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Thread: Zen Funks

  1. #1
    Member Onka's Avatar
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    Rural Queensland, Australia

    Zen Funks

    Comrades
    I've been in a funk with my practice.
    I've been still getting up before or at 5am every day and do shikantaza for at least 10 minutes but lately it feels like a chore rather than a thing I look forward to.
    Furthermore I allowed other aspects of my daily practice to slip.
    My reciting of the four vows, verse of atonement and heart sutra every morning had slipped, daily reading has halted and my love affair with my rakusu had dissipated/evolved.
    I'm sure there are many factors contributing to this but they can all be lumped under the title LIFE.
    Of course I started sitting primarily to become better at living with pain and other life stuff but reconnection with my self/non-self has been what has kept me motivated.
    So comrades, how can I shake this funk when it happens or how have you shaken yourself from this kind of feeling?
    This morning's sitting I recited the robe verse, put on my rakusu and chanted the heart sutra and it did feel like I had indeed adorned the Tatathaga's teachings again. My shikantaza was 20 minutes albeit an undisciplined and frustrated 20 minutes but it kinda sorta felt like I had kicked the funk in the guts enough for me to move forward.
    In some ways this could be posted in the Zazen without a teacher thread as my Zoom connection to sitting live with you all two way has been problematic and it keeps dropping out. I didn't think it was a big deal as I could always sit with you later via YouTube but it has had an impact. For me.
    I like sitting live as we commonly understand live to be. I like seeing my guiding friend along the way Jundo and my sangha sisters and brothers and like that this in itself is a radical act of solidarity with folk from all around the world.
    Anyway, I'll keep you posted with how I'm travellin' but am interested in other people's experience.
    Gassho
    Anna
    sat today

    Sent from my Lenovo TB-8304F1 using Tapatalk
    On Ka
    穏 火
    aka Anna Kissed.
    No Gods No Masters.
    Life is too serious to be taken seriously.

  2. #2
    Ah, where honeymoon becomes marriage.

    In funk out funk, chore no chore, sit for a time ... at the center beyond funk no funk, chore no chore.

    Life is up and life is down, Zen is up and Zen is down. There is a still still center at the heart of every up and down.

    Others will have some practical advice too, but don't expect a love affair each day.

    The revolution never comes, the revolution is right here!

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  3. #3
    PS - You know what is really really boring sometimes? Monastic life. Talk about same old same old! The big excitement is that there are different ceremonies on certain days, but even those are basically kind of the same. I just posted the schedule at a Soto-shu monastery for a friend, and you can get a taste ...

    — May 1 —
    Section 1: Closing Overnight Quarters
    Section 2: Compiling Register of Monastic Seniority

    — May 2 —
    Section 1: Procedure for Appointing Head Seat
    Preparations
    Rector’s Announcing Mallet
    Stewards’ Courtesy Words to Head Seat
    Head Seat’s Courtesy Words to Abbot
    Head Seat Goes to Place
    Rector Makes Announcement
    Diagram of Monastery-Entering Ceremony of Appointing Head Seat
    Writing Various Diagrams for Arranging Places
    Talk about a snooze fest! I can imagine the monk's afterwards kibitzing, "Oh don't you think the "Rector's Announcing Mallet" was particularly brash this year!?"

    It is a kind of sensory deprivation tank, in which one tosses oneself into the daily dance.

    I once helped a Zen group at a maximum security prison in Florida. I told the inmates in the Zazen group that prison life is actually a lot like monastery life (without the violence and drugs and all that, of course). The walls, rules, routine are the same, so Zen allows one to be free by knocking down the walls found between one's ears.

    So, Zen is sometimes boring. REALLY boring. Bro. Brad had an excellent essay about that once ...

    If you really take a look at your ordinary boring life, you'll discover something truly wonderful. Our regular old pointless lives are incredibly joyful -- amazingly, astoundingly, relentlessly, mercilessly joyful.

    You don't need to do a damned thing to experience such joy either. People think they need big experiences, interesting experiences. And it's true that gigantic, traumatic experiences sometimes bring people, for a fleeting moment, into a kind of enlightened state. That's why such experiences are so desired.

    But it wears off fast and you're right back out there looking for the next thrill. You don't need to take drugs, blow up buildings, win the Indy 500 or walk on the moon.

    You don't need to go hang-gliding over the Himalayas, you don't need to screw your luscious and oh-so-willing secretary or party all night with the beautiful people.

    You don't need visions of merging with the totality of the Universe.

    Just be what you are, where you are. Clean the toilet. Walk the dog. Do your work. That's the most magical thing there is.
    http://www.mindpowernews.com/BoringZen.htm

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    Last edited by Jundo; 02-25-2020 at 12:12 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  4. #4
    For me sitting is a lot like running. There are days when the run is just effortless. Like you are flying over the ground and you could run forever. An unstoppable machine.

    And there are days when it complete drudgery. Where you just don't want to leave the house. I had a day like that yesterday. There are days where you feet won't move and it is just so much work. Everything hurts and you just can't get going.

    And all kinds of days in between.

    In the end, you just lace up your shoes and head out the door. The run will be what it needs to be in the moment. But you got to keep running.

    Gassho, Shinshi

    SaT-LaH
    空道 心志 Kudo Shinshi
    I am just a priest-in-training, any resemblance between what I post and actual teachings is purely coincidental.

  5. #5
    Brad's Essay is so good, I will repost here ...

    ============

    Zen is Boring
    By Brad Warner


    Let's face it. Zen is boring. You couldn't find a duller, more tedious practice than Zazen. The philosophy is dry and unexciting. It's amazing to me anyone reads this page at all. Don't you people know you could be playing Tetris, right now? That there are a million free porno sites out there? Get a life, why don't you?!

    Joshu Sasaki, a Zen teacher from the Rinzai Sect, once said that Buddhist teachers always try to make students long for the Buddha World, but that if the students knew how really dry and tasteless the Buddha World actually was, they'd never want to go.

    He's right. Look at Zen teachers. Not a one of them has any sense of fashion. They sit around staring at blank walls. Ask them about levitation, they won't tell you. Ask them about life after death, they change the subject. Ask them about miracles and they start spouting nonsense about carrying buckets of water and chopping up fire wood. They go to bed early and wake up early. Zen is a philosophy for nerds.

    Boredom is important. Most of your life is dull, tasteless and boring. If you practice Zazen, you learn a lot about boredom. I remember the first time I sat Zazen, I was real excited. I figured I'd be seeing visions of four armed Krishnas descending from the Heavens, or I'd be fading into The Void just like the old Beatles song, or reach Nirvana (whatever that was) or some great wonderful thing.

