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I'm looking for some Zen instruction

This discussion was created from comments split from: Not being able to connect to Newbuddhist?.

Comments

  • コチシカコチシカ Berlin, Germany Veteran

    Search doesn't work! :(

    Also.... I'm looking for some Zen instruction... any advices? I feel like the Shambhala course has pretty much gotten a bit stuck and I'm one of those Dhamma-geeks. Unless Dhamma-geekiness is the wrong stepping stone to then leap into Zen. Like Linji once had to hear...

    "When will all this coming and going come to an end?" (Quoting from my memory..)

  • コチシカコチシカ Berlin, Germany Veteran

    In a way... I was trying to lure your attention, Zafu pilot / Master @how ! :chuffed:

    Shoshin1
  • howhow Veteran Veteran
    edited September 27

    @コチシカ

    The significance of Zen for me is the emphasis it places on this very nano second of practice before us. In this fleeting instant of reading this, my practice would hopefully include some awareness of the continuous flow all my sense gate data traffic and where I have favored or dampened any of those data flows over any others.
    This is a practice of learning how to disengage my habituated responses to phenomena, so as to allow all of that arising, living and departing data an expression unmolested by the limitations of our karmic dreamscape.
    So in this one instant while reading this...are your eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body and mind all equally represented by your attention....and if not.....why?
    This is a practice that asks everything of no one and offers nothing but a dreams awakening for no nano second longer than this one moment of practice.

    Dhamma geekiness is not a wrong stepping stone to leap into a Zen practice but such proclivities can often make that stone a bit of a slippery one.

    lobsterコチシカ
  • Not being able to connect to Newbuddhist?

    Life sure is dukkha.
    We can connect on a number of levels:

    • internet wise (the original posters intention)
    • engagement beyond lurking
    • knowing ones contribution is worthwhile and valid
    • maintaining beggars mind (similar to beginner mind but more nutrition orientated)

    And now a connecting mantra ...
    NAMO AMITABHA

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    @how said:
    Dhamma geekiness is not a wrong stepping stone to leap into a Zen practice but such proclivities can often make that stone a bit of a slippery one.

    Too much knowledge can often be a distraction. A little knowledge goes a long way in spurring practice, and that combination needs to ripen a while... when you make a step in traditions, there is often some letting go to be done.

    howコチシカ
  • コチシカコチシカ Berlin, Germany Veteran

    I see!

    Too much knowledge, too many fantasies to engage in abstraction, projections and paths of progress. Like a stairway to Heaven.

    When you realise finally that you've been stepping on the same step for years, simply deluded by the modifications by your adulterated sense-gates / mind / heart.

    For someone who enjoys books, I feel it is an natural inclination to seek more. While Zen is more of, "ok enough..now just sit."

    I ask.

    :expressionless:

    "Followers of the Way, when I say that there is no Dharma outside, the students do not understand and deduce it is necessary to search within themselves. Then they sit, leaning against a wall, tongue pressed to the upper palate, and remain so motionless. That is what they take for the patriarchal gate of the Buddha-Dharma. What a great error! If you take the state of immovable purity for THIS, you acknowledge ignorance as your master.

    An old master said: "To get lost in the depth of the dark cave, is surely a cause for fear and trembling."
    But if you take the moving as THIS, all the grasses and trees can move and so should possess the Way. Therefore, what moves belongs to the element of air (wind); what does not move belongs to the element of earth; and what both moves and does not move
    has no being in itself. If you think to grasp the moving, it will
    hold itself motionless. And if you try to grasp the motionless, it will take to moving, "as a fish in a pool rises when waves are stirred." "

    Source: https://www.thezensite.com/ZenTeachings/Translations/Teachings_of_Rinzai.pdf

    :expressionless:

    Keromelobster
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    @コチシカ said:

    For someone who enjoys books, I feel it is an natural inclination to seek more. While Zen is more of, "ok enough..now just sit."

    Yes, the liking of books draws you to more books, and more learning. Learning feels like progress because you are encountering the new. But the further you are drawn into that path, the more you become a scholar, someone with book learning who hasn’t made the things he reads into his own wisdom.

    Some reading is good. But it is better if you take the time to practice the things you read while they are still fresh. If you read a book and spend three months practicing while you read and afterwards, that is still quite fast. Some things stay with you for a long time, like this quote by Ajahn Chah, “let go a little and you will have a little peace; let go more, and you will have more peace, let go completely and you will have complete peace”... it returns again and again as your experiences with letting go deepen.

    It is not just Zen. It is the nature of learning and really knowing what you read. It is not necessary to be able to quote a book, just if you grasp a few key ideas from it and make them your own, really get to know those ideas through and through. You don’t want to develop knowledge of the book, but wisdom through exercising its key ideas.

