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I wonder if anyone can answer this

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A place to share and discuss the practice of Zen Buddhism without teachers. Debates about whether practising without teachers is possible or desirable are not appropriate here, nor are criticisms of Zen Buddhist practice with teachers.

I wonder if anyone can answer this

Postby Sleepy Wanderer on Sun Apr 13, 2014 9:48 pm

I caught myself thinking, promising to myself "Ah, yes. Tomorrow will be a fresh new day. Tomorrow I will really bring my mind to the present moment." What could possibly be keeping me from doing it right now?
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Re: I wonder if anyone can answer this

Postby Chrisd on Sun Apr 13, 2014 9:54 pm

My guess:
You unconsciously assume that bringing the mind right now to the present moment will be effortful and straining, not conducive to benefit and pleasure.

To break this unconscious assumption, you can say to yourself: what feels best right now? Feeling what feels best is a joy! Conscious feeling good. And then you can use that to "enter the present moment".

Best :peace:
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Re: I wonder if anyone can answer this

Postby desert_woodworker on Sun Apr 13, 2014 11:29 pm

SW,

Yes, "resolve" and, let's say, "forcefulness" can help, for a few moments' presumed mindfulness. But, practice is key.

The grass is no greener tomorrow. But tomorrow is not too soon to start.

Zazen is a traditional practice. It enables more wakeful mindfulness in daily life, and vice-versa. But the pair of them is/are needed -- Zazen, and keeping awake while on our feet in the midst of daily activity and duties.

Zazen is for daily life. One must make a good start with it, and simply continue. I speak as an old dusty student, not a teacher. But I do teach the Buddhist Yoga and other physical practices that support zazen.

I hope you have a teacher and sangha. That's the circumstances that are ideal for learning correct zazen and other practices. You'll see what a difference this makes, if you have not already. If you have, already, well, your question will be answered in time.

I note however that you've posted in a non-teacher area, but I hope this does not mean that a teacher and sangha are impossible for you at some more suitable or enabling time.

In any case, without zazen there is no awakening, and without awakening there is no truly natural mindfulness (there is only "effort"). The difference is enormous. Even if you have no teacher now, the best thing to do is to tool-up for having a teacher. Scrape, plan, save, learn physical yoga at a school, and do all possible to see a Zen Buddhist teacher (if Z. Budd. practice is what interests you), and practice regularly together with the group surrounding the teacher. This advice or babbling does not infringe on the spirit of this area, which has to do with practice without a teacher. I merely hope that circumstances will change so that this other way becomes feasible, practicable, and easy.

With best wishes for strong practice,

--Joe
Last edited by desert_woodworker on Sun Apr 13, 2014 11:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: I wonder if anyone can answer this

Postby Avisitor on Sun Apr 13, 2014 11:38 pm

To answer:
" What could possibly be keeping me from doing it right now?

My guess:
Something is neither good nor evil until we think it so ...
Thinking something is so and so doesn't make it so ... (like thinking pigs fly)
The glass .. is it half empty or is it half full or is it neither half full nor half empty ...

Practice ... and experience ... suggests:
A rock rolling down a hill will continue to roll down the hill whether we wish it to stop or not

Good luck to you .... :heya:
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Re: I wonder if anyone can answer this

Postby TigerDuck on Mon Apr 14, 2014 3:48 am

THere is one buddhist master who said something like this.

The joy of being present is more than the suffering of deluded mind.

The problem with present moment is some practitioners just being present, but they can't feel the joy of being present.

Unless they have realized voidness, being present doesn't help much in bringing up joy.

Through nonconceptuality, he is immovable.

[Nagarjuna]
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Re: I wonder if anyone can answer this

Postby Kojip on Mon Apr 14, 2014 5:05 am

Sleepy Wanderer wrote:I caught myself thinking, promising to myself "Ah, yes. Tomorrow will be a fresh new day. Tomorrow I will really bring my mind to the present moment." What could possibly be keeping me from doing it right now?



Hi sleepy. There is no need to bring the mind to the present moment. Cast your mind forward or backward all you want, it makes no difference, because it is all a present imagining. Right now is all there is, regardless. There is no approaching it, and no getting away. There is no need to make a fresh new day either. It is always fresh, regardless. So, sit down and drop the load.... or don't. Go ahead and carry if you have to. :) Richard /\
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Re: I wonder if anyone can answer this

Postby Michaeljc on Mon Apr 14, 2014 8:42 am

Sleepy Wanderer wrote:I caught myself thinking, promising to myself "Ah, yes. Tomorrow will be a fresh new day. Tomorrow I will really bring my mind to the present moment." What could possibly be keeping me from doing it right now?


Nothing - just listen.

