Beginner path?

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  • Dizkovery
    • Jul 2024

    Beginner path?

    So right now, Zen is not much more than a hobby but I'd like to learn more about Buddhist teachings etc. The problem is that I'm not sure where to start.

    I've been listening to Podcasts like buudhistgeeks and audiodharma which I love.
    Does anyone have any suggested starting points?
  • Seiryu
    Member
    • Sep 2010
    • 620

    #2
    Re: Beginner path?

    You have already ventured in, the starting point(if there is one) is when one decides to sit at all. Hobby or not, sitting zazen, no matter if short or long is a starting point, an end point, and all other points in between.

    But to your question, there are a lot of videos done by Jundo Sensei on Zazen for beginners, as I'm sure he will post the links once he sees this thread. There is a wealth of information out there so it can be mind boggling to sort through. If you like zen, my recommendation as a book would be John Daido Rosho's "The eight gates of Zen" (Don't know if others would agree with me.)

    Although, the best way to start, or really get into this practice, is to sit down and jump right into zazen. Everything else after that is secondary.

    Gassho

    Seiryu
    Humbly,
    清竜 Seiryu

    Comment

    • Hoyu
      Member
      • Nov 2010
      • 2020

      #3
      Re: Beginner path?

      Seiryu wrote:
      But to your question, there are a lot of videos done by Jundo Sensei on Zazen for beginners
      I'm with Seiryu on this one. There is a wealth of information right here! There are many great video lessons from both Taigu Sensei and Jundo Sensei. Not much need at this point to look further. But in the mean time just sit, sit, sit.

      Gassho,
      John
      Ho (Dharma)
      Yu (Hot Water)

      Comment

      • Jundo
        Treeleaf Founder and Priest
        • Apr 2006
        • 39472

        #4
        Re: Beginner path?

        Originally posted by Seiryu
        But to your question, there are a lot of videos done by Jundo Sensei on Zazen for beginners, as I'm sure he will post the links once he sees this thread.
        Don't be so quick to assume! 8)

        But here are the links to our talks for beginners (we are all beginners!) There are 23 !! in the series, a few minutes each. I ask that you do look at those, even if you have been practicing forever or are new to practice, and hope they are helpful. Please have a look to get a taste of the style of Shikantaza Zazen emphasized here ...

        viewforum.php?f=20

        (this thread may also be helpful) ...

        viewforum.php?f=23

        We have a suggested booklist which has many books appropriate for those new and old to the practice (books for newer folks are marked) ...

        viewtopic.php?f=1&t=889

        Oh, and SIT, SIT MORE, PUT TEACHINGS INTO PRACTICE IN LIFE, SIT, SIT, LIVE!

        Come here to our Forum to ask about anything, or what comes up in your practice. Ask about anything at all, easy questions or hard.

        Gassho, J

        PS - A wealth of great information on the internet. Know that different Zen teachers tend to teach somewhat different approaches ... like different chefs have very different ways to make a simple bowl of tomato soup! So, don't be surprised if different teachers say seemingly contradictory things. I am not a big fan of Daido's approach to Shikantaza (which he tended to put in a back seat to Koan Zazen sometimes, I feel, and a little too much emphasis on following the breath as its core), although I am a big fan of Daido's recorded talks on Koans! His other writings are wonderful, such as his book we recommend on a home Liturgy ...

        viewtopic.php?f=1&t=3308
        ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

        Comment

        • JohnsonCM
          Member
          • Jan 2010
          • 549

          #5
          Re: Beginner path?

          Personally, I think one of the best ways to 'jump off the hundred foot pole" as it were, is to talk and listen here and then do a little reading. I found a lot of Buddhist writings read like stereo instructions written in a foreign language! But after I got more of a feel for the way Buddhists saw things and expressed things, I got more of an understanding of what the readings were saying. Also I do enjoy Aitken Roshi's books, like Taking the Path of Zen, just remember that his school focuses on koans more than we do here, having shikantaza as the core of our practice.
          Gassho,
          "Heitetsu"
          Christopher
          Sat today

          Comment

          • ghop
            Member
            • Jan 2010
            • 438

            #6
            Re: Beginner path?

            Originally posted by Jundo
            Ask about anything at all, easy questions or hard.
            I know this is totally off topic, but jeez, I live in Alabama, and it's getting hot, and when the dang tornados aren't blowing things my way, which is less and less recently, I like to eat ice cream. And I remember the talk you once gave on ice cream cones...so, I was wondering Sensei, what is your favorite flavor? :shock:

            gassho
            Greg

            Comment

            • Hoyu
              Member
              • Nov 2010
              • 2020

              #7
              Re: Beginner path?

              I was wondering Sensei, what is your favorite flavor?
              I'm hoping he says matcha

              Gassho,
              John
              Ho (Dharma)
              Yu (Hot Water)

              Comment

              • Jundo
                Treeleaf Founder and Priest
                • Apr 2006
                • 39472

                #8
                Re: Beginner path?

                Originally posted by ghop
                Originally posted by Jundo
                Ask about anything at all, easy questions or hard.
                I know this is totally off topic, but jeez, I live in Alabama, and it's getting hot, and when the dang tornados aren't blowing things my way, which is less and less recently, I like to eat ice cream. And I remember the talk you once gave on ice cream cones...so, I was wondering Sensei, what is your favorite flavor? :shock:

                gassho
                Greg

                All Flavors! (Even Spinach and Brocolli!). The Flavorless Flavor too!*

                (but Cookies and Cream when I can get it!) 8)

                Gassho, J

                * Ask a question around here, get a smartass Zenny answer.
                ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

                Comment

                • Shokai
                  Treeleaf Priest
                  • Mar 2009
                  • 6391

                  #9
                  Re: Beginner path?

                  Ever try that squid ink pasta ? :shock:
                  合掌,生開
                  gassho, Shokai

                  仁道 生開 / Jindo Shokai

                  "Open to life in a benevolent way"

                  https://sarushinzendo.wordpress.com/

                  Comment

                  • Kyonin
                    Treeleaf Priest / Engineer
                    • Oct 2010
                    • 6742

                    #10
                    Re: Beginner path?

                    Originally posted by Jundo
                    SIT, SIT MORE, PUT TEACHINGS INTO PRACTICE IN LIFE, SIT, SIT, LIVE!
                    This is perhaps the most useful piece of advise you can get and you will see it everywhere in the forums.

                    Just sit, meditate.

                    And try to watch all the videos. It will help you a lot to understand why we practice.

                    Enjoy!
                    Hondō Kyōnin
                    奔道 協忍

                    Comment

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