    But the clock just ticked away, my legs started aching, and stupid thoughts kept drifting by. Maybe I wasn't doing it right, I thought. But no, year after year it was the same. Boring, boring, boring. After almost 20 years it's still boring as Hell.

    People hate their ordinary lives. We want something better. This, our day to day life of drudgery and work, is boring, dull and ordinary, we think. But someday, someday...

    There's an episode of The Monkees where Mike Nesmith says that when he was in high school he used to walk out on the school's empty stage with a guitar in his hands thinking "Someday, someday." Then he said that now (now being 1967, at the height of the Monkees fame) he walks out on stage in front of thousands of fans and thinks "Someday, someday."

    That's the way life is. It's never going to be perfect. Whatever "someday" you imagine, it will ever come. Never. No matter what it is. No matter how well you build your fantasy or how carefully you follow all the steps necessary to achieve it. Even if it comes true exactly the way you planned, you'll end up just like Mike Nesmith. Someday, someday... I guarantee you.

    Your life will change. That's for sure. But it won't get any better and it won't get any worse. How can you compare now to the past? What do you know about the past? You don't have a clue! You have no idea at all what yesterday was really like, let alone last week or ten years ago. The future? Forget about it...

    People long for big thrills. Peak experiences. Some people come to Zen expecting that Enlightenment will be the Ultimate Peak Experience. The Mother of All Peak Experiences. But real enlightenment is the most ordinary of the ordinary.

    Once I had an amazing vision. I saw myself transported through time and space. Millions, no, billions, trillions, Godzillions of years passed. Not figuratively, but literally. Whizzed by. I found myself at the very rim of time and space, a vast giant being composed of the living minds and bodies of every thing that ever was. It was an incredibly moving experience. Exhilarating. I was high for weeks. Finally I told Nishijima Sensei about it. He said it was nonsense. Just my imagination. I can't tell you how that made me feel. Imagination? This was as real an experience as any I've ever had. I just about cried. Later on that day I was eating a tangerine. I noticed how incredibly lovely a thing it was. So delicate. So amazingly orange. So very tasty. So I told Nishijima about that. That experience, he said, was enlightenment.

    You need a teacher like that. The world needs lots more teachers like that. Countless teachers would have interpreted my experience as a merging of my Atman with God, as a portent of great and wonderful things, would have praised my spiritual growth and given me pointers on how to go even further. And I would have been suckered right in to that, let me tell you! Woulda fallen for it hook line and sinker, boy howdy. If a teacher doesn't shatter your illusions he's doing you no favors at all.

    Boredom is what you need. Merging with the Mind of God at the Edge of the Universe, that's excitement. That's what we're all into this Zen thing for, right? Eating tangerines? Come on, dude! What could be more boring than eating a tangerine?

    Some years ago some psychologists did a study in which they sat some Buddhists monks and some regular folks in a room and wired them up to EEG machines to record their brain activity. They told everyone to relax, then introduced a repetitive stimulus, a loudly ticking clock, into the room. The normal folks' EEG showed that their brains stopped reacting the stimulus after a few seconds. But the Buddhists just kept on mentally registering the tick every time it happened. Psychologists and journalists never quite know how to interpret that finding, though it's often cited. It's a simple matter. Buddhists pay attention to their lives. Ordinary folks figure they have better things to think about.

    If you really take a look at your ordinary boring life, you'll discover something truly wonderful. Our regular old pointless lives are incredibly joyful -- amazingly, astoundingly, relentlessly, mercilessly joyful.

    You don't need to do a damned thing to experience such joy either. People think they need big experiences, interesting experiences. And it's true that gigantic, traumatic experiences sometimes bring people, for a fleeting moment, into a kind of enlightened state. That's why such experiences are so desired.

    But it wears off fast and you're right back out there looking for the next thrill. You don't need to take drugs, blow up buildings, win the Indy 500 or walk on the moon.

    You don't need to go hang-gliding over the Himalayas, you don't need to screw your luscious and oh-so-willing secretary or party all night with the beautiful people.

    You don't need visions of merging with the totality of the Universe.

    Just be what you are, where you are. Clean the toilet. Walk the dog. Do your work. That's the most magical thing there is.

    If you really want to merge with God, that's the way to do it. This moment. You sitting there with your hand in your underwear and potato chip crumbs on your chin, scrolling down your computer screen thinking "This guy's out of his mind."

    This very moment is Enlightenment. This moment has never come before and once it's gone, it's gone forever. You are this moment. This moment is you. This very moment is you merging with the total Universe, with God Himself.

    The life you're living right now has joys even God will never know.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  6. #6
    Great article by Brad. Thanks for posting it.

    To be honest, and to answer Onka’s question. If I hadn’t been practicing for some time I’d be completely turned off by Warner’s article or think it was completely futzed up. But I’ve sat diligently without missing more than a small handful of days for the past 4+ years through the exhilaration and the boredom of this practice. I get it. When my motivation is low then I sit with low motivation but I sit. I learn a lot about myself when I do.

    Onka, hopefully your funk doesn’t last long but while it’s here sit with it and learn from it.


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

  7. #7
    Member Onka's Avatar
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    Thanks Jundo, Shinshi and Tairin
    I'll have a good read of BW's later but you're right Jundo, the honeymoon is now a marriage. I'm committed but need to keep working on it and not take it for granted.
    Shinshi, the running analogy resonates strongly. I'm not sure why I hadn't connected to that before. Doh!
    Until I was about 30 and I could no longer ignore my spinal disabilities I would swim 2km every morning of the year and run 5km every night as well as do boxing and various martial arts (ignoring medical advice re: running and fighting).
    You're right, sometimes it took effort just to get out of bed in winter to swim, effort to run in cold rain, and train when injured.
    Zen isn't any different.
    Gassho
    Onka
    Sat today/lent a hand



    Sent from my Lenovo TB-8304F1 using Tapatalk
    On Ka
    穏 火
    aka Anna Kissed.
    No Gods No Masters.
    Life is too serious to be taken seriously.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Tairin View Post
    To be honest, and to answer Onka’s question. If I hadn’t been practicing for some time I’d be completely turned off by Warner’s article or think it was completely futzed up.
    Hi Tairin,

    You comment is really interesting to me. l wonder if you might elaborate on what you mean and why you think so. lt is really interesting.

    Gassho, Jundo

    STLah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  9. #9
    Hey Onka,

    For me it has waxed and waned over the years. I don't see them as 'peaks' or 'troughs' any more. Just like sitting is just sitting, our practice is just our practice.

    Let go of any judgement, re-engage, sit again, then you will find your groove again. I think leaving the judgment behind on your practice is also a manifestation of Zazen in real life....

