does zen help with drudgery of everyday life.

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  • Craig
    Member
    • Oct 2008
    • 89

    does zen help with drudgery of everyday life.

    hi,
    haven't been around here lately. being doing zazen on a off for a few months. i basically got interested in zen and buddhism as a way to help me deal with stress, depression, anxiety, etc. therapy gives insight, but i'm just dying here with the constant struggle of life. aka, suffering as the buddha taught. those of you who have been practicing a while. does zazen help...even though that's not the goal

    peace
    craig
  • Taigu
    Blue Mountain White Clouds Hermitage Priest
    • Aug 2008
    • 2710

    #2
    Re: does zen help with drudgery of everyday life.

    As jundo and many other people on this forum point out, Zen does not remove the problems and difficulties in your life, either outer or inner. The ride is a bumpy one, many ups and downs, from clown to star and back again to clown. What practice DOES when one DOES practice is to give you an opportunity to accept and embrace your life as is. Scruffy, wet and bad tempered bear today is okay, sunny and joyful too. Moonface Craig or sunface Craig, just fine. Questions you may ask yourself could be...What makes this so painful? Who makes this so painful? What do I believe in that makes this so painful? Why should I be happy? And do you really know what happy means anyway? Nothing outside this time-being moment that we call now, dark or light, it is all there is. Start from there. forget Zen, Buddha and ready-made answers, fish the golden fish with open eyes, you are and everything around you the beautiful water where it swimns. We call this practice.
    Enjoy! :wink:

    Taigu

    Comment

    • ZenYen
      Member
      • Apr 2009
      • 31

      #3
      Re: does zen help with drudgery of everyday life.

      Zazen has not made a single one of my problems go away -- but it has helped me to accept them and cope with them in a more productive and healthy way.

      I am by nature a rather impatient man, and can be quite snarly and grumpy at times. Before I began zazen in earnest a few years ago, I was like that a lot. Once I gave zazen a real effort, I noticed that the things that previously annoyed me still annoyed me every bit as much as they always did -- but I no longer acted as though the world existed merely to annoy me. I (usually) am kinder toward others, and able to see that whatever it is they are doing is not necessarily intended just to tick me off, etc. I no longer (usually) respond to random acts of the universe as though they were intentional acts of a universe that is out to get me.

      My wife notices, too. If things get hectic and I let my practice slide, she'll notice a resurgence of grumpiness and ask me point-blank: "Have you been meditating?" Friends will sometimes see the uptick in stress, etc., too, whether they know about my zazen or not.

      So ... it helps me, anyway.
      -------------------------------
      Gassho, and thanks.
      -- Z

      Comment

      • will
        Member
        • Jun 2007
        • 2331

        #4
        Re: does zen help with drudgery of everyday life.

        i basically got interested in zen and buddhism as a way to help me deal with stress, depression, anxiety, etc. therapy gives insight, but i'm just dying here with the constant struggle of life.
        Seems hopeless doesn't it? Like the world is just full of shit, and we are shitty from the moment that we wake up in the morning.

        What the F**K is my problem? I just want it to go away.

        ...

        Well, let me tell you something Buster.

        We have those moments. We might have those moments very frequently. However, I can assure you (I am not kidding around). If you continue to practice and accept that this is the way you are at this moment, something will happen. Your practice will begin to balance out. Keep sitting. This is important. If you don't study the self through sitting Zazen, then how do you plan on dropping it?

        We might have an experience eventually where things are open and balanced. At this moment you are letting Zazen do Zazen, and getting out of the way of your experience. However, we must not search for that, and we must not attach any important meaning or hope to that experience. Study the self. See the movement of thought when peace arises and your wanting to hang on to it. Don't attach. Drop. Open. Bodymind will balance out.


        Gassho
        [size=85:z6oilzbt]
        To save all sentient beings, though beings are numberless.
        To penetrate reality, though reality is boundless.
        To transform all delusion, though delusions are immeasurable.
        To attain the enlightened way, a way non-attainable.
        [/size:z6oilzbt]

        Comment

        • Shohei
          Member
          • Oct 2007
          • 2854

          #5
          Re: does zen help with drudgery of everyday life.

