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What are the difficulties in your practice?

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What are the difficulties in your practice?

Postby zenci on Mon Sep 04, 2017 2:28 am

I find it most hard to sit without expectation. I always have to go somewhere, gain something.
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Re: What are the difficulties in your practice?

Postby desert_woodworker on Mon Sep 04, 2017 6:52 am

Oh?

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Re: What are the difficulties in your practice?

Postby fukasetsu on Mon Sep 04, 2017 10:01 am

zenci wrote:I find it most hard to sit without expectation. I always have to go somewhere, gain something.


If that occurs you could ask yourself where this desire was to go or gain a 100 years ago.

You cant find that desire, and right there in the "not-knowing" you can relax and stay in awareness. It's free and always with you. :)
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Re: What are the difficulties in your practice?

Postby Caodemarte on Mon Sep 04, 2017 3:41 pm

I tell myself that I have so many difficulties, including grasping. If i remember that the difficulties are the practice I can begin.
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Re: What are the difficulties in your practice?

Postby desert_woodworker on Mon Sep 04, 2017 5:58 pm

I think that, where and when there is practice, there is no difficulty.

The difficulty is where and when there is no(t) practice.

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Re: What are the difficulties in your practice?

Postby Jok_Hae on Tue Sep 05, 2017 12:24 am

zenci wrote:I find it most hard to sit without expectation. I always have to go somewhere, gain something.


I struggle with consistency. I sit most days, but not every day. What helps me most is to remember to be the observer, not the judge. It is what it is. I am not the most consistent practitioner, and that's how it is right now. No need to wish it be any different. Ironically, this results in a little better consistency. Who knew? :lol2: I haven't sat today...maybe this note will prod me on to doing so! Thanks!

The idea of a "screen door" has also been useful to me. Thoughts are like the wind. If we try to hold them back, they build up like a dam that eventually bursts from the pressure of a flood. But, if we just let them pass, like a summer breeze through a screen door, then they don't trouble us. This also helps with another difficulty in "my" practice, that of attachment to my ideas and opinions.

Anyway, this is why we call it practice. You have noticed something and that's really important!

regards,
Keith
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Re: What are the difficulties in your practice?

Postby Jok_Hae on Tue Sep 05, 2017 12:28 am

zenci wrote:I find it most hard to sit without expectation. I always have to go somewhere, gain something.


Maybe some useful word-medicine for you..or not:

Upside Down World
by Zen Master Dae Kwang on Sep 1, 1997

Zen Master Dae Kwang

The Chinese Zen Master Ching Ch’ing was famous for his strict discipline. Late one night as he sat with the monks he asked them, “What’s that sound outside the gate?” One of the monks replied, “Master, that’s the sound of raindrops.” Ching Ch’ing then said, “This world is upside down; people lose themselves and chase after things.”
If you look closely at our world it’s apparent that something is very wrong. Everywhere you look there is suffering. Why? The Buddha said that the cause of suffering is desire: “I want… something.” Anytime you want something you lose your true self and are “chasing” after that something. Suddenly the world flips over like an unbalanced iceberg… bluuuuuub! Once the world is upside down, everything is seen differently. The Buddha called that ignorance. And just like a fish in water, we don’t realize our ignorance until the wake-up alarm of suffering starts ringing loudly in our ears. In fact, when we hear people talking about the rightside-up world, we tend to reject it immediately… “That’s not true; no way, you must be crazy or some kind of religious nut!”
When Jesus gave the Sermon on the Mount he was talking about the rightside-up world. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. Do not resist one who is evil. But if anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also. Ignorance doesn’t include just our material desires, it can also embrace our “spiritual” practices as well; these too can become things. As Zen Master Huang Po, Lin Chi’s teacher, said:

"So, if you students of the Way are mistaken about your own real Mind… you will indulge in various achievements and practices and expect to attain realization by such graduated practices. But, even after aeons of diligent searching, you will not be able to attain to the Way. These methods cannot be compared to the sudden elimination of conceptual thought, the certain knowledge that there is nothing at all which has absolute existence, nothing on which to lay hold, nothing on which to rely, nothing in which to abide, nothing subjective or objective. It is by preventing the rise of conceptual thought that you will realize Bodhi; and, when you do, you will just be realizing the Buddha who has always existed in your own Mind."

