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Thread: How to find joy ?

  1. #1

    How to find joy ?

    Let's just say that lockdowns and the whole world right now do not convey a lot of joy or happiness. For a lot of us, what brought joy into our life disappeared (drinking at the bar, practicing aikido, going to the movies or museums, having parties with lots of friends, teaching "live" to my students, for example, for me). I think, talking around with people, that i'm not the only one to get a bit stuck in anxious, dark feelings ; today in zazen i understood something that i wanted to share : my own frustration to not feel joy anymore is in itself a big barrier to feeling joy. It's like by wanting to feel it, and by being frustrated cause i don't feel it, i'm blocking and freezing my feelings. As soon as i let go of that "internal blockade", letting myself FEEL the sadness, anxiety, and the whole package, it became much more bearable and i could even feel like it was ok.

    How do you find joy nowadays ?

    Thanks, zazen !

    Gassho,

    Uggy,
    Sat today,
    LAH

  2. #2
    I like your description.

    First, feel equanimity, sitting and living with an acceptance and embracing, deep in the bones, of all things as they are.

    Next, appreciate all things, all moments, up or down, sick or healthy, win or lose, beautiful or ugly as ... each and all, without exceptions ... a shining jewel of infinite worth in a universe of shining jewels of infinite worth. We just in such trust, such faith, until we really come to know so.

    Finally, keep a good sense of humor about it all (this is more ethnic humor than "zen" perhaps, but my Jewish grandma would say to laugh as the house burns down).

    Find power and beauty in being of service to others, especially now in this time of crisis when people need each other.

    I am sure that other folks here will have some good tips to add too.

    Gassho, J
    STLah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  3. #3
    Im an introvert, so staying at home most of the time is normal for me. Other than the unemployment part, still not used to that. But i just find little things I like to do. Change it up sometimes. Like I check the forums here as often as most people check their facebook. Sit with others or sometimes in the free sitting room. One thing I have been doing is making a list of positive things I'd like to change in my life. Have some books im ready to read. In sitting I realized that I should have waited to take Jukai ,so I have come back to learning the basics from the ground up. Some tv or radio. Gaming.

    I know there is no earth shattering jewels of wisdom in what I wrote but I just mix things up. Try to make each day a bit different.

    Dave
    SAT

  4. #4
    I was reading about joy in Dharma practice yesterday and thought of sharing this talk by Roland Yuno Rech. If you have a minute it's a nice read. https://www.abzen.eu/en/teaching/tei...e-du-dharma-en


    Gassho
    Sat

  5. #5
    Member Getchi's Avatar
    Join Date
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    Between Sea and Sky, Australia.
    Thats beautiful.

    Life is too short to chase perfection.

    The fact you still fell equal is giving me happiness.
    Nothing to do? Why not Sit?

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Inshin View Post
    I was reading about joy in Dharma practice yesterday and thought of sharing this talk by Roland Yuno Rech. If you have a minute it's a nice read. https://www.abzen.eu/en/teaching/tei...e-du-dharma-en


    Gassho
    Sat
    Wow, lovely! Thank you Inshin!

    Gassho,
    Jakuden
    SatToday
    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).

  7. #7
    Member Getchi's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Between Sea and Sky, Australia.
    Jakuden, that is beautiful.

    I extracted the line "and giving in particular is an important source of joy."

    Could you, or anybody , elaborate on why this is so?



    Gassho.
    LaH.

    SatToday several.
    Nothing to do? Why not Sit?

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Getchi View Post
    Jakuden, that is beautiful.

    I extracted the line "and giving in particular is an important source of joy."

    Could you, or anybody , elaborate on why this is so?



    Gassho.
    LaH.

    SatToday several.
    IMHO I think it is because giving is a natural way to "forget the self". It sort of goes hand in hand with gratitude; when I feel down or wanting, etc I try to remember all that I have to be grateful for; it's overwhelming how fortunate I am.

    Gassho

    Risho
    -stlah

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Inshin View Post
    I was reading about joy in Dharma practice yesterday and thought of sharing this talk by Roland Yuno Rech. If you have a minute it's a nice read. https://www.abzen.eu/en/teaching/tei...e-du-dharma-en


    Gassho
    Sat
    Yes, this teaching is wonderful, quite lovely! Thank you.