    HOWEVER as I have learned when I was sick (very physically disabled) and now when I am lifting weights and developing better habits, the most important time to do something Is exactly when we don't want to do it! This in the context of Zazen practice. This builds a habit and ingrained affinity to any practice that runs deep inside our bones.

    So, let go out 'how it was' embrace 'how it is' and who cares 'what it becomes'. Sitting is all you need (or lying). Use your ego to your advantage here to prompt yourself .

    I sit now mostly with no expectation and as it is. It's just what I do....... of course not always 100% of the time... but it's okay.

    Also, Jundo and Brad Warner have mentioned this a lot as you know and they articulate with a kind of wisdom only Zen Masters can. Check this out Onka and anyone else struggling.



    I hope this helps! Any questions, let me know

    Nice words Tairin + Shinshi + Jundo

    Gassho,

    Ippo

    Sat/Lah

    P.S. Tairin, I am also interested in your thoughts .
    Last edited by Ippo; 02-25-2020 at 03:50 PM.

  10. #10
    Onka,
    Whoa, you sound like me right now. The rush of Jukai, Ango, Rohatsu, rakusu has kind of worn off into dull state of zazen. I sit every day and I'm not really bored so much as restless and distracted. Feeling I have things to do with my day rather than this. I've had spinal pain and daily headaches and other aches and pains lately that are not fun. I've slacked off on other activities like reading and Heart Sutra before sitting. Its mid winter here and everything is cold, grey, dull and asleep. Just like my practice. I get the feeling that, starting tomorrow I'm going to turn this around. (Instead of right here and now).

    And that thing Brad Warner said about the ticking clock. My creaky of house is full of bumps, clicks, bangs and other assorted noises designed to distract me. Best of all is the constant rhythmic clicking of the floor boards in the exact spot where I sit. Why does this house hate me? But that's another topic.

    On the bright side, in my experience, this, like everything else this is temporary.

    Gassho
    STlah
    James

  11. #11
    I practice martial arts. Kickboxing starting 4 years ago and more recently Brazilian jiu-jitsu going on 1 year. It was so much fun at first, but I gotta admit.. getting myself to the dojo after a long day is hard when you could just relax, watch netflix and not get my butt kicked by much better practitioners..and you know what, sometimes I just stay home and do just that.

    Sitting every day is essential and required when possible, even for 5 minutes..but dont judge too harshly. We come and we go in our hobbies and practices.

    Gassho Kyotai
    Lah but did not yet sit

    Sent from my SM-G950W using Tapatalk
    I am a student at Treeleaf. Please take what I say with a grain of salt. Gassho

  12. #12
    Member Onka's Avatar
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    Rural Queensland, Australia
    Thanks for the further replies.
    I really appreciate everyone sharing their experiences and suggestions.
    I read comrade BW's essay and in all honesty it was possibly the best advertisement for Zen that there's ever been. It was one of Brad's excellent books that actually got me off my arse and onto my arse haha. What I mean is that the book I read pretty much paraphrased his essay and it was this that stopped me finding excuses and dipping a toe in here and there, and actually got me actually doing daily Zazen. And my experience to date has been exactly as described in the brochure which is exactly what I wanted - to learn to sit WITH life not try to escape it.
    Further thoughts are welcome as we all learn from each other.
    Gassho
    Onka
    stlah

    Sent from my Lenovo TB-8304F1 using Tapatalk
    On Ka
    穏 火
    aka Anna Kissed.
    No Gods No Masters.
    Life is too serious to be taken seriously.

  13. #13
    I used to get into that state sometimes, until I realized -- I am someone who has to change things up a bit periodically. As much as I thrive on routines and schedules -- I even turn change into a routine.

    I tend to do things in a similar way most of the time, while still changing them up. I'll sit shikantaza, but then after a while I'll be silently cleaning instead (having to move). Or I need to go on my bike instead. Or I do longer or shorter zazen, or practice verses. I still do moments of shikantaza throughout the day (that's my nature), but I have come to realize that change is what I do. But always within boundaries. It's taken me a long time to realize that I do have boundaries, and it's because of the Precepts that I realized that I have boundaries and am able to remain within them -- willingly and because I promised that I would (Jukai!).

    If I do one thing only, I get stagnant. I need to wander around and explore, and stop periodically and sit for a while. As everyone has said, and advises here often, it's all part of practice, and occasional change is part of life as well.


    Shoki: "Why does this house hate me?" I guarantee you, my house hates me much more than your house hates you, it was built in 1947 and things like to break and crash when no one is anywhere near them!

    Onka, Thank you for sharing your practice with us.

    Deep Bows


    meian
    st lh
    Not all who wander are lost. (Tolkien)
    Underestimating a warrior, serves the warrior's advantage.
    迷安 - Mei An - Wandering At Rest

  14. #14
    Hi Onka,

    What you are going through now sounds a lot like what I've been through. When I get interested or involved in something new, I typically immerse myself in the new thing until it burns me out. This happened recently when for over a year I became interested in powerlifting. I would spend 2-3 hours 6 days a week at the gym after work, track nutrition, study bio-mechanical leverages, watch videos on techniques, eating constantly, etc. I was burnt out early on but continued until I completed my competition (I did get 2nd place at least). After that, it was not something I could continue without making myself miserable and others around me miserable from my own self inflicted misery.

    I joined Treeleaf in 2016, when I was struggling financially after I was laid off from work. I completely threw myself into Zen practice: sat every Zazenkai, koan study, reading any zen book I could get my hands on, sitting everyday, watching Treeleaf videos, trying to be mindful constantly, etc. Eventually, I burned myself out again and by the time I got a new job and my fiancee and I had to move to another city, my practice smoldered away.

    I came back last year and determined not to get burned out. I want this practice to be something I work on for the rest of my life. What I've found works for me is (and if Jundo wants to hit me with the proverbial slipper for a bad example, please do so): I know the very minimum I need to do is sit zazen everyday (if possible), strive to be as compassionate as I can in a given moment, and be more mindful of my thoughts, words, and actions and their effects throughout the day. If I'm having a bad day, it's much easier to keep at it if I know I just need to do those three things. On days I feel more available, I'll read Sutra commentaries, Zen books, Zen podcasts when driving to and from work, sit Zazenkai, metta practice, looking for retreats in my area, etc. I don't know if that's the best thing to do, but I've found at least for me, this helps create a sustainable practice. Maybe with time, I can add more to my daily minimum. But for now, I adjust my practice with the ebb and flow of the tide. Throw in some other hobbies and interests, just approach them with compassion and mindfulness.

    Again, this approach might not be optimal. I haven't even taken the Precepts yet (but I hope to get permission to do so here the next time around). You and I both seem to get really passionate about things (I'm currently vegan as well ), so I think it's important for people like us to avoid that burn out from our own passion. I hope this was at least slightly helpful comrade.

