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ZAZEN is NOT A MATTER OF TIME

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ZAZEN is NOT A MATTER OF TIME

Postby jundo on Wed Apr 12, 2017 7:08 am

Hi,

I often hear that Zen requires long Sesshin retreats, long sits, long efforts to scratch the surface. I do not feel so. Perhaps we might say "it does, