7/20 - What Practice Is Not p.23

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  • Jundo
    Treeleaf Founder and Priest
    • Apr 2006
    • 39392

    7/20 - What Practice Is Not p.23

    And our subject might be (or not) ...

    ... what is practice 'not' to you?

    Gassho, J
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE
  • wills
    Member
    • Jun 2007
    • 69

    #2
    Practice is NOT the anticipation of the 5 day sesshin I'm about to leave for in 20 minutes. It will be an 8 hour drive to the Mountain Lamp retreat center which gives me plenty of time to get mentally discombobulated.

    Practice is not about anything I can grasp or explain. I get to work with this at the sesshin - yahoo! See ya on the flip-side of the sesshin.
    -- Will S.

    Comment

    • Fuken
      Member
      • Sep 2006
      • 435

      #3
      I am compelled to just say “Mu!” but that is overdone and to leave it at that would likely lead a lot of folks in the wrong direction.

      And some would offer that “Mu!” is practice.

      Will, your anticipation is your practice in action. Your "Will" to the truth. Eagerness to train.

      “Not practice” is when your practice has matured to be like a hand reaching back to adjust a pillow in the middle of the night. Spontaneous!

      Sorry if I sound like Yoda on this one, it seems to be a natural tendency of mine to say as much as possible with as few words as possible. I think this may be because a lot of commentaries I have read seem to use so many words to express a simple concept.

      Blaa, I ramble!

      Gassho,
      Jordan
      Yours in practice,
      Jordan ("Fu Ken" translates to "Wind Sword", Dharma name givin to me by Jundo, I am so glad he did not name me Wind bag.)

      Comment

      • PaxAnimi
        Member
        • Jun 2007
        • 28

        #4
        To repeat wills, practice is not anything I can grasp or explain. Someday maybe, but for now practice is, well, practice...

        Comment

        • Jundo
          Treeleaf Founder and Priest
          • Apr 2006
          • 39392

          #5
          Wills,

          A good retreat to you! (Unless it is a bad one, which is also good).

          May you find your inner banana!

          Gassho, J
          ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

          Comment

          • Gregor
            Member
            • Apr 2007
            • 638

            #6
            This is weird. . . .

            I just posted about practice on my blog and on the message board.

            http://enteringthepath.wordpress.com/20 ... e-is-life/

            I did not even realize that the next chapter of the book was about the same topic.

            I'll have to do the reading in order to find out how off base I really am, lol :shock:
            Jukai '09 Dharma Name: Shinko 慎重(Prudent Calm)

            Comment

            • cdshrack
              Member
              • Jun 2007
              • 50

              #7
              practice is not procrastinating about the 30km hitch each way to the grocery store. i'll bring you back some chocolate.

              gassho, cd

              donald buddha A.jpgdonald buddha B.jpg
              Last edited by Jundo; 10-13-2018, 03:20 AM.

              Comment

              • Gregor
                Member
                • Apr 2007
                • 638

                #8
                Keishin,

                Great stuff. My brothers like to tease me. Whenever there is any sort of conflict or issue they always ask me WWBD? or "what would buddha do", with shit eating grins on their faces!

                Funny thing is as much as they are being jerks about it, throwing it in my face in a very mocking way, it happens to be a good reminder. . .so I cannot get to upset with them.

                I like the idea of stating that, "I just sit quietly", I used that same line earlier today when somebody asked me about what Zazen was. As you say it is the truth after all.

                --------------------------------------------------------------------
                Jukai '09 Dharma Name: Shinko 慎重(Prudent Calm)

                Comment

                • Bansho
                  Member
                  • Apr 2007
                  • 532

                  #9
                  Hi,

                  I think this chapter, although short, is quite an important one. There are so many misconceptions out there about what Zen is and I think Joko does a great job here of refuting many of those misconceptions by stating concisely what it isn't.

                  Gassho
                  Kenneth
                  ??

