SIT-A-LONG with Jundo: Why Zen Folks FAIL!! (5) - Watching The Clock Rackin Up Points

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  • Jundo
    Treeleaf Founder and Priest
    • Apr 2006
    • 39472

    SIT-A-LONG with Jundo: Why Zen Folks FAIL!! (5) - Watching The Clock Rackin Up Points

    So many Zen students think that the longer they sit the better. They believe 10 years surpasses 10 months or 10 days, which must be better than 10 hours, which is better than 10 minutes or seconds. They treat Zazen like a taxi meter or points to rack up, the more they sit the closer they are to the goal. They equate more and more sitting with going deeper and deeper, or becoming more and more peaceful, or more and more "Buddha-like", or more and more "enlightened".

    However, Zazen only truly hits the mark when all measure of time and score, goals and attainment are dropped away. Only then does a moment of sitting contain all time, only then does one realize the destination ever present. Zazen is thus very unlike many forms of meditation (not to mention very unlike our usual clock watching, tally counting, comparing and measuring, goal oriented attitude toward the rest of our busy lives) in which deeper and deeper attainments, and greater and greater achievements, add up with time. In Zazen, one attains the deepest attainment and the greatest achievement, namely, the timeless which is right in each tick of the clock, the goal ever reached again and again in each passing mile on the road across town. But one only realizes so when one sits as the still and round face of the clock which holds all time as the hands make their circles ...

    The taxi meter is turned off, yet the taxi proceeds forward on the ride of Buddhist Practice. Only now, however, one realizes that the whole journey is the constant total arrival ... from the door's closing, down every twist and turn, to whatever destinations await. Know that, truly in Zazen, each instant contains all the time in the world and is timeless. One second of sitting has no other time, and contains all time and no time, when one sits while dropping all goals and measures. Truly.

    Please stop watching the score, the amounts, the distances, the measures of passing time ... and then one is in a Buddha taxi driving across Buddhatown, all Buddha all the way from uptown to down.

    It is a very different attitude toward sitting and all of life from our usual "time is slipping away, the goal is ever distant" way of being.

    But don't get me wrong, don't misunderstand: (I am not encouraging you just to sit for half a minute or once a year, as if that is enough. Daily sitting is required).

    Sitting for 10 months -is- usually better than sitting for 10 days ... but only if the sitting of 10 months is now beyond watching the clock and the scoreboard. The fellow who has been practicing for 10 years -is- likely to be better at attaining "timeless non-attainment" than the newcomer of 10 minutes. Thus, there is great import to sometimes sitting long and hard all to realize that this never was a matter of time at all. Enlightenment is truly timeless amid passing time ... it is the still center of the sweeping second hand ... and one does not realize such truth by counting the seconds and minutes. Nonethless, it usually take many months and years to truly penetrate such "Timeless Truths". Thus, we sit every day, dedicated and sincere in sitting, like clockwork!

    Funny how that works.

    So, stop thinking of Zazen as a matter of quantity, time, depth of concentration and anything else that can be measured. Truly, Zazen is just the Treasure Beyond Measure.

    THE DOWNLOADABLE AUDIO PODCAST VERSION IS HERE:

    Click for Podcast or Audio Download


    Last edited by Jundo; 03-27-2024, 01:18 AM. Reason: Added podcast link.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE
  • Meishin
    Member
    • May 2014
    • 805

    #2
    Thank you, Jundo. So refreshing.

    Gassho
    Meishin
    sat today

    Comment

    • Geika
      Treeleaf Unsui
      • Jan 2010
      • 4980

      #3
      Thank you. This has coincided well with a Michael Stone talk on money that I watched right before.

      Gassho, sat today
      求道芸化 Kyūdō Geika
      I am just a priest-in-training, please do not take anything I say as a teaching.

      Comment

      • Jundo
        Treeleaf Founder and Priest
        • Apr 2006
        • 39472

        #4
        Originally posted by Cumminjd
        Thank you for this Jundo. Will there be a link to a downloadable podcast. I really enjoy just listening to teachings over and over.

        Gassho
        James
        SatToday
        Oh, thanks for reminding me. Yes, I will add the link when ready.

