How do you check that your Shyugyou(hard practice) is good direction?

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  • Kakunen
    • Jun 2024

    How do you check that your Shyugyou(hard practice) is good direction?

    Thank you always treeleaf members! I am called Mr K.

    And I am sorry too much saying about Antaiji.

    I want to be member of Treeleaf,but I can not say and write in English well.
    In Antaiji so many member from many country ,but they can communicate in English or Japanese and our body language!

    I am little worry that my hard practice is good?

    In Antaiji I am just simple! My teacher is only Abbot Muho


    And our schedule is very good to study about Zen!


    Everyday sit Zazen and work,and sometimes we have long Zazen(Sesshin) and Dharma talk and little rest.


    So I stay at Antaiji 3 month and leave,and I can do Full LOTUS now.
    3 month before I can sit at chair at 30 minutes ,but I am now I can do Full Lotus in 50 minutes.

    But my life is always busy and difficult.
    I sit Zazen in this morning 30 minutes,and sit night as same.

    But my life is not at Antaiji,in treeleaf.
    We connect by internet but not be with us!

    So such a situation is difficult but Abbot Muho said that I must practice at here with my family and Treeleaf.

    And I have a Zen 3 Zen teacher.Jundo and Muho and my Janapese teacher that he was live in TORONTO at CANADA
    and live in OSAKA JAPAN. He is a old man but he want learn about Zen in Japan but he can not
    find true Zen in Japan and go to Canada,and he meet Wester Zen and Zazen style!

    I sometimes worry about such a good situation.

    I respect and inspired here and Jundo,but I have bad habit.
    So I sometimes little confuse.

    So I want you to ask this kind of question.

    I am sorry about my bad English.I want to have a Japanese member here,but such a foolish my desire..

    I do Gassyou always and I respect Shikantaza,so I do Shikantaza (Sesshin ,70hours Zazen) I helped by Zazen.
    Japanese Zazen is very hard! Like Sawaki-roshi ,Uchiyama-roshi,Abbot Muho.

    Such like hard Zazen and our Zazen .... sometimes I worry about ,,which is right thing?

    I am sorry to I write my true mind,but I want to just become true member of Treeleaf.
    Last edited by Guest; 08-03-2015, 02:57 AM.
  • Jundo
    Treeleaf Founder and Priest
    • Apr 2006
    • 39211

    #2
    If I may summarize a little for Mr. K. (we spoke about his question on the phone), his questions are "How does one know when Practice is going in a good direction" and "does Zazen have to be hard Zazen". As many of you know, he is just returning from 3 months at Antaiji, where they sit Zazen for many long hours with hard farm labor in between.

    I ask our members to respond (I would like to hear your responses too!), but out of respect for Mr. K. as a non-native speaker of English, maybe keep the grammar and wording a bit easier to understand, and try to avoid slang, puns and such in writing. Keep it straight and simple.

    Gassho, J

    SatToday
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

    Comment

    • FaithMoon
      Member
      • Jul 2015
      • 112

      #3
      My inner zen master would say "Do not be attached to any zen experience!"

      Hard zazen - Good!
      Our zazen - Good!

      Just this moment.
      sat today!

      Comment

      • Joyo

        #4
        Hello Mr. K, welcome to Treeleaf. It is very nice to have you here.

        How does one know when Practice is going in a good direction?
        If your practice is following the precepts as best you can, if you are giving your best effort, but not being too hard on yourself or demanding perfection, then your practice is in a good direction.

        Does Zazen have to be hard Zazen?
        For me, I have found my mind wants to make it hard. My mind wants to turn it into a competition. I don't think this is what Zazen is all about, so I do my best to let those thoughts go. So, no, I do not think zazen has to be hard zazen. Just make it part of your life. Whether it is 15 minutes morning and evening, or longer times, it is all good zazen.



        Gassho,
        Joyo
        sat today
        Last edited by Jundo; 08-01-2015, 01:57 PM.

