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

  1. #1

    Zazen for Beginners Series: THREAD for QUESTIONS, COMMENTS

    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; 11-08-2016 at 02:39 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  2. #2
    Zazen and kinhin while out and about.
    Excellent idea, Jundo!
    It's great that I will no longer be wasting time while just waiting, which happens every day.
    Thank you for Treeleaf.
    Jon T
    SatToday

  3. #3
    Listened to and SatToday with "acceptance without acceptance." Seemed appropriate today. I like the notes at the end. Gassho
    Jakuden
    SatToday


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    清 道 寂田
    SEIDO JAKUDEN
    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).

  4. #4
    Zazen and Kinhin while in the waiting are of my doctor office seemed logical this afternoon. I waited a short time in an open area. I could have spent the time in Kinhin, and in the actual waiting room where I was to see my doctor, I sat quietly and practiced Zazen, Shikantaza, just sitting with my pain.

    Tai Shi
    sat today
    Gassho
    "We cannot enjoy life if we spend a lot of time worrying about what happened yesterday and what will happen tomorrow." Thich Nhat Hanh

  5. #5
    My acceptance is always with my pain. If I accept there is no other way, as my doctor has told me and then it is easier to accept who and what I am. I am a man who will always lives with my practice which is pain, and then I forget myself as I have done in writing these sentences. My practice is pain, thank you Daizan for this suggestion, and I forget myself in pain, so does the pain really exist for me? Maybe since I have forgotten myself in pain of just writing, an thus there no contrast, thus no self, no pain.

    Tai Shi
    sat today
    Gassho
    "We cannot enjoy life if we spend a lot of time worrying about what happened yesterday and what will happen tomorrow." Thich Nhat Hanh

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Tai Shi View Post
    My acceptance is always with my pain. If I accept there is no other way, as my doctor has told me and then it is easier to accept who and what I am. I am a man who will always lives with my practice which is pain, and then I forget myself as I have done in writing these sentences. My practice is pain, thank you Daizan for this suggestion, and I forget myself in pain, so does the pain really exist for me? Maybe since I have forgotten myself in pain of just writing, an thus there no contrast, thus no self, no pain.

    Tai Shi
    sat today
    Gassho
    Hello Tai Shi,

    You are not pain and pain is not you. Pain doesn't make you Tai Shi, but how you manage such moments of pain/discomfort does. Pain is a condition within our lives and is different for each of us. Doing your best to accept and being present in such moments of discomfort can actually reduce that level of pain/discomfort ... it sounds like you are doing a great job at it. =)

    Gassho
    Shingen

    s@today
    RINDO SHINGEN
    倫道 真現

  7. #7
    Hello. I have a question about general practice. Just finished watching video 3. I use a timer to tell me when zazen is done but I have a habit of wanting to check it many times during practice I guess because I am impatient. Would there be a way to mitigate this that others found useful?
    Thanks
    Chelsea
    Sat2day

  8. #8
    Member Seishin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    La Croix-Avranchin, Basse Normandie, France
    Hi SeaChel and welcome on your first post.

    I've just started sitting with a timer a couple of months back. What I tend to do is have the timer set up to include a period for sitting down and getting my posture settled, before my actual sitting time begins. I then start the timer but put it on the floor so its behind me when I sit. That way I know I won't be able to see the count down/up from where I am and it ceases to be a distraction. However, there are still times when my concentration wanders and I start to think about how long I've been sitting or that it can't be much longer until the end - and I'm wishing to continue!

    For info I've also just started using Insight Timer, which allows you to select a warm up period before the gong(s) start for "sitting". My old timer allowed multiple "sections" per session, so I used to have a 10s start/get ready (start timer session and put phone/tablet down) 1 min Preparation (sit down and get settled) xx min zazen.

    Hope my limited experience is of use to you.


