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Thread: Zazen for Beginners Series: THREAD for QUESTIONS, COMMENTS

  1. #251
    Thank you, Jundo. This is the third time I've done this series since coming to Treeleaf in 2014. Each time is deeper. Please allow me to encourage other perpetual beginners to drop by.

    Gassho
    Meishin
    stlah

  2. #252
    Member Kaisui's Avatar
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    Australia (past username - coriander)
    I too am enjoying these sit-a-long videos, I'm up to about video 12 at the moment. I keep coming back to video 5, 'the goal is in each step' - I love that. I've reminded myself of it a few times while sitting and found it helpful... although, I find it tricky to balance the idea of a reminder thought being helpful while I am shifting my focus away from thoughts.

    Gassho, Charity
    sat today

  3. #253
    Quote Originally Posted by coriander View Post
    I too am enjoying these sit-a-long videos, I'm up to about video 12 at the moment. I keep coming back to video 5, 'the goal is in each step' - I love that. I've reminded myself of it a few times while sitting and found it helpful... although, I find it tricky to balance the idea of a reminder thought being helpful while I am shifting my focus away from thoughts.

    Gassho, Charity
    sat today
    Don't try to shift from thoughts, nor run toward thoughts and grab on while getting tangled in them. Just leave them be without wallowing in them.

    It is fine to remind yourself of "just this place" from time to time too, then let that thought go as well.

    Gassho, Jundo

    STLah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  4. #254
    Member Kaisui's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    Australia (past username - coriander)
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    Don't try to shift from thoughts, nor run toward thoughts and grab on while getting tangled in them. Just leave them be without wallowing in them.
    Thank you, that was very helpful for me when sitting this morning. The thoughts are part of what is, so I leave them be, like with the mirror.

    Gassho,
    Charity
    sat today

  5. #255
    Quote Originally Posted by coriander View Post
    ... The thoughts are part of what is, so I leave them be, like with the mirror.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  6. #256
    Thank you Jundo for these wonderful videos. I have completed the last beginner's lesson today, and I am sure I will go back to each of them again to see if I can gain new insights.

    A thing that has been on my mind is how to properly set the focus of my eyes. I would always find myself staring down at 45 degrees and focusing too hard at the wall in front of me. Would that be similar to focusing on one's breath, and I should try not to do it? One thing I did do today was visualize myself looking at the blue sky with my "inner" eyes and think of the view of the wall in front of me as if it was a fog obstructing the sky. I was able to gradually drop my focus away from the wall in this way.

    I very much enjoy my practice thus far, and thank you all for helping us along.

    Gassho,
    Sachi
    Sat

  7. #257
    Quote Originally Posted by Sachi View Post
    Thank you Jundo for these wonderful videos. I have completed the last beginner's lesson today, and I am sure I will go back to each of them again to see if I can gain new insights.

    A thing that has been on my mind is how to properly set the focus of my eyes. I would always find myself staring down at 45 degrees and focusing too hard at the wall in front of me. Would that be similar to focusing on one's breath, and I should try not to do it? One thing I did do today was visualize myself looking at the blue sky with my "inner" eyes and think of the view of the wall in front of me as if it was a fog obstructing the sky. I was able to gradually drop my focus away from the wall in this way.

    I very much enjoy my practice thus far, and thank you all for helping us along.

    Gassho,
    Sachi
    Sat
    Hi Sachi,

    We have some discussions on this from time to time. Basically, the eyes are just looking and natural, like driving a car seeing the road, but without being lost in thought about what one is seeing.

    I would not try to think of the wall as obstructing the sky, but just not be bothered by any of it. Let wall be wall, sky by sky, for ultimately sky and wall are not two. Sky is wall in the sky, wall is sky as a wall.

    Cast your eyes here (pun intended):

    https://www.treeleaf.org/forums/show...l=1#post280418

    also:

    https://www.treeleaf.org/forums/show...l=1#post250886

    and:

    Drivin' Dogen - Understanding "Open Spacious Awareness"
    https://www.treeleaf.org/forums/show...ious-Awareness

    Please report back if you see what we are getting at.

    Gassho, J

    STLah

    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  8. #258
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    Hi Sachi,

    We have some discussions on this from time to time. Basically, the eyes are just looking and natural, like driving a car seeing the road, but without being lost in thought about what one is seeing.

