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Zen - 'enlightenment in this lifetime'

Zen was my first serious attempt to find out about Dharma when I was about twelve. Starting with reading 'Zen in the Art of Archery'. I was recently doing shikantaza meditation for about the last year.
http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shikantaza

Zen emphasis on simple practice orientation is an 'enlightenment in this lifetime' path. How does that appeal?

EarthninjaCinorjerZenni
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Comments

  • EarthninjaEarthninja Wanderer West Australia Veteran
    I like zen, the Tao with Buddhism is fantastic.
    No special gymnastics, just sit and be.

    And wow those Japanese gardens and calligraphy...
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    "Zen emphasis on simple practice orientation is an 'enlightenment in this lifetime' path. How does that appeal?"

    Appeal=make a serious, urgent, or heartfelt request.

    "Don't practice to become enlightened-let your practice be the natural expression of your enlightenment!"

    I like Zen because all one does is sit around and do absolutely nothing...It's my kinda practice :D

    dantepwCinorjerZenniDhammaDragon
  • @lobster said:> Zen emphasis on simple practice orientation is an 'enlightenment in this lifetime' path. How does that appeal?

    That sounds too goal-orientated for my liking. ;)

    dantepwlobsterZenni
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    @lobster said: Zen emphasis on simple practice orientation is an 'enlightenment in this lifetime' path. How does that appeal?

    Yawn... been there, done that, read the book, seen the movie, got the t-shirt....

    Damn. I knew there was something I'd forgotten...

    Where's my axe and bucket....?

    Zenni
  • dantepwdantepw Veteran
    edited April 2015
    I am honestly not looking forward to be enlightened :expressionless: I am still working on much "newbie" stuff to look that far, hehe :)

    Butt I think that with regular and "tough" practice one can reach enlightenment in this life time.
    ShoshinZenniDhammaDragon
  • Those Zennies like it tough, yogic contortions in meditation, being beaten with sticks, addled brains from koans, no pain, no gain. ;)

    Shoshin
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    (And those robes... very elegant, very inspirational.... But I would argue the point that 'clothes maketh the man'..... )

    Zenni
  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    edited April 2015

    Without enlightenment, the end of Dukkha, is Buddhism just a quirky hobby? o:)

    TravellerJeffreyZenniNave650
  • Thanks guys. <3

    Focus and continued effort can be an overwhelming intensity. Zen has always seemed to be for those highly motivated.

    @SpinyNorman said:
    Those Zennies like it tough, yogic contortions in meditation, being beaten with sticks, addled brains from koans, no pain, no gain. ;)

    ;) the results can be enlightening. I suppose like in life you get what you pay for ...

    TravellerZenni
  • DavidDavid some guy The Hammer in Ontario, Canada, eh Veteran
    edited April 2015
    I don't seem to care so much whether or not I wake up completely or am enlightened.

    I still have to work on my impatience as I know that's an anger trigger of mine but other than that I'm happy to unfold without rushing the process.

    I'm not sure if it's my ego talking or a genuine and right compassion for others but I'd like to see others awaken and it would make me feel good if someone found me enlightening.

    If someone told me I was enlightening, it would make me feel good. If someone told me I was enlightened it would make me feel like a charlatan.

    If I knew I was awake without a doubt I may not even tell anybody, he.
    VastmindJeffreyZenni
  • howhow Veteran
    edited April 2015

    @ Lobster
    Zen - 'enlightenment in this lifetime'. Fine but I'd be cautious of it's appeal.

    In Zen, it's the ego that has one hunger for an imagined destination away from today's path, just to keep us slumbering past any real awakening.

    silverlobsterRodrigoZenni
  • Will_BakerWill_Baker Vermont Veteran

    @lobster said:
    Zen was my first serious attempt to find out about Dharma when I was about twelve. Starting with reading 'Zen in the Art of Archery'. I was recently doing shikantaza meditation for about the last year.
    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shikantaza

    Zen emphasis on simple practice orientation is an 'enlightenment in this lifetime' path. How does that appeal?

    -It works for me (read: chop wood/carry water :-)

  • It's ok if you don't have pure understanding or pure motivation or whatever. You can have 'gaining mind'. If you didn't well wouldn't that be nice?

  • FoibleFullFoibleFull Canada Veteran

    In theory, one can become enlightened in one lifetime.
    The reality is that this is very rare.
    Buddhism is essentially a process, not a goal. And having a goal tends to obstruct the process.

