Practice in daily life

Collapse
X
 
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts
  • Jika
    Member
    • Jun 2014
    • 1337

    Practice in daily life

    Dear all,

    I'm posting this as a question maybe to be answered in preparation for upcoming Ango, knowing it is well much too advanced for me.

    Some practices seem to emphasize the necessity of seclusion and silence (like the retreat or Sekishi's suggestion).

    On the other hand, if all of life is to be our practice, and I do not live in a monastery where everybody is silent, how do I put things together?

    Sewing my zafu with only the wind howling around the house was nice.
    But sewing with my mother shouting at me while she had the radio blasting folk music was a bit more difficult practice (though also nice).

    We cannot expect the world to treat us like monks or nuns, can we, the world is fast and loud!

    I do not have the zazen experience to guide me very much.

    I think I feel what I'm aiming for, only it gets disturbed very easily.

    I'm hoping for explanations how to approach work, talking to people, people wanting to make a chat, without being distanced and secluded, while continuing practice.

    The only thing I can imagine by now is to be right there with them, but to refrain from some behaviour.

    Gassho,
    Danny
    治 Ji
    花 Ka
  • Jundo
    Treeleaf Founder and Priest
    • Apr 2006
    • 39211

    #2
    Hi Danny,

    Sometimes we are by ourselves, sometimes we are with others.

    Sometimes we sew with the wind howling, sometimes we sew with our mother howling.

    Practice is all of this. There is a Stillness and Wholeness that is right at the heart of "alone" or "together". There is a Silence that is the very "silence" or "howling".

    We sit as all of this. Life is all of this. We sit on quiet days and with noisy neighbors, in still places and by the side of busy highways. Thus, we sit with and as what is.

    By the way, if you think that a Zen Monastery is a place of constant quiet, relaxation and isolation ... well, no, they can be as busy and noisy as a bee hive sometimes.

    You will be fine during Ango I believe. Our Treeleaf Ango happens right at the heart of our homes and jobs and worldly duties.

    Gassho, Jundo
    Last edited by Jundo; 08-28-2014, 08:43 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

    Comment

    • Myoku
      Member
      • Jul 2010
      • 1487

      #3
      Dear Danny,
      first, all I write is only my limited experience and no absolute truth, moreover I'm very good in praticing for years without getting any wiser, so just take this lightly.

      Originally posted by Danny B
      Dear all,

      I'm posting this as a question maybe to be answered in preparation for upcoming Ango, knowing it is well much too advanced for me.
      I said exactly the same when I was here at treeleaf only for a couple of weeks before it started, dont let any thought or judgement about yourself hinder you from taking part in Ango, please.

      Some practices seem to emphasize the necessity of seclusion and silence ...
      Yes, and some emphasize the necessity of living zen in our daily live, I wouldnt think about what i can not do too much but do what I can do.

      On the other hand, if all of life is to be our practice, and I do not live in a monastery where everybody is silent, how do I put things together?
      How to put things together ... I think thats a good question, I have no answer but still keep trying day by day.

      Sewing my zafu with only the wind howling around the house was nice.
      But sewing with my mother shouting at me while she had the radio blasting folk music was a bit more difficult practice (though also nice).
      You seem well prepared for Ango.

      I do not have the zazen experience to guide me very much.
      Ango in itself is an experience that will guide you every day by day. Also, I believe patience is required, sitting not does any wonder within a short time.

      I think I feel what I'm aiming for, only it gets disturbed very easily.
      Me too, just living in a family where everybody has solid opinions is a challenge for me, I think however, it gets "better" over time.

      I'm hoping for explanations how to approach work, talking to people, people wanting to make a chat, without being distanced and secluded, while continuing practice.

      The only thing I can imagine by now is to be right there with them, but to refrain from some behaviour.
      Yes, I see my very state of mind in what you wrote, I'm afraid there is no general teaching on this topic. I think all we can do is to do our best to be helpful. Ango for everyone seems a bit different challenge, and I believe its more about learning about ourselves than a teaching on how to widen our practice so that it embraces the whole life. As practice proceeds I learn about this body and mind and this creates changes, because I always explore more. Oh, this is a wide topic, I feel. "Just sit" would probably have been better version of what I wrote
      Gassho
      Myoku

      Comment

      • Daiyo
        Member
        • Jul 2014
        • 819

        #4
        Many thanks for this, Danny.

        You have expressed many concerns I share regarding Ango, in a much clearer way that I could possibly have done.

