How soon is too soon?

Collapse
X
 
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts
  • Joe
    Member
    • Jun 2013
    • 52

    How soon is too soon?

    Hello everyone,

    I have been studying Buddhism for about a year, and have been practicing Zazen a little since then. In the past few weeks my time spent sitting has increased dramatically. I am sitting every day, twice a day, and for slightly longer periods of time.

    Since I have been reading about Zen, soto in particular, and visiting this forum I have been finding many answers to my questions. In fact it surprises me sometimes how simple Zen is for me to feel like I understand.

    I'll also state that the idea of being a Zen teacher in some capacity has been something that I've wanted to do since before I even finished reading my first book on Zen.

    I haven't been practicing for very long so it feels like I should be struggling more. Should this even be a struggle? Or is it just one realization after another after another? I expect the experience is different for everyone I just wonder if I am feeling like I am "getting it" too soon and missing something(s) because of it.

    Thank you very much

    Gassho,
    Joe
  • Jundo
    Treeleaf Founder and Priest
    • Apr 2006
    • 39456

    #2
    Hi Joe,

    You will see in a year ... then see in ten years ... then twenty years ...

    Gassho, J
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

    Comment

    • Kokuu
      Treeleaf Priest
      • Nov 2012
      • 6785

      #3
      Layman P’ang ‘was sitting in his thatched cottage one day. “Difficult, difficult, difficult,” he suddenly exclaimed, “like trying to scatter ten measures of sesame seed all over a tree!”
      “Easy, easy, easy,” returned Mrs P’ang, “just like touching your feet to the ground when you get out of bed.”
      “Neither difficult nor easy.” said (their daughter) Ling Zhao.”On the hundred grass-tips, The Ancestors’ meaning.”


      Welcome on board, Joe!

      Andy

      Comment

      • Rich
        Member
        • Apr 2009
        • 2602

        #4
        I would encourage you to continue to sit twice a day regardless of whether you get it or struggle with it.
        _/_
        Rich
        MUHYO
        無 (MU, Emptiness) and 氷 (HYO, Ice) ... Emptiness Ice ...

        https://instagram.com/notmovingmind

        Comment

        • Jundo
          Treeleaf Founder and Priest
          • Apr 2006
          • 39456

          #5
          Originally posted by Rich
          I would encourage you to continue to sit twice a day regardless of whether you get it or struggle with it.
          Twice a day is good if you have the energy, time and inclination.

          Once a day is good for people busy with life ... especially if they bring Shikantaza out into the world too ...



          Everyone should try to sit long retreats of several days or a week or two from time to time ... if one can find the time ...



          15 minutes is fine, 45 minutes is fine, endless Kalpa (ages of the universe) is fine, ages upon ages is fine, a single moment within a moment is fine ... so long as one realizes the Timeless Wholeness of even a single immediate instant of Zazen. A second or a century of Zazen is a second and a century of Boundless Buddha.

          ... However, because it takes a moment to swing into such a Timeless mindset, we recommend sitting for at least 15 to 35 minutes at a time ...



          A beginner in Zazen on the first day (even before the first day) is already Buddha. Someone sitting a year, 10 years or 100 years is, no more and no less, already Buddha. However, the fellow sitting for 10 years is probably better at realizing and living such fact than the Buddha sitting 10 minutes or 10 days.

          This is not a race, not a sprint ... but a wonderful, long hike through the mountains ... step by step, ever wholly right where one stands, every step total arrival ... both the ups and downs and even falls in the mud. The Buddha-mountain and Buddha-you ... just Buddha in every step by step forward. Keep going!

          Gassho, Jundo
          Last edited by Jundo; 06-06-2013, 04:57 AM.
          ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

          Comment

          • Mp

            #6
            Originally posted by Jundo
            This is not a race, not a sprint ... but a wonderful, long hike through the mountains ... step by step, ever wholly right where one stands, every step total arrival ... both the ups and downs and even falls in the mud. The Buddha-mountain and Buddha-you ... just Buddha in every step by step forward ....
            Beautiful Jundo.

            Gassho
            Shingen

            Comment

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

              #7
              As my Bro says...