    I would not try to think of the wall as obstructing the sky, but just not be bothered by any of it. Let wall be wall, sky by sky, for ultimately sky and wall are not two. Sky is wall in the sky, wall is sky as a wall.

    Cast your eyes here (pun intended):
    Hi Jundo,

    Your car driving analogy was very helpful in letting go of my focus on visual cues. Instead of visualizing ways of letting go, putting my mind in a state similar to what I recall from driving my car seems to immediately let me get away from thoughts about what I am seeing. My eyes did return to focus somewhere midway during my sitting, but I was able to drop away from that focus after a few seconds.

    One thing I noticed is that since I was less preoccupied with what I am seeing, I had a lot more random thoughts pop into my head as compared to before. Also, I do two sittings per day, once in the morning, and another at night, and I noted that I am much more prone to wandering into thoughts/tangents during my evening sessions.

    Thank you,
    Sachi
    Sat today

  9. #259
    Quote Originally Posted by Sachi View Post
    ... My eyes did return to focus somewhere midway during my sitting, but I was able to drop away from that focus after a few seconds.
    Hi Sachi,

    Your eyes should focus on this and that, just like when driving. It is just that you do not get tangled up with what you are seeing, getting caught in trains of thought about what is seen. Your eyes should not be out of focus nor intentionally trying to see everything at once without thinking anything at all.

    One thing I noticed is that since I was less preoccupied with what I am seeing, I had a lot more random thoughts pop into my head as compared to before.
    Thoughts come and go, just do not get hooked on. Pay em no nevermind. Maybe you should focus on the breath as it enters and exits the nose for awhile. Just place your attention there. Thoughts will still come and go, but pretend that you are just watching them without particular concern as if you were just watching a live cam of traffic passing on the road, not getting concerned about what is happening in each car, who the driver is, where it is going, and you sure don't get in to ride!



    Gassho, J

    STLah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  10. #260
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    Hi Sachi,

    Your eyes should focus on this and that, just like when driving. It is just that you do not get tangled up with what you are seeing, getting caught in trains of thought about what is seen. Your eyes should not be out of focus nor intentionally trying to see everything at once without thinking anything at all.



    Thoughts come and go, just do not get hooked on. Pay em no nevermind. Maybe you should focus on the breath as it enters and exits the nose for awhile. Just place your attention there. Thoughts will still come and go, but pretend that you are just watching them without particular concern as if you were just watching a live cam of traffic passing on the road, not getting concerned about what is happening in each car, who the driver is, where it is going, and you sure don't get in to ride!


    Gassho, J

    STLah
    Thank you so much for the clarification on what I should be doing with my eyes. I have sat the past few days while taking your advice to heart. I don't always get sidetracked too much by wandering thoughts, but in those instances where that has happened, I was able to focus on my breath for a few moments, until I was able to let those thoughts drop away.


    Gassho,
    Sachi
    Sat today

  11. #261
    Quote Originally Posted by _Jd_ View Post
    I struggle often with distracting thoughts and am working on using these tips. Right now the only thing that seems to work right away almost every time is for me to close my eyes and focus on my breath for a moment then return to seeing/not seeing with my eyes partially open. Even though this works for me, is it detrimental to my Zazen practice?

    Gassho
    Jd

    Sat today
    No, not at all. Do that for some minutes until you settle. and the thoughts grow small and translucent and just pass without bother (they do not need to totally vanish, just grow unintrusive and simple.) You can even follow the breath as it enters and exits the tip of the nose, such placing your attention there. We usually don't encourage closing the eyes, but it is okay if just for awhile if you really need.

    Then, as you mature in this practice, move to open, spacious awareness with the eyes partly open.

    Whenever you need to settle a bit, repeat going back and forth until you can sit in open awareness for longer periods. However, even then you may have troubled days when it is good to follow the breath or the like.

    Gassho, J

    SATTODAYLah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  12. #262
    Re: lesson 3

    This one was somewhat hard for me yet very beneficial: I'd say one of the biggest struggles in my practice has been being too attached to 100% traditional, "samurai style" posture.
    In fact, I was aggravating an ankle injury I have, because I insisted on sitting on the floor.