          Hi Craig
          lots of good posts and i should refrain from adding my compost but ... i won't

          As you have already read this practice actually can make life just that much harder if you want to see it that way. You have to look at the shit parts as well as the shiny, see all the rough and splintered parts and learn to live with them. Of course living with them doesn't only mean accepting your life as is but also working to improve the parts that you can. Your cruddy aspects of life are perfectly cruddy but you have wonderful parts too and you can always work away at the parts you need to. Zen isnt therapy and im still and ass a lot of the time...but im seeing more and more and can try to course correct for my shortcomings(also my family ... all of em notice the difference in "me" when im practicing vs slumping not sitting etc)

          Sorry not really much help or anything that hasn't been said but i thought you it would be good to see we are all right there with you by times.

          Gassho Shohei

          Comment

          • Rich
            Member
            • Apr 2009
            • 2595

            #6
            Re: does zen help with drudgery of everyday life.

            Re: does zen help with drudgery of everyday life.

            Yes, I think it does. to live well requires some effort, the same effort while practicing zazen. paying attention to the moment is not automatic, it's a choice. Because we do the same things over and over (like eat, clean up, work, etc.) they become like habits and sometimes seem like drudgery. focusing on the present makes things fresh and allows one to see possibilities. Life is not easy, effort is required.
            _/_
            Rich
            MUHYO
            無 (MU, Emptiness) and 氷 (HYO, Ice) ... Emptiness Ice ...

            https://instagram.com/notmovingmind

            Comment

            • will
              Member
              • Jun 2007
              • 2331

              #7
              Re: does zen help with drudgery of everyday life.

              Deleted

              W
              [size=85:z6oilzbt]
              To save all sentient beings, though beings are numberless.
              To penetrate reality, though reality is boundless.
              To transform all delusion, though delusions are immeasurable.
              To attain the enlightened way, a way non-attainable.
              [/size:z6oilzbt]

              Comment

              • Craig
                Member
                • Oct 2008
                • 89

                #8
                Re: does zen help with drudgery of everyday life.

                Originally posted by ZenYen
                Zazen has not made a single one of my problems go away -- but it has helped me to accept them and cope with them in a more productive and healthy way.

                I am by nature a rather impatient man, and can be quite snarly and grumpy at times. Before I began zazen in earnest a few years ago, I was like that a lot. Once I gave zazen a real effort, I noticed that the things that previously annoyed me still annoyed me every bit as much as they always did -- but I no longer acted as though the world existed merely to annoy me. I (usually) am kinder toward others, and able to see that whatever it is they are doing is not necessarily intended just to tick me off, etc. I no longer (usually) respond to random acts of the universe as though they were intentional acts of a universe that is out to get me.

                My wife notices, too. If things get hectic and I let my practice slide, she'll notice a resurgence of grumpiness and ask me point-blank: "Have you been meditating?" Friends will sometimes see the uptick in stress, etc., too, whether they know about my zazen or not.

                So ... it helps me, anyway.
                thanks for the post. this is what i'm talking about, i think. of course problems don't go away, but it seems that zen has helped you some. i'm curious, what entails 'giving zazen real effort'?
                peace
                craig

                Comment

                • Craig
                  Member
                  • Oct 2008
                  • 89

                  #9
                  Re: does zen help with drudgery of everyday life.

                  Originally posted by will
                  i basically got interested in zen and buddhism as a way to help me deal with stress, depression, anxiety, etc. therapy gives insight, but i'm just dying here with the constant struggle of life.
                  Seems hopeless doesn't it? Like the world is just full of shit, and we are shitty from the moment that we wake up in the morning.

                  What the F**K is my problem? I just want it to go away.

                  ...

                  Well, let me tell you something Buster.

                  We have those moments. We might have those moments very frequently. However, I can assure you (I am not kidding around). If you continue to practice and accept that this is the way you are at this moment, something will happen. Your practice will begin to balance out. Keep sitting. This is important. If you don't study the self through sitting Zazen, then how do you plan on dropping it?

                  We might have an experience eventually where things are open and balanced. At this moment you are letting Zazen do Zazen, and getting out of the way of your experience. However, we must not search for that, and we must not attach any important meaning or hope to that experience. Study the self. See the movement of thought when peace arises and your wanting to hang on to it. Don't attach. Drop. Open. Bodymind will balance out.


                  Gassho
                  will-
                  thanks for the validation and the pep talk. it's good to hear the basics again. i like the idea of balancing out. i hope this happens soon.
                  craig

                  Comment

                  • Craig
                    Member
                    • Oct 2008
                    • 89

                    #10
                    Re: does zen help with drudgery of everyday life.

                    Originally posted by Rich
                    Re: does zen help with drudgery of everyday life.