    In the practice itself, we content ourselves with simply being sitting. The expression "contenting oneself with" means that "that it is enough", and therefore, the joy coming from the practice does not depend on achieving something, but simply on the fact of practicing in itself, through letting go. And of course, the fact of "not wanting to obtain something" is in itself a great Liberation, and therefore a source of infinite joy.

    ...

    The practice of Zen doesn't eliminate all these sufferings, but it does allow us to bear them and not despair of existence, and thus finally to maintain a joy of life, despite the fact that there are all sorts of reasons not to be joyful in our life. When we listen to the info news in the morning, all we hear is about disasters, about suffering everywhere. And to remain joyful during the day, we could either say to ourselves: "But that's not possible", or, to be happy, cover our ears and close our eyes. But no! I believe that we can still be joyful, if we live in harmony with whom we really are, and live it from the practice of zazen, as if the sound of the gong at the beginning of zazen, this vibration of zazen, was prolonged in our daily life.

    ...

    Incidentally, we don't try to suppress the thoughts or the emotions which rise to the surface of our consciousness in zazen, but we are simply happy with seeing them, accepting them, and then letting them pass. And as a result, it makes a lot of things of our life less dramatic: the fact that at the same time we don't repress them and also, we don't remain attached to them. So, it's really being fully conscious, but not attached to what we are conscious of.
    Gassho, J

    STLah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Inshin View Post
    I was reading about joy in Dharma practice yesterday and thought of sharing this talk by Roland Yuno Rech. If you have a minute it's a nice read. https://www.abzen.eu/en/teaching/tei...e-du-dharma-en


    Gassho
    Sat
    Thank you, Inshin, for the link.

    Gassho,
    Onkai,
    Sat/lah
    On (Warm)
    Kai (Sea)

  11. #11
    Thanks Inshin for sharing Roland Rech's talk. It's a joy to read

    Gassho, Yokai (Chris) sat/lah

  12. #12
    As long as I give awareness to posture during Shikan-taza, a straight back gives a feeling of joy and peace. The open chest which makes breathing easier overflows the body with a feeling of calm, tranquil naturalness. In the book “The Three Pillars of Zen” there is the line

    “The innate dignity and nobility of a human being is revealed in a straight back”

    During Shikan-taza, and for a period after I have a fulfilled feeling of tranquil joy. Outside of this practice I, like yourself it seems, am also a Teacher (TEFL) who takes great joy in helping people grow. Not to mention getting fresh air by going for a nice long walk in nature! Feels a little claustrophobic being inside for too long!

    I believe a healthy amount of curiosity and passion is very important in life. So I spend a lot of time reading books. Even the Dalai Lama talks about how we should feel desire/interest.

    "In order to develop unbiased infinite love, you first need the practice of detach[ment]. But "detach" does not mean to give up desire. Desire must be there. Without desire, how can we live our life? Without desire, how can we achieve Buddhahood? Strong desire to become Buddha"
    https://www.pbs.org/thebuddha/blog/2...buddha-nature/

    Because I only have a partial understanding on an intellectual level of some words used in Buddhist texts and commentary I spend a fair amount of time researching Buddhist specific context for them.

    I think people who enjoyed spending a lot of time interacting socially face to face will have to be extra conscious of mental health. I can only hope that an increase in online social activities and events can in some way satisfy some of those desires. I’ve been wanting to join some online Dharma talks but being in Japan my time zone makes it incredibly difficult!

    Gassho
    Mark
    ST

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by WanderingIntrospection View Post
    As long as I give awareness to posture during Shikan-taza, a straight back gives a feeling of joy and peace. The open chest which makes breathing easier overflows the body with a feeling of calm, tranquil naturalness. In the book “The Three Pillars of Zen” there is the line

    “The innate dignity and nobility of a human being is revealed in a straight back”

    During Shikan-taza, and for a period after I have a fulfilled feeling of tranquil joy. ....
    But do not assume that the point of Shikantaza is to attain a feeling of joy or peace, calm or tranquility. Shikantaza is bigger than that, vast, boundless. This is a Peace and Calm (big P and C) which embraces all the peace and disturbance, calm and chaos of life. This is a Peace that holds all the broken pieces, and a Calm that does not expect, desire or demand to feel "calm" all the time. Do not use Zazen as a tool.

    Thus, when the sky is clear, it is clear. What the sky is filled with rain, it rains. Likewise the mind of Zazen. Know that the sky is always Clear even when it rains.