    Gassho,
    Tyler

    ST/LAH
    Last edited by TyZa; 02-26-2020 at 02:10 AM. Reason: spelling

  15. #15
    One thing is that we Zen folks are kinda weird in that we believe in seeing all of life ...

    ... even the most mundane (taking out the trash, scratching our nose) and ups and downs of life as, each and all, sacred ... each a shining jewel of on the universe's net ... in its way. You and me are such jewels too, together with the majestic mountains, stars in the sky, rusty tin cans, toothaches, and the dog poop on our shoe (the snakes that Onka catches no less).

    We don't particularly need angels with harps, fireworks and Buddhas in the Sky with Diamonds in order to witness and be this. Buddha is most ordinary ... but ... the most ordinary is Buddha, a bloody miracle, amazing life.

    So, we are kinda wise-crazy this way, which is one reason that "boring" is simply a Bored Buddha for us.

    Gassho, J

    STLah

    PS - It don't have to look like this all the time (maybe once in awhile Right Kyonin? ) ... the rather cheesy special effects scene of Dogen's enlightenment from the movie ... but then, we are just kids sitting on the porch.

    Last edited by Jundo; 02-26-2020 at 03:23 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  16. #16
    Entropy. Cartilage has vanished from between
    long leg bones, and I have become
    dependent; may I have some help please
    with these pants, these socks, this clacking

    knee brace, this burgeoning heaped skunkish
    laundry full of everything that leapt from
    the spoon onto my clothing, this tea welling up
    somehow from my cup's brim to spread across

    the tidal flat of my shaking hand and fill
    the sea cave of my sleeve? Ah, and if
    last night's frost has subsided enough,
    perhaps even with such a day's beginning

    I can hope to step into these two unmatched
    clogs and shamble on, past undone chores,
    gathering up my left-hand stick and my right-
    hand stick, and walk the dog. There is no dog;

    what he left behind lies there: that small
    basaltic stupa, littered with seasonal
    offerings -- lately, deadnettles that wilt
    in such hurry. But I call to him anyway;

    he loved these walks so, that I feel obliged,
    knee brace and all, to retrace our kinhin route
    each weekday Armageddon fails to materialize.
    Oaks throw shade; in summer I seek them,

    in winter avoid. This is a ritual. As when I sit,
    as when I chant, I know, even when tongue tied,
    or falling asleep, or feeling my knee brace loosen and drop
    just as I stagger into the ditch to avoid a truck,

    that ritual is a kind of living being, made up of
    my life and also the lives of all who participate
    in some way, such as: "are you going to 'walk
    the dog?'" Yes. "Have you got some water and

    your phone?" Yes. "Okay; if you're not back
    in an hour, I'll come looking for you." I bobbled
    the Heart Sutra this morning, as I always do,
    but this little exchange of hearts is itself

    the Middle Way. Along the road, taking tiny
    steps, tinier every year, I stop
    to watch a robin angling for its worm.
    The little dog that isn't there

    wags his universe of tail.



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

  17. #17
    Thank you, Doyu, for the lovely poem.

    I keep sitting because I tell myself that there's "no other alternative". That's not really true, but for some reason I believe it like it's a law of the universe.

    I began sitting in order to get something out of it, and I'm still not sure if I have been able to fully embrace goalless practice. However, when I sit and nothing comes out of it, I think that there's "no other alternative" and keep sitting anyways, and I'm a little more easy on myself. Sitting and wondering whether it has any point is a part of the sitting. The funk is the practice itself.

    Hope this helps!

    Gassho,
    Kenny,
    Sat today

  18. #18
    Thanks Onka, Jundo and all for this honest and important thread. I'm aware while writing that walking-the-walk is much harder than talking-the-talk. My own experience, having lived life with a low-level anxiety "disorder" (bleh! labels), is that we can be very hard on ourselves in the temporary funk periods of our lives. I'm learning to be kinder to myself...but always to keep going. Don't push, just adjust the pace a bit. There's a kind of faith involved in this keeping going...a faith that what we do is valuable...even if we've lost that immediate sense of its value. I'm a zen "honeymooner", but realistically the temporary funks will come. That's ok...it's all just life. I'm grateful for you guys at Treeleaf, keeping-me-keeping-on with this practice of waking up. Hope this makes some sense...

    Gassho, Chris sat/lah
    Last edited by ChrisKiwi; 02-26-2020 at 11:44 PM.

  19. #19
    It makes sense. <3

    Dear Onka: funk is practice, practice is the Way. _()_ _()_ _()_

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

  20. #20
    Now here is some Buddha funk ...





    Gassho, J

    STLah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  21. #21
    Member Onka's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2019
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    Rural Queensland, Australia
    Quote Originally Posted by Doyū View Post
    Entropy. Cartilage has vanished from between
    long leg bones, and I have become
    dependent; may I have some help please
    with these pants, these socks, this clacking

    knee brace, this burgeoning heaped skunkish
    laundry full of everything that leapt from
    the spoon onto my clothing, this tea welling up
    somehow from my cup's brim to spread across

    the tidal flat of my shaking hand and fill
    the sea cave of my sleeve? Ah, and if
    last night's frost has subsided enough,
    perhaps even with such a day's beginning

    I can hope to step into these two unmatched
    clogs and shamble on, past undone chores,
    gathering up my left-hand stick and my right-
    hand stick, and walk the dog. There is no dog;

    what he left behind lies there: that small
    basaltic stupa, littered with seasonal
    offerings -- lately, deadnettles that wilt
    in such hurry. But I call to him anyway;

    he loved these walks so, that I feel obliged,
    knee brace and all, to retrace our kinhin route
    each weekday Armageddon fails to materialize.
    Oaks throw shade; in summer I seek them,

    in winter avoid. This is a ritual. As when I sit,
    as when I chant, I know, even when tongue tied,
    or falling asleep, or feeling my knee brace loosen and drop
    just as I stagger into the ditch to avoid a truck,

    that ritual is a kind of living being, made up of
    my life and also the lives of all who participate
    in some way, such as: "are you going to 'walk
    the dog?'" Yes. "Have you got some water and

    your phone?" Yes. "Okay; if you're not back
    in an hour, I'll come looking for you." I bobbled
    the Heart Sutra this morning, as I always do,
    but this little exchange of hearts is itself

    the Middle Way. Along the road, taking tiny
    steps, tinier every year, I stop
    to watch a robin angling for its worm.
    The little dog that isn't there

    wags his universe of tail.



    gassho
    doyu sat/lah today
    <3
    Gassho
    Onka
    stlah

    Sent from my Lenovo TB-8304F1 using Tapatalk
    On Ka
    穏 火
    aka Anna Kissed.
    No Gods No Masters.
    Life is too serious to be taken seriously.

