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

  1. #151
    Just watched first video for beginners. The best explanation/demonstration of what meditation is all about that I have ever heard.
    Thank You.

  2. #152
    Quote Originally Posted by Landrew View Post
    Just watched first video for beginners. The best explanation/demonstration of what meditation is all about that I have ever heard.
    Thank You.
    It is all downhill from there!

    Gassho J

    StLAH
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  3. #153
    Thank you so much for this teaching series! I'm on either 5 or 6 and find them both informative and also rather entertaining! Well thought out and the message sticks! I look forward to learning with you all and sitting together!

  4. #154
    Just finished the Beginnerís Series. Iíve sat everyday since I joined Treeleaf in January, but not everyday Iíve watched and read the series (sometimes I forgot, sometimes I was in a hurry so just sat).
    Thank you for this, Jundo. I second Landrew: it is the best explanation of zazen Iíve encountered.
    Gassho,
    Mateus
    Sat today

  5. #155
    Quote Originally Posted by mateus.baldin View Post
    Just finished the Beginner’s Series.
    Of course, being a "beginner" never ends on this Path too, even when we are very very experienced and no longer a "beginner" at all ...

    ... and also being a "no beginner no ender" never ends, of begins for that matter. (A Koan)

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  6. #156
    Hello all! I do have a question about my home "Zendo."

    I do not have a room I can dedicate fully to my Zen practice. I kind of just use a small area in a corner of my den. Unfortunately it is a bit messy in there as we haven't been able to find good places yet to get everything unpacked and cleaned up, so this makes for even less space. When I walk around the contour of the room, does this even include walking around the contour left by the current cluttered state of the room?

    Also, a question about my zafu. My zafu doesn't have its own place where it stays. For now I keep it under my altar table so my cat can't lay on it or puke on it. I also hope this will keep the dog from peeing on it if the dog is misbehaving. That said, will this be ok, or will I have to adjust that? I tend to either sit in front of my altar or I move the zafu to a blank wall and then sit. Are there any suggestions for how I could do this in a more proper way, taking my situation into account?

  7. #157
    Quote Originally Posted by Victor View Post
    Hello all! I do have a question about my home "Zendo."

    I do not have a room I can dedicate fully to my Zen practice. I kind of just use a small area in a corner of my den. Unfortunately it is a bit messy in there as we haven't been able to find good places yet to get everything unpacked and cleaned up, so this makes for even less space. When I walk around the contour of the room, does this even include walking around the contour left by the current cluttered state of the room?

    Also, a question about my zafu. My zafu doesn't have its own place where it stays. For now I keep it under my altar table so my cat can't lay on it or puke on it. I also hope this will keep the dog from peeing on it if the dog is misbehaving. That said, will this be ok, or will I have to adjust that? I tend to either sit in front of my altar or I move the zafu to a blank wall and then sit. Are there any suggestions for how I could do this in a more proper way, taking my situation into account?
    Hey Victor,

    When you walk around the clutter, when you walk around the contour of the tiny room, you are walking around the universe. We practice in all areas of life, whether big or small, it is all good practice. =)

    As for the zafu, life can brings ups and downs; accidents and the like ... even to our zafus. But we do try our best to take care and maintain them as best we can. Where ever you sit, that is the place for your zafu. In time you will have a dedicated place, but if in the meantime you need to move it about to care for it ... that is all good. =)

    Gassho
    Shingen

    Sat/LAH
    RINDO SHINGEN
    倫道 真現

  8. #158
    Thank you so much! I will remember it!

    Gassho

  9. #159
    Today, I started putting insta-zazen into practice. It is simultaneously simple and difficult for sure! I tried maintaining the state of zazen while washing dishes. It worked well for a while, until life started happening and my wife and daughter started asking me for things :P

    Such is life, and the value of this practice is not at all diminished
    "Heaven is right where you are standing, and that is the place to train"-Ueshiba Morihei

  10. #160
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    Of course, being a "beginner" never ends on this Path too, even when we are very very experienced and no longer a "beginner" at all ...

    ... and also being a "no beginner no ender" never ends, of begins for that matter. (A Koan)

    Gassho, J

    STLah

    Mateus
    Sat today/LAH

  11. #161
    Quote Originally Posted by Victor View Post
    Today, I started putting insta-zazen into practice. It is simultaneously simple and difficult for sure! I tried maintaining the state of zazen while washing dishes. It worked well for a while, until life started happening and my wife and daughter started asking me for things :P

    Such is life, and the value of this practice is not at all diminished
    Life happening and your wife and daughter asking for things --is-- Shikantaza too. Why is such moment different from sitting or washing dishes?

