Zazen Is Good For Nothing

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clyde
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Re: Zazen Is Good For Nothing

Post by clyde » Wed Jun 13, 2018 3:09 am

Jundo; I read your posts in the most positive way possible and I read Meido’s posts and his book in the same way. And I try to apply that attitude to how I read Joe’s posts and all the posts here.

That still leaves ample opportunity for discussion and exploration of experiences, practices, and views.

For example, given that many of us are not fully enlightened beings and therefore are still subject to the arising of vedana (the feelings of pleasant, unpleasant, and neutral), how does that fit with shikantaza? Can one say that a sit was pleasant or unpleasant (as when one’s body aches)? Does Dogen say anything about this?
“Enlightenment means to see what harm you are involved in and to renounce it.” David Brazier, The New Buddhism

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boda
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Re: Zazen Is Good For Nothing

Post by boda » Wed Jun 13, 2018 3:28 am

jundocohen wrote:
Wed Jun 13, 2018 1:35 am
It does not strike me here that Meido and I are saying anything very different, although perhaps "success" in what he is describing sometimes involves a certain "sweating white beads" intensity that is not particularly emphasized in Shikantaza.
It strikes me that you simply have lower standards in this aspect, or rather, you focus more on religiosity, as evidenced by your preachiness in both quantity and frequency. There’s nothing wrong with that, this is not a criticism. Obviously your way resonates with a particular type of individual.

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fuki
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Re: Zazen Is Good For Nothing

Post by fuki » Wed Jun 13, 2018 11:06 am

clyde wrote:
Wed Jun 13, 2018 3:09 am

For example, given that many of us are not fully enlightened beings and therefore are still subject to the arising of vedana (the feelings of pleasant, unpleasant, and neutral),
"Enlightened beings" still experience feelings, difference is they're not "attached" to them" i.e. they dont inject a "self" into experience/feelings/perception etc
how does that fit with shikantaza? Can one say that a sit was pleasant or unpleasant (as when one’s body aches)?
I experience pleasant things often, I fully enjoy them much deeper then anyone who might conceptualize the feeling and claims own being to feelings/experiences. Why wouldn't you be able to say that or not? (if that is what one feels) If not "attached" you wont store/tape the feeling/experience as "you", so whatever experoence then does not become a source of grasping or avoiding. The pleasant/unpleasant feeling is not projected into the future as in "I will sit to get that feeling again" or "I fear to experience something unpleasant again" Shikantaza is then not associated with personal grasping and avoiding of the central character called "me"

My opinion ofcourse, not the law.

But even if it is, there's no rule or law or religious conditioning/manipulation which can tell you if you can say or experience things as pleasant or not. If one does not categorize or is "unattached" to arising feelings then that is a result of practise, not because one tells himself to feel or not feel, say or not say as that would be intellectual effort based (and emotional manipulation) on hearsay of "the enlightened"Then what is taught is contraction not true "transmission"

Eating a cookie with coffee now, very enjoyable and pleasant. :P
meldpunt seksueel misbruik in boeddhistische gemeenschappen.
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jundocohen
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Re: Zazen Is Good For Nothing

Post by jundocohen » Wed Jun 13, 2018 11:21 am

clyde wrote:
Wed Jun 13, 2018 3:09 am
Jundo; I read your posts in the most positive way possible and I read Meido’s posts and his book in the same way. And I try to apply that attitude to how I read Joe’s posts and all the posts here.

That still leaves ample opportunity for discussion and exploration of experiences, practices, and views.

For example, given that many of us are not fully enlightened beings and therefore are still subject to the arising of vedana (the feelings of pleasant, unpleasant, and neutral), how does that fit with shikantaza? Can one say that a sit was pleasant or unpleasant (as when one’s body aches)? Does Dogen say anything about this?
Hi Clyde,

I also try to read everyone's posts and observations with positive feelings, and I know everyone is only trying to be helpful. I am too. I celebrate everyone's paths and practices for their individual power and beauty. Different roads for different walkers.

As to pleasant and unpleasant, and bodily pain guidance from Dogen, there are a few things besides the basic "Don’t think about good or bad” and "If the least like or dislike arises, the Mind is lost in confusion" instructions in the Fukanzazengi. He had many passages where he described Zazen as pleasant such as as the "the dharma gate of joyful ease." In the Zuimonki, he wrote the following somewhere in 1235-37. It is not really on point about pain during Zazen, and is more about not letting pain and illness hinder us from constant practice. (Dogen did not have the internet, by the way, so did not have the possibility of telling his lay student to practice at home. At Treeleaf, I have had folks sitting with us in hospital beds, sick beds and hospice beds. We have one fellow right now who must crawl to the toilet, several in wheelchairs, one in a nursing home.) I am sure sickness and pain was always before their eyes in the 13th century, even more than today.
6-8

Dogen instructed,

Students of the Way, you should not postpone beginning to practice the Way. Just do
not spend this day or even this moment in vain. Practice diligently day by day,
moment by moment.