    Seishin

    Sei - Meticulous
    Shin - Heart



    Sat Today / lah

  9. #9
    Let that need to keep checking be part of your practice. As Seishin-do said. Put it out of site, behind you. Keep returning to your sit and never mind that timer

    Gassho, Kyotai
    ST
    I am a student at Treeleaf. Please take what I say with a grain of salt. Gassho

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Kyotai View Post
    Put it out of site, behind you. Keep returning to your sit and never mind that timer
    And if your mind does go to the timer, recognize that, and bring your mind home (back to your zazen). If it happens again, rinse and repeat ... over time you will no longer remember the timer is there. =)

    Gassho
    Shingen

    s@today
    RINDO SHINGEN
    倫道 真現

  11. #11
    I have just finished the Zazen for beginners and the Buddha basics series' and have to say thank you for the amazing work you are doing through Tree leaf.
    To be able to access talks and teaching on Buddhism from where I live is awesome in the true sense of the word.
    I am still getting the hang of the technology side of things, especially on Google+ and hangouts; but I will get there and join in the sits and participate more in the near future.

    One question I do have is, are you only supposed to write "sat today" if you have done so online?

    Gassho
    Patrick

  12. #12
    Member Geika's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    San Diego County, California
    Hello Patrick,

    Jundo encourages us not to post unless we have sat in the past twenty-four hours, so we write, "sat today" as an indication that we have done so. It does not have to be an online sit.

    Gassho, sat today
    迎 Geika

  13. #13
    Patrick

    gassho, Shokai

    satToday
    仁道 生開 - Jindo Shokai "Open to life in a benevolent way"
    May we all grow together in our knowledge of the Dharma

  14. #14
    I am finding the beginner series so helpful (I watched them over a year ago and am re-watching them until the things I learn begin to stick). I also really appreciate your teaching style Jundo. You are funny and engaging

    Gassho,
    Jessie
    ~sat today~
    Last edited by dod; 11-23-2016 at 02:53 PM.

  15. #15
    I just watched #6 today, and it really helped my understanding of Buddhism. For many years, I've been troubled by the idea that Buddhists are supposed to have no attachments whatsoever--even to right and wrong, or kindness. The idea of indifference to suffering or injustice left me with doubts whether Buddhism was really right for me.

    This was a beautiful talk that helped me understand we can experience non-attachment simultaneously alongside our powerful attachments. In fact, it seems to me that by practicing total acceptance in shikantaza, what we are really doing is giving ourselves space to choose. Where I so easily run around reacting to problems and needs from a place of attachment, the experience of non-attachment and acceptance each day helps clear my mind so that I can respond to the outer world from a clarity of intention and acceptance in my inner world. I am finding that the more I sit zazen, the more easily I choose behavior rather than instinctively DO.

    Is this a reasonable beginning-to-understand the teaching?

    And Jessie--I'm right there with you. I plan to watch them all over again once I finish! Thank you so much for your beginner series, Jundo.
    Gassho,
    M.C.
    #SatToday

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by M.C. Easton View Post
    I just watched #6 today, and it really helped my understanding of Buddhism. For many years, I've been troubled by the idea that Buddhists are supposed to have no attachments whatsoever--even to right and wrong, or kindness. The idea of indifference to suffering or injustice left me with doubts whether Buddhism was really right for me.

    This was a beautiful talk that helped me understand we can experience non-attachment simultaneously alongside our powerful attachments. In fact, it seems to me that by practicing total acceptance in shikantaza, what we are really doing is giving ourselves space to choose. Where I so easily run around reacting to problems and needs from a place of attachment, the experience of non-attachment and acceptance each day helps clear my mind so that I can respond to the outer world from a clarity of intention and acceptance in my inner world. I am finding that the more I sit zazen, the more easily I choose behavior rather than instinctively DO.

    Is this a reasonable beginning-to-understand the teaching?
    A good way to express tbings. One embodies choices and the Choiceless at once as one.

    Gassho, Jundo in Sarnath
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  17. #17
    Whenever I sit Shikantaza, my lower right leg "falls asleep". I sit in the Burmese position which works very well except for this. Will it get better after time or would some stretches before do the trick? (thought I will post it in here as this might be a common problem)

    Gassho, Max
    #sattoday

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Makkusu View Post
    Whenever I sit Shikantaza, my lower right leg "falls asleep". I sit in the Burmese position which works very well except for this. Will it get better after time or would some stretches before do the trick? (thought I will post it in here as this might be a common problem)

    Gassho, Max
    #sattoday
    Hi Max,

    As to legs falling asleep, this is usually pressure on the sciatic nerve, which can be alleviated by shifting the weight off that spot, and also sitting on the Zafu correctly so that it does not pinch the spot. It still happens to anyone sometimes, but have a look here:

    http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showt...l=1#post148838

    Gassho, J

    SatToday
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  19. #19
    What posture is (other than walking) is good for a busy etc area to do Zazen in?

