Zazen and Reflection

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  • Joyo

    #16
    Originally posted by Troy
    Hi Joyo, yes a lot of good advice has been given and I appreciate everyone's comments. I am working on letting go of my shyness. I do not think I am at a place where I can ignore it quite yet because it still impacts my life in away I don't like. Taking quiet moments to delve deep in to its causes (and believe the causes are deep, lol) and effects have shown me how interconnected it is in my life. It is hard to describe in words, but there was something that clicked when I accepted my shyness. I think it was because I accepted a big part of me that I had not been able to before. Since then, my shyness has begun to diminish and I am feeling comfortable in situations I had not in the past. At times, I still find myself acting shy. However, I am aware of it when it happens and because I have accepted it, I am able to calm my nervousness. I don't know if this method is the best way and it certainly is not the only way. However, it is working wonders for me. Much love and peace to you. :-)

    Troy, I walk the exact same journey, in regards to being shy. And, with practicing zazen, I've become ok with that, instead of fighting it

    Gassho,
    Joyo

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    • Jundo
      Treeleaf Founder and Priest
      • Apr 2006
      • 39456

      #17
      Don't buy into so fast all the self created "voices in one's head" telling one this or that, especially if they are about feelings of depression, worthlessness, shyness, panic unrelated to the real situation. I mean, if there is a real tiger at your door, panic is justified. If you are truly a thief and conman who steals from old ladies, strong self reproach seems justified. Otherwise ... probably not so much.

      By the way, I was ... and remain ... a very very shy individual, a wall flower at parties, not much for public speaking and such. How did I overcome that when I need to? Basically, a change of my thoughts via a "power of positive thinking" approach. I think confident thoughts, "pretend" sometimes that I am confident if that is what is needed ("fake it till you make it"). I try to identify shy thoughts as "shy thoughts, just the mind theatre at work" ... and tell myself not to buy into the show. And guess what, more confidence is bound to result.

      You know, all these "what if" and hyper-negative thoughts are very much like that picture of Mara army I posted recently. "Mara" in traditional imagery is the "enemy emissaries" of the various fears, doubts, lack of energy, distractions, depressions, cravings that seek to drag us away during Zazen and other times in life ... as depicted in old images like this of the Buddha just prior to his "Ah ha" (and said to have returned at various times even later in his life). I would include unfounded or excess shyness as one kind of "Mara".

      I like this picture, because the emissaries look a bit bored and frustrated that they are not getting anywhere with this guy!



      Gassho, J
      Last edited by Jundo; 02-23-2014, 03:10 AM.
      ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

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      • senryu
        Member
        • Jul 2011
        • 54

        #18
        Charlotte Joko Beck sensei talked about the difference between the make-up of many insight techniques and the unexpected and radical transformation after many years of regular zazen.
        …More knowledge to think about...
        Gassho
        Senryu
        Please forgive any mistake in my writing. Like in Zen, in English I am only a beginner.

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        • Troy
          Member
          • Sep 2013
          • 1318

          #19
          Zazen and Reflection

          Thanks for every one for your comments. You have given me a lot to think about. Zazen is my primary method of practice. It is not my intention to down play it's value in this post. I hope I did not come across that way. I have so many Maras haunting me like my ability to take criticsm, the need to be right, my struggles with self-esteem, anxiety, depression a tendency to be caught up in myself, obsessive behavior that gets me behind on my work, and so many more.
          Last edited by Troy; 02-25-2014, 03:34 PM.

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          • Troy
            Member
            • Sep 2013
            • 1318

            #20
            I am growing in my practice and Zazen has helped me in so many ways and continues to do so. I had a real moment when I stared my shyness in the face and wanted to share :-)

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            • Rich
              Member
              • Apr 2009
              • 2602

              #21
              Was born a natural introvert but with effort can act like an extrovert. Someone said that Zen students are the best actors.



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

              https://instagram.com/notmovingmind

              Comment

              • Joyo

                #22
                Originally posted by Troy
                I had a real moment when I stared my shyness in the face and wanted to share :-)
                That is awesome Troy

                Gassho,
                Joyo

                Comment

                • Tiwala
                  Member
                  • Oct 2013
                  • 201

                  #23
                  Recently I've been getting some insights during zazen. For awhile I mistakenly thought that I had to shut down my thinking process when it was suggested that we let things go. Now I'm all laissez faire and stuff and just letting whatever come, come.

                  Something came to mnd after today's zazen as I came into the realization that i tend to stop myself from feeling happy or at peace (as to why i still do not know) No need to try to let go, it's impossible to hold on in the first place. Just let things take its course, I guess.

                  Any thoughts, beloved teachers and senior sangha members? I'm probably one of the youngest members here (19) and in need of guidance the most.


                  Gassho, Ben
                  Last edited by Tiwala; 02-25-2014, 05:16 AM.
                  Gassho
                  Ben

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                  • Jundo
                    Treeleaf Founder and Priest
                    • Apr 2006
                    • 39456

                    #24
                    Originally posted by Tiwala
                    Recently I've been getting some insights during zazen. For awhile I mistakenly thought that I had to shut down my thinking process when it was suggested that we let things go. Now I'm all laissez faire and stuff and just letting whatever come, come.