While this is not difficult, staying in the moment for extended periods is something we cannot force. Therefore we practice. It comes when it is ready, as a result of our practice. By that I mean sitting practice. But, 'just listen' is something we can do any time. Everything that is Zen is within that moment of just listening. This is not a fancy practice. It is very ordinary.

m
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Re: I wonder if anyone can answer this

Postby Seeker242 on Mon Apr 14, 2014 11:47 am

Do you practice daily meditation?
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Re: I wonder if anyone can answer this

Postby fukasetsu on Mon Apr 14, 2014 11:51 am

Sleepy Wanderer wrote:I wonder if anyone can answer this


All your questions come from your identification with the body.
Mijn Oude Vriend uit de woestijn begrijpt geen Nederlands. <3
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Re: I wonder if anyone can answer this

Postby Jojo on Mon Apr 14, 2014 2:04 pm

Sleepy Wanderer wrote:I caught myself thinking, promising to myself "Ah, yes. Tomorrow will be a fresh new day. Tomorrow I will really bring my mind to the present moment." What could possibly be keeping me from doing it right now?

Do you have a defined conception of what it means “to be in the present moment”?
(Edited :blush: )
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Re: I wonder if anyone can answer this

Postby Avisitor on Tue Apr 15, 2014 4:42 am

Kojip wrote:There is no need to bring the mind to the present moment. Cast your mind forward or backward all you want, it makes no difference, because it is all a present imagining. Right now is all there is, regardless. There is no approaching it, and no getting away. There is no need to make a fresh new day either. It is always fresh, regardless. So, sit down and drop the load.... or don't. Go ahead and carry if you have to. :) Richard /\


Isn't consciousness, awareness about the present
And the mind, like a flashlight, pointing or highlighting where attention goes??
The mind filters what the consciousness experiences??

I am not disagreeing.
In fact, I see the truth of your words.
Just that there seems to me that there is another aspect to this.
Sorry for my confusion.
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Re: I wonder if anyone can answer this

Postby Quiet Heart on Tue Apr 15, 2014 7:16 am

Sleepy Wanderer wrote:I caught myself thinking, promising to myself "Ah, yes. Tomorrow will be a fresh new day. Tomorrow I will really bring my mind to the present moment." What could possibly be keeping me from doing it right now?

-----------------------------------
:)
It's like starting a diet or quitting smoking.
The problem is you.... and also of course the answer is you.
Today is just yesterday's "tomorrow". Every second of yesterday's tomorrow is a Now.
It's how your mind looks at it ..... the terms yesterday, today, and tomorrow are just imaginary names.... illusions your mind generates to feed the need of your "Ego Mind" to satisfy it's delusion of "being in control .... right Now".
Thinking in those terms .... seeing the illusion of the terms Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow.... is a delusion.
Get your mind past the gate of that great delusion, and then you can see the unending NOW as it really is.
But that delusion is hard to really see until one passes that gate.
And to actually live that way requires a lot of effort.
:)
In Quietness is the beginning of all Things
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Re: I wonder if anyone can answer this

Postby Sleepy Wanderer on Fri Apr 18, 2014 5:57 pm

Thank you all for answering. I practice zazen most mornings and sometimes evenings and/or afternoons as well. I love this practice and it continues to have a profound influence on my life. I also find myself bringing this meditativeness with me throughout the day, into all kinds of situations.

However I am not exactly a monk, I'm young and foolish, and fall in love and make music and go to parties and whatnot, and I'm loving this for now, even though or perhaps because I realize the voidness of it.

Maybe I will find a teacher some day, if I can find one who has nothing to teach and doesn't charge money for it. But right now all of my friends, the people I meet, the flowers I smell and even cold winds and blows to the stomach are my teachers and my sangha, and I don't know what more or what special things an 'actual' teacher could teach me. But if someone else knows, please tell me.

PS please don't take me too seriously :Namaste:
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Re: I wonder if anyone can answer this

Postby desert_woodworker on Fri Apr 18, 2014 10:19 pm

SW,

I don't know all the details, of course, but I would say, "not foolish".

I think that, if we benefit from practice that puts us more and more in alignment with the Dharma and with the Tao, then we do WELL to put ourselves out and around. I mean, to mingle, to be active, and to participate. And to spend time "in the marketplace".

The reason is that, when we do this, we carry the parts of the Dharma and Tao that we embody into the presence of others, through ourselves. Our behavior, our comportment, our way of speech, our helpfulness and compassion, will all influence others in positive ways, and help us in our lives, too.

Maybe this is the ideal, but I think it is often realized.

In addition, our own recognition of our effect(s) on others and our responsibility to them will cause us to take our practice even more seriously, and give it yet greater importance. We will do less harm and more good.