    Gassho, Jundo

    STLah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  14. #14
    Thank you for your reminder!

    The more I read about Shikan-taza the more I see this as so, and it's reasoning becomes more and more vivid, staying with me. I've been reading "The Three Pillars of Zen" recently and it had a wonderful section about this.

    "The very foundation of shikan-taza is an unshakable faith that sitting as the Buddha sat, with the mind void of all conceptions, of all beliefs and points of view, is the actualization or unfoldment of the inherently enlightened Bodhimind with which all are endowed. At the same time this sitting is entered into in the faith that it will one day culminate in the sudden and direct perception of the true nature of this Mind—in other words, enlightenment. Therefore to strive self-consciously for satori or any other gain from zazen is as unnecessary as it is undesirable"

    Gassho
    Mark
    ST



    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    But do not assume that the point of Shikantaza is to attain a feeling of joy or peace, calm or tranquility. Shikantaza is bigger than that, vast, boundless. This is a Peace and Calm (big P and C) which embraces all the peace and disturbance, calm and chaos of life. This is a Peace that holds all the broken pieces, and a Calm that does not expect, desire or demand to feel "calm" all the time. Do not use Zazen as a tool.

    Thus, when the sky is clear, it is clear. What the sky is filled with rain, it rains. Likewise the mind of Zazen. Know that the sky is always Clear even when it rains.

    Gassho, Jundo

    STLah
    Last edited by WanderingIntrospection; 01-26-2021 at 02:59 AM.

  15. #15
    Member Onka's Avatar
    Join Date
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    rural queensland australia.
    I don't do anything to feel joy. I practice Shikantaza and sit with what is. I don't feel joy or particularly peaceful but I was literally just saying to my partner that I feel content at the moment.
    Gassho
    Onka
    Sat today with broken ribs and covered with deep ouchie bruises.
    穏 On (Calm)
    火 Ka (Fires)
    aka Anna Kissed.
    Pronouns She/Her They/Them.
    Life's too serious to be taken seriously.
    No Gods No Masters.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by WanderingIntrospection View Post
    I've been reading "The Three Pillars of Zen" recently and it had a wonderful section about this.

    "The very foundation of shikan-taza is an unshakable faith that sitting as the Buddha sat, with the mind void of all conceptions, of all beliefs and points of view, is the actualization or unfoldment of the inherently enlightened Bodhimind with which all are endowed. At the same time this sitting is entered into in the faith that it will one day culminate in the sudden and direct perception of the true nature of this Mind—in other words, enlightenment. Therefore to strive self-consciously for satori or any other gain from zazen is as unnecessary as it is undesirable"
    That book is one of the few Zen books that I actually can be heard to caution about. That book has done so much damage over the decades sending people into some pressure cooker practice in a race for big booming Kenshos! The author (Kapleau Roshi) and his teachers (Yasutan-Harada) represent a small corner of folks, not so influential in Japan but must more in the west (through the "Sambokyodan" and Maezumi Roshi's Lineage) creating a mixed Rinzai-Soto practice. That is fine, but Yasutani created a kind of high pressure "blood comes out your eyes" version of Shikantaza that is secondary to their high pressure Koan Introspection Zazen.

    If you are going to read that book, I would suggest that you read the following three essays too ...

    Special reading - once born twice born zen
    https://www.treeleaf.org/forums/show...8part-not-1%29

    and

    https://www.treeleaf.org/forums/show...8part-not-2%29

    Also this:

    Sanbőkyődan
    Zen and the Way of the New Religions
    Robert H. SHARF


    http://www.thezensite.com/ZenTeachin...odan%20zen.pdf

    A biographer of Kapleau Roshi sums up "Three Pillars" this way:

    Kraft points out that Kapleau’s book is “in large measure a book about kensho” (p.14) which in itself is problematic as for many, including some of the authors of the essays, this led to “inflated expectations… [and] [t]he discrepancy between anticipatory visions of enlightenment and actual experiences of insight”. (p.15) This disjuncture between what Kapleau wrote and the actual experiences of Zen students has led to some criticisms of The Three Pillars of Zen as a book that gives an unrealistic picture of what to expect from zazen. ...

