A request for help for my daily practice

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  • Gokai
    Member
    • Feb 2016
    • 208

    A request for help for my daily practice

    Friends of the Sangha

    I'm new here and would like to ask you a little of your time to help me.
    I wanted to ask for help to members with more experience than me in the Soto Zen tradition to help me structure my daily practice of Zazen. I would ask someone with experience let me know if I'm doing well or not, what changes should I make and in particular how (and when) I show my gratitude to the master of the past in my daily practice.
    I muse about 45 minutes per day with the following sequence of procedures:
    0-2 minutes: Triple confidence

    I am fully confident in the deep, unique and unconditional nature that is within me and all sentient beings and the inherent potential to develop wisdom, peace, love and boundless compassion. I commit myself for the sake of all beings, to make every effort in this direction.
    I fully trust the various teaching methods and practices that lead us to recognize the profound nature and to go the way of the development of wisdom, peace, love and boundless compassion, and in my following capacity to perfection. I commit myself for the sake of all beings, to make every effort in this direction.
    fully trust in the community of those who attained perfection by following this path and still follow it in an authentic way, through a variety of methods, forms and ways. I commit myself for the sake of all beings, to do everything possible to respect, support and develop this community.

    2-32 minutes Shikantaza Zazen;

    32-34 minutes Pause

    34-43 minutes Metta Meditation

    43-45 minutes Dedication of merit:

    The merit of my practice extends to all beings and we all can make the lighted path.

    Thank you in advance for your help.

    Gassho

    David
    David Cravidão Lopes Pereira
  • Myosha
    Member
    • Mar 2013
    • 2974

    #2
    Hello,

    Throw it all away.

    Just sit.

    Zazen is totally worthless . . . and why it's done, daily.


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

    Comment

    • Joyo

      #3
      Hello, welcome to Treeleaf.

      "When hungry eat rice, when tired sleep"

      Enjoy your practice, enjoy your life, and do not become too serious or strict about it all.

      Gassho,
      Joyo
      sat today

      Comment

      • Rich
        Member
        • Apr 2009
        • 2595

        #4
        Myosha and Joyo offer wise words. There is nothing to develop, you already have Buddha nature. It's more of a dropping of your ego mind and all the nonsense that we think we are. Just relax and sit. Rather than talking to myself I'd rather smile and feel gratitude for the gift of life, the sun, moon, plants, animals, rocks, air, water... Connecting with everything.

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

        https://instagram.com/notmovingmind

        Comment

        • Mp

          #5
          Hello David,

          Wise advice indeed already shared ... all I can say it just sit, try not to become too attached to specifics, and allow your practice to unfold and grow naturally.

          Just some two cents. =)

          Gassho
          Shingen

          #sattodaty


          Sent from my mobile, cause I am out & about! =)

          Comment

          • Gokai
            Member
            • Feb 2016
            • 208

            #6
            Thank you for your wise and ready advice. Thank you all.
            Gassho

            David

            Sat Today
            David Cravidão Lopes Pereira

            Comment

            • Kyonin
              Treeleaf Priest / Engineer
              • Oct 2010
              • 6739

              #7
              Hi David,

              Having a schedule to sit with is nice and all. But if you are beginning, just focus on sitting zazen. You can chant metta during the day... or even better: you can practice metta during the day. There are no schedules for a frank and compassionate heart.

              So for today, just sit. Repeat tomorrow

              Gassho,

              Kyonin
              #SatToday
              Hondō Kyōnin
              奔道 協忍

              Comment

              • Shokai
                Treeleaf Priest
                • Mar 2009
                • 6391

                #8
                Hi David;
                Just sit is the best medicine; and if you'd like to sit with others you can get yourself connected to the Google+ Treeleaf Sangha Community where you'll be able to sit via video hangouts.
                gassho, Shokai

                #sattoday
                合掌,生開
                gassho, Shokai

                仁道 生開 / Jindo Shokai

                "Open to life in a benevolent way"

                https://sarushinzendo.wordpress.com/

                Comment

                • Jundo
                  Treeleaf Founder and Priest
                  • Apr 2006
                  • 39211

                  #9
                  Welcome again David,

                  This is not one size fits all. Some folks need more structure and schedule (that is what a monastery provides from morning to night), some less. In this Community, we come to see that all our ordinary daily life is an endless ritual. If the ritual and dedication you are describing helps you, then please continue with that. Not too loose not too tight.

