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Thread: Zazen with a cold (graphic - snot involved)

  1. #1

    Zazen with a cold (graphic - snot involved)

    I have one hell of a cold lately, and practice is challenging : can't breathe with my nose, coughing when i breathe fully with my mouth, snot running down my chin, sneezing all the time, eyes filled with tears, well, the whole package !

    I just have a stupid question : what is the correct attitude when sitting zazen in those conditions ? Should i, for example, wipe my running nose when snot runs on my chin, or just stay there with the whole deal, feeling pretty bad about being covered with snot ?

    Until now i've been sitting with all that, which is quite interesting, but i don't know if i'm overdoing it or not...

    Gassho,

    Ugrok

    Sat today with a damn cold

  2. #2
    Hi Ugrok!

    I think that the fact that you have been sitting despite an epic case of the snots is the important thing; I know how easy it can be to just lie in bed instead! I don't know whether it's correct, but I would just blow my nose when necessary; I don't think sitting there covered in snot is "better" Zazen!

    Mind you, there have been a couple of times when I've started to drool during a very drowsy sitting........

    _/\_
    Ade
    Sat today

  3. #3
    I can't resist posting this image of Zen Master Gilbert, who some of the UK members may remember!

    3b5d1c32_1980sGilbertTheAlien.jpg

    _/\_
    Ade
    Sat today

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Ugrok View Post
    what is the correct attitude when sitting zazen in those conditions ? Should i, for example, wipe my running nose when snot runs on my chin, or just stay there with the whole deal, feeling pretty bad about being covered with snot ?
    Hi Ugrok,

    I don't know if what I do or think is right, but when I am in pain or sick, I just sit with what is.

    If I have to clean my nose every 10 seconds, I sit with that allowing the flu or cold be. Also I switch my awareness to the experience of being sick without labeling it. I try not to engage in thoughts like "I have one hell of a cold" because that is stating the cold is horrible and you are adding ego to it. A cold is just a cold and it is impermanent.

    These days I have been in constant pain because of dental issues. Every time I talk, drink water or eat, it hurts. Since I went to the dentist a few days ago, I began sitting longer and at least twice a day. I let things be as they are. And after a while of zazen all pain and discomfort go away and I'm just there with what is.

    I know a simple dental thing is nothing compared to, say cancer, but the thing is we sit with what is. Aware of not engaging in pain.

    Hope that helps and hope the cold ends soon.

    Gassho,

    Kyonin
    #SatToday
    Hondō Kyōnin
    奔道 協忍

  5. #5
    Mp
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Kyonin View Post
    If I have to clean my nose every 10 seconds, I sit with that allowing the flu or cold be. Also I switch my awareness to the experience of being sick without labeling it. I try not to engage in thoughts like "I have one hell of a cold" because that is stating the cold is horrible and you are adding ego to it. A cold is just a cold and it is impermanent.
    Hello Ugrok,

    Snot or no snot, just sit. If you need to wipe your nose, wipe your nose, then sit ... if snot continues, repeat. =) Hope you feel better soon.

    Gassho
    Shingen

    Just sat

  6. #6
    Thank you, Ugrok,

    thank you very much for your honesty, your commitment, and raising a question I sooner or later would have had too!

    You made me laugh, because I do work where I often can't blow my nose for a time, and one can see everyone around wondering when snot will be reaching your chin, filling your face, and sometimes people seem to do bets if snot has its own life and can walk up to my eyes...

    So, if you want important things (a rakusu, should you already have one; the pants you are going to wear for work) snot-free: blow your nose or use a face-mask!

    (Maybe that is why they seem to be worn on Tokyo underground? Not to protect others from the flu, but to sit zazen without having snot all over? )

    Invent a nose-blowing gatha.

    "Cleaning my nose,
    I vow with all beings
    to let fresh air
    inspire my sitting."

    Or a being unmoved by snot gatha.

    "Feeling my nose's juices
    I vow with all beings
    to be thankful for the abundance
    to save all sentient beings."

    (Please make your own, I'm not good at gathas.)

    So both things are right, right?
    Get better soon.
    Gassho,
    Danny
    #sattoday

  7. #7
    Hi Ugrok,

    If you were sitting with other people in a group, I would advise you not to as you might give others a cold.

    But, since you are sitting alone, that is not a problem.

    If you were so sick with fever that you could not sit, I would advise you to recline the "Zazen" of moaning and groaning. That is what I do. When sick and miserable, just be wholly one with being sick and miserable.

    But if it is just a runny nose, just wipe! Be one with one's runny nose! When sneezing, just sneeze. When wheezing, just wheeze. Running nose, where does it run from? Where does it run to? (A Koan) Okay?

    I hope you feel better.

    Ah Choo Gassho, Jundo

    PS - You reminded me of this story from Japan ...