    Kyousui - strong waters 強 水

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by TomSchulte View Post
    What posture is (other than walking) is good for a busy etc area to do Zazen in?
    Hi Tom,

    If I understand your question, any balanced posture ... sitting, walking, standing, flying through the air ... is fine, although sitting is what we usually Practice, and walking in Kinhin. The point is some balanced stable posture where the body can be naturally forgotten and left from mind.

    If you mean what is the best posture for Zazen in Times Square, I would say anything that does not cause people to trip over you, or you to wander into traffic causing damage to the front of a bus.

    Not sure if that is what you were asking.

    Gassho, J

    SatToday
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  21. #21
    Jundo, thank you for your wonderful videos. I loved Zazen for beginners 3.
    Even though I had prior understood of all the information going in, I found your breakdown of posture and breathing to be indepth, fascinating and dare I say it, humourous!

    Love it!
    Gassho!

    Adam
    Gassho,
    Adam
    Sat today

  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by AdamH View Post
    Jundo, thank you for your wonderful videos. I loved Zazen for beginners 3.
    Even though I had prior understood of all the information going in, I found your breakdown of posture and breathing to be indepth, fascinating and dare I say it, humourous!

    Love it!
    Gassho!

    Adam
    Please recall, Adam that since you are sitting in South Africa, you are sitting upside-down from the rest of us up here. Please be careful to hold on to something.

    (Oh, wait, maybe it is us who are sitting on our heads!)



    Gassho, J

    SatToday
    Last edited by Jundo; 02-16-2017 at 10:24 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  23. #23
    Yep, I was asking regarding this tradition's feelings on public display. Goenka (Vipassana) for instance cautions against meditating in public in an obvious manner, eyes closed and one of the cross leg postures, but does encourage meditating any time in a non-obvious way.

    Kyousui - strong waters 強 水

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    Please recall, Adam that since you are sitting in South Africa, you are sitting upside-down from the rest of us up here. Please be careful to hold on to something.

    (Oh, wait, maybe it is us who are sitting on our heads!)



    Gassho, J

    SatToday
    Hello,

    The respect given to the "upside-down" image is incomparable. Please note: the Americas resemble a bird; India and Africa is flipping 'the bird' and Australia is shrugging, "It's all good."

    Wonderful, thank you.


    Gassho
    Myosha
    sat today
    Last edited by Myosha; 02-16-2017 at 11:33 AM.
    "Recognize suffering, remove suffering." - Shakyamuni Buddha when asked, "Uhm . . .what?"

  25. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by TomSchulte View Post
    Yep, I was asking regarding this tradition's feelings on public display. Goenka (Vipassana) for instance cautions against meditating in public in an obvious manner, eyes closed and one of the cross leg postures, but does encourage meditating any time in a non-obvious way.
    Hi Tom,

    I don't think it is a matter of public display or not. Certainly, we do not try to be a spectacle in order to feel how special or spiritual we are personally. I often sit in public spaces, such as a park bench or on a train, but I do not try to be a spectacle. When on the train, I do not crawl into the Lotus Posture (that would certainly bother the person sitting next to me), but just put my hands together over my lap and sit ... until I reach my stop.

    On the other hand, if somebody happens to see me sitting in Lotus under a tree in a park (I do sometimes), it might inspire somebody. In that case, it is not about me, but is helpful to inspire them to sit.

    There has been a movement to engage in public sittings for Peace, a kind of Zen "sit in", and I support that. I tried to encourage that around here too (although I met with a surprising amount of resistance at the time). Our Sangha friend, Daiho Hilbert Roshi, is a practitioner. He earned it. I still feel that we should do that here.



