Whats your practice?

Discussion of Zen Buddhism, Soto Zen, Rinzai Zen, Chan, Seon and Thien.

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daibunny
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Whats your practice?

Post by daibunny » Thu Nov 02, 2017 5:06 pm

Im always curious about this and i know that some dont like to talk about it, but if you do ...:)
Anyway here is mine: My teacher gave me the instruction to "Abide with mind", this was after i did the "Who is this?" (as in "Who is this reciting the Buddhas name?") hautou for a while.
So thats what i do the best i can, i sit, surrender, and abide with mind.

Hey i just realized, First Post, Huzzah!
The bridge is flowing, not the water.

~Shenxiu

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Larry
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Re: Whats your practice?

Post by Larry » Fri Nov 03, 2017 12:11 pm

Not sure if it's worth posting....as according to el g, on DW, this entire forum is just about to become another melted snowflake :D

But here goes nothing. My main practice is Shikantaza. I went to a White Plum Zen sangha meeting in Derbyshire, England last night.

My last Chan retreat was a week of Silent Illumination, Sheng Yen style, in Wales three years ago.

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daibunny
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Re: Whats your practice?

Post by daibunny » Sat Nov 04, 2017 12:03 am

Cool :) Never been on a retreat, something i hope to do someday.
The bridge is flowing, not the water.

~Shenxiu

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[james]
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Re: Whats your practice?

Post by [james] » Sun Nov 05, 2017 12:18 am

el gatito wrote:I think for some people "practice" means something they must force themselves to do, while for some others quite an opposite -- something interesting or unavoidable -- such as they must very much force themselves "not to do it".
These days I am somewhere in the center ... have known the sense of forcing a practice, have not yet experienced the obsession of a practice. Both conditions are, I think, an expression of craving and, certainly, of dissatisfaction. I agree with interesting. Why do you say unavoidable?
Anyways there was no "entry point" found of any sort.
I occasionally observe that all points are points of entry. I also occasionally convince myself that some things, conditions, situations are pointless. Larry has corrected me on that.
Presently I am trying to keep the body in a more or less acceptable shape. "Force" myself to do exercises, like a brief compilation from certain forms of Hindu hatha-yoga, and Chinese martial arts stretching and warming.
I sit daily, morning and evening and make time to participate in a ten day Vipassana retreat at least once per year. I prefer not to give what I do a practice name ... Chan, Zen, Vipassana, whatever. Cultivating awareness and knowledge of "self" is a description that I find acceptable at the moment. Whether a practice is forced or not, it is essential to be immersed in one's choice of activity. (There's nothing wrong with pushing from time to time.) I look for and am open to opportunities that let practice activity occupy more of this life experience.

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Larry
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Re: Whats your practice?

Post by Larry » Sun Nov 05, 2017 5:23 pm

*puts on slightly controversial hat*

Do you think there's enough flexible psychological support for newbies on the Goenka retreats?

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[james]
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Re: Whats your practice?

Post by [james] » Sun Nov 05, 2017 7:44 pm

Like anywhere else, it depends on the people involved. At the Goenka center where I sit, and likewise at all the other Goenka centers, there is a questionnaire for all applicants which, if answered honestly, will give those seeing that information the opportunity to identify someone needing additional attention. If those reviewing applications and managing the retreat are well established in metta, wisdom and equanimity one can be somewhat more confident that a person coming into a course with a special physical or psychological situation will receive the ongoing attention they require. So far I have only met trustworthy people where I've been in courses but I haven't been in circumstances where my own trust in others there might have been tested. I have met some who I thought were somewhat too obsessive in their Vipassana practice and recall being happy that they were not in positions of guidance or authority. But, no group or school has the perfect balance of helpful guidance and restrictive expectations. It depends on those who are carrying forwards the teachings.

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[james]
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Re: Whats your practice?

Post by [james] » Tue Nov 07, 2017 1:22 am

el gatito wrote: For me it looks like when one starts to make real efforts to "find out" the "true nature", the "source of it all", etc., one initiates a process. On some unknown level. Once started -- this process goes on by itself, and cannot be easily "stopped". Like active, "hot", nuclear power plant cannot be shut down easily and quickly. Or heavily loaded truck cannot be stopped momentarily if moving fast. The process takes care of its own development, you cannot do anything about it.
One comes into being and the process is already underway.
One's coming into being is the process.
Practice, non-practice, style of practice, end of practice ...
It takes care of itself, carrying you/me/us along.