    While this emphasis on and almost inevitability of kensho is, I think, a fair criticism of The Three Pillars of Zen, there is little doubt that Kapleau’s book brought many people to the study and practice of Zen Buddhism and for that we should be grateful. It is also necessary that we understand where and how Kapleau learned his Zen practice to better understand why he wrote and taught the way he did.
    http://www.thezensite.com/ZenBookRev...enpractice.htm
    Gassho, Jundo

    STLah
    Last edited by Jundo; 01-26-2021 at 04:30 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  17. #17
    Thank you for the advice! I've had the book for quite some time now but never got to it. Recently I just finished a group of books (slow reader) and felt the urge to also read this one (I've bought it now so I feel I should at least read it). I noticed the book made a point of mentioning that it's talking about both Soto and Rinzai. I'm afraid I don't have the kind of intensity needed to create such a reaction lol so I'll stick with "whatever it is, is whatever it is".

    My next two books are "The Heart Sutra" from Red Pine and the "Hoofprint of the Ox" by Master Sheng-yen. I'm interested in diving a little deeper into Zen and Mahayana philosophy. Luckily I chose these two from the recommended reading list on TreeLeaf so hopefully they're all good! Along with my last book "Opening the Hand of Thought" which was excellent!

    I greatly appreciate the extra reading and have them bookmarked. I really resonated with what you wrote in the special reading post.

    "In other words, it took me a long time to realize that "Zen Books" (not to mention "Buddhist Books" in general) come in several flavors, often by different teachers within even the same school"

    Even with my limited reading I can feel a sense of this. I'll stick with what's on the recommended book list from now on!

    Gassho
    Mark
    ST

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    That book is one of the few Zen books that I actually can be heard to caution about. That book has done so much damage over the decades sending people into some pressure cooker practice in a race for big booming Kenshos! The author (Kapleau Roshi) and his teachers (Yasutan-Harada) represent a small corner of folks, not so influential in Japan but must more in the west (through the "Sambokyodan" and Maezumi Roshi's Lineage) creating a mixed Rinzai-Soto practice. That is fine, but Yasutani created a kind of high pressure "blood comes out your eyes" version of Shikantaza that is secondary to their high pressure Koan Introspection Zazen.

    If you are going to read that book, I would suggest that you read the following three essays too ...

    Special reading - once born twice born zen
    https://www.treeleaf.org/forums/show...8part-not-1%29

    and

    https://www.treeleaf.org/forums/show...8part-not-2%29

    Also this:

    Sanbőkyődan
    Zen and the Way of the New Religions
    Robert H. SHARF


    http://www.thezensite.com/ZenTeachin...odan%20zen.pdf

    A biographer of Kapleau Roshi sums up "Three Pillars" this way:



    Gassho, Jundo

    STLah
    Last edited by WanderingIntrospection; 01-26-2021 at 05:42 AM.

  18. #18
    About ten days ago, it was Friday, which for me is a day I don't work (I've recently arranged my schedule so I only work four days a week), and, in the morning, I said to my partner, "I want to do something fun today."

    I ended up spending much of the day dealing with car problems.

    I don't seek fun or joy any more. :-)

    Gasso,

    Kirk

    sat
    -----

    流文

    I know nothing.

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Ryumon View Post
    About ten days ago, it was Friday, which for me is a day I don't work (I've recently arranged my schedule so I only work four days a week), and, in the morning, I said to my partner, "I want to do something fun today."

    I ended up spending much of the day dealing with car problems.

    I don't seek fun or joy any more. :-)

    Gasso,

    Kirk

    sat
    Hahaha, brilliant "The Zen of fixing cars".
    Reminds me of Kosho Uchiyama (if I remember correctly) saying that he didn't do anything particular for fun, but he was finding fun in whatever he was doing.

    Gassho
    Sat

    Gassho
    Sat

  20. #20
    Ryumon, Inshin -

    Inshin - if you find out where you got that Uchiyama quote, please let us know - that's very cool.

    Gassho

    Risho
    -stlah

  21. #21
    What works for is knowing that planet earth is 4.5 billion years old and in all that time you get these few years to be here. What are the chances? Thanks, universe!! So you better make the most of that opportunity and do something with it.

    Gassho
    ST-lah
    Shoki

  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by Inshin View Post
    I was reading about joy in Dharma practice yesterday and thought of sharing this talk by Roland Yuno Rech. If you have a minute it's a nice read. https://www.abzen.eu/en/teaching/tei...e-du-dharma-en


    Gassho
    Sat
    This was wonderful, thank you.

