal to help clarify what I mistake as being unclear. These reminders and encouragements are the reason I come back here (not that I ever really leave ). Now I just have to remember to sit without getting caught up in sitting.

    -Dan
    Sat (again) today

  36. #36
    Joyo
    Guest
    Hello,

    sounds good

    Gassho,
    Joyo
    sat today

  37. #37
    Hi again,


    actually, my first thought was, why not have a separate "I sat today" thread, sort of like a place to sign in before you go reading and posting. Then, if Jundo or Unsui want to discuss someone's not sitting, they can reach out in private and start that discussion -- ďhey, I noticed you donít seem to be sitting lately, do you want to talk about itĒ -- instead of "calling them out" in public. I really don't have a strong feeling for or against "sat today" for myself, but I guess it could be inhibiting to some people. We will probably all have trouble on the zafu at some point. I hope folks feel comfortable enough to post and share their sitting problems... these discussions benefit us all. We all know Treeleaf is unique because itís not just a forum, itís a place of practice. Bottom line is we want to encourage people to sit; no one wants to make people feel worse if they are already struggling with their sitting.

    Gassho
    Lisa
    did sit today

  38. #38
    Nindo
    Guest
    Dosho, thanks for the note. I absolutely agree with the rule - no chit chat if you are not taking care of sincere practice - but do we have to say so?

    (I'm reminded of the story of the disciple and master climbing a mountain: the disciple gushes at each new sight - "Master, look, the wonderful flowers! Master, do you hear the birds singing! Master, the colour of the sky is beautiful!" and so on. The master walks in silence, but finally he mutters "Yes! But what a pity to say so!" )

    Sat today, but what a pity to say so....

    Gassho,
    Nindo

    p.s. Lisa, I am worried about the little rabbit, it is sooo visible and no snow in the forecast!

  39. #39
    I can see why some are worried about this and I can see why some are all for it. If this is something we continue to do I just hope it stays in the light that Jundo presented the idea, something encouraging our practice and building energy and community spirit. Deep Bows.

    Gassho
    Bobby
    Sat today
    Last edited by Bobby; 11-05-2014 at 02:26 AM.
    "When you do something, you should burn yourself completely, like a good bonfire, leaving no trace of yourself."
    Shunryu Suzuki

  40. #40
    hmmmmm, If I am being honest even the days on which I do sit ( which for the record is nearly every day) my posts can still be fairly haphazard at times. In recognizing so, I have tried to keep my posts at more of a minimum of late. I have mixed feelings about this also. I can see the purpose, it could be encouraging, but part of me feels like I am being babysat, and forgive my pun; this doesn't sit well with me. I feel inclined to agree with Nindo's story, what a pity to have to say so.

    I am participating with an open mind.

    Gassho,
    Clark

    Sat Today!

  41. #41
    Quote Originally Posted by shikantazen View Post
    Nothing wrong with this idea, only that it gets a bit difficult to type those additional words every time we post

    Gassho,
    Sam sat today
    Well, I feel it is fine to add it to the footer of one's posts so it just appears each time. I am sure that none of us would say we sat if we haven't sat! So, seeing that in our own message each time is a good reminder to ourselves too!

    This is not about being the "Zazen Police!" It is simply a symbol of our joining in with others. But I will remind folks from time to time who do not say "Sat Today" that, well, before we continue a particular thread we want to make sure we have all sat today unless we have a real reason not to.

    I will add this to the message footer. Go in the upper right corner of this page where it says "Settings", then in the left hand column find "My Settings">"Edit Signature". That is fine. (Notice that there is no "I" in sitting).

    Gassho, Jundo
    Last edited by Jundo; 11-05-2014 at 04:41 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  42. #42
    Over six years ago there was a Soto Zen Priest with a dharma name of Jundo who vowed to sit each day on line and invited anyone who wished, to sit with him. He also offered occasional short dharma teachings before each sitting period. To me Jundo's request that we post SAT TODAY next to our signature line simply reminds us of our core purpose. Yes Treeleaf forum is complex entity now, but in the long run it simply supports the learning and sharing of our Shanga but is not why Treeleaf exists. Use SAT TODAY as a affirmation of your commitment to sit with Jundo,Taigu and the Shanga each day.

    Ran with the dog at sunrise and then SAT TODAY,

    Jim (Lorax)

  43. #43
    Oheso's first paragraph expresses my thoughts quite well.

    Otherwise, I'll only know once I try.

    Gassho,
    Danny

    Saturday

  44. #44
    This idea immediately makes me think of having an always-live virtual Zendo where people are free to drop in, possibly having scheduled sitting times run by moderators. I'm sure this has been discussed or at lease thought about ad nauseam here, so I apologize if this is old news, but I'm curious if any recent research has been done on this? Would something like that be appropriate? Like "SAT TODAY", I don't think it's about overseeing that people are sitting, rather than trying to offer a more intimate communal experience to our sitting. Maybe a good idea, maybe not.

    Gassho,
    Jeff #SatToday

  45. #45
    Quote Originally Posted by jeff_u View Post
    This idea immediately makes me think of having an always-live virtual Zendo where people are free to drop in, possibly having scheduled sitting times run by moderators.
    Actually, our next plan is to have more and more informal Hangout sittings run by all of you, in all time zones and locations. Anybody in Treeleaf can just start and schedule sittings and invite other members to drop in to sit. We can show you how.

    Of course, it would be great to avoid overlap of times, but wouldn't it be great if we could cover much of the week and many many time zones with all kinds of live sittings? Anybody, if you would be interested in hosting such a group, please do!

