true practice

Discussion of Zen Buddhism.
Post Reply
User avatar
Site Admin
Posts: 386
Joined: Thu Mar 22, 2018 3:08 am
Location: Sacramento, CA

true practice

Post by clyde » Sat Jun 08, 2019 5:28 pm

I recently viewed a talk (“Mixing Buddhism”) by Brad Warner. In it he referenced a quote he couldn’t quite remember but thought it might have been by Suzuki Roshi in Zen Mind/Beginner’s Mind. The quote was about “true practice”. I don’t know if the following are what Brad was trying to remember, but here are quotes from Zen Mind/Beginner’s Mind on “true practice”:

About beginners’ effort:
“At first you will have various problems, and it is necessary for you to make some effort to continue our practice. For the beginner, practice without effort is not true practice. For the beginner, the practice needs great effort. Especially for young people, it is necessary to try very hard to achieve something. You must stretch out your arms and legs as wide as they will go. Form is form. You must be true to your own way until at last you actually come to the point where you see it is necessary to forget all about yourself. Until you come to this point, it is completely mistaken to think that whatever you do is Zen or that it does not matter whether you practice or not. But if you make your best effort just to continue your practice with your whole mind and body, without gaining ideas, then whatever you do will be true practice. Just to continue should be your purpose. When you do some-
thing, just to do it should be your purpose. Form is form and you are you, and true emptiness will be realized in your practice.”
About non-attachment, even to the practice:
“If you understand the cause of conflict as some fixed or one-sided idea, you can find meaning in various practices without being caught by any of them. If you do not realize this point you will be easily caught by some particular way, and you will say, "This is enlightenment! This is perfect practice. This is our way. The rest of the ways are not perfect. This is the best way." This is a big mistake. There is no particular way in true practice. You should find your own way, and you should know what kind of practice you have right now. Knowing both the advantages and disadvantages of some special practice, you can practice that special way without danger. But if you have a one-sided attitude, you will ignore the disadvantage of the practice, emphasizing only its good part. Eventually you will discover the worst side of the practice, and become discouraged when it is too late. This is silly. We should be grateful that the ancient teachers point out this mistake.”
About naturalness:
“The true practice of zazen is to sit as if drinking water when you are thirsty. There you have naturalness. It is quite natural for you to take a nap when you are very sleepy. But to take a nap just because you are lazy, as if it were the privilege of a human being to take a nap, is not naturalness. You think, "My friends, all of them, are napping; why shouldn't I? When everyone else is not working, why should I work so hard? When they have a lot of money, why don't I?" This is not naturalness. Your mind is entangled with some other idea, someone else's idea, and you are not independent, not yourself, and not natural. Even if you sit in the cross-legged position, if your zazen is not natural, it is not true practice. You do not have to force yourself to drink water when you are thirsty; you are glad to drink water. If you have true joy in your zazen, that is true zazen. But even though you have to force yourself to practice zazen, if you feel something good in your practice, that is zazen. Actually it is not a matter of forcing something on you or not. Even though you have some difficulty, when you want to have it, that is naturalness. ”
About zazen:
“So when zazen time comes, just to get up, to go and sit with your teacher, and to talk to him and listen to him, and then go home again — all these procedures are our practice. In this way, without any idea of attainment, you are always Buddha, This is true practice of zazen.”
“Enlightenment means to see what harm you are involved in and to renounce it.” David Brazier, The New Buddhism

“The most straightforward advice on awakening enlightened mind is this: practice not causing harm to anyone—yourself or others—and every day, do what you can to be helpful.” Pema Chodron, “What to Do When the Going Gets Rough”

User avatar
loves' the unjust
Posts: 728
Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2018 6:17 pm
Location: Ankara, turkey

Re: true practice

Post by loves' the unjust » Sat Jun 08, 2019 9:34 pm

Whatever it happens the real thing should be the practice.

User avatar
Posts: 1514
Joined: Fri Nov 10, 2017 12:20 am
Location: Southern Arizona desert, USA

Re: true practice

Post by desert_woodworker » Tue Jun 11, 2019 10:01 pm

True practice is the truest rest, sitting in the cave with the Elder and the community, when wordlessness and actionlessness is what constitutes communion and communication, ...after all is said and done (please take me literally/actually).

This goes back a number of millennia, if not many. There are no records; but, intimations.

The fact that it's been preserved for us in certain quarters and transmissions -- even though the conditions of (distraction!) of our lives now is enormous -- is reason for overwhelming gratitude, for all who can come to experience this. The greatest gratitude!

Wake up, and see it's so, all Beings.


Post Reply