    We sit each day facing a wall to realize such fact.

    (That is also the reason I banged a big "disturbing" gong during last weekend's Zazenkai .... Have a listen (59:00 mark) ...



    Gassho, J

    SYLah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  12. #162
    Hi everyone, I just watched the talk "Sit-a-Long with Jundo: Zazen for Beginners (6)" and I think it is the most important point ever: I always thought Buddhism as a passive religion and never fully agree because I think we should act to improve our own situation and the world. But now I finally understand !!! I have read dozens of books on Zen but never saw/understood this point. I thank you very much for Mr. Jundo and the sangha for this teaching. It changed me.

  13. #163
    I want to thank you again, Jundo-sensei. These lessons have been a blessing for me. I finally saw the final video today and will definitely review them all from time to time as solid reminders!
    "Heaven is right where you are standing, and that is the place to train"-Ueshiba Morihei

  14. #164

    LEssons

    Quote Originally Posted by Victor View Post
    I want to thank you again, Jundo-sensei. These lessons have been a blessing for me. I finally saw the final video today and will definitely review them all from time to time as solid reminders!
    I have just finished video 6 in the beginner series. I have been sitting for many years and I am enjoying learning all that Jundo has to say. These lessons really are insightful and helps me to cultivate beginners mind. Looking forward to the rest of them.

    Thank You Jundo and the Tree Leaf Sangha,

    Gassho,

    Brad

    Sat Today

  15. #165
    Member Anna's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Location
    Rural Queensland, Australia
    Re: Lesson 3
    Thank you Jundo.
    I have spinal disabilities and have to date metaphorically beaten myself up because I couldn't 'sit' Zazen properly. Depending on the day I 'sit' Zazen either in a chair or lying down. I will try it reclining and standing to see how that goes.
    Thanks again Jundo. The Treeleaf Sangha member who suggested I visit Treeleaf gets a huge virtual hug from me for their recommendation. After only being a member for a week or so I have regained my belief that sometime in the future I may indeed be able to take/receive the Precepts despite my physical limitations.
    Anna

    Sent from my ZTE BLADE A125 using Tapatalk
    Life's too serious to be taken seriously.
    No Gods No Masters.

  16. #166
    Quote Originally Posted by Ak36 View Post
    Re: Lesson 3
    Thank you Jundo.
    I have spinal disabilities and have to date metaphorically beaten myself up because I couldn't 'sit' Zazen properly. Depending on the day I 'sit' Zazen either in a chair or lying down. I will try it reclining and standing to see how that goes.
    Thanks again Jundo. The Treeleaf Sangha member who suggested I visit Treeleaf gets a huge virtual hug from me for their recommendation. After only being a member for a week or so I have regained my belief that sometime in the future I may indeed be able to take/receive the Precepts despite my physical limitations.
    Anna

    Sent from my ZTE BLADE A125 using Tapatalk
    Anna, the sitting is "proper" when the heart is at home in "sitting" (reclining etc.) such way, and the secret to that is between one's own ears. lf one feels at home, then one is at home.

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  17. #167
    Hello

    I have a question about sitting shikantaza.
    Almost every time when I'm sitting, my left thumb hurts. Mainly the left joint hurts. Sometimes i am not able to stay my hands in this position.
    Do you have any ideas what i am making wrong? Or what i can do better?

    Thank you very much for your help!

    Gassho
    John

    Sat today

  18. #168
    Treeleaf Unsui Geika's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    San Diego County, California
    John,

    I don't know if you are doing anything wrong, but it sounds like one of your left joints might be having some trouble. If it hurts, perhaps maybe a check up at the doctor to make sure that there isn't some underlying issue?

    Gassho

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

  19. #169
    Quote Originally Posted by Geika View Post
    John,

    I don't know if you are doing anything wrong, but it sounds like one of your left joints might be having some trouble. If it hurts, perhaps maybe a check up at the doctor to make sure that there isn't some underlying issue?

    Gassho

    Sat today, lah
    Hey John,

    I echo what Geika is sayin here.

    Be well.

    Gassho
    Shingen

    Sat/LAH
    RINDO SHINGEN
    倫道 真現

  20. #170
    Hello

    Thank you for your fast answers.

    There is no long time, that a doctor checked it. There is nothing.
    When I get relex, it stop hurting. But it is difficult to relax for me.

