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Thread: I Don't Want to Sit.

  1. #1
    Member Hōkan's Avatar
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    I Don't Want to Sit.

    Some days I really look forward to my time on the zafu; My curiosity is on high alert -- what will I discover today?

    Other days I really don't want to sit. Maybe I can just lounge on the couch and veg out (or post to TreeLeaf).

    Today is one of the other days.

    Oh, well. I am off to the zafu anyway because I have become convinced that even listless zazen is somehow enough.



    Sat today (if by "today" you will accept "within the past 24 hours").
    --
    Hōkan = 法閑 = Dharma Serenity
    To be entirely clear, I am not a hōkan = 幇間 = taikomochi = geisha, but I do wonder if my preceptor was having a bit of fun with me...

  2. #2
    Zazen is beyond all that. Not about you and me, not about like and dislike.
    I helps, telling me that on these days ;-)

    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.

  3. #3
    Member Seikan's Avatar
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    I used to struggle with similar feelings for years (and perhaps I will again). However, over the past few years, zazen has evolved from something that I "have to do" each day into something that simply happens each day because it does.

    The practice of Shikantaza has certainly helped to reshape my attitude. When I used to practice vipassana or other more goal-oriented mediation practices, I would be more judgmental about the value of my time on/off the cushion. But now that I sit (or try to sit) without any conscious goal, zazen simply is as zazen does.

    There are certainly still days where I may feel like I could use those 30-40 minutes to read more, talk with my family/friends, etc., but there is no longer any significant resistance/hesitation to sitting. When the time comes, zazen just happens.

    Be patient with yourself. It may simply be a matter of time.

    Gassho,
    Seikan

    -stlah-

    (apologies for running a bit long)
    聖簡 Seikan (Sacred Simplicity)

  4. #4
    Zazen is like entering your coffin--you do it whether you like it or not.

    So sit thinking you have died.

    --Sawaki Kodo Roshi
    I keep this quote handy for those "other" times

    -satToday
    Thanks,
    Kaishin (Open Heart aka Matt)
    Please take this layman's words with a grain of salt.

  5. #5
    Please limit posts to 2or 3 lines of positive comments and be loyal to our Zendo or people who arenít happy? We can help!
    Gassho
    sat/ lah
    Tai Shi


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    ...Thought and action/ your life would never experience, (even before you were born), But he also being the Devine Cannot, He etched every moment of your existence, With His own hand... Haifiz

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Tai Shi View Post
    Please limit posts to 2or 3 lines of positive comments and be loyal to our Zendo or people who aren’t happy? We can help!
    Gassho
    sat/ lah
    Tai Shi


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    No loyalty or positive happy is required.

    And the request for "2 or 3" lines is unless one truly has a heartfelt need to express more (mostly a medicine for our human tendency to wallow in ourselves and let the mental wheels run wild!)

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Hōkan View Post
    Some days I really look forward to my time on the zafu; My curiosity is on high alert -- what will I discover today?

    Other days I really don't want to sit. Maybe I can just lounge on the couch and veg out (or post to TreeLeaf).

    Today is one of the other days.

    Oh, well. I am off to the zafu anyway because I have become convinced that even listless zazen is somehow enough.



    Sat today (if by "today" you will accept "within the past 24 hours").
    My friend, Iíd worry more about the days youíre eager to get to the zafu
    Hereís my two cents: zazen is like eating, or showering: no one forces us to do it, but we do these things cause we know they are normal, natural and beneficial, though at times we choose not to and itís fine. I am sure eventually you will sit without the feeling of ďhave toĒ and without a sense of wanting to accomplish something. Donít allow yourself to turn zazen into a chore!

    SatToday and used more words than I expected. My apologies!
    Bion
    美音

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  8. #8
    Iím like Iím sorry I am happy for you.
    Gassho
    sat/ lah
    Tai Shi


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    ...Thought and action/ your life would never experience, (even before you were born), But he also being the Devine Cannot, He etched every moment of your existence, With His own hand... Haifiz

  9. #9
    Some days are cloudy; others are sunny; last week it rained all week! And yet...(I'll leave it to Jundo to finish ).

    "C'est la vie!"

    Great comments everyone.

    Gassho, Yokai sat/lah
    Last edited by Yokai; 07-14-2021 at 06:15 AM.

