Ideal Posture

All things related to beginning Zen Practice. Here is where to exchange information between those that have already started Zen training and those planning to do so.
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Mason
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Ideal Posture

Post by Mason » Sat Dec 15, 2018 10:12 am

Thanks for the teaching, Joe. I'll be contemplating it. But here are my initial thoughts:
No connection with koans or a koan whatsoever; but, let's let that go... .
Yeah... that's a bit embarrassing on my part. :114:
Not! Posture, in the progress of correct practice, is balanced in every way. Without a teacher, one may go astray.
If posture requires any kind of unnatural straining, then it's not correct posture, in my opinion. With a teacher, one may go astray - but it will indeed be a less lonely straying. But don't think having a teacher gives you immunity from this.
In correct practice, posture is balanced and ideal (for oneself!); one can find no better posture, but one can continue to more appropriately embody THAT posture, over months and years and decades.
Sometimes the best posture is just to not meditate at all!
I'd say, if you or readers here are Zen Buddhist practitioners in a formal setting (Teacher and sangha), then let the teacher illuminate aspects of posture. Ideas of actualization of oneself and of the universe are too much b.s. front-loaded baggage [garbage], and not helpful in the midst of deep practice. But let the Teacher inform on that point, too. Best to be disabused of all Samsara-informed/based notions, going in. Or, most of them, ...at least.
Yeah, you're totally right about this.
A Teacher can say and tell more, if you work closely with him/her, and the sangha. That's the key to this business.
As long as the Teacher is a teacher and not a Teacher. Avoid those big-T buddies. :hatsoff:
"The Way needs no cultivation, just do not defile. What is defilement? When with a mind of birth and death one acts in a contrived way, then everything is a defilement. If one wants to know the Way directly: Ordinary Mind is the Way!"

- Record of Ma-tsu

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Dan74
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Re: Ideal Posture

Post by Dan74 » Sat Dec 15, 2018 2:54 pm

Your answers generally hit home for me, Mason, not to say this is a good thing... :112:

Students sometimes make a teacher into the Teacher and sometimes a teachers believes that in order to do his or her job, they need to appear as the Teacher. I've seen both scenarios play out somewhat. Ah well...

Posture is something Meido elucidates in his recent book. I recommend you read it and look forward to your comments.

_/|\_

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loves' the unjust
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Re: Ideal Posture

Post by loves' the unjust » Sat Dec 15, 2018 7:35 pm

If you get the job, that will be the ideal posture.
cooper

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desert_woodworker
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Re: Ideal Posture

Post by desert_woodworker » Sun Dec 16, 2018 11:59 pm

Mason,

Aitken Roshi said that "Zazen teaches Zazen". It's true, but a teacher/Teacher is there to help.

The same is true for posture.

I think that on sesshin (7-day Ch'an/Zen Buddhist "retreat"), one's posture can become refined. In that sense, posture teaches posture. It's a bit like Darwinian Evolution: if one is to survive, one finds a more -- and most -- appropriate posture. One makes adjustments! How wonderful this is... !

This is only natural, because sesshin places demands on body and mind that are unusual, and cannot be escaped.

NECESSITY is ...a MOTHER (pardon...)!

But evolution of posture occurs in daily life through daily practice, too. It's good to have a teacher/Teacher help to guide it.

I've been a Buddhist Yoga teacher since 1980, and teach mostly to Ch'an and Zen students who have an already-established Ch'an- or Zen-Buddhist practice. I testify to the fact that there is much to do very successfully and pleasantly to establish and refine posture. Well, it causes a complete re-make of the Human body, by the way (!), and of course the mind/Mind follows, or is in synch. Some Luck is involved, but Buddhists call that "Causes and Conditions", and so do I, at times. The more one applies good and sensible practice for development or cultivation, the luckier one gets.

Wishes, for All to have favorable Causes and Conditions, a good teacher/Teacher, and a great sangha/Sangha.

:namaste:

--Joe
Last edited by desert_woodworker on Mon Dec 17, 2018 1:24 am, edited 2 times in total.

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desert_woodworker
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Re: Ideal Posture

Post by desert_woodworker » Mon Dec 17, 2018 12:41 am

Mason wrote:
Sat Dec 15, 2018 10:12 am
If posture requires any kind of unnatural straining, then it's not correct posture, in my opinion. With a teacher, one may go astray - but it will indeed be a less lonely straying. But don't think having a teacher gives you immunity from this.

Mason, I've been in these circles over 40 years of formal and daily home practice, and don't feel astray. I've not seen my several Ch'an Buddhist and Zen Buddhist teachers lead anyone "astray". I don't know where you get that. I'll guess it may come from not being in a Zen Buddhist practice situation with teacher and sangha. That's certainly OK!, and not uncommon, but it's said 'life is short'. You must be the Judge, Yerhonor.

