Chasing

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  • AlanLa
    Member
    • Mar 2008
    • 1405

    Chasing

    As a kid I used to play the guitar, but I gave it up because I wasn't very good.
    As an adult I tinker with the harmonica, much simpler than the guitar, but I am still not very good, so it mostly sits in a drawer.
    I like women, but establishing intimate relationships with them has never worked out well, so I have stopped trying.
    I like to write stories, but my career as a short story or novel writer never took off because of all the rejections.
    There's probably something else, but I can't think of it right now.
    What do all these things have in common?
    Chasing.
    Being more clear, chasing and not catching.
    In other words, by establishing goals I set up the duality of reaching those goals, but didn't.
    OOPS.
    Sitting here tonight I realize that the goals were never the problem, it was the chasing.
    In other words, desire lead to dukka.
    To be clear, my dukka came from the chasing of those goals.
    Oh, that's just so strange, because I associate all those goals with pleasure, not displeasure.
    Hmm...
    Wow...
    Where is the duality?
    Where is the letting go of the duality?
    Such a life puzzle is this Path.

    What's your version of this story?
    AL (Jigen) in:
    Faith/Trust
    Courage/Love
    Awareness/Action!

    I sat today
  • Geika
    Treeleaf Unsui
    • Jan 2010
    • 4977

    #2
    Re: Chasing

    I wanted to "be something" and go to college, but dropped out.

    I want to take Jukai, but I still harbor doubts.

    I want to be perfect and never forget things, so I draw lists that I hardly fulfill.

    As soon as Ango was over I started sitting every day.

    I have played flute for almost ten years, but now I hardly touch the thing and I keep having dreams about my old band friends and playing music again.

    I love to write and I do, but I can't share any of it because to me it looks like ego gratification.

    I want to be an artist, but I get in my own way and make comparisons.

    I keep catching myself wanting to be shit.
    求道芸化 Kyūdō Geika
    I am just a priest-in-training, please do not take anything I say as a teaching.

    Comment

    • Undo
      Member
      • Jun 2007
      • 495

      #3
      Re: Chasing

      Is your chasing more to do with the end goal, what you are chasing, rather than the journey?
      Learning is the way to tavel, where is takes you might not be important.

      Gassho

      undo

      Comment

      • Jiki22
        Member
        • Oct 2011
        • 89

        #4
        Re: Chasing

        recognizable :mrgreen:

        the harder we try, the harder it is too get
        if it comes natural it is way easier
        don't think about it, just do
        even if it is not that good,
        who cares,
        just have fun with it.
        otherwise try something else.

        _/|\_ Gassho with deeply respect
        慈 ji 氣 ki : Energy of Compassion

        Comment

        • Jundo
          Treeleaf Founder and Priest
          • Apr 2006
          • 39216

          #5
          Re: Chasing

          Originally posted by AlanLa
          As a kid I used to play the guitar, but I gave it up because I wasn't very good.
          As an adult I tinker with the harmonica, much simpler than the guitar, but I am still not very good, so it mostly sits in a drawer.
          I like women, but establishing intimate relationships with them has never worked out well, so I have stopped trying.
          I like to write stories, but my career as a short story or novel writer never took off because of all the rejections.
          There's probably something else, but I can't think of it right now.
          What do all these things have in common?
          Chasing.
          Being more clear, chasing and not catching.
          In other words, by establishing goals I set up the duality of reaching those goals, but didn't.
          OOPS.
          Sitting here tonight I realize that the goals were never the problem, it was the chasing.
          In other words, desire lead to dukka.
          To be clear, my dukka came from the chasing of those goals.
          Oh, that's just so strange, because I associate all those goals with pleasure, not displeasure.
          Hmm...
          Wow...
          Where is the duality?
          Where is the letting go of the duality?
          Such a life puzzle is this Path.

          What's your version of this story?
          Now that you have dropped "chasing", maybe time to take up that guitar or harmonica again ... this time, without chasing. Maybe find a nice lady too (or not) ... this time, without chasing.

