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Buddhism Your Way

My favourite Buddhist paths are Tantra and Zen.

They are this life time dharma. No time to waste on being a Boddhisatva in one thousand life cycles of wandering. Too severe?
As I am a techno-geeky nerd it has to be Cyber-Zantra.
When it comes to meditation, I am old school. My main practice is Shikantaza. Just sit meditation.

How do you describe your style of practice?

Comments

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    Myself, I prefer the idea of wandering. I actually don't have much desire to be liberated from rebirth at this point (must point to having had an overall pretty good life!). Despite knowing of course that "I" won't be around to compare, "I" kind of want to see what happens next. And after that. And that. And regardless of the lack of memory or anything associated with it, I'm not quite ready to give up on being a normal human. Lots of work left to do, I suppose.

    Technically I am a vajrayana student, but I am firmly planted in the Mahayana/Bodhisattva boat, and quite happy there for the time being. I haven't even taken off my life jacket, so I'm not ready to abandon ship for a while yet.

    I meditate all sorts of ways, from guided meditations, to just sitting silently, to being focused to being open. And walking, too. I do have a regular meditation practice, but I've enjoyed more being able to note how I can bring that to the rest of my day. I am about to practice "cooking tortellini meditation" in just a few minutes!

    lobsterSteve_Bherberto
  • TravellerTraveller East Midlands UK Veteran

    Samatha and Metta. Though my Samatha may be a little different to most. I use the breath as an anchor and try to relax on the in breath and out breath into awareness.

    lobster
  • FosdickFosdick in its eye are mirrored far off mountains Alaska, USA Veteran

    Shikantaza for me, sitting quietly doing nothing. Sometimes this is easy, sometimes not. If my mind is too wound up, I resort to some preliminary practices for the first five or ten minutes, including - but not limited to - just sitting through it and watching my brain hop around, playing the dizi flute, counting breath, visualizing breath in various ways, reading a page or two of Zen talks, mindfully picking my nose (much harder than it sounds) O.o , or getting up and doing some chore or other at very slow speed, a bit like Tai Chi.

  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    edited August 2016

    @karasti said:
    I am about to practice "cooking tortellini meditation" in just a few minutes!

    ^^. Pastafarian dharma? The source is the tomato and basil Buddha! Yum ... (in a yab-yum sort of way)

    In YinYana Buddyism the sauce is the Self but the relish is in the 'cooking'. Strangely enough when we strain at finding the components, they have blended ...

    For example here is YinYana Gardening

    ... and now back to Tai Chi nose picking [ good plan @Fosdick ] - I am reminded of celebrity face altering v Zen face off ... One is just looking good through picking the right nose and the other is empty or 's not ...

    and now returning to the breathing with an emptied channel ...

    Thanks guys :glasses:

  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran
    edited August 2016

    "Satipatthana" is my thing. It's a funny word, particularly in cockney. :p
    Like that song: "Yes, we have no satipatthanas bananas, we have no bananas today"

  • DavidDavid some guy The Hammer in Ontario, Canada, eh Veteran

    I just finished a 35 minute samatha cycle because the cats were slacking. They usually only give me 20 at the most.

    Once off the bus I do walking meditation until I get to work. During lunch break I have a favorite tree I sit and do metta meditation. I sometimes am able to find a way to meditate while working when I don't have to multi-task.

    I try to get another 20 minutes in during the evening and most times it works even if I have to pretend I'm on the throne.

    I am non-sectarian and have three groups I visit occasionally. One is Tibetan, one is Vietnamese and one is a Shambhala group. I have not been visiting as much since my daughter was born though.

    herbertoSwaroop
  • ShimShim Veteran

    Funny how many of us actually are non-sectarians although many Buddhist books and websites recommend (or demand) to commit fully to one and only one tradition.

    Steve_Bherberto
  • Steve_BSteve_B Far southwest corner of Indiana, USA Veteran

    I am a Pareto Buddhist.

