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Thread: "Simple Living" - Chapters 31 and 32

  1. #1

    "Simple Living" - Chapters 31 and 32

    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 31 - Discover Another You - Change you inner labeling about yourself, and actually play act the feelings of being so like an actor in a play. For example, if naturally shy, pretend for some minutes that one is an outgoing and charismatic personality, and interact with strangers and others believing and feeling so. If sad or depressed, pretend happiness and contentment.

    Chapter 32 - Don't Be Troubled By Things That Have Not Yet Happened - When troubled this week by some possible event or outcome that may happen in your future, let it be, drop the future from mind, and focus only on what is happening right now.

    Gassho, Jundo

    STLah
    Last edited by Jundo; 10-11-2019 at 12:52 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  2. #2
    Chapter 31-I'm going to be the guy that really listens well ( at least for a few days )

    Chapter 32- doing.

    Thank you

    Gassho
    Ishin
    Sat/lah
    Grateful for your practice

  3. #3
    Two very hard and intertwined exercises. Really trying hard but failing miserably. Only managed to do them for a few minutes and then back to my anxious and stresses self.
    Gassho
    Mateus
    Sat today/LAH

  4. #4
    Some steep ground here ...

    gassho
    doyu sat/lah today
    特別な人ではない

  5. #5
    Chapter 31 - I volunteer at my son’s highschool and so I come in contact with many teenagers. Teenagers are interesting to watch because they are at that point in their lives where they are truly defining who they are. They try on different personas and consequently try on uniforms that go along with those persona. We all do this I think. I have work clothes that I wear to work. When I get home I put on more casual clothes. When I go out I put on the clothes that suit the activity. The clothes I wear reflect the image I have of myself. It is the uniform that reflects the persona I’ve cultivated over my life time. Is that me? I am tempted to say no. This feels like an “original face” sort of thing.

    Chapter 32 - I am trying. Obviously this is contextual. The closer to home these things are the harder it is to not be troubled by them.


    Tairin
    Sat today and lah
    泰林 - Tai Rin - Peaceful Woods

  6. #6
    Chapter 31 - that is really really good stuff.

    I myself find the self to be a funny thing. On a related note, the "Zen fool" archetype resonates with me; they know how much of a joke this all is so they don't take any of this seriously; at the same time, they are deadly serious while knowing it's a game.

    If you've listened to Jundo, you know he's a fool; he goes on and on about non-self and emptiness; he probably says way too much, but he has to say something; he even dresses in funny costumes and even does zazen in a bathtub! All of it to teach us to look within ourselves. He lowers himself down so we don't focus on him, so we can focus on really getting to what has been there all along.

    After he teaches - I just thank you and bow - I may even make a comment to show my understanding, even though I probably have way more questions than anything, and he pulled the rug out from under me. My only regret is that it takes so long for the teachings to sink in. I write and write about the great realizations I have; then I realize it's nothing new; I'm just internalizing something Jundo taught me 9 years ago! hahahah its' all a big joke.

    The self is like this. You know how we identify ourselves - what we identify with - is ultimately what we value. I mean what do you value? I know I say I value not killing and not giving rise to anger, but my true self is exposed either way. Now there is no self - which may be the biggest joke of them all.

    Everything we see is just a painted rice cake, to steal from Dogen; there I go violating another precept. I mean how I see reality, how I see myself, is just a painting by my consciousness. I mean what is really there after all? I don't see reality - just my version of it, but if you say that the painting isn't real, then you are just a nihilist. I mean form is emptiness; but emptiness is form; don't you read this stuff? :P

    So this really comes down to - who are you? Sure you got angry. Sure you say you can't stop eating sugar. Sure you've had enough and want to quit.

    These are nothing more than stories you tell yourself. Who is behind that story? I mean really.

    That doesn't mean you don't need a story; we all need a story; it's how we're built, but you better be careful what you tell yourself. You are what you think, as Aristotle astutely noted. That was another great fool. You think there was no Zen in Ancient Greece, then you must not have read Siddhartha: Director's Cut.

    So we can change our story. If I say I just get angry when people do something, or I can't quit sugar, well you are right. You are exactly right. But what if you say I don't like sugar anymore; I just don't eat it.

    Or when stuff gets hard and you want to quit Ango, you say it's too much I'm going to break my vow. I mean you don't say you are breaking your vow, but you do and you sugar coat it; well you sugar coat stuff because you say you can't quit sugar. It's all inter-related. hahahh

    but seriously - if you identify as someone who doesn't quit; if you look at your Ango as an example - even though you fail and we all fail - then you won't quit because your Ango isn't for you. You aren't sitting to get better. Your Ango is for me. I don't like being alone, and I need your support to continue my practice. So are you going to give up on me?