    Ultimately you would have enough from just a few dhamma books, there don’t have to be many. Eventually you will find most books to be empty, and reading a new one is searching for just those few key phrases which can contribute to your understanding.

    コチシカlobsterJeffrey
  • コチシカコチシカ Berlin, Germany Veteran

    @Kerome ,

    I was reading another thread, and you mentioned a curious figure called Kabir. I found the following quotation:

    "Reading book after book the whole world died,
    and none ever became learned!
    But understanding the root matter is what made them gain the knowledge!"

    — Kabir Granthavali, XXXIII.3, Translated by Charlotte Vaudeville.

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    Kabir was interesting, he composed a lot of songs with a spiritual meaning. Many were translated and bound into a single book called The Songs of Kabir by Rabindranath Tagore, a famous writer, which led to them becoming more well known.

  • I'm looking for some Zen instruction

    Don't look....

    コチシカlobster
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    A kindly voice in meditation once said to me, don’t study Zen, it will drive part of you crazy. So since then I merely enjoy Zen, but I no longer study it.

    how
  • コチシカコチシカ Berlin, Germany Veteran

    How to be mean to your flatmates

    "What is this Zen stuff really all about? "

    Linji stare ...Nothing

    Gong

  • DavidDavid some guy Veteran

    @Kerome said:
    A kindly voice in meditation once said to me, don’t study Zen, it will drive part of you crazy. So since then I merely enjoy Zen, but I no longer study it.

    Too much studying leaves little room for practice.

    Shoshin1how
  • howhow Veteran Veteran
    edited October 3

    Zen and study?
    Zen is simply a word describing one way of a facing and addressing of whatever one craves, avoids or ignores in life.
    Zen is more safely studied for what it is not, in order to lessen the tendency of study oriented behavior becoming just another obstructive state of grasping. While zen often speaks of itself as a practice of body and mind becoming one, most of the time it is really learning how to refrain from having the mind and its responses to phenomena running rough shod over all of our other sense gates.
    Because most zen practitioners see their moment to moment meditation as a complete practice onto itself, they are cautious not to have a specifically developed focus on a particular mentality or physicality overshadow that practice.

    Shoshin1lobsterコチシカ
  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    @コチシカ said:
    Search doesn't work! :(

    Also.... I'm looking for some Zen instruction... any advices? I feel like the Shambhala course has pretty much gotten a bit stuck and I'm one of those Dhamma-geeks. Unless Dhamma-geekiness is the wrong stepping stone to then leap into Zen. Like Linji once had to hear...

    "When will all this coming and going come to an end?" (Quoting from my memory..)

    1. Face a wall
    2. Sit down
    3. Close your eyes
    4. Repeat 2 and 3 for four hours
    lobsterShoshin1Kerome
  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran

    A book with zen instruction is 'Zen keys' by Thich Nhat Hanh

    David
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    @Bunks said:
    1. Face a wall
    2. Sit down
    3. Close your eyes
    4. Repeat 2 and 3 for four hours

    Wot no wall? No Face, no can sit? Eyes open? Know repeats?

    I no it! Wrong again ... back to One. I iz wall? <3

    BunksShoshin1
  • Shoshin1Shoshin1 Veteran
    edited October 4

    I'm looking for some Zen instruction

    Lesson number one....

    lobsterWalker
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    @how said:
    Zen and study?
    Zen is simply a word describing one way of a facing and addressing of whatever one craves, avoids or ignores in life.

    If you were to read a common Zen instruction manual such as Zen mind, Beginners mind by Shunryu Suzuki you would find some pretty lengthy instruction on how to sit, which might make you think (not entirely incorrectly) that zennies value precision.

    I think a better instruction in Zen is to get a book on wabi sabi, the perfect imperfect. It encapsulates a lot of the paradoxical nature of Zen, which you can see applied in the nature of for instance Zen painting or Raku pottery.

    lobster
  • コチシカコチシカ Berlin, Germany Veteran

  • howhow Veteran Veteran

    @Kerome
    This too is simply one way of a facing and addressing of whatever one craves, avoids or ignores in life?

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    @how said:
    This too is simply one way of a facing and addressing of whatever one craves, avoids or ignores in life?

    I think of Zen as more a point of view, which is why I brought up wabi sabi. It has an aesthetic, it has a certain philosophy, it has art, it has iconic people. One can have instruction in zazen, which is meditation, but to have instruction in Zen is an altogether wider question.

    Within that, facing and addressing what one desires or avoids is certainly an aspect, as it is with all Buddhism. I think in order to even start with Zen one needs to already have let go of many things, made peace with things like greed. Desire though has many faces and is likely to come up more than just a few times.