    20% of the teachings contain 80% of the benefit.

    thickpaperTara1978
  • silversilver In the beginning there was nothing, and then it exploded. USA, Left coast. Veteran

    @Shim said:
    I'm a heretic, slowly getting back to daily practice and building my Dharma fortress.
    So far it's been a mix of armchair Buddhism, superstitious Buddhism, not-Buddhism ("anything but Buddhism!"), Thich Nhat Hanh-ism, non-denominational devotional Buddhism... I take what I can.

    wow - sounds like me! :grin:

    Shim
  • ShimShim Veteran

    @silver said:

    @Shim said:
    I'm a heretic, slowly getting back to daily practice and building my Dharma fortress.
    So far it's been a mix of armchair Buddhism, superstitious Buddhism, not-Buddhism ("anything but Buddhism!"), Thich Nhat Hanh-ism, non-denominational devotional Buddhism... I take what I can.

    wow - sounds like me! :grin:

    Welcome to the cult!

    silverlobster
  • KeromeKerome Did I fall in the forest? Europe Veteran
    edited August 2016

    @Shim said:
    Funny how many of us actually are non-sectarians although many Buddhist books and websites recommend (or demand) to commit fully to one and only one tradition.

    I'm always supicious of anything or anyone asking for full commitment. It seems to me to run counter to the philosophy of 'testing the teachings', which is actually quite a sceptical, justify your own view kind of stance. And further, a request for "full commitment" often signals a community of closed minds, where everyone is supposed to follow the dogma and questions are not welcomed and explored.

    So I too am firmly non-sectarian, until such time as I can find out which direction feels like the right one. On the one hand I dislike Mahayana buddhism's plastering of all kinds of later wisdom onto the words of the Buddha, and on the other hand I dislike Theravada buddhism's neglect of things like the Tibetan lam rim as Buddhism sorely lacks a good guide to how to tackle reading the sutra's.

    Suiseki7
  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran

    @Steve_B said:> I am a Pareto Buddhist.
    20% of the teachings contain 80% of the benefit.

    Which 20%?

  • IchLiebteIchLiebte US Veteran

    Mixing some general Buddhism with skepticism and also thinking about Jesus and Muhammad and Krishna. Afraid of everything and trying to walk through it all while being mindful. Minimalism. :eh:

    Cinorjer
  • @SpinyNorman said:
    Something I found helpful was finding a "core practice", something I could make my own, a base to operate from. It involved a lot of trial and error though, a willingness to experiment and take risks, sometimes just throwing it all out and starting from scratch again.

    ... not drinking shallowly from many wells but engaging in one flavour of milk sheikh? I hanged out with Sufis, before they became unfashionable. Alchemists I came across seemed to be more retort than useful multi layered gold seekers. New agers seemed superficial infantile adults. In other words the core of understanding that transcends path walkers was missing.

    However occasionally gems were thrown before my non sectarian path ... Always by people, not by affiliation. Buddhism most suited my temperament. Hence the eventual affiliation.

    How much re-start/starting from scratch is sufficient? In YinYana the vehicle is not restricted to Buddhism. Tomorrow I might visit the Hari Krishna's or local Church after all 'Cod has many masks' as we fishers say ...

    So the core for me is useful application.

  • personperson Where is my mind? 'Merica! Veteran

    Full of contradictions, I'm probably a non-sectarian, skeptical, Tibetan Buddhist.

    Cinorjer
  • FosdickFosdick in its eye are mirrored far off mountains Alaska, USA Veteran

    Zen has always been my focus, and it is what attracted me to Buddhism in the first place. For a long time, I think, I mostly avoided looking at anything else - I read Walpola Rahula's What the Buddha Taught and that was about it. Other than that, I read Zen stuff pretty much exclusively, and Zen was definitely my core practice.

    More recently I broadened my reading quite a bit, but often found that it tended to confuse the issue. That sounds good, I should do that! This here sounds good too, I should do this! All tended to distract from what I had been practicing, and eventually I just kept on reading but did not try to add any of it to my practice - just forget it and let the old subconscious chew on it for a while.

    Now I find that some of that has resurfaced, and, unsuspected by me, has insinuated itself into my practice. Very peculiar. I have no recollection of having ever read the Satipatthana Sutta before joining this forum, yet when I read it now, I find that a great deal of my day to day practice outside of sitting meditation conforms fairly closely to it.

    lobsterKerome
  • IchLiebteIchLiebte US Veteran
    edited August 2016

    @person said:
    Full of contradictions, I'm probably a non-sectarian, skeptical, Tibetan Buddhist.