    Gassho, J

    SatToday
    Last edited by Jundo; 02-16-2017 at 12:17 PM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  26. #26
    Love it!
    Gassho,
    Adam
    Sat today

  27. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    Hi Max,

    As to legs falling asleep, this is usually pressure on the sciatic nerve, which can be alleviated by shifting the weight off that spot, and also sitting on the Zafu correctly so that it does not pinch the spot. It still happens to anyone sometimes, but have a look here:

    http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showt...l=1#post148838

    Gassho, J

    SatToday
    Hey,

    I fixed the leg problem now. I don't know how, but by spreading my legs slightly farther apart, they don't fall asleep. Or my body got used to it. Anyway, now that I sit pretty solid for 15 minutes straight, my butt starts to fall asleep. A while ago, I read that one should kinda "sit on his tailbone", at least this seems to be the most solid way.

    Gassho, Max
    #sattoday

  28. #28
    Jundo,

    I just want to let you know that I have really been enjoying the talks and the techniques that you use to illustrate them. More than once, I've cleaned my mind with a hammer or a blender. They work as well as a broom. Also, I owe you particular thanks for the talk on cross-legged sitting. I have been having trouble with the legs (like you, I'm 50-something and not thin and limber--thimber, if you will), but I have been trying out different positions. Fortunately, you've reassured me that sitting is the point; whatever the position, I just make sure that I have no "loose ends."

    Gassho,
    Michael J.
    SatToday

  29. #29
    I have been going through the new member video series and I have to say that Jundo's teaching method really resonates with me. The points are so concise and well presented. I'm only seven videos in and I already have noticed an improvement in my zazen from putting those teachings into practice.

    Thank you, so very much for this video series.

    Gassho,

    Paul

    Sat today

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G890A using Tapatalk

  30. #30
    its hard SeaChel, that impatience, for me at least, has been an important part of practice. ("hello impatience my old friend, it's nice to talk to you again.") There's a timer out there that gongs every five minutes, or whatever intervals you want it to. But for me the five-minute interval just facilitated more impatience. http://www.onlinemeditationtimer.com/. The settling period it allows, though, is useful. I use it to recite the precepts, say atonement, and read or chant the sutra I'm working on.
    Gassho,
    SatToday

  31. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by Tom View Post
    The settling period it allows, though, is useful. I use it to recite the precepts, say atonement, and read or chant the sutra I'm working on.
    Gassho,
    SatToday
    When sitting Shikantaza, just sit Shikantaza.

    Before or after Shikantaza is a time to chant. Of course, Shikantaza has no measure, no before or after. Yet, it does ... so please do not break Shikantaza at such short intervals for other activities.

    Gassho, Jundo

    SatToday
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  32. #32
    In the Burmese pose, does it matter which leg is folded under first? I usually see folks with their left leg under and their right toward the outside, but I have a lot if hip pain when I try to sit that way. (Old hip injury) however, if I do the opposite, I'm usually quite comfortable.

    I was just wondering if there was a traditional reason to have the left leg under and should I look for a different pose if I'm not able to adapt to that?

    Gassho,
    Paul

    Sat today

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G890A using Tapatalk

  33. #33
    Do what's comfortable.

    My 2 cents.

    Gasho, Jishin, _/st\_

  34. #34
    Quote Originally Posted by PClark1 View Post
    In the Burmese pose, does it matter which leg is folded under first? I usually see folks with their left leg under and their right toward the outside, but I have a lot if hip pain when I try to sit that way. (Old hip injury) however, if I do the opposite, I'm usually quite comfortable.

    I was just wondering if there was a traditional reason to have the left leg under and should I look for a different pose if I'm not able to adapt to that?

    Gassho,
    Paul

    Sat today

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G890A using Tapatalk
    Hello Paul,

    I also agree that you should do what is best for your body type or injuries. Zazen is not suppose to be torture or cause undo pain and discomfort. There are times when we challenge ourselves and sit with some discomfort (like in sesshin or longer sittings), but this is only temporary. So listen to your body. Even if sitting in your normal position you need to shift, then gassho, shift, gassho, and continue with your sitting.

