Too much Zazen?

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  • Jishin
    Member
    • Oct 2012
    • 4819

    Too much Zazen?

    I think this topic is not addressed enough so I will bring it up here.

    Is there such thing as too much Zazen. Too much Sesshin?

    I believe the answer is yes.

    During Zazen the boundaries of self and others soften and we become One. You are me and I am you. An attitude of what I do to you does not matter because we are all one. This is the importance of having a good teacher and a community of practitioners where we can be remain grounded all the while tasting emptiness. What I do to you does matter if we are to save sentient beings from suffering which is the ultimate purpose of Buddhism.

    So, the middle way is the best way. Not too much, not too little. Just the right amount of Zazen is needed.

    Just my opinion.

    Gasho, Jishin, _/st\_
  • Jundo
    Treeleaf Founder and Priest
    • Apr 2006
    • 39221

    #2
    I believe that there are times to sit every day ... time to head to Sesshin and sit many times a day, rising early ... times maybe to take a little break from sitting. Balance is important.

    (The latter is no problem, so long as one comes back. It actually can serve to provide context, whereby being away is much like being away from a loved one. Absence can make the heart grow fonder).

    That being said ... one can also never escape from Zazen if seeing wisely. Why? Because Zen is all things, all are Zen, and nothing is left out.

    During Zazen the boundaries of self and others soften and we become One. You are me and I am you. An attitude of what I do to you does not matter because we are all one.
    Yet we are not one, so we say "Not Two". So, how you treat other people matters. Don't get lost in Emptiness.

    Gassho, J
    Last edited by Jundo; 02-16-2016, 01:51 PM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

    Comment

    • Mp

      #3
      Originally posted by Jundo
      That being said ... one can also never escape from Zazen if seeing wisely. Why? Because Zen is all things, all are Zen, and nothing is left out.


      Gassho
      Shingen

      #sattoday

      Comment

      • Jishin
        Member
        • Oct 2012
        • 4819

        #4


        Not one. Not two.

        Gasho, Jishin, _/st\_

        Comment

        • Kyonin
          Treeleaf Priest / Engineer
          • Oct 2010
          • 6739

          #5
          Hi Jishin,

          I think there can bee too much zazen when you sit so much it messes up with your own survival and basic needs. Zazen is life, but you need to be alive to sit zazen. The Buddha learned this the hard way, but realized that the middle way is better.

          Gassho,

          Kyonin
          #SatToday
          Hondō Kyōnin
          奔道 協忍

          Comment

          • Jundo
            Treeleaf Founder and Priest
            • Apr 2006
            • 39221

            #6
            Originally posted by Kyonin
            Hi Jishin,

            I think there can bee too much zazen when you sit so much it messes up with your own survival and basic needs. Zazen is life, but you need to be alive to sit zazen. The Buddha learned this the hard way, but realized that the middle way is better.

            Gassho,

            Kyonin
            #SatToday
            I bet the Buddha even took a day off. Probably went to see a movie, a ball game, maybe hit a bar for a couple of brews.

            Actually, I am being a facetious about the bar ... but there are some old Suttas where he definitely hangs out the "do not disturb" sign on his hut or goes off on his own for a bit. Whether he was meditating the whole time, or watching Netflix and chilling ... nobody can say.

            I see nothing wrong with taking some time off. In fact, even those periods that happen to folks where they get sick of Zazen (not to mention Treeleaf and anything connected to Zen) are part of the road ... part of the process, if you will. Hopefully they come back stronger and wiser.

            The old Zen guys would get away from the monastery sometimes too. There is a funny Japanese movie about Zen monks, made about 20 years ago. Unfortunately, no subtitles here but you can get the drift. They have snuck out of training for a night of Karaoke in a Hostess Bar, and in the bar they find one of the senior monks also there in a bad wig ...

            全てを捨てて臨むべき修行にあって煩悩のままに生きる僧侶のお寺コメディ。彦摩呂が細い。1989年


            The guy with the wig somehow makes it back before them, and they get punished ... a week of toilet cleaing, forced to sit in an uncomfortable formal Seiza way etc. The young monk at the end calls the senior guy out for also always sneaking out to eat Sushi and such ... and then it just turns to chaos.

            Gassho, Jundo
            Last edited by Jundo; 02-16-2016, 06:00 PM.
            ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

            Comment

            • Kyonin
              Treeleaf Priest / Engineer
              • Oct 2010
              • 6739

              #7
              Hi Jundo!