If one would like to learn something, it's generally widely recognized that it's good to learn from someone who has already accomplished it, and is still applied to it and practicing/exercising it. I'm a woodworker, and teach some people that stuff. I'm also a Buddhist Yoga teacher, and teach that to practitioners, too. I think that too much "criticism" of teachers and our relationship with them is not realistic and not experience-based, and so is not criticism in an informed sense, but is ignorance, and unhealthy paranoia and propaganda. I don't think that I've just been "lucky", to have had only very fine teachers. I'm not special: I'm just a Human-"bean". ;)

But, granted: "Small-Number Statistics" (one... ). As a Scientist, I admit that, in so many words. ;-) But I think that anyone with at least a luke-warm I.Q. can find a good teacher, and stay with him or her and his or her sangha.

By the way: "IDEAL posture" is what you can strike today, and be comfortable in (IMO). Granted, some discomfort arises after longer sitting periods, and repeated sittings. That is a part of the landscape of our Zen Buddhist practice. It's called "working-at-one's-edge", as in all Yoga practice generally. Wonderful... .

By all means, ask Meido Roshi here about any of this. Or other teachers/Teachers. I myself am opining here about the Ch'an-Buddhist and Zen-Buddhist context of practice, and not about others.

A modern teacher said that "Pain in the legs is the flavor of Zen". But, don't believe it: EXPERIENCE it! With teacher/Teacher and sangha/Sangha.

(a little play to Dan, there, with his Upper-case, or not-upper-case),

So funny, all that dithering; remarkable nonsense... ,

Salud,

Wishes for strong practice,

--Joe

Kaya

Re: Ideal Posture

Post by Kaya » Mon Dec 17, 2018 2:24 am

desert_woodworker wrote:
Mon Dec 17, 2018 12:41 am
[
A modern teacher said that "Pain in the legs is the flavor of Zen". But, don't believe it: EXPERIENCE it! With teacher/Teacher and sangha/Sangha.
Oh my goodness, no, please don't. Pain can be damage.

If anything proves that your words are dangerous, this is it.

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Re: Ideal Posture

Post by desert_woodworker » Mon Dec 17, 2018 2:46 am

Kaya wrote:
Mon Dec 17, 2018 2:24 am
desert_woodworker wrote:
Mon Dec 17, 2018 12:41 am
A modern teacher said that "Pain in the legs is the flavor of Zen". But, don't believe it: EXPERIENCE it! With teacher/Teacher and sangha/Sangha.
Oh my goodness, no, please don't. Pain can be damage.

If anything proves that your words are dangerous, this is it.
It's the Roshi who said it.

But if you are not in a Zen Buddhist sangha, and have not participated in sesshin a good bunch of times, well, maybe this is something for the future for you. You be the Judge (you may have already adjudged that Zen Buddhist practice is not your way; no worries).

Meanwhile, well, we'll know that WHAT you may have to try to offer here may not be informed by entirely traditional Zen Buddhist practice.

s' lot of that going around, forever; caveat emptor, Friends.

If you'll come to the desert, I know I can help you; it will take only a few weeks. Then it will be up to you and your local teacher (but you're welcome to return any time for tweaks).

In good faith.

Best, Practitioners!,

--Joe

Kaya

Re: Ideal Posture

Post by Kaya » Mon Dec 17, 2018 3:20 am

desert_woodworker wrote:
Mon Dec 17, 2018 12:41 am
A modern teacher said that "Pain in the legs is the flavor of Zen". But, don't believe it: EXPERIENCE it! With teacher/Teacher and sangha/Sangha.
desert_woodworker wrote: It's the Roshi who said it.
"But, don't believe it: EXPERIENCE it!" These are your words.

"Do No Harm" includes not harming yourself.
desert_woodworker wrote: But if you are not in a Zen Buddhist sangha, and have not participated in sesshin a good bunch of times, well, maybe this is something for the future for you. You be the Judge (you may have already adjudged that Zen Buddhist practice is not your way; no worries).
You know nothing.
desert_woodworker wrote: Meanwhile, well, we'll know that WHAT you may have to try to offer here may not be informed by entirely traditional Zen Buddhist practice.
Well, but, for example, yoga is not zen . . .
desert_woodworker wrote: s' lot of that going around, forever; caveat emptor, Friends.
If you'll come to the desert, I know I can help you; it will take only a few weeks. Then it will be up to you and your local teacher (but you're welcome to return any time for tweaks).
In good faith.

Best, Practitioners!,

--Joe
Now everyone sees your hubris.

Post sober

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desert_woodworker
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Re: Ideal Posture

Post by desert_woodworker » Mon Dec 17, 2018 3:30 am

Fabulous! In every sense. Fellow "Kaya" is out of oomph... .

Come visit. My teaching is rare and scarce. Sheng Yen was my Ch'an Master; and other teachers and their sanghas have since helped me, to this day.

Sheng Yen's physical practices are rarely encountered, ...even in Hundreds of Thousands of Millions of Kalpas... .

I charge no dollars, nor pesos.

