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Thread: A mistrust when sitting

  1. #1

    A mistrust when sitting

    Hi, its been a while.

    I have developed a fear, an non-descript anxiety when practising Shikantaza.

    Why?

    Because I feel like I can slip into it a little too easy of late. I sit and I am there, immediately....with nowhere else to go and its worrying me.....as a result I avert my practice into something else. I have developed a mistrust of what others might perceive as a success and progression. There's no arrogance or ego attached to my question, its just what happens.

    How can I remove this odd obstacle.



    Thanks
    Sat today

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by dharmasponge View Post
    Hi, its been a while.

    I have developed a fear, an non-descript anxiety when practising Shikantaza.

    Why?

    Because I feel like I can slip into it a little too easy of late. I sit and I am there, immediately....with nowhere else to go and its worrying me.....as a result I avert my practice into something else. I have developed a mistrust of what others might perceive as a success and progression. There's no arrogance or ego attached to my question, its just what happens.

    How can I remove this odd obstacle.



    Thanks


    Gassho, Jishin, __/stlah\__

  3. #3
    I have developed a fear, an non-descript anxiety when practising Shikantaza.

    Why?

    Because I feel like I can slip into it a little too easy of late. I sit and I am there, immediately....with nowhere else to go and its worrying me.....as a result I avert my practice into something else. I have developed a mistrust of what others might perceive as a success and progression. There's no arrogance or ego attached to my question, its just what happens.

    How can I remove this odd obstacle.
    Just keep sitting.

    There is no 'there' to be other than where you are.

    And no success or failure.

    The thoughts are there, as is the fear.

    They are not obstacles.

    They are all just part of sitting.

    Gassho
    Kokuu
    -sattoday-
    ------------------------------------
    Feel free to message me if you wish to talk about issues around practicing with physical limitations. This is something I have been sitting with for a fair while and am happy to help with suggestions or just offer a listening ear.

  4. #4
    Member Hoseki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dharmasponge View Post
    Hi, its been a while.

    I have developed a fear, an non-descript anxiety when practising Shikantaza.

    Why?

    Because I feel like I can slip into it a little too easy of late. I sit and I am there, immediately....with nowhere else to go and its worrying me.....as a result I avert my practice into something else. I have developed a mistrust of what others might perceive as a success and progression. There's no arrogance or ego attached to my question, its just what happens.

    How can I remove this odd obstacle.



    Thanks
    Hi,

    I'm afraid I don't have any advice but I wanted to ask a question. I hope that's OK! When you feel this fear do you have any physical symptoms as well?

    Gassho
    Hoseki
    Sattoday

  5. #5
    Hi,

    Yes, just keep sitting and be aware how thoughts arise, how they want to take control and just allow them to stay with no comment or judgment.

    What I sometimes do is to sit a few minutes less than my daily time, but I walk kinhin the rest of the time.

    Hope this helps.

    Gassho,

    Kyonin
    Sat/LAH
    Hondō Kyōnin
    奔道 協忍

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Hoseki View Post
    Hi,

    I'm afraid I don't have any advice but I wanted to ask a question. I hope that's OK! When you feel this fear do you have any physical symptoms as well?

    Gassho
    Hoseki
    Sattoday
    It's probably fair to say it's more like an anxiety than fear. Anxiety mixed with exhilaration. Both of which I can sit through but am then left with a lingering doubt as to the legitimacy of the practice.

  7. #7
    Trust the 2500 year old practice,.Just sit!! The anxiety or fear is just window dressing. Open the curtain and enjoy the view. I remember one time about nine years ago ( I had been sitting regularly for five or six years) when I suddenly started shaking and experiencing then the anxiety/fear which I think you're referring to. I thought, "What's this, what's happening ??" and sitting there in a cold sweat I heard a voice that said, "Let it go!!"

    Gassho, Shokai
    stlah
    Last edited by Shokai; 02-04-2020 at 10:21 PM.
    仁道 生開 - Jindo Shokai "Open to life in a benevolent way"
    May we all grow together in our knowledge of the Dharma

  8. #8
    Both of which I can sit through but am then left with a lingering doubt as to the legitimacy of the practice.
    If the object of the practice is to sit with what arises, and what is arising is anxiety, it sounds like the practice is working just fine.