    DavidZenni
  • DavidDavid some guy The Hammer in Ontario, Canada, eh Veteran
    @Jeffrey;

    I don't think I've heard of "gaining mind".

    I could google it but could you say what you mean by that?
  • @ourself I think I read it in Shunyru Suzuki's book 'Zen Mind Beginner's Mind'.

    Look here to get the vibe --->
    http://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/62707.Shunryu_Suzuki

    We should not attach to some fancy ideas or to some beautiful things. We should not seek for something good. The truth is always near at hand, within your reach.”
    ― Shunryu Suzuki, Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind: Informal Talks on Zen Meditation and Practice

    If you think you will get something from practicing zazen, already you are involved in impure practice.” Shunryu Suzuki, Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind: Informal Talks on Zen Meditation and Practice

    “You do not say, “This is enlightenment,” or “That is not right practice.” Even in wrong practice, when you realize it and continue, there is right practice.”
    ― Shunryu Suzuki, Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind: Informal Talks on Zen Meditation and Practice

    From my standpoint having gaining mind is ok. You just keep practicing. You don't have to say "oh I have to get rid of gaining mind". Just notice it is 'just thinking'. Gaining mind is literally thinking how you are going to get something. Ok it's confusing because it is natural to want to get something. If we are suffering we don't want that.

    So something to think about. It is not 'the answer' to think about this.

    TravellerDavid
  • I had an interesting thought about gaining mind. I have probably meditated 1000 hours in my lifetime. But I can only think of two sessions in all that time that were more pleasurable than a single cigarette. I hope I don't demotivate anyone on meditation because I DO HAVE A GREAT DEEP PEACE from meditating. But not a 'buzz'. I have more a buzz talking about buddhist concepts than I do in my meditation. But only 2 times did I have more bliss than a cigarette! O.o

  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    @lobster said:
    Zen emphasis on simple practice orientation is an 'enlightenment in this lifetime' path. How does that appeal?

    Instead of appeal, perhaps we might ask 'how does that sit'. In one sense everything that comes up is 'not sitting'.

  • ZenniZenni Veteran

    @lobster - What does "... we might ask how does that sit" mean? Also, "everything that comes up is 'not sitting"?

    @Jeffery - about gaining mind - lobster shared a link on meditation "Introduction to the Sadhana of the Venerable Tara". I like it very much. Because chanting the Green Tara gave me much peace so I would like to do this meditation, to draw near to her, to learn her goodness.

    "Gaining mind is literally thinking how you are going to get something."

    When I made it a point that I would like to do this meditation, I wasn't thinking of getting something out of it. It was a magnetic thought, I want to be near her. And learn to be like her.

    Now, I find myself checking myself...
    Veterans.... Please guide me...

    Namaste
    Zenni

  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    edited May 2015

    @Zenni said:
    lobster - What does "... we might ask how does that sit" mean? Also, "everything that comes up is 'not sitting"?

    How something sits with us, means in part, what do we understand. How does it settle into our consciousness.

    We learn to meditate using a reasonably settled mind. It can take a while for us to sit comfortably without strain and undue effort. Initially 'not sitting' is our preferred mode, we need to apply effort, discipline, regularity.

    The monkey mind or unsettled mind rebels, it can not sit still physically or in its own unsettled nature. This is the 'not sitting' that comes up. When we learn to 'just sit', many things may arrive: physical sensations, fantasies, daily life experiences, mind within mind. This too we can sit with, still we are not just sitting. For the more developed and experienced practitioner, there is more just being or 'just sitting', more spaciousness, more 'just sitting' ...

    Hope that is helpful :)

    Jeffrey
  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran
    edited May 2015

    @lobster said: Initially 'not sitting' is our preferred mode, we need to apply effort, discipline, regularity.

    I agree, some effort and discipline is essential. Not applying any effort or discipline to maintaining a meditation practice is like deciding to get physically fit and then not taking any exercise, it just ain't gonna work.

    lobsterTravellerZenni
  • ZenniZenni Veteran
    edited May 2015

    @lobster said:

    The monkey mind or unsettled mind rebels, it can not sit still physically or in its own unsettled nature. This is the 'not sitting' that comes up. When we learn to 'just sit', many things may arrive: physical sensations, fantasies, daily life experiences, mind within mind. This too we can sit with, still we are not just sitting. For the more developed and experienced practitioner, there is more just being or 'just sitting', more spaciousness, more 'just sitting' ...