See Guo Gu here at this site. He's been closer to Ch'an Master Sheng Yen than I. But, I had an earlier start. :hatsoff:

Wishes for strong practice, and happy Holidays,

--Joe

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Re: Ideal Posture

Post by desert_woodworker » Mon Dec 17, 2018 4:57 am

I deal; you deal; he, she, or it deals. --Joe

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Mason
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Re: Ideal Posture

Post by Mason » Mon Dec 17, 2018 10:00 am

If your teacher was Ven. Sheng-yen, then I can understand why you capitalize your Ts. I have not been so "lucky" thusfar; of course it is always my own sub-lukewarm IQ which messes me up - but in my ~3 years of residential Zen training, the teachers could only do so much to get me back on track.
"The Way needs no cultivation, just do not defile. What is defilement? When with a mind of birth and death one acts in a contrived way, then everything is a defilement. If one wants to know the Way directly: Ordinary Mind is the Way!"

- Record of Ma-tsu

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loves' the unjust
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Re: Ideal Posture

Post by loves' the unjust » Mon Dec 17, 2018 2:01 pm

:namaste:
cooper

Kaya

Re: Ideal Posture

Post by Kaya » Mon Dec 17, 2018 3:27 pm

desert_woodworker wrote:
Meanwhile, well, we'll know that WHAT you may have to try to offer here may not be informed by entirely traditional Zen Buddhist practice.
You only represent yourself. Let others evaluate for themselves.
desert_woodworker wrote:
If you'll come to the desert, I know I can help you; it will take only a few weeks.
Icky! Condescending, patriarchal, presumptuous, ignorant, etc.

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desert_woodworker
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Re: Ideal Posture

Post by desert_woodworker » Wed Dec 19, 2018 2:29 am

Mason wrote:
Sat Dec 15, 2018 10:12 am
Thanks for the teaching, Joe.
Now, now. We're just talking.

:namaste:

--Joe

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desert_woodworker
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Re: Ideal Posture

Post by desert_woodworker » Wed Dec 19, 2018 2:42 am

Mason,
Mason wrote:
Mon Dec 17, 2018 10:00 am
If your teacher was Ven. Sheng-yen, then I can understand why you capitalize your Ts. I have not been so "lucky" thusfar; of course it is always my own sub-lukewarm IQ which messes me up - but in my ~3 years of residential Zen training, the teachers could only do so much to get me back on track.
You know?, I only called Master Sheng Yen "Shih-fu", never teacher.

So, no, it's not his influence which sends me sometimes to upper-case. It was a Roshi who posted here at this site for a while named Jundo, who sometimes capitalized the word, I suppose out of respect for teachers in his lineage and others. He also capitalized the word "practice", which I thought was very nice, in every sense.

Posture takes upper case at the start of a sentence.

Interesting to learn that you have years of residential Zen training under your belt. Perhaps you'll write about some aspects of it here from time to time, in threads. Thanks,

--Joe

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Mason
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Re: Ideal Posture

Post by Mason » Wed Dec 19, 2018 12:04 pm

It all happened yesterday, or maybe it was a few days ago. Anyway, there's not much to report. Was deluded then; am deluded now. But! My step-mom is cooking breakfast right now and the sausage smells delicious!

:namaste:
"The Way needs no cultivation, just do not defile. What is defilement? When with a mind of birth and death one acts in a contrived way, then everything is a defilement. If one wants to know the Way directly: Ordinary Mind is the Way!"

- Record of Ma-tsu

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loves' the unjust
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Re: Ideal Posture

Post by loves' the unjust » Wed Dec 19, 2018 1:20 pm

do you eat your breakfast?
"yes"
Go wash the dishes!

Now, I'm going to kitchen to wash the dishes.as in the saying.
cooper

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Mason
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Re: Ideal Posture

Post by Mason » Wed Dec 19, 2018 2:05 pm

I am too lazy to wash the bowls. Having too much fun with my sausage. As I said - I'm deluded, and a lazy practitioner.

People are too averse to playing around, on this forum, imo. They use clever punctuation and hints to display themselves as peacocks. Little do they know that they're just turtles floating around in the water. What is the point of being so esoteric? If not a subtle narcissism and satisfaction and delight. At this time in my life, many things are delightful. And I am a selfish idiot my own self.

Walt Whitman said this, in Song of Myself:

Do I contradict myself?
Very well then I contradict myself,
I am large, I contain multitudes.

Old Walt was not esoteric or clever. He just gave people a barbaric yawp and delighted in his own piss and stink. Wake up people. The time has come to speak plainly and reasonably. :110:
"The Way needs no cultivation, just do not defile. What is defilement? When with a mind of birth and death one acts in a contrived way, then everything is a defilement. If one wants to know the Way directly: Ordinary Mind is the Way!"

- Record of Ma-tsu

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Re: Ideal Posture

Post by [james] » Wed Dec 19, 2018 2:36 pm

Mason wrote:
Wed Dec 19, 2018 2:05 pm
I am too lazy to wash the bowls.
Do you eat out of greasy bowls? Could be fun ...

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Re: Ideal Posture

Post by desert_woodworker » Wed Dec 19, 2018 2:39 pm

I thought this thread was about "Ideal Posture", not punctuation. So what about Ideal Posture, Mason? Thanks, could be an interesting thread... . _/\_ ,

--Joe

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