Non-Sitting Sitting

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  • Jigetsu
    Member
    • May 2011
    • 236

    Non-Sitting Sitting

    Hello friends,

    I've had a heck of a time the last two weeks dealing with a "no one knows where it came from" leg infection. Today they had to cut on me a little and now I'm supposed to elevate my leg for the next 2 days. How does one sit zazen when one can't really sit?

    Gassho,
    Philip
    _/\_
    Jigetsu
  • Jundo
    Treeleaf Founder and Priest
    • Apr 2006
    • 39456

    #2
    Re: Non-Sitting Sitting

    Originally posted by Philip
    Hello friends,

    I've had a heck of a time the last two weeks dealing with a "no one knows where it came from" leg infection. Today they had to cut on me a little and now I'm supposed to elevate my leg for the next 2 days. How does one sit zazen when one can't really sit?

    Gassho,
    Philip
    Like this ... as the Old Fellow did when he was not up to snuff ...



    ... or with one's leg elevated ... or however one is sitting, standing or flying through the air!

    We sit with what is ... -AS- what is, having become what is ... which means, when sick, sometimes reclining or the like. When aching, nose blowing, sneezing, coughing ... just ache, nose blow, sneeze and cough, for each is perfectly Zazen when understood as such. Each sneeze is a perfect "ah choo!". Every moan is a kind of sacred chant. The whole universe is wondrously blowing its little nose when appreciated as such! I have spoken about this a couple of times, most recently when the flu put me down for some days.

    We sit with what is ... with conditions just as they are ... as what is, having become what is ... nothing to add or take away, reject or run toward. That is Shikantaza Zazen.

    We embrace what is, reject none of it and judge none of it ... even as we take our medicine.

    I sometimes describe the attitude toward poor health and the like as acceptance sans acceptance - precisely blending both views. Imagine a man or woman who, facing an illness, perhaps some cancer, accepts the condition fully - yet fights the good fight for a cure. We need not feel anger within at the natural state which is the disease, we can accept within that all life is impermanent and that death and sickness are just the reality ... but still we might search for the healing medicine, struggling without for health and life and sometimes so afraid. We can know that within and without are not two.

    Your condition is perfectly that condition when all resistance is dropped ... drop all resistance even as we resist (yes, it is a kind of schizophrenic viewpoint ... but a very healthy kind of schizophrenia :? :cry: )

    Attaining such an attitude of "nothing whatsoever about the condition in need of change" is attaining a tremendous change of attitude ... even as we continue to take our medicine and try to get healthy.

    Gassho, Jundo
    Last edited by Jundo; 11-06-2014, 12:56 PM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

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    • Jigetsu
      Member
      • May 2011
      • 236

      #3
      Re: Non-Sitting Sitting

      Jundo, that meant more to me then I can express. With all the advise and even some amount of fear (from me) on this situation, you've managed to put things in a way that I both understand, and realize I need to start doing. I'm so very grateful for finding Treeleaf!

      Super Gassho!
      Philip
      _/\_
      Jigetsu

      Comment

      • Jundo
        Treeleaf Founder and Priest
        • Apr 2006
        • 39456

        #4
        Re: Non-Sitting Sitting

        Here, I found a picture of the Buddha with his leg elevated for you ... so I guess it is kosher ... 8)

        ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

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        • Tai Shi
          Member
          • Oct 2014
          • 3326

          #5
          I am sitting with my head and neck and back against my easy chair. That's me. I can sit better in the morning, and
          So for now I go to the Zendo online to see you, and won't travel far from my home. Pain is my issue, and pain I do live daily. I see zazen as a way out of this body, and I hope I am seen. Maybe not out of my body but a way to live with these natural limits.
          Peaceful, Tai Shi. Ubasoku; calm, supportive, for positive poetry 優婆塞 台 婆

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          • Jundo
            Treeleaf Founder and Priest
            • Apr 2006
            • 39456

            #6
            Hi guys,

            We "sit", even if the "sitting" is like this, by the way ...



            Gassho, J
            Last edited by Jundo; 11-07-2014, 04:49 AM.
            ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

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            • Ryumon
              Member
              • Apr 2007
              • 1706

              #7
              Can you sit in a chair? I find that sitting isn't the same if I sit, as Elgwyn said above, with my back and neck supported, so these days, because of back pain, I'm sitting on the edge of my otherwise-quite-ergonomic office chair.

              Kirk,

              Gassho

              #Didn'tSitYetTodayOnMyWayOutToADoctorsAppointmentW illSitInWaitingRoom
              ---
              Ryūmon (Kirk)
              流文

              SAT/LAH

              I know nothing.

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              • Daiyo
                Member
                • Jul 2014
                • 819

                #8
                Hi, all, I've been thinking that sitting has more to do with a mind attitude than with actual physical sitting.
                Of course physical sitting, on a zafu, in a specific postion is best, but when one can not because of illness or other impediments it's just Ok to "sit" however possible.
                That could be "sitting" while standing on the subway or standing in the bus stop.

                Am I wrong?

                I'll start to add one or two short sittings of 10 minutes or so during the work day, in the bathroom.

                Not a nice place but, the only quiet one in the office.

                BTW, already #SatToday
                Gassho,Walter

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                • Tai Shi
                  Member
                  • Oct 2014
                  • 3326

                  #9
                  Jundo, interesting, I've added your name to my computer dictionary so that it doesn't show as a misspelling--my condition is grave but not life-threatening though it could be. My arthritis of the spine shows up on the CT scan as close to the spinal chord. Be that as it may--I've known of my disease since 1992, and the serious nature of the condition for about one year--slowly I'm gaining acceptance, and since I have no other choice, and since others cannot see my damaged spine, my next step is to learn to give others some slack, not take frustrations out on them==thinking of my wife and friends.