    And I am you - so are you going to give up just because you stumbled and got a bloody nose? Are you really going to quit? I mean your zazen is the lab - if you can't practice in the lab, then what are you going to do in the real world?

    Now if you aren't a quitter - and that's the story you tell yourself - well you'll just pick yourself back up and keep walking.

    And that's the story you need to ingest - you need to practice some zazen to give yourself a new story (or maybe you discover the real story that has been there all along)- one that really is about not giving up and not letting anything "out there" disrupt what's "in here" because everything "in here" is "out there"; then no matter what happens, it won't even be a consideration because you aren't someone who quits.

    Gassho

    Risho
    -stlah
    Last edited by Risho; 10-05-2019 at 01:53 PM.

  7. #7
    31--Initially I thought this one was going to be bad for my impostor syndrome. Then I wondered if I could behave like someone who doesn't have impostor syndrome. Like really believe I'm capable of things. I'm working on it this week.

    32--I'm particularly prone to anxious thoughts in the middle of the night so I'm trying to let those go and get back to sleep.

    Gassho

    Nenka

    ST

  8. #8
    Thank you Jundo for this practice.

    #31 I acted as if I enjoyed doing certain chores around the house. Changing your state of mind does make a difference. This is a great lesson in developing new habits.
    #32 Ever since I joined Treeleaf and started learning/practicing here this has become a lot easier in general. I'm not resisting as much as I used to.

    Gassho,
    Jack
    Sattoday/lah

  9. #9
    Treeleaf Unsui Geika's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    San Diego County, California
    Quote Originally Posted by Tairin View Post
    Teenagers are interesting to watch because they are at that point in their lives where they are truly defining who they are. They try on different personas and consequently try on uniforms that go along with those persona.
    Man, I don't miss those times!

    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.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Nenka View Post
    31--Initially I thought this one was going to be bad for my impostor syndrome. Then I wondered if I could behave like someone who doesn't have impostor syndrome. Like really believe I'm capable of things. I'm working on it this week.

    32--I'm particularly prone to anxious thoughts in the middle of the night so I'm trying to let those go and get back to sleep.

    Gassho

    Nenka

    ST
    Haha ditto to this entire post.

    Gassho
    Jakuden
    SatToday/LAH


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    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).

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Nenka View Post
    31--Initially I thought this one was going to be bad for my impostor syndrome. Then I wondered if I could behave like someone who doesn't have impostor syndrome. Like really believe I'm capable of things. I'm working on it this week.

    32--I'm particularly prone to anxious thoughts in the middle of the night so I'm trying to let those go and get back to sleep.

    Gassho

    Nenka

    ST
    Like Jakuden - Same here for both

    Now I'm going to get corny, but bear with me; I'm a very cheesy-type person - ah well there I go with the stories. hahahaha

    Seriously - you are absolutely capable - I have the same problem though. I think these negative thought patterns are just my karma (nothing woo woo- I mean just thought patterns I allow to take root in my mind); but zazen allows us to sit with them and then watch them. I can't get rid of them but I can nip them in the bud - or actually I think when I nip them in the bud they get more energy because I'm paying them more attention, but when I watch them, they just fizzle out, sort of like when Buddha invited Mara in, and then Mara lost his energy. But seriously - you are capable, and we are all imposters just trying to do shit - some of us are just better at looking like we know wtf we are doing. I don't know why I remember this, but years ago, I thought you crocheted a Kraken. I mean to be able to create something is so fantastic; it really is. My mom crochets like it's nothing, and I think that's not a small feat. Bringing anything into this world is fantastic - I think when we focus on what we don't have rather than all the awesomeness we have kind of sets us in the wrong tone. Of course, I think that's easier said than done.

    Anxiety - oy! I have a fear of failure because I like to win at what I do. I manage people; it's a lot like being a tenzo I guess; there are rewarding things and there are administrative things. But when you are the boss, with looming deadlines and people to take care of, it produces a lot of anxiety. But I think it comes down to acknowledging that anxiety; that anxiety can be a good thing; it lets me know to take things seriously, but you have to just let it be. You let that anxiety come up and really really taste it. Holy cow sometimes it's too much, but I know I can take it and it will pass. Because I think we all face this; I think this practice's magic is that it allows us to watch it without engaging it, which is very hard. Some days I just fail and give into it; then it passes anyway despite my worrying about worrying. hahahaha

    I usually ask myself - am I doing my best? If I am, I can't control the outcome; that is what I'm afraid of, future outcome because I have a tight grip on wanting the goal. But in reality, this is illusion; I think things usually don't turn out to plan but they turn out better. I really do attribute that entire outlook to this practice; and now I'm calling it practice again, when I said it's not practice in another thread, so there's some more hypocrisy. hahahahah

    Gassho

    Risho
    -stlah

  12. #12
    Like many of us I'm living through a period of terrible worry and uncertainty, so both of these exercises are a necessary and constant challenge.

