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Thread: Expectations

  1. #1

    Expectations

    Perhaps the hardest thing for me are the expectations I have for practice.

    I understand that there is nothing to understand, and yet I keep finding myself expecting something to "happen" when I sit.

    HELP!!



    Kevin

    Sat today

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Benbow View Post
    Perhaps the hardest thing for me are the expectations I have for practice.

    I understand that there is nothing to understand, and yet I keep finding myself expecting something to "happen" when I sit.

    HELP!!



    Kevin

    Sat today
    Ah, human beings always need more, change, to be entertained, a new twist, pop corn for the next movie. Stones do not need so, lanterns and mountains do not need so, rivers just flow without asking what is around the next bend. Being free from the need for more more more, next next next, is great freedom ...

    SIT-A-LONG with Jundo: WHAT's NEXT!?!
    https://www.treeleaf.org/forums/show...-s-NEXT%21-%21

    Also ...

    How to attain enlightenment ...
    .
    ... by dropping all need and effort to attain enlightenment ...

    ... thus, enlightenment immediately attained!


    https://www.treeleaf.org/forums/show...-enlightenment

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  3. #3
    Many of us approach practice the same way we might approach exercise: If we do the activity, there will be a result.

    When it comes to zazen, there is nothing to gain. Why? Because zazen is the activity of the Buddhas. Doing zazen is what Buddhas do. So there is nothing to gain when we are sitting zazen, we are already there! All we need to do is sit and be Buddha. When we sit, we fulfill all vows and perfectly abide by all precepts.

    Gassho
    Sen
    Sat|LAH
    橋川
    kyō (bridge) | sen (river)

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Sen View Post
    Many of us approach practice the same way we might approach exercise: If we do the activity, there will be a result.

    When it comes to zazen, there is nothing to gain. Why? Because zazen is the activity of the Buddhas. Doing zazen is what Buddhas do. So there is nothing to gain when we are sitting zazen, we are already there! All we need to do is sit and be Buddha. When we sit, we fulfill all vows and perfectly abide by all precepts.

    Gassho
    Sen
    Sat|LAH
    And yet, like with exercise we "keep moving" although nothing to attain and the goal is ever underfoot. Zazen is not merely sitting around like a couch potato! In Zazen, we sit for a time ... then get up and get moving, putting all into practice. This is Dogen's vision of ongoing "Practice-Enlightenment."

    On more old link from me, from our Beginner's Series (watch those with no end to attain too!) Just juggle to juggle, but keep the balls in the air!

    Shikantaza “Just Sitting” is an unusual way of meditation, and might be compared to running a long distance foot race in a most unusual way. In most ordinary races, people run to win something, seeking to cross the finish line at the end of the course, far down the road and over distant hills. So the runners keep on pushing ahead, striving with all their might to get to that goal, the crossing of which will finally make them winners. In Zen, that distant goal is sometimes called “Enlightenment.”

    And in Shikantaza too, we do not give up. We keep pushing ahead diligently with our practice, step by step and inch by inch, seeking the goal. However, the “goal” turns out not to be where we thought it was, and the way of its crossing not as first imagined.

    For, in Shikantaza we must come to realize that the “goal” is not the crossing of some far off line. Instead, each step-by-step of the race itself IS the destination fully attained, the finish line is ever underfoot and constantly crossed with each inch. Each step is instantaneously a perfect arriving at the winner’s tape!

    Zazen for Beginners (5)
    https://www.treeleaf.org/forums/show...inners-%285%29


    It's kinda wise-crazy!

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Benbow View Post
    Perhaps the hardest thing for me are the expectations I have for practice.

    I understand that there is nothing to understand, and yet I keep finding myself expecting something to "happen" when I sit.

    HELP!!



    Kevin

    Sat today
    Since we donít really know what is going to happen, it best to relax and allow the joy


    Sat/lah


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    _/_
    Rich
    MUHYO
    無 (MU, Emptiness) and 氷 (HYO, Ice) ... Emptiness Ice ...

    I may be wrong and not knowing is acceptable

  6. #6
    Thanks to all of you for the encouragement. Perhaps the expectations that arise in my mind just need to be observed and let go.

    Gassho

    Klb

    Sat today.

  7. #7
    Treeleaf Unsui / Engineer Sekishi's Avatar
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    Apr 2013
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    Virginia, USA
    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Benbow View Post
    Thanks to all of you for the encouragement. Perhaps the expectations that arise in my mind just need to be observed and let go.
    And be kind and patient with yourself. If your experience is anything like mine, you'll keep uncovering new and subtle "expectations" in practice. Each is a gift. None make you a "bad Buddhist", just a sentient being.

    Deep bows,
    Sekishi #sat
    sekishi
    石志

    As a novice priest-in-training, this is simply an expression of my opinion. Please take it with a grain of salt.

  8. #8
    If we sit with expectations, then we are sitting with expectations.
    That is simply current flavor of that moment of sitting.
    neither good, nor bad.
    Just sitting with expectations.

    SAT

    Seiryu
    Humbly,
    清竜 Seiryu

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Benbow View Post
    ... I keep finding myself expecting something to "happen" when I sit.
    Well, the whole universe is happening.

