The Essence of Practice

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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The Essence of Practice

Post by Mason » Fri Jun 14, 2019 7:05 pm

Enver wrote:
loves' the unjust wrote:I have an advice for all forum members : Put the practice summarize for in a few words in your mind.And just focus on that in every action.

I have done mine.
I think this could be an interesting thread. What, for you, is the essence of practice? Can you condense it into a few words? For me it would be: "Let go."

I remember a story from the old ZFI that went something like this: Nonin asked his teacher (Dainin Katagiri Roshi) what is the most important thing in practice. Katagiri roshi responded: "continuing." I like that too.

Interested to hear what everyone's response would be.
"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: The Essence of Practice

Post by loves' the unjust » Fri Jun 14, 2019 7:41 pm

Enso

mine
cooper

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Great Sage EofH
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Re: The Essence of Practice

Post by Great Sage EofH » Sun Jun 16, 2019 5:11 am

Returning to the Source
"We are magical animals that roam" ~~ Roam

Seeker242
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Re: The Essence of Practice

Post by Seeker242 » Sun Jun 16, 2019 11:51 am

No essence, or any other made up idea.

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loves' the unjust
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Re: The Essence of Practice

Post by loves' the unjust » Sun Jun 16, 2019 12:11 pm

Enso
I've spend 15 years in order to find this essence.
cooper

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desert_woodworker
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Re: The Essence of Practice

Post by desert_woodworker » Mon Jun 24, 2019 1:11 pm

Mason,
Mason wrote:
Fri Jun 14, 2019 7:05 pm
I think this could be an interesting thread. What, for you, is the essence of practice? Can you condense it into a few words? For me it would be: "Let go."
Yes, this IS interesting. :)

I've heard from other practitioners I've known in several sanghas their "practice words". Whether the recalling of these words to mind at various times has an effect on their mentality or condition at the time of recalling, I don't know, and failed to ask about that. But I was asked about my own "practice words", or word, if I have one. I've always answered, "Appreciation".
Mason wrote:I remember a story from the old ZFI that went something like this: Nonin asked his teacher (Dainin Katagiri Roshi) what is the most important thing in practice. Katagiri roshi responded: "continuing." I like that too.
I like Nonin's story. Katagiri's word is a lot like what I would tell yoga students, which I teach mostly to people who have an already-established Zen Buddhist or Ch'an Buddhist practice (and to others): "Just begin, and continue".

Reminds me of the instructions on the shampoo bottle: "Wash; Rinse; Repeat".
Interested to hear what everyone's response would be.
:namaste:

--Joe

ps I like your "Let go". Someone else might also make it, "Let's go!" :D

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desert_woodworker
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Re: The Essence of Practice

Post by desert_woodworker » Mon Jun 24, 2019 1:49 pm

Mason, another association strikes.

I'm recalling the poetry contest between Hui-neng (who became the 6th Ancestor of Chinese Ch'an), and the head monk of the monastery (whose name we don't as readily remember, funny). ;)

The head monk was guided by a "wiping-and-cleaning" notion of practice, to characterize his zazen. It amounts to a trying to change something.

Hui-neng advocated a more contemplative practice, when evidently a level of quiet was already established: I think he expressed it as a "keeping watch over purity". I'd say it's observing what is within purity, or in other words, looking directly at emptiness.

(hmm, maybe it's looking at the mind or landscape after "Let go").

But Hui-neng and the head monk were writing about zazen, while I think your "practice-words" are exercised during the activities of everyday life. Is that right? Or maybe you're talking about applying the words (bringing them up) in zazen, or at least including zazen as well as bringing them up in everyday life, dunno.

Of course, Hui-neng and the head monk were full-time monastics and their practice was probably a more consistent and less knotty thread than others'. Perhaps then, due to the intensity of their practice, they had more of a chance to uncover "purity", and hence could have it as an actual meditation-object, and hence "keep watch over it". Still, Hui-neng seems to have spotted it and identified with it, while the head monk apparently missed it (or was not as natural a poet as Hui-neng was, to be able to express it as Hui-neng did).

But, there seems a real difference, and not only in expression.

"Wiping", versus "Keeping-watch".

--Joe

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Crystal
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Re: The Essence of Practice

Post by Crystal » Tue Jun 25, 2019 5:24 pm

Mason wrote:
Fri Jun 14, 2019 7:05 pm

Interested to hear what everyone's response would be.
Hi Mason,

The essence of my practice is "Relax.... let go."

No further words needed.

With kind wishes to you,

Crystal.

_/|\_

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zenmite
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Re: The Essence of Practice

Post by zenmite » Tue Jun 25, 2019 5:41 pm

Attention

But I stole it from Ikkyu.

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