    >

    There is that in me — I do not know what it is — but I know it
    is in me.

    Wrench'd and sweaty — calm and cool then my body becomes,
    I sleep — I sleep long.

    I do not know it — it is without name — it is a word unsaid,
    It is not in any dictionary, utterance, symbol.

    Something it swings on more than the earth I swing on,
    To it the creation is the friend whose embracing awakes me.

    Perhaps I might tell more. Outlines! I plead for my brothers
    and sisters.

    Do you see O my brothers and sisters?
    It is not chaos or death — it is form, union, plan — it is eternal
    life — it is Happiness.

    person
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    I think a lot of people are mis-reading the idea behind making a commitment. I don't feel that way at all, nor do I see it with other students or my teacher and his lineage. But that is one of the "dangers" of thinking we can understand Buddhism solely from books and websites and not from people where so much more is imparted with the benefit of that give/take relationship, body language and everything else. And it is anything but a group of closed mind people. Quite the opposite. Questioning is quite welcome and encouraged despite having made a commitment (entirely by choice). Assuming otherwise is just that-an assumption.

    I chose to make a commitment because it was the right path for me. I still read stuff from many other paths, and it is not discouraged. It just means I have a consistence source of support and guidance in my practice, which is what I want and need at this point (even years later). I totally understand others do not need that. But there can be quite a bit of value in having to truly look at things you don't agree with, rather than simply discarding it all and only subscribing to that which you happen to like. It's like feeding your broccoli to the dog under the table. You pretend you are getting the full benefit of the meal but you just gave the healthiest part to the dog.

    lobsterKeromeperson
  • KeromeKerome Did I fall in the forest? Europe Veteran

    Thanks @karasti ... I guess there is a difference between asking for "a commitment" and "full commitment", lol. Or maybe it is just my hang-ups from having encountered and seen others encounter a variety of spiritual groups.

  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran
    edited August 2016

    How do you describe your style of practice?

    I guess my style of practice is not to take 'my' life too seriously...So one could say happiness (if one can call happiness a style :) )....

    Fosdick
  • CarlitaCarlita United States Veteran

    @lobster said:
    My favourite Buddhist paths are Tantra and Zen.

    They are this life time dharma. No time to waste on being a Boddhisatva in one thousand life cycles of wandering. Too severe?
    As I am a techno-geeky nerd it has to be Cyber-Zantra.
    When it comes to meditation, I am old school. My main practice is Shikantaza. Just sit meditation.

    How do you describe your style of practice?

    I prefer freedom of expression. So, I don't set times to mediate et cetera because it stiffens the practice itself. My practice is the Bodhisattva's practice. The closest I get to that is by my teaching language, helping people understand things in their view so they can communicate within our environment. My practice involves study and reflection. I started with Zen years ago for a good couple of years. I took a long break then went to Nichiren since that's the only Buddhist school in my area. So, my practice involves some chanting and Gongyo. Zen and Nichiren are opposed to each other; but, I tend to lean on the Zen side because our true nature doesn't have any "extras". We just are. Gongyo, or the Lotus Sutra just talks about the nature of rebirth and how to help people from suffering. So that's basically what I do, I practice this in my career and education.

    That's my style of practice.

    ShimKeenaCinorjer
  • Thanks everyone.
    Interesting isn't it. We sit in our groups or on similar assets but are very different in our approaches ...
    I find peoples blogs and web pages often offer insight both into ourselves and them.
    Here is one of mine:
    http://opcoa.st/0p2Vk

    silver
  • @SpinyNorman said:
    I've been mostly a serial monogamist, exploring a succession of schools to find something which really suits me. I have found that trying to practice in two schools at the same time is rather confusing though, the methods and assumptions differ widely, there is the sense of being pulled in different directions. And there is the risk of digging many shallow wells, never going deep enough in one place, being pulled here and there, remaining forever superficial.
    Something I found helpful was finding a "core practice", something I could make my own, a base to operate from. It involved a lot of trial and error though, a willingness to experiment and take risks, sometimes just throwing it all out and starting from scratch again.