        Comment

        • Mp

          #5
          Hello Mr. K,

          How does one know when Practice is going in a good direction?
          The mind is calm, the heart is open.

          Does Zazen have to be hard Zazen?
          No and yes! Sometimes Zazen is easy, sometimes it is hard. Either way, it is just Zazen.

          Gassho
          Shingen

          #sattoday

          Comment

          • Seido
            Member
            • May 2015
            • 167

            #6
            Hi Mr. K.
            Thank you for your thoughtful questions.

            How does one know when Practice is going in a good direction?
            I think that becasue you have come here, and are hoping to have your practice move in a good direction, then it is moving in a good direction! Your heart will tell you when you are doing good, or not so good. You must listen to that.

            Does Zazen have to be hard Zazen?
            It sounded like you're sitting Zazen for 30 minutes in the morning, and 30 minutes in the evening, is this correct? If it feels too easy to you after your 3 month stay at Antaiji, are you able to extend that time to 45 minutes, or maybe 1 hour?

            At Antaiji you did a lot of work practice, maybe that is what you think you are missing now? Are you able to find time to volunteer for a good cause that needs physical labor or skillful help?

            Also, and I think most importantly, even if you are not able to find time to extend your sitting times or volunteer, you should try to bring your mindfulness and Zazen mind with you throughout your busy life. In everything you do, it is important to try to remain mindful of your actions, and live in the moment. There is no such thing as the past, or the future, there is only now. I would call that "hard Zazen" and it is something which takes no extra time, but makes your practice long hours and very hard.

            In Humble Gassho,
            Ken

            Sat Today
            The strength and beneficence of the soft and yielding.
            Water achieves clarity through stillness.

            Comment

            • broahes
              Member
              • Jul 2015
              • 97

              #7
              Mr. K,

              How does one know when Practice is going in a good direction?
              I try to lose focus of right or wrong way. When I first started practicing, I constantly asked myself.. Am I in the right posture? Is my mind drifting? Generally, am I doing this right? I have gained a lot more from my practice by learning how to not try and gain anything. When I sit now for example, there is no me sitting, there is only the action of sitting. Of course, sometimes I don't see that, and I think that is okay too. I know when practice is good because I am practicing. The focus is on acting with no focus on result.

              Does Zazen have to be hard Zazen?
              Yes, if my mind and body are reacting in a way that it feels hard, then it is hard. The ideas of hard or not hard are just thoughts, and those can drop away too.

              Thank you for your practice.

              Gassho,
              Brooks sat today.
              "The victorious ones have said that emptiness is the relinquishing of all views. For whomever emptiness is a view, that one has achieved nothing." - Nagarjuna

              Comment

              • Jishin
                Member
                • Oct 2012
                • 4819

                #8
                Hi Mr. K

                Only you know the answer.

                Gasho, Jishin, _/st\_

                Comment

                • Jakuden
                  Member
                  • Jun 2015
                  • 6142

                  #9
                  Hi Mr. K,
                  Thank you for asking this question, I wonder the same thing myself. And thank you for your contributions and your presence here!
                  Gassho,
                  Sierra
                  SatToday

                  Comment

                  • Getchi
                    Member
                    • May 2015
                    • 612

                    #10
                    Hello Mr.K!

                    Thankyou for telling us about Antaiji, it was good.

                    Hard Zazen is good, our Zazen is good. Life changes and so do we. If we practice with a true heart, we become more kind, that is good!

                    Practice with a busy life is hard, that is hard zazen! haha

                    I was in a Ashram for a long time, much hard work, yoga and much meditation. I am better at Treeleaf with Shikantaza on internet, this is true practice.

                    I am learning Japanese, your English is good. Thankyou for talking, we all have problems!

                    Gassho
                    and Welcome!!
                    Geoff

                    SatToday.


