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Thread: Hot and Cold and Steady As It Goes

  1. #1

    Hot and Cold and Steady As It Goes

    Jundo, Taigu, and fellow Leafers,

    One of the things I have already learned from working with the ango guidelines is the there are aspects of my practice that run "hot and cold" and others that are rock steady. My sitting zazen never fluctuates. I do it every single day . . . no problem. Some other parts of practice such as chants, bows, etc. are sporadic. I mostly attribute this to a heavy work load, but I also sometimes think I'm simply rationalizing omitting something. Overall, I'm OK with my practice because it maintains daily shikantaza as the primary practice, but I wonder if others have similar experiences.

    Thoughts? Comments? Suggestions?


  2. #2

    Re: Hot and Cold and Steady As It Goes

    I always eat something for dinner and sometimes I like dessert.

  3. #3

    Re: Hot and Cold and Steady As It Goes

    Hi Eika et al.,

    Quote Originally Posted by Eika
    Thoughts? Comments? Suggestions?
    I also sit every day, except for when I'm away on vacation (not too often) and do Insta-Zazen instead. I do various chants and bowing as part of my daily sitting ritual, so nothing gets left out there. I (silently) chant the Heart Sutra at one other time during the day, typically on my way to work. As part of my Ango practice, I'm making a point to do this on the weekends as well, since I'm otherwise not always consistent on this. As others have already mentioned, forgetting the Meal Gatha has been something of a problem with me, too. ops: Sometimes I just completely forget to do it, although my negligence always occurs to me at some point thereafter, either during the meal itself or even an hour or two afterwards, at which point I chant it in retrospect. (No difference between 'then' and 'now'... it's always 'now'. :wink: ) It's an interesting phenomena, actually. I wonder if if it's some deep-rooted animalistic instinct which prevents anything from getting in the way of our food!?! :evil: In any case, I seem to be remembering to do it more now than at the beginning of the Ango period, and I think that just those aspects which prove to be most difficult are those worth paying particular attention to. I personally think it's a very worthwhile practice and I'm determined to continue on with it even beyond Ango.


  4. #4
    Treeleaf Unsui Shugen's Avatar
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    Nov 2007
    Redding California USA

    Re: Hot and Cold and Steady As It Goes

    Hey Eika etc.,

    I never have been much for the chanting and bowing. I do it during the weekly zazenkai but other than the metta chant (which I do silently) and my pitiful attempts at the meal gatha, it's just not a part of my practice. I do sit everyday and have noticed that some days it is a whole lot easier to get my butt on the cushion than others. I compare it to my thoughts during zazen - some days the monkey mind holds the upper hand, some days not. I know that just because today it's difficult does not mean that tomorrow it will be also.


  5. #5

    Re: Hot and Cold and Steady As It Goes

    Hi Eika
    Ive had been doing the full monty daily and it burned me out when kept it up during construction, sicknesses, extra work load etc. Sometimes it needs to be dropped like a hot potato and some times it just right. I stopped sitting altogether for a short stint since i found doing it all all the time was a bit hard to do. Now i have our bedroom/my zendo back to myself and things (Some of them) have settled and im kicking my self in the ass to get going. Im sitting again but im dropping a few things with the exception of weekend zazenkai and the wednesday night 2hour sit ive had to abandon so i can give my wife an evening dedicated to her.

    Now that the ME monster is I think you got it right. some days full prostrations some days a quick gassho. Some days the kesa goes on, another the rakusu.

    Thank you for sharing this... you made me look at myself.


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