How simple, but few people will believe it. Zen means “I don’t want anything,” “don’t attach to anything,” the direct simple antidote to suffering of all kinds. When Zen Master Seung Sahn says that if you don’t want anything you get everything, who believes him? That’s upside down! If he tells us to put it all down or to cut off all thinking, who will follow? If we can just detach from our thinking for even a second then… bluuuuuuub, the world turns rightside up; we are awake. We call this Great Love and Great Compassion.
Here is a question for you:
A monk asked Un Mun, “When it’s not the immediate instinct and it’s not the immediate phenomenon, how is it?”
Un Mun said, “An upside-down statement.”
So, if there is no upside down and no right side up, then what? Zen won’t help you.


:peace:
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Re: What are the difficulties in your practice?

Postby Linda Anderson on Tue Sep 05, 2017 3:19 am

dear one, be patient with your self, stop criticizing..... form is emptiness, emptiness is form.
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Re: What are the difficulties in your practice?

Postby desert_woodworker on Tue Sep 05, 2017 3:24 am

A deceased teacher of mine used to say, "If you're on your cushion, you're practicing."

And, ...what Linda said!!

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Re: What are the difficulties in your practice?

Postby lobster on Tue Sep 05, 2017 8:23 am

zenci wrote:What are the difficulties in your practice?


Thoughts. :heya:
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Re: What are the difficulties in your practice?

Postby fukasetsu on Tue Sep 05, 2017 11:46 am

The only problem ever is fixation, attachment. Since nothing has independent existence any dharma or mind manifestation will depart by itself, thus without trying to do or modify anything which appears then appearances are "self-liberated" into their own condition.

"Allow the mind to float and sink"
~Niutou Farong

resistence is afflication the pivot of tao.jpg
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Re: What are the difficulties in your practice?

Postby desert_woodworker on Tue Sep 05, 2017 12:47 pm

fukasetsu wrote:The only problem ever is fixation, attachment.

The opposite of attachment is also a factor for some people at some times, by the way, if you've ever noticed.

Repulsion; rejection; aversion; denial; irresponsibility; indifference; isolation: these are all trouble-makers. Or maybe a willing ATTACHMENT to them is the cause of the seeming trouble and vexation. One chooses one's poison... .

I'd still say, though, that where there is practice, there is no difficulty; where there's not practice, that is difficulty.

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Re: What are the difficulties in your practice?

Postby fukasetsu on Tue Sep 05, 2017 12:57 pm

desert_woodworker wrote:The opposite of attachment is also a factor for some people at some times, by the way, if you've ever noticed.

Right still attachment, just as the idea of freedom or bondage is the practise of prisoners.

Repulsion; rejection; aversion; denial; irresponsibility; indifference; isolation: these are all trouble-makers. Or maybe a willing ATTACHMENT to them is the cause of the seeming trouble and vexation. One chooses one's poison... .


Yes all from grasping, blocking and "allowing things as they are"
Any poison will not dissolve if we grasp at what appears, what appears is no problem, the way we react to it keeps us conditioned in a loophole of those poisons.
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Re: What are the difficulties in your practice?

Postby desert_woodworker on Tue Sep 05, 2017 1:16 pm

Marcel,

fukasetsu wrote:...the way we react to it keeps us conditioned in a loophole of those poisons.

Yes, "reactivity" versus "responsiveness" is a topic of some discussion in some Buddhist circles lately, and rightly so, being nothing new, really. Stephen Batchelor, for example, has good contributions in this discussion in his writings and teachings.

Of course, that discussion, and others like it, are "details", that is, they get at the "branches", not the root. And the discussion itself is not "practice". I appreciate most the practices and approach of Ch'an- and Zen-Buddhism, because they get at the root. But I sometimes enjoy discussion of branches, because we often notice branches, and they are in fact part of our world. But I would never undertake a path that worked through the branches. Branches are endlessly numerous, among other things we could say about them. ;)

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Re: What are the difficulties in your practice?

