Embracing all conditions of life.

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  • Entai
    Member
    • Jan 2013
    • 451

    Embracing all conditions of life.

    The phrase "... embracing all conditions of life" has been on my mind a lot lately. When things are going the way I prefer, it's easy. I could embrace that all day. Even when things aren't wonderful, I can do some "embracing"... with a few reminders.

    But there are times when things are terribly painful and scary. My family and I experienced one of those times recently. Now, as bad as it seemed at the time, I figured I could "accept" it... but "embrace?" I wasn't sure about that. My thoughts went in all directions. The idea of embracing the situation (a medical crisis) seemed wrong. I felt guilty just thinking about embracing it. But I did. And I learned something. "Embracing" isn't an idea, it's a completely intimate thing. And I wasn't embracing the event by itself.. There was no "itself". When you embrace, it's the whole deal. And it turns out that this embracing eases suffering. (go figure)

    Now, this should not have been news to me. It's our teachings and our practice. But the truth is that my reaction to painful events has always leaned towards avoidance, withdrawal and despair. And that may always be my first reaction, who knows. But now I know that the embrace won't kill me. It's honest and probably the best way to greet "all conditions of life"... as hard as it may sometimes seem.

    I have no idea if this is helpful to anyone, but I figured it couldn't hurt.

    (I'm happy to report that the crisis has ended and things are looking up)

    Gassho, Entai



    泰 Entai (Bill)
    "this is not a dress rehearsal"
  • Jundo
    Treeleaf Founder and Priest
    • Apr 2006
    • 39065

    #2


    I was telling someone yesterday that the proof of the pudding in this Practice is not finding the answer to some old Chinese Koan ... but right in those moments when the "sit hits the fan" (I may trademark that! ) in life!

    Lovely, and I am embracing the fact that the road smoothed out for you too and things are looking up.

    Gassho, J

    Sat Today!
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

    Comment

    • Nindo

      #3
      Thank you for sharing, Entai.

      Comment

      • Guest

        #4
        Thank you Entai. Deep bows.

        Originally posted by Jundo
        I was telling someone yesterday that the proof of the pudding in this Practice is not finding the answer to some old Chinese Koan ... but right in those moments when the "sit hits the fan" (I may trademark that! ) in life!
        I do think you should trademark that Jundo!

        Gassho
        Bobby
        Sat Today
        Last edited by Guest; 11-06-2014, 03:35 AM.

        Comment

        • Hotetsu
          Member
          • Jun 2014
          • 230

          #5
          There's a future t-shirt if I ever heard one 😋.



          Gassho

          Scott

          #sat_today
          Last edited by Hotetsu; 11-06-2014, 03:52 AM.
          Forever is so very temporary...

          Comment

          • Stacy
            Member
            • Mar 2013
            • 81

            #6
            Originally posted by ScottH
            There's a future t-shirt if I ever heard one .



            Gassho

            Scott

            #sat_today
            Yes, it'd go well with this one:





            Thanks for sharing your experience, Entai.


            Gassho,
            Stacy

            #SatToday

            Comment

            • Mp

              #7
              Thank you Entai for sharing your experience. =)


              Originally posted by Jundo
              "sit hits the fan" (I may trademark that! ) in life!
              And yes Jundo ... I love it! =)

              Gassho
              Shingen

              #SAT TODAY
              Last edited by Guest; 11-06-2014, 05:28 AM.

              Comment

              • jeff_u
                Member
                • Jan 2013
                • 130

                #8


                Gassho,
                Jeff

                #sattoday

                Comment

                • Daiyo
                  Member
                  • Jul 2014
                  • 819

                  #9
                  Thanks for sharing, Entai.
                  That'll keep me (non?)thinking
                  I'm glad that the crisis is now over.

                  Gassho,
                  Walter

                  Just SAT TODAY
                  Gassho,Walter

                  Comment

                  • Kyonin
                    Treeleaf Priest / Engineer
                    • Oct 2010
                    • 6739

                    #10
                    Hi Entai.

                    In my limited point of view, embracing does not mean to like something. There's nothing to like about a medical problem.

                    But you can embrace it all in the sense that it's part of life. It's what there is. Labels like "good" or "bad" are created in our minds.

                    Sickness, death and all situations are part of the same package. It's all One Big Thing.

                    Life has shown me again and again that everything changes and nothing stays. Be one and at peace with that concept is embracing.

                    But I could be wrong, of course

                    Hope the rough patch comes to an end soon.

                    Gassho,

                    Kyonin
                    #SatToday
                    Hondō Kyōnin
                    奔道 協忍

                    Comment

                    • Ugrok
                      Member
                      • Sep 2014
                      • 323

                      #11
                      Thanks for this. It rings a bell ! Indeed, i found out too, that "embracing" or "accepting" can be misleading terms. It leads to think that what you have to do is to have a "you" that you somehow force to like or be ok with a "problem". Doing this just creates two objects that are in total conflict and makes the situation worse. More and more i think that in fact it means to just let the whole chaos run its course. You just sit and let the whole stuff destroy you if it has to. You let everything run its course. All horses loose. That is embracing for me, nowadays. It takes a lot of courage - or despair, ahaha - because in those moments you really have the feeling that you WILL be destroyed. In fact the opposite happens. But as soon as we experience a crisis, often, we forget this and begin to fight unconsciously... Maybe it's part of life too.