    Now I realize that this was just me not accepting things as they are, and using images of old Japanese masters as an excuse to justify it. Today I sat in a chair and the practice was just as good. Thank you Jundo for these teachings.


    Alex
    Sat today/LAH

  13. #263
    Hi Jundo, About the eyes being natural, does this mean gaze straight ahead, are the eyelids partly closed? I have trouble with some explanations. Also My Unitarian Universalist minister, being certified Rieke practitioner, uses Rieke with me, helpful for pain. I can sit 1/2 to 1 hour, now in straight back chair for Shikantaza. What do you advise for Zazenkai? I have used a padded office chair with arms. As far as thoughts go, what you explain is what I experience.
    Gassho
    sat/ lah
    Tai Shi
    Last edited by Tai Shi; 08-09-2021 at 07:07 PM. Reason: typo
    As lay member of Treeleaf Zendo, each year I try to understand our Buddhist traditions Dogen and the Buddha. If can help I will.

  14. #264
    Quote Originally Posted by Tai Shi View Post
    Hi Jundo, About the eyes being natural, does this mean gaze straight ahead, are the eyelids partly closed?
    Soto folks usually recommend eyes about 1/3 open, looking slightly downward at maybe a 45 degree angle, facing a bare wall or bare floor if possible.


    I can sit 1/2 to 1 hour, now in straight back chair for Shikantaza. What do you advise for Zazenkai? I have used a padded office chair with arms. As far as thoughts go, what you explain is what I experience.
    Gassho
    sat/ lah
    Tai Shi
    Sit, recline or stand as you need too, and as feels as balanced and comfortable as possible, switch positions as you need (you bother nobody by moving), take breaks, don't overdo. You know your own body and what it needs best.

    Gassho, J

    STlah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  15. #265
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    Sit, recline or stand as you need too, and as feels as balanced and comfortable as possible, switch positions as you need (you bother nobody by moving), take breaks, don't overdo. You know your own body and what it needs best.
    This is good to know Jundo. I found it difficult not to switch my legs around in the second part of sitting with the recorded zazenkai last night, thanks

    Gassho,
    Dan
    Sat today

  16. #266
    Quote Originally Posted by DanM View Post
    This is good to know Jundo. I found it difficult not to switch my legs around in the second part of sitting with the recorded zazenkai last night, thanks

    Gassho,
    Dan
    Sat today
    There is an element of this practice of learning that, sometimes, we (1) truly need to move because it is truly painful or harmful to the body, and sometimes (2) we just need to "bear up" and relax the mind, because the problem is actually more just the mind telling itself it needs to fidget. Please know which is which. In the case of (2), it is good practice to let the mind rest in equanimity, and not have to move so much. But if it is (1), please Gassho, then gently change positions.

    Gassho, Jundo

    SatTodayLAH
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  17. #267
    Thank you Jundo. It was possibly a mixture of both if I'm honest. Partly fidgeting because I'm not used to doing a 2nd sit of that duration so close to the first, but I was also concerned about knee pain at one point. I will keep this in mind.

    Gassho, Dan
    Sat today

  18. #268
    I am finding what you explained for my eyes correct, and the padded office chair now has a new desk and computer riser so I can look directly into the camera and I do plan to be at Friday night Zazenkai and I can easily practice (point we are not practicing at all) for 40 minutes. Occasional Sunday sit, an occasional sit with older citizens, and near daily with Onkai has helped me get ready for an actual 3 hour zazenkai. I hope to be there Friday night/ Saturday morning.
    Gassho
    Deep bows
    sat/ lah
    Tai Shi
    As lay member of Treeleaf Zendo, each year I try to understand our Buddhist traditions Dogen and the Buddha. If can help I will.

  19. #269

    We are all beginners.

    Jundo, thank you! I have now heard all 22 lessons for beginners. For those wondering if something has changed after practicing sitting, I have a little story. As I unloaded groceries in my cart, I saw that all my blueberries had spilled from their box to the sack. In the past, this would have sent me into a snit. But this time, I looked at the blueberries scattered among other groceries. I began putting them back in the box, one by one. No stress! This is just one stress free happening I have noticed since I began this journey. Others should take heart. It works!

    Gassho,
    Hedy



    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    Dear All,

    Kindly post all comments, questions, impressions and objections regarding this Series and any of the videos in this thread. (I have had to do so to keep the lessons in sequence).