    I'm generally unhappy most of the time at the moment, so as well as trying to assume the mantle of happiness, I'm also making a real effort to find pleasure in the small things in life, the moments, rather than the big full on laugh. I'm very grateful for the posts from Jundo and Kyonin - I would love to visit Japan, but as it's unlikely ever to happen, I'm really loving being along for the journey vicariously and that's bringing me a lot of pleasure.

    Today I got a letter from the UK Health Service warning me that I may lose my Health Service benefits if/when Brexit happens. Apart from the anger at losing a benefit that I paid into all my working life, not having any health cover is causing me huge anxiety. However, when I received the letter, which I had been expecting, it was as if my anxiety had peaked - or maybe I just can't pile on any more - and I put the letter aside with a surprising degree of equanimity. This in itself actually helped to generate more equanimity around what might happen to me in the future, I feel encouraged that I can still find that balance.

    Metta to all of us who are going through difficult times - but really, what a time to be alive!
    Gassho
    Meitou
    sattodaylah
    命 Mei - life
    島 Tou - island

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Meitou View Post
    Like many of us I'm living through a period of terrible worry and uncertainty, so both of these exercises are a necessary and constant challenge.

    I'm generally unhappy most of the time at the moment, so as well as trying to assume the mantle of happiness, I'm also making a real effort to find pleasure in the small things in life, the moments, rather than the big full on laugh. I'm very grateful for the posts from Jundo and Kyonin - I would love to visit Japan, but as it's unlikely ever to happen, I'm really loving being along for the journey vicariously and that's bringing me a lot of pleasure.

    Today I got a letter from the UK Health Service warning me that I may lose my Health Service benefits if/when Brexit happens. Apart from the anger at losing a benefit that I paid into all my working life, not having any health cover is causing me huge anxiety. However, when I received the letter, which I had been expecting, it was as if my anxiety had peaked - or maybe I just can't pile on any more - and I put the letter aside with a surprising degree of equanimity. This in itself actually helped to generate more equanimity around what might happen to me in the future, I feel encouraged that I can still find that balance.

    Metta to all of us who are going through difficult times - but really, what a time to be alive!
    Gassho
    Meitou
    sattodaylah
    Ugh so sorry Meitou. The never ending divisiveness, just causing suffering upon suffering. Much love and Metta

    Gassho
    Jakuden
    SatToday/LAH


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    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).

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Jakuden View Post
    Ugh so sorry Meitou. The never ending divisiveness, just causing suffering upon suffering. Much love and Metta

    Gassho
    Jakuden
    SatToday/LAH


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    Thank you Jakuden I feel hopeful that eventually the tide will turn; history bears that out.
    Gassho
    Meitou
    Sattoday lah
    命 Mei - life
    島 Tou - island

  15. #15
    Like many of us I'm living through a period of terrible worry and uncertainty, so both of these exercises are a necessary and constant challenge.

    I'm generally unhappy most of the time at the moment, so as well as trying to assume the mantle of happiness, I'm also making a real effort to find pleasure in the small things in life, the moments, rather than the big full on laugh. I'm very grateful for the posts from Jundo and Kyonin - I would love to visit Japan, but as it's unlikely ever to happen, I'm really loving being along for the journey vicariously and that's bringing me a lot of pleasure.

    Today I got a letter from the UK Health Service warning me that I may lose my Health Service benefits if/when Brexit happens. Apart from the anger at losing a benefit that I paid into all my working life, not having any health cover is causing me huge anxiety. However, when I received the letter, which I had been expecting, it was as if my anxiety had peaked - or maybe I just can't pile on any more - and I put the letter aside with a surprising degree of equanimity. This in itself actually helped to generate more equanimity around what might happen to me in the future, I feel encouraged that I can still find that balance.

    Metta to all of us who are going through difficult times - but really, what a time to be alive!
    Gassho
    Meitou
    sattodaylah


    Gassho
    Washin
    ST
    Kaido (有道) Every Way
    Washin (和信) Harmony Trust
    ----
    I am a novice priest-in-training. Anything what I say must not be considered as teaching
    and should be taken with a 'grain of salt'.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Risho View Post
    Like Jakuden - Same here for both

    Now I'm going to get corny, but bear with me; I'm a very cheesy-type person - ah well there I go with the stories. hahahaha

    Seriously - you are absolutely capable - I have the same problem though. I think these negative thought patterns are just my karma (nothing woo woo- I mean just thought patterns I allow to take root in my mind); but zazen allows us to sit with them and then watch them. I can't get rid of them but I can nip them in the bud - or actually I think when I nip them in the bud they get more energy because I'm paying them more attention, but when I watch them, they just fizzle out, sort of like when Buddha invited Mara in, and then Mara lost his energy. But seriously - you are capable, and we are all imposters just trying to do shit - some of us are just better at looking like we know wtf we are doing. I don't know why I remember this, but years ago, I thought you crocheted a Kraken. I mean to be able to create something is so fantastic; it really is. My mom crochets like it's nothing, and I think that's not a small feat. Bringing anything into this world is fantastic - I think when we focus on what we don't have rather than all the awesomeness we have kind of sets us in the wrong tone. Of course, I think that's easier said than done.

