Shikantaza before my coffee...

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  • Tobiishi
    Member
    • Jan 2009
    • 461

    Shikantaza before my coffee...

    Up front admission: this is a newbie topic, cause I think I'm the youngest one here in terms of Zen experience. I've been sitting for about a week now, so beat that! I've had a serious interest in Buddhism for years, but never pursued it because of feelings of obligation toward the Other White Religion... (uh, that was a pork/fish joke, not a race joke :wink: ) and now that I have access to a community of like-minded folken, I figured I had no excuse to hold back.

    So, I've spent the last few days raking through posts here and trying to get to know everyone by their teeny pictures, and I still have a question which seems important to me: what is Shikantaza? I got the sitting part, I even face the closet door in my bedroom, but what specifically am I supposed to be doing? The only form of meditation I've researched is Vipassana (sp?) and I've gotten the impression that ain't it.

    And can I have my coffee first? :shock:

    I guess I just need someone to throw a link at me with pop-up pages and the little buttons down the side that make noises for the story... yeah, that would do me just fine...
    It occurs to me that my attachment to this body is entirely arbitrary. All the evidence is subjective.
  • Dosho
    Member
    • Jun 2008
    • 5784

    #2
    Re: Shikantaza before my coffee...

    Hey Tobiah,

    Glad to have you hear at Treeleaf!

    You ask some very fundamental questions that all of us are still trying to answer. In many ways all of us are beginners so I wouldn't put that aside...it is an exciting time filled with possibility. It is cliche, but really what you need to do is to keep sitting and expect nothing...which doesn't mean nothing will happen. As for coffee before zazen, what do you think? That's probably a better qualified person to ask than any of us (but keep the questions coming).

    You have the rest of your life to discover what shikantaza is and, trust me when I say, don't rush. That's what I spent most of my time learning not to do.

    Gassho,
    Dosho

    Comment

    • Tobiishi
      Member
      • Jan 2009
      • 461

      #3
      Re: Shikantaza before my coffee...

      I just found Jundo's videos for beginners, duh... still, I would like to hear what anyone else has to say about what sitting is for them.
      It occurs to me that my attachment to this body is entirely arbitrary. All the evidence is subjective.

      Comment

      • Brock
        Member
        • Jan 2009
        • 70

        #4
        Re: Shikantaza before my coffee...

        Just sit.

        Don't worry about it. Just sit.

        I can't do it, but just sit.

        Comment

        • Voton
          Member
          • May 2008
          • 45

          #5
          Re: Shikantaza before my coffee...

          I'm glad you're here, Tobiah. Your posts are really funny. Yeah, definitely have your coffee. Falling asleep during zazen is a real problem. Starbucks Doubleshots with a smidgen of crystal meth usually does the trick (KIDDING!).

          Comment

          • replicant
            Member
            • Aug 2008
            • 29

            #6
            Re: Shikantaza before my coffee...

            i normally have coffee after I sit in the mornings because my brain is always flowing with thoughts and such, even worse in the morning. i'm afraid the coffee would make me more anxious to get my tasks for the day started even more than before! i'll normally start the pot before i sit thou

            but again, i think i may not be the norm when it comes to the mornings :mrgreen:
            I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser gate. All those moments will be lost in time... like tears in rain... Time to die.

            Comment

            • Hoko Steve
              Member
              • Jan 2009
              • 47

              #7
              Re: Shikantaza before my coffee...

              so somewhta on the same lines as this question of what is shikantaza, but not, i am wondering if it makes a difference as to when we sit. i know most say to sit in the morning, however i have a hard time with that and normally sit in the evening....is this a no-no? or just not the best case scenario???? enquiring minds want to know!

              Gassho,

              Steve
              Gassho,

              Hoko
              法 (Dharma)鼓 (drum)

              “Right now, its like this”

              Comment

              • Jundo
                Treeleaf Founder and Priest
                • Apr 2006
                • 39065

                #8
                Re: Shikantaza before my coffee...

                Originally posted by aksteve
                so somewhta on the same lines as this question of what is shikantaza, but not, i am wondering if it makes a difference as to when we sit. i know most say to sit in the morning, however i have a hard time with that and normally sit in the evening....is this a no-no? or just not the best case scenario???? enquiring minds want to know!

                Gassho,

                Steve
                The evening is fine, before bed can make for a good sleep. Nishijima Roshi wrote in his book that, before he was ordained (and decided to be celibate) : ... "after love making, I might have a bit of a nice bath, followed by my Zazen, then off to sleep …."

                Morning coffee is probably better AFTER morning Zazen, and certainly not DURING Zazen! (Zen monks have a long love affair with caffeine. Hey, they first brought tea to Japan!)

                http://www.sotozen-net.or.jp/kokusai/fr ... 1/feat.htm

                Yes, please sit with our "Zazen for Beginners" sit-a-long series ... especially if a Beginner!

                viewtopic.php?f=1&t=447

                Now, time to get some coffee!

                Gassho, J
                ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

                Comment

                • chicanobudista
                  Member
                  • Mar 2008
                  • 864

                  #9
                  Re: Shikantaza before my coffee...