Now, what a personal teacher and sangha can do, in your practice with them, is enormous. No one can tell you much about it. But it is almost essential in order to get on with practice properly. I cannot put it more strongly in this area of the Forum, though, because it is not allowed to do so. ;)

But, since you asked, perhaps in a different thread in a different area, you may receive some more pointed answers.

best,

--Joe

Sleepy Wanderer wrote:However I am not exactly a monk, I'm young and foolish, and fall in love and make music and go to parties and whatnot, and I'm loving this for now, even though or perhaps because I realize the voidness of it.

<snip>

... and I don't know what more or what special things an 'actual' teacher could teach me. But if someone else knows, please tell me.
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Re: I wonder if anyone can answer this

Postby another_being on Sat Apr 19, 2014 6:39 am

"I caught myself thinking..."
"What could possibly be keeping me from doing it right now?"

Only thinking.

:Namaste:
"Some people think they are enlightened, some people think they are not enlightened." -- Denko
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Re: I wonder if anyone can answer this

Postby christopher::: on Sat Apr 19, 2014 6:53 am

another_being wrote:"I caught myself thinking..."
"What could possibly be keeping me from doing it right now?"

Only thinking.

:Namaste:


:)

"Jhanas are degrees of freedom from anxiety.. Successive degrees of diminution of one’s desire to interfere willfully in the natural course of events. Jhanas are shifts of interest increasingly, from what ought to be, to what is…"

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Re: I wonder if anyone can answer this

Postby Michaeljc on Sat Apr 19, 2014 12:46 pm

Actually, practice or no practice, we most probably be within the moment many times throughout the day, we just don't realise it. I am not convinced that putting an emphasis on it is important. This practice is not forcible. The practice leads us, we don't lead it. Just sit according to recognised norms and wait to see how this influences us. This is enough IMO - certainly for someone practicing without guidance.

SW: You say that you are sitting 3 times/day. In my view any sit needs to be longer that 30 mins. If 3 sits/day at 30 min + are leaving you with doubts then I’d say you should work with a teacher. That routine should be noticeably reducing anxiety - as well as leaving us more in the moment for some time after we rise. 20 mins/sit probably aint going to do it.

m
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Re: I wonder if anyone can answer this

Postby Kojip on Tue Apr 22, 2014 12:17 pm

Avisitor wrote:
Kojip wrote:There is no need to bring the mind to the present moment. Cast your mind forward or backward all you want, it makes no difference, because it is all a present imagining. Right now is all there is, regardless. There is no approaching it, and no getting away. There is no need to make a fresh new day either. It is always fresh, regardless. So, sit down and drop the load.... or don't. Go ahead and carry if you have to. :) Richard /\


Isn't consciousness, awareness about the present
And the mind, like a flashlight, pointing or highlighting where attention goes??
The mind filters what the consciousness experiences??

I am not disagreeing.
In fact, I see the truth of your words.
Just that there seems to me that there is another aspect to this.
Sorry for my confusion.


Hi Avisitor sorry for not responding sooner. I don't know about mind or filtering. That sounds complicated. There is all kinds of imagining and flexing going on that makes a past and future, with a fugitive sense of present sandwiched in between. It's a very restless set up. Yet it really is just seeming, even though the experience of confusion and suffering is real enough. It really is just mind made, mind fabricated. This is why sitting is always about simple felt body presence, sounds, breath,..just feeling in feeling as it is, pleasant and unpleasant, comfortable uncomfortable. It does not engage the mind in making and running from past to future, and opens up to our timeless nature that is always here, and can never be lost. r /\
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Re: I wonder if anyone can answer this

Postby partofit22 on Sat Apr 26, 2014 1:30 pm

Sleepy Wanderer wrote:I caught myself thinking, promising to myself "Ah, yes. Tomorrow will be a fresh new day. Tomorrow I will really bring my mind to the present moment." What could possibly be keeping me from doing it right now?


You caught yourself, or called yourself- I'd call that practice- Nothing kept you from anything at that moment- You noticed- Pure and simple- And the only thing keeping you from doing it more frequently is you- When I tell myself stories about what I will do tomorrow .. I could either be planning or procrastinating- :)
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Re: I wonder if anyone can answer this

Postby Herbie on Mon Oct 27, 2014 6:10 pm

Sleepy Wanderer wrote:I caught myself thinking, promising to myself "Ah, yes. Tomorrow will be a fresh new day. Tomorrow I will really bring my mind to the present moment." What could possibly be keeping me from doing it right now?

Guess you already did it because you caught yourself thinking. :)
Although we don't know anything, let's make words! Words are inspiring.
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