    A folded cloth under my handis stabilitizong my hands. And then it gets better. I tried just now for one Zazen-period.
    Do you think thats a good idea? Can i use a folded colth?

    Gassho
    John

    Sat today
    Last edited by silence; 06-04-2019 at 08:19 PM.

  21. #171
    Quote Originally Posted by silence View Post
    Hello

    Thank you for your fast answers.

    There is no long time, that a doctor checked it. There is nothing.
    When I get relex, it stop hurting. But it is difficult to relax for me.

    A folded cloth under my handis stabilitizong my hands. And then it gets better. I tried just now for one Zazen-period.
    Do you think thats a good idea? Can i use a folded colth?

    Gassho
    John

    Sat today
    Hey John,

    Sometimes when we are holding our hand mudra we are also unconsciously holding it too tight or firm. Have you tried a couple different hand positions to see if it helps?

    This is the Soto tradition that we do here ...

    hand 2.jpg

    Here is a Rinzai style ...

    hand 3.jpg

    And here is an example of relaxing the thumbs ... (maybe give this one a try and see if it helps relax the thumbs).

    hand 1.jpeg

    Also, it is find it you want to add a blanket or some support on your lap for your hands to rest.

    Let us know how you get along. =)

    Gassho
    Shingen

    Sat/LAH
    Last edited by Shingen; 06-04-2019 at 09:19 PM.
    RINDO SHINGEN
    倫道 真現

  22. #172
    Hi John,
    Good that you already saw a doctor. We cannot reject professional help when needed. But as he found nothing wrong...
    I think that if helps you with your pain, it is OK to use a folded cloth in your lap. I myself already did the same when my back was hurting a lot that I couldnít bring my hands together without pain between the shoulders. Perhaps it has something to do with the strength with which you are doing the mudra, or the overall position of your body. Iím constantly experimenting small variations in my positioning (even during a sit) in order to avoid pain. I think there is nothing wrong with it, but our veterans and teachers can certainly guide you better than me.
    Gassho,
    Mateus
    Sat/LAH

  23. #173
    Member Anna's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Location
    Rural Queensland, Australia
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    Anna, the sitting is "proper" when the heart is at home in "sitting" (reclining etc.) such way, and the secret to that is between one's own ears. lf one feels at home, then one is at home.

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    Jundo
    May I ask how I should have my hands while doing Zazen both standing and lying down.
    Anna.

    ST/LAH

    Sent from my ZTE BLADE A125 using Tapatalk
    Life's too serious to be taken seriously.
    No Gods No Masters.

  24. #174
    Quote Originally Posted by Ak36 View Post
    Jundo
    May I ask how I should have my hands while doing Zazen both standing and lying down.
    Anna.

    ST/LAH

    Sent from my ZTE BLADE A125 using Tapatalk
    Hi Anna,

    I echo what others have said. Our usual position (Mudra) of the hands during Zazen is this, and I bet that you are just too forceful, and not relaxed, in holding your fingers lightly together.

    The hands should be like Suzuki Roshi here ... very light, low pressure, not too loose or too tight ...



    The hands should rest in the lap, not be up in the air or on the chest. It is okay to put cloths, a small towel or pillow under the hands if they don't rest in the lap nicely. (Sometimes I see folks who hold it high up on the chest or resting on their pot belly, and I don't recommend that usually).

    The whole sitting posture of the entire body should be upright and balanced, but relaxed and nice ... not too lose or too tight.

    Our other main hand position is for walking Kinhin (walking Zazen) called Shashu, held in the middle of the chest while walking.



    There is a little more description in our Guide to Basic Sitting (PDF) which I sent you in the "Welcome" email.

    https://sites.google.com/site/jundot...edirects=0&d=1

    I have some early arthritis in my fingers, so I can empathize.

    Gassho, Jundo
    Last edited by Jundo; 07-25-2019 at 07:00 PM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  25. #175
    Member Anna's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Location
    Rural Queensland, Australia
    I'm afraid you answered John's question Mundo not mine.
    Respectfully, Anna
    Sat today/LAH

  26. #176
    They are so many good ideas!
    Thank you very much for your help.

    Gassho
    John

    Sat today

  27. #177
    Just finished sitting after Lesson 3. I have been watching a lesson each night before I sit, though I did the order as 1,2,4,3 so far (because I had less time last night and saved the longer lesson I skipped over for tonight).