A certain lay person had been sick for a long time. Last spring he promised, “As soon
as I have recovered, I will abandon my wife and children and build a hermitage near
the temple. I will join in the meetings of repentance (fusatsu) held twice a month. I
also want to practice daily and listen to your lectures on the dharma. I would like to
spend as much as possible the rest of my life being in accord with the precepts.”

After that, he received various treatments, and recovered a little bit. But then, he had
a relapse and spent his days in vain. In January of this year, his condition suddenly
became critical, and he suffered increasing pain. Because he hadn’t had enough time
to bring the materials to build the hermitage he had been planning, he rented a room
to stay in temporarily. Within a month or so, however, he passed away. He died
peacefully since he had received the Bodhisattva precepts and had taken refuge in the
Three Treasures the night before his death. So it was better than having stayed at
home, clinging to the bonds of affection for his wife and children dying in madness.
However I think it would have been better for him to have left home last year when
he first made up his mind to do so. He could have lived close to the temple becoming
familiar with the sangha and ended his life practicing the Way. Considering this, I feel
that the practice of the Buddha-Way should not be put off until a later day. It is due to
your lack of bodhi-mind that, you think since you’re sick you can begin to practice
after you have recovered. Whose body doesn’t become sick composed as it is of the
four elements!

The ancient masters did not necessarily have golden bones. They
practiced without concern for anything else only because they thoroughly aspired (to
practice the Way). It is like forgetting petty matters when encountering a great
problem. Since the Buddha-Way is the vital matter, you should resolve to complete it
in this lifetime and not waste even a single day or hour.

An ancient master said, “Do not pass time wastefully.” When you are receiving
some treatment, but instead of getting better the pain gradually increases, you should
practice while the pain is still not too bad. After the pain has become severe, you
should determine to practice before your condition becomes critical. And when your
condition has become critical, you should resolve to practice before you die.
When you are sick, sometimes the illness passes, sometimes it gets worse. Sometimes
it gets better even without any treatment. And, sometimes it gets worse even though
you are being treated. Take this carefully into consideration.

Practitioners of the Way, do not think of practicing after shelter has been assured, and
robes and bowls etc. have been prepared. Although you may be living in dire
poverty, while waiting until robes, bowls, and other equipment have been prepared,
can you prevent death from approaching? If you wait until shelter has been prepared
and robes and bowls are ready, you will have spent your whole lifetime in vain. You
should have the resolution that without robes and bowls, even a lay person can
practice the Buddha-Way. Robes and bowls are simply the ornaments of monkshood.

True practitioners of the Buddha-Way do not depend on such things. If they are
available, let them be with you, but do not deliberately seek after them. On the other
hand, do not think of not owning them when you have them. In the same way, if it is
possible to cure your sickness, it goes against the Buddha’s teachings to try and die
intentionally and not receive treatment. For the sake of the Buddha Way neither hold
your life dear, nor be careless about it. When possible, use moxa or decocted herbal
medicines which do not obstruct your practice of the Way. Anyway, it is a mistake to
put aside your practice of the Way and put primary importance on curing your
sickness, planning to practice only after you have recovered.
Also in 5-9
Dogen instructed,

In learning the Way, you must depart from your ego. Even if you have been able to
study a thousand sutras or ten thousand commentaries, if you do not free yourself
from ego-attachment, you will eventually fall into the hole of demons.

An ancient master said, “If you lack the body and mind of the buddha-dharma, how is
it possible to become a buddha or a patriarch?” To depart from your ego means
throwing your body and mind into the great ocean of the buddha-dharma, and
practicing by following the buddha-dharma no matter how much pain or anxiety you
may have.
https://global.sotozen-net.or.jp/common ... 02-04.html
Modern teachers have had much to say on this question. Shunryu Suzuki to a student:
Student C: Roshi, when you sit zazen and you feel pain in your legs-

Suzuki-roshi: Yeah.

Student C: -do you think we should concentrate on the pain or-or to try and concentrate on something else?

Suzuki-roshi: Anyway, that is every day [laughs], you know-that is, you know, quite natural, and that is a kind of everyday routine, you know. That is not problem, you know. Do you understand? It is same thing you feel hungry, you know. There is no difference.

Student C: Well, when you are hungry you eat, usually.

Suzuki-roshi: You eat. [Laughs, laughter.] But what will happen to you if you eat whenever you will feel hungry? Maybe it is necessary to feel hungry for one hour or so.

Student C: I know. I want to know if you think we should concentrate on the pain [?] or just ignore it.

Suzuki-roshi: Maybe-that is not big problem, you know.