              The timeless.

              Being a Zen teacher?

              As long as there is somebody longing, forget it; once ambition dropped, doesn t matter anymore

              Hence the following koan:

              "If you have got a stick.,I ll give you one
              If you haven t any, I will take it from you"

              Buddha all along
              Hopeless at every step
              Same thing here


              Gassho


              Taigu

              Comment

              • Joe
                Member
                • Jun 2013
                • 52

                #8
                Thank you everyone,

                I will continue to practice so I can continue to practice.

                Gassho,
                Joe

                Comment

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

                  #9
                  Practice is , practice undoes I, practice only

                  gassho


                  T.

                  Comment

                  • Kyonin
                    Treeleaf Priest / Engineer
                    • Oct 2010
                    • 6742

                    #10
                    To drop all plans and objectives and to just sit with what is.

                    What's the hurry? We don't know if we'll even wake up tomorrow in the first place.

                    The Now is all we got.

                    Gassho,

                    Kyonin
                    Hondō Kyōnin
                    奔道 協忍

                    Comment

                    • Mp

                      #11
                      Originally posted by Kyonin
                      To drop all plans and objectives and to just sit with what is.

                      What's the hurry? We don't know if we'll even wake up tomorrow in the first place.

                      The Now is all we got.

                      Gassho,

                      Kyonin
                      Beautifully put and so true Kyonin.

                      Gassho
                      Shingen

                      Comment

                      • Joyo

                        #12
                        Hi Joe, do you think perhaps it is just part of your personality? My husband is not a Buddhist, but he acts more zen than I do most days. He has such a way of just being able to accept whatever comes his way and not struggle with life. I, on the other hand, let's just say I need zazen to keep me in a peaceful state

                        Maybe you are just one of those who is naturally more calm?

                        Comment

                        • Joe
                          Member
                          • Jun 2013
                          • 52

                          #13
                          Originally posted by Emmy
                          Hi Joe, do you think perhaps it is just part of your personality? My husband is not a Buddhist, but he acts more zen than I do most days. He has such a way of just being able to accept whatever comes his way and not struggle with life. I, on the other hand, let's just say I need zazen to keep me in a peaceful state

                          Maybe you are just one of those who is naturally more calm?
                          It could be the case. I used to be everywhere emotionally, mainly sad and angry and excited. I think at some point (before discovering Buddhism) I realized that it was better to just let things go. So then when I started studying Zen books and ideas it just made sense.

                          Another part of it might be (and this is a little embarrassing) it might just have to do with the romanticism we in the west have for "Eastern" things. The idea of Zen was just so COOL that I WANTED to do it right. Which as Taigu has pointed out, is not so good for practice. I know this now, but it might have had something to do with my laser focus at the beginning. I noticed myself doing the same thing when I started learning Kung Fu as well.

                          I really like that you brought up that it could just be part of my personality. Rather than worrying about right and wrong, fast and slow, easy or hard, I should just sit with what is. (As Kyonin said).

                          Gassho,
                          Joe

                          Comment

                          • Jishin
                            Member
                            • Oct 2012
                            • 4820

                            #14
                            Originally posted by Joe

                            I'll also state that the idea of being a Zen teacher in some capacity has been something that I've wanted to do since before I even finished reading my first book on Zen.

                            Joe
                            You can not not teach.
                            You can not not learn.
                            Learning and teaching happen at once and at once...are dropped.

                            Thank you for your teachings.

                            Gassho, John

                            Comment

                            • Joyo

                              #15
                              Another part of it might be (and this is a little embarrassing) it might just have to do with the romanticism we in the west have for "Eastern" things. The idea of Zen was just so COOL that I WANTED to do it right. Which as Taigu has pointed out, is not so good for practice. I know this now, but it might have had something to do with my laser focus at the beginning. I noticed myself doing the same thing when I started learning Kung Fu as well.

                              I know exactly what you mean. I am always hesistant to tell someone from the west (I live in Canada) that I practice Zen Buddhism because it sounds like I"m must following the trend and trying to be cool. Which, of course, is not true at all. In fact, I credit Zen to saving my life in so many ways.

                              Comment

                              Working...