Postby fukasetsu on Tue Sep 05, 2017 1:32 pm

desert_woodworker wrote:Marcel,
Yes, "reactivity" versus "responsiveness" is a topic of some discussion in some Buddhist circles lately, and rightly so, being nothing new, really. Stephen Batchelor, for example, has good contributions in this discussion in his writings and teachings.

Never heared of it Joe, can you explain "responsiveness" translates as reacting to me.

But I would never undertake a path that worked through the branches. Branches are endlessly numerous, among other things we could say about them. ;)

--Joe[]


Me neither, I never was a fan of housecleaning anyway, sometimes I see a mirror when brushing my teeth, but I pay no attention to it. A neigbour cleans my windows twice a year, it keeps her happy if I keep it clean, but I dont so if I cant help her "letting go" I can make her happy picking up the cleaning cloth :lol2:
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Re: What are the difficulties in your practice?

Postby desert_woodworker on Tue Sep 05, 2017 2:57 pm

fukasetsu wrote:
desert_woodworker wrote:Marcel,
Yes, "reactivity" versus "responsiveness" is a topic of some discussion in some Buddhist circles lately, and rightly so, being nothing new, really. Stephen Batchelor, for example, has good contributions in this discussion in his writings and teachings.

Never heared of it Joe, can you explain "responsiveness" translates as reacting to me.

Never heard of it? It's a distinction with a real difference, if you think about it.

Let's see: well, just as a starting point, let's say that "reactiveness" is responding out of habit, conditioning, lazy impulse, or spite, and not out of Wisdom.

And we could say that "responsiveness", when it is NOT merely reactive, includes a "more universal" appreciation of what else is true besides one's biases and habits. It includes more of the true richness of the world in it, and usually it is overall a more "appropriate" response.

So it's said that it is most often better for everyone if we "respond" to doings and beings, rather than merely "react" mechanically or habitually to them.

This theme could be (and is, by others) much more developed and gone into more deeply and broadly. I'll stop there, hoping that you can rope your own way into that canyon, if you're interested.

Again, Batchelor goes into a good bit, it's one of his big topics.

--Joe
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Re: What are the difficulties in your practice?

Postby fukasetsu on Tue Sep 05, 2017 3:31 pm

Ah is that responsiveness, thanks didnt know the word.
I just call that not reacting since the activity from not reacting is spontaneous, respond is a better term.

Understand the English now.
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Re: What are the difficulties in your practice?

Postby zenci on Tue Sep 05, 2017 6:49 pm

Linda Anderson wrote:dear one, be patient with your self, stop criticizing..... form is emptiness, emptiness is form.
:daisy:


Dear Linda,

Thank you so much for your wisdom and kindness. I needed to hear it.

Best,

M
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Re: What are the difficulties in your practice?

Postby desert_woodworker on Wed Sep 06, 2017 3:36 pm

Marcel, and All ZFI,

fukasetsu wrote:
desert_woodworker wrote:Marcel,
Yes, "reactivity" versus "responsiveness" is a topic of some discussion in some Buddhist circles lately, and rightly so, being nothing new, really. Stephen Batchelor, for example, has good contributions in this discussion in his writings and teachings.

Never heared of it Joe, can you explain "responsiveness" translates as reacting to me.

I've got just the thing for you.

Here is a 59.5-minute Dharma talk, given by Stephen Batchelor on a Sōn Buddhist retreat, on the topic of "Reactive or Responsive?", at Gaia House. It's pretty thorough, and is itself a good contemplation exercise, if you'd like to listen. The audio begins immediately to play when you go to this URL:

"Reactive or Responsive?": http://www.dharmaseed.org/talks/audio_player/169/36464.html

best,

--Joe
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Re: What are the difficulties in your practice?

Postby fukasetsu on Wed Sep 06, 2017 8:36 pm

Thanks Joe, listened to the first 6 minutes.
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