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Thread: Grass Hut - 11 - Places Worldy People Live, He Doesn't Live

  1. #1

    Grass Hut - 11 - Places Worldy People Live, He Doesn't Live

    Hello,

    This week, we retreat to Chapter 7 ... "Retreat and Living in the World/Places Worldy People Live, He Doesn't Live".

    A few seeds for discussion (just pick up the ones you wish) ...

    Do you believe in the value of "taking off" by yourself now and then, to the mountains and your own "grass hut"? Are you able to, once in awhile? It is not physically or otherwise possible for people as much as they might wish.

    Do you believe it would have value in your Zen Practice to join a longer Retreat or Sesshin now and then? I mentioned a few week ago here in the bookclub why I recommend annual Sesshin for folks ---IF--- possible.

    http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showt...l=1#post151546

    Could you see the value of your own retreat, or of you own sitting even a moment of Zazen, as having value for others and the whole world?

    Has your Zen Practice, and your time at "All Of Life Is Our Temple" Treeleaf, helped you find "retreat" right in the heart of the hustle and bustle of the busiest town and your daily life?


    Some of the many translations of the Ryokan's poems, a man much like Sekito centuries' earlier.

    Too lazy to be ambitious,
    I let the world take care of itself.
    Ten days' worth of rice in my bag;
    a bundle of twigs by the fireplace.
    Why chatter about delusion and enlightenment?
    Listening to the night rain on my roof,
    I sit comfortably, with both legs stretched out.


    I suppose the one by Kazuaki Tanahashi Sensei is very approachable ...

    http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_no...ryokan%20poems

    Gassho, J
    Last edited by Jundo; 05-17-2015 at 10:13 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  2. #2
    Kyotai
    Guest
    "Retreat and Living in the World/Places Worldly People Live, He Doesn't Live"

    I believe that is not limited to a grass hut. Retreating to the moment, when taking the kids to swimming lessons, or opening a jar of peanut butter. To me, that is where many worldly people do not live..in the everyday moments they are missing out on..

    Although I have never done so, a retreat of any length I feel would be of benefit to my practice, not required, but beneficial.

    Gassho, Kyotai
    sat today (and while opening peanut butter)

  3. #3
    Hello everyone,

    Do you believe in the value of "taking off" by yourself now and then, to the mountains and your own "grass hut"?

    Yes. I feel it is important to "recharge" ourselves. We all have different levels of what we can do and can manage, knowing those boundaries I feel is important. So when we are feeling "burnt out" or "overworked" take sometime, do some zazen, get outside and enjoy nature, read a book with a nice cup of tea, or whatever makes you happy and gives you that moment of relaxation.

    Do you believe it would have value in your Zen Practice to join a longer Retreat or Sesshin now and then?

    Yes. Spending time by oneself is important, but it is also important to connect and share with others. Sitting in a retreat with others is a wonderful way to support each other in our practice(s) - even when we are just sitting, we are supporting each other or when we are cleaning and cooking, we are supporting each other. One of the things that I have found to be very important about doing retreats with others is that support and motivation. I have found that in those moments of struggle when we need that loving "push", having the Sangha there is a huge help in guiding us through that transition. =)

    Could you see the value of your own retreat, or of you own sitting even a moment of Zazen, as having value for others and the whole world?

    Yes. Whether a retreat or a moment of zazen when I take those times to just be with life, to be with ALL aspects of life, I am not only benefiting myself by opening my heart and mind, but I am opening my heart and mind to the world around me. Then when I am in the world I can be more patient to the person that cut me off; to the co-worker or boss who is never happy with my work. To be aware of the love and support my family provides me day after day, or to be accepting of myself when my body or mind is not working the way it used to - embracing ALL conditions of life.

    Has your Zen Practice, and your time at "All Of Life Is Our Temple" Treeleaf, helped you find "retreat" right in the heart of the hustle and bustle of the busiest town and your daily life?

    Again, Yes! This life, right here and right now is the best retreat we/I could ask for. It encompasses ALL of the above ... it allows for "Taking off by yourself", it allows for "Sesshin with other Sangha members", it allows for your "Own Retreat and moments of Zazen" - all right here, right now ... at any and every moment. =)

    Gassho
    Shingen

    #sattoday

  4. #4
    Do you believe in the value of "taking off" by yourself now and then, to the mountains and your own "grass hut"? Are you able to, once in awhile? It is not physically or otherwise possible for people as much as they might wish.
    Yes, definitely. Time to give the senses a break, to give responsibilities a break, to give interactions a break. Sitting, walking, hearing, seeing. A walk in the woods, paddling in a canoe, sitting Zazen in a quiet, simple, room.