  10. #10
    I get this all the time, the same with the gym, yoga, everything. The beauty of zazen is you just have to turn up, there's nothing to do but sit regardless of what your head is saying. I once read an interview with the Archbishop of Canterbury who said that the benefit of his daily prayerbook, the book of common prayer, is that he just has to open it and say the words regardless of how he feels, I guess it's the same with us.

    Gassho,

    Heiso

    StLah

  11. #11
    The other part is that we treat people like we would like to be treated, and this is difficult. And all 16 of the precepts are undertaken for our entire lives. Then we will appreciate budhahood and friendship and wisdom.
    Gassho
    sat/ lah
    Tai Shi


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    ...Thought and action/ your life would never experience, (even before you were born), But he also being the Devine Cannot, He etched every moment of your existence, With His own hand... Haifiz

  12. #12
    Oh, well. I am off to the zafu anyway because I have become convinced that even listless zazen is somehow enough.
    I believe it was Uchiyama that said, “The meaning of zazen must rest stably on the act of zazen itself.” Some days, I have zero motivation to walk to the zafu. It’s as if an iron chain is around my ankles and I would rather do anything else but just sit. But, as others have said, the showing-up and sitting anyway is key.

    On these days, I try to remember Kodo Sawaki Roshi: “Zazen is not something a person will become better at as they get older. While you are practicing, that is zazen. So whether your practice is going well or poorly, you must always return to practice.”

    Gassho,
    Koushi
    ST (trudging and slogging to the zafu)
    広 Kou (Vast)
    髭 Shi (Beard)

  13. #13
    The power of Zazen is in the pureness of the act. We sit without wanting anything because the present moment is complete the way it is.

    Gassho,
    Sat today,
    Lah,
    Guish.

    Sent from my PAR-LX1M using Tapatalk

  14. #14
    Often I dont want to sit and sometimes I skip. Life is just so shiny, inviting, things so tempting, me so lazy. Its a life long journey, even to the simple act of sitting with no agenda. At least for me. You are not alone
    Gassho
    Myoku
    sat

  15. #15
    Koushi there is no need to justify your actions on this Forum with a long rambling comment disregarding precepts. We are all together.
    Gassho
    sat/ lah
    Tai Shi


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    ...Thought and action/ your life would never experience, (even before you were born), But he also being the Devine Cannot, He etched every moment of your existence, With His own hand... Haifiz

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Tai Shi View Post
    Koushi there is no need to justify your actions on this Forum with a long rambling comment disregarding precepts. We are all together.
    Gassho
    sat/ lah
    Tai Shi


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    Thank you

    Gassho,
    Koushi
    ST
    広 Kou (Vast)
    髭 Shi (Beard)

  17. #17
    Treeleaf Unsui / Engineer Sekishi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tai Shi View Post
    Koushi there is no need to justify your actions on this Forum with a long rambling comment disregarding precepts. We are all together.
    No precepts broken that I see.

    Sometimes aversion arises and we do not wish to sit. This is innocent. Sitting with friends or on a schedule helps me when motivation wanes (and I bow in gratitude to my Treeleaf friends).

    Deep bows,
    Sekishi
    #sat #lah
    sekishi
    石志

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

  18. #18
    My deep apologies for criticizing of course you canít practice all the time. Itís both of powerful truth and a small truth that we pay attention to others. Iím distracted today and not being mindful.
    Gassho
    sat/ lah
    Tai Shi


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    ...Thought and action/ your life would never experience, (even before you were born), But he also being the Devine Cannot, He etched every moment of your existence, With His own hand... Haifiz

  19. #19
    Hello everyone ,

    I personally sit for less time if I really am not wanting to sit. It may not be the "ideal" sit, but I will sit for only 5 minutes if I am feeling that resistant to zazen. This way my daily practice stays consistent at the very least. Even when my body is itching to move, and my mind won't stop racing, I can give 5 minutes of my time to practice.

    Sorry to run a little long.

    Gassho,
    John
    Sat today

    Sent from my LG-H910 using Tapatalk

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Guish View Post
    The power of Zazen is in the pureness of the act. We sit without wanting anything because the present moment is complete the way it is.


    Quote Originally Posted by John.3 View Post
    I personally sit for less time if I really am not wanting to sit. It may not be the "ideal" sit, but I will sit for only 5 minutes if I am feeling that resistant to zazen.
    Yes, I do the same. I have a morning routine that includes zazen and I usually stick to it, but sometimes if I sleep in or if I have an early appointment or if sometimes I resist the routine, I tend to do a shorter zazen instead.