    If refrencing a particular talk, it woud be nice to mention which one. Thank you so much.

    Gassho, Jundo

    SatToday
    Last edited by Jundo; 09-20-2021 at 04:24 AM.

  20. #270
    That's lovely, Hedy. Most of the time, it really is all about how we handle the little things.

    Gassho
    Sat, lah
    求道芸化 Kyūdō Geika
    I am just a priest-in-training, please do not take anything I say as a teaching.

  21. #271
    Hi Jundo,

    I just finished the series including the other two parts 'Buddha-Basics' and 'Boddhisattva-Basics'.
    They all helped me a lot and I learned from them.

    It was also very enjoyable to read and watch all with your interpretations.

    I highly recommend them to everybody.
    Thank you very much again.

    Gassho,
    SatToday,

    Enis

  22. #272
    That's excellent Enis - I agree with you; I think these are more than Basics; they are fundamentals and are good to watch over from time to time

    Gassho

    Risho
    -stlah

  23. #273
    Quote Originally Posted by Risho View Post
    That's excellent Enis - I agree with you; I think these are more than Basics; they are fundamentals and are good to watch over from time to time

    Gassho

    Risho
    -stlah
    This is so true in Zen. Everyday I listen to the "Beginners mind" by Suzuki and there's always a new thing I catch.

    Gassho,
    Sat today,
    Guish.

    Sent from my PAR-LX1M using Tapatalk
    Has been known as Guish since 2017 on the forum here.

  24. #274
    How wonderful to be a beginner!

    Just finished the #5. I am going slow, so I can enjoy every moment. I really loved the first video. That blender was such an elegant example.

    Yesterday, I sat for the very first time. And by that I don't mean to say that yesterday was the first time I've sat in Zazen (although it was). But in the literal sense of the word, I 'sat' for the first time. For the very first time in my life, I sat just to sit. Yes, sometimes I was bored. Yes, from time to time my mind reminded me some images & thoughts. Partly relieved, partly strecthed; partly relaxed, partly distressed... After all, I'm a beginner. But I sat yesterday. I sat today. Hopefully I'll sit in the future.

    Thank you Jundo for these beautiful, understandable and relatable talks. They helped me a lot.

    I have only one question: Since I learned the most basic information, I started sitting individually. However, is it better for me to finish this series completely before joining group Zazen, or should I join groups while still learning from this videos? Which option would you recommend? I look forward to hear your answers based on your experiences. Thanks a lot.

    Doğukan,
    SatToday.
    Last edited by Dogukan; 10-28-2021 at 10:02 PM.

  25. #275
    Welcome Dogukan! And thank you for your practice. I found the beginner's series some time after I had been practicing with Treeleaf. I think you'll find the forums welcoming, and practicing with others a good experience. The rule is to have sat the within a day of a post. You can sit with others on ZOOM. On the pages with the Zoom links, there are explanations of etiquette. If you join a zazenkai, Jundo always says "...if it's your first time, just follow along."

    Gassho,
    Onkai
    Sat/lah
    On (Warm)
    Kai (Sea)
    I have a lot to learn; take anything I say that sounds like teaching with a grain of salt.

  26. #276
    Thank you dear Onkai. It's really nice to be here. Then I really would love to sit with you all as soon as possible.

    Gassho,
    Doğukan
    Sat.

  27. #277
    Quote Originally Posted by Dogukan View Post
    Thank you dear Onkai. It's really nice to be here. Then I really would love to sit with you all as soon as possible.

    Gassho,
    Doğukan
    Sat.
    Yes, just join in and keep on going ...

    Nice to see you here, Doğukan.

    Gassho, Jundo

    SatTodayLAH

    PS - I cut and pasted the "ğ"
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  28. #278
    Hi Doğukan, welcome! I’m also new to Treeleaf and had a similar thought process to you when sitting with these videos. I initially intended to sit individually with them all before sitting with one of the groups here, but at a similar point in the series had an urge to sit with others. I started sitting with the Euro/kiwi group who have been very friendly and welcoming and I now sit with them regularly. Not sure if that group will work for you time wise but I’m sure the others will be equally welcoming.

    We are all beginners, but if you ever feel like you need an answer from another Treeleaf beginner, please feel free to DM me.