    Do you believe it would have value in your Zen Practice to join a longer Retreat or Sesshin now and then? I mentioned a few week ago here in the bookclub why I recommend annual Sesshin for folks ---IF--- possible.
    Yes, definitely. As above but with structure and discipline, one stone for one bird.

    Could you see the value of your own retreat, or of you own sitting even a moment of Zazen, as having value for others and the whole world?
    Yes. I can be a burden or a relief to others, compound their suffering or help transform it, depending what is going on here.

    Has your Zen Practice, and your time at "All Of Life Is Our Temple" Treeleaf, helped you find "retreat" right in the heart of the hustle and bustle of the busiest town and your daily life?
    Yes. Treeleaf is a jewel.

    Gassho

    Daizan

    sat today

  5. #5
    Hello,

    Shingen says it well. Nothing to add.

    Gassho, Jishin, _/st\_

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    Hello,
    Do you believe in the value of "taking off" by yourself now and then, to the mountains and your own "grass hut"? Are you able to, once in awhile? It is not physically or otherwise possible for people as much as they might wish.

    Do you believe it would have value in your Zen Practice to join a longer Retreat or Sesshin now and then? I mentioned a few week ago here in the bookclub why I recommend annual Sesshin for folks ---IF--- possible.

    Could you see the value of your own retreat, or of you own sitting even a moment of Zazen, as having value for others and the whole world?

    Has your Zen Practice, and your time at "All Of Life Is Our Temple" Treeleaf, helped you find "retreat" right in the heart of the hustle and bustle of the busiest town and your daily life?



    Gassho, J
    -Yes I believe in the value of retreating, but still couldn't do it since I started practising.

    -I can not see how my sitting could be of benefit to others, provided that zazen yields no benefits.

    -I couldn't find "retreat" amidst my daily life.

    Lately I've been unable to avoid a feeling of separation between the "me" that sits zazen and the "me" that does everything else.
    Like the only sacred moment was when I sit zazen.
    I am absolutely unable to see through all the greed, ignorance and anger with which I go through the day.
    And one of the questions I've found myself asking was:

    If everything is perfect as it is, while should I bother to be better at anything?
    Why loose weight, drink less, avoid meat, be more compassionate... why sit at all?
    If there's nothing to attain, no enlightenment, if I should drop all expectations, because everything is just fine, why just not give up to a pleasant life only taking care of not getting attached to things?

    Sorry, but these days I'm always questioning the value of my practice. Is it really good for anything?
    If, as master Sawaki says, it is good for nothing, why not using the time in zazen for something that is good for someone or something?

    Gassho,
    Daiyo

    #sattoday
    Gassho,Walter

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Daiyo View Post
    If everything is perfect as it is, while should I bother to be better at anything?
    Why loose weight, drink less, avoid meat, be more compassionate... why sit at all?
    If there's nothing to attain, no enlightenment, if I should drop all expectations, because everything is just fine, why just not give up to a pleasant life only taking care of not getting attached to things?
    Yes, there is nothing in need of change. And unless you change, realize and live such in life, that truth will be obscured.

    Sorry, but these days I'm always questioning the value of my practice. Is it really good for anything?
    If, as master Sawaki says, it is good for nothing, why not using the time in zazen for something that is good for someone or something?
    Who said Zazen is good for nothing? There is a Big Payoff! The way to realize this Big Payoff, however, is to sit Zazen which is good for nothing, with nothing to seek, no payoff, nothing to change and nothing more needed.

    All through life, people are chasing the payoff ... thus missing the gold in hand. Kinda like this guy ...



    Better said, it is like climbing a mountain, trying to get to the mountain, all while not realizing that the mountain is ever underfoot and is in each step of the climb.

    Goodnight (my bedtime)

    Gassho, J

    SatToday
    Last edited by Jundo; 05-18-2015 at 06:51 PM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  8. #8
    Joyo
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    Better said, it is like climbing a mountain, trying to get to the mountain, all while not realizing that the mountain is ever underfoot and is in each step of the climb.

    Goodnight (my bedtime)

    Gassho, J

    SatToday

    Thank you for this, Jundo. May I just add, some of those steps up the mountain will make you so angry you will want to cry tears of frustration. Some steps so happy you won't want to go any further up the mountain. Some steps so painful, some so beautiful.....yet they are all the mountain, one step at a time.