                    -edit-

                    On reflection, Jishin and Sierra said all i needed to!
                    Last edited by Getchi; 08-01-2015, 10:25 PM. Reason: Reflection.
                    Nothing to do? Why not Sit?

                    Comment

                    • Risho
                      Member
                      • May 2010
                      • 3179

                      #11
                      How does one know when Practice is going in a good direction?

                      I think when you are still honestly asking this question. I agree with Joyo; practicing the precepts (which is always challenging considering/deepening due to all the points of view), sitting consistently, volunteer work, charity/giving, practicing in life..all practice. There isn't point where practice ends -- just not becoming complacent.

                      Does Zazen have to be hard Zazen?
                      hmmm by comparing zazen as hard or soft; hard compared to what? soft compared to what? Those comparisons are not useful to me; just practice zazen wholeheartedly. When doing zazen don't think about how great it is to be doing zazen, how hard or easy it is -- then that's not zazen. Just drop it and practice; just sit.

                      Gassho,

                      Risho
                      -sattoday
                      Email: risho.treeleaf@gmail.com

                      Comment

                      • Byokan
                        Treeleaf Unsui
                        • Apr 2014
                        • 4279

                        #12
                        Hi Mr. K,

                        Please don’t be sorry for talking about Antaiji. It is good to share practice, it is helpful.

                        I think having 3 Teachers is okay. No need to worry. Three fingers pointing to the moon.

                        Abbott Muho is very wise. We all must practice inside our own life. Jundo says all of life is our temple. You say your life is always busy and difficult? This makes very good practice. Sitting Zazen 50 minutes in lotus position is wonderful! Now, bring the same Zazen mind and body into your busy and difficult life. Bring this Zazen mind and body to your work. Offer this Zazen mind and body to your family and friends. In Antaiji you are just simple. Now be simple in your busy and difficult life.

                        There is a right time for hard Zazen, and there is a right time for easier Zazen. No better, no worse. Nothing is gained or lost. Never mind the distinction. Right practice is practicing with dedication. Allow your life to give form to your practice. And allow your practice to give form to your life.

                        Mr. K, you are already a true member of Treeleaf. And your English is fine!

                        Gassho
                        Lisa
                        sat today
                        Last edited by Byokan; 08-02-2015, 12:58 AM.
                        展道 渺寛 Tendō Byōkan
                        Please take my words with a big grain of salt. I know nothing. Wisdom is only found in our whole-hearted practice together.

                        Comment

                        • Byokan
                          Treeleaf Unsui
                          • Apr 2014
                          • 4279

                          #13
                          Originally posted by Sierra529
                          Hi Mr. K,
                          Thank you for asking this question, I wonder the same thing myself. And thank you for your contributions and your presence here!
                          Gassho,
                          Sierra
                          SatToday
                          p.s.
                          Sierra, I so love what you wrote here. Just sitting calmly with the question, at ease, grateful, and joyous.

                          Deep bows,
                          Lisa
                          sat today
                          展道 渺寛 Tendō Byōkan
                          Please take my words with a big grain of salt. I know nothing. Wisdom is only found in our whole-hearted practice together.

                          Comment

                          • Joyo

                            #14
                            I have to say, the responses have been so helpful. Thank you to all.

                            Gassho,
                            Joyo
                            sat today

                            Comment

                            • alan.r
                              Member
                              • Jan 2012
                              • 546

                              #15
                              Originally posted by Shingen
                              Hello Mr. K,

                              How does one know when Practice is going in a good direction?
                              The mind is calm, the heart is open.

                              Does Zazen have to be hard Zazen?
                              No and yes! Sometimes Zazen is easy, sometimes it is hard. Either way, it is just Zazen.

                              Gassho
                              Shingen

                              #sattoday
                              Hi Mr. K,

                              I feel I often have the same questions you brought up, so thank you for asking them.

                              For me, what Shingen says feels right.

                              Gassho,
                              Alan
                              sattoday
                              Shōmon

                              Comment

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