Student C: Sometimes it is. [Laughter.]

Suzuki-roshi: Yeah. Not big problem in comparison to the problem Buddha points out. This is your problem. [Hits table four times in previous sentence.] You know, that is big, big problem. So many people-Zen student and Zen master say: "We must achieve buddhahood," you know, "next life. If it is not possible to do it next life, we will achieve it someday," you know, "after many life." The problem is so big. But pain on your-our legs is small problem. Nothing wrong to have pain in your legs. And, you know-crossing, if it is too painful, you know, there is no need to-if it is almost impossible for you, there is no need to cross your legs.

Student C: I-but-what I-what I was interested in was what did you think you should devote your concentrate to, in terms of on the pain itself or-or away from it?

Suzuki-roshi: No. Away from? No. No. Don't try to be away from it. And don't try to be concentrated on it. [Laughs, laughter.] You know, let it painful. Let it be painful always. [Laughs, laughter.] That is your problem, you may say. I have to practice zazen. If you are painful, you know, that is your-your problem. [Laughs, laughter.] Hai.

http://suzukiroshi.sfzc.org/archives/in ... ?seemore=y
and
When you practice zazen you will of course have physical pain in your legs and mentally you will have some difficulty. You will find it difficult to be concentrated on your breathing. One after another images will come into your mind. Or your mind will go out for a walk and wander about. I have many difficulties in my practice, so I think you, too, will find it very difficult to sit in good zazen.

All the difficulties you have in zazen should not take place outside your mind. Your efforts should be kept within your mind. In other words you have to accept the difficulty as not being other than what you are. You should not try to make some tentative particular effort based on your small mind like, "my practice should be better." My practice you say, but zazen is not your practice, it is buddha's practice. Your effort is based on big mind which cannot get out of. If your small self begins to act without the care of big mind, that is not Zen. What you do should be well taken care of by big mind. Our practice should be based on mind or original way-seeking mind which works on and on continuously.
http://suzukiroshi.sfzc.org/archives/in ... ?seemore=y
I am sorry if that is not so helpful.

Gassho, J
Teacher at Treeleaf Zendo, a Soto Zen Sangha, an online practice place for folks who cannot commute to a Zen Center due to health, living in remote areas, work or family needs. The focus is Shikantaza 'Just Sitting' Zazen http://www.treeleaf.org

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fuki
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Re: Zazen Is Good For Nothing

Post by fuki » Wed Jun 13, 2018 11:48 am

My opinion, which wont make me popular with Teachers mainly.
Dogen instructed,

In learning the Way, you must depart from your ego. Even if you have been able to
study a thousand sutras or ten thousand commentaries, if you do not free yourself
from ego-attachment, you will eventually fall into the hole of demons.

An ancient master said, “If you lack the body and mind of the buddha-dharma, how is
it possible to become a buddha or a patriarch?” To depart from your ego means
throwing your body and mind into the great ocean of the buddha-dharma, and
practicing by following the buddha-dharma no matter how much pain or anxiety you
I often hear teachers say "do not practise according to personal preferences" If that means that ppl will copy a posture and experience unneccesary pain and are still manipulated/conditioned into an "awakening posture" and if they dont it's their "ego" then such a teacher is transmitting contraction.

Ofcourse I've heared all examples that one "shouldnt adopt a posture one is not ready for" or "if physical disabilities prevent then it's allright to sit in a chair or whatever etc" As if we should be thankful that we're "allowed" to sit in a different posture by the grace of the teacher.

Let's get real, not objecting to traditional/religious postures at all, but many (young) ppl get chronic injuries for adopting a posture which isn't necessary and is forced by religious conditioning. What if the Buddha sat on a chair for instance beneath the Bodhi tree?

Ppl may believe what they will or talk about experiential actualizing etc etc but no one should be forced to experience pain when not necessary, if they do so thats up to them.
meldpunt seksueel misbruik in boeddhistische gemeenschappen.
https://meldpuntbg.nl/

IZIhttp://www.zeninstitute.org/en/iziae/main.html

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desert_woodworker
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Re: Zazen Is Good For Nothing

Post by desert_woodworker » Wed Jun 13, 2018 11:59 am

Evening, Jundo,
jundocohen wrote:
Tue Jun 12, 2018 7:25 pm
Joe, you need to decide which side of the mouth you talk from. Your posts very clearly speak of what you believe to be good and fruitful attainments in Zazen necessary for its success as you see it. Which is it?
Again, you address what we call a polarity. I'm not addressing polarities, Jundo. And not addressing "good and fruitful" (Juicyfruit Gum).

Now, whether you're doing it intentionally -- deliberately -- or not, what you are doing is confusing reports on phenomenology with Purposefulness.