    Priests at one of Japan's most famous temples have taken steps to block the sale of a sweet marketed as the "Snot from the nose of the Great Buddha".
    They have prevented the name being registered as a trademark at the patent office, but have been unable to stop vendors selling the sweets to hordes of tourists who flock to see the giant Buddha in the ancient capital, Nara, in western Japan.
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worl...-in-Japan.html
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  8. #8
    Hi,

    For odd reasons this is like my current predicament. To mix metaphors, the family is embroiled in a feud. X and Y are not speaking to Z, nor returning Z's text-messages. X, Y,and Z are convinced they are "right." When I sit, it is like snot running down my face. I want to wipe (problem-solve), step in as the patriarch (apply heavy medicine), and move to Europe. I find myself ruminating over times when it was not like this (when all was well), wishing that things were different. It is hard to accept that things are as they are and let it be. A cold is a cold is a cold. Not the mother-of-all-colds. I speak out of both sides of my mouth. I realize the cold (feud) is no different from health. But I also want to shout and demand that "these people grow up!" I want the cold to go away. I also want to sit with the cold as the cold. This morning the sit was 99% thoughts of "what to do?"

    I'm sorry if this is nothing like a cold and I have completely usurped this thread. Metta for all.

    Gassho
    Meishin
    Sat tolday
    Last edited by Meishin; 02-01-2015 at 06:03 PM.

  9. #9
    It sounds just like the cold.

    I will sit for healing there too.

    Gassho, Jundo

    SatToday
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  10. #10
    Meishin,
    much metta to you.
    Please embrace the snot (all these family bonds that make things so complicated).
    "Cold" sounds so cold. Sounds not much like you
    Gassho,
    Danny
    #sattoday

  11. #11
    Thank you Jundo and Danny. "I needed that."

    Going for a walk to get a lesson from the birds.

    Gassho
    Meishin
    Sat today

  12. #12
    Quote: "Snot from the nose of the Great Buddha"

    From the makers of: "Forty minute zazen - nailed it in ten!!" (?)^^


    Gassho,
    Myosha sat today
    Last edited by Myosha; 02-02-2015 at 06:35 PM.
    "Recognize suffering, remove suffering." - Shakyamuni Buddha when asked, "Uhm . . .what?"

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Myosha View Post
    Quote: "Snot from the nose of the Great Buddha"

    From the makers of: "Forty minute zazen, nailed it in ten!!" (?)^^


    Gassho,
    Myosha sat today
    From the mouths of (enlightened) babes.

    Gassho
    Meishin
    Sat today. Now doing kinhin

  14. #14
    Thanks everyone !

    It's getting better already. Had quite a few interesting zazen, and i discovered, for example, that emotions do play a role in sneezing ! For me at least. When i was with the sneezing sensation, without getting involved in the "oh not another one" despair feeling, well, i did not sneeze. It wasn't even uncomfortable. I know this does not have much to do with zazen, but when really focusing on an apparently painful or annoying sensation, it loses it's annoying character.
    It's also interesting to sit with a cold because you just can't control your breathe ; and for me, that's something, cause i always find out that when i'm with my breathe, i'm more or less controlling it, almost unconsciously... When you can't breathe properly, this has to drop.

    Gassho

    Ugrok, sat today

  15. #15
    Ugrok, I wish you a fast recovery, colds can be sticky, mine tend to stay with me for a while. Maybe take it for a walk, take good care of it.

    Funny that I started sitting zazen during a rather mean cold with fever. Every day I asked myself 'Why I'm doing this now?' since it wouldn't run away. In fact Zafus are very patient.
    Nonetheless I sat every day and kept asking me that question afterwards. One day it stopped. I didn't realize that I stopped asking until several days later when I was almost back to full health. Guess the answer was a simple 'Why not now?!'

    Gassho,
    Fabian
    #SATTODAY
    It's not about me. It's not about you. It's about us.

  16. #16
    Treeleaf Unsui / Engineer Sekishi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Virginia, USA
    I have allergies and yet live in a house with two dogs, four cats, and three birds. I'm sniffily and snotty quite often. I have a few old fashioned cloth handkerchiefs that always accompany me to the local sitting group (I make sure to always have at least one freshly laundered one just for Thursday sitting). Sit, when the nose is ready to overflow, wipe, bow, repeat. Ditto for daily and weekly Google Plus sittings. A few times I've had a sneezing attack (like a dozen in short succession). I've assumed that staying at my zafu and covering with a hanky is preferable to getting up, sneezing, walking out of the room, sneezing, walking back in, bowing, and then possibly having it happen all over again.

    If it is a cold or flu, I stay home. Until Google adds "upload virus? y/n", we are all safe in the hangouts.

    Gesundheit,
    Sekishi
    #sattoday
    sekishi
    石志

    He/him. As a novice priest-in-training, this is simply an expression of my opinion. Please take it with a grain of salt.

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