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Thread: a discovery

  1. #1

    a discovery

    Gassho everyone,

    I am a relatively new practitioner and member here. I am in my third month of practice. I have OCD. I notice when sitting in front of a plain white wall that I can not tell if my vision was focused. The upshot was that my obsession took over and instead of opening to everything I would spend an entire round trying to "see" or telling myself stories of how I would be able to see better. Even a light blue wall did not help.

    This morning I sat looking at the floor of the room where I sat. Actually it was my 2 dachshunds bed. I spent 20 minutes not having to obsess on the vision and my 20 minutes flew by. Thoughts came and went, but at least they weren't oh I can't see am i too close too far away maybe if I tried this or that.

    Sometimes, complete subtraction has to occur a step at a time.


  2. #2

    Re: a discovery

    Hi Marty!

    I do not have OCD but I have done and still catch myself doing stuff like that. The beginning zazen talks by Jundo and Taigu have helped me a lot. I pretty much try to let the eyes do their own thing. They go in and out of focus but like I said I obsess over them and other rhings like my posture... Ugh it bothers me lol. But in my experience letting that stuff go is a huge piece of this process. It's been one of the major parts of my practice so far.

  3. #3

    Re: a discovery

    I believe (because I do not really pay attention to whether it is so or not during Zazen, and believe that it is just natural), that my eyes are usually in focus during Zazen. I would not say that they are drifting in and out of focus. In other words, I do not get the sense that my vision is somehow much different from what it usually is or substantially "out of focus". The reason is that I am seeing things pretty normally during Zazen ... it is just that I am not caught up in thoughts about what is being seen.

    For example, my eyes might drift from a chair leg, to the floor, to a spot on the floor, to taking in the whole room, to the chair leg again .... all without consciously trying to think "chair leg, floor, spot, room, leg, etc. etc." Certainly, I try to avoid getting caught in chains of thought, such as "chair leg ... nice chair ... I need to get that leg fixed ... I wonder how much they charge for chair fixing? ... should I buy a new chair?" Or, if facing the wall, my eyes will drift from spot to dirty spot ... or to areas of the wall ... but, hopefully, without getting caught up in "spot, dirty spot, I need to clean this wall, that spot looks like a chair, I need to get the chair fixed, etc. etc."

    However, such labeling (leg, spot, floor, table, leg etc.) and chains of thought WILL happen again and again in Zazen, again and again each sitting! No problem, all part of Zazen!. Just let them go each time ... 10,000 times and 10,000 times again (I personally spend lots of time each Zazenkai thinking of the equivalent of reupholstering the furniture! ... all before I catch myself and get back to letting that go ... ). When you start labeling ... chair, leg, table, floor ... just return again and again to the empty space between the words! Think about getting the chair fixed and cleaning the wall after Zazenkai is over that day! 8)

    But, getting back to the original topic ... the eyes are generally focused, but without thinking about what they are looking at. Seeing everything, or this thing and that thing, but nothing in particular.

    And when thoughts come ... obsessive or not ... let them go ... 10,000 times and 10,000 times again ...

    Gassho, J

  4. #4

    Re: a discovery

    I wonder if that's why my eyes are blurry after zazen. Well focused it is

  5. #5

    Re: a discovery

    Hi Marty,

    My eyes will move to different "specs" of the wall. When I catch myself thinking about it or any thoughts, I straighten my posture and refocus (although I'm not focusing on any one particular thing) on letting go.



  6. #6

    Re: a discovery

    Gassho Jundo and everyone,

    Thank you all. I have found having the chair leg and dog bed before me is helping to bring the labeling to a reasonable level.. It was subtraction by addition, almost like a goalless goal.

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