Zazen for Beginners Series: THREAD for QUESTIONS, COMMENTS

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  • Nengyoku
    Member
    • Jun 2021
    • 536

    On my phone I have a wireless charger that stands my phone up, you can get one for about $20, and I have it sat on my altar. I sat outside on Thursday and just sat that charger on the ground.
    When I use my PC I have a cheap webcam that I just sit on the edge of my desk pointed downwards.
    Some of the guys who have been here a while have rooms dedicated to this where they set up a camera.

    Point is, anything that works for you will probably be fine.

    Sorry to run long.

    Gassho,
    William
    Sat
    Thank you for being the warmth in my world.

    Comment

    • Doshin
      Member
      • May 2015
      • 2644

      I use a Tablet that I set on my Altar which is also my window seal. I sit on the floor with appropriate pillows. I used to sit on a chair at a desk using my PC. In both cases the camera is about equal with the height of my head. I also learned here years ago to not stare into the camera so I face at an angle away from the camera.

      Come join others in Zazen. It is good to sit with others and it is also good encouragement for practice.

      Doshin
      St

      PS I sit cross legged. My legs/knees do not have the needed flexibility for lotus or half Lotus

      Comment

      • Bion
        Treeleaf Unsui
        • Aug 2020
        • 3742

        Originally posted by Alex.d
        Hi, I'd like to ask something about joining in the group Zazen, I hope this is an appropriate thread. How do you all set up your cameras? Do you use a PC or phone? Do you place it on the ground? I have very limited space and am having troubles figuring out where to place the camera, so some advice would help.


        Alex
        Sat today/LAH
        Ir depends on what device you use. If you have a laptop or desktop with a webcam, I suggest you use that since zoom on the phone is clunky and tiny. Just set it up wherever as long as you can sort of see the screen and yourself on the zoom window. Preferably to the side. Just look at some of the zazenkai videos to figure out more or less the camera placement most of us have! But really, don’t worry too much about it! Even not being visible is totally fine! [emoji3526]

        [emoji1374] SatToday ( sorry for the length)
        "Stepping back with open hands, is thoroughly comprehending life and death. Immediately you can sparkle and respond to the world." - Hongzhi

        Comment

        • Jakuden
          Member
          • Jun 2015
          • 6142

          Originally posted by Stephan
          Yes I also enjoy an environment where the whole question about how to sit (lotus, half-lotus etc.) is not taken too dogmatic. Because my legs are much to stiff for the other options I'm also happy in the seiza position. I did sit in seiza on a bench for years, but two years ago I started to sit in seiza on two zafus and feel very comfortable and stable in this position. Is anybody else doing seiza on a zafu?

          Gassho,
          Stephan

          SatToday

          Sent from my Nokia 6.1 using Tapatalk
          Hi Stephan,

          Yes I have a Mountain seat from ZMM and I have used it to sit seiza for years now. I have short legs and it is tall, so I do not have to turn it on the side. I find it easier to make the slight muscle shifts needed to delay pain and fatigue during Zazen on a zafu.

          Gassho
          Jakuden
          SatToday


          Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

          Comment

          • Kaishin
            Member
            • Dec 2010
            • 2322

            Originally posted by Alex.d
            Hi, I'd like to ask something about joining in the group Zazen, I hope this is an appropriate thread. How do you all set up your cameras? Do you use a PC or phone? Do you place it on the ground? I have very limited space and am having troubles figuring out where to place the camera, so some advice would help.


            Alex
            Sat today/LAH
            As others have said, whatever works for you! I do not have room for a dedicated space, so simply setup a step stool with laptop next to me in whatever room I'm sitting (varies based on what other family members are up to). I also just have a portable "altar in a box" that I can easily move. Propping up your phone works in a pinch, too.

            -stlah
            Thanks,
            Kaishin (開心, Open Heart)
            Please take this layman's words with a grain of salt.

            Comment

            • Heiso
              Member
              • Jan 2019
              • 824

              Most morning I prop my phone up on some cushions, then the kids or the cat come running in, knock it over and everyone gets to see my ceiling. I like the idea of an altar in a box, I might have to look into that.