    Gassho,
    Shujin
    st

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by Risho View Post
    Ryumon, Inshin -

    Inshin - if you find out where you got that Uchiyama quote, please let us know - that's very cool.

    Gassho

    Risho
    -stlah
    Hi Risho,
    It's from the book "How to Cook Your Life", though he speaks more of passion for life rather than fun.
    At the same time, I added that I do not live my life to have
    fun. The way I experience the meaning and value of my life is
    by throwing all my passion for living into everything I do. I am
    afraid that if having pleasure were the purpose of my life, then
    three shots of whiskey a day would be it. And, if I were to take
    that seriously, how could I help but think that I live anything
    but a pretty wretched existence. It is vital here when talking
    about the meaning of life to clearly distinguish between
    emotional feelings of pleasure of joy and devoting oneself to
    that passion for life.
    When people complain of being unhappy and of living a
    meaningless or empty life, I wonder if it is not because they
    have taken it for granted that the meaning of their life is to be
    found simply in some sort of emotional pleasure or joy. If you
    decide that only this sort of “happiness” constitutes the
    meaning of your life, then it only follows that you are going to
    feel a hollowness in what you do, for there is just no such thing
    as never-ending pleasure or happiness.
    .....................................
    Having a passion
    for life means only to pour all our life forces into your true Self.Life, in terms of everything we encounter, the people with

    whom we come into contact, all the material things we use and
    handle every day―that is our life and our true Self, and it is
    into this that we throw our life force.
    Gassho
    Sat

  24. #24
    Thank you!

    Gassho

    Risho
    -stlah

  25. #25
    Thank you for that ,Inshin. Good timing for me to read that.Having one of those days.

    Dave
    SAT/LAH

  26. #26

    How to find joy ?

    For me I find joy in positive poetry. My daughter a translator of Asian poetry trained with MFA in Asian language translation University of Iowa bought me books of poetry by Rumi and Hafiz Persian poets both with so much joy. TS Eliot’s Four Quartets, John Keats and William Wordsworth, the Sonnets of Shakespeare, Japanese classical Haiku also purchased by my daughter
    What Joy as I face so much. If you can read, thank a teacher
    Gassho
    sat/ lah
    Tai Shi.



    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    Last edited by Tai Shi; 01-27-2021 at 01:08 PM.
    "Nothing is so beautiful as spring--/ When weeds in wheels, shoot long and lovely and lush: Thrush eggs look little low heavens, and thrush/ Through the echoing timber does not rise and wring/ The ear it strikes like lightening to hear him sing;.." Hopkins

  27. #27
    Very wise for a lot of mundane things:
    94C9F3CB-9894-41B5-A517-0518F6FC6F2D.jpeg

    Gassho,
    Tom
    Sat/Lah
    Last edited by Jundo; 01-28-2021 at 12:10 AM.

  28. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by StoBird View Post
    Very wise for a lot of mundane things: 94C9F3CB-9894-41B5-A517-0518F6FC6F2D.jpeg

    Gassho,
    Tom
    Sat/Lah
    Wonderful!

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  29. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by Tai Shi View Post
    For me I find joy in positive poetry. My daughter a translator of Asian poetry trained with MFA in Asian language translation University of Iowa bought me books of poetry by Rumi and Hafiz Persian poets both with so much joy. TS Eliot’s Four Quartets, John Keats and William Wordsworth, the Sonnets of Shakespeare, Japanese classical Haiku also purchased by my daughter
    What Joy as I face so much. If you can read, thank a teacher
    Gassho
    sat/ lah
    Tai Shi.
    Sorry for derailing the thread a bit, but i'm interested in Rumi's poems ; do you know which book i should begin with ? Found this on evil amazon, is it good ?

    https://www.amazon.fr/Essential-Rumi...1831519&sr=8-5

    Gassho,
    Uggy,
    Sat today, LAH
    Last edited by Ugrok; 01-28-2021 at 11:07 AM.

  30. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by StoBird View Post
    Very wise for a lot of mundane things:
    94C9F3CB-9894-41B5-A517-0518F6FC6F2D.jpeg

    Gassho,
    Tom
    Sat/Lah
    That’s getting printed out and put on my refrigerator. Thank you


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

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