    Anxiety - oy! I have a fear of failure because I like to win at what I do. I manage people; it's a lot like being a tenzo I guess; there are rewarding things and there are administrative things. But when you are the boss, with looming deadlines and people to take care of, it produces a lot of anxiety. But I think it comes down to acknowledging that anxiety; that anxiety can be a good thing; it lets me know to take things seriously, but you have to just let it be. You let that anxiety come up and really really taste it. Holy cow sometimes it's too much, but I know I can take it and it will pass. Because I think we all face this; I think this practice's magic is that it allows us to watch it without engaging it, which is very hard. Some days I just fail and give into it; then it passes anyway despite my worrying about worrying. hahahaha

    I usually ask myself - am I doing my best? If I am, I can't control the outcome; that is what I'm afraid of, future outcome because I have a tight grip on wanting the goal. But in reality, this is illusion; I think things usually don't turn out to plan but they turn out better. I really do attribute that entire outlook to this practice; and now I'm calling it practice again, when I said it's not practice in another thread, so there's some more hypocrisy. hahahahah

    Gassho

    Risho
    -stlah
    Thanks, old Ango Buddy.

    Also, it was Cthulhu! I can't believe you remember that, LOL.

    Gassho

    Nenka

    ST

  17. #17
    Member Seishin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    La Croix-Avranchin, Basse Normandie, France
    Quote Originally Posted by Meitou View Post
    Like many of us I'm living through a period of terrible worry and uncertainty, so both of these exercises are a necessary and constant challenge.

    I'm generally unhappy most of the time at the moment, so as well as trying to assume the mantle of happiness, I'm also making a real effort to find pleasure in the small things in life, the moments, rather than the big full on laugh. I'm very grateful for the posts from Jundo and Kyonin - I would love to visit Japan, but as it's unlikely ever to happen, I'm really loving being along for the journey vicariously and that's bringing me a lot of pleasure.

    Today I got a letter from the UK Health Service warning me that I may lose my Health Service benefits if/when Brexit happens. Apart from the anger at losing a benefit that I paid into all my working life, not having any health cover is causing me huge anxiety. However, when I received the letter, which I had been expecting, it was as if my anxiety had peaked - or maybe I just can't pile on any more - and I put the letter aside with a surprising degree of equanimity. This in itself actually helped to generate more equanimity around what might happen to me in the future, I feel encouraged that I can still find that balance.

    Metta to all of us who are going through difficult times - but really, what a time to be alive!
    Gassho
    Meitou
    sattodaylah
    Meitou

    Boy do I know what you are going through. Both these practices are key for me at the moment but with all things Brexit I struggle. My wife is yet to receive her letter which I will almost certainly intercept, so this madness does not give more angina attacks. I will not go on but you are in my thoughts.

    Sat


    Seishin

    Sei - Meticulous
    Shin - Heart

  18. #18
    31: I believe I may have done this a little backwards lol.. but I decided to imagine myself as shy, and more withdrawn around people. I am normally very talkative and outgoing - I love to go anywhere with practically anyone and will jump at opportunity to at most every chance even to the point of overcommitting/overlapping things. I have people in my life that are very withdrawn and suffer deeply from anxiety though - namely my wife and brother who are quiet and withdrawn and not people-people. I tried to take pause during this week to think how I might feel in situations if I were in their shoes and how it might feel to be asked or pressured to be in situations that might really stress them out. I realized the things I often think are exciting and fun may really be dreadful and quite often I didn't see ways out of situations that wouldn't disappoint someone (if I said no). I didn't change my outward actions or demeanor for this - it was all intellectual but I feel it gave me a little more awareness of what they might be going through and I'll think more about them in the future when I might be making a decision that affects them too.

    32: This has always been a struggle for me over the years. Running scenarios (often negative) in my head about how something might turn out. I am happy to say it's something that isn't as bad of a habit now as it used to be. I can say I didn't really worry much about anything this week. Perhaps I got the luck of the draw this time.

    Edit to add: I just read above. Metta to you Meitou. /\

    Gassho
    Kendrick
    Sat
    Last edited by Kendrick; 10-09-2019 at 06:21 PM.
    “Life and death are of supreme importance. Time swiftly passes by and opportunity is lost. Each of us should strive to awaken. Awaken! Take heed, do not squander your life.” ― Dōgen

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