el gatito wrote: ↑
Sat Jun 09, 2018 1:19 am
This "Against the stream" has to be worded in a much stronger terms than "not so easy".
On ZFI, Huifeng did understand this properly, and he was emphasizing this always in his forum posts, but that was not accepted by the majority of participants, unfortunately.
Layman P'ang had a famous conversation regarding ease and difficulty
But RE against the stream, broadly one can look at it in terms of society and the fundamentally "radical" or counter-cultural nature of Buddhadharma. But I think it really useful to look at in terms of oneself, i.e. how deeply the teachings cut against the stream of one's habitual self-clinging. In this light, I would say the most common or fundamental error is not understanding that one must accord with the teachings and practice, not mold the teachings and practice to accord with oneself. To examine this principle closely is to see how one fails thus, constantly, in very subtle ways if not major ones. In other words, how deeply entrenched is our self-clinging and self-centered view.
One of my teachers described shugyo
- deep spiritual and physical training - as being defined by the attitude that whatever conditions one finds difficult, the fault, lack, or deficit is to be seen as one's own...and the challenge of transformation taken up. But the view of the average person is opposite to this: whatever conditions one finds difficult, they (people, things, situations) are blamed, and attempts made to transform them.
Anyway, back to zazen: Ol' Spikey's point that actualization of sitting practice is the real concern, not clock time, is well taken. The intent of the quotes I posted is just to point out that actualization of sitting practice takes quite a bit of sitting.
FWIW, the standard amount in Japanese monasteries has long been set at ~ 4 hours daily (non-sesshin days). The suggestion of 2 hours a day for committed laypersons - rising an hour earlier before work, and then spending an hour before retiring - does not seem too unreasonable in that light, though of course not everyone's schedule can be arranged that way.