  22. #22
    Member Onka's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Location
    Rural Queensland, Australia
    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisKiwi View Post
    Thanks Onka, Jundo and all for this honest and important thread. I'm aware while writing this that walking-the-walk is so much harder than talking-the-talk! My own experience, living much of my life with a background "anxiety disorder" is that we can be very hard on ourselves in the temporary down periods of our lives. I'm gradually learning to be kinder and gentler to myself...but always to keep going. Don't push, just adjust the pace a bit. There's a kind of faith involved in this keeping going though...a deep faith that what we do is valuable...even if we've lost that immediate sense of its value. I'm a zen honeymooner, but realistically the funks will come. I'm just grateful for you guys at Treeleaf...I know you'll be there, sitting with me and encouraging me to keep on keeping on this precious practice of waking up to this life. Hope this makes some sense!

    Gassho, Chris sat/lah
    Gassho
    Onka
    stlah

    Sent from my Lenovo TB-8304F1 using Tapatalk
    On Ka
    穏 火
    aka Anna Kissed.
    No Gods No Masters.
    Life is too serious to be taken seriously.

  23. #23
    Member Onka's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Location
    Rural Queensland, Australia
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    Now here is some Buddha funk ...





    Gassho, J

    STLah
    :-D
    I've loved the Beastie Boys from way back in their punk rock days.
    I met a bloke once who went to a BB concert and had his hip hop bubble burst when these guys with tight jeans hit the stage playing punk rock on real instruments. This was some 25 or so years ago and the bloke said that until they started busting out their hip hop stuff most of the crowd stood there stunned haha.
    For the record, do you in fact have a video reference or Dad joke for literally every situation?
    ;-)
    Gassho
    Onka
    stlah

    Sent from my Lenovo TB-8304F1 using Tapatalk
    On Ka
    穏 火
    aka Anna Kissed.
    No Gods No Masters.
    Life is too serious to be taken seriously.

  24. #24
    I go through "dry spells" pretty regularly and I don't mind them anymore. For many years I thought they meant I was a "flake" and just pretending to be serious about practice or, worse, using practice as form of entertainment! Truth is: I was, but it wasn't just that. Because it wasn't just that, I stuck with it. Sometimes I'd go through periods of intense study and practice and that was good too. I don't worry so much about these ups-and-downs, they come and they go like anything in life. I try not to get in their way.

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

  25. #25
    Member Onka's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Location
    Rural Queensland, Australia
    I'm thankful for everyone's contribution to this thread.
    The uniqueness of this Sangha is its strength but that strength and our connection to each other and Treeleaf is possible only if we are honest with ourselves and each other. It's easy to be Super Zen online when reality is less pretty.
    I'm pretty far from perfect, in fact I'm particularly flawed but one thing I'm ok at is public vulnerability and being willing to lay myself bare in all its unfiltered ugliness. I do this for selfish reasons - personal growth. I also do it in the hope that it may encourage others to share.
    I'm glad that my Zen Funk has opened the door for others. Their thoughts, opinions, wisdom and experiences are now valuable contributions to my learning.
    Gassho
    Onka
    stlah

    Sent from my Lenovo TB-8304F1 using Tapatalk
    On Ka
    穏 火
    aka Anna Kissed.
    No Gods No Masters.
    Life is too serious to be taken seriously.

  26. #26
    many wise and interesting things are said before. my short comment: i have done zazen now for about 40 years, on and of. Kind of flasher. One time i did not practice for about two years and i was really glad to be liberated from that daily sitting.. But somehow that cushion draw me back, every time. And now, for about the last 5 years i sit. And i do not ask myself very often: was it good or bad? I sit.



    aprapti

    std
    Last edited by aprapti; 02-27-2020 at 09:24 PM.

    Let silence take you to the core of life

  27. #27


    gassho, Shokai
    stlah
    仁道 生開 - Jindo Shokai "Open to life in a benevolent way"
    May we all grow together in our knowledge of the Dharma

  28. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by Kyōsen View Post
    I go through "dry spells" pretty regularly and I don't mind them anymore. For many years I thought they meant I was a "flake" and just pretending to be serious about practice or, worse, using practice as form of entertainment! Truth is: I was, but it wasn't just that. Because it wasn't just that, I stuck with it. Sometimes I'd go through periods of intense study and practice and that was good too. I don't worry so much about these ups-and-downs, they come and they go like anything in life. I try not to get in their way.

    Gassho
    Kyōsen
    Sat|LAH
    same ! We have discussed before in other threads how it is about ďcoming back,Ē over and over again, in Zazen, and in practice, and in life. All of us at Treeleaf are always somewhere in that here-not here-coming back here circle...meanwhile there is no real ďhereĒ or ďnot hereĒ. We can just sit and watch and try not to get in the way.

    Gassho
    Jakuden
    SatToday


    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).

  29. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by aprapti View Post
    much wise and interesting things are said before. my short comment: i have done zazen now for about 40 years, on and of. Kind of flasher. One time i did not practice for about two years and i was really glad to be liberated from that daily sitting.. But somehow that cushion draw me back, every time. And now, for about the last 5 years i sit. And i do not ask myself very often: was it good or bad? I sit.



    aprapti

    std
    That sounds very familiar.



    Doshin
    St

  30. #30
    I once posted this too ...


    Zazen: Not Sitting is as Vital as Sitting


    Times of --NOT-- sitting are as vital to the Zen Path as times of sitting.

    Of course, there is the fact that, after sitting Zazen, we then get up from the sitting cushion and get on with life: work to do, places to go, the kids to feed, doctors to see and walls to paint. This is all Zazen too, and our Practice, in its widest, boundless meaning. Perhaps in our doing so, the "non-doing" and Timeless "no place to go, and nothing lacking" of Zazen in our bones will carry with us as we run to makes those appointments and get the jobs done on time. Master Dogen spoke of Practice-Enlightenment, and bringing Enlightenment to life on and off the cushion.

    But beyond that, I am also speaking of the times of NOT sitting when we completely put down and rest from Zazen and this Practice completely. We put Practice down, we walk away. Doing so is sometimes vital too.

    It is okay to miss Zazen for many days, even weeks, even more perhaps ... ... forgetting about Zen and Buddhas and bells and Emptiness for spans of time ... so long as one is consistent in coming back, getting on the horse again. Being away and coming back may all be aspects of the practice. However, it is that "coming back" that is vital too, indispensable, and the difference between a rest and truly quitting. The coming back and coming back, over the long haul, is vital, and is the difference between a respite and real quitting.
    https://www.treeleaf.org/forums/show...tal-as-Sitting


    Gassho, J STLah

    PS - While I was looking for the "Zen Funk" music, I stumbled on this. Oh, I -kinda- miss South Florida sometimes (I grew up in this neighborhood). If there is a definition of "Samsara," it is Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, my hometown.

