The Courage of Zazen

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  • Yugen
    • Jul 2024

    The Courage of Zazen

    I was at a full-day zazenkai yesterday and the dharma talk caused me to reflect:

    There is the courage of the soldier, and the courage of the mother holding the child. There's the courage of the father and the farmer and doctor - the everyday courage of facing things.

    There is the courage of zazen - and it takes a lot of courage - to still still and be alone with whatever comes up - watching it go by - and letting it go. There are times when I want to get up and run away screaming - but I sit in place. There re times when tears stream from my eyes - like yesterday - and I found the strength to sit.

    The courage of zazen - it is there for us - sitting together throughout time and space. Thank you for practicing with us, with one another, with me. I used to be a solitary sitter - alone with my fears, delusions, and narrative. Now I sit with others - it is very powerful, and it encourages me to show up on days and at times when I would rather be distracted and hide in my fears.

    I am only now discovering how powerful it is to sit in a Sangha - it enriches one's own practice and there are times when in turn we are really "there" for someone else who is struggling or having difficulty in practice or in life. When we take a vow to "end suffering" our act of zazen is a realization of that vow.

    Deep bows
    Yugen
    Last edited by Guest; 08-25-2013, 02:08 PM.
  • Myosha
    Member
    • Mar 2013
    • 2974

    #2
    Amen.


    Gassho,
    Edward
    "Recognize suffering, remove suffering." - Shakyamuni Buddha when asked, "Uhm . . .what?"

    Comment

    • Joyo

      #3
      Everything that you said, so true!!

      gassho,
      Treena

      Comment

      • Kiki
        Member
        • Jan 2013
        • 104

        #4
        Thank you for sharing.

        Deep bows,
        Kia

        Comment

        • Shugen
          Treeleaf Unsui
          • Nov 2007
          • 4535

          #5
          The books put it in the head, sitting with Sangha, puts it in the heart.


          Shugen
          Meido Shugen
          明道 修眼

          Comment

          • Mp

            #6
            This is wonderful Yugen ... I know for me when I have had a bad day, it is my zafu I seek. When tears need to come, I don't watch a sappy movie, but again seek the comfort of my zafu.

            Sitting alone upon this ball of cotton has given me great courage as well, to sit with all of you.

            Gassho
            Shingen

            Comment

            • RichardH
              Member
              • Nov 2011
              • 2800

              #7
              Hi Yugen. I have found a big difference between sitting alone in a kuti in the woods, without social stimulation, and sitting alone in the world, with many interactions and responsibilities. Alone in the woods is easy, attractive, but it also brings to mind the line from Hamlet."O God, I could be bounded in a nutshell, and count myself a king of infinite space". Sitting alone in the world is very different, and very hard, and although there is nowhere to slide back to, backsliding happens anyway. I need the ritual and shared effort. It makes no real difference whether it is bricks and mortar or online, it is all concrete enough. All the times of real transformation and deepening of practice have been times of deep Sangha involvement.

              Gassho Daizan
              Last edited by RichardH; 08-25-2013, 11:27 PM.

              Comment

              • Ishin
                Member
                • Jul 2013
                • 1359

                #8
                Thank you for sharing this Yugen. It also takes courage to share what you did. Daizan, very well said. Such amazing sincere people here.
                Gassho to all

                C
                Grateful for your practice

                Comment

                • Joe
                  Member
                  • Jun 2013
                  • 52

                  #9
                  Thank you Yugen.

                  Gassho,
                  joe

                  Comment

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

                    #10
                    Thank you brother Yugen.

                    Mending robes, sitting in mountains made of steel or rocks, giving up everything even for a little while, all this is but our ultimate ineffable time-being.

                    Crying, laughing, happy or sad, others and me, the circle of sitting embraces the many faces if this life into one huge hug.

                    Gassho


                    T.

                    Comment

                    • WokiTheCat
                      Member
                      • Apr 2013
                      • 31

                      #11
                      Originally posted by Yugen
                      I was at a full-day zazenkai yesterday and the dharma talk caused me to reflect:

                      There is the courage of the soldier, and the courage of the mother holding the child. There's the courage of the father and the farmer and doctor - the everyday courage of facing things.

                      There is the courage of zazen - and it takes a lot of courage - to still still and be alone with whatever comes up - watching it go by - and letting it go. There are times when I want to get up and run away screaming - but I sit in place. There re times when tears stream from my eyes - like yesterday - and I found the strength to sit.

                      The courage of zazen - it is there for us - sitting together throughout time and space. Thank you for practicing with us, with one another, with me. I used to be a solitary sitter - alone with my fears, delusions, and narrative. Now I sit with others - it is very powerful, and it encourages me to show up on days and at times when I would rather be distracted and hide in my fears.

                      I am only now discovering how powerful it is to sit in a Sangha - it enriches one's own practice and there are times when in turn we are really "there" for someone else who is struggling or having difficulty in practice or in life. When we take a vow to "end suffering" our act of zazen is a realization of that vow.

                      Deep bows
                      Yugen
                      It does take ALOT of courage doesn't it? I remember one sitting,liking it to climbing mount everest twice over. I remember that's how i felt, I remember thinking to myself in the midst of the storm of sitting still that that's what climbing mount everest twice over might feel like.LOL, In hindsight perhaps that's a major exaggeration, but i sure as heck remember feeling that was true when i i felt it.

                      Comment

                      • RichardH
                        Member
                        • Nov 2011
                        • 2800

                        #12
                        Originally posted by Clark
                        Daizan, very well said. Such amazing sincere people here.
                        Not always so amazing and sincere, Clark. I have not worn the Rakusu sown here for some time, and have sat mostly alone and offline. Only coming around here to peck out thoughtful words from time to time. The words are from a real enough place, but life is messier than text, and it adds up to insincerity. With apologies and respect.

                        Comment

                        • Genshin
                          Member
                          • Jan 2013
                          • 467

                          #13
                          Thank you Yugen.

                          Gassho
                          Matt

                          Comment

                          • Anshu
                            Member
                            • Aug 2013
                            • 57

                            #14
                            Hello Yugen,
                            Thank you for your testimony, which touched me deeply.
                            I practiced zazen alone for some time, but it did not satisfy me. It was for me as "Hinayana", since my heart is open to the path of greatness.
                            The Sangha is very important to practice zazen with a joyful spirit (kishin).
                            Le secret consiste donc seulement à dire "OUI" et à se jeter dans le vide. Dès lors, il n'y a plus de problème. Il s'agit d'être soi-même dans l'instant présent, toujours soi-même, sans s'accrocher à son vieux moi.
                            Shunryu Suzuki Roshi

                            Comment

                            • Myoku
                              Member
                              • Jul 2010
                              • 1487

                              #15
                              Thank you Yugen,
                              for this very personal reflection.
                              Gassho
                              Myoku

                              Comment

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