    Jundo,

    Thank you greatly for the teaching. In Lesson 3 you mentioned the siatic nerve as a source of tingling/numbness - tonight I sat Burmese for the first time for zazen (I have always sat Half-Lotus). Usually my top leg will go numb after 15-20 minutes. Not a game-stopper during zazen at all but the standing up when finished, yikes! I found Burmese very comfortable, and I will be trying it some more in my sitting. Even so, tonight BOTH legs went probably 75% numb. Having tried this and had that result, and after watching the video, I think I have narrowed my search for the issue causing the numbness now. I have always sat with a small rectangular, stiff, kapok filled meditation cushion. In Burmese, I think my knees relaxed more into the floor which put more pressure on both of my legs, and that nerve, over the edge of my cushion. I am going to find a traditional round zafu (probably buckwheat filled) soon and see how that goes. I think the softer zafu without the harsh edges pressing into my legs may help.

    Gassho
    Kendrick
    SatToday and LAH

  28. #178
    Quote Originally Posted by Kendrick View Post
    Just finished sitting after Lesson 3. I have been watching a lesson each night before I sit, though I did the order as 1,2,4,3 so far (because I had less time last night and saved the longer lesson I skipped over for tonight).

    Jundo,

    Thank you greatly for the teaching. In Lesson 3 you mentioned the siatic nerve as a source of tingling/numbness - tonight I sat Burmese for the first time for zazen (I have always sat Half-Lotus). Usually my top leg will go numb after 15-20 minutes. Not a game-stopper during zazen at all but the standing up when finished, yikes! I found Burmese very comfortable, and I will be trying it some more in my sitting. Even so, tonight BOTH legs went probably 75% numb. Having tried this and had that result, and after watching the video, I think I have narrowed my search for the issue causing the numbness now. I have always sat with a small rectangular, stiff, kapok filled meditation cushion. In Burmese, I think my knees relaxed more into the floor which put more pressure on both of my legs, and that nerve, over the edge of my cushion. I am going to find a traditional round zafu (probably buckwheat filled) soon and see how that goes. I think the softer zafu without the harsh edges pressing into my legs may help.

    Gassho
    Kendrick
    SatToday and LAH
    Yes, experiment, experiment ... hard and soft, round, high or low Zafu, sitting a bit more forward or back, looser pants, shifting weight a bit when the symptoms start.

    Please report back what you find the key for your body. I bet the square cushion is a cause.

    Gassho, Jundo

    STLah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  29. #179
    Hi guys

    I just finished watching episode 3 of the beginners course, regarding how to sit. Is there a particular reason why one cant sit cross-legged?

  30. #180
    Quote Originally Posted by Dean Weaver View Post
    Hi guys

    I just finished watching episode 3 of the beginners course, regarding how to sit. Is there a particular reason why one cant sit cross-legged?
    Hey Dean,

    If one sat in the standard cross legged position, with the one foot tucked under the leg that foot would fall asleep for one. Second, it actually doesn't create a solid balanced foundation, as they hips will be tilted to the one side.

    Have you tired to Burmese position? You can see it in the top right.

    meditation-poses.jpg

    Gassho
    Shingen

    Sat/LAH
    RINDO SHINGEN
    倫道 真現

  31. #181
    It is my intent to review all the videos in order. I have been just sitting Shikantaza for five years this coming October, and I am but a novice. I believe I am running on my own autopilot. It is time to review. The hand pictures were most helpful because I have severe arthritis in my spine which has moved out into my hands. I am 67 so less strength is predictable, but now I think can relax into hand positions that help me. I have discovered a method of dual support in a straight back chair, back against chair, left shoulder against wall such that I am supported into proper posture without strain on my spine. Since the spine is the location of most of my pain especially neck, I can let my breath happen without so much work and allow nostrils without mouth to breathe. In group computer sits, It's best that I sit before screen in an office chair with arms, so I don't fall out of the chair on my left. All this is for older, and disabled members.

    Tai Shi
    sat/lah
    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

  32. #182
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    Yes, experiment, experiment ... hard and soft, round, high or low Zafu, sitting a bit more forward or back, looser pants, shifting weight a bit when the symptoms start.

    Please report back what you find the key for your body. I bet the square cushion is a cause.

    Gassho, Jundo

    STLah
    Jundo,

    I received my new zafu and zabuton a few days ago. I chose to try a traditional round, buckwheat hull stuffed zafu and thicker kapok filled (but soft) zabuton. I have been sitting mostly Burmese now as well. These changes have helped tremendously! I barely get any tingling or numbness going on now and what minor bit may occur goes away immediately upon standing (no long lasting numbness of rush of sensation/pain when I get up now). I removed a bit of fill from the zafu after my first zazen with it and that improved it for me too.