                  Originally posted by Jundo
                  (Zen monks have a long love affair with caffeine. Hey, they first brought tea to Japan!)
                  ...and am guessing some monks have a love affair for their smokes:




                  :mrgreen:
                  paz,
                  Erik


                  Flor de Nopal Sangha

                  Comment

                  • ScottyDoo
                    Member
                    • Aug 2008
                    • 55

                    #10
                    Re: Shikantaza before my coffee...

                    I make myself a vanilla latte every morning, and I prefer to drink it before I sit. The reason for this is that it actually works differently with my mind. Coffee and caffiene in general don't get me worked up and/or anxious, but actually have a calming affect and help me focus. When I sit BEFORE coffee my mind is racing a million miles an hour and the days that I sit AFTER my coffee, my mind is only racing a hundred miles an hour and it's much easier for me to not follow my thoughts as much.

                    I always thought this was interesting, and my wife always thought it was odd that I could have a triple shot of espresso right before going to sleep.

                    I was however diagnosed with ADHD last week and my therapist said he's not surprised at all that coffee before my meditation is helpful.
                    ScottyDoo - The Lazy Buddhist

                    Comment

                    • Keishin
                      Member
                      • Jun 2007
                      • 471

                      #11
                      Re: Shikantaza before my coffee...

                      I usually find it most helpful if I sit before I sit.
                      While I am sitting, the sitting I just did before is helpful to the sitting I am doing right now.
                      Kind of like the wave that just came up on the beach is helpful to the wave on the beach right now.

                      Coffee, matcha, whatever
                      bowing, lighting the incense, ringing the gong

                      sure

                      getting out of bed, peeing, putting on a sweatshirt/sweatpants

                      all these are various forms of 'getting ready'' and getting ready to sit surely is part of the sitting itself

                      but I find that sitting itself gets me the readiest for sitting: whatever is the body/mind at that moment, is the body/mind at that moment
                      I am not aiming for my thoughts to fall within any range

                      ScottyDoo: I think it is excellent self-awareness for you to understand how certain substances affect you.
                      When you have the means to modulate this, this is good. When you don't have the means to do so (say one morning there is no coffee in the house!!), sitting sits.

                      Comment

                      • ScottyDoo
                        Member
                        • Aug 2008
                        • 55

                        #12
                        Re: Shikantaza before my coffee...

                        Originally posted by Keishin
                        ScottyDoo: I think it is excellent self-awareness for you to understand how certain substances affect you.
                        When you have the means to modulate this, this is good. When you don't have the means to do so (say one morning there is no coffee in the house!!), sitting sits.
                        There are definitely mornings with no coffee, and of course I sit anyway, afterall it's those mornings that helped my awareness =)
                        ScottyDoo - The Lazy Buddhist

                        Comment

                        • Hoko Steve
                          Member
                          • Jan 2009
                          • 47

                          #13
                          Re: Shikantaza before my coffee...

                          Originally posted by ScottyDoo
                          I make myself a vanilla latte every morning, and I prefer to drink it before I sit. The reason for this is that it actually works differently with my mind. Coffee and caffiene in general don't get me worked up and/or anxious, but actually have a calming affect and help me focus. When I sit BEFORE coffee my mind is racing a million miles an hour and the days that I sit AFTER my coffee, my mind is only racing a hundred miles an hour and it's much easier for me to not follow my thoughts as much.

                          I always thought this was interesting, and my wife always thought it was odd that I could have a triple shot of espresso right before going to sleep.

                          I was however diagnosed with ADHD last week and my therapist said he's not surprised at all that coffee before my meditation is helpful.
                          yep, i can relate. the caffene used to do the same thing to me.i have ADD too....i think that does have something to do with it. ive been off the caffene now though..(not by choice! :evil: ) i know, i am too attached to it!

                          it did help me concentrate beter and relax. its weird.

                          Gassho,

                          Steve
                          Gassho,

                          Hoko
                          法 (Dharma)鼓 (drum)

                          “Right now, its like this”

                          Comment

                          • Tobiishi
                            Member
                            • Jan 2009
                            • 461

                            #14
                            Re: Shikantaza before my coffee...

                            Originally posted by Keishin
                            I usually find it most helpful if I sit before I sit.
                            While I am sitting, the sitting I just did before is helpful to the sitting I am doing right now.
                            Kind of like the wave that just came up on the beach is helpful to the wave on the beach right now.

                            Coffee, matcha, whatever
                            bowing, lighting the incense, ringing the gong

                            sure

                            getting out of bed, peeing, putting on a sweatshirt/sweatpants

                            all these are various forms of 'getting ready'' and getting ready to sit surely is part of the sitting itself

                            but I find that sitting itself gets me the readiest for sitting: whatever is the body/mind at that moment, is the body/mind at that moment
                            I am not aiming for my thoughts to fall within any range

                            ScottyDoo: I think it is excellent self-awareness for you to understand how certain substances affect you.
                            When you have the means to modulate this, this is good. When you don't have the means to do so (say one morning there is no coffee in the house!!), sitting sits.

                            I do believe this is my new favorite post... this one just relaxed me all over.
                            It occurs to me that my attachment to this body is entirely arbitrary. All the evidence is subjective.

                            Comment

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