    Hope this helps. =)

    Gassho
    Shingen

    s@today
    RINDO SHINGEN
    倫道 真現

  35. #35
    It does help, very much. Thank you both for your input.

    Gassho,

    Paul

    Sat today

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G890A using Tapatalk

  36. #36
    Thank you, Jundo, these are great talks and I'm finding them really useful.

    I've just finished listening to talk number 10 about mirror mind. Sometimes when I sit, I feel a deep sense of calm and 'rightness' with where I am - it's hard to describe, but I refer to it as (using a Christian reference) "the peace that transcends all understanding". Is this what mirror mind refers to?

    In that moment, I 'know' it's there all along, but somehow it's not so easy to tap into in other moments!

    Georgina
    SatToday

    (PS. What does Gassho mean, please?)

  37. #37
    Hi Georgina,

    In my understanding of mirror mind, it's that place inside your zazen when you are just part of life, without thoughts governing you and you just flow with what is. Yes, it's a peace that transcends it all. It's a wholeness that melts you with the universe. It's where you just reflect life without opinions and judgment. It lasts just an instant but we don't get lost in it. It's what is.

    And about gassho, it's pretty much like namasté in yoga. It's a greeting, a reverence, a salute, a symbol of union, peace and wish that all boundaries are lost. To me (can't talk for anyone else) is a sacred mudra (hand posture) that reminds me that we are one.

    Gassho,

    Kyonin
    SatToday
    Last edited by Jundo; 04-14-2017 at 11:30 PM.
    Hondō Kyōnin
    奔道 協忍

  38. #38
    Thank you for your explanations, Kyonini I hope I can learn to be in that mode a little more often!

    Gassho,
    Georgina

    SatToday

  39. #39
    The explanation of mirror mind that I have heard and trust from experience is as follows.

    When something happens (a noise, a taste, a feeling) our minds have been trained to instantly apply either "I like" or "I dislike". These notions effect how we experience the feelings or thoughts. Mirror mind generated from our practice allows us to experience what our senses are picking up without bias of like or dislike. As a result we see, hear, and feel what is truly there. As a result our judgement is not clouded and we can act according to these stimulants from a base of understanding and compassion.

    Sat today

    Sent from my SM-G920V using Tapatalk
    Last edited by Anka; 04-14-2017 at 09:31 PM. Reason: Sat

  40. #40
    Quote Originally Posted by Kyonin View Post
    Hi Georgina,

    In my understanding of mirror mind, it's that place inside your zazen when you are just part of life, without thoughts governing you and you just flow with what is. Yes, it's a peace that transcends it all. It's a wholeness that melts you with the universe. It's where you just reflect life without opinions and judgment. It lasts just an instant but we don't get lost in it. It's what is.

    And about gassho, it's pretty much like namasté in yoga. It's a greeting, a reverence, a salute, a symbol of union, peace and wish that all boundaries are lost. To me (can't talk for anyone else) is a sacred mudra (hand posture) that reminds me that we are one.

    Gassho,

    Kyonin
    SatToday
    What Kyonin said.

    Gassho, palms together, two hands coming together as one.

    I believe that mirror mind often brings to heart "peace that transcends all understanding" that's "there all along, but somehow it's not so easy to tap into." Yes. I simply remind folks to remember that the "clarity of the mirror" in our Shikantaza way is present seen or unseen, even if the mirror is completely obscured by the dusts of our human excess desires, anger and divided thinking, judgments and runaway emotions.

    It is vital that we do not always demand to "feel peaceful" in this Way, and learn to trust in the "Peace and Clarity" that is present both when feeling peaceful and clear --and-- even when feeling upset or confused, as humans sometimes do. It is hard to explain, but it is something like the Sun which shines even when the skies are clear, open and boundless, and even on the cloudiest or stormiest days (still shining seen or not, clouds or no clouds). We learn to trust, and subtly sense, that the sun and clear boundlessness are yet present even when we are feeling obscured by the darkest clouds. We learn not to become lost in the clouds, and perhaps can find the light which illuminates even the clouds. Don't always demand clear skies!

    Hi Anka,

    Quote Originally Posted by Anka View Post
    The explanation of mirror mind that I have heard and trust from experience is as follows.