                      Gassho,

                      Ugrok

                      #Sat isfaction
                      Last edited by Ugrok; 11-06-2014, 11:31 AM.

                      Comment

                      • Jundo
                        Treeleaf Founder and Priest
                        • Apr 2006
                        • 39065

                        #12
                        Originally posted by Ugrok
                        Thanks for this. It rings a bell ! Indeed, i found out too, that "embracing" or "accepting" can be misleading terms. It leads to think that what you have to do is to have a "you" that you somehow force to like or be ok with a "problem". Doing this just creates two objects that are in total conflict and makes the situation worse. More and more i think that in fact it means to just let the whole chaos run its course. You just sit and let the whole stuff destroy you if it has to. You let everything run its course. All horses loose. That is embracing for me, nowadays. It takes a lot of courage - or despair, ahaha - because in those moments you really have the feeling that you WILL be destroyed. In fact the opposite happens. But as soon as we experience a crisis, often, we forget this and begin to fight unconsciously... Maybe it's part of life too.

                        Gassho,

                        Ugrok

                        #Sat isfaction
                        I think this is maybe a bit too philosophical.

                        In Mahayana Buddhism, we drop the self-other divide into Emptiness ... then all is just The Flowing. More than embracing, there is no self to embrace and no other to be embraced. Radical Wholeness.

                        At the same time, our human side need not accept everything, can be bothered and bewildered, upset and afraid because that is to be human. That is to be human, and just life.

                        Now, can one learn, Ugrok, to experience this life as these both as One? All the above AT ONCE? Yes! This is our way on the Cushion and rising from the cushion to get on with life.

                        Another Sangha member wrote me about his illness and how it "interferes" with Practice. I wrote back ...

                        We sit with what is ... with conditions just as they are ... as what is, having become what is ... nothing to add or take away, reject or run toward. That is Shikantaza Zazen.

                        We embrace what is, reject none of it and judge none of it ... even as we take our medicine.

                        I sometimes describe the attitude toward poor health and the like as acceptance sans acceptance - precisely blending both views. Imagine a man or woman who, facing an illness, perhaps some cancer, accepts the condition fully - yet fights the good fight for a cure. We need not feel anger within at the natural state which is the disease, we can accept within that all life is impermanent and that death and sickness are just the reality ... but still we might search for the healing medicine, struggling without for health and life and sometimes so afraid. We can know that within and without are not two.

                        Your condition is perfectly that condition when all resistance is dropped ... drop all resistance even as we resist (yes, it is a kind of schizophrenic viewpoint ... but a very healthy kind of schizophrenia :? :cry: )

                        Attaining such an attitude of "nothing whatsoever about the condition in need of change" is attaining a tremendous change of attitude ... even as we continue to take our medicine and try to get healthy.
                        Understand? It is not a mere intellectual exercise, but the total dropping of division and frictions between our "self" and the "rest of this life and world" ...

                        ... even as, simultaneously, so many divisions and frictions are present for our "human" side.

                        Gassho, J
                        Last edited by Jundo; 11-06-2014, 04:18 PM.
                        ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

                        Comment

                        • Ugrok
                          Member
                          • Sep 2014
                          • 323

                          #13
                          As of now, i get the "human" part, i get the "dropping" part, but i fail, sadly, at having both perspectives at once. Or maybe i don't fail, since i'm alive. Ahaha !

                          Thanks Jundo,

                          Gassho,

                          Ugrok
                          #Sat

                          Comment

                          • Myosha
                            Member
                            • Mar 2013
                            • 2974

                            #14
                            Hello,

                            And a salty total acceptance and education to all!


                            Gassho,
                            Myosha sat today
                            "Recognize suffering, remove suffering." - Shakyamuni Buddha when asked, "Uhm . . .what?"

                            Comment

                            • Shinzan
                              Member
                              • Nov 2013
                              • 338

                              #15
                              Wow, Entai's message really resonated for me. Recently, I commited a social gaff, a whopper, even tho I intended to act with care. I think it was Suzuki who said, life is just one mistake after another. But this morning, I'm encouraging myself by saying, gee, if I never made a mistake, I'd never be learning anything. I'd be stuck, a dead stone, untouched. The fact that my mistake activates me to try to learn, and try to put myself in the other guy's shoes is what I can embrace. Little by little, I can embrace my own sore heart when I blow it, and also feel more of what the other person feels when I bulldoze thru their boundaries. Not easy, but what I gotta do.

                              _/\_ Shinzan
                              Last edited by Shinzan; 11-06-2014, 03:48 PM.

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