          "Not Chasing" is not a matter of sitting still or moving forward. Please know the "Not Chasing" (Capitalized) found at the heart of both chasing and not chasing (small case).

          Gassho, J
          ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

          Comment

          • Shokai
            Treeleaf Priest
            • Mar 2009
            • 6391

            #6
            Re: Chasing

            I have a story. I've written it down in digital form and the few who have read it say it's good to go. But, I prefer to use it like a journal and make amendments to it; waiting for the right time to spring it on the world.
            I play one tune on the harmonica and two on the piano. They're not great but I enjoy them. Most folks disappear when I perform and the dog covers his ears.
            Some day I may do a bungee jump. Like Jiki, I'm having fun with it.
            合掌,生開
            gassho, Shokai

            仁道 生開 / Jindo Shokai

            "Open to life in a benevolent way"

            https://sarushinzendo.wordpress.com/

            Comment

            • AlanLa
              Member
              • Mar 2008
              • 1405

              #7
              Re: Chasing

              Yes Jundo, exactly. I am reminded of the first metta verse: May you be free of suffering, may you be safe and still. To do those things without chasing them is a way to be still, which has nothing to do with movement in this sense.
              AL (Jigen) in:
              Faith/Trust
              Courage/Love
              Awareness/Action!

              I sat today

              Comment

              • RichardH
                Member
                • Nov 2011
                • 2800

                #8
                Re: Chasing

                I worked my ass off for decades to learn how to paint. At first I wasn't so good at it, then I got better, then having mastered the craft I was able to move with credibility in the profession. Was that years of chasing? Yes in a way, there was chasing for sure, but there was some else, there was aspiration and discipline, that is not mere chasing. I knew lots of painters who were "beat Zen" i.e. slackers, who never applied themselves enough to bring their craft to fruition. it is a shame IMO.


                Just an opinion. Kojip

                Comment

                • Onken
                  Member
                  • Jun 2011
                  • 104

                  #9
                  Re: Chasing

                  I always heard "Practice makes perfect", but then someone told me no..."Perfect practice makes perfect". Is "perfect" an attainable state? I don't think so. Just be...

                  Gassho,

                  Matt
                  Gassho,
                  Onken

                  Comment

                  • RichardH
                    Member
                    • Nov 2011
                    • 2800

                    #10
                    Re: Chasing

                    This is an interesting thread. Making an effort is part of being human, not an error. I see Zen folks applying at things they value, while not applying at things they don't value. Then they say the non-applying is about "Just being", while ignoring the applying. "Just be" can be very selective, yet it is apparently unavoidable, regardless. What volitional impulse, or thought, or view, is other than "just being" ?

                    I'll settle for effort where needed.

                    Comment

                    • andyZ
                      Member
                      • Aug 2011
                      • 303

                      #11
                      Re: Chasing

                      This topic reminds me of those "gateless gates" or as Alan says – dukka, that we create ourselves with our doubts and insecurities in our lives. "Should I do this?" "What if I suck at it and fail?"
                      We can enter the "gate" right here, right where we stand or sit with Joshu's sandals (reference to Jundo's post viewtopic.php?f=1&t=4467&p=65738#p65738) on our heads.
                      Gassho,
                      Andy

                      Comment

                      • Jundo
                        Treeleaf Founder and Priest
                        • Apr 2006
                        • 39216

                        #12
                        Re: Chasing

                        Frankly, I am a very "goal oriented" fellow ... although I do not always succeed in those goals, and frequently lack the talent I need. To offer just a few examples, somehow in life I managed to learn a good bit of Japanese (although truly an endless road, and one can always be better), get through a tough law school, move to and build a life in Japan, build Treeleaf, make a good family with (as of this week) two lovely children. I am a pretty driven guy, though I could have done so much more. I also wish I had learned the violin or piano but, alas, I am tone deaf. I wish I could have been an astronaut but, alas, both my tendency to seasickness and the simple realities mean it will never happen. I think it too late for that Olympic medal too. Sometimes I succeed in my goals, sometimes I fall on my ass ... or make an ass of myself in the process! (Frankly, most Buddhist teachers of the past like Dogen ... and the Buddha himself ... were pretty ambitious guys in their way ... building monasteries and maintaining Sangha, teaching students, leaving great writings and all the rest a full time job! Alas, I wish I had their talents too.)