    Gassho
    Kokuu
    -sattoday
    ------------------------------------
    Feel free to message me if you wish to talk about issues around practicing with physical limitations. This is something I have been sitting with for a fair while and am happy to help with suggestions or just offer a listening ear.

  9. #9
    What Shokai, Kyonin and Kokuu said.

    Gassho, Jundo

    STLah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  10. #10
    Member Hoseki's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    St. John's Newfoundland, Canada.
    Quote Originally Posted by dharmasponge View Post
    It's probably fair to say it's more like an anxiety than fear. Anxiety mixed with exhilaration. Both of which I can sit through but am then left with a lingering doubt as to the legitimacy of the practice.
    Ok thanks! Iíve had that happen a few times but itís never been an ongoing issue (phew.)

    I hope it works itself out.

    Gassho
    Hoseki
    Sattoday


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  11. #11
    ... but am then left with a lingering doubt as to the legitimacy of the practice
    Zazen is strange, but makes a profound point about our psychological and philosophical attitude toward the world and life.

    The world/life is just the world/life. It is what it is.

    It is only human beings who judge this world/life as satisfying/dissatisfying, complete/lacking, legitimate/illegitimate etc. This life and world leap beyond all such human scales and judging. The world does not feel anxiety about being the world or about the state it is in. Only human beings feel such anxiety about the world.

    Thus, we sit Zazen dropping away all human measures of satisfying/dissatisfying, complete/lacking, legitimate/illegitimate etc.

    When we do so, a surprising thing happens:

    One discovers that the dropping of satisfying/dissatisfying, and the willingness to just sit as what is, is most satisfying!

    Putting aside measure of "complete vs. lacking" reveals a wholeness which is complete as it is.

    Zazen legitimizes itself when we just drop the question from mind "is this legitimate or not"?

    There is something pure and whole, positive and complete about the world when we simply rest, dropping all pursuit of "satisfaction, completion, legitimacy" and the like. This life "as it is," for all its apparent faults, reveals a wholeness beyond all the mental divisions, frictions and feelings of lack. Thus we sit, dropping our wallowing in divided mental categories, frictions and measures of lack. It is the little self which has a head full of categories, divisions, judgments etc, so that sense of self softens or fully drops away. What is to be anxious about?

    Sit as "what it is," and life is "what it is." One might say that Zazen is self-legitimizing ("non-self legitimizing"? ) when we simply sit dropping such subjective measures and concerns such as whether it is "legitimate or not."

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    Last edited by Jundo; 02-05-2020 at 02:51 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  12. #12
    Nobody is perfect. Imperfection is the way of life. Growth only occurs through imperfections

    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

  13. #13

  14. #14
    Yes, I think thinking mind is all about comparing things, expecting rewards, ideas,... sceptical and full of doubt. That's why Zazen is, imo, very good to encounter these mind patterns and to learn not to react to them - but keep sitting and go beyond the doubts, the fear, the mistrust and other thoughts because it's all the mind spinning and doing what it's used to do.

    Gassho

    Ben

    Stlah

    Enviado desde mi PLK-L01 mediante Tapatalk
    Last edited by Horin; 02-05-2020 at 10:42 AM.

  15. #15
    Dharmasponge, please remember to put your name and "sattoday" before commenting. Thank you.

    l saw your comment elsewhere ... May l ask, who told you so? lf it was meant to refer to here (l don't assume so), the advice was not quite this, but rather more subtle about sitting right through "good and bad":

    Interestingly he said it was good and I should develop confidence in my practice.

    Dammed if I do (...dull vaguely anxious state)

    Dammed if I don't (... perpetuate the status quo)

    Almost Koan like.
    Gassho, J

    STLah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    Zazen is strange, but makes a profound point about our psychological and philosophical attitude toward the world and life.

    The world/life is just the world/life. It is what it is.

    It is only human beings who judge this world/life as satisfying/dissatisfying, complete/lacking, legitimate/illegitimate etc. This life and world leap beyond all such human scales and judging. The world does not feel anxiety about being the world or about the state it is in. Only human beings feel such anxiety about the world.