    Sorry for running a little long.

    Gassho, Dan
    ST/LAH

  29. #279
    Quote Originally Posted by DanM View Post
    Hi Doğukan, welcome! I’m also new to Treeleaf and had a similar thought process to you when sitting with these videos. I initially intended to sit individually with them all before sitting with one of the groups here, but at a similar point in the series had an urge to sit with others. I started sitting with the Euro/kiwi group who have been very friendly and welcoming and I now sit with them regularly. Not sure if that group will work for you time wise but I’m sure the others will be equally welcoming.

    We are all beginners, but if you ever feel like you need an answer from another Treeleaf beginner, please feel free to DM me.

    Sorry for running a little long.

    Gassho, Dan
    ST/LAH
    Thank you Dan for your answer and kind words. Glad to see another newcomer. Likewise, I would be happy to communicate with you at any time.

    Gassho, Doğukan.
    SatLaH.

  30. #280
    Just finished with the 3rd video on Zazen posture, was a great introduction ( reintorduction) to things. In the past I was always very hard on myself for not being able to sit lotus or even half lotus for a very long time ( thick thighs). Now that I have returned to practice I;m using a Seiza bench from ZMM. I love sitting this way as it's stable and lets me focus(not focus) on just sitting and not on posture or pain.

    Really appreciate hearing Jundo discuss being agnostic about the posture choices and not dogmatic about lotus position.

    I will keep working on it but nothing to attain. . .

    ST/LAH
    Jukai '09 Dharma Name: Shinko 慎重(Prudent Calm)

  31. #281
    Quote Originally Posted by Gregor View Post
    Just finished with the 3rd video on Zazen posture, was a great introduction ( reintorduction) to things. In the past I was always very hard on myself for not being able to sit lotus or even half lotus for a very long time ( thick thighs). Now that I have returned to practice I;m using a Seiza bench from ZMM. I love sitting this way as it's stable and lets me focus(not focus) on just sitting and not on posture or pain.

    Really appreciate hearing Jundo discuss being agnostic about the posture choices and not dogmatic about lotus position.

    I will keep working on it but nothing to attain. . .

    ST/LAH
    Seiza benches are wonderful it is a good feeling to realize that not being able to sit lotus is not a failing.

    I personally like to mix it up, favoring Burmese style and using a seiza bench when I am sore or not feeling up to sitting on my zafu. At a retreat I went to, I noticed that others did the same thing, many opting for a chair later in the retreat (or even on the first day for some).

    Gassho,

    Ryan
    SatToday LaH
    Last edited by Bokugan; 11-24-2021 at 02:33 AM.
    Bokugan 墨眼 [Ryan-S]

    "Moment after moment, everyone comes out of nothingness. This is the true joy of life." -Shunryu Suzuki _/|\_

  32. #282
    Quote Originally Posted by Gregor View Post
    Just finished with the 3rd video on Zazen posture, was a great introduction ( reintorduction) to things. In the past I was always very hard on myself for not being able to sit lotus or even half lotus for a very long time ( thick thighs). Now that I have returned to practice I;m using a Seiza bench from ZMM. I love sitting this way as it's stable and lets me focus(not focus) on just sitting and not on posture or pain.

    Really appreciate hearing Jundo discuss being agnostic about the posture choices and not dogmatic about lotus position.

    I will keep working on it but nothing to attain. . .

    ST/LAH
    Yes I also enjoy an environment where the whole question about how to sit (lotus, half-lotus etc.) is not taken too dogmatic. Because my legs are much to stiff for the other options I'm also happy in the seiza position. I did sit in seiza on a bench for years, but two years ago I started to sit in seiza on two zafus and feel very comfortable and stable in this position. Is anybody else doing seiza on a zafu?

    Gassho,
    Stephan

    SatToday

    Sent from my Nokia 6.1 using Tapatalk
    Last edited by Stephan; 11-24-2021 at 08:50 AM.

