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Thread: Wonderful, No Place to Go

  1. #1

    Wonderful, No Place to Go

    .
    The idea appeared in Buddhism somewhere that the goal of Zen practice is eventually to feel peaceful, fearless, beautiful and wonderful 24/7/365.

    Perhaps, when we are all perfect Buddhas, this world left behind, it is so. However, so long as we have these human bodies, I don't feel that it can always be so ... not if we are to truly live in this life. Still, that does not mean that the teachings of fearlessness, peace, beauty and wonder are not true!

    Rather, there is a path to feeling wonderful about not always feeling wonderful, even when sometimes downright scared or blue. It is wonderful to feel wonderful sometimes, and wonderful to feel anything but wonderful sometimes. This is the wonder of life. One can sense the timeless that is also the ticking clock of 24/7/365 and passing years. One can see a certain beauty and light shining through even the world's sometime oh so ugly and dark moments. We can be at total peace when peaceful and total peace even when life does not give us a drop of peace ... peaceful with not always being peaceful ... peaceful yet not peaceful at once, as one. We can know the taste of nothing to fear and nothing possible to lose even while afraid and shaking sometimes, fearless about sometimes being afraid. In other words, one can be free and pure even while sometimes up to one's neck in burdens and mud.

    Sometimes people write me to say that, some days, they do not feel wonderful, and are so afraid or sad that they cannot sit Zazen those days.

    We sit Zazen each day, nothing to gain and nothing lacking. But some days, when we just can't and are unable, this is Zazen too. Sunny days are so because of the sometime rain. Do not expect the skies to be always sunny. Nonetheless, do not forget that the sky is always clear, bright, open and boundless whether seen or unseen, even when hidden by the clouds. We sit to realize such fact, we trust in such truth even on the stormiest days. Come back to sitting when you can, and realize this fact. Perhaps this practice is to learn to see when we see clearly, but also to see clearly even at those times we cannot see well at all.

    ----

    A couple of other folks wrote me to say that they were very upset sometimes about having physical limitations, unable to move about and go where they want freely. They wanted to travel and visit with loved ones, take a walk in a famous place, but could not. I have been there too. I wish I could give them young and healthy legs.

    Instead, the only thing that we Zen folks can offer is the wisdom to go where you can, for the whole world is there. Nothing to be missed, and a treasure right here.

    So, no need to go to and walk in a far off garden if you can see a garden from your front porch or in a nearby field where you do not need to walk so.

    Be content to swim where you can. Remember the lines from the Genjo Koan ...

    A fish swims in the ocean, and no matter how far it swims there is no end to the water. A bird flies in the sky, and no matter how far it flies there is no end to the air. ... When their activity is large their field is large. When their need is small their field is small. Thus, each of them totally covers its full range, and each of them totally experiences its realm.
    In other words, just go where you can and savor that. I can neither fly like a bird nor swim as well as a fish because I do not have wings or gills. I am just satisfied with that fact.

    Gassho, Jundo

    SatTodayLentAHand
    Last edited by Jundo; 06-10-2020 at 02:00 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  2. #2
    Some teachings are a gift that is read more than once. This is one such gift.
    Gassho
    Onka
    Sat today

  3. #3
    Thanks for that, Jundo!

    Gassho,

    Luigi
    ST
    "Zazen is good for nothing."
    Kōdō Sawaki (1880-1965)

  4. #4
    Well, in for a penny, in for a pound ...

    I saw a fellow post elsewhere on line that Zazen had brought them "inner peace, calmness, silence and joy, a still and even tempered mind." That is wonderful!

    But none of that is truly necessary to Shikantaza Zazen.

    I like to remind folks often that Shikantaza is perfect sitting both when we feel inner peace, calmness, silence and joy, a still and an even tempered mind, and when we do not. Strange as it is to say, the true (caps) Peace, Calmness, Silence, Joy, Stillness and Even temper is a Peace so Peaceful that it fully holds all the passing moments of small human feeling peaceful and not feeling very peaceful some days. It is a Joy to have a smile on one's face, and a Joy to sometimes feel a tear roll down one's cheek. It is a Calm that holds all worldly calm and storms beyond measure, a Silence which is both quiet and noise, a Stillness in the face of both not moving and life's biggest earthquakes. Like that.

    Shikantaza Zazen is --not-- meditating. It is not "meditating" because we sit in RADICAL goallessness in which there is nothing to attain, nothing lacking or more needed, but the sitting of sitting itself. Yes, we let thoughts go, do not grab on or become tangled in thoughts. Yes, a nice balanced posture is best so that we can also forget about the body and just let it go too. However, even if we sit for some minutes ... forget about time too, and let measuring go. Zazen is not a matter of time, thus we sit for certain lengths of time.

    Why do we sit this way?