    When something happens (a noise, a taste, a feeling) our minds have been trained to instantly apply either "I like" or "I dislike". These notions effect how we experience the feelings or thoughts. Mirror mind generated from our practice allows us to experience what our senses are picking up without bias of like or dislike. As a result we see, hear, and feel what is truly there. As a result our judgement is not clouded and we can act according to these stimulants from a base of understanding and compassion.

    Sat today
    (Is Anka your name? Would you mind to sign a human name to your posts? Helps us keep things human around here. )

    Some Buddhist Teachers do say such things, but I do not believe it is quite so simple that "we see, hear, and feel what is truly there. As a result our judgement is not clouded and we can act according to these stimulants from a base of understanding and compassion." First, I believe that the processing of sense data by the human mind is so complicated, and so "reprocessed" to create the world we experience in the mind, that I hesitate to use the phrase "what is truly there." (If you were seeing truly unprocessed sense data, it might appear as completely uninterpreted blotches and unintelligible noise, for example, much like a newborn baby might experience. I don't believe that we are trying to experience that). Let us just say that what we experience is life less burdened and imprisoned by judgments and reactions to what appears in life.

    Also, I am not a Buddhist teacher that believes that the result of "mirror mind" necessarily means that we will act with Wisdom and Compassion. Frankly, I believe that a sociopath who acts without empathy for the emotions and humanity of others might also be operating from a kind of cool "mirror mind" free of judgement. Certainly, I do not believe that experiencing the clarity and freedom of "mirror mind" will necessarily mean that our actions from there will always be wise and warm. We have to be sure to nurture Wisdom and Compassion in our Practice, through learning to live in such way, so that such is an aspect of "mirror mind" and all the rest of our Practice. The Precepts help us here.

    Gassho, Jundo

    SatToday
    Last edited by Jundo; 04-15-2017 at 12:03 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  41. #41
    Hi Jundo,

    Thank you for those fantastic points.

    Reality really is an interesting subject because in truth we have no idea if we are experiencing life as it truly is or if our minds warp the true sense data.

    All decisions can be seen as both wise/warm and ignorant/cold based off the past experiences and mindset of the person analysing the decision.

    Sat Today
    James F

    Sent from my SM-G920V using Tapatalk

  42. #42
    That's really interesting, thank you Jundo and James for a really interesting discussion.

    And yes, that's a really good point, Jundo, about not always chasing after feeling peaceful. That's a trap I fall into often, and then a whole slew of judgements against myself rise up when I can't quite see the peace behind the turmoil, either on or off the cushion (or seiza bench, in my case). Ah well, all the more reason to continue practicing!

    Gassho,
    Georgina

    SatToday

  43. #43
    Thank you, Jundo, for this series of talks. I just went through them, I think for the second time, although I didn't remember some of them at all. They are encouraging.

    Gassho,
    Onkai
    SatToday

  44. #44
    Thank you Jundo,

    I watched these last year but I think that after you reorganized them and changed the format a little they are much easier to follow. Time to watch again.

    Gassho

    Oukan.
    Gassho

    s@t today.

  45. #45
    Hi ALL, Yes I am not my pain, and even on two non-narcotics, and at the real minimum, might go one more notch down, which I think I can handle, and really joyous that my mind is now so clear, and my wife says I'm somewhat better so keep working on the psychology of my situation, yes I AM NOT MY PAIN, and I use it as a tool in practice, to just forget sensations, great.

    Now about timers, I've never used one in personal sitting, and I use some of our chants and bowing, but at first I checked and watched the clock, Truly even with my Treeleaf, almost three years, total I've been sitting 6 years. So watching the clocked has dropped away, and now naturally, 30 to 40 minutes seems so short a time as i emerge from sitting naturally. I often sit with Priests, great practice, and I sit alone or with a friend with a timer. Still sitting seems so short, and yet I know that those with a family must practice with 15 minutes here and there. At first my sitting was exactly this, 15 minutes, or even 10. So really do not worry about distractions, and with time and practice, timers might drop away and 15 minutes might feel just right. Be patient with yourselves, and keep sitting.