  33. #283
    Quote Originally Posted by Stephan View Post
    Yes I also enjoy an environment where the whole question about how to sit (lotus, half-lotus etc.) is not taken too dogmatic. Because my legs are much to stiff for the other options I'm also happy in the seiza position. I did sit in seiza on a bench for years, but two years ago I started to sit in seiza on two zafus and feel very comfortable and stable in this position. Is anybody doing seiza on a zafu?
    Hi Stephan,
    I am sitting Zazen mostly in half-lotus, but I am practicing Shakuhachi playing in seiza on a sideways zafu between the legs.
    To me, it feels a bit more comfortable on the lower spine and makes breathing a bit easier. But I guess that depends on the individual body.
    Gassho,
    Kotei sat/lah today.

    義道 冴庭 / Gidō Kotei.
    Being a novice priest doesn't mean that my writing about the Dharma is more substantial than yours. Actually, it might well be the other way round.

  34. #284
    Quote Originally Posted by Kotei View Post
    Hi Stephan,
    I am sitting Zazen mostly in half-lotus, but I am practicing Shakuhachi playing in seiza on a sideways zafu between the legs.
    To me, it feels a bit more comfortable on the lower spine and makes breathing a bit easier. But I guess that depends on the individual body.
    Gassho,
    Kotei sat/lah today.

    Moin Kotei,
    yes I've read somewhere a description about this way of sitting in seiza on a zafu. But I actually sit on them in the usual way like you probably would in the lotus/half-lotus position, just that I likely sit a bit more central on them. I like that the zafu is more flexible than a bench and that I can adapt my position more easily, so that I always have good position for the zazen posture.

    Gassho,
    Stephan

    Sat

    Sent from my Nokia 6.1 using Tapatalk

  35. #285
    Hi, I'd like to ask something about joining in the group Zazen, I hope this is an appropriate thread. How do you all set up your cameras? Do you use a PC or phone? Do you place it on the ground? I have very limited space and am having troubles figuring out where to place the camera, so some advice would help.


    Alex
    Sat today/LAH

  36. #286
    On my phone I have a wireless charger that stands my phone up, you can get one for about $20, and I have it sat on my altar. I sat outside on Thursday and just sat that charger on the ground.
    When I use my PC I have a cheap webcam that I just sit on the edge of my desk pointed downwards.
    Some of the guys who have been here a while have rooms dedicated to this where they set up a camera.

    Point is, anything that works for you will probably be fine.

    Sorry to run long.

    Gassho,
    William
    Sat

  37. #287
    I use a Tablet that I set on my Altar which is also my window seal. I sit on the floor with appropriate pillows. I used to sit on a chair at a desk using my PC. In both cases the camera is about equal with the height of my head. I also learned here years ago to not stare into the camera so I face at an angle away from the camera.

    Come join others in Zazen. It is good to sit with others and it is also good encouragement for practice.

    Doshin
    St

    PS I sit cross legged. My legs/knees do not have the needed flexibility for lotus or half Lotus

  38. #288
    Quote Originally Posted by Alex.d View Post
    Hi, I'd like to ask something about joining in the group Zazen, I hope this is an appropriate thread. How do you all set up your cameras? Do you use a PC or phone? Do you place it on the ground? I have very limited space and am having troubles figuring out where to place the camera, so some advice would help.


    Alex
    Sat today/LAH
    Ir depends on what device you use. If you have a laptop or desktop with a webcam, I suggest you use that since zoom on the phone is clunky and tiny. Just set it up wherever as long as you can sort of see the screen and yourself on the zoom window. Preferably to the side. Just look at some of the zazenkai videos to figure out more or less the camera placement most of us have! But really, don’t worry too much about it! Even not being visible is totally fine!

    SatToday ( sorry for the length)
    Bion
    美音

    -------------------------
    Join me on Insight Timer
    Help me feed those in need by joining my Share The Meal team HERE

  39. #289
    Quote Originally Posted by Stephan View Post
    Yes I also enjoy an environment where the whole question about how to sit (lotus, half-lotus etc.) is not taken too dogmatic. Because my legs are much to stiff for the other options I'm also happy in the seiza position. I did sit in seiza on a bench for years, but two years ago I started to sit in seiza on two zafus and feel very comfortable and stable in this position. Is anybody else doing seiza on a zafu?

    Gassho,
    Stephan

    SatToday

    Sent from my Nokia 6.1 using Tapatalk
    Hi Stephan,

    Yes I have a Mountain seat from ZMM and I have used it to sit seiza for years now. I have short legs and it is tall, so I do not have to turn it on the side. I find it easier to make the slight muscle shifts needed to delay pain and fatigue during Zazen on a zafu.