Yes, I sometimes mention psychological, sensory, and physical developments along the Way, but I do not say that I practice for them (which I think makes a difference from a Soto, and especially Dogen-istic point of view). Yet, I am able to describe some things, just as I suppose we all are. And, some of the time, that's why we meet here, and we mention such things sometimes, in passing. Or witness Michael's thread on "Zazen", where he asks for and warmly invites such observations.

Noting and being able to mention such things -- say, in a "discussion" forum!, for practitioners ;) -- is just a feature of being alive, Jundo.

I'd say that in "Studying the Self", one notes things. In "Forgetting the Self", one notes things too, perhaps new or different things.

In "Being awakened by the Many Things", one may make yet other notes, too. Commenting on them or calling out their beautiful names (like names of the Stars in the sky) does not equate to practicing for them, nor holding them as good, bad, desirable, or repulsive.

We practice for daily life, in daily life. Speaking for myself... . :)

Well, I put this out for all readers. Wishing you a good night now, Jundo... .

(nice desert morning dawning here; to be 105-106 F again, until the Hurricane "Bud" influence reaches us from the South on the weekend, when the 5 percent humidity will rise to 100 percent and we may get 1.5 inches of rain, after more than 100 days of rainlessness. Just noting and commenting, not saying this is good or bad! Nature has its ways. Or, is it just a Way... ).

:namaste:

--Joe

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jundocohen
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Re: Zazen Is Good For Nothing

Post by jundocohen » Thu Jun 14, 2018 12:51 pm

desert_woodworker wrote:
Wed Jun 13, 2018 11:59 am
Evening, Jundo,
jundocohen wrote:
Tue Jun 12, 2018 7:25 pm
Joe, you need to decide which side of the mouth you talk from. Your posts very clearly speak of what you believe to be good and fruitful attainments in Zazen necessary for its success as you see it. Which is it?
Again, you address what we call a polarity. I'm not addressing polarities, Jundo. And not addressing "good and fruitful" (Juicyfruit Gum).

Now, whether you're doing it intentionally -- deliberately -- or not, what you are doing is confusing reports on phenomenology with Purposefulness.

Yes, I sometimes mention psychological, sensory, and physical developments along the Way, but I do not say that I practice for them (which I think makes a difference from a Soto, and especially Dogen-istic point of view). Yet, I am able to describe some things, just as I suppose we all are. And, some of the time, that's why we meet here, and we mention such things sometimes, in passing. Or witness Michael's thread on "Zazen", where he asks for and warmly invites such observations.

Noting and being able to mention such things -- say, in a "discussion" forum!, for practitioners ;) -- is just a feature of being alive, Jundo.

I'd say that in "Studying the Self", one notes things. In "Forgetting the Self", one notes things too, perhaps new or different things.

In "Being awakened by the Many Things", one may make yet other notes, too. Commenting on them or calling out their beautiful names (like names of the Stars in the sky) does not equate to practicing for them, nor holding them as good, bad, desirable, or repulsive.

We practice for daily life, in daily life. Speaking for myself... . :)

Well, I put this out for all readers. Wishing you a good night now, Jundo... .

(nice desert morning dawning here; to be 105-106 F again, until the Hurricane "Bud" influence reaches us from the South on the weekend, when the 5 percent humidity will rise to 100 percent and we may get 1.5 inches of rain, after more than 100 days of rainlessness. Just noting and commenting, not saying this is good or bad! Nature has its ways. Or, is it just a Way... ).

:namaste:

--Joe
I have read this several times. Sometimes I feel that there is something being said here, and I am reminded of a wonderful old novel called "Gravity's Rainbow." Do you know it?

https://bradleyjfest.com/2011/10/01/an- ... s-rainbow/

Gassho, J
Teacher at Treeleaf Zendo, a Soto Zen Sangha, an online practice place for folks who cannot commute to a Zen Center due to health, living in remote areas, work or family needs. The focus is Shikantaza 'Just Sitting' Zazen http://www.treeleaf.org

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desert_woodworker
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Re: Zazen Is Good For Nothing

Post by desert_woodworker » Thu Jun 14, 2018 1:15 pm

Ohayo, across the big Salt,
jundocohen wrote:
Thu Jun 14, 2018 12:51 pm
I have read this several times. Sometimes I feel that there is something being said here, and I am reminded of a wonderful old novel called "Gravity's Rainbow." Do you know it?

https://bradleyjfest.com/2011/10/01/an- ... s-rainbow/
Thanks for reading, Jundo, I appreciate it.

The important thing in that interchange is just not to confuse reports on phenomenology with Purposefulness.

--Joe

ps as for Pynchon's book, I don't think of it as "old" tho' I've had my copy since 1974. I doubt my writing is like his, though. And mine contains no fictions. ;) Did you have something particular in mind about the book? I have it here on the shelf, and can check any page, etc. tnx again, -J.

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