    Good night, Jundo.

    Gassho,
    Joyo
    sat today

  9. #9
    Joyo
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Daiyo View Post

    Sorry, but these days I'm always questioning the value of my practice. Is it really good for anything?
    If, as master Sawaki says, it is good for nothing, why not using the time in zazen for something that is good for someone or something?

    Gassho,
    Daiyo

    #sattoday
    Hello Daiyo, may I ask, what are you searching for?

    I've seen people practice spiritual paths very different from zazen, paths that promise them all sorts of things from happiness, health, healing....yet they do not have any of these things.

    Gassho,
    Joyo
    sat today

  10. #10
    Joyo,
    if I may ask, your question is confusing to me.
    Is not the end of suffering for all beings (transcending but not excluding) happiness, health, healing? Amidst and in the mud of sadness, illness and pain?

    I was thinking about how I sometimes crave my favourite places of quietness and solitude when people and the world overwhelm me.
    I dream myself away into a nice retreat, suffering because there are no means.
    Last year I had the thought for the first time, that it is better for me to carry this known feeling around, than to longingly dream of "one day I will be there again".

    Daiyo, please don't be so hard on yourself.
    And don't expect wonders only because you diligently put your butt on a cushion.
    But try carrying the zazen-mind through your day, gently.
    It will allow you to enjoy your meals, I'm sure, but it might be helpful in feeling more connected.
    Keep it up!

    Gassho,
    Danny
    #sattoday
    Last edited by Jika; 05-19-2015 at 05:32 AM.

  11. #11
    Kyotai
    Guest
    I use to find myself in your shoes from time to time. But, after stopping for a few days or even weeks. I always return to the cushion when my mind would fill up with intruding thoughts and anxieties again. Rediscovering all over again why i sit. I've gone through that cycle many times. Always needing to return.

    What Joyo said, some steps painful, some beautiful...

    But important steps nonetheless.

    For me, zazen opens up a world of opportunities to help others even in simple moments. It is far more valuable then the 30 minutes I take each day to sit.

    Gassho, Kyotai
    Sat today

  12. #12
    Joyo
    Guest
    HI Danny B, I am unsure why you find my question confusing. I meant it literally, not trying to be all spiritually deep or anything, so I think it's a fairly simple question. I agree that Daiyo should not be so hard on himself and I sincerely hope he will find a way to make that happen.

    As for the rest of your questions, I am not really comfortable answering them as I think someone like Jundo, or one of the priests would have more insight.

    Gassho,
    Joyo
    sat today

  13. #13
    Hi,

    Has your Zen Practice, and your time at "All Of Life Is Our Temple" Treeleaf, helped you find "retreat" right in the heart of the hustle and bustle of the busiest town and your daily life?

    Well apparently. Last week every computer we use in our psych practice went belly-up. (Storm-related?) I spent hours with a techie determining if we could at least save the data (we could). The episode virtually shut us down, and we are now recovering. Of course there were times when I went ballistic. But they were short-lived. What I noticed was that I really enjoyed joking around with the techie, felt I got to know him well, and put aside the sense of "this is the end of the world." That was different. In times past I would have been all business. This time it was just so much lighter. Big problem, but not big problem. Probably because of the way I acted, people were going out of their way to help. They stayed late, came up with unique fixes, and they also abandoned that business-only approach. It's still a hassle, will take at least another week to get back. Cost some money. But I have not catastrophized as I have in other times.

    The episode also reinforced the real-life teaching that it's all transient. Nothing lasts. Particularly PCs.

    Gassho
    Meishin
    Sat today

  14. #14
    Joyo
    Guest
    Hi again Danny, I thought about your remark as to my question being confusing. I guess, for me, this is a practical question that we all can ask ourselves. So if someone is not happy with some area of their life or questioning whether this practice has any value, then I think it's a good question to ask yourself. Speaking from experience, if I have felt like something has no value, or I am discontent, I take a step back and look at it from the large picture. Am I putting too many expectations on myself, am I being to critical of myself or others, do I need to do something else to change (like perhaps is Daiyo is thinking it has no value, what about doing some volunteer work or some such thing to put the practice into well.....practice =) And sometimes, a change is really necessary, other times I need to work on acceptance, which can take a very long time

    Anyway, that's about all I meant by the question. I hope that clears it up for you.