    Could you imagine what folks would say to a "Funky Jesus" bar with crucifixes for taps? (Actually, I am sure that there is somewhere) ...

    ... AND remember: folks with addiction issues, not one drop even if served by Buddha ...


    https://www.browardpalmbeach.com/loc...rewery-6365560
    Last edited by Jundo; 02-27-2020 at 05:07 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  31. #31
    If we're talking about dry spells and down periods; I first started sitting around 1993. I wandered and bounced around the zen world for about 7 years and could not really get a connection with any sangha or teacher. Then I totally stopped all zen related activity for 14 years. 14 years!! Then 5 years ago I found Treeleaf. If I can get back on the horse after 14 years there's hope for everybody.

    Gassho
    STlah
    James

  32. #32
    Like you, Onka, Iím now in a time when I found myself relapsing on my practice. Iím also suffering from anxiety and a small depression (diagnosed last week), and all my studies last year gained me only a legal process accusing me of being favored and my wife of favoring me to pass the University selection. The funny thing is that she teaches Pathology in the Biology and Health Sciences Center and I passed for a chair of Philosophy in the Humanities Center. Now I will probably lose the job even though I did nothing wrong (the University said that it will not call me even if I win the process) and will have to study for another selection or job. And it all added up to the attacks that Education has suffered from the Brazilian government. And now for the first time since I graduated Iím seriously considering changing career. And it has been very stressful.
    With all this, my practice suffered a lot. I began to avoid long times of zazen because my thoughts just return to this event and all the problems my wife and I are facing right now (health, financial and professional problems besides this). I reduced my sitting time from 30 minutes to 15 minutes and for a while stopped the chanting, the daily prostrations and the Simple Living Exercises. Of course, my readings had stopped since I started to study for the selection last July.
    Last week I decided to go back to practice even if little by little. I accepted that there will be days when the on thing I do will be to sit. I stood firm with the gathas. I tried to add 5 more minutes to my sitting and today it has been two days that I sat for 20 minutes. Tomorrow I will try to add 5 more until I can go back to 30 minutes. When I have the time, I will try to use the FSR or the SSR. And, as I will not have work on Friday nights, I will try to sit the Zazenkai two ways if my wife doesnít need me.
    Life just come and we have to deal with it. All of life is our practice.
    I hope my testimony helped you Onka and others.
    Gassho,
    Mateus
    Sat today/LAH
    Last edited by mateus.baldin; 02-27-2020 at 08:29 PM. Reason: Pressed the button before finishing the text.

  33. #33
    I have no wisdom only my example to share. I started meditating in the 1960s. Not Buddhism, not Zen just meditating with TM. In fact I steered away from everything that seemed to be a religion. The next 30 years no teacher, no sangha and little practice. It would come and go often with years between sits. Twenty years ago I started exploring again, found Zen, went to several week long retreats and took vows. I was consistent. Then major career change, living in a politically centered city, traveling constantly and my practice began to fade. I remember sitting in hotels, on planes, in cars but not consistent. Then I retired, found a Sangha and for several years was very engaged with them. Hosted a dozen or so weekend retreats. But that connection faded because they were hours away and I was tired of the commute. However five years ago I found Treeleaf which gave me a teacher and sangha to connect with so my practice continued. I do not believe my practice would be consistent with out Jundo and all of you. I don’t always meditate 7 times a week nor do I exercise every day I say I will but they are part of my life. I return time and time again. The tide comes in and the tide goes out but I am here.

    All of the above helped me understand I am not alone.

    Doshin
    St

  34. #34
    ... And now for the first time since I graduated I’m seriously considering changing career. And it has been very stressful.
    With all this, my practice suffered a lot. I began to avoid long times of zazen because my thoughts just return to this event and all the problems my wife and I are facing right now (health, financial and professional problems besides this). I reduced my sitting time from 30 minutes to 15 minutes and for a while stopped the chanting, the daily prostrations and the Simple Living Exercises. Of course, my readings had stopped since I started to study for the selection last July. ...
    Here is my advice for when the s--t hits the fan like this. It is actually rather traditional advice, although it may not sound so at first blush:

    I have limited experience sailing, by I know that there are times when a storm hits when one pulls down the sails, secures the lines, crawls into the cabin and battens down the hatches ... yielding to the sea, trusting in one's vessel to carry on where it will. Saying a prayer to the sea gods is okay too, if that strikes you.

    There is a time when we don't force ourselves to stay on deck or to keep sitting Zazen or having to be peaceful Buddhists. It is okay to be scared and stressed.

    However, our practice should give us a kind of "let the sea and storms carry me where they will" faith that the universe rolls on. We just have to cast out our arms and float along sometimes. The universe brought you into this world for some crazy reason, the universe will carry you out someday, and in between the waters carry us along ... sometimes with us sailing, sometimes just going along for the ride.

    And I mentioned praying ...

    Yes, that is okay too, but I am a "wink and nod" prayer-er who (when my daughter was deathly sick in the hospital, for example), said in my heart "I am not sure that anyone is listening, but maybe cut us a break here ... and anyway, whatever you do, thank you." You see, a Zen prayer always carries a sense of Big G "Gratitude" for EVERYTHING, even the stuff we don't particularly welcome. It is strange, but we are grateful even for the crap and ugly that is all part of life.

    gratitude & Great Gratitude
    https://www.treeleaf.org/forums/show...reat-Gratitude

    So, sometimes, don't expect yourself to be a Zen saint or robot, and it is okay to be worried. Okay to be kinda sea sick too. Try to keep some cool head like a sailor in a storm, and don't drown in one's worry, but okay to worry, be disappointed, even a bit angry at the injustice of it all (in moderation).

    Then ... batten down the hatches, maybe say a little prayer.