    Thus, we sit Zazen dropping away all human measures of satisfying/dissatisfying, complete/lacking, legitimate/illegitimate etc.

    When we do so, a surprising thing happens:

    One discovers that the dropping of satisfying/dissatisfying, and the willingness to just sit as what is, is most satisfying!

    Putting aside measure of "complete vs. lacking" reveals a wholeness which is complete as it is.

    Zazen legitimizes itself when we just drop the question from mind "is this legitimate or not"?

    There is something pure and whole, positive and complete about the world when we simply rest, dropping all pursuit of "satisfaction, completion, legitimacy" and the like. This life "as it is," for all its apparent faults, reveals a wholeness beyond all the mental divisions, frictions and feelings of lack. Thus we sit, dropping our wallowing in divided mental categories, frictions and measures of lack. It is the little self which has a head full of categories, divisions, judgments etc, so that sense of self softens or fully drops away. What is to be anxious about?

    Sit as "what it is," and life is "what it is." One might say that Zazen is self-legitimizing ("non-self legitimizing"? ) when we simply sit dropping such subjective measures and concerns such as whether it is "legitimate or not."

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    Jundo,

    You've said this before, but it cannot be repeated enough. Perhaps I should say that I, at least, need the constant reminders. Thank you.

    Gassho,

    Hobun

    Sat today

    Sent from my SM-N975U using Tapatalk

  17. #17
    One must also have a trust in Shikantaza to "make it work" ... but not the usual kind of trust and faith.

    If one trusts that Zazen is complete, with nothing lacking, that this sitting is the one act to do in the world while sitting ... then it is complete with nothing lacking,

    On the other hand, if one sits full of doubts, thinking that something is lacking and there is something better to do ... then it is lacking.

    Why? Zazen is neutral, but the interpretation and judgement of Zazen happens between our ears, and is up to us. Thus, a profound trust in the wholeness is vital.

    Then getting up from the cushion, we realize the same about all of life.

    Is life lacking or whole, to be escaped from or are we "always at home"? In fact, life is just life, and our subjective heart determines much of the lens through we we see and feel about it. We typically only know life as lacking, but now we can experience its completeness too. We typically only know how to desire, chase after, feel lack and run to get more-more-more in life, but now we taste "nothing more in need of getting."

    The real wisdom of this Path, if ya ask me, is to ultimately realize the wholeness of life while, at the same time, there is much that still is lacking and needs fixing in our world. We realize "always at home, no place to go," even as we keep moving, so busy, places to go and people to see in our day to day life.

    TRUST in ZAZEN

    Gassho, J

    stlah
    Last edited by Jundo; 02-09-2020 at 01:16 PM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    Dharmasponge, please remember to put your name and "sattoday" before commenting. Thank you.

    l saw your comment elsewhere ... May l ask, who told you so? lf it was meant to refer to here (l don't assume so), the advice was not quite this, but rather more subtle about sitting right through "good and bad":

    Gassho, J

    STLah

    Hi Jundo,

    No, it wasn't anyone in here.....was a teacher from the San Francisco Zen Centre.

    Tony

    STlah
    Sat today

  19. #19
    Interestingly he said it was good and I should develop confidence in my practice.

    Dammed if I do (...dull vaguely anxious state)

    Dammed if I don't (... perpetuate the status quo)

    Almost Koan like.
    Hi Tony

    I have been thinking about this and, without wanting to disrespect a teacher at the fine SFZC, I wonder if there is a differentiation to be made between 'my practice' and 'the practice'?

    Whenever I think about 'my practice' all kinds of judgements and ideas appear.
    If I have faith in 'the practice', those fall away.

    I wonder if we can just have faith in the practice and let sitting happen by itself without the addition of 'my' or 'I'?

    Gassho
    Kokuu
    -sattoday/lah-
    ------------------------------------
    Feel free to message me if you wish to talk about issues around practicing with physical limitations. This is something I have been sitting with for a fair while and am happy to help with suggestions or just offer a listening ear.

  20. #20
    Never thought if it that exact way, Kokuu. Nice!

    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.

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