    Gassho,
    Joyo
    sat today

  15. #15
    Thank you, Joyo,
    for giving my confusion so much thought.
    I see your practical reasons now.
    I think I'll sit with my confusion and why I find the Teachings so promising without promise .

    Meishin, thumbs up!

    Gassho,
    Danny
    #sattoday

  16. #16
    I am very curious to experience a formal retreat, but as of right now it is not practical. But I'm not on a timeline. I am the timeline. I'm sure I'll find the time some day.

    My short time here absolutely without a doubt has helped me "retreat" amongst the hustle and bustle. Daily sitting and the perspective this sangha has given me has been illuminating. I am learning to identify my most selfish and trouble causing thoughts and hush them as they arrive. While I still deal with stress, disappointment, and even a very real depression recently, the practice has aided me in living through the harder times and to not get too caught up with the good times. When I get caught up in my thoughts and am led astray the practice helps me real it back in. I am also being a lot more honest with myself about my more selfish tendencies. Being sad isn't what it used to be. But I can still get very sad. But it's not so bad. It's just sad. And then it's gone.

    Gassho

    Sat Today

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Daiyo View Post
    -Yes I believe in the value of retreating, but still
    couldn't do it since I started practising.

    -I can not see how my sitting could be of benefit to others, provided
    that zazen yields no benefits.

    -I couldn't find "retreat" amidst my daily life.

    Lately I've been unable to avoid a feeling of separation between the
    "me" that sits zazen and the "me" that does everything else. Like the
    only sacred moment was when I sit zazen. I am absolutely unable to see
    through all the greed, ignorance and anger with which I go through the
    day. And one of the questions I've found myself asking was:

    If everything is perfect as it is, while should I bother to be better at
    anything? Why loose weight, drink less, avoid meat, be more
    compassionate... why sit at all? If there's nothing to attain, no
    enlightenment, if I should drop all expectations, because everything is
    just fine, why just not give up to a pleasant life only taking care of
    not getting attached to things?

    Sorry, but these days I'm always questioning the value of my practice.
    Is it really good for anything? If, as master Sawaki says, it is good
    for nothing, why not using the time in zazen for something that is good
    for someone or something?

    Gassho, Daiyo

    #sattoday
    #
    I sometimes (well all the time. ha!) think that it's really difficult to
    explain Zen, so I think terms can be misleading. I also think there is
    a language to Zen (well, duh I suppose ), which has its pros and
    cons. For example, sometimes you read or listen to a talk and the
    teacher may say terms that are from a different time and a different
    culture, like "The ten thousand things". It's really not a big deal I
    guess, but I prefer to really actualize Zen in my life now, as a lay
    practitioner, living in a suburb in a work-a-day world where I own a lot
    of technology and would probably cry my eyes out if the AC stopped
    working. So am I going to say "The ten thousand things"? Or since I
    live in the United States, am I going to walk around the streets of
    Tampa bowing to people while wearing my Rakusu? Unlikely.

    But I do think the language of Zen is sometimes necessary because although we
    don't talk like that now, it harkens back to a tradition. It links us
    to all the teachers and teachings of the past. So we should honor the
    practice while also living the practice here and now.

    Zen also stretches the limits of language so sometimes the way things are discussed hundreds
    of years ago just nails the point so well, why reinvent the wheel?

    So how the hell does this relate?

    Because those weird "words" or cultural oddities... all those things I think are "weird" about Zen are entry points into practice. Hell,
    my family doesn't really care too much about religion, and then on the other side, they are
    fundamental Christians, and here I am, the "weirdo". My wife thought something was wrong
    when I first started practicing.

    But after consistently sitting day after day, talking about Treeleaf, sewing a Rakusu, actually
    practicing, she gets it now.

    So those are obstacles to my practice. Early on I was ready to join a monastery, but that is just
    a dream. That is not practice. Real practice is how we -each one of us- really live this stuff.
    On and off the cushion.

    So that esoteric nonsense? Separated, outside looking in, I thought sutras were odd.
    But after practice, now it really strikes me in the heart strings. For example,
    last weekend, we lit incense, bowed to the Buddha, lit a candle and then sat in celebration
    of one of my deceased dogs. That is so foreign to my life here in the US, but at the same time, it's
    where I'm most at home.

    But at first, hell I couldn't explain why I practice; I still can't. There are no canned answers.
    When people ask me about Buddhism, most of the time they don't listen or have preconceived notions. We all do.
    But those questions you have are really good. I didn't have questions at first. I just flowed along,
    which is just zombie zen. So your questions are good because you are engaged with practice.
    THey are hard to answer; they cut to the quick of all the bullshit, and you must answer them.