    I was able to sit my first Zazenkai tonight without pain thanks to the changes. Thank you!

    Gassho /\
    Kendrick
    SatTonight/LAH

  33. #183
    Quote Originally Posted by Kendrick View Post
    Jundo,

    I received my new zafu and zabuton a few days ago. I chose to try a traditional round, buckwheat hull stuffed zafu and thicker kapok filled (but soft) zabuton. I have been sitting mostly Burmese now as well. These changes have helped tremendously! I barely get any tingling or numbness going on now and what minor bit may occur goes away immediately upon standing (no long lasting numbness of rush of sensation/pain when I get up now). I removed a bit of fill from the zafu after my first zazen with it and that improved it for me too.

    I was able to sit my first Zazenkai tonight without pain thanks to the changes. Thank you!

    Gassho /\
    Kendrick
    SatTonight/LAH
    Hello Jundo, I have what is called a Buddhist chair cushion, from Amazon, and it is a wedge, larger side facing out from legs places back against strait back chair such that with proper distance feet to floor, back against chair easily, and as I said a Buddhist chair cushion, $40, my wife helped me purchase. I think it may come from a Buddhist supply company or even a monastery. It has been helpful on my back bottom side. I believe with left shoulder supported, I sit proper chair formation, and from Bring the Sacred to Life, the daily practice of Zen Ritual, John Daido Loori, Shambhala. 2008, I am beginning to learn much. I highly recommend this little book-- 122 pages--

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

  34. #184
    Quote Originally Posted by Kendrick View Post
    Jundo,

    I received my new zafu and zabuton a few days ago. I chose to try a traditional round, buckwheat hull stuffed zafu and thicker kapok filled (but soft) zabuton. I have been sitting mostly Burmese now as well. These changes have helped tremendously! I barely get any tingling or numbness going on now and what minor bit may occur goes away immediately upon standing (no long lasting numbness of rush of sensation/pain when I get up now). I removed a bit of fill from the zafu after my first zazen with it and that improved it for me too.

    I was able to sit my first Zazenkai tonight without pain thanks to the changes. Thank you!

    Gassho /\
    Kendrick
    SatTonight/LAH
    Good!

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  35. #185
    I have a question about protocol / correct form when sitting Zazen seiza style - either using the Zafu or a bench.

    I am one of the least flexible people on the planet and I gave up trying to sit any other way than seiza back in the 90s. What I do currently is that I follow the steps as outlined in Video 12 except that rather than sit and rotate I just kind of climb up on my Zafu like an Ox climbing over a rock. Not very elegant.

    I have tried sitting, rotating and then re-arranging but it feels a little cumbersome, and how would that even work with a bench?

    So I was wondering if there is a correct form for settling into the seiza position at the beginning of Zazen.

    Gassho, Shinshi

    SaT-LaH
    空道 心志 Kudo Shinshi
    I am just a priest-in-training, any resemblance between what I post and actual teachings is purely coincidental.

  36. #186
    Quote Originally Posted by Shinshi View Post
    I have a question about protocol / correct form when sitting Zazen seiza style - either using the Zafu or a bench.

    I am one of the least flexible people on the planet and I gave up trying to sit any other way than seiza back in the 90s. What I do currently is that I follow the steps as outlined in Video 12 except that rather than sit and rotate I just kind of climb up on my Zafu like an Ox climbing over a rock. Not very elegant.

    I have tried sitting, rotating and then re-arranging but it feels a little cumbersome, and how would that even work with a bench?

    So I was wondering if there is a correct form for settling into the seiza position at the beginning of Zazen.

    Gassho, Shinshi

    SaT-LaH
    Hi,

    I would say that, since this is not really a traditional form of sitting, but rather a lovely posture that has become common in recent decades for those with physical need, that you are free to create your own new "tradition."

    Perhaps you can consider how to get seated practically, but also with some eye for being as balanced and graceful as possible in moving. I leave it to you. Also, add as many of the traditional elements as possible, such as Gassho toward the wall and room, turning always clockwise, fluffing the cushion with the two fingers and thumb of each hand ...

    All traditions of the past started just so.

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  37. #187
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    Hi,

    I would say that, since this is not really a traditional form of sitting, but rather a lovely posture that has become common in recent decades for those with physical need, that you are free to create your own new "tradition."

    Perhaps you can consider how to get seated practically, but also with some eye for being as balanced and graceful as possible in moving. I leave it to you. Also, add as many of the traditional elements as possible, such as Gassho toward the wall and room, turning always clockwise, fluffing the cushion with the two fingers and thumb of each hand ...