    Thank you.. I think I understand.

    Your explanation reminds me of a particular morning.

    I was doing walking meditation on a side road. I was about 15 minutes into it ("many things may arrive") Afar, I saw an elderly man sweeping the road. The road sweeper stopped, one hand holding the broom, another rubbing his back. There was a big pile of dried, brown colored leaves beside him. There were more leaves ahead, to be swept. I walked toward him, after much persuasion, he passed me his broom and I started sweeping. As I was at it, I realised I was supposed to be doing my walking meditation! Failed.

    Then I said to myself, it's ok, I'll do sweeping meditation. So mindfully I swept.........
    Without me realizing (... monkey mind... many things may arrive") I was "transported to a faraway place, sweeping autumn leaves". Failed again.

    I was learning to "just sit"?, the distraction and fantasies arrived. Sigh.. But... It's ok, "this too I can sit with". I will continue my journey.

    I am so grateful to have found a sangha (here).

    @SpindyNorman - Thanks for the analogy. You made it easy to remember.. The discipline to maintain the practice..

    Namaste
    Zenni

  • ZenniZenni Veteran

    Oops sorry, I haven't figured it out correctly how to do the quote thingie..

  • silversilver In the beginning there was nothing, and then it exploded. USA, Left coast. Veteran

    Fwiw, I just read this article at Tricycle and I know it's gonna help me in my life, whether mindfulness, meditation or just general purposes.

    http://www.tricycle.com/dharma-talk/noticing-space

    Zennipegembara
  • ZenniZenni Veteran

    @silver - Thank you so much for sharing this article, another precious one. Something so simple yet so difficult to figure it out, and almost impossible to achieve. I love the way it is explained, introducing in such a gentle manner, explaining with patience and love.

    Thank you, Abbot Ajahn Sumedho.

    Namaste
    Zenni

    silverTraveller
  • thug4lyfethug4lyfe Explorer

    lol, you can't expect to be enlightened "in this life time OP". Cause practitioners who became awakened to their intrinsic nature in any particular life time due to their practices accumulated over many many life times.

    do you even lift?

  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    @thug4lyfe said:
    lol, you can't expect to be enlightened "in this life time OP".

    No need for expectations.

    do you even lift?

    You seem uplifted - so clearly yes.

    Zenni
  • FoibleFullFoibleFull Canada Veteran
    edited May 2015

    It kind of amuses me.
    Our habits are the habits of a lifetime to date, perhaps of countless lifetimes if rebirth does indeed occur. These habits are not going to change quickly. Although if we have already spent several lifetimes working on enlightenment, I suppose we reach a point where we are born already-poised on the edge, and all it takes this one-more lifetime to bring us into enlightenment. They say that Buddha worked on enlightenment for many lifetimes prior to the one in which he attained enlightenment.
    Taking a good look at myself .. I sure am not anywhere close to being enlightened.
    Maybe you are doing a better job than I.

    Theoretically it is possible. After all, enlightenment/Nirvana is not a place .. it is a state of mind. And we either are there or we are not. We either stay there or we do not.
    It reminds me of Krishnamurti (an Eastern mystic, not a Buddhist) who wrote that "As long as you are a seeker, you will not Find".
    And of the Heart Sutra that says "There is no attainment and no non-attainment."

    I will post more once I actually know what I am talking about ... once I have attained enlightenment. Please don't hold your breath.

    Nave650
  • bookwormbookworm U.S.A. Veteran

    @thug4lyfe said:
    practitioners who became awakened to their intrinsic nature in any particular life time due to their practices accumulated over many many life times.

    Intrinsic nature? What the hell is that?

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    (Just a heads-up... you won't be getting a reply.... ;) )

  • howhow Veteran
    edited May 2015

    @bookworm
    Intrinsic nature? What the hell is that?

    I think...
    For some Buddhists it's sometimes called Buddha nature.

    For secularists, it can refer to the essence of the human nature, as that underlying sense of being separated from the rest of existence.

  • bookwormbookworm U.S.A. Veteran

    I read about it, but Its not something that interests me.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    So why bother asking then....? Sheeeesh.....

    howNamadasilver
  • anatamananataman Who needs a title? Where am I? Veteran

    To the point @lobster, my love (XO) - it can be a fatal blow, a felafel, and a blow fly all at once, not least if it not be a little bit befuddled in the way it gets to where it's going.... :wink:

    Chasing white rabbits, Let the Alice's do it from now on - what time is it?