    Oheso wrote ...

    do you really want to tell people not to post so much or to do so more mindfully?
    Yes I do. I believe that, unless life overwhelms with a real obstacle or there is some personal difficulty with sitting that keeps one from doing so ... first sat then chat.

    Gassho, J
    Last edited by Jundo; 11-05-2014 at 07:05 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  46. #46

  47. #47
    I'm down but I'm confused as to where we write this.

    Like this?
    Gassho,
    Jeffrey
    Sat today!
    "I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived."
    Henry David Thoreau, Walden

  48. #48
    Hi.

    Going a little against the stream of affirmations here.

    I see the point of such an encouragement-reminder but feel very strongly that this should be kept strictly on a completely optional and voluntary level.

    I don't like the idea of people getting monitored, censored and judged on the basis of their personal Practice standards. Personal sitting standards are personal business unless you decide specifically to take them up. Just like how we deal with the Precepts and our stance on tradition vs. modernity in Zen. We can encourage and ask kindly but never demand anything of people. It's assumed that if this thing means something to you and you feel you're learning then you'll stick around and do the sitting somehow. Because that's what we do! And that's enough. The rest is optional inquiry and encouragement for those who decide to really care.

    I feel inquiry and (written) friendship amongst folks here should be encouraged regardless of how often and how long (and so on) a given person decides to sit. If it is kind, sincere, polite and well thought-through then it's a goody in my book. It's detrimental to the learning and spreading of a good message if there's poking or judging or stripping of the right to speak going on ad hominem. It's not our place to decide what is a good and bad reason for not sitting or what one's personal standard should be. If a person is truly interested and sincere then he'll (she'll) know. Otherwise one can ask for opinions and perspectives and possibly up or change their game.

    I will have no "BIG ZENJI IS WATCHING YOU!"

    I would feel very rebuffed and unwelcome if told by a Zen-colleague or Teacher: "Have you sat today? We will resume this friendly chat/interesting line of inquiry after you've sat!"
    My sitting my business. Sometimes I need help. But not orders.

    Of course as said before all this only applies if this "Sat Today"-initiative becomes required for posting etc. If it's only an optional reminder the Sangha collectively adopts then it's a great idea! Go for it. The above criticism of the proposal may seem rather harsh. It may be that I have misinterpreted the original proposal-post to mean something that is doesn't. If I have not though and what I write against is not a misunderstanding but what has been outlined then I have hereby protested. It's a really bad idea in my view.

    My reply to an anticipated response: Yes we're a community that focuses on actual Practice and and participation. But Practice is many things. And the focus of Practice is people. We should not force them by peer pressure or them or bar them from speaking their mind. Even if they don't behave as we think they ought to!

    Now. There's an opinion spoken with conviction. Time to sit.

    With respect and gratitude.

    Gassho
    Aske
    ~ Please remember that I am very fallible.

    Gassho
    Meikyo

  49. #49
    Quote Originally Posted by JeffreyB View Post
    I'm down but I'm confused as to where we write this.

    Like this?
    Gassho,
    Jeffrey
    Sat today!
    Hi Jeff,

    I put mine in the footer to my postings so that it just appears automatically. However, I noticed that doing so makes it hidden in Tapatalk. So, I may just write it next to my signature.

    I don't like the idea of people getting monitored, censored and judged on the basis of their personal Practice standards. Personal sitting standards are personal business unless you decide specifically to take them up. Just like how we deal with the Precepts and our stance on tradition vs. modernity in Zen. We can encourage and ask kindly but never demand anything of people.
    I really do not want to engage in chit-chat or talk about "Zen" or offer advice to anyone who does not tell me that they have sat (except, of course, for people for whom life has made it impossible, or who are having difficulty with the sitting itself and need advice on that).

    This Community is about sitting. If someone is not willing to sit, then I am not willing to chit-chat.

    Gassho, Jundo
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  50. #50
    Quote Originally Posted by Daizan View Post


    Gassho
    Daizan
    So is it Ok if those of us who'd like to use the emptiness symbol.

    I think it looks more friendly - lacking the 'I' - not focused on words and hits the point of trying this.

    I understand some of the objections raised but I think the spirit of this idea is very positive.

    You see - already it has changed my attitude. I logged onto Tree Leaf today - read the messages - went to type a reply and thought 'hang on a minute - I haven't sat today - will I make time to do this? If I've got time to type a message then I've got time to sit for 10 mins - even if I don't feel like it - even if there's resistance.'

    Just now I'm ill in bed - this is quite often the norm for me. I only share this because my 'sitting' is never how we might envisage the norm. On a good day I might be able to sit upright from the waist up - but usually I'm having to semi-recline. I used to think this was a bit of a barrier - felt inferior - don't own a zafu - can't use a zafu, etc Of course - that's all nonsence. We sit with 'intention' - and we sit to actualize Buddha nature. Can we sit with intention by simply turning away from our computer screens and participating in Zazen for 10 mins - yes - I think so.


    We often say what we love about tree Leaf is that it is more than a forum - more than a message board. I see this experiment as introducing a bit of discipline (I'm definitely in need of that).

    So - maybe when we log on here we try seeing it as walking into a zendo. We pause for a while - see it as a meditative space - sure there's still time for a discussion - but in a bricks and mortar zendo wouldn't that take place after meditation. Would we protest and say -'no - I want to talk first?'

    I can't imagine there's any judging in this - I'm using it as an opportunity to reflect on my own practice.

    Gassho

    Willow


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