                  Comment

                  • Justin
                    Member
                    • Jul 2007
                    • 97

                    #10
                    Practice is not:

                    -worrying if I'm breathing too loud for the person next to me to focus
                    -berating myself because I haven't made the time to sit for the last 4 days
                    -complaining that the statues labeled "Buddhas" at the mall are not actually depictions of Budda
                    -calling myself a Zen Buddhist on Facebook
                    -buying Buddhist books
                    -explanations of what practice is

                    Practice is practice.

                    But MOST crucially, I want to hear more about these "special powers" Joko has! Haha. Thanks to all for the insightful replies.

                    Gassho.

                    Comment

                    • paige
                      Member
                      • Apr 2007
                      • 234

                      #11
                      Is anyone else finding it difficult to restrain from reading ahead to What Practice Is?

                      A group of us went out for tea following my weekly group sit on Wednesday. One lady said that she'd been "practising for years, but had never had a successful meditation."

                      I said that I thought practising for years was a success in itself. She said that was a nice thing to say, but untrue.

                      I said I didn't think that one could really "fail meditation" - what does that mean? She said I didn't understand her.

                      I guess I don't.

                      Comment

                      • Bansho
                        Member
                        • Apr 2007
                        • 532

                        #12
                        Hi Paige,

                        Originally posted by paige
                        Is anyone else finding it difficult to restrain from reading ahead to What Practice Is?
                        Yep, I couldn't resist. To be honest, I've read the whole book a while back, so strictly speaking it wasn't cheating. I even got my wife to read those two sections. Sometimes she tries to tease me, referring to my Zazen as 'hocus-pocus' or something similar. However, since she's read those sections she doesn't seem to do that anymore. :lol:

                        Gassho
                        Kenneth
                        ??

                        Comment

                        • Gregor
                          Member
                          • Apr 2007
                          • 638

                          #13
                          Whoops, this was me. I forgot to log in. . .again.

                          -Greg


                          Originally posted by Anonymous
                          Paige,

                          I don't think I understand her either. Unless, she is saying that her meditations don't feel successful because they are not leading her somewhere she wants to go. Hopefully, she is not looking at practice from such a materialistic viewpoint. Perhaps, she feels that she is never able to concentrate. . .that would be frustrating.

                          I'm trying to take the good with the bad, sometimes the mind cannot concentrate but that does not make it a bad Zazen, its just doing the hard work of letting yourself see all of those thoughts,fears,dreams,memories,fantasies ect. . .so we can let go of them.

                          I'm not sure if this is such a Zen perspective, but there is a certain truth about how by doing the meditation we see these things and learn a great deal about ourselves. I've found that when these things bubble up from my subconscious, that simply sitting with them until they peter out does a lot of good in helping me to let go. I suppose this is what Joko meant earlier in the book when she talked about letting the mind wear itself down.

                          Maybe I've really got the wrong idea here, but it does not seem wrong. Then again over intellectualizing any of this stuff is dicey territory. I'm coming to prefer just doing the practice. . .or should I say letting the practice do me. :idea:
                          Jukai '09 Dharma Name: Shinko 慎重(Prudent Calm)

                          Comment

                          • Justin
                            Member
                            • Jul 2007
                            • 97

                            #14
                            I've had a "vision" or two during zazen. Most of what I've read has suggested that these visions/insights should be released like any other thought, if only because (whether these experiences are genuine or not) the danger exists that one will cling to such a dramatic (and suspicious) moment as somehow more significant than the rest of what we learn in our practice.

                            "Practice is not 'special visions,'" I suppose is what I mean to say. :wink:

                            Comment

                            • cdshrack
                              Member
                              • Jun 2007
                              • 50

                              #15
                              My vision gets all blurry sometimes when i don't blink for a while - does that count? Maybe that's my "special power" :wink:

                              Paige, I found reading ahead quite useful. Like Kenneth, I read (almost) the whole book before we started, but that's mainly because I didn't realize we were going to have a schedule. I saw a note about starting the book discussion in two weeks, so i got the book and tried to finish it before those two weeks.

                              I found it quite useful as now when I reread sections I have a better understanding of Joko's voice, and it's easier to figure out what the heck she's talking about (or at least have a rough idea). I don't think it's cheating, but if you're concerned we could appeal to His Royal Enlightenedness who seems to be an Authority around here :wink:

                              gassho, cd

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