                  Finally, could someone send some pointers about making friends on Treeleaf; Nameless has made me a friend and I want to make him a friend, send a friend request--how?
                  Peaceful, Tai Shi. Ubasoku; calm, supportive, for positive poetry 優婆塞 台 婆

                  Comment

                  • Rich
                    Member
                    • Apr 2009
                    • 2602

                    #10
                    You can sit with your mind. Actually sitting lying down. Is more difficult because of the tendency towards sleep.

                    Sat today

                    Kind regards. /\
                    _/_
                    Rich
                    MUHYO
                    無 (MU, Emptiness) and 氷 (HYO, Ice) ... Emptiness Ice ...

                    https://instagram.com/notmovingmind

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                    • lorax
                      Member
                      • Jun 2008
                      • 381

                      #11
                      Hi Phillip
                      Take care of your self. Infections are becoming rather nasty things now days. Some wild bugs out there. Keep the leg up and follow Jundo's suggestions for "sitting".

                      Jim (SAT TODAY)
                      Shozan

                      Comment

                      • Dosho
                        Member
                        • Jun 2008
                        • 5784

                        #12
                        Originally posted by Elgwyn
                        Finally, could someone send some pointers about making friends on Treeleaf; Nameless has made me a friend and I want to make him a friend, send a friend request--how?
                        Elgwyn,

                        The easiest way I know of to add someone as a friend is to click on their username above their avatar. One of the options that will appear is "Add Contact". If you click on that it will take you to a page with a check-box that asks if you want to add that person to your friends list.

                        Hope that helps!

                        Gassho,
                        Dosho

                        Sat today

                        Comment

                        • pinoybuddhist
                          Member
                          • Jun 2010
                          • 462

                          #13
                          Originally posted by Rich
                          You can sit with your mind. Actually sitting lying down. Is more difficult because of the tendency towards sleep.

                          Sat today

                          Kind regards. /\
                          I know what you mean. Last time I did zazen lying on my side was last month when I had my wisdom tooth removed. There was the dull ache that was somewhat numbed but not totally eradicated by the painkiller; between that and the "cloudy" feeling of my mind under pain medication, zazen was - interesting, for lack of a better word Moon-faced, drugged up, buddha lying down.

                          Gassho,
                          Raf
                          #Sattoday

                          Comment

                          • Kyonin
                            Treeleaf Priest / Engineer
                            • Oct 2010
                            • 6742

                            #14
                            Hi Phillip,

                            A few weeks ago I had a little accident. I fell and hit the ground hard. I was in pain for a couple of weeks.

                            It was hard to sit, so I spend a couple of days mostly in bed and I "sat" while laying down. I payed attention to the pain and became friends with it. I know it sounds weird, but in no way I can say I suffered. Pain was there. I was there. And I was at peace with it.

                            I have found that sitting while in pain is actually very useful. Perhaps hard at first, but doing it will help a lot.

                            Hope you get better soon.

                            Gassho,

                            Kyonin
                            #SatToday
                            Hondō Kyōnin
                            奔道 協忍

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                            • Ed
                              Member
                              • Nov 2012
                              • 223

                              #15
                              Just got back from a 5 days, pain intensive GENZO-e with Okumura roshi in Bloomington, Ind.
                              Pain was my friend and intimate adivisor. Roshi sits 50 minutes rounds only, always, and mostly on a chair due to a receent injury. For me the dif between 40 minutes, my regular length, and 50 m is like being healthy and having a broken bone...intensive pain.
                              The saving grace was that moving is allowed and the royal ease pose is recommended for beginners. That helped immesely.
                              A the last sitting, afer 5 days of moving and using a chair (which for me was worse as I can't have both feet flat on the ground because an achiles tendon injury which just goes to sleep when sitting on the floor,) I realized that I wanted to move with only the last 5 minutes left. I did, even though I did not need to. It was all in the head. It was all a head trip even from the first. I could not make friends with this pain.
                              Maybe if I had been closer to home and sleeping on my onw bed isntead of on hard tatami and so feeling sorry for myself, I felt close to tears at time, I would have sat more intensely..."drop of body and mind."
                              A GENZO-e is not a sesshin. We sat 2 rounds before breakfast, and then another before the first hour and a half lecture, for which I used a chair and was able to forget pain and get into some very groovy Shobongenzo stuf.
                              Then two more rounds of sittingbeore lunch, and in the PM the same sets, with two very hard last rounds before a 9 PM bedtime.
                              In retrospect it was wonderful and self provoking wiht a tremendous payoff. Would I do it again? yes; and then be ready for the head trip.
                              So much of this stuff is all head.
                              The theme of the retreat was GOING BEYOND BUDDHA...both as verb and as a proper noun.
                              Okumura-san is a compassionate and brilliant man, and shy, but he can unravell Dogenzenji, which is saying a lot.
                              Me with my puny will power and huge, self serving ego almost ruined this unusual occacion, almost.
                              Zazen saved the day...5 days.
                              In gassho.
                              Last edited by Ed; 11-12-2014, 02:09 PM.
                              "Know that the practice of zazen is the complete path of buddha-dharma and nothing can be compared to it....it is not the practice of one or two buddhas but all the buddha ancestors practice this way."
                              Dogen zenji in Bendowa





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