    Why do you sit zazen? You really need to find out. And that's also why a sangha is important
    because we all learn together and inspire and lift each other up.

    Plus, practice doesn't always make sense; but don't
    give up. Please don't give up. This is all part of it. Shitty zazen is
    still really good zazen. Hell when you first work out, you might not
    see benefit because you can't do half the exercises. If you give up,
    you never realize all the awesomeness that can be realized if you keep
    doing it, despite the odds. The same thing with zazen, but zazen
    teachers like Jundo are better than that because there is no carrot and
    stick. Sitting is enlightenment; your practice is enlightenment.

    And that's what makes zazen really crazy; there is no goal other than giving yourself to
    what you are doing.

    These are words by the way, I am really bad at this. I have to listen to those beginning zazen
    videos all the time; I daydream a lot. I have fake arguments in my head. But the cool thing
    is that zazen shines a light on our crazy, and we are all really crazy a bit

    When you read the words of Jundo, Ryokan, Lisa, Joyo, Kyonin (I'm forgetting you but the leafers here), etc. really read them and integrate them into your life.
    If they feel like bullshit, how can you make them real to you?

    Zazen is useless, then why do we do it? This is my answer, it changes. We all grow and it will inevitably change
    and that's why we constantly have to question and practice -- life is real, not static or fixed how
    we envision it. Anyway, if you practice zazen with a goal, then it limits it. Of course you have a
    goal -- you need a goal, but I mean once you are sitting, just sit there. You think, come back, etc. over and
    over. Give yourself to it. Pissed off at zen! Be pissed off.. but fully be pissed and investigate what
    it is.

    The thing is this, from one perspective, this isn't about your happiness or my happiness. That's also why if we go into this to get more focused,
    or less stressed we are wasting our time. True happiness can only happen when we give.

    Anyway, I'm sorry to sound preachy; I really find passion in your questions, and those types of things
    drive my zen practice, so thank you for your honesty.

    I have not been to a retreat yet. I really think it is beneficial, but right now I practice as much as I can, which means
    consistently sitting every day, saying meal gathas, reciting vows, chanting. I try to live Zen in my home and in my life.

    I think Kyonin said once that he's in constant Ango; I feel that too.

    Gassho,

    Risho
    -sattoday

  18. #18
    Joyo
    Guest
    Risho, so well said, all of it. I could really identify with everything that you said here. Thank you.

    Gassho,
    Joyo
    sat today

  19. #19
    Hi everyone!

    I used to go hiking alone a few days every year, just a small backpack, sleeping bag, bivouac mini-tent and some food. Just me and nothing. I always valued that highly, being alone and just being in nature tends (for me) to stop thoughts and self-awareness quite effectively. Nothing beats a good sesshin though. I feel a sesshin doesn't only stop thought and deepens the practice but at the same time focusses on practice. Two sesshins per year at least help me keep the practice fresh and going strong throughout the day. Also a great value of sesshin is the practicing together with other people. Somehow it's very strengthening to support and be supported by a group.
    Still, I feel the most effective retreats are those we can (and should) do continuously. Retreating from our monkeymind, being aware, breathing. Retreating to here and now. I think it eventually is that practice, every second of the day, that really benefits oneself and others.

    Gassho,

    Ongen / Vincent
    Sat Today
    Ongen (音源) - Sound Source

  20. #20
    Member ForestDweller's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Beltrami Island Forest in Minnesota
    In the Buddhist canon we are told many times and in many ways that all beings are not separate from ourselves. For example, when you lift a net, all the holes are raised (Dogen, Keizan). When Shakyamuni Buddha was enlightened, so, too, were all beings lifted up with him and enlightened. Master Dogen emphasized over and over that when we sit, “the myriad things” sit with us. Our zazen is their zazen. By nature, we cannot be separate. Separation simply does not exist. This is true in everyday activity, just as it is in zazen. “There is so much suffering, competition, and conflict in the world, just to be at peace for a little while is an incredible offering.” (Chapter 7) At peace in zazen. At peace in everyday life. One and the same. However, finding this space seems out of reach for most people. Yet, my husband and I have found a place to continually make our offering of peace. What did it take? First, know that we still work and are far from independently wealthy or even moderately well-off. It took letting go of titles and positions (doctor, CPA), and it took not caring if we ever had another meal at a restaurant. It took being willing (and happy) to live in a remote place where land and housing are cheap. It took “steeping ourselves in silence.” It took not having children. (We asked ourselves who really needed our children beyond us, and we answered, ‘nobody’.) It took letting go of socializing at parties, boards, and organizations of all types. It took not caring that other people think we’re crazy to live the way we do. Get the picture? In short, it took giving up what “worldly people” think is necessary to their well-being. And in return? The conditions necessary to be at peace and to make our offering as best we can. I’m not saying that there aren’t other ways to accomplish what this week’s reading talks about. I’m only saying that the conditions we created make it a heck of a lot easier. ^^ForestSatToday^^ CatherineS