        And many thanks Jundo and Myoku, for your words have blown away some of the fear and the lack of self trust I had of participating.

        Gassho,
        Walter.
        Gassho,Walter

        Comment

        • Jika
          Member
          • Jun 2014
          • 1337

          #5

          Many thanks.

          Gassho,
          Danny
          治 Ji
          花 Ka

          Comment

          • KellyRok
            Member
            • Jul 2008
            • 1374

            #6
            Danny,

            The more we sit, I feel; the more things will come together on their own. Even when things are loud, unsettled, in chaos - you will be able to find some solace in them. It seems you are already doing it...

            But sewing with my mother shouting at me while she had the radio blasting folk music was a bit more difficult practice (though also nice).
            This is our practice, being able to relate to our surroundings, while still being able to keep our focus to do things such as sewing.

            When we do our Ango, you will have the opportunity to pair up with someone during the period and share your experiences. I highly recommend it as your partner can serve as a sounding board, a motivator to sit, a cheerleader, a friend. It is a way to mesh the quiet and solitude practice with an active partner who also is making his/her way through life and practice.

            I think you are more ready for Ango than you might think. It is living in each moment of our day with a new sense of awareness and acceptance of what is happening right in that moment. Embrace it. The rest will come with more practice, at least that's what I've been told...I still sit, get up from the cushion, make mistakes, break a precept or two, sit some more.

            Take care,
            Jinmei

            Comment

            • Mp

              #7
              Originally posted by KellyRok
              The more we sit, I feel; the more things will come together on their own. Even when things are loud, unsettled, in chaos - you will be able to find some solace in them.
              Hello Danny,

              From my experience Jinmei has said it so well ... no need to rush, be patient with yourself, and in time you will see the results of what you are doing already. =)

              Gassho
              Shingen

              Comment

              • Daiyo
                Member
                • Jul 2014
                • 819

                #8
                Sorry for jumping in.

                I'm not sure if Danny has the same issues I do, his post had much of what I was considering to ask.

                One of the things that has been going round my head these days is that as I practice and meet other people, I discover how flawed I am, how many things I have to work out, how short of time I am, maybe also how late I did notice this way existed.
                Living with kids, facing everyday challenges at work, at home, etc. leaves me short of time to partcipate as much as I would wish.

                Some days it encourages me to double efforts, other days it brings me down.

                That's why I was wondering if I was prepared for Ango and Jukai.
                Anyway I've decided to take part and if over the days I find out I'm not prepared for Jukai, then at least I will have learnt to sew and more about the precepts and this path I've chosen for my life.
                Maybe I'm taking it too seriously out of my ignorance too.

                Thanks for your ever kind and patient advice, I really appreciate it.

                Gassho,
                Walter.
                Gassho,Walter

                Comment

                • Shugen
                  Treeleaf Unsui
                  • Nov 2007
                  • 4535

                  #9
                  Hello all,

                  Relax! If you spend too much time worrying how it "should" be, you'll make yourself crazy! (At least that's been my experience so far). One of the great things about this path is that it has 10,000 entrances. Come as you are, you'll be welcomed! "One minute sitting, One minute Buddha"

                  (And, I know, easier said than done)

                  Gassho,

                  Shugen
                  Meido Shugen
                  明道 修眼

                  Comment

                  • Jundo
                    Treeleaf Founder and Priest
                    • Apr 2006
                    • 39211

                    #10
                    Originally posted by walter

                    One of the things that has been going round my head these days is that as I practice and meet other people, I discover how flawed I am, how many things I have to work out, how short of time I am, maybe also how late I did notice this way existed.
                    Living with kids, facing everyday challenges at work, at home, etc. leaves me short of time to partcipate as much as I would wish.

                    Some days it encourages me to double efforts, other days it brings me down.
                    Yes, we are all flawed. Human beings are flawed, and we do our best to climb Buddha Mountain to the peak of finally becoming Flawless Buddhas free of all human failings. Our job is to mend the flaws, fix our faults, wipe the dust. We often stumble and fall. It may take many many many lives.

                    And, yes, there is never a flaw ... all is Buddha Mountain Peak arrived at TOTALLY with each step, and we are each all Buddha from the start! Nothing to mend, nothing to fix, no place for dust to gather. No place or way to fall. One is totally Liberated from the startless start, and such happens right in the instant of each step-by-stepless-step.

                    Which is the True Perspective? YES!

