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

  1. #401
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    Oh, stlah is our crazy little "tradition" around this Sangha ...

    You are still new here, so don't really need to be concerned until more settled in, after a few month. However, "st/sat/sattoday" is this ...
    Sure, I can see the point of that, we can all use a bit of encouragement from time to time.

    sttdy

  2. #402
    Listened the lesson - acceptance without acceptance - and though it's interesting I am quite confused, it seems that one statement goes against the other, what am I missing?
    As I understand it is that advanced person who sitting in Zazen shouldn't have been crying, because although he/she accept the situation and is in peace with it, there is still an attachment
    to that particular situation, otherwise why would one cry. Although I don't like the idea of numbness of feelings, I still have problem to grasp it.

    In fact, the whole Zen puzzle me, until quite recently I had idea what Zen is all about (and thought I know I shouldn't have fix myself to idea, I need to know what it is),
    but that was before I start reading - zen mind beginner's mind and Shobogenzo. Now I feel I don't understand a thing I always thought that Zen is about present moment, but not sure about it now.
    I had also a hard time explaining to family what is Zen, so I said it's unexplainable, that with each attempt to grasp it you're losing it, and it's basically about one's practice and experience.
    How would you explain to stranger what is Zen about?

    Erinis
    Sat today
    Gassho

  3. #403
    Hi Erinis,

    Quote Originally Posted by Erinis View Post
    Listened the lesson - acceptance without acceptance - and though it's interesting I am quite confused, it seems that one statement goes against the other, what am I missing?
    As I understand it is that advanced person who sitting in Zazen shouldn't have been crying, because although he/she accept the situation and is in peace with it, there is still an attachment
    to that particular situation, otherwise why would one cry. Although I don't like the idea of numbness of feelings, I still have problem to grasp it.
    Zen Wisdom can be like seeing life out of two eyes, each eye seeing their own way, but when both eyes are open there is clarity.

    For example, out of one eye, we cry in times of sadness: I believe, based on their poetry and such, that the old Zen Masters found that there are times to cry, and that is good and human. For example, Master Dogen himself wrote this on the death of one of his priest disciples:

    Dharma Hall Discourse on Behalf of the Deceased Head Monk Sokai

    ... How profusely the cloud and water monks have been crying! Although I see you [Sokai] down to the [ocean] bottom, tears fill my breast like an overflowing lake. ...


    I would not want to live as a human being who could not cry. However, neither do I want to be a prisoner of depression, wallowing in grief. There is a time to cry, a time to smile too. Cry, grieve as is natural and human, but also know balance and moderation in life.

    HOWEVER, out of the other eye, Zen folks do not even quite believe in death and loss! All is flowing, such that, though the waves on the sea rise and fall, the sea itself remains without losing a single drop! We are the waves, but also we are the seas' flowing. In this eye, there is radical Peace and Equinimity, Completeness, never loss.

    Then, open BOTH EYES AT ONCE AS ONE, and this is a Buddha's Eye! There is loss, yet no loss ... death yet no death ... Peace even amid the chaos and sadness. Acceptance and Not Accepting as one.

    In fact, the whole Zen puzzle me, until quite recently I had idea what Zen is all about (and thought I know I shouldn't have fix myself to idea, I need to know what it is),
    but that was before I start reading - zen mind beginner's mind and Shobogenzo. Now I feel I don't understand a thing I always thought that Zen is about present moment, but not sure about it now.
    I had also a hard time explaining to family what is Zen, so I said it's unexplainable, that with each attempt to grasp it you're losing it, and it's basically about one's practice and experience.
    How would you explain to stranger what is Zen about?
    I believe that Zen, like most of the Buddhist path, is about seeing through our feeling of division and separation in life (especially self/other ... me/not me), and finding the radical Wholeness and Flowing (often called "Emptiness," because all the separate people, things and moments are also without separate self-exitance.) Then, realizing this, we return to live in a world of separate people, things and moments, win and lose, birth and death ... but also knowing the flowing Wholeness too that is free of all the friction, division. While alive, we also learn to live gently, freer of excess desires, anger, violence, jealousy and such.

    On top of that, Zen is many things, but that is the central issue. It is what Dogen was writing about in all his crazy prose in Shobogenzo, and the heart of "Beginners Mind" too.

    I would say that Zen is not so much about just "being in the moment" (although there are time to do so too, such as "when seeing the sunset, just see the sunset," "when drinking tea, just drink tea.") Instead, I would say that Zen teaches more about how to let "each moment be just that particular moment," for example, when sad moment, just let it be sad moment ... happy moment is just happy moment ... all seen with a Buddha's Eye, which is a Joy that sweeps right through all small worldly "happy vs. sad" too.

    Gassho, Jundo

    stlah
    Last edited by Jundo; Yesterday at 04:50 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  4. #404
    Quote Originally Posted by Erinis View Post
    Listened the lesson - acceptance without acceptance - and though it's interesting I am quite confused, it seems that one statement goes against the other, what am I missing?
    As I understand it is that advanced person who sitting in Zazen shouldn't have been crying, because although he/she accept the situation and is in peace with it, there is still an attachment
    to that particular situation, otherwise why would one cry. Although I don't like the idea of numbness of feelings, I still have problem to grasp it.

