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  1. #1

    "Simple Living" - Chapters 21 and 22

    Just jump in if joining, no "catch up" ... just today is today ...

    I will include chapter headings, as we discovered some differences between the US and UK editions regarding chapter order.

    Chapter 21 - Become Adept At Switching Modes - Enter your office, kitchen, bathroom, toilet or the like (choose just two or three this week) as if there were an actual spiritual gate to enter sacred ground, a ritual about to commence. Does it cause you to experience the specialness of the place and event through new eyes? Thereupon, proceed to treat it so.

    Chapter 22 - Breathe Slowly - For a few minutes, sit Zazen, breathing slowly, at your work desk in the middle of work in a time and place and situation where you usually would not (or wherever your actual work place is, right in the middle of your work time where and when you usually would not). If you are a bus driver or surgeon, pull over the bus first, or finish the stitching. If you are a teacher, give the kids a pop quiz while you sit. If you are a professional wrestler (we actually have a couple around here), just sit Zazen in the middle of the ring while your opponent puts you in a sleeper hold.

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    Last edited by Jundo; 10-11-2019 at 12:48 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  2. #2
    What a lovely practice both are!
    Chapter 21, I practiced with the office and my home door, also with the bathroom, it's nice to step inside with a fresh mind, as if I just seen those rooms the first time in my life.
    Chapter 22, I did at the office while my colleague was having a call and at home while my wife had a call.

    Gassho,
    Ben

    Stlah

    Gesendet von meinem PLK-L01 mit Tapatalk

  3. #3
    I don’t know about anyone else but I am finding these two exercises to be particularly difficult to keep this week. In principle they are easy but I am finding in the busyness of my daily life that I forget. I forget to even take a moment to pause at the “sacred gate” that is the bathroom door .

    Today I’ve taken the unusual step of putting a reminder in my phone to pause and sit for 5 minutes mid day. Ive also put sticky notes on a couple of “sacred gates” within my house to hopefully catch my eye so that I will pause.

    I realize that the reminders are somewhat unconventional but it is reality and it is part of the reason why I believe adopting the practices in this book are important to my practice as a whole.


    Tairin
    Sat today and lah and bowed at my sacred gates.
    泰林 - Tai Rin - Peaceful Woods

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Tairin View Post
    I don’t know about anyone else but I am finding these two exercises to be particularly difficult to keep this week. In principle they are easy but I am finding in the busyness of my daily life that I forget. I forget to even take a moment to pause at the “sacred gate” that is the bathroom door .

    Today I’ve taken the unusual step of putting a reminder in my phone to pause and sit for 5 minutes mid day. Ive also put sticky notes on a couple of “sacred gates” within my house to hopefully catch my eye so that I will pause.
    Truly, once or twice is enough. Not every doorway needs to be remembered as a "sacred gate." (I mean, of course, every doorway --IS-- a sacred gate, but no need to try to recall that fact for this exercise or get fixated on that fact. Okay to treat one or two doors so this week, and once walking through, and that is enough. The one doorway, walked through just once, will stand for all doorways.).

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  5. #5
    It's funny - I just went through something Jundo mentioned I think in the 2nd zen of everything podcast. I just couldn't sit anymore for the past couple of years; I got sick of it all; I was sick of my fake crap trying to be something I wasn't; I didn't even know who I was anymore. But what I got sick of and what I dropped were my notions of practice, the crap I added onto it. What I was criticizing was the actual stuff that practice is pointing us not to. I don't know if any of you have gone through this, but it was almost like I was realizing what the precepts were saying; and so I wasn't rejecting practice, I was rejecting my ideas of it, my seriously deluded ideas of what I stereotyped Zen to be.

    The one thing I love about Ango, and I think that Chapter 21 is pointing to is that instead of me adding something, we remove something to reveal the underlying sacredness of it all; and the whole damned thing is sacred; I feel like there is almost an inverse relationship with what I consider mundane vs its sacredness. I mean the basic, mundane things I take for granted are the most sacred of all. I think I lost sight of that, and that's also why sangha is so important; it actually helped bring me back from getting so lost in my head.

    It seems counterintuitive; for example, pausing and bowing to our zafu (or to our bathroom or refrigerator or whatever), chanting, lighting some incensed etc, and paying gratitude to these innocuous "basic" things seems like it is adding something woo-woo-ey; that was a misunderstanding I had. I felt like it was all of this zen BS affectation, and that's not me. To hell with this! I don't want to be Japanese, etc etc etc

    But in reality, by facing all of our lives with gratitude and adding that ritual in once in a while, I think we are actually removing our self from the equation and meeting the world in the truest sense; I mean more clearly, letting the world meet us. I don't know how to explain this; it's like a physical enactment of zazen; it's like what Dogen says in Genjokoan.

    Driving ourselves to practice and experience millions of things and phenomena is delusion. When millions of things and phenomena actively practice and experience ourselves, that is realization.
    Before I stopped my practice, I would do the ceremony but I was bringing myself to meet the world; that was unnecessary. But by actually wholeheartedly practicing with the heart of the zen liturgy, I drop that bs; that lets the world meet me. I think that is what Dogen and this chapter 21 is pointing too; I think that is the beauty of our practice that I almost quit. But of course, this is my view now; I'm usually wrong and only see a small part of things. hahahah also the beauty of practice.

    Gassho

    Rish
    -st


    Gassho

    Risho
    -stlah

  6. #6
    Last night during an Unsui-led sit, my eye was drawn (yes, was not in very deep) to a small chorus frog hopping along the hut's wall. I briefly wondered if I should bow out and help it out of doors, but it hopped to the doorsill, paused, bowed to the door, and exited quite easily underneath -- through its sacred gate. _()_

    gassho
    doyu sat/lah today
    I'm a visiting unsui from Bird Haven Zendo. Take what I say with a box of salt. Mmm!

  7. #7
    Hello,

    I don't have much to add. I am enjoying these exercises and the focus shift and reflection they bring to daily life.

    Gassho,
    Kotei sat/lah today.
    古庭 KoTei / Ralf

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