                    Something came to mnd after today's zazen as I came into the realization that i tend to stop myself from feeling happy or at peace (as to why i still do not know) No need to try to let go, it's impossible to hold on in the first place. Just let things take its course, I guess.

                    Any thoughts, beloved teachers and senior sangha members? I'm probably one of the youngest members here (19) and in need of guidance the most.


                    Gassho, Ben
                    Hi Tiwala,

                    Hmmm. Well, we certainly do not "shut down our thinking process", but neither would I say that Zazen is being "all laissez faire and stuff and just letting whatever come, come." Where did you hear anyone say that around here? One certainly does not sit there, just "thinking about things, pondering this and that".

                    In Shikantaza, one allows thoughts that come to come. However, one does not grab on, stir them up, engage in long trains of thought. If finding oneself thinking about something, one "opens the hand of thoughts" and lets it go. One returns to clear, open, spacious sitting between the thoughts. If finding oneself thinking about something again (and one will!), repeat repeat repeat.

                    Furthermore, one does not wallow in emotions during Zazen, especially greed, anger and other divisive thinking. One drops judgments, feelings of aversion or attraction, and sits in the Wholeness and Peace of what is.

                    I am not saying that we NEVER think about stuff during Zazen (i do it too, when a sudden "Oh, forgot to go to the dry cleaner" pops into my head during Zazen). It happens, but that is not what we should be doing during Zazen. As quickly as I can, I leave the "need to go to the dry cleaner" thoughts to drift away ... and return to Just Sitting. The dry cleaner, and all the rest of stuff to ponder, can wait. (If the thought is an emergency however, like "Oh, the house is on fire!" one may want to break off Zazen temporarily, and return to it after. )

                    Revelations will come during Zazen. We do not seek them. Generally, when they come, leave them for after Zazen when one can consider them after the dry cleaner. If they are worth anything, the revelations will wait.

                    Finally (turning now to your revelation), it is true that frequently human beings think thoughts that unnecessarily stop us from feeling happy and at peace. On the other hand, sometimes in life we do not feel happy and at peace, and that is okay. While I do not wish to fall into wallowing in excess or self-created unhappiness or disturbance, neither do I want to feel happy and at peace all the time, because such is not to be human.

                    Shikantaza allows something better and richer than that! What?

                    It is kind of an abiding Joy (Big "J") that hold and is both times of life's joy and times of life's sadness. It is a Peace (Big "B") that holds days of peace and days of the greatest disturbance. That is the greatest Revelation (Big "R") of all. It is a Peace that holds even the moment of annoyance that you missed the dry cleaner, a Peace and Joy that holds even the natural and human fear and sadness as one's house burns down.

                    Gassho, J
                    Last edited by Jundo; 02-25-2014, 07:58 AM.
                    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

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                    • Tiwala
                      Member
                      • Oct 2013
                      • 201

                      #25
                      Hi Jundo,

                      I call it laissez faire because, in comparison to my usual routine, I am very very VERY obsessive about controlling, manipulating, shaping my circumstances. What I usually do right now is to drop that control and keep it to the bare minimum of coming back to just sitting when I catch myself thinking too much. It's a skill I'm still ever learning to improve.

                      Thoughts still float around, but I treat them, as you once suggested to me, as furniture in a room. Thoughts are just thoughts, part of the scenery that's sometimes ugly and boring and irritating, sometimes beautiful, fun, exciting etc. But it doesn't matter. Scenery is just scenery. But they're also that place where words cannot express, no matter how much we call it Whole and stuff, because it certainly doesn't always feel whole and happy all the time. Does that sound right?

                      I also realized that I throw away (didn't just stop at the usual attachment to it, but lessons learned with it) realizations that have helped me enormously in the past. Like that great Joy you talk about that somehow got me through even when I'm enormously pissed off and lightens the pissed off a little bit in the process. Not the point of it, but it happens.

                      On another note, they usually say silence in movement, but since movement is so much more natural for a hyperactive guy like me, I kind of express it in movement in silence. Just my personal lingo, I guess.

                      P.S. peace, joy, love, etc, are overrated. But might as well get it if you can. Not gonna lose anything.

                      Gassho, Ben

                      Gassho, Ben
                      Last edited by Tiwala; 02-25-2014, 08:03 AM.
                      Gassho
                      Ben

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                      • Jundo
                        Treeleaf Founder and Priest
                        • Apr 2006
                        • 39456

                        #26
                        Ok, that sounds like a better way to express this.
                        ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

                        Comment

                        • Tiwala
                          Member
                          • Oct 2013
                          • 201

                          #27
                          Originally posted by Jundo
                          Ok, that sounds like a better way to express this.
                          Thanks Jundo (and everyone), for putting up with all my long winded talky posts, that kind of sound too much sometimes. Deep and not so deep inside I'm still a kid groping around in the dark, even if the darkness is light. (But do not see it as light!)



                          Gassho, Ben
                          Gassho
                          Ben

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