    Even Dogen did that in a storm, according to a legend about him ...



    dogen storm kannon.png

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    Last edited by Jundo; 02-28-2020 at 12:15 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  35. #35
    Thank you again, Jundo, for your teachings. I will continue to sail in this sea with you all.
    Gassho,
    Mateus
    Sat today/LAH

  36. #36
    Quote Originally Posted by mateus.baldin View Post
    Like you, Onka, Iím now in a time when I found myself relapsing on my practice. Iím also suffering from anxiety and a small depression (diagnosed last week), and all my studies last year gained me only a legal process accusing me of being favored and my wife of favoring me to pass the University selection. The funny thing is that she teaches Pathology in the Biology and Health Sciences Center and I passed for a chair of Philosophy in the Humanities Center. Now I will probably lose the job even though I did nothing wrong (the University said that it will not call me even if I win the process) and will have to study for another selection or job. And it all added up to the attacks that Education has suffered from the Brazilian government. And now for the first time since I graduated Iím seriously considering changing career. And it has been very stressful.
    With all this, my practice suffered a lot. I began to avoid long times of zazen because my thoughts just return to this event and all the problems my wife and I are facing right now (health, financial and professional problems besides this). I reduced my sitting time from 30 minutes to 15 minutes and for a while stopped the chanting, the daily prostrations and the Simple Living Exercises. Of course, my readings had stopped since I started to study for the selection last July.
    Last week I decided to go back to practice even if little by little. I accepted that there will be days when the on thing I do will be to sit. I stood firm with the gathas. I tried to add 5 more minutes to my sitting and today it has been two days that I sat for 20 minutes. Tomorrow I will try to add 5 more until I can go back to 30 minutes. When I have the time, I will try to use the FSR or the SSR. And, as I will not have work on Friday nights, I will try to sit the Zazenkai two ways if my wife doesnít need me.
    Life just come and we have to deal with it. All of life is our practice.
    I hope my testimony helped you Onka and others.
    Gassho,
    Mateus
    Sat today/LAH
    So much love and Metta to you and your wife Mateus, Iím so sorry you put in so much effort and study only to run up against the dreaded university political power struggle. Itís one of the main things that sent me into private practice instead of following the path into academia, I could kind of see what it was like, even as a student. Deep bows to you for sticking with practice and with all of us here, we are always sitting with you.

    Gassho
    Jakuden
    SatToday


    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).

  37. #37
    Hello,

    I was just reading Conrad Hyers's 'Once-born, twice-born Zen', that tries defining the Soto and Rinzai schools and their differences and similarities and was reminded on this thread.
    Maybe those periods of boredom are a bit builtin in our Soto way? One of the obstacles we need to overcome?

    When the external triggers of learning, sewing, experiencing new, studying fade a bit, what's left is concentrated resting in pure, original life itself, without the self entertaining us.
    Trusting in the way how our enlightened original self enfolds slowly over time, through experiencing it.
    For myself, there is some risk of dwelling, resting in the shallow waters when softening the focus on experiencing the above.

    The Rinzai method seems different with constantly triggering with koans and contradictions,
    keeping the self busy... but there is the risk of taking the method as the goal instead.

    At present, I am quite successful in remembering the focus on experiencing the original, pure life itself.
    There have been and will be other times, too ;-).

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

  38. #38
    Quote Originally Posted by Jakuden View Post
    So much love and Metta to you and your wife Mateus, Iím so sorry you put in so much effort and study only to run up against the dreaded university political power struggle. Itís one of the main things that sent me into private practice instead of following the path into academia, I could kind of see what it was like, even as a student. Deep bows to you for sticking with practice and with all of us here, we are always sitting with you.

    Gassho
    Jakuden
    SatToday


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    Thank you, Jakuden.
    Gassho,
    Mateus
    Sat today

  39. #39
    Comrade Onka, I'm grateful to you and the other contributors for this thread - I know exactly what you mean. During ango/jukai I was super engaged and doing 'zen things' all the time, whereas now while I sit with the Euro/Kiwi crew in the morning and read a sutra or similar on the train to work, it's easy to feel disengaged. Then I realise I haven't checked this forum for a couple of days and feel a bad sangha-mate. I know this is all silly but just wanted to get it down.

    Gassho,

    Heiso

    StLah

  40. #40
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    Hi Tairin,

    You comment is really interesting to me. l wonder if you might elaborate on what you mean and why you think so. lt is really interesting.

    Gassho, Jundo

    STLah
    Quote Originally Posted by Ippo View Post
    P.S. Tairin, I am also interested in your thoughts .
    I donít know if I am going to express myself well but here goes....

    The Longer Version
    I think it comes down to how Western popular culture has represented Zen. If someone is coming to Zen in order to bliss out or be some serene rock or be some quasi-Jedi monk then they are in for a huge disappointment. Thatís not the Zen that Brad Warner was talking about. It isnít the Zen that we practice here. There isnít much excitement. Actually there might be some at the start, with all the enthusiasm of trying something new, chasing after satori or visions. Having what one perceives as an ďopeningĒ and trying to replicate it.

    Zen (at least as I understand it and have been practicing it) is much different. Truth is this is a tough demanding practice. The core of our practice is sitting staring at a wall doing nothing but sitting and non-thinking. Sounds easy enough but we all know thatís not true and if it was true then we wouldnít be having this discussion. Itís tough to motivate yourself to just sit when there is so much else that you could do with that time. And to be told by a highly respected teacher that thereís no reward? Well that could just leave someone confused or disenchanted.

    I suspect my 25 year old self would have come to that conclusion.

    As for me now, I can say Iíve learned a lot about myself through this practice. I am diligent about sitting every day regardless of the circumstances. Sitting on days when I am motivated. Sitting on days when I am not. Sitting on good days and sitting through some truly terrible days. Iíve learned a lot about what drives me to do the things I do. Iíve learned a lot about the stories I tell myself. There is a reward but it is a deeper reward. Not superficial.

    Of course I might be deluded


    The Shorter Version
    Basically what everyone else on this thread has said.


    Tairin
    Sat today and lah

  41. #41
    Dear Onka, everyone here has offered such beautiful advice and I have very little meditation experience, but I wish to offer encouragement as you have offered so many times to others. I am sorry to hear of your struggles and the barrier presented by your internet access. I have also been struggling since my surgery several weeks ago. My brain just isn’t working quite the same. I find sitting difficult and frustrating as my mind wanders, wanders, wanders and my anxiety rules my thoughts. The sameness of my days leaves me never sure what day it is and I end up missing the live Zazenkais. I set shorter times to sit and do ‘bad’ Zazen through the longer ones. I console myself with accounts (from Lion’s Roar and what not) of others who have wrestled with boredom and breaks in practice. I tell myself this is the ebb and flow of life. I try to read some dharma related book or memoir a bit each day for inspiration. Before I sit, I have some of Jundo’s pointers that I use to coach myself, reminding myself “open spacious awareness,” “sincere effort,” and “”complete trust that this moment is enough.” And I try to be compassionate with myself. I try to remind myself that I’m sitting in the moment with the whole universe, even if I don’t feel that. I try to cultivate a sense of wonder for this absurd universe. Yeah, maybe a little forced...but it gets me to keep coming back to the moment. And I also think, crap, I’m bored, why am I doing this?! But I keep coming back. And I hope you will too. Is there anyone in your life who will sit with you when you are missing your sangha connections? Someone who will show up for you and likewise you will show up for them? Hope you find your peace again soon.
    Gassho,
    Krista
    stlah

    And many thanks to Doyu for sharing your lovely poem.