    All traditions of the past started just so.

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    Thank you Jundo. I do follow all the other traditional steps when I sit. I will see if I can come up with something at least a little graceful - but really isn't one of my areas of strength.

    Gassho, Shinshi

    SaT-LaH
    空道 心志 Kudo Shinshi
    I am just a priest-in-training, any resemblance between what I post and actual teachings is purely coincidental.

  38. #188
    I am enjoying the talks in Shikantaza meditation videos, something I am already familiar with doing. What I really enjoyed in particular so far, was the blender noise in the first video, then the hammer analogy in the second one. These made me laugh, but they are so realistic about how a beginner actually needs to get the point of understanding how their mind has been operating throughout the day. If I ever get an opportunity to teach meditation again, I would certainly use these tools!

  39. #189
    I was wondering if anyone knows where to find a particular video Jundo had done years back titled "What's Next.."? I really enjoyed it and wanted to share it with my ango partner.

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

  40. #190
    Ah, a classic for sure! Here it is Kyotai:

    https://www.treeleaf.org/forums/show...ll=1#post71930

    Gassho
    Byokan
    sat + lah
    Please take my words with a big grain of salt. I know nothing. Wisdom is only found in our whole-hearted practice together.

  41. #191
    Quote Originally Posted by Byokan View Post
    Ah, a classic for sure! Here it is Kyotai:

    https://www.treeleaf.org/forums/show...ll=1#post71930

    Gassho
    Byokan
    sat + lah
    Thank you so much Byokan!

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

  42. #192
    I began with a talk for beginners about non- sitting, sitting, correction of misconception of mysticism, which is not Shikantaza, or not just sitting, is sitting not Stoicism, but just sitting. At 8:30 pm Central USA daylight a.m. sat after reciting robe verse, no one else showed up, sat up out after 20 min. of sitting, time non sitting. My usual sitting unless I'm sitting with a group; then I reflected on my posture sitting upright in straight back chair, legs, feet tucked under chair, checking feet from time to time without breaking Shikantaza, and at the end of my 20 min. no one had shown up on sitting space, so I had sat in proper form in not a Burmese style with feet tucked under chair. Disabilities can be worked with. Ended up on this page listening to beginning of Zazenkai in March, today being Thur. Sept. 19, 2019.

    Tai Shi
    sat
    Gassho
    Last edited by Tai Shi; 09-19-2019 at 02:13 PM. Reason: correction of end arrival.
    "We cannot enjoy life if we spend a lot of time worrying about what happened yesterday and what will happen tomorrow." Thich Nhat Hanh

  43. #193
    Hello everybody,

    I watch an episode almost everyday before I sit. I have already learned that there are some some good sits and on other days some not so good sits. I'm fine with that. It's ok as Jundo would say.

    I think I'm not really stretchy so I try to sit in burmese style. But not even there my knees touch the ground. Are there some exercises so that i can reach it? My goal is to sit at some point in the future in lotus style or at least in half lotus. But that doesn't have to be done yet.

    The other point I keep thinking about ist the right time to sit. Actually I sit in the evening after I watched a lesson from the Series. But there is the problem that I feel sometimes already a little bit sleepy and it's hard not to fall asleep while I sit. But I don't want to skip it and sit at least one time a day. Because of this is it better to sit in the morning? Or should I sit in the morning as a kind of backup if I can't sit in the evening? Or is it already to much thinking about some irrelevant stuff? ... I thing I confused myself now.

    Gassho
    Marwin
    SatToday

  44. #194
    Quote Originally Posted by Marw View Post

    I think I'm not really stretchy so I try to sit in burmese style. But not even there my knees touch the ground. Are there some exercises so that i can reach it? My goal is to sit at some point in the future in lotus style or at least in half lotus. But that doesn't have to be done yet.
    Hi Marwin,

    Asia was a more floor based sitting culture, with generally thinner bodies in the past. Don't do the impossible in forcing yourself into extreme position. l know more than a few Buddhist teachers who attribute their knee problems to the Lotus.

    That said, we have had a few threads on this, and some other folks may be able to offer advice. l usually sit in Burmese or Half, but once in a long while Full Lotus to honor tradition. l may stop as my knees are getting worse with age.