    Gassho
    Jakuden
    SatToday


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    清 道 寂田
    SEIDO JAKUDEN
    She/her.
    I am a novice priest. Any resemblance my posts may have to actual teachings about the Dharma, living or dead, is purely coincidental (and just my attempt to be helpful).

  40. #290
    Quote Originally Posted by Alex.d View Post
    Hi, I'd like to ask something about joining in the group Zazen, I hope this is an appropriate thread. How do you all set up your cameras? Do you use a PC or phone? Do you place it on the ground? I have very limited space and am having troubles figuring out where to place the camera, so some advice would help.


    Alex
    Sat today/LAH
    As others have said, whatever works for you! I do not have room for a dedicated space, so simply setup a step stool with laptop next to me in whatever room I'm sitting (varies based on what other family members are up to). I also just have a portable "altar in a box" that I can easily move. Propping up your phone works in a pinch, too.

    -stlah

  41. #291
    Most morning I prop my phone up on some cushions, then the kids or the cat come running in, knock it over and everyone gets to see my ceiling. I like the idea of an altar in a box, I might have to look into that.

    Gassho,

    Heiso

    StLah

  42. #292
    Hello everyone. I have been watching the Sit Along with Jundo series (great by the way) and have a question about gassho. I have downloaded the basic zazen instructions and understand giving gassho to the cushion then to the room. In the Free Sitting Room it mentions giving gassho when entering, is this an additional gassho, e.g. gassho to the computer, then the normal two gassho followed by a gassho to the computer on exiting the meeting? Sorry I am very new to a sanga / zendo setting and have been trying to fly solo for a few months until someone mentioned Treeleaf.

    Gassho Andy

  43. #293
    Quote Originally Posted by CarriChapp View Post
    Hello everyone. I have been watching the Sit Along with Jundo series (great by the way) and have a question about gassho. I have downloaded the basic zazen instructions and understand giving gassho to the cushion then to the room. In the Free Sitting Room it mentions giving gassho when entering, is this an additional gassho, e.g. gassho to the computer, then the normal two gassho followed by a gassho to the computer on exiting the meeting? Sorry I am very new to a sanga / zendo setting and have been trying to fly solo for a few months until someone mentioned Treeleaf.

    Gassho Andy
    Hi. Yeah.. when connecting, just towards the zoom screen, as if you were entering a physical room, whether anyone’s in there or not! Same thing before leaving
    After entering and doing that, go about your business.. head to your zafu, do the bowing to it, the fluffing, the sitting etc ..

    Let us know if we can assist in any way and make you feel more comfortable about joining sits or maybe helping you find a scheduled sit that might work for you!

    Sorry for running long!

    Sat Today
    Bion
    美音

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  44. #294
    Quote Originally Posted by Bion View Post
    Hi. Yeah.. when connecting, just towards the zoom screen, as if you were entering a physical room, whether anyone’s in there or not! Same thing before leaving
    After entering and doing that, go about your business.. head to your zafu, do the bowing to it, the fluffing, the sitting etc ..

    Let us know if we can assist in any way and make you feel more comfortable about joining sits or maybe helping you find a scheduled sit that might work for you!

    Sorry for running long!

    Sat Today
    Thank you for your help.

    Gassho Andy

  45. #295
    Quote Originally Posted by CarriChapp View Post
    ... In the Free Sitting Room it mentions giving gassho when entering, is this an additional gassho, e.g. gassho to the computer, then the normal two gassho followed by a gassho to the computer on exiting the meeting? ...
    Hah! The Buddha and Dogen never had to bow to a computer, so this is a very new question.

    As Bion says, it is just respectful to give a little Gassho entering the room, then Gassho again at one's sitting place facing the cushion before fluffing and straightening it, then turning clockwise 180 degrees, Gassho again to the room, then sit. The computer is not a consideration, so please forget about the computer. Anyone sitting with you online is there in the room with you when you forget about the computer and distance.

    Gassho, Jundo

    STLah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  46. #296
    Great series so far with lots of good humor, as well

    Regarding lesson 3 (sitting postures) :
    When sitting in the half lotus, I think that if the left leg rests on the right thigh, the right leg is basically under the left leg (as shown in the pdf-instructions from TreeLeaf) and not in front (like it would be in the burmese style) ?