  42. #42
    Quote Originally Posted by KristaB View Post
    Dear Onka, everyone here has offered such beautiful advice and I have very little meditation experience, but I wish to offer encouragement as you have offered so many times to others. I am sorry to hear of your struggles and the barrier presented by your internet access. I have also been struggling since my surgery several weeks ago. My brain just isn’t working quite the same. I find sitting difficult and frustrating as my mind wanders, wanders, wanders and my anxiety rules my thoughts. The sameness of my days leaves me never sure what day it is and I end up missing the live Zazenkais. I set shorter times to sit and do ‘bad’ Zazen through the longer ones. I console myself with accounts (from Lion’s Roar and what not) of others who have wrestled with boredom and breaks in practice. I tell myself this is the ebb and flow of life. I try to read some dharma related book or memoir a bit each day for inspiration. Before I sit, I have some of Jundo’s pointers that I use to coach myself, reminding myself “open spacious awareness,” “sincere effort,” and “”complete trust that this moment is enough.” And I try to be compassionate with myself. I try to remind myself that I’m sitting in the moment with the whole universe, even if I don’t feel that. I try to cultivate a sense of wonder for this absurd universe. Yeah, maybe a little forced...but it gets me to keep coming back to the moment. And I also think, crap, I’m bored, why am I doing this?! But I keep coming back. And I hope you will too. Is there anyone in your life who will sit with you when you are missing your sangha connections? Someone who will show up for you and likewise you will show up for them? Hope you find your peace again soon.
    Gassho,
    Krista
    stlah

    And many thanks to Doyu for sharing your lovely poem.
    I hope your healing of body continues, Krista. I am sitting for you.

    Yes, Zazen is like a car. At first, it is shiny and gives much pleasure and feels good and gets one place to place. Maybe we feel that we must get some place where there is something we want.

    Then it is just a car (mine in Japan is 10 years old). It just gets you place to place. It is scratched and scruffy, no longer shiny. However, maybe now we realize that every place is just that place. Here is here and there is there. It is just comfortable now, like an old pair of jeans or old favorite chair.

    Then maybe we are sick or older, and cannot drive at all! Then hopefully we realize that just here is here even if our space is smaller.

    I know many people who get a shiny new car every year ... and are not really happy, always trying to get to the next place.

    I know some people who cannot drive at all who are okay with that (in Dogen's time or Buddha's time, there were few if any drivers except maybe an ox cart).

    Yes, sometimes we must go on faith or let it be "a little forced" that, just where we are, we are still traveling to the ends of the universe.

    Zen is a kind of medicine for the consumer mentality where we always need the shiny, new, rewarding, thrilling excitement. It is where the rubber meets the road, and the destination and home is always in this every mile.

    Sorry ... I wish I was a better car salesman for Zen, polishing it up better, spraying in some phony "new car smell," and throwing in a balloon.

    I am glad you keep coming back, and are here for us as we are there for you. Nice sharing the drive together.

    Gassho, Jundo

    STLah
    Last edited by Jundo; 02-29-2020 at 08:23 PM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  43. #43
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    I hope your healing of body continues, Krista. I am sitting for you.

    Yes, Zazen is like a car. At first, it is shiny and gives much pleasure and feels good and gets one place to place. Maybe we feel that we must get some place where there is something we want.

    Then it is just a car (mine in Japan is 10 years old). It just gets you place to place. It is scratched and scruffy, no longer shiny. However, maybe now we realize that every place is just that place. Here is here and there is there. It is just comfortable now, like an old pair of jeans or old favorite chair.

    Then maybe we are sick or older, and cannot drive at all! Then hopefully we realize that just here is here even if our space is smaller.

    I know many people who get a shiny new car every year ... and are not really happy, always trying to get to the next place.

    I know some people who cannot drive at all who are okay with that (in Dogen's time or Buddha's time, there were few if any drivers except maybe an ox cart).

    Yes, sometimes we must go on faith or let it be "a little forced" that, just where we are, we are still traveling to the ends of the universe.

    Zen is a kind of medicine for the consumer mentality where we always need the shiny, new, rewarding, thrilling excitement. It is where the rubber meets the road, and the destination and home is always in this every mile.

    Sorry ... I wish I was a better car salesman for Zen, polishing it up better, spraying in some phony "new car smell," and throwing in a balloon.

    I am glad you keep coming back, and are here for us as we are there for you. Nice sharing the drive together.

    Gassho, Jundo

    STLah
    Oh, Jundo, I think you are in fact the very best salesman for Zen and especially Shikantaza!

    Krista
    stash

  44. #44
    Mateus, Onka, Krista, we are all sitting for you. we are all sitting together. That is the reason we always say:

    Sangham saranam gacchami I go to the Sangha for refuge. we need each other.


    aprapti

    std/lah

    Let silence take you to the core of life

  45. #45
    Quote Originally Posted by aprapti View Post
    Mateus, Onka, Krista, we are all sitting for you. we are all sitting together. That is the reason we always say:

    Sangham saranam gacchami I go to the Sangha for refuge. we need each other.


    aprapti

    std/lah

    Mateus
    Sat today/LAH

  46. #46
    Member Onka's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Location
    Rural Queensland, Australia
    Metta to all who have shared their current life and zen (of course there is no distinction) challenges.
    May your practice help you to sit WITH these challenges as in my opinion that is Zen's gift.
    Gassho
    Onka
    sat today
    On Ka
    穏 火
    aka Anna Kissed.
    No Gods No Masters.
    Life is too serious to be taken seriously.

  47. #47
    Quote Originally Posted by aprapti View Post
    Mateus, Onka, Krista, we are all sitting for you. we are all sitting together. That is the reason we always say:

    Sangham saranam gacchami I go to the Sangha for refuge. we need each other.


    aprapti

    std/lah


    Seibu
    Sattoday/lah

  48. #48
    Funk not only moves, it removes.



    ST

    R

  49. #49
    Member Onka's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Location
    Rural Queensland, Australia
    Quote Originally Posted by Rev R View Post
    Funk not only moves, it removes.



    ST

    R
    LOL.
    I put myself up against the radio and felt the funk flow.
    Gassho
    Onka
    st

    Sent from my Lenovo TB-8304F1 using Tapatalk
    On Ka
    穏 火
    aka Anna Kissed.
    No Gods No Masters.
    Life is too serious to be taken seriously.

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