    Gassho,
    Charity
    sat

  21. #21
    Member Seikan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John.3 View Post
    I personally sit for less time if I really am not wanting to sit. It may not be the "ideal" sit, but I will sit for only 5 minutes if I am feeling that resistant to zazen. This way my daily practice stays consistent at the very least. Even when my body is itching to move, and my mind won't stop racing, I can give 5 minutes of my time to practice.
    I feel the same way about consistentency. Funny enough though, when I do sit with the intention of keeping it shorter (for whatever reason), I usually end up sitting for close to my usual 30-40 minutes anyway. Once I'm on the cushion, time becomes more elastic, and I no longer feel that there is anything to rush for.

    Gassho,
    Seikan

    -stlah-
    聖簡 Seikan (Sacred Simplicity)

  22. #22
    Zazen is about consistency, yes, sitting in some fashion each day ...

    ... but Zazen is never a matter of long or short, and is always sat beyond measure, dropping all thought of time or before and after while sitting.

    So, some days one may sit long, for hours, sometimes for days or weeks, some days for a few minutes .... each each drop embodies all time.

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    Zazen is about consistency, yes, sitting in some fashion each day ...

    ... but Zazen is never a matter of long or short, and is always sat beyond measure, dropping all thought of time or before and after while sitting.

    So, some days one may sit long, for hours, sometimes for days or weeks, some days for a few minutes .... each each drop embodies all time.

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    Jundo, of course we can also show up to our lives/tasks etc. fully engaged with nothing else to do, no where else to be. In this sense, our practices grows beyond the zafu. So, if we cannot 'sit' we can still 'Zazen'.

    I've always found being mindful and fully engaged with what I'm doing more challenging than Zazen but it is a wonderful practice.

    Always open for any tips on that and maybe it would be a useful point for this thread

    Gassho,

    Ippo

    SatToday

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by Ippo View Post
    Jundo, of course we can also show up to our lives/tasks etc. fully engaged with nothing else to do, no where else to be. In this sense, our practices grows beyond the zafu. So, if we cannot 'sit' we can still 'Zazen'.
    Yes, Zazen is not limited to the cushion, and can be any activity in life when approached with the mind of Shikantaza.

    However, there is something still special about sitting. Perhaps because, while Zazen is not limited to sitting or moving or running around, there is still something special about sitting still which helps us realize the meaning of stillness. As well, there is no reason to sit ... so we sit ... as the medicine for our need to always have a reason and "pay off" for what we do in life. We sit because it is just the sacred sitting which embodies how a Buddha sits.

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  25. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    Yes, Zazen is not limited to the cushion, and can be any activity in life when approached with the mind of Shikantaza.

    However, there is something still special about sitting. Perhaps because, while Zazen is not limited to sitting or moving or running around, there is still something special about sitting still which helps us realize the meaning of stillness. As well, there is no reason to sit ... so we sit ... as the medicine for our need to always have a reason and "pay off" for what we do in life. We sit because it is just the sacred sitting which embodies how a Buddha sits.

    Gassho, J

    STLah

    Thank you Jundo, great to read after sitting Zazenkai

    Gassho,

    Ippo

    SatToday

  26. #26

  27. #27
    Thank you all.

    Gassho
    SatToday
    流道
    Ryū Dou

  28. #28
    Member Seishin's Avatar
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    Some interesting comments. I've been sitting bar one day (19 Sep '16) since I joined Treeleaf 19 days earlier. That one day felt strangely odd that I did not sit. And for a good couple of years there were times when I thought I should give it a miss but didn't. It then just became part of my morning routine and continues to be so. I no longer think should I, shouldn't or that its arduous I just do it and the days always vary. I am not bigging it up or trying for a record something, that's just how it is. I get up, let the dog out, make the bed and we both sit together. Simples. And since the FSR and SSR were opened I look forward to sharing practice with friends around the globe each day.

    Sorry for the verbosity,

    Sat - its a habit I've formed !


    Seishin

    Sei - Meticulous
    Shin - Heart

  29. #29
    Member Hōkan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seishin View Post
    Some interesting comments.

    Yes, indeed.

    Thank you all for your encouragement!

    Sat today in the Free Sitting Room.
    --
    Hōkan = 法閑 = Dharma Serenity
    To be entirely clear, I am not a hōkan = 幇間 = taikomochi = geisha, but I do wonder if my preceptor was having a bit of fun with me...

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