Precious Insights during Zazen - What do you make of it?

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  • Kyosei
    Member
    • Feb 2012
    • 356

    Precious Insights during Zazen - What do you make of it?

    Hi all!

    Here I am again with these silly begginer questions about the practice!

    First: despite being "not recommended" to follow thoughts that may arise on Zazen periods, has someone got any PRECIOUS insights? I mean, almost lessons for life (in a practical way, too) or about these "philosophical" questions which almost everyone shares ("who am I", "where am I going", "what is life"...)?

    If yes, tell me, what do you made of this? do you write it down? do you apply it in your everyday life?

    It became a litte contraditious for me to simply "abandon" thoughts which seems-to-be somewhat expressions of Truth.

    Many times those insights are truly new points of view on questions I put on my life...

    Without thinking on that "attachment" Zen tells us to abandon, what is the possibility for it to be true ideas, which we may use for good?

    Are those just mind illusions?

    I´m asking again because amongst all thoughts that arises during my Zazen periods, sometimes at least one seems to be so good ideas that I keep thinking if I should take or abandon it AFTER I leave the Zafu.

    Thanks again,

    Marcos
    _/|\_

    Kyōsei

    強 Kyō
    声 Sei

    Namu kie Butsu, Namu kie Ho, Namu kie So.
  • Kyosei
    Member
    • Feb 2012
    • 356

    #2
    Re: Precious Insights during Zazen - What do you make of it?

    Last Zazen, here came that thought:

    What we call "Mind" is like a child in a house full of windows on various styles, sizes.

    "He/she" wants to look through all the windows, that is the way it manifests itself.

    A flow, like the wind.

    One, many.

    :roll:

    Is this true?
    _/|\_

    Kyōsei

    強 Kyō
    声 Sei

    Namu kie Butsu, Namu kie Ho, Namu kie So.

    Comment

    • Rich
      Member
      • Apr 2009
      • 2587

      #3
      Re: Precious Insights during Zazen - What do you make of it?

      Marcos, I'm sure one of the teachers here will give a more complete and correct explanation but I'll share my opinion on insights. The most important thing is to just sit, just do it. This is true insight. From here correct action appears. We can make up 10000 insights or models of reality but the truth is we just don't know what this is or what's going to happen to it. Now I'm not saying that the thinking mind is completely useless - it 's a tool for us to use but not get totally lost in. Now I'm going to take this opinion, flush it down the toilet and get to work.
      _/_
      Rich
      MUHYO
      無 (MU, Emptiness) and 氷 (HYO, Ice) ... Emptiness Ice ...

      https://instagram.com/notmovingmind

      Comment

      • Omoi Otoshi
        Member
        • Dec 2010
        • 801

        #4
        Re: Precious Insights during Zazen - What do you make of it?

        Here are some random thoughts about Zazen and insight from another noob: :lol:

        The small insights I may have had have come both on and off the cushion, when the causes and conditions have been right, when I have been more open to seeing things in another way, letting things be the way they are, and not so full of myself, my desires and my problems. Sitting Zazen can be viewed as a simplification of our ordinary chaotic life. For most of us it's easier to let go, put down all of the things our mind is busy with and just experience everything as is, when you take a break from your chaotic everyday life, sit down on the zafu and open the hand of thought. Jundo sometimes calls it the flight simulator, where you can practice flying in a less stressful and hazardous enviroment. I wouldn't voluntarily spend my time on the cushion pondering things. You have other moments during the day when you can do that, don't you?

        There may be some moments during Zazen that forever changes the way you think about yourself and the world around you, but (for me at least) sitting is more about getting used to a simpler, more natural way of living and viewing things, non-doing instead of doing, letting go instead of struggling and resisting, seeing the whole instead of the pieces and so on. In Zazen you realize that there doesn't have to be a constant chatter going on in your head all the time, that this egocentric chatter may not be the real "you", that there is another you beneath all the noise, which is more subtle and only noticeable when you are silent and more mindful/aware. When you practice this non-practice regularly, it automatically changes the way your mind works off the cushion too, and you may have new insights during the most mundane activities, seeing things in a different light.