        Gassho, J

        SatToday
        ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

        Comment

        • Kotei
          Treeleaf Unsui
          • Mar 2015
          • 3989

          #5
          Thank you very much.
          Indeed, funny, how that time thing works.
          Sitting somewhat longer, than I am used to, usually feels shorter for me.
          Think this is, because thoughts on "timer should be ringing really soon now" drop, if I "know" it will be longer than normal and there is no "ringing" near.
          Sitting without a timer today, well, feels... don't know... different.

          Gassho,
          Ralf sattoday.

          義道 冴庭 / Gidō Kotei.
          Being a novice priest doesn't mean my writing about the Dharma is more substantial than yours. Actually, it might well be the other way round.

          Comment

          • broahes
            Member
            • Jul 2015
            • 97

            #6
            Thank you Jundo.

            Gassho,

            Brooks sat today.
            "The victorious ones have said that emptiness is the relinquishing of all views. For whomever emptiness is a view, that one has achieved nothing." - Nagarjuna

            Comment

            • Jundo
              Treeleaf Founder and Priest
              • Apr 2006
              • 39472

              #7
              Originally posted by Ralf
              Sitting without a timer today, well, feels... don't know... different.

              Gassho,
              Ralf sattoday.
              Hi Ralf,

              The point I am making is not about physically sitting without checking the actual clock (although good to do that sometimes). It is about sitting beyond measure.

              I still use a clock (in the old days, they used to sit for the length of a burning stick of incense, before modern watches). A clock is useful.

              But when the clock says begin ... sit beyond time. When the clock says to ring the ending bell ... sit beyond time. All thru, as the second hand goes round ... sit beyond time.

              It is not a matter of clock or no clock.

              Gassho, J
              ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

              Comment

              • Kyonin
                Treeleaf Priest / Engineer
                • Oct 2010
                • 6742

                #8
                Hi Jundo,

                Yes, we chase our own tails when it comes to time. We invented a way of measure the pass of the sequence of instants, but failed to realize Time is a bigger concept that ties universes in just a moment.

                Thank you for this.

                Gassho,

                Kyonin
                #SatToday
                Hondō Kyōnin
                奔道 協忍

                Comment

                • Kotei
                  Treeleaf Unsui
                  • Mar 2015
                  • 3989

                  #9
                  Thank you, Jundo.

                  Yes, I got that. But personally, I feel it more easy to sit beyond time, if my thoughts do not remind me on "it will ring really soon".
                  If there will be no ringing, thoughts about how long I sit/sat do not pop up during sitting.

                  Gassho,
                  Ralf sattoday.

                  義道 冴庭 / Gidō Kotei.
                  Being a novice priest doesn't mean my writing about the Dharma is more substantial than yours. Actually, it might well be the other way round.

                  Comment

                  • Shugen
                    Treeleaf Unsui
                    • Nov 2007
                    • 4535

                    #10
                    Gassho,

                    Shugen

                    #sattoday
                    Meido Shugen
                    明道 修眼

                    Comment

                    • Theophan
                      Member
                      • Nov 2014
                      • 146

                      #11
                      Thank you Jundo.
                      Gassho
                      Theophan
                      Sat Today

                      Comment

                      • Jiken
                        Member
                        • Jan 2011
                        • 753

                        #12
                        Thanks Jundo

                        Gassho,

                        Jiken

                        Comment

                        • Byrne
                          Member
                          • Dec 2014
                          • 371

                          #13
                          Thank you Jundo.

                          It seems as though no matter how long you've been sitting, if you're sitting right you're sitting right. If you're not you're not.

                          Gassho

                          Sat Today

                          Comment

                          • Risho
                            Member
                            • May 2010
                            • 3179

                            #14
                            Thank you Jundo.

                            Gassho,

                            Risho
                            -sattoday
                            Email: risho.treeleaf@gmail.com

                            Comment

                            • Getchi
                              Member
                              • May 2015
                              • 612

                              #15
                              I have nothing to add but my gratitude.

                              Gassho,
                              Geoff.
                              SatToday
                              Nothing to do? Why not Sit?

                              Comment

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