    In fact, the whole Zen puzzle me, until quite recently I had idea what Zen is all about (and thought I know I shouldn't have fix myself to idea, I need to know what it is),
    but that was before I start reading - zen mind beginner's mind and Shobogenzo. Now I feel I don't understand a thing I always thought that Zen is about present moment, but not sure about it now.
    I had also a hard time explaining to family what is Zen, so I said it's unexplainable, that with each attempt to grasp it you're losing it, and it's basically about one's practice and experience.
    How would you explain to stranger what is Zen about?

    Erinis
    Sat today
    Gassho

    Hi Erinis

    I am not a teacher here but I would like to share my experience with you in the hope that it gives you...well, some hope!

    Zen often seems paradoxical or contradictory, and that is because we first try to resolve these 'problems' with the discriminating mind. We try to rationalise our way out of a paradox or contradiction. I practiced this for quite some time before I felt the mental tension ease. Through the Zen practice of zazen (just sitting), I found I could both hold and not-hold these positions at the same time without it being a contradiction. For example, a friend died. I had lots of thoughts and emotions, sadness, anger, denial, grief, and all the joy and happy memories of their life and time we had spent together. I cried for the loss of my friend (which might be considered the relative position), but I also understood that each of us will die, no-one fully knows when or how, and that we embrace the rolling moment-to-moment dance of this life with just that tension hovering in the air (the absolute position). So I allowed the grief to be but also allowed the grief to pass. I clung to no emotion, thought or memory tightly, letting them all be and all fade, respecting their place in my life at that time.

    I have practiced and studied Zen for many years, you can study it but only through practice do you come to know it, to understand what I have expressed about my own experience above. This is not something you would wish to 'rush' to understand, much like we expect to be experts after three years at university! Progress is rarely linear, and it can be hard to know sometimes just where the hell you are (in terms of progress). This is another reason why we return to the cushion, dropping these concerns as well, dropping all concerns (unless there's a tornado or tsunami heading our way!) My understanding of the present moment awareness is also like this. We can work with the past and future, they are only good or bad if we attach value judgements to them, but (again) we do so with a light touch, so that we can plan a holiday or a new career, to write a shopping list or bucket list. The present moment, to me, is simply where we experience these things as they arrive.

    Gassho, Tokan

    satlah
    Tokan (Island Nurse)
    I enjoy learning from everyone, I simply hope to be a friend along the way

  5. #405
    Quote Originally Posted by Tokan View Post

    Zen often seems paradoxical or contradictory, and that is because we first try to resolve these 'problems' with the discriminating mind. We try to rationalise our way out of a paradox or contradiction. I practiced this for quite some time before I felt the mental tension ease. Through the Zen practice of zazen (just sitting), I found I could both hold and not-hold these positions at the same time without it being a contradiction. For example, a friend died. I had lots of thoughts and emotions, sadness, anger, denial, grief, and all the joy and happy memories of their life and time we had spent together. I cried for the loss of my friend (which might be considered the relative position), but I also understood that each of us will die, no-one fully knows when or how, and that we embrace the rolling moment-to-moment dance of this life with just that tension hovering in the air (the absolute position). So I allowed the grief to be but also allowed the grief to pass. I clung to no emotion, thought or memory tightly, letting them all be and all fade, respecting their place in my life at that time.
    This is lovely.

    I would also encourage the knowing of such which is beyond birth and death, friend and self, all separation too. Such knowing also is embodied in sitting.

    Gassho, J

    stlah
    Last edited by Jundo; Yesterday at 01:35 PM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  6. #406
    Quote Originally Posted by Erinis View Post
    Listened the lesson - acceptance without acceptance - and though it's interesting I am quite confused, it seems that one statement goes against the other, what am I missing?
    As I understand it is that advanced person who sitting in Zazen shouldn't have been crying, because although he/she accept the situation and is in peace with it, there is still an attachment
    to that particular situation, otherwise why would one cry. Although I don't like the idea of numbness of feelings, I still have problem to grasp it.

    In fact, the whole Zen puzzle me, until quite recently I had idea what Zen is all about (and thought I know I shouldn't have fix myself to idea, I need to know what it is),
    but that was before I start reading - zen mind beginner's mind and Shobogenzo. Now I feel I don't understand a thing I always thought that Zen is about present moment, but not sure about it now.
    I had also a hard time explaining to family what is Zen, so I said it's unexplainable, that with each attempt to grasp it you're losing it, and it's basically about one's practice and experience.
    How would you explain to stranger what is Zen about?

    Erinis
    Sat today
    Gassho
    Hi!
    Iíll chirp in for a moment because I am someone that does quite a bit of crying and I do it out of compassion and empathy, not out of desperation or deep suffering.

    It saddens me to see someone go through rough times, especially if they have no tools to navigate them like we do. A bodhisattva is continuously ready to partake in anyoneís suffering though we canít always ease it, so sometimes all we can do is cry with our fellow humans. Being sad is normal, and then wiping off the tears and moving on with the acceptance that suffering exists and will smack all of us on the head at some point is also normal.

    A bodhisattva does not fully drop all attachments, but willingly holds on to them for the benefit of all beings, all the while knowing attachments could be dropped at any moment ( which we do as we sit in zazen). It is quite a conundrum, I guess. Anyway, I am being too wordy, my apologies.

    Sat Today
    Bion
    美音

    -------------------------
    "Put on the okesa and do zazen - That's all!"

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