        I like to just keep questions like "who am I" and "what is mind" in the back of my head, without trying to come up with a definite answer. Sometimes a new preliminary answer pops up and that may be seen as an insight, but both the questions and the answers change over time.

        Gassho,
        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

        • Omoi Otoshi
          Member
          • Dec 2010
          • 801

          #5
          Re: Precious Insights during Zazen - What do you make of it?

          Originally posted by mpdalles
          One, many.

          :roll:

          Is this true?
          I would say yes!

          /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

          • Omoi Otoshi
            Member
            • Dec 2010
            • 801

            #6
            Re: Precious Insights during Zazen - What do you make of it?

            Originally posted by Rich
            The most important thing is to just sit, just do it. This is true insight.
            I forgot to say, sitting is not just a flight simulator, it is also enlightened action, actualizing buddha completely.

            /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

            • ghop
              Member
              • Jan 2010
              • 438

              #7
              Re: Precious Insights during Zazen - What do you make of it?

              Insights, just like all thoughts and ideas, are just scenery. Let them come, let them go. Scenery can be pleasant, scenery can be painful. But it makes the ride more interesting. Enjoy sitting. Drop all expectations and judgements. Doubt the doubt. Just keep sitting. Life lived is the greatest insight, takes no effort, no technique, just drop all picking and choosing and enjoy the roller coaster 8)

              Insights into the nature of reality help us live better lives, but they can never be the reason we live. We just live life. And as we grow, so does our capacity for effective living. It's like watering a plant. Nobody pours water on the leaves expecting a plant to grow. But when you water the root, the plant is sure to sprout. Shikantaza is like water. Your nervous system is the root. By sitting, day after day, we create balance in our lives that in turn creates balance in our world. Growth is effortless. Ironically, when stop striving to be better people, we become better people. Take care and enjoy the ride, brother.

              gassho,
              Greg

              Comment

              • Omoi Otoshi
                Member
                • Dec 2010
                • 801

                #8
                Re: Precious Insights during Zazen - What do you make of it?

                Originally posted by ghop
                By sitting, day after day, we create balance in our lives that in turn creates balance in our world.
                I like how you put that!
                The middle way could be seen as keeping all pairs of extremes in balance, at once, as one. In that effortless balance, our world may be experienced as is, thus, in suchness.

                Thanks Greg,
                Pontu
                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

                • Marek
                  Member
                  • Jan 2012
                  • 161

                  #9
                  Re: Precious Insights during Zazen - What do you make of it?

                  IMHO, so called precious insight are ,,precious" only when we have some expectations about practice. But if you will sit longer you will notice that any kind of insight are simply:

                  Originally posted by ghop
                  just like all thoughts and ideas, are just scenery
                  and you will consider zazen as:

                  Originally posted by Omoi Otoshi
                  natural way of living and viewing things, non-doing instead of doing, letting go instead of struggling and resisting, seeing the whole instead of the pieces and so on.
                  And then you will notice that:

                  Originally posted by Rich
                  The most important thing is to just sit, just do it.
                  Gassho,
                  Marek

                  Comment

                  • will
                    Member
                    • Jun 2007
                    • 2331

                    #10
                    Re: Precious Insights during Zazen - What do you make of it?

                    As they stand together in the Dharma Hall, the attendant opens for the Master this venerable patchwork robe. The old sage turns and whispers,

                    "What is really going on beneath this ragged robe?"

                    The successor, deeply prepared for the transmission of light, remains poised in silence. Intensely, the master continues to whisper,

                    "To study and practice the Buddha way without reaching what is beneath the robe creates the greatest pain. Please ask me the question."

                    The successor repeats the sage's words,

                    "What is really going on beneath this robe?"

                    With almost no sound, the Zen Master responds,

                    "intimacy".
                    [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

                    • Jundo
                      Treeleaf Founder and Priest
                      • Apr 2006
                      • 39074

                      #11
                      Re: Precious Insights during Zazen - What do you make of it?