              Gassho,

              Heiso

              StLah

              Comment

              • CarriChapp
                Member
                • Dec 2021
                • 2

                Hello everyone. I have been watching the Sit Along with Jundo series (great by the way) and have a question about gassho. I have downloaded the basic zazen instructions and understand giving gassho to the cushion then to the room. In the Free Sitting Room it mentions giving gassho when entering, is this an additional gassho, e.g. gassho to the computer, then the normal two gassho followed by a gassho to the computer on exiting the meeting? Sorry I am very new to a sanga / zendo setting and have been trying to fly solo for a few months until someone mentioned Treeleaf.

                Gassho Andy

                Comment

                • Bion
                  Treeleaf Unsui
                  • Aug 2020
                  • 3742

                  Originally posted by CarriChapp
                  Hello everyone. I have been watching the Sit Along with Jundo series (great by the way) and have a question about gassho. I have downloaded the basic zazen instructions and understand giving gassho to the cushion then to the room. In the Free Sitting Room it mentions giving gassho when entering, is this an additional gassho, e.g. gassho to the computer, then the normal two gassho followed by a gassho to the computer on exiting the meeting? Sorry I am very new to a sanga / zendo setting and have been trying to fly solo for a few months until someone mentioned Treeleaf.

                  Gassho Andy
                  Hi. Yeah.. when connecting, just [emoji1374] towards the zoom screen, as if you were entering a physical room, whether anyone’s in there or not! Same thing before leaving [emoji3526]
                  After entering and doing that, go about your business.. head to your zafu, do the bowing to it, the fluffing, the sitting etc .. [emoji3526]

                  Let us know if we can assist in any way and make you feel more comfortable about joining sits or maybe helping you find a scheduled sit that might work for you!

                  Sorry for running long!

                  [emoji1374] Sat Today
                  "Stepping back with open hands, is thoroughly comprehending life and death. Immediately you can sparkle and respond to the world." - Hongzhi

                  Comment

                  • CarriChapp
                    Member
                    • Dec 2021
                    • 2

                    Originally posted by Bion
                    Hi. Yeah.. when connecting, just [emoji1374] towards the zoom screen, as if you were entering a physical room, whether anyone’s in there or not! Same thing before leaving [emoji3526]
                    After entering and doing that, go about your business.. head to your zafu, do the bowing to it, the fluffing, the sitting etc .. [emoji3526]

                    Let us know if we can assist in any way and make you feel more comfortable about joining sits or maybe helping you find a scheduled sit that might work for you!

                    Sorry for running long!

                    [emoji1374] Sat Today
                    Thank you for your help.

                    Gassho Andy

                    Comment

                    • Jundo
                      Treeleaf Founder and Priest
                      • Apr 2006
                      • 39276

                      Originally posted by CarriChapp
                      ... In the Free Sitting Room it mentions giving gassho when entering, is this an additional gassho, e.g. gassho to the computer, then the normal two gassho followed by a gassho to the computer on exiting the meeting? ...
                      Hah! The Buddha and Dogen never had to bow to a computer, so this is a very new question.

                      As Bion says, it is just respectful to give a little Gassho entering the room, then Gassho again at one's sitting place facing the cushion before fluffing and straightening it, then turning clockwise 180 degrees, Gassho again to the room, then sit. The computer is not a consideration, so please forget about the computer. Anyone sitting with you online is there in the room with you when you forget about the computer and distance.

                      Gassho, Jundo

                      STLah
                      ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

                      Comment

                      • Zrebna
                        Member
                        • Dec 2021
                        • 45

                        Great series so far with lots of good humor, as well

                        Regarding lesson 3 (sitting postures) :
                        When sitting in the half lotus, I think that if the left leg rests on the right thigh, the right leg is basically under the left leg (as shown in the pdf-instructions from TreeLeaf) and not in front (like it would be in the burmese style) ?

                        Other than this,
                        I agree that not forcing oneself into a certain posture is important. But trying it gradually might be alright, if one really wants to try.
                        By trying I mean to start regularly stretching, especially the hips so that they open up over time. From my understanding flexible hips are the key for a safe lotus-posture or its variants and only a little flexibility is needed regarding legs and knees.
                        In fact, when the hips are not very flexible, the knee-joints would "take over" and would force you into the lotus-posture which will cause indeed potential longterm damage to one's knees and joints.
                        So stretching especially the hips and a bit the legs is a good habit one could regularly develop (just for a few minutes before you practice, for instance) and see how it goes - I find that a bit mindful stretching where you should breath anyways deep into the belly can oftentimes also serve as a good "preparation" for Zazen-Practice in general.