    Also, l strongly advise to read this book ...

    https://www.treeleaf.org/forums/show...-OF-MEDITATION

    One of our Yoga teachers made the below comment connected to the youtube posted there ...

    https://www.treeleaf.org/forums/show...l=1#post235400


    The other point I keep thinking about ist the right time to sit. Actually I sit in the evening after I watched a lesson from the Series. But there is the problem that I feel sometimes already a little bit sleepy and it's hard not to fall asleep while I sit. But I don't want to skip it and sit at least one time a day. Because of this is it better to sit in the morning? Or should I sit in the morning as a kind of backup if I can't sit in the evening? Or is it already to much thinking about some irrelevant stuff? ... I thing I confused myself now.
    More threads to look at Marwin. Generally, it is best to sit when not sleepy, so may you should change time to morning or afternoon if possible. lf not, when sleepy ... just be sleepy.

    https://www.treeleaf.org/forums/sear...earchid=992507

    You will find a few tips in some of those threads, and you must simply find what seems to work for you.

    Gassho, Jundo

    STLah
    Last edited by Jundo; 09-24-2019 at 01:27 PM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  45. #195
    I've reviewed these videos for beginners, and Jundo tells me that there is no problem sitting in straight-back chair. I have severe back and knee problems, and for me I've even sat in easy chair, and lying on operating table just before going under for an operation. Jundo tells me that sitting is possible in nearly any position though admittedly some positions are much easier. I'm a beginner even though I've been sitting for 5 years. Shikantaza means just sitting and I've found this is as much just sitting or just reclining, or just reclining fully.
    Tai Shi
    Gassho
    sat
    "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. #196
    It's approximately 350 feet from our house to the corner store. When i first moved here five years ago at age 78 I could usually take maybe two or three minutes to get there. Now, due to knee damage, it takes over five minutes. I say to myself, "Dam, I look like an old man." And, I must admit the pain is excruciating. I used to sit Zazen in the half lotus position up until three years ago when it became very painful to sit that way. Now I sit Zazen preferably in a straight back chair without arms. It seems very uncomfortable to have my elbows up high like that because my shoulders become hunched and painful. But hey, I'm already three years older than Buddha and still enjoying every good day. As Yogi Berra would have said, "Life is 90% attitude, the other half is just showing up!"

    bows in gassho, Shokai

    stlah
    p.s. As to Jundo's comment
    with generally thinner bodies in the past.
    He was being very kind by invoking the myth that Japanese are very petite. Owing to the swift world wide explosion of fast food diets, modern Japanese body style is much the same as everywhere else. Having had the experience of embalming over 3000 Japanese bodies, thin, obese, muscular or not, I can truthfully say, their hips were much more open than westerners and it is attributable to sitting cross legged on the ground from day one. Westerner's illio-psoas muscles are in general, tighter than drum strings as a result of the way we sit.
    Last edited by Shokai; 09-26-2019 at 02:44 AM.
    仁道 生開 - Jindo Shokai "Open to life in a benevolent way"
    May we all grow together in our knowledge of the Dharma

  47. #197
    Member Anna's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Location
    Rural Queensland, Australia
    Quote Originally Posted by Marw View Post
    Hello everybody,

    I watch an episode almost everyday before I sit. I have already learned that there are some some good sits and on other days some not so good sits. I'm fine with that. It's ok as Jundo would say.

    I think I'm not really stretchy so I try to sit in burmese style. But not even there my knees touch the ground. Are there some exercises so that i can reach it? My goal is to sit at some point in the future in lotus style or at least in half lotus. But that doesn't have to be done yet.

    The other point I keep thinking about ist the right time to sit. Actually I sit in the evening after I watched a lesson from the Series. But there is the problem that I feel sometimes already a little bit sleepy and it's hard not to fall asleep while I sit. But I don't want to skip it and sit at least one time a day. Because of this is it better to sit in the morning? Or should I sit in the morning as a kind of backup if I can't sit in the evening? Or is it already to much thinking about some irrelevant stuff? ... I thing I confused myself now.

    Gassho
    Marwin
    SatToday
    Hey Marwin

    Welcome to Treeleaf. I'm a new practitioner and also not very stretchy but was told by anyone I've ever asked that I should sit however I can sit. Mostly I sit in a comfortable lounge chair, sometimes sitting up but more often reclined. I often 'sit' lying down either on my back or on my side. If I'm really feeling ok I sit leaning against a tree in the bush. Sitting is sitting... The important thing is to sit. Oh yeah, give yourself permission to sit however long you can on a particular day whether 5 minutes or 5 hours. Again just sit. Every day I sit at 4am. I always set my meditation timer for 45 minutes but mostly only make it to between 15 and 30 minutes. This morning was only 10 minutes because my spine was sore but it was a good quality 10 minutes but again, I sat.
    Be kind to yourself comrade.