    Gassho
    Byōkan
    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.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Byokan View Post
    Well, the whole universe is happening.

    Gassho
    Byōkan
    sat + lah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  11. #11
    I like what Kodo Sawaki says about Zazen and expectations here: https://antaiji.org/archives/eng/attitude.shtml

    Often people ask me how many years they have to practice zazen before it shows results. I say that zazen has no results. You won't get anything at all out of zazen. And then some say that in that case they'd rather stop with zazen . . . But what is running around looking for satisfaction good for? What is gambling good for? And dancing? What is it good for to get worked up over winning or losing in baseball? It's all good for absolutely nothing! That's why nothing is as sensible as sitting silently in zazen. That something is good for nothing means, in worldly terms, only that it doesn't bring in any money.
    Zazen isn't like a thermometer on which the temperature slowly rises, "Just a little more … yeah … that's it! Now, I've got satori!" Zazen never becomes anything special, no matter how long you practice. If it becomes something special, you must have a screw lose somewhere.
    What's zazen good for? Absolutely nothing! This 'good for nothing' has got to sink into your flesh and bones until you actually practice what is truly good for nothing. Until then, your zazen is just good for nothing.
    Last edited by shikantazen; 11-07-2019 at 01:34 AM.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by shikantazen View Post
    I like what Kodo Sawaki says about Zazen and expectations here: https://antaiji.org/archives/eng/attitude.shtml


    Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk
    Humbly,
    清竜 Seiryu

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by shikantazen View Post
    I like what Kodo Sawaki says about Zazen and expectations here: https://antaiji.org/archives/eng/attitude.shtml
    I would like to play Devil's advocate with this.

    One could say, that although Zazen is good for nothing, and we are not seeking for anything in Zazen and, as Sawaki says, if it becomes something special we might have a screw lose somewhere, it seems apparent that many people are in fact receiving immense benefit from Zazen. Whether it is an overall feeling of tranquility, to just being able to accept the everyday ebb and flow of life. If after every session of Zazen, you were to feel miserable, angry, depressed, and that was just the content of your zazen for days, weeks and months at a time, would it still be an activity you would engage in?

    Gassho

    Seiryu
    Humbly,
    清竜 Seiryu

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Seiryu View Post
    I would like to play Devil's advocate with this.

    One could say, that although Zazen is good for nothing, and we are not seeking for anything in Zazen and, as Sawaki says, if it becomes something special we might have a screw lose somewhere, it seems apparent that many people are in fact receiving immense benefit from Zazen. Whether it is an overall feeling of tranquility, to just being able to accept the everyday ebb and flow of life. If after every session of Zazen, you were to feel miserable, angry, depressed, and that was just the content of your zazen for days, weeks and months at a time, would it still be an activity you would engage in?

    Gassho

    Seiryu
    Hi Seiryu,

    Please don't forget to mark "sat today" or the like before chatting. Thank you.

    Giving up all need for getting, achieving, possessing, or experiencing something special ... and simply resting in the wholeness and completion of this ... may be a better way not to be so miserable, angry, and more at peace, than trying to achieve and get any of such things. In fact, one might say that the desire to get, the hunger to achieve, the wish to possess and fear of losing, the anger when things or people are not as one wants is the very root of being miserable, angry and not at peace. Kinda counter-intuitive.

    Radically not seeking any special state is, right there, a most special state.

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  15. #15
    Member Onka's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2019
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    Rural Queensland, Australia
    Quote Originally Posted by Seiryu View Post
    I would like to play Devil's advocate with this.

    One could say, that although Zazen is good for nothing, and we are not seeking for anything in Zazen and, as Sawaki says, if it becomes something special we might have a screw lose somewhere, it seems apparent that many people are in fact receiving immense benefit from Zazen. Whether it is an overall feeling of tranquility, to just being able to accept the everyday ebb and flow of life. If after every session of Zazen, you were to feel miserable, angry, depressed, and that was just the content of your zazen for days, weeks and months at a time, would it still be an activity you would engage in?

    Gassho

    Seiryu
    My pain level is exacerbated exponentially after every single Zazen sitting and it's been like this since I started this practice exactly one year ago today.
    I'll be getting up at 5am tomorrow morning to do it again and can't imagine not starting my day with Zazen. I regularly add an extra Insta-Zazen or more when needed. There really is nothing quite like spinal disabilities to keep life lived.
    Gassho
    Anna
    stlah

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    穏 On (Calm)
    火 Ka (Fires)
    aka Anna Kissed
    Resident Anarchist.
    Pronouns:She/Her They/Them.
    Life's too serious to be taken seriously.
    No Gods. No Masters.

  16. #16
    I'm just catching up with this thread and apologize for not paying more attention to it.

    I love that reference from Sawaki. He said "Our Satori drives our sitting."

    So, for about two weeks I have been sitting twice daily for periods of twenty minutes each.

    During some of the sitting I feel peaceful, tranquil, yada yada.

    During others I feel bored, irritated, and want it to be over.

    I am slowly learning that it is OK to feel both ways and everything in between.

    Here is one thing I did not expect that is happening, though. I feel much more compassionate in daily life. Not all the time, but I feel as though a lot of things that used to irritate me are not really that big of a deal.

    Gassho

    klb

    sat today

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