    The answer is very simple: In the delusion of life, we live always feeling we have to "do" something, that something is missing or needs adding, that we need to ponder and judge, that there are endless goals to obtain, things to fix, people to see and places to be. that time is money and more more more is better than less. We feel that we must turn sadness to happiness, war to peace, sickness to health, chaos to calm. Zazen is not that. Zazen is sitting as the one place to be, the one action needed in that time of sitting, nothing lacking and no other place to be or go. It is a "non-tool" for "non-fixing" beyond fixing or not fixing. Zazen is the way a Buddha sits sitting Buddha to sit Buddha sitting.
    Last edited by Jundo; 06-10-2020 at 07:40 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  5. #5
    Thank you beyond words Jundo

    Deepest bows

    Chris satlah

    Sent from my SM-G950F using Tapatalk

  6. #6
    Many thanks for this teaching.
    The wisdom of perfection in imperfection.
    As we detach from our ideals of perfection and develop our acceptance of imperfection, our love and compassion can grow in ways that are both psychologically and spiritually healthy.
    Gassho
    Van
    Sat _/\_

    Sent from my HD1913 using Tapatalk

  7. #7

  8. #8
    liberating.

    Thank you.
    Gassho,
    Kotei sat/lah today.

    義道 冴庭 / Gidou Kotei.
    Being a novice priest doesn't mean that my writing about the Dharma is more substantial than yours. Actually, it might well be the other way round.

  9. #9


    Thank you Jundo.

    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.

  10. #10
    Thank you, Jundo. Sometimes I get a little restless during my morning sitting. Thoughts come in about all the things I have to do during the day. But I always get back to what you've stated above.

    Gassho
    STLAH
    ]ames

  11. #11
    Thank you Jundo, this was exactly what I needed to read this morning. The perfect place to be is here, and the perfect time to be here is now.

    Gassho,

    Joshua
    SatToday/LaH

    Sent from my Pixel 3 using Tapatalk

  12. #12
    Thank you, Jundo.

    I often find myself lamenting living in a place that sees 6+ months of winter each year, wishing I could live somewhere else. This past winter, I tried not to judge the weather or the climate and just let things be as they are and although it's still not my favorite season, somehow it was easier to "get through" it (when I tried to let go of the idea that winter is something "to get through").

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

  13. #13


    Tairin
    Sat today and lah

  14. #14
    Thank you for this teaching, Jundo.

    Gassho
    Washin
    st-lah
    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'.

  15. #15
    Thanks for this, Jundo.

    I am reminded of a message printed on a tea cup I had years ago. It read, "Peace. It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble, or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart."

    I loved that cup.

    Gassho,
    steve

  16. #16


    Doshin
    St in the rain and wind

  17. #17
    So beautiful, thank you, jundo

    Gassho

    Stlah
    Ben

    Enviado desde mi PLK-L01 mediante Tapatalk

  18. #18
    I love this teaching. Thanks rev. Jundo.

    Gasho, b.

  19. #19
    Thank you Jundo.

    Just this week I sat feeling terrible from food poisoning. It was hard to sit and to focus, but I sat nonetheless.

    Indeed we don't sit to gain anything. We sit because we are alive.

    Gassho,

    Kyonin
    Sat/LAH
    Hondō Kyōnin
    奔道 協忍

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Kyonin View Post
    Thank you Jundo.

    Just this week I sat feeling terrible from food poisoning. It was hard to sit and to focus, but I sat nonetheless.

    Indeed we don't sit to gain anything. We sit because we are alive.


    Oh, many of us have been there! In fact, you know the long Buddhist history with food poisoning. I am glad that you are feeling better!

    19. Thereafter the Blessed One spoke to Cunda, saying: "Whatever, Cunda, is left over of the sukara-maddava [either a pork dish or a kind of mushroom], bury that in a pit. For I do not see in all this world, with its gods, Maras, and Brahmas, among the host of ascetics and brahmans, gods and men, anyone who could eat it and entirely digest it except the Tathagata alone."

    And Cunda the metalworker answered the Blessed One saying: "So be it, O Lord."And what remained over of the sukara-maddava he buried in a pit. ...

    21. And soon after the Blessed One had eaten the meal provided by Cunda the metalworker, a dire sickness fell upon him, even dysentery, and he suffered sharp and deadly pains. But the Blessed One endured them mindfully, clearly comprehending and unperturbed.

    22. Then the Blessed One spoke to the Venerable Ananda, saying: "Come, Ananda, let us go to Kusinara." And the Venerable Ananda answered: "So be it, Lord."


    23. When he had eaten Cunda's food, I heard,
    With fortitude the deadly pains he bore.
    From the sukara-maddava a sore
    And dreadful sickness came upon the Lord.
    But nature's pangs he endured. "Come, let us go
    To Kusinara," was his dauntless word. [39]
    Gassho, J

    STLah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  21. #21
    I'd just like the legs that are healthy and work well, I'd look funny with young legs, wouldn't match the rest of the birthdayt suit

    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

  22. #22
    Thank you Jundo! I find that sitting zazen rain or shine is a problem when I put myself in the middle, but when it's not all about me, no problem; it's not about me at all, but it is all about me at the same time.