    Other than this,
    I agree that not forcing oneself into a certain posture is important. But trying it gradually might be alright, if one really wants to try.
    By trying I mean to start regularly stretching, especially the hips so that they open up over time. From my understanding flexible hips are the key for a safe lotus-posture or its variants and only a little flexibility is needed regarding legs and knees.
    In fact, when the hips are not very flexible, the knee-joints would "take over" and would force you into the lotus-posture which will cause indeed potential longterm damage to one's knees and joints.
    So stretching especially the hips and a bit the legs is a good habit one could regularly develop (just for a few minutes before you practice, for instance) and see how it goes - I find that a bit mindful stretching where you should breath anyways deep into the belly can oftentimes also serve as a good "preparation" for Zazen-Practice in general.

    Anyways, great series and excited to continue to watch til the end of it - thanks a lot for this work!

    Gassho
    Chris
    Sat today

  47. #297
    Quote Originally Posted by Zrebna View Post
    Great series so far with lots of good humor, as well

    Regarding lesson 3 (sitting postures) :
    When sitting in the half lotus, I think that if the left leg rests on the right thigh, the right leg is basically under the left leg (as shown in the pdf-instructions from TreeLeaf) and not in front (like it would be in the burmese style) ?

    Other than this,
    I agree that not forcing oneself into a certain posture is important. But trying it gradually might be alright, if one really wants to try.
    By trying I mean to start regularly stretching, especially the hips so that they open up over time. From my understanding flexible hips are the key for a safe lotus-posture or its variants and only a little flexibility is needed regarding legs and knees.
    In fact, when the hips are not very flexible, the knee-joints would "take over" and would force you into the lotus-posture which will cause indeed potential longterm damage to one's knees and joints.
    So stretching especially the hips and a bit the legs is a good habit one could regularly develop (just for a few minutes before you practice, for instance) and see how it goes - I find that a bit mindful stretching where you should breath anyways deep into the belly can oftentimes also serve as a good "preparation" for Zazen-Practice in general.

    Anyways, great series and excited to continue to watch til the end of it - thanks a lot for this work!

    Gassho
    Chris
    Sat today
    Exactly. Right foot/leg is resting on the floor, pretty much attached to the zafu, underneath the left one.

    Stretching is ESSENTIAL. Before sitting, stretch and when in the posture, sway side to side or in a circle, slowly coming to a halt when the posture if stable. When you’re done, the same: gassho at the bell, then sway, stretch, bend, and get up slowly!

    Sat Today
    Bion
    美音

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    Join me on Insight Timer
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  48. #298
    Quote Originally Posted by Bion View Post
    Exactly. Right foot/leg is resting on the floor, pretty much attached to the zafu, underneath the left one.

    Stretching is ESSENTIAL. Before sitting, stretch and when in the posture, sway side to side or in a circle, slowly coming to a halt when the posture if stable. When you’re done, the same: gassho at the bell, then sway, stretch, bend, and get up slowly!

    Sat Today
    Sounds good to me, thanks for replying
    Do you personally alternate legs between Zazen-sessions i.e. one time the left leg is upper and the next time it is reversed?

    Gassho
    Chris
    Sat today

  49. #299
    Quote Originally Posted by Zrebna View Post
    Sounds good to me, thanks for replying
    Do you personally alternate legs between Zazen-sessions i.e. one time the left leg is upper and the next time it is reversed?

    Gassho
    Chris
    Sat today
    Not really… I have zero stability with right over left. I will at times switch to a very awkward burmese ..

    Sat Today
    Bion
    美音

    -------------------------
    Join me on Insight Timer
    Help me feed those in need by joining my Share The Meal team HERE

  50. #300
    Quote Originally Posted by Zrebna View Post
    Sounds good to me, thanks for replying
    Do you personally alternate legs between Zazen-sessions i.e. one time the left leg is upper and the next time it is reversed?

    Gassho
    Chris
    Sat today
    To each there own body. Just do not obsess about which way is better.

    But, when the bell rings until the bell rings again, try not to switch unless there is really necessity.

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    Last edited by Jundo; 12-22-2021 at 02:17 PM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

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