    Gassho
    Anna

    Sat today/Lent a hand
    Life's too serious to be taken seriously.
    No Gods No Masters.

  48. #198
    Quote Originally Posted by Shokai View Post
    p.s. As to Jundo's comment He was being very kind by invoking the myth that Japanese are very petite. Owing to the swift world wide explosion of fast food diets, modern Japanese body style is much the same as everywhere else. Having had the experience of embalming over 3000 Japanese bodies, thin, obese, muscular or not, I can truthfully say, their hips were much more open than westerners and it is attributable to sitting cross legged on the ground from day one. Westerner's illio-psoas muscles are in general, tighter than drum strings as a result of the way we sit.
    This is fascinating, and I hope that I may requote you on this to some other Zen folk.

    We will dedicate a part of our Zazenkai tomorrow with Kyonin to all the folks with creaky knees, hips and backs.

    Gassho, Jundo

    STLah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  49. #199
    Hi Marwin,

    sounds like you're on the right track. I would caution you to be careful with those knees! Yoga is a great exercise to prepare the body for sitting, but again, use caution. A good teacher is the best thing if you want to try to increase your flexibility. Nothing wrong with Burmese. I used to sit Lotus, but then I got fat like a Buddha and now it's Burmese for me. What's important is finding a position that allows you to sit with stability, and the minimum of effort, while remaining alert.

    You didn't say what you sit on? I wonder if sitting a little higher, and/or a little more forward, would help the knees to touch the floor for more stability? Think tripod: three points of contact to spread your weight and allow good balance and stability. Like Jundo says, you have to experiment and find the best way for you. Remember, you have the rest of your life to refine your sitting position, so no need to hurry or force anything.

    You're already doing the hardest part, which is sitting every day! Go ahead and try a few morning sits if you like, and see how you do. A daily 15 minute (or more if you have time) sit in the morning would be good "insurance" as you say, and makes a great start to the day. There's no better or worse time, really, what counts is the consistency, so find the time that's best for you and let it become a natural part of your day.

    Enjoy your sitting

    Gassho
    Byōkan
    sat + lah
    Last edited by Byokan; 09-26-2019 at 05:58 AM.
    Please take my words with a big grain of salt. I know nothing. Wisdom is only found in our whole-hearted practice together.

  50. #200
    Thank you all for your answers.

    Yes, maybe I think about my sitting position too much. Shame on me. it's just that I've never been physically impaired in any situation until now. Probably I've to lern that these situations exist. But that's what I'm here for - to learn and to develop further.
    Or maybe I'm just to fat.
    No matter that the real reason is, I will do what you do. Sit everyday in a comfortable position.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    Also, l strongly advise to read this book ...

    https://www.treeleaf.org/forums/show...-OF-MEDITATION
    Thanks for the book tip Jundo.
    I would read it. But at the moment I've started to read "Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind" from Shunryu Suzuki. After I finished I will start the next one.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    More threads to look at Marwin. Generally, it is best to sit when not sleepy, so may you should change time to morning or afternoon if possible. lf not, when sleepy ... just be sleepy.

    https://www.treeleaf.org/forums/sear...earchid=992507

    You will find a few tips in some of those threads, and you must simply find what seems to work for you.
    Unfortunately, the link doesn't work. But I have listend to your advice. At the beginning I sit in the evening to get a clear mind without the thoughts of the day. The last days I sat in the morning after getting up even before breakfast. I must say it feels good. I will try to make it a habit.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    We will dedicate a part of our Zazenkai tomorrow with Kyonin to all the folks with creaky knees, hips and backs.
    I will try to be there. But 3 am is a little early. So maybe I'll take a look at the recording later.

    Quote Originally Posted by Byokan View Post
    You didn't say what you sit on? I wonder if sitting a little higher, and/or a little more forward, would help the knees to touch the floor for more stability? Think tripod: three points of contact to spread your weight and allow good balance and stability. Like Jundo says, you have to experiment and find the best way for you. Remember, you have the rest of your life to refine your sitting position, so no need to hurry or force anything.
    I sit on a yoga pillow filled with buckwheat fur. After I read your tip I've filled it a little more. And what should I say it's better know. My knees get to the ground without any pain.

    So thank you all again for your help and tips and stories and all of it. I feel very comfortable here thanks to you.

    Gassho
    Marwin
    SatbetterToday

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