                    Yes, I think it does. to live well requires some effort, the same effort while practicing zazen. paying attention to the moment is not automatic, it's a choice. Because we do the same things over and over (like eat, clean up, work, etc.) they become like habits and sometimes seem like drudgery. focusing on the present makes things fresh and allows one to see possibilities. Life is not easy, effort is required.

                    i see what you're saying. zazen has been really hard for me to get into, but i like the idea of just coming back to 'just sitting' when i get involved with thoughts and feelings etc. same with the rest of the day. if i'm washing the dishes and thinking about all the other stuff i have to do, then its suffering...drudgery. if i just keep coming back to washing the dishes, it's quite refreshing. make any sense?
                    craig

                    Comment

                    • will
                      Member
                      • Jun 2007
                      • 2331

                      #11
                      Re: does zen help with drudgery of everyday life.

                      craig
                      thanks for the validation and the pep talk.
                      Pep talk? Who's giving a pep talk?

                      i hope this happens soon.
                      And that, my friend, is your "problem".

                      Wouldn't it be great if the world was perfect?

                      Gassho
                      [size=85:z6oilzbt]
                      To save all sentient beings, though beings are numberless.
                      To penetrate reality, though reality is boundless.
                      To transform all delusion, though delusions are immeasurable.
                      To attain the enlightened way, a way non-attainable.
                      [/size:z6oilzbt]

                      Comment

                      • ZenYen
                        Member
                        • Apr 2009
                        • 31

                        #12
                        Re: does zen help with drudgery of everyday life.

                        Craig: For me, "real effort" meant doing zazen every night ... good mood, bad mood, tired, bored, whatever, I had to just make myself do it. Every night.

                        It also meant doing it more mindfully than I had in the past. Once upon a time, I'd sit and watch thoughts come and sometimes dwell on them and then half-heartedly nudge them aside, then do it all again, etc. I'd get some stillness out of meditation, some quiet time and a chance to think, but I got nothing that really seemed to spill over into my daily life. I'd do this for a month or so, decide I was getting nowhere, then quit. A few months later, I'd try again.

                        A few years ago, I sharpened my focus and really tried to just be aware. I slowly got better at recognizing thoughts and letting them pass by, and that kind of mind-flitting-around stuff stopped being a frequent part of my meditation, and I was spending less time thinking and more time being aware, if that makes sense. It's not like I've really mastered anything, because I still have zazen nights when my mind just hops around all over the place now and then. But it was at this point where I realized there was less of that going on that I seemed to mellow a bit in my daily life, and began to react to problems better and even find joy in things that previously irritated the heck out of me. So, I can definitely see in my own practice that zen has been a boon.
                        -------------------------------
                        Gassho, and thanks.
                        -- Z

                        Comment

                        • disastermouse

                          #13
                          Re: does zen help with drudgery of everyday life.

                          It won't take the drudgery out of your life, but it might take the 'your' out of the drudgery. Temporarily.

                          What takes the drudgery out of life is saying 'yes' instead of 'no' to life.

                          Chet

                          Comment

                          • Rich
                            Member
                            • Apr 2009
                            • 2595

                            #14
                            Re: does zen help with drudgery of everyday life.

                            "if i'm washing the dishes and thinking about all the other stuff i have to do, then its suffering...drudgery. if i just keep coming back to washing the dishes, it's quite refreshing. make any sense?
                            craig"

                            Yea, that's what I do. At some point I know that I have to put it all down and just do it - wash the dishes, clean the car, make the schedule, pay the bills. It's the same with sitting - let the thinking go, adjust the posture, just breathe, just sit, just be whatever it is.
                            _/_
                            Rich
                            MUHYO
                            無 (MU, Emptiness) and 氷 (HYO, Ice) ... Emptiness Ice ...

                            https://instagram.com/notmovingmind

                            Comment

                            • Martin
                              Member
                              • Jun 2007
                              • 216

                              #15
                              Re: does zen help with drudgery of everyday life.

                              I rather liked a story I read (can't find it now even with the all seeing Google) about a man who came to the Buddha and told him all his woes. The Buddha listened attentively, and then commented that the man clearly had 76 problems. The man was surprised, and impressed, to hear that he had that many problems, and eagerly asked the Buddha how many he could help with. "None of them" replied the Buddha. Now, the man was less than impressed, and the Buddha explained that it was simply a fact of life that everyone had 76 problems, and there was nothing anyone could do about it. "What good are you then?" asked the man, "what problems can you help with?". "Ah", said the Buddha, "I can only help with the 77th problem". "What's the 77th problem?" asked the man. "The 77th problem", replied the Buddha, "is thinking the first 76 are problems".

                              Gassho

                              Martin

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