    Good post.
    I find I apply what is relevant. For example my core meditation practice was lessening. I upped the time. My eyes had remained closed for a while. Used an eye open technique. My mudra was too stiff, placed hands on knees for a while. Becoming too tense, focussed more on body calm and relaxing the physical body tensions etc. In other words evaluate and call on a store of wisdom/techniques to modify as required. If I was unable to evalute I would of course seek further advce ...

  • dhammachickdhammachick crazy Aussie BUJU Sydney, Australia Veteran

    @lobster said:
    Here is one of mine:
    http://opcoa.st/0p2Vk

    Love it!!! :+1:

  • @Fosdick said:
    Now I find that some of that has resurfaced, and, unsuspected by me, has insinuated itself into my practice. Very peculiar. I have no recollection of having ever read the Satipatthana Sutta before joining this forum, yet when I read it now, I find that a great deal of my day to day practice outside of sitting meditation conforms fairly closely to it.

    B)
    'Very peculiar' can often be detrimental BUT not when we are ready for it.
    The Middle Way does become focussed as we concentrate on its enactment ... and then it becomes like the path and the mountain become the peak ...

    Maybe the way to confirm what you say is this olde Mahayana chestnut:

    'Emptiness is peculiar. The Peculiar is Nothing' ... eh wait ... I think I went odd again ...

    Steve_B
  • Suiseki7Suiseki7 Pennsylvania, USA Explorer

    Thinking about what "I" think and interpreting "my" interpretation is illusory by my Way of practice.

    I suppose one can say that the teachings of the 8th century Chinese master Huang Po must have greatly influenced my "style" 40 years ago when I first began my practice. I sense Huang Po to have been a benevolent iconoclast and as a result I myself prefer (or not), The Wayless Way. =)

    Thinking about something I find, only reinforces ego-I "feedback" which typically generates a state of self-oscillation and eventually if not instantaneously destroys concentration and awareness. It is antithetical to true understanding.

    With the cessation of conceptual thought comes equanimity and pure insight. We may apply nomenclature to this however I don't care to become attached to those empty noises. (words). Music resonates within us and somehow points to something greater than ourselves, yet it is not-itself consumed or even modified in its own true nature by our hearing.

    "Integrate the mind and be blissful" is what my late teacher-(seen in profile photo above) told me when visiting and meditating with him in the Himalayas many years ago. He always said this with a little smile and twinkle in his eye.

    Bowing with a smile in Gassho G:)

    Suiseki

    Shoshinlobster
  • @Fosdick said:
    Shikantaza for me, sitting quietly doing nothing. Sometimes this is easy, sometimes not. If my mind is too wound up, I resort to some preliminary practices for the first five or ten minutes, including - but not limited to - just sitting through it and watching my brain hop around, playing the dizi flute, counting breath, visualizing breath in various ways, reading a page or two of Zen talks, mindfully picking my nose (much harder than it sounds) O.o , or getting up and doing some chore or other at very slow speed, a bit like Tai Chi.

    Shikantaza is my base too.
    https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-difference-between-zazen-and-shikantaza
    http://www.treeleaf.org

    I do other practices including Tantric Sadhana, mantra and mindfulness. Shikantaza can sound very simple but it has a relaxed concentrative edge, that requires attention to the point of 'no thought'.

  • Suiseki7Suiseki7 Pennsylvania, USA Explorer

    Over the years I've found that simply trusting the intrinsic body-mind wisdom works best for me. Although trained in specific mudras and sitting-styles, allowing my body to assume its own posture AND mudra without "interfering" is most beneficial. "It knows what you need" while most of us aren't even sure about what we really WANT! LOL.

    I truly believe this is exactly what Gautama did. No need for all the "approved" forms. The historical Japanese Zen "club" is archetypically militaristic and what I call "constipated" in their disposition. (with all due respect! LOL) Even my late Hindu teacher Swami Swanandashram agree'd with me on this although he never referenced Zen, Chan, TM etc.

    I see mudra's as fully-automatic tracking antenna's. Our "firmware" already knows about the position of "Mind" and therefor the necessary antenna-type based on the frequency in use at any one particular time. Simply watch it orientate without interference. It will resonate. :)

    Gassho with a Smile G:)

    Suiseki

  • (with all due respect! LOL)

    tsk, tsk ... gone so soon?

    Humility! Don't leave your guru without it o:)
    (too wikid?)

    ... and now back to potty training ... :3

  • DavidDavid some guy The Hammer in Ontario, Canada, eh Veteran
    edited October 2016

    I actually like the mudras but they are like the gods to me. Whereas I don't believe the gods themselves exist outside of the mind, I still pay homage to a few who's qualities I would hope to emulate.

    In that light I often incorporate a few mudras into my practice.

  • OK, I'll have three Chocolate Daharma Shakes and a Mudra Twist with a spritz of lemon.
    Or just go back to my cocoa.

  • Dalia2016Dalia2016 London New

    Myself I'm a Tibetan Buddhist I love the rituals and offerings I do at home and in temple also the mediation is just to sit and focus on the Buddha.

  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran
    edited October 2016

    @Lionduck said:
    OK, I'll have three Chocolate Daharma Shakes and a Mudra Twist with a spritz of lemon.
    Or just go back to my cocoa.

    I'm sorry @Lionduck we are all out of them....How about a Dark chocolate Bodhi instead ? ...(it melts in the mind not in your hand :) )

  • Yummy tasty!

  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran

    Ice-cream Buddha please!

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator

    @SpinyNorman said:
    Ice-cream Buddha please!

    Here, have this....

  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran
    edited October 2016

    Nice taster, but where's the main portion? :p

  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran
    edited October 2016

    I have been very naughty and had a longish break from daily meditation, though I have now recommenced. Hurrah! Most of my practice is off the cushion anyway these days ( mindfulness ), but a formal meditation session each day does seem to help with that.

  • @lobster said:

    My favourite Buddhist paths are Tantra and Zen.

    They are this life time dharma. No time to waste on being a Boddhisatva in one thousand life cycles of wandering. Too severe?
    As I am a techno-geeky nerd it has to be Cyber-Zantra.
    When it comes to meditation, I am old school. My main practice is Shikantaza. Just sit meditation.

    How do you describe your style of practice?

    Soto Zen shikantaza and Vajryana sadhana are paths most infulential for myself......sort of like @lobster.....

    lobster
  • Ficus_religiosaFicus_religiosa Veteran
    edited October 2016

    My practice is the going-astray kind :p I wander off path for a while, then return. Buddhist practises become more or less irrelevant to me and I question if this way of life is for me (not the path itself, which I firmly believe in).
    Then I suddenly get an insight and take up my training again. I've just begun returning to the path after a short period of going astray. The first sign is often that I come back here :)
    Before going astray I kept five precepts for half a year, which is the most serious I've ever been. Not drinking became sort of natural to me, but not talking idly was often a problem to keep. It made me feel a bit full not ever having an outlet for my frustrations with the world and other people in particular. I think my waning resolve in keeping that precept is what made me go astray. Now I occassionally drink alcohol again, but I have not been drunk for 1½ years. So that is pretty good for me. I've also let off some people-induced build up of steam. Another big issue with that precept is, that other people take very well to idle talk and I notice they view me more favorably when I slander etc.

    Anyway, formally I study Theravada.

  • @Ficus_religiosa said:
    Another big issue with that precept is, that other people take very well to idle talk and I notice they view me more favorably when I slander etc.

    Anyway, formally I study Theravada.

    B) Bravo on avoiding alcohol.
    Slandering the right people is part of my practice:

    Here is a recent list:

    • Donut Trump (currently running from reality)
    • Deepfried Chopra (celebrity new age guru as seen on talk shows)
    • ChoggYam Trumpa (Dead Head of an aristocrat Buddhist cult - currently reborn)
    • Ohno (deceased and enlightened comedy cult guru)

    I also like to slander bankers, non sentient vegans, the unenlightened ... and fish :3

    I would be a terrible Theravadin ... :o

    Tara1978
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