                        Anyways, great series and excited to continue to watch til the end of it - thanks a lot for this work!

                        Gassho
                        Chris
                        Sat today

                        Comment

                        • Bion
                          Treeleaf Unsui
                          • Aug 2020
                          • 3742

                          Originally posted by Zrebna
                          Great series so far with lots of good humor, as well

                          Regarding lesson 3 (sitting postures) :
                          When sitting in the half lotus, I think that if the left leg rests on the right thigh, the right leg is basically under the left leg (as shown in the pdf-instructions from TreeLeaf) and not in front (like it would be in the burmese style) ?

                          Other than this,
                          I agree that not forcing oneself into a certain posture is important. But trying it gradually might be alright, if one really wants to try.
                          By trying I mean to start regularly stretching, especially the hips so that they open up over time. From my understanding flexible hips are the key for a safe lotus-posture or its variants and only a little flexibility is needed regarding legs and knees.
                          In fact, when the hips are not very flexible, the knee-joints would "take over" and would force you into the lotus-posture which will cause indeed potential longterm damage to one's knees and joints.
                          So stretching especially the hips and a bit the legs is a good habit one could regularly develop (just for a few minutes before you practice, for instance) and see how it goes - I find that a bit mindful stretching where you should breath anyways deep into the belly can oftentimes also serve as a good "preparation" for Zazen-Practice in general.

                          Anyways, great series and excited to continue to watch til the end of it - thanks a lot for this work!

                          Gassho
                          Chris
                          Sat today
                          Exactly. Right foot/leg is resting on the floor, pretty much attached to the zafu, underneath the left one.

                          Stretching is ESSENTIAL. Before sitting, stretch and when in the posture, sway side to side or in a circle, slowly coming to a halt when the posture if stable. When you’re done, the same: gassho at the bell, then sway, stretch, bend, and get up slowly! [emoji3526]

                          Sat Today [emoji1374]
                          "Stepping back with open hands, is thoroughly comprehending life and death. Immediately you can sparkle and respond to the world." - Hongzhi

                          Comment

                          • Zrebna
                            Member
                            • Dec 2021
                            • 45

                            Originally posted by Bion
                            Exactly. Right foot/leg is resting on the floor, pretty much attached to the zafu, underneath the left one.

                            Stretching is ESSENTIAL. Before sitting, stretch and when in the posture, sway side to side or in a circle, slowly coming to a halt when the posture if stable. When you’re done, the same: gassho at the bell, then sway, stretch, bend, and get up slowly! [emoji3526]

                            Sat Today [emoji1374]
                            Sounds good to me, thanks for replying
                            Do you personally alternate legs between Zazen-sessions i.e. one time the left leg is upper and the next time it is reversed?

                            Gassho
                            Chris
                            Sat today

                            Comment

                            • Bion
                              Treeleaf Unsui
                              • Aug 2020
                              • 3742

                              Originally posted by Zrebna
                              Sounds good to me, thanks for replying
                              Do you personally alternate legs between Zazen-sessions i.e. one time the left leg is upper and the next time it is reversed?

                              Gassho
                              Chris
                              Sat today
                              Not really… I have zero stability with right over left. I will at times switch to a very awkward burmese .. [emoji1]

                              [emoji1374] Sat Today
                              "Stepping back with open hands, is thoroughly comprehending life and death. Immediately you can sparkle and respond to the world." - Hongzhi

                              Comment

                              • Jundo
                                Treeleaf Founder and Priest
                                • Apr 2006
                                • 39276

                                Originally posted by Zrebna
                                Sounds good to me, thanks for replying
                                Do you personally alternate legs between Zazen-sessions i.e. one time the left leg is upper and the next time it is reversed?

                                Gassho
                                Chris
                                Sat today
                                To each there own body. Just do not obsess about which way is better.

                                But, when the bell rings until the bell rings again, try not to switch unless there is really necessity.

                                Gassho, J

                                STLah
                                Last edited by Jundo; 12-22-2021, 02:17 PM.
                                ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

                                Comment

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