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Thread: SIT-A-LONG with Jundo: Why Zen Folks FAIL!! (3) - CHASING

  1. #1

    SIT-A-LONG with Jundo: Why Zen Folks FAIL!! (3) - CHASING

    Many forms of Buddhist meditation center on seeking ... seeking benefits ranging from mystical states and insights, to simple relaxation and good health effects. These are great Practices, yet also feed the tendency so common to folks in modern, consumer societies to not know how to be truly still, content and whole ... for people in the West keep running after more, bigger, better, brighter. We want to be more focused, more peaceful, more enlightened ... We truly are hamsters on treadmills, and we do not know how to stop and turn spinning wheels into Enso!

    Even many of the students and Teachers of so-called "Just Sitting" Zazen will bring a subtle greed into their sitting ... subtly and secretly demanding some profit and returns ... which robs the sitting of its greatest power. Oh, sure, they may become more peaceful, relaxed, accepting in life ... and that's something! But they are not truly "just sitting" in stillness ... rather, they are still "just demanding" even if in the backs of their minds. Modern, industrial people, it seems, find it so hard to just sit and be, whole and complete!

    But here is the twist:

    Don't think I am saying there is no pay-off, no treasure from giving up the chase. There is an amazing result when we stop demanding results! For the best way to truly realize peace, contentment, wholeness and completion here and now is by stopping to chase after peace, contentment, wholeness and completion down the road! Instead, the best way to find peace, contentment, wholeness and completion is by sitting still in total peace, contentment, wholeness and completion! One does not find "contentment" by discontented searching, one does not find "wholeness and completion" by feeling lack and need. Rather, one finds "contentment, wholeness and completion" by jumping away from the drive to search and hunt, choosing instead to sit immersed in the very experience of contentment, wholeness and completion realized in the total satisfaction of the act of sitting itself ... with not one more thing felt to be needed beyond the simple act of sitting. The hard borders of self soften, perchance fully drop away, body-mind dropped off. What could be more peaceful and joyous than that!?!

    While here is another twist:

    Sitting in the wholeness of sitting "beyond need for anything more, beyond need to change one thing" --does not-- mean that there are not some things to change in order to do so: First, giving up "the need to chase and change" is, itself, an amazing change in our usual chasing character! Second, we must also free ourselves from greedy, angry, divisive ignorant thinking if we truly wish to reap the benefits of "nothing to chase or change". "Not a thing to change" is not some form of wallowing and complacency with our discontent, upset, angry, greedy selves. Instead, one must free oneself of the "discontent, upset, anger and greed" to truly taste the wholeness and completion of "nothing in need of chasing, nothing to change".

    And yet one more twist!

    The stillness and contentment one learns in sitting in such way --does not-- mean we just always sit still! We get up from our cushions, get on with life ... building, putting food on the table, weighing choices, having goals and dreams. Yet, now, we learn to bring the wholeness and completion off the cushion, into the rest of life. Thereby, we learn the "stillness" that is found even in the busiest parts of life, the "nothing to chase" that is present even as life keeps us running and chasing ... as if the hamster at rest and the hamster running are just one.

    Stop your chasing! Be the still center of the spinning wheel!



    Last edited by Jundo; 06-21-2015 at 05:10 AM. Reason: Added podcast link.

  2. #2
    Thank you, Jundo

    Sat today

  3. #3
    Thank you, Jundo

  4. #4

    Thank you for the lesson.

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

  5. #5
    Hello Jundo,

    Thanks for the helpful talk. I've noticed a subtle shift in my own practice of shikantaza. Like most folks who enter the path of Buddhism, I was looking for a release of suffering and discontentment. My own life was a bit of a mess and frankly I was looking for some teaching/philosophy/guru/meditation practice that would tell me how to how to live my life in a peaceful and contented way. It's very tempting to think that answers to all of my problems could be found by following a certain teaching, meditating in a certain way or reading a particular book.

    Thankfully I found refuge with Buddhist teachers who pointed out the folly of trying to practice in such a manner. Where I live in far Northern California Shasta Abbey is the main Soto Zen (not traditional Soto-shu, but Soto-ish) temple in my neck of the woods. From my first meditation instruction, shikantaza was taught as the focal point of practice. After several years of training and daily sitting, I was intrigued to realize that in fact everything is perfect just as it is and instead of looking for an external source or method for liberation one needs only to look deeply at oneself to realize true peace and contentment.

    Shikantaza started out as a means to an end, but through time and direct experience I now realize that goaless sitting is simply the right thing to do.

    Has the practice of shikantaza helped me out in tangible, concrete ways? Well, in a way I suppose it has. Cancer, deaths in the family, illness, career issues and just plain old discontentment have been issues in my life since I started practicing Buddhism. However, the practice of shikantaza has also taught me that I need to take action in the here and now, to attend to issues that arise in my life, to fully participate in the world we find ourselves living in. I feel fortunate to have found this forum and look forward to practicing with you all!

    Please take care,
    Sat today
    日々是好日/Everyday is a good day.

  6. #6
    That definitely was a thought worth expressing. My contemplation muscles will probably be working overtime.
    lol, anyway, great lesson.

    Sat Today

  7. #7
    Great teaching. Tnx.

    Kind regards


  8. #8
    Thank you. Great as always.
    Sat Today

  9. #9
    Thank you Jundo sensei.



  10. #10

    Thank you Jundo
    Sat Today

  11. #11
    Thank you Jundo

    sat today

  12. #12
    Thank you, Jundo.


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