  21. #21
    Retreating from the hustle and bustle of daily life is important to me. Zazen makes that possible. I wish I could go into the forest more often, or attend a Zen retreat or session. My disability makes my practice a way to slip into the solitude I so need at times.

    Gassho
    Theophan
    Sat Today

  22. #22
    In response to Jundo's questions:

    "Do you believe in the value of "taking off" by yourself now and then, to the mountains and your own "grass hut"? Are you able to, once in awhile? It is not physically or otherwise possible for people as much as they might wish."

    Yes and no. Before we moved out to the desert, we would often go up to the Mogollon Mountains for a weekend. My husband and I had different types of occupations and the weekends were something we would look forward to where we would sit and do nothing but walk, sleep, read, or just sit looking out into the vast space. This was before I studied Buddhism. Within this last year, joining TreeLeaf and taking my vows, Zazan has greatly enhanced and transformed my life. Now that we live between several mountains, the largest of which is the Harquahala, this seems like a constant retreat where we sit on the porch at night to watch "Indian TV", the stars in the vast sky that is not obliterated by street lights. And enjoy the peaceful retirement of our dogs in the moonlight, if there is one.

    "Do you believe it would have value in your Zen Practice to join a longer Retreat or Sesshin now and then? I mentioned a few week ago here in the bookclub why I recommend annual Sesshin for folks ---IF--- possible."

    If possible, I would find great value in a long retreat or Sesshin. Money is a problem. And so is leaving our home in the desert, left to the possibility of vandalism. It would be a luxury and a hardship. I will find an alternative, perhaps just a non-verbal weekend and multiple Zazan sits. And a trip to the top of the Harquahala which has an incredible view where it is not possible to bother to think.

    "Could you see the value of your own retreat, or of you own sitting even a moment of Zazen, as having value for others and the whole world?"

    I do have a dream or a thought . About 3 weeks ago, a friend visited us for 3 days. After reading and discussing a few pages from "Opening the Hand of Thought", we sat together, my husband, myself and CC. Then we did Kinhin. It was lovely. Someday, in the winter months, if possible, an invitation to others to have a retreat here beneath or even at the top of the Harquahalas might be possible. I would be so interested in participation and conversation before and after sittings. The problem is that we don't know any other Buddhists or like-minded people. Most of our friends are Christian. Religion is rarely discussed and so many of our closest friends live in different parts of the world.

    I am honored to be part of this Sangha...and the entire world that resides here. Yes, a Temple! Risho's post is inspirational and honest. His comments to Daiyo are heart-warming and open. Daiyo's sincere commentaries often resonate with me. They sometimes sit at the bottom on my heart too. I do take into account that they are only thoughts. Zazan is a great place to just let them run through and disappear. Chants, vows and gathas are strong supports.

    Gassho

    Ansan

    SatToday

    Last edited by Ansan; 05-25-2015 at 01:35 AM.

  23. #23
    Hi Joyo,

    I don't know what I'm searching for.
    Perhaps some peace and quietness. But I'm not so sure.

    Maybe, as you said I'm being too hard on myself, expecting not to do any more damage or commit no more mistakes or something like that.
    But that's not conscious.
    I believe I need to fully accept myself as I am with failures and wins, and stop believing so deeply I can change I'd like to about myself armed only with a strong will - which besides, I have not.
    Maybe stop thinking that those things I haven't changed in a lot of time and would have loved to, I didn't because I was lazy or irresponsible...
    Maybe I was simply not able to change them, it was out of my touch.
    Stop accusing myself, for short.

    And just sit and enjoy the sitting and the rest of life.

    But I hadn't reached that point yet.


    Quote Originally Posted by Joyo View Post
    Hello Daiyo, may I ask, what are you searching for?

    I've seen people practice spiritual paths very different from zazen, paths that promise them all sorts of things from happiness, health, healing....yet they do not have any of these things.

