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Thread: Do you ever feel the need to deepen your practice?

  1. #1

    Do you ever feel the need to deepen your practice?

    I don't know what it is. I've been sitting zazen for a long time now, and this is the first time I feel compelled to look further. It's not that I'm bored, or it's getting stale, or anything. It's more like an internal feeling to dive deeper.

    Has anyone else experienced this? What did you do? Am I just being attached to the idea of this? I can attest to the fact that "just sitting" has been enough. I have had several (for lack of a better term) "eye-opening" moments. But I feel like I don't know enough history and I have no true lineage. If I'm being honest, that's why I was so happy to discover this place.

  2. #2
    Sometimes itís nice to sit more. Especially a solo retreat in nature


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    無 (MU, Emptiness) and 氷 (HYO, Ice) ... Emptiness Ice ...

    I may be wrong and not knowing is acceptable

  3. #3

    First off, Welcome! If you haven't received it already, I'm sure you will be getting a welcome PM soon, it will list a few suggestions of places around Treeleaf that might be of interest including the Talk for Beginner's and short introductions to basic Buddhist Teachings.

    Until then take a few days and look around, there are so many resources and so many different ways to expand your practice. Take your time looking around (no need to see everything in one day ), ask questions and join the discussions.

    I'm sure there are many members here who had that same feeling, which is what brought them to Treeleaf. I know I did.

    Again welcome; we're happy to have you here and to practice along side you.


    香道 笑花
    Kodo Shoka

    Please don't take anything I say as anything more than just a normal person's thoughts on the topic. I'm just stumbling through life trying to be helpful, but really don't know much.

  4. #4
    Welcome Again, Eric,

    Hah! Humans always want deeper and deeper, more and more. I wrote this a few years ago, and I have not changed my view one inch since.

    SIT-A-LONG with Jundo: WHAT's NEXT!?!

    Almost each week someone asks me, "What comes next in my practice? How do I deepen it? What should I do now? What book should I read with all the secrets? I feel like something is still missing and that I must do more."

    But how can I respond to such a question when the very heart of this Path is learning to live and be this life radically FREE OF THE NEED FOR 'WHAT'S NEXT', LIBERATED OF 'SOMETHING MORE THAT NEED BE DONE', FULFILLED OF 'ANYTHING MISSING'!

    Oh, don't misunderstand. I typically respond that, together with daily sitting, there are some 'this and thats' that we can do to deepen our practice ... such as another 'Zen Book' to read or 'Zen Talk' to hear, studying a bit more of Buddhist and Zen teachings, attending more retreats, adding more practices such as Samu, Bowing, Chanting, Sewing, studying the Precepts or undertaking a Jukai, learning to bring 'Zazen' off the Zafu and to all aspects of life ... ALL ENRICHING WAYS TO DEEPEN THIS PRACTICE!

    And, though there is "nothing ever missing or in need of adding and doing" ... that does not mean that there are not things to lose, gain or do! Learning to be free of the "need for change" is a REVOLUTIONARY CHANGE ... a change helped along by things we need to do and change, such as learning to be less driven by GREED, ANGER and IGNORANCE! In this crazy-sane practice, we master how to live 'without need for change' by changing some things about us ... including the view that anything is ever in need of change ... thus bringing about an EARTHSHAKING CHANGE in how life is encountered! Oh, a CRAZY-SANE KARMIC KATCH-22!

    However, the fundamental Heart of this Path must remain learning to be so intimately At Home, At One with life ... that there is no need for "what's next" ... no hole to fill as "something missing". Our way to do so is simply to sit Shikantaza, dropping all thought and desire for "what's next" ... all while welcoming and embracing whatever comes next.
    If you want "more" of the above, it is here:

    Gassho, J

    Last edited by Jundo; 05-09-2019 at 12:14 AM.

  5. #5
    Thank you for the responses. Jundo, I'm glad to see that you've got me covered!

    Gassho, Eric

  6. #6
    Member Koki's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Parma Ohio (just outside Cleveland)
    Hello Eric..welcome.
    Thank you for asking this question of seeking deeper. I seem to go there often. Thank you Jundo, always,,for your input and guidance.

    If I would compare my practice to riding a horse, I'd probably be injured..a lot...because I think I fall off often!

    My attempts to relate my practice to my everyday life, and my every day life to my practice, seems to practice, LOL.

    I have a habit of becoming overly involved in a multitude of things...experiences, learning, etc. I'm not sure if that's good or bad.

    Right now, I've been volunteering at Cleveland Dogs, a shelter and adoption facility for Pit bulls. I walk the dogs, and im training to be an events handler and adoption counselor.
    I've become re-affiliated with the Masonic Lodge, which I was heavily involved with in the 1990's. Im hoping to be Knighted as a Knights Templar soon.
    I attend a non-denominational church service with my wife.
    We have a brand new granddaughter too.

    I mention those things to illustrate how scattered/diverse I can be, yet I'm always drawn back to my practice. Have been since 1970.

    I don't think I have any answers, and im not even sure I should be looking for any, so why do we feel pulled to go "deeper"?

    The Kwan Um practice teaches, "don't know". As a human, I can get behind that, because, I don't know.

    Christian church teaches God is the answer. That's faith. I don't know.

    Do the Pit bulls have Buddha Nature? many guesses, but me? Don't know.

    I breathe in. I breathe out.
    As Thay would in THIS moment.

    Welcome Eric...enjoy your journey.

    Didn't sit today, but did breathe.


    Sent from my VS995 using Tapatalk

  7. #7
    Welcome, Eric.

    sat today

  8. #8
    I've been thinking on this topic a lot, and the solution (to me) seems to be to sit more.

    It is rare that I can join SSR because my schedule is constantly changing. My goal used to be to have a daily zazen practice. I now have that, not at a consistent time, but I do sit first every morning now. However, it's usually for 15-20 minutes, not 30, and not at the same time every day. This is due to my schedule and I'm not sure I can or should change this.

    I saw where another member had listed specific times they sit each day. I thought that might be an idea as well -- except for a frequently changing schedule. Some days, I can.

    Then I thought I should change my approach, and I remembered how Dogen (I think) was quoted as saying that laypeople have it tougher in living Buddhism, as we must live the Precepts in the modern world. Something like that.

    I am working to expand my practice by increasing it slowly, and every day that is a challenge. I am also reading, volunteering, and making some dietary changes.

    (I hope I put this in the right thread, I'm on mobile.)

    St lh

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  9. #9
    I've been thinking on this topic a lot, and the solution (to me) seems to be to sit more.
    Hi Kim

    I agree. Obviously there are limits and we must eventually get up off the cushion to engage with the world but when I feel I need to dig deeper I remind myself that the core of our practice is to sit and I find some way to sit just a little more.

    Sat today and lah
    泰林 - Tai Rin - Peaceful Woods

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by allwhowander View Post

    I am working to expand my practice by increasing it slowly, and every day that is a challenge. I am also reading, volunteering, and making some dietary changes.

    (I hope I put this in the right thread, I'm on mobile.)

    St lh
    This sounds lovely.

    Remember that sitting time is really not a matter of long or short. Sit for the time that feels right in your life now.

    Yes, study a bit, volunteer and live gently and as healthily as you can.

    Gassho, Jundo


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