                  Time again for the classic Sona and the Lute tale ...

                  [The Buddha said], "Sona, you were a musician and you used to play the lute. Tell me, Sona, did you produce good music when the lute string was well tuned, neither too tight nor too loose?"

                  "I was able to produce good music, Lord," replied Sona.

                  "What happened when the strings were too tightly wound up?"

                  "I could not produce any music, Lord," said Sona.

                  "What happened when the strings were too slack?"

                  "I could not produce any music at all, Lord," replied Sona

                  "Sona ... You have been straining too hard in your meditation. Do it in a relaxed way, but without being slack. Try it again and you will experience the good result."

                  Now, it is also important to recall that lutes come in different sizes!



                  So the length of one person's strings may not be the same as another, and it is important to find the length and harmony for you. Some may be more and some a bit less.

                  Some may need to schedule a daily practice routine for their lute practice, some may just strum from time to time during the day.

                  My point is that what is right for Myosha or Shokai etc. may not necessarily be best for David ... only David can tell. At the same time, learn that Practice is all through one's day, and do not be too tight for your own heart.

                  ... not too loose, not too tight.

                  As to doing "well" or not ... we have a strange way of looking at "doing well" around here, which greatly involves dropping all thought of "doing well" even as we stay dedicated ...

                  Right Zazen and Wrong Zazen
                  Hi, I BELIEVE THE FOLLOWING TO BE SO VITAL, FOR NEW AND OLD, THAT I AM GOING TO MAKE A SPECIAL REPOST. It is the "there is good Zazen, and bad Zazen ... but never any bad Zazen" post ... _________________________________________________ Hey All, I would like to repost something that I think is important to


                  Gassho, Jundo

                  SatToday
                  Last edited by Jundo; 02-24-2016, 09:21 AM.
                  ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

                  Comment

                  • Jishin
                    Member
                    • Oct 2012
                    • 4819

                    #10
                    Hi David,

                    Here is my take on the situation:

                    We come to zen because of attachment to form. We learn about impermanence as the cause of suffering as form is always changing and attempts to attach to form lead to unhappiness.

                    Attaching to teachings - "perfect practice" - is just another way of attaching to the form of teaching, bound to lead to suffering.

                    In as much it is possible, in Shikantaza we are able to just be. We are the teaching and not the teaching at once. Not one and not two. This is why you hear the common advice of "Just Sit!"

                    When you drop the wish for Buddha nature and practice in earnest, then you are perfectly yourself, a Buddha. I think there is a saying that goes something like this:

                    "Before one studies Zen, mountains are mountains and waters are waters; after a first glimpse into the truth of Zen, mountains are no longer mountains and waters are no longer waters; after enlightenment, mountains are once again mountains and waters once again waters."

                    I think it is important not to forget as one becomes truly realized, you become none other than you, guides are necessary to keep you on the Path - the precepts, sangha and a teacher.

                    So, to echo the advice given here, just sit but stick around too because that is what the Path is about.

                    Just my opinion.

                    Gasho, Jishin, _/st\_

                    Comment

                    • Gokai
                      Member
                      • Feb 2016
                      • 208

                      #11
                      Thank you again.

                      Your opinion is very important to me. I think we should learn from those who have more practice. Thank you all.

                      Gassho, David
                      David Cravidão Lopes Pereira

                      Comment

                      • Jundo
                        Treeleaf Founder and Priest
                        • Apr 2006
                        • 39211

                        #12
                        Originally posted by Jishin
                        Hi David,

                        Here is my take on the situation:

                        We come to zen because of attachment to form. We learn about impermanence as the cause of suffering as form is always changing and attempts to attach to form lead to unhappiness.