What is it? This I would like to know.

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Larry
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Re: Whats your practice?

Post by Larry » Tue Nov 07, 2017 5:33 am

Why?

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Larry
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Re: Whats your practice?

Post by Larry » Tue Nov 07, 2017 5:40 am

Does that mean we are all blameless for our "posting styles" and our "meandering chatty content"? It was just "carrying us along" :mrgreen:

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[james]
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Re: Whats your practice?

Post by [james] » Wed Nov 08, 2017 12:14 am

Larry wrote:Does that mean we are all blameless for our "posting styles" and our "meandering chatty content"? It was just "carrying us along" :mrgreen:
What big teeth you have Mr. Green!
I can't say anything about blame. We are all responsible for our own words and actions (thoughts too? if possible).
How we arrive at our posting styles and content and the commentary we make about said style and content is the undercurrent that carries along. As students of Zen and Buddhadharma do we drift with the current? Swim with or against it? Any of those possibilities could be appropriate. Whatever we do is done in the context of the undercurrent. Of course this is only my view and Zen teachings advise us to put views aside. I look forward to that eventuality.

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Larry
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Re: Whats your practice?

Post by Larry » Wed Nov 08, 2017 11:11 am

[james] wrote:What big teeth you have Mr. Green!
Flattery will get you everywhere :lol:

Any thoughts on joining DW?

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daibunny
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Re: Whats your practice?

Post by daibunny » Thu Nov 09, 2017 11:59 pm

el gatito wrote: Well I spent recently 5 years (2009 - 2014) in a remote settings in a rural cabin (Chilean mountains region) having nothing else to do but take care of a very basic lifestyle. And was thinking of course I very well knew what "Silent Illumination" was. That was most probably a mistaken view. Anyways there was no "entry point" found of any sort.

Presently I am trying to keep the body in a more or less acceptable shape. "Force" myself to do exercises, like a brief compilation from certain forms of Hindu hatha-yoga, and Chinese martial arts stretching and warming.
What do you mean by entry point?
The bridge is flowing, not the water.

~Shenxiu

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Re: Whats your practice?

Post by desert_woodworker » Fri Nov 10, 2017 12:59 am

My practice is Ch'an. Or, Zen practice. I've had teachers and sanghas in both. Two have died, but not left me flat.

Present sangha and teacher is Soto. Oh, and how I love(d) the Rinzai (Linji) way of working, too, as well. But I am not a specialist. Nonetheless, I admit I am a very local master of transformations. Not everyone would do this, unless they were like me. Taking what's available and swallowing it. For all beings.

--Joe
chan_retreat_sep_20_27_2015_Malaysia.jpg
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"Ignorance is to be ignorant of one's original mind." - Ma Tsu

"Liberation is awakening to one's original nature." - Ma Tsu

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desert_woodworker
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Re: Whats your practice?

Post by desert_woodworker » Fri Nov 10, 2017 3:02 am

elG,
el gatito wrote:
daibunny wrote:What do you mean by entry point?
> elG speaking: I mean more or less that, which shows when Googling: "entering the gate of Chan", "Guo Gu".

Fine business.

My teacher used the words with me, "Entered the door of Ch'an". This was on May 28, 1979.

This opening lasted 2 1/2 months. As I've written before... .

Subsequently, smaller or shorter awakenings have occurred, with Ven. Master Sheng Yen, and then afterwards with a Zen Buddhist teacher.

No more to say, until the next time. When, no doubt, I will be silent anyway. :P Who wouldn't?

Good to have the opening to speak, here.

--Joe
"Ignorance is to be ignorant of one's original mind." - Ma Tsu

"Liberation is awakening to one's original nature." - Ma Tsu

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Great Sage EofH
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Re: Whats your practice?

Post by Great Sage EofH » Fri Nov 10, 2017 1:20 pm

daibunny wrote:Im always curious about this and i know that some dont like to talk about it, but if you do ...:)
Anyway here is mine: My teacher gave me the instruction to "Abide with mind", this was after i did the "Who is this?" (as in "Who is this reciting the Buddhas name?") hautou for a while.
So thats what i do the best i can, i sit, surrender, and abide with mind.