    Gassho,
    Joyo
    sat today

    Gassho,
    Daiyo

    SatToday
    Last edited by Daiyo; 05-26-2015 at 04:10 PM.
    Gassho,Walter

  24. #24
    "Has your Zen Practice, and your time at "All Of Life Is Our Temple" Treeleaf, helped you find "retreat" right in the heart of the hustle and bustle of the busiest town and your daily life?"


    Hello,

    Indubitably.

    Thank you.


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

  25. #25
    "Do you believe it would have value in your Zen Practice to join a longer Retreat or Sesshin now and then? I mentioned a few week ago here in the bookclub why I recommend annual Sesshin for folks ---IF--- possible."

    I think a retreat would be very valuable. I don't think it's practical at this point in my life with so many responsibilities. At least not a long one, more than a day, with the kids, pets, etc. One day.

    Has your Zen Practice, and your time at "All Of Life Is Our Temple" Treeleaf, helped you find "retreat" right in the heart of the hustle and bustle of the busiest town and your daily life?

    -
    I think so... my interaction with the world is different now. I don't feel as caught up in the rat race (even though I'm still in the middle of it).
    Thanks,
    Kaishin (Open Heart aka Matt)
    Please take this layman's words with a grain of salt.

  26. #26
    Member ForestDweller's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Beltrami Island Forest in Minnesota
    Ansan, please recall from our readings: “There is so much suffering, competition, and conflict in the world, just to be at peace for a little while is an incredible offering.” (Chapter 7). It seems to me that you are well on your way to such an offering. I believe you are also on the right track in bringing sesshin and retreat to you vs. trying to go out to find it. I, too, live remotely (far northern Minnesota) and I also have not met any other like-minded people in the 15 years I've been here. So what? If sesshin or retreat is just you and your husband and your dogs, isn't that good enough. And you can take a risk and mention same to others you encounter. Who knows? You might find yourself with companion(s). But if not, you still accomplish your goal. Hope this is helpful. Catherine / Forest Dweller / ^^ForestSatToday^^

    Quote Originally Posted by Ansan View Post
    In response to Jundo's questions:

    "Do you believe in the value of "taking off" by yourself now and then, to the mountains and your own "grass hut"? Are you able to, once in awhile? It is not physically or otherwise possible for people as much as they might wish."

    Yes and no. Before we moved out to the desert, we would often go up to the Mogollon Mountains for a weekend. My husband and I had different types of occupations and the weekends were something we would look forward to where we would sit and do nothing but walk, sleep, read, or just sit looking out into the vast space. This was before I studied Buddhism. Within this last year, joining TreeLeaf and taking my vows, Zazan has greatly enhanced and transformed my life. Now that we live between several mountains, the largest of which is the Harquahala, this seems like a constant retreat where we sit on the porch at night to watch "Indian TV", the stars in the vast sky that is not obliterated by street lights. And enjoy the peaceful retirement of our dogs in the moonlight, if there is one.

    "Do you believe it would have value in your Zen Practice to join a longer Retreat or Sesshin now and then? I mentioned a few week ago here in the bookclub why I recommend annual Sesshin for folks ---IF--- possible."

    If possible, I would find great value in a long retreat or Sesshin. Money is a problem. And so is leaving our home in the desert, left to the possibility of vandalism. It would be a luxury and a hardship. I will find an alternative, perhaps just a non-verbal weekend and multiple Zazan sits. And a trip to the top of the Harquahala which has an incredible view where it is not possible to bother to think.

    "Could you see the value of your own retreat, or of you own sitting even a moment of Zazen, as having value for others and the whole world?"

    I do have a dream or a thought . About 3 weeks ago, a friend visited us for 3 days. After reading and discussing a few pages from "Opening the Hand of Thought", we sat together, my husband, myself and CC. Then we did Kinhin. It was lovely. Someday, in the winter months, if possible, an invitation to others to have a retreat here beneath or even at the top of the Harquahalas might be possible. I would be so interested in participation and conversation before and after sittings. The problem is that we don't know any other Buddhists or like-minded people. Most of our friends are Christian. Religion is rarely discussed and so many of our closest friends live in different parts of the world.

    I am honored to be part of this Sangha...and the entire world that resides here. Yes, a Temple! Risho's post is inspirational and honest. His comments to Daiyo are heart-warming and open. Daiyo's sincere commentaries often resonate with me. They sometimes sit at the bottom on my heart too. I do take into account that they are only thoughts. Zazan is a great place to just let them run through and disappear. Chants, vows and gathas are strong supports.