                        Attaching to teachings - "perfect practice" - is just another way of attaching to the form of teaching, bound to lead to suffering.

                        In as much it is possible, in Shikantaza we are able to just be. We are the teaching and not the teaching at once. Not one and not two. This is why you hear the common advice of "Just Sit!"

                        When you drop the wish for Buddha nature and practice in earnest, then you are perfectly yourself, a Buddha.
                        Very well put. I feel so.

                        I will say again, though, that some (most) Zen folks today and yesterday found/find their freedom right in and beyond rigid form. Here is the training day of a typical Zen monk in a Zen monastery (a good film ... but disregard the tacky GONG at the start! )

                        Here in this short documentation we want to give an impression of life in a modern zen monastry in the year 2010.We can see daily life in Eiheiji - one of th...


                        One can learn to find freedom of the heart in the restrictions, the walls, the rules, the order, the aim for precision in physical form, the routines, the lack of freedom.

                        Some folks need and benefit from more structure, ritual and routine than others.

                        Gassho, J
                        Last edited by Jundo; 02-24-2016, 01:57 PM.
                        ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

                        Comment

                        • Jika
                          Member
                          • Jun 2014
                          • 1337

                          #13
                          Thank you, David, for asking this question, and to all who answered.

                          I feel that seeing the vast amount of tradition, knowledge, literature can be very confusing for me.

                          Though having no clue, in the first time sitting was sitting to me: Nothing someone needed to give to me, nothing anyone could take away.

                          Then I found out, people sit in different ways, and I might be doing it wrong!
                          There are rules to it, and traditions why those rules exist, so much history and all these books!
                          A whole new landscape of difficult language, mysterious people and events and sayings.

                          Where has the time gone when sitting was just sitting for me?

                          I can't find it in my head, my head knows I know nothing.

                          Sometimes I find sitting in sitting.

                          Gassho
                          Jika
                          #sattoday
                          治 Ji
                          花 Ka

                          Comment

                          • Jundo
                            Treeleaf Founder and Priest
                            • Apr 2006
                            • 39211

                            #14
                            Originally posted by Jika
                            Thank you, David, for asking this question, and to all who answered.

                            I feel that seeing the vast amount of tradition, knowledge, literature can be very confusing for me.

                            Though having no clue, in the first time sitting was sitting to me: Nothing someone needed to give to me, nothing anyone could take away.

                            Then I found out, people sit in different ways, and I might be doing it wrong!
                            There are rules to it, and traditions why those rules exist, so much history and all these books!
                            A whole new landscape of difficult language, mysterious people and events and sayings.

                            Where has the time gone when sitting was just sitting for me?

                            I can't find it in my head, my head knows I know nothing.

                            Sometimes I find sitting in sitting.

                            Gassho
                            Jika
                            #sattoday
                            Yes, there is all that stuff ... history, customs, stories, rituals, books, teachings ...

                            ... but when sitting there is just sitting. Sitting asks and answers all questions, sitting just sitting, nothing to add or take away.

                            Likewise, when reciting Metta, Chanting Vows, Bowing, changing the baby diaper or flat tire, washing dishes, writing a report at work or whatever is your daily ritual and routine ... there is just each and all, nothing to add or take away.

                            Gassho, J

                            SatToday
                            Last edited by Jundo; 02-24-2016, 02:15 PM.
                            ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

                            Comment

                            • Sekishi
                              Treeleaf Priest / Engineer
                              • Apr 2013
                              • 5670

                              #15
                              I would add one thing to what has been said: do what you believe will help you to actually sit regularly. You know yourself best, if a bit of ritual and a rigid schedule will help, please do that. If squeezing it in between other tasks will help, please do that. If a dedicated practice space will help, please set one up (even if it is just big enough for a zabuton or folded blanket).

                              Just my $0.02.

                              Gassho,
                              Sekishi

                              #SatToday (at the appointed time, in the appointed place)
                              Sekishi | 石志 | He/him | Better with a grain of salt, but best ignored entirely.

                              Comment

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