Hey i just realized, First Post, Huzzah!
Last interview i had with teacher he said "Become an Island" that means differentiate, dont confuse your karma with others karma. I tend to become overly responsible and have to consciously say "NO" to prevent myself from enabling, co-dependent behavior. But that's coaching, tweaking my practice. My core practice is this: I sit in Half Lotus or cross-legged & gather in the thoughts, feelings, body, consciousness; set mindfulness before me, etc... I take a few breaths to allow myself to become settled. No force or control. Right concentration, right effort, right mindfulness... Maybe sometimes I stand - Zhàn zhuāng - like hugging a tree. Maybe lying down. Maybe while walking (kinhin). My mind wanders by itself so I don't need to direct it that way. Dogen said it takes "Will" , he said it is "Training". One does not abandon the raft in the middle of the River. Sitting like this, One-pointedness and equanimity begin to arise. It is coolness, easiness, and pleasurable. Negative karma won't arise from it. Also my blood pressure drops, LOL. :lol:
"We are magical animals that roam" ~~ Roam

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Larry
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Re: Whats your practice?

Post by Larry » Sat Nov 11, 2017 9:56 am

The latter could be just as healthy. Sometimes the world can look after itself. See how easily many who cared, just flowed into DW. Zenspace is great as well. But only while it's still fun for you....

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Re: Whats your practice?

Post by desert_woodworker » Sat Nov 11, 2017 5:38 pm

Kudos, all who care, and all who practice, and share Buddhadharma here and everywhere in daily life.

To start, and then to continue, it all requires reflection, examination, compassion, mercy, wisdom.

As the saying goes (went?), "The unexamined Liver is not worth a pint," ...or something like that. :D

--Joe
"Ignorance is to be ignorant of one's original mind." - Ma Tsu

"Liberation is awakening to one's original nature." - Ma Tsu

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daibunny
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Re: Whats your practice?

Post by daibunny » Sat Nov 11, 2017 9:39 pm

el gatito wrote:
daibunny wrote:What do you mean by entry point?
I mean more or less that, which shows when Googling: "entering the gate of Chan", "Guo Gu".

https://www.google.com/search?q=%22ente ... tnG=Search
Sounds like you could wait a long time for something like that.
The bridge is flowing, not the water.

~Shenxiu

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Dan74
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Re: Whats your practice?

Post by Dan74 » Sat Nov 18, 2017 9:49 pm

Good thread but kind of tough for me to contribute.

These last few years, my formal practice really dwindled (I could roll off "excuses") but there is some ongoing thread that's not entirely lost.

Prior to that my practice was within Korean Zen (Seon), my main teacher was Chi Kwang Sunim, a student of late Kusan Sunim (but please don't hold her responsible for my nonsense). I was lucky to have done probably over a dozen retreats with her and have had a lot of personal input over about 13 years. I also sat with a two Soto teachers in Deshimaru and Muho lineages for a few years between them.

I don't know about entry point, there was a powerful experience some years back and that cleared away a lot of doubts about practice and even a great deal of hindrances temporarily. Doubts are still largely gone, which is something I can't unfortunately say about the hindrances. But fall down seven times, get up eight, or so the saying goes.

_/|\_

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[james]
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Re: Whats your practice?

Post by [james] » Sat Nov 18, 2017 10:46 pm

Dan74 wrote:
Sat Nov 18, 2017 9:49 pm
These last few years, my formal practice really dwindled (I could roll off "excuses") but there is some ongoing thread that's not entirely lost.
.../snip/...
I don't know about entry point,
I would call the ongoing thread of dharma needfulness the ever beckoning entry point. The three poisons: craving, aversion and ignorance, can be both obstacle and the fuel that keeps our practice cooking.
I would also opine that there is no essential need for ‘formal’ practice, ie. it doesn’t require an identifiable form. What is important is that practice, namely determination, courage and patience in Dharma investigation, is at least percolating and, even better, churning in one’s core. If that is not happening then formal or informal is not relevant. If it is happening then ...

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