                      Originally posted by Marek
                      IMHO, so called precious insight are ,,precious" only when we have some expectations about practice. But if you will sit longer you will notice that any kind of insight are simply:

                      Originally posted by ghop
                      just like all thoughts and ideas, are just scenery
                      and you will consider zazen as:

                      Originally posted by Omoi Otoshi
                      natural way of living and viewing things, non-doing instead of doing, letting go instead of struggling and resisting, seeing the whole instead of the pieces and so on.
                      And then you will notice that:

                      Originally posted by Rich
                      The most important thing is to just sit, just do it.
                      So many wise folks we have around this place, as those above! Yes, when sitting ... just sit. In Zazen, do not look for or think about shiny and sparkling insights, no matter whether they are real gold or just fools gold.

                      Otherwise, it is like visiting the Grand Canyon and ... instead of silently experiencing the Wonder and Vastness, letting it wash through and fill one ... one is instead spending the whole time thinking up word descriptions to express it and yapping about how wonderfully big it is, trying to capture the thing with a cell phone camera, thinking about getting to the gift shop to buy postcards!

                      Got the point? Put down the postcards, camera, talking and thinking ... and just be Grand! That's Real Gold!

                      Now, that being said ... in the Wholeness and Stillness of Zazen, sometimes ... once in awhile ... the Still, Small Voice inside will whisper some insight. Yes, this happens. The Quiet and Openness allows us to see this self-life-world in new ways, old memories to rise from the subconscious, and all kinds of things like that!

                      And you know what? Sometimes they are good insights that are real "keepers" to be cherished ... Koans will open, Teachings will become clear, self-discoveries made ... and sometimes they are just plain wrong or crazy (In fact, people tend to take the craziest ones and build whole new cults, Holy Books, Sutras, and world religions around them! Maybe most cults and religions start that way! :shock: ). Feel free to try to figure out which is which ... between sittings. Maybe, better yet, don't even bother ... and let time and life just sort them out.

                      So, my advise is ... when sitting, just sit. This Practice will change you, and some Wise and Compassionate Insights will come to penetrate you right to the marrow ... but often in subtle ways. We sometimes compare Shikantaza Practice to passing through a light morning mist that, slowly and steadily, will soak one through and through as much as a great rain shower!

                      Just a comment from another "noob" ...

                      Gassho, J
                      ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

                      Comment

                      • Hoyu
                        Member
                        • Nov 2010
                        • 2020

                        #12
                        Re: Precious Insights during Zazen - What do you make of it?

                        We sometimes compare Shikantaza Practice to passing through a light morning mist that, slowly and steadily, will soak one through and through as much as a great rain shower!
                        Beautiful! _/_
                        Ho (Dharma)
                        Yu (Hot Water)

                        Comment

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

                          #13
                          Re: Precious Insights during Zazen - What do you make of it?

                          To go along Bro Jundo and go one step further I would say: chuck them out!
                          Don't become a living clutter, a collection of piled up items.

                          Practice is meant to free you out.

                          When freedom is, wisdom blooms.
                          I don'get my wisdom from quotes, books, or experiences.

                          from this moment,as is, it comes.
                          And often it doesn't.
                          And I could not care less.

                          Do you want to be like a pretty dead dry fish
                          of just alive, fish in the sea, sea in the fish, sea-fish boundlessly here?


                          We don't need insight.
                          We don't need whaou moments.
                          When they happen, let them happen. They will soon vanish.

                          In just being, no insight:

                          the seen and seing are one.


                          One more thing:?the first koan of the book of equanimity points at something like that, among other things.

                          gassho

                          Taigu

                          Comment

                          • disastermouse

                            #14
                            Re: Precious Insights during Zazen - What do you make of it?

                            Sometimes the really seemingly significant stuff doesn't actually 'hit' until you get off the cushion. If you're a creative person and are afraid of missing an idea, sit with a notepad nearby. Oddly, you'll rarely use it - but having it there assuages the fear that you'll miss something. It has helped me during times of extreme distraction about that particular worry.

                            Chet

                            Comment

                            • Omoi Otoshi
                              Member
                              • Dec 2010
                              • 801

                              #15
                              Re: Precious Insights during Zazen - What do you make of it?

                              Originally posted by Taigu
                              In just being, no insight:

                              the seen and seing are one.
                              Everything already in sight!

                              Thank you Taigu and Jundo,
                              Again, I'm glad to be here!

                              Gassho,
                              /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

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