                        30 years ago, before all this Zen stuff, I chewed myself up about success and failure, was completely stressed out ... insecure, feeling that I could never "measure up" ... depressed, smoking too much, drinking too much, keeping up with the Joneses, chasing after money and women too much in an effort to fill the huge painful hole within.

                        30 years down this Pathless Path to the Goalless Goal ... a Success beyond success or failure ... and there is Nothing To Achieve!

                        Now, there are times to sit on my lotus leaf and simply witness the sunrise with nothing to do, and times to get off my butt and work hard to realize some goals! Both have a place and time ... and placeless timelessness too. There are times of success and times of failure, yet nothing to win or lose! There are days of satisfaction and happiness, days of disappointment, frustration, loss and sadness ... yet nothing ever lacking and not the least disappointment with that, each sunny or rainy day Just What It Is! I still have lots of goals ... people to see, places to go ... things I still want to get done in this life (I am gonna grind out a book next year for sure ... or so I hope!). I certainly have not given up on plans, dreams and goals!

                        Yet ... down this Pathless Path to the Goalless Goal ... one is free and nothing lacks. The empty hole within is filled with Wholeness, Oneness ... even when something lacks.

                        Shikantaza is a powerful medicine for the Dukkha that ails us, the human condition. Learn the art of achieving without achieving, Stillness whether moving or still, no where in 'need of getting' even when standing or moving forward. Know the inherent Buddha Nature that is just this and us all along! Being "goalless" is not about having no goals ... having "no place to go" does not mean there are not places to go! :shock: Goals and goalless ... At Once, As One!

                        There is no better way to live.

                        The violin though ... well, still hopeless.

                        Gassho, J
                        ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

                        Comment

                        • Dojin
                          Member
                          • May 2008
                          • 562

                          #13
                          Re: Chasing

                          Thank you Jundo.
                          the last post resonated a chord with me.
                          i dont think i haven anything to say since you said it all.

                          Gassho, Dojin.
                          I gained nothing at all from supreme enlightenment, and for that very reason it is called supreme enlightenment
                          - the Buddha

                          Comment

                          • Omoi Otoshi
                            Member
                            • Dec 2010
                            • 801

                            #14
                            Re: Chasing

                            Yes, Jundo said it well!
                            I'm also a goal oriented fellow. In my life I have set my goals high and often achieved them. Were they the right ones? Were they empty? Deluded? I don't know, but when I look back I'm glad I set those goals, worked hard, experienced those paths, with their moments of joy and disappointment. If I had not, I wouldn't be the person I am today. I might have been a better person, who knows? But, at least to some degree, I have accepted who I am. For me Zen is about acceptance, but not becoming passive, stopping to do things, leaving things as they are, but instead accepting the way things are in this moment, while at the same time trying to live my life in its purest sense, freeing myself from my thoughts in the midst of my thoughts, opening my eyes to the world, experiencing the wonders of existance, choosing my own path, doing, being, forever striving, forever chasing and forever setting goals, but the right ones, for the right reasons and with the right mind, the Bodhi mind.

                            /Pontus
                            In a spring outside time, flowers bloom on a withered tree;
                            you ride a jade elephant backwards, chasing the winged dragon-deer;
                            now as you hide far beyond innumerable peaks--
                            the white moon, a cool breeze, the dawn of a fortunate day

                            Comment

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

                              #15
                              Re: Chasing

                              Yes, sometimes it is important to have a goal. I was told a couple of days ago, out of the blue ( as always for this kind of thing) that by april i will loose two thirds of my job ( big deal here if i want to survive). So now, cannot sit on my ar.. , I have to find something and work for it. No self pity, no real worry , even a bit of an excitement to have to dive into something I don t know.

                              Take great care everybody

                              Gassho


                              Taigu

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