              I really enjoyed the clip even if I only know how to say "hello" in Japanese. What's the name of the movie?

              Gassho,

              Kyonin
              #SatToday
              Hondō Kyōnin
              奔道 協忍

              Comment

              • Kaishin
                Member
                • Dec 2010
                • 2322

                #8
                Originally posted by Jishin

                Is there such thing as too much Zazen. Too much Sesshin?
                Only one way to find out. Start sitting now, and don't stop until you find the answer!

                -satToday
                Thanks,
                Kaishin (開心, Open Heart)
                Please take this layman's words with a grain of salt.

                Comment

                • Jishin
                  Member
                  • Oct 2012
                  • 4819

                  #9
                  Originally posted by Kaishin
                  Only one way to find out. Start sitting now, and don't stop until you find the answer!

                  -satToday
                  I know the answer. I am asking for the benefit of others.

                  Gassho, Jishin, ST

                  Comment

                  • Rich
                    Member
                    • Apr 2009
                    • 2595

                    #10
                    Originally posted by Jishin
                    I know the answer. I am asking for the benefit of others.

                    Gassho, Jishin, ST

                    Thanks jishin. There are accounts of Zen sickness in Zen history. So having a teacher is recommended. I think everyone has to find their own comfort level and style based on their health and life situation.



                    SAT today
                    _/_
                    Rich
                    MUHYO
                    無 (MU, Emptiness) and 氷 (HYO, Ice) ... Emptiness Ice ...

                    https://instagram.com/notmovingmind

                    Comment

                    • Joko
                      Member
                      • Dec 2015
                      • 13

                      #11
                      Jundo,

                      That is a very funny movie and I have a copy. "Fancy Dance" - I wish it had subtitles so more people could enjoy it. Thanks for reminding me.

                      Joko

                      Sattoday

                      Comment

                      • Kyotai

                        #12
                        Yes. I agree. The middle way for all things, including zazen and seshin.

                        However, I need to sit more.

                        Gassho, Kyotai
                        sat today

                        Comment

                        • Jundo
                          Treeleaf Founder and Priest
                          • Apr 2006
                          • 39221

                          #13
                          Originally posted by Joko
                          Jundo,

                          That is a very funny movie and I have a copy. "Fancy Dance" - I wish it had subtitles so more people could enjoy it. Thanks for reminding me.

                          Joko

                          Sattoday
                          Yes, "Fancy Dance", a lovely description for all the Ceremony involved in being a monk. Here are the coming attractions, and the story is about a young rock musician who has to enter what appears to be a Soto Zen monastery in order to take over his father's temple.

                          I believe there is a subtitled version floating around somewhere, very funny.

                          Enjoy the videos and music you love, upload original content, and share it all with friends, family, and the world on YouTube.


                          Gassho, Jundo
                          ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

                          Comment

                          • Jishin
                            Member
                            • Oct 2012
                            • 4819

                            #14
                            Originally posted by Rich
                            Thanks jishin. There are accounts of Zen sickness in Zen history. So having a teacher is recommended. I think everyone has to find their own comfort level and style based on their health and life situation.

                            Here is an excerpt from case one in the Mumonkan:

                            "It is as though you have snatched the great sword of General Kuan. When you meet the Buddha, you kill the Buddha. When you meet Bodhidharma, you kill Bodhidharma. At the very cliff edge of birth-and-death, you find the Great Freedom. In the Six Worlds and the Four Modes of Birth, you enjoy a samadhi of frolic and play."

                            I think this is another scenario where teachers are definitely worth a penny or two to make sure it's a round trip on the bus, enjoying the ride and the destination at once without any serious crashes on the way. All of life is our temple.

                            Gasho, Jishin, _/st\_

                            PS: By the way, I think there is little difference between Mu and Shikantaza. But this is just my opinion.

                            Comment

                            • Rich
                              Member
                              • Apr 2009
                              • 2595

                              #15
                              Mu and shikantaza are both breathing.

                              Hakuin had a bad case of Zen sickness.

                              SAT today
                              _/_
                              Rich
                              MUHYO
                              無 (MU, Emptiness) and 氷 (HYO, Ice) ... Emptiness Ice ...

                              https://instagram.com/notmovingmind

                              Comment

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