                    This is one of the lessons of Ango and of Jukai, where our Practice is always imperfect yet we try our best ... and such is thus Perfect Practice. It is a lesson of sewing, where we sew with diligence and care, trying not to make a mistake ... yet mistakes will happen, which we fix when we can ... and so there is never a perfectly sewn or completed Rakusu ... the very Realization of which is also and immediately Perfect and Complete Rakusu, the sewing of which is without beginning or middle or end!

                    We always Practice with life distractions ... and if you were in a monastery deep in the mountains, or a hermit living in a hut, you would still have countless distractions both within and without. Our Practice is to find the Undistracted Non-Obstructed Freedom that is right at the heart of "distractions" and "obstacles". Are these "distractions" and "obstacles" as much within you as out? If we did not have "distractions" and "obstacles" to practice with, we would have no "practice" ... we would, frankly, have no need for "Buddhism" or "Zen" at all!

                    Gassho, J
                    Last edited by Jundo; 08-28-2014, 06:06 PM.
                    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

                    Comment

                    • Daiyo
                      Member
                      • Jul 2014
                      • 819

                      #11
                      Thanks, Jundo.
                      I'll keep shoveling the snow.


                      Gassho,
                      Walter
                      Gassho,Walter

                      Comment

                      • alan.r
                        Member
                        • Jan 2012
                        • 546

                        #12
                        Originally posted by walter
                        One of the things that has been going round my head these days is that as I practice and meet other people, I discover how flawed I am, how many things I have to work out, how short of time I am, maybe also how late I did notice this way existed.
                        Living with kids, facing everyday challenges at work, at home, etc. leaves me short of time to partcipate as much as I would wish.

                        Some days it encourages me to double efforts, other days it brings me down.


                        Gassho,
                        Walter.
                        Ah, this is it. You're doing it, practicing. You're getting to know yourself. That's amazing. It's not that you're flawed that should be the insight here, but that you are recognizing that you're judging (seeing yourself as flawed) and comparing (yourself to others you meet) and worrying (that you didn't know this way existed). This is wonderful work! This is the practice - to see what we're really doing! Living with kids and having challenges with work, that stuff is our practice. Worrying that we don't have enough time to practice properly, that is our practice. Wondering if we're doing as well as others, that is our practice. Be with these things while you sit and just let them be. These things/thoughts/feelings happen to all of us. Just be with them and let them be there and when you open up to your flaws, you'll see them sink away; you'll just feel completely and wholly that you shouldn't be hard on yourself, that you are part of everyone and everyone is a part of you, and we're wholly completely flawed at once together and flawed together completely whole.

                        Gassho
                        Shōmon

                        Comment

                        • Jundo
                          Treeleaf Founder and Priest
                          • Apr 2006
                          • 39211

                          #13
                          Originally posted by alan.r
                          Ah, this is it. You're doing it, practicing. You're getting to know yourself. That's amazing. It's not that you're flawed that should be the insight here, but that you are recognizing that you're judging (seeing yourself as flawed) and comparing (yourself to others you meet) and worrying (that you didn't know this way existed). This is wonderful work! This is the practice - to see what we're really doing! Living with kids and having challenges with work, that stuff is our practice. Worrying that we don't have enough time to practice properly, that is our practice. Wondering if we're doing as well as others, that is our practice. Be with these things while you sit and just let them be. These things/thoughts/feelings happen to all of us. Just be with them and let them be there and when you open up to your flaws, you'll see them sink away; you'll just feel completely and wholly that you shouldn't be hard on yourself, that you are part of everyone and everyone is a part of you, and we're wholly completely flawed at once together and flawed together completely whole.

                          Gassho
                          Yes, lovely.

                          And thus, nonetheless, we work on fixing those flawless flaws as best we can!

                          Gassho, J
                          ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

                          Comment

                          • Daiyo
                            Member
                            • Jul 2014
                            • 819

                            #14
                            Thanks Alan.

                            Gassho,
                            Walter.
                            Gassho,Walter

                            Comment

                            • Joyo

                              #15
                              Hello, so much wonderful, wonderful advice posted here already!! Not much to add, other than I used to have this longing for a peaceful life, where my kids were quiet, at least some of the time. lol!!! Or that I'd have more time for peace and solitude so I could "practice" I've come to realize that this is nothing more than another attachment, a desire. Letting this go, letting it all go and just being with what is, right in the present, whether it is shouting mothers, annoying loud neighbours, wild children...this is where practice happens.

                              Gassho,
                              Joyo

                              Comment

                              Working...