Blank Walls and Potted Plants

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  • bayamo
    Member
    • Nov 2009
    • 411

    Blank Walls and Potted Plants

    I wanted to get some opinions on meditating facing a blank wall versus a potted plant. I live on a first floor and have a pretty big terrace. My wife loves her plants and there is pretty much no place to sit and turn without seeing one. Does it really matter if the space you stare at is not blank?
    Gassho
    Oh, yeah. If I didn't have inner peace, I'd go completely psycho on all you guys all the time.
    Carl Carlson
  • Rich
    Member
    • Apr 2009
    • 2595

    #2
    Re: Blank Walls and Potted Plants

    do you have enough space in front of you so that your gaze is on the floor?
    _/_
    Rich
    MUHYO
    無 (MU, Emptiness) and 氷 (HYO, Ice) ... Emptiness Ice ...

    https://instagram.com/notmovingmind

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    • bayamo
      Member
      • Nov 2009
      • 411

      #3
      Re: Blank Walls and Potted Plants

      My gaze hits the base of the plant, but the way I look at it, its not so much what is in front of me but in my mind, which is nothing...
      Oh, yeah. If I didn't have inner peace, I'd go completely psycho on all you guys all the time.
      Carl Carlson

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      • will
        Member
        • Jun 2007
        • 2331

        #4
        Re: Blank Walls and Potted Plants

        The reason why the wall is so popular, supposedly, is because of sensory deprivation ie. Nothing to look at, or be distracted by, but a blank wall (as apposed to looking at nice plants). You turn your gaze inward, so to speak.

        But you can do Zazen anywhere. That's just the reason for the blank wall. If you could do both, I think that's fine. I sit at the wall.

        Gasshooo...o
        [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]

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        • bayamo
          Member
          • Nov 2009
          • 411

          #5
          Re: Blank Walls and Potted Plants

          One of the better explanations of the why behind a blank wall, gassho...
          Oh, yeah. If I didn't have inner peace, I'd go completely psycho on all you guys all the time.
          Carl Carlson

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          • Sloppy_Zen
            Member
            • Dec 2009
            • 82

            #6
            Re: Blank Walls and Potted Plants

            When I was living in a similar situation, I used a roller-blind suspended from a bedroom door-jam. I put hooks in the frame and used wires to suspend the blind, that way I could remove it and put away in the closet. Worked great except on summer nights when the breeze would move the blind!

            -Jim
            Skype: jim.kearse
            ring me, I might be at home!

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            • Rich
              Member
              • Apr 2009
              • 2595

              #7
              Re: Blank Walls and Potted Plants

              Originally posted by bayamo
              My gaze hits the base of the plant, but the way I look at it, its not so much what is in front of me but in my mind, which is nothing...
              So there is no problem. But I think whatever comes in front of you is your mind so as Will said 'Nothing to look at, or be distracted by, but a blank wall' or a blank floor. In zazen most of the distractions come from within. But consider that inside and outside might be the same.
              /Rich
              _/_
              Rich
              MUHYO
              無 (MU, Emptiness) and 氷 (HYO, Ice) ... Emptiness Ice ...

              https://instagram.com/notmovingmind

              Comment

              • Jundo
                Treeleaf Founder and Priest
                • Apr 2006
                • 39211

                #8
                Re: Blank Walls and Potted Plants

                I just wish to second the points of Will, Rich and the other folks.

                The key is to see without seeing. Not to be caught in trains of thought about plants, one's wife watering the plants, one's wife, etc. etc. Not caught in judgements of "pretty plant" or "ugly plant". Just let it be there.

                We do usually sit in a quiet room, facing a bare wall or open floor, because some mild quiet and removal of sensory stimuli can aid in the the mind settling. However, more vital is to just "sit with what is" ... wherever, whatever is ...

                http://www.shambhalasun.com/sunspace/?p=15188

                There has been some discussion among scholars of late about whether Bodhidharma's instructions for "wall sitting" (pi-kuan . “perception” (kuan) “wall” (pi)) meant to actually sit facing a wall ... or more to sit as unmoving as a wall ... as whole and non-plussed as a wall, open and nonclinging to anything,

                Search the word "wall" here, and read pages 30 to 31 here for a bit of history.

                http://books.google.com/books?id=z0v-xn ... ll&f=false

                Gassho, J
                ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

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