    Gassho

    Ansan

    SatToday


  27. #27
    Thank you, Catherine. That was helpful.
    _/_
    Rich
    MUHYO
    無 (MU, Emptiness) and 氷 (HYO, Ice) ... Emptiness Ice ...

    I may be wrong and not knowing is acceptable

  28. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by Daiyo View Post
    Hi Joyo,

    I don't know what I'm searching for.
    Perhaps some peace and quietness. But I'm not so sure.

    Maybe, as you said I'm being too hard on myself, expecting not to do any more damage or commit no more mistakes or something like that.
    But that's not conscious.
    I believe I need to fully accept myself as I am with failures and wins, and stop believing so deeply I can change I'd like to about myself armed only with a strong will - which besides, I have not.
    Maybe stop thinking that those things I haven't changed in a lot of time and would have loved to, I didn't because I was lazy or irresponsible...
    Maybe I was simply not able to change them, it was out of my touch.
    Stop accusing myself, for short.

    And just sit and enjoy the sitting and the rest of life.

    But I hadn't reached that point yet.





    Gassho,
    Daiyo

    SatToday
    Hello, Daiyo,

    We went through Jukai together, dear friend, with other buddhas. We are Sangha. We are all going through suffering together. And joy. And all the stuff in between. As you sit, we are all sitting together. You are right: Accept yourself as you are but don't forget the vow to save all sentient beings...and that includes yourself. Save from what? You are suffering and it hurts to know how much. But, that is a vow not to be taken lightly. Sitting sometimes is peaceful, sometimes not, sometimes nothing, sometimes everything And because we are now Buddhists, it does not mean we can just let go of trying. We can review our vows often, especially in times of stress. Just sit in that vast blue sky with all the clouds passing through as so many of our teachers advise us. I can only reiterate what I read and have been taught. But we can also locate that true self that sometimes shines through in sitting. And sometimes afterward or when you first awake. Trust yourself, the true you, the universal you. The ego "you" will have to be your project. Yours and yours alone. Your true "you" knows that. Jundo often reminds us "All of our Life is Our Temple". And that too should be taken very seriously. Let go of the ego or at least put it to work.

    Gassho,
    Ansan

    SatToday
    Last edited by Ansan; 05-28-2015 at 09:41 PM.

  29. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by ForestDweller View Post
    Ansan, please recall from our readings: “There is so much suffering, competition, and conflict in the world, just to be at peace for a little while is an incredible offering.” (Chapter 7). It seems to me that you are well on your way to such an offering. I believe you are also on the right track in bringing sesshin and retreat to you vs. trying to go out to find it. I, too, live remotely (far northern Minnesota) and I also have not met any other like-minded people in the 15 years I've been here. So what? If sesshin or retreat is just you and your husband and your dogs, isn't that good enough. And you can take a risk and mention same to others you encounter. Who knows? You might find yourself with companion(s). But if not, you still accomplish your goal. Hope this is helpful. Catherine / Forest Dweller / ^^ForestSatToday^^
    Hello Catherine!

    Thank you for your kindness and comments. I am so very new to Buddhism but dedicated. The TreeLeaf Sangha is very important to me but inconvenient and difficult to reach at times because of our poor connection to the internet. Extending my actual Sangha would be wonderful but I am truly content with my current situation. Other than open-minded friends, I have not had the opportunity to take that "risk" of mentioning my commitment as I suppose I fear ridicule from some possible trolls and my potential reaction with anger. I haven't faced that yet. Thank you, Forest Dweller Catherine! Perhaps we can sit, actually or virtually, together!

    Gassho,
    Ansan

    SatToday
    Last edited by Ansan; 05-28-2015 at 10:01 PM.

  30. #30
    Daiyo--Risho said it so well. Your frustrations and questions are a good part of practice.
    Thanks,
    Kaishin (Open Heart aka Matt)
    Please take this layman's words with a grain of salt.

  31. #31
    Nindo
    Guest
    Places Worldy People Live

    A place is usually understood as a physical place we occupy. I'd like to turn this around - what occupies us?

    I would count the following as "places worldly people live":
    Facebook
    The latest TV series
    Fashion, gossip and other magazines that simulate a whole world of their own
    Extreme diet or exercise regimes
    .... I'm sure you can add to the list.

    That's the hustle and bustle that I try to retreat from, mostly successful. My colleagues have given up discussing TV shows with me

    Gassho
    Nindo
    sattoday

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