  • @silver said:> Fwiw, I just read this article at Tricycle and I know it's gonna help me in my life, whether mindfulness, meditation or just general purposes.
    http://www.tricycle.com/dharma-talk/noticing-space

    I've been noticing space recently as part of the 6-element practice, it's fascinating.

    lobsterZenniDavid
  • NamadaNamada Veteran

    @SpinyNorman
    Space element?

    You mean space around you and the object you are facing or?

    It helps you to trancend suffering in some kind of way?

    Iam just querious since I have just focused (sometimes) on the 4 other elements, wather, wind, earth, and fire.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    No, I think he actually means "outer" space... you know, the stars, planets and all that....

    I think....

  • NamadaNamada Veteran
    edited May 2015

    Wow, that sounds cool...so it is a way to practice with space aswell, it will be intersting to hear how that works out :)

  • TravellerTraveller East Midlands UK Veteran
    edited May 2015

    I think its more like this, at least this is the way I practice from time to time.

    Ajahn Sumedho noticing space.

    http://www.budsas.org/ebud/ebmed040.htm

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    Yes, I thought that maybe I am mistaken; I think your interpretation of @SpinyNorman's comment is nearer the truth, though knowing his enthusiasm for using his telescope for night-time sightseeing, it's understandable I drew my conclusion...

    We could both be right, I suppose...

  • @federica said:> No, I think he actually means "outer" space... you know, the stars, planets and all that....> I think....

    The suttas focus on internal ( bodily ) space, but I find external space more interesting. It could be noticing the space in a room or noticing space outside, though actually it's more like the same space just interrupted by the building wall - so form obstructs space.
    Then you can reflect that space is infinite. Also there seems to be a connection between mental and physical space, still working on that one. ;)

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    edited May 2015

    Interestingly, the Japanese, in their aesthetic and minimalist sphere, even ascribe importance to the space between objects, and state that the proportion is just as important as the objects themselves.
    Without knowing it, perhaps when tidying up and making the place look neat, we too, shift objects a tiny bit, for appearance's sake...

    The space, unimaginatively - or perhaps appropriately, is called 'Ma'... (that fits in nicely with the thread title...!)

  • PöljäPöljä Veteran

    I'm familiar with that spacey feeling. As a moderately autistic person I easily "fall" into myself and I can feel a connection between the space around me.

    I like the Japanese aesthetics. It's important for me that the objects in my home and garden are in balance with together.

    Earthninja
  • @federica said:> Interestingly, the Japanese, in their aesthetic and minimalist sphere, even ascribe importance to the space between objects, and state that the proportion is just as important as the objects themselves. > Without knowing it, perhaps when tidying up and making the place look neat, we too,

    I love empty spaces, both indoors and outdoors, the bigger the better. Uncluttered is good! I like visiting the Tate Modern because it's such an amazing space, unfortunately the stuff they put in it is mostly rubbish. ;)

  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    @SpinyNorman said:
    I love empty spaces, both indoors and outdoors, the bigger the better. Uncluttered is good! I like visiting the Tate Modern because it's such an amazing space, unfortunately the stuff they put in it is mostly rubbish. ;)

    :p
    Perhaps ...

    This is where the sense of emptiness in practice being no less rubbish or of import than sitting comes in again.

    Aspects of practice: this is aesthetic, this pleases my sense of art/meditation/practice, this is second class/rubbish/only washing up etc. In other words we categorise and compartmentalise our dharma and experience. The rubbish, art, space or meditation is not external but in our heads ...

    In Tate Modern the closer I get to not evaluating, the wider the space for art. The same with meditation, the less I try to 'do it', the more it becomes apparent.

    Similar already said here:

    @pegembara said:
    All is empty, clear, self-illuminating,
    with no need to exert the mind.
    Here, thinking, feeling, understanding, and imagination
    are of no value.
    In this world "as it really is"
    there is neither self nor other-than-self.

    Thanks guys <3

  • DavidDavid some guy The Hammer in Ontario, Canada, eh Veteran
    I think at the time the suttas were conceived and written, it was easier to observe inner space than outer space.

    I would bet my eventual awakening that if Buddha had a telescope he would have used it.
    silver
  • @ourself said:> I think at the time the suttas were conceived and written, it was easier to observe inner space than outer space.

    It's very difficult to directly observe inner space in your body, it's much easier to notice the space in a room or when outside.

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