    Tai Shi
    std
    Gassho
    "We cannot enjoy life if we spend a lot of time worrying about what happened yesterday and what will happen tomorrow." Thich Nhat Hanh

  46. #46
    A very, very important warning, and word to the wise!

    For my medications--I HAVE ALWAYS BEEN COMPLIANT with excellent doctors over the full duration of my treatment for pain! A person must never, ever try to treat themselves with any medication of any kind! I am under the care of two excellent doctors for opiates an ALL MY MEDICATIONS, so never, ever take ANY drug without full cooperation with excellent doctors! I have severe arthritis of the spine, called Ankylosing Spondylitis, and I have experienced pain levels of 8, 9, and 10. These doctors began treating me three years back, and have followed my case to the letter as I have been fully compliant! My doctors and I have been able to bring opiates down by 3/4 less, and now I am treated with two non-opiate medications. When I say we will bring down another notch, this means I will be on 4/5 less the amount I was on at one time, and the hope is that with safe medications we can come to nearly none. I have used ALL types of meditations, and mind body exercises with the help of a great psychologist. Shikantaza has helped me gain a wonderful outlook on my life, so with ALL tools and under the care of wonderful professionals I live with pain levels of 4, 5, and 6. NEVER EVER EXPERIMENT WITH SELF CARE! THIS IS AGAINST OUR PRECEPTS in our Zen practice.

    Tai Shi
    std
    Gassho
    Deep Bows
    Last edited by Tai Shi; 04-30-2017 at 01:47 PM.
    "We cannot enjoy life if we spend a lot of time worrying about what happened yesterday and what will happen tomorrow." Thich Nhat Hanh

  47. #47
    In video four, you say shikantaza is the simplest form of meditation. I agree that it is simple, but is it the easiest? It seems to me that due to the nature of the mind, it's easier to have a focus, a goal. Perhaps an open awareness non-duality is the eventual end – or beginning – of all meditation, but beginning with the end seems like a very difficult endeavor, like a beginning runner starting training for a marathon by running 26 miles.

    Sat today

  48. #48
    Hello everybody,
    I have a question regarding video number 13.
    "Insta-Zazen" it's a thing I've been trying to do (it came out quite naturally really, even before watching Jundo's video), with some success in certain occasions and no success at all at other times. It won't work too well if I'm nervous or angry. But I discovered that being a bus driver I sit for long hours, so I try to concentrate on the breathing and then expand my concentration all around me, focusing on the driving of course. I find myself to be more attentive and if tangled thoughts arrive I try to let them go. Of course I won't drive crossed legged (but the thought made me laugh) and I won't do any Mudra with my hands, they can stay on the steering wheel!
    My question for you more experienced people is: do you think it is safe to do so?

    Thanks,
    Mags

  49. #49
    I like to do "car zen" on long drives too, first it helps me focus on my driving (which is where my focus should be). Sending Metta to the other drivers also helps with my mindfullness.

    Sat2day

    Kyousui - strong waters 強 水

  50. #50
    Quote Originally Posted by Margherita View Post
    Hello everybody,
    I have a question regarding video number 13.
    "Insta-Zazen" it's a thing I've been trying to do (it came out quite naturally really, even before watching Jundo's video), with some success in certain occasions and no success at all at other times. It won't work too well if I'm nervous or angry. But I discovered that being a bus driver I sit for long hours, so I try to concentrate on the breathing and then expand my concentration all around me, focusing on the driving of course. I find myself to be more attentive and if tangled thoughts arrive I try to let them go. Of course I won't drive crossed legged (but the thought made me laugh) and I won't do any Mudra with my hands, they can stay on the steering wheel!
    My question for you more experienced people is: do you think it is safe to do so?

    Thanks,
    Mags
    Sounds lovely but, whatever you do, road safety comes first. Keep your eyes on the road, watch the other cars, drive safely. I don't mix my Zazen with heavy machinery!

    Maybe you could limit the practice to the time passengers are loading and getting off only? Door open, mind open. Door closed, back to the road. Passenger yells at you or is drunk ... mind VERY open.

    Gassho, J

    SatTodayLAH
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

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