    Just sitting also has a number of sides to it, because it is a very direct confrontation with the mind and the body. Koans too are a very direct confrontation of the mind’s inability to cope with that which cannot be. It is a good way for some people to practice, but it is not right for everyone.

    As a counterpoint I would bring up the Sufi tradition, which has a lot more to do with love.

    howlobsterコチシカ
  • DavidDavid some guy Veteran

    @Jeffrey said:
    A book with zen instruction is 'Zen keys' by Thich Nhat Hanh

    He also did a shorter, more accessible one aptly titled "How to sit". Very soothing.

  • howhow Veteran Veteran
    edited October 4

    @Kerome

    In my 50 plus years of dedication to a Zen practice, I am neither sure that I've ever met two zen practitioners practicing the same zen or that anyone should bother trying to imitate someone else's practice.
    I experience Zazen as the dropping off of my habituated responses to mind and body. Zen is a practice where one learns that there is no time or space that need limit the living expressions of zazen. If zen required a certain degree of spiritual evolution to gain entrance into, many masters of zen today would never have originally got through the front door.

    If one wants to understand Zen, one need only practice zazen and the degree to which one prioritizes such a practice of zazen over all that one craves, avoids or ignores is the same degree to which zen will simply illuminate itself.

    When ones primary attachment in life is really to the dominance of ones own mind, one remains in a prison cell where the mind is actually the jailer. I have yet to see the offering of different make overs for the jailer, translate as any real freedom for the prisoner.
    How about you?

    コチシカ
  • I'm looking for some Zen instruction

    Who is looking for instructions ?

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    @how said:
    In my 50 plus years of dedication to a Zen practice, I am neither sure that I've ever met two zen practitioners practicing the same zen or that anyone should bother trying to imitate someone else's practice.

    Does that not make teaching rather difficult? Even just sitting in a certain way is imitation, no? But we all have to begin somewhere.

    I experience Zazen as the dropping off of my habituated responses to mind and body. Zen is a practice where one learns that there is no time or space that need limit the living expressions of zazen. If zen required a certain degree of spiritual evolution to gain entrance into, many masters of zen today would never have originally got through the front door.

    However, if you look at the people in the west who connect with Zen, they are often attracted to the minimalism of it, and thus already have a certain quality. Zen advertises itself in a particular way.

    If one wants to understand Zen, one need only practice zazen and the degree to which one prioritizes such a practice of zazen over all that one craves, avoids or ignores is the same degree to which zen will simply illuminate itself.

    The inner zen, which is what matters, certainly. The outer zen can be discovered at will.

    When ones primary attachment in life is really to the dominance of ones own mind, one remains in a prison cell where the mind is actually the jailer. I have yet to see the offering of different make overs for the jailer, translate as any real freedom for the prisoner.

    As Papaji says, if you can keep Quiet inside for just one second, that is enough. Your life will not be the same.

    How about you?

    My experience with Zen is only superficial, on the level of just washing the rice.

    lobster
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    @Shoshin1 said:

    I'm looking for some Zen instruction

    Who is looking for instructions ?

    Exactly. But that is self-inquiry...

    lobster
  • @Kerome said:

    @Shoshin1 said:

    I'm looking for some Zen instruction

    Who is looking for instructions ?

    Exactly. But that is self-inquiry...

    No...it's lesson number two... ;);)

  • コチシカコチシカ Berlin, Germany Veteran

    Thank you all for the instructions / guidance.

    I agree with @Kerome that a certain / good amount of letting go must've been done or else you will be going around in circles, confused. It reminds me of a young self reading Linji Yixuan while smoking a few quarter pounder joints, assuming he was getting somewhere.

    :bows:

    Now.... let me introduce you all to my zafu -my birthday present for myself- We will be spending a lot of time together...

    https://www.lotuscrafts.eu/collections/meditationskissen/products/meditationskissen-lotus-hoch-h-20cm?variant=29427602849890

    lobsterDavid
  • Many happy returns...@コチシカ ..

    One could say Zen waits patiently inside the cushion and is gradually released/transmitted during sit time...Listen for instructions with all the sense doors open..

    howlobsterコチシカDavid
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    Awesome cushion @コチシカ

    I particularly like the 'smoking strap' to bite on in cases of intense craving ... [think that is right]

    Happy Birthday <3

    Shoshin1コチシカKeromeDavid
  • Rob_VRob_V North Carolina Explorer
  • Tried it @Rob_V <3

    Treeleaf is a great example of what can be achieved with virtual zen training ...

  • コチシカコチシカ Berlin, Germany Veteran

    Thank you @Rob_V .