    Gassho

    Risho
    -stlah

  23. #23
    During such times, when the struggles of my life seemingly interfere with practice, the best thing to do is sit.

    Afterwards, I express gratitude that I have the safety to be able to sit and the physical/mental ability to sit.

    I then forgive myself for any feelings of defeat.

    Gassho

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    .
    "The idea appeared in Buddhism somewhere that the goal of Zen practice is eventually to feel peaceful, fearless, beautiful and wonderful 24/7/365."
    Somehow I'm a little weary of people who appear peaceful and blissed at all the times. I appreciate the vastness of experiences expressed by Ryokan and Hakuin Zenji.


    " We sit Zazen each day, nothing to gain and nothing lacking. But some days, when we just can't and are unable, this is Zazen too."
    I have understood this recently. I have managed to establish daily sitting zazen for some months now and was happy that finally I "have" Zen practice. And then it all went down the hill when suddenly I had
    an extra family member staying over and no space to practice anymore. I have noticed disappointment in me but I've managed to recognised it as an attachment. So I decided to throw away "my" zazen practice. I thought if enlightenment ever happens, then what am I going to do with it? I can't sit now but I can treat my day the same way as if I was sitting. Paying attention to the breath while walking to the station, while taking underground while working, cooking, interacting with family, doing chores. And whenever I get lost in distraction, to acknowledge it gently and come back to the breath, all over again and again.
    It was a very interesting experiment.
    I am very grateful to be able to learn so much from all of you here.
    Gassho
    Last edited by Jundo; 08-10-2020 at 01:39 AM.

  25. #25
    [QUOTE=Ania;267097]
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    .
    "The idea appeared in Buddhism somewhere that the goal of Zen practice is eventually to feel peaceful, fearless, beautiful and wonderful 24/7/365."

    Somehow I'm a little weary of people who appear peaceful and blissed at all the times. I appreciate the vastness of experiences expressed by Ryokan and Hakuin Zenji.


    " We sit Zazen each day, nothing to gain and nothing lacking. But some days, when we just can't and are unable, this is Zazen too."
    I have understood this recently. I have managed to establish daily sitting zazen for some months now and was happy that finally I "have" Zen practice. And then it all went down the hill when suddenly I had
    an extra family member staying over and no space to practice anymore. I have noticed disappointment in me but I've managed to recognised it as an attachment. So I decided to throw away "my" zazen practice. I thought if enlightenment ever happens, then what am I going to do with it? I can't sit now but I can treat my day the same way as if I was sitting. Paying attention to the breath while walking to the station, while taking underground while working, cooking, interacting with family, doing chores. And whenever I get lost in distraction, to acknowledge it gently and come back to the breath, all over again and again.
    It was a very interesting experiment.
    I am very grateful to be able to learn so much from all of you here.
    Gassho
    Hi Ania
    Yep, I'm weary of folk who are blissed out all the time because life is real and often beautifully ugly and hard.. Regarding practice space, I personally don't think you need one. Of course it would be nice to have an alter and a nice quiet space to practice but as you know, sometimes that's not possible. I regularly do Shikantaza Zazen laying on my bed with my partner asleep beside me and a cat laying on my chest. I also sit outside under some bamboo or in nearby bush. I think it's terrific that you have adapted your Zazen practice to beyond sitting due to changes in circumstance.
    Gassho
    Onka
    ST

    Here's a picture of my alter while in hospital recently. Whilst surrounded by non-stop noise and drama within an Acute Care Cardio ward including seeing the Woman I shared the room with die in front of me I sat some really good Shikantaza Zazen
    Last edited by Onka; 08-09-2020 at 08:02 PM.
    aka Anna Kissed
    Pronouns She/Her They/Them

  26. #26
    Thank you for sharing ��
    I used to "bliss out on breath" using Samatha meditation, headphones on, zero distractions, perfect concentration. Then I've started learning Zazen in on of the centers. The energy in the room, the group of like minded people, the intention, all conditions were perfect. Once I was having a really good Zazen. I was not only able to arrive at the still quiet spot, but also to witness gratitude and joy arising. And then suddenly a group a youth must have stopped outside the building. They were talking very loudly about hassling and money, laughing and swearing. It was as if they were in the room with us. With that distraction the joy faded. Oh no! How I wanted to hang a little longer to that feeling! Frustration arose. And then I have remembered Thay's quote : "it's not the impermanence that makes us suffer. What makes us suffer is wanting things to be permanent when they are not." So I let the joy go. I sent a little metha to those loud guys. I focused on the sound of their voices, the cheerful laughter. Frustration dissappeard, there were only sounds. There was laugher, there was swearing, there was a siren in the distance, there was breathing, there was wind, there was in and out, and there's no in and out. There simply IS. And it felt like I could sit for hours with this ever-changing IS. Zen opens us up in mysterious ways...

    May You be well
    Gassho

  27. #27
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  28. #28
    Thank you for this teaching Jundo.
    I am learning the forums a little better each day. Thanks again

    Gassho
    Chelsea

    Sent from my SM-A205U using Tapatalk

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