    But anyways, I'm right now a Zafu trainee. It is going pretty well, I think......think ...think.... :confused:

    :awesome:

    howKeromelobster
  • DavidDavid some guy Veteran
    edited October 17

    Wow, they seem to have upped their game over the last 12 years or so. I can only sit online with my group once a week because of work so I wonder if they'll care that I'm of a different school of Zen.

    It would be nice if Plum Village would do the same thing.

  • コチシカコチシカ Berlin, Germany Veteran

    Kerome
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran
    edited October 18

    I kept expecting him to fall off the ledge... maybe I am too humorous for Zen?

    コチシカ
  • howhow Veteran Veteran

    @Kerome
    or possibly its zen that is far too humorous for itself.
    Falling off ledges is so common in zen that beginners are not allowed to practice on anything higher than a floor cushion.

    lobsterコチシカKerome
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    Ten Zen jokes for the humorous...

    1. Seeing his master on the other side of a raging torrent, a student waved his arms and shouted out, "Master, master, how do I get to the other side?"
      The master smiled and said, "You are on the other side."

    2. A Zen student went to a temple and asked how long it would take him to gain enlightenment if he joined the temple.
      "Ten years," said the Zen master.
      "Well, how about if I really work hard and double my effort?"
      "Twenty years."

    3. One Zen student said, "My teacher is the best. He can go days without eating."
      The second said, "My teacher has so much self-control, he can go days without sleep."
      The third said, "My teacher is so wise that he eats when he's hungry and sleeps when he's tired."

    4. For his 70th birthday, one of his students gave the zen master a big box with a ribbon around it. When the master opened the box, he found that there was nothing inside. "Aha," he exclaimed, "just what I wanted!"

    5. An aspiring monk asked to enter a temple and attach himself to a guru.
      "Very well," said the guru, "but all students here observe the vow of silence. You will be allowed to speak only once in every twelve years.
      After the first twelve years, the student said, "The bed is too hard."
      After another twelve years, he said, "The food is not good."
      Twelve more years later, after thirty-six years of hard work and meditation, he said, "I quit."
      "Good," snapped his guru, "all you have been doing is complain."

    6. The master holds the disciple's head underwater for a long time. The bubbles become fewer, but at the last moment the master pulls out the disciple and revives him: "When you crave truth like you crave air, then you will be ready."

    7. Four monks were meditating in a temple when, all of a sudden, the prayer flag on the roof started flapping.
      The youngest monk came out of his meditation and said, "Flag is flapping."
      The second, more experienced monk said, "Wind is flapping."
      The third monk, who had been there for more than twenty years, said, "Mind is flapping."
      The fourth monk, who was the eldest, said, "Mouths are flapping!"

    8. A novice was loading the larder with flour and oil and, spotting one of the monks under a banyan tree, asked him for help. "Sorry," said the monk, "I'm busy". "But your eyes are shut!" replied the student. "Yes, I'm busy doing nothing. It's much harder than what you're doing. It's what the food is for, it's what the kitchen is for, it's what the temple is for. Don't interrupt me again with your lardering." Hours later, with his task complete, the novice spotted the monk slouching on a bench and said, "Can we talk now?" "No," came the reply, "I haven't finished yet."

    9. A Zen master was visiting London. He went up to a hot dog vendor and said, "Make me one with everything."
      The vendor fixed up a hot dog with fried onions, gherkins, and mustard and handed it to the Zen master, who paid with a £20 note. The vendor put the note in his register and snapped it shut.
      "Excuse me, but where's my change?" asked the Zen master.
      "O my brother," said the vendor, "change comes from within."

    10. Two old friends met for dinner.
      "How's that husband of yours? Is he still unemployed?"
      "No, no, not anymore."
      "Oh well some good news at least. What does he do now?"
      "Now he meditates."
      "Meditates! What's that?"
      "I'm not sure, but it's better than sitting around doing nothing."

    コチシカJeffrey
  • コチシカコチシカ Berlin, Germany Veteran
    1. The master holds the disciple's head underwater for a long time. The bubbles become fewer, but at the last moment the master pulls out the disciple and revives him: "When you crave truth like you crave air, then you will be ready."

    Thank you for sharing this one in particular! It felt refreshing.

  • Felt like waterboarding. A form of torture. You find that amusing? Que? Maybe you are just funny?

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    @コチシカ said:

    1. The master holds the disciple's head underwater for a long time. The bubbles become fewer, but at the last moment the master pulls out the disciple and revives him: "When you crave truth like you crave air, then you will be ready."

    Thank you for sharing this one in particular! It felt refreshing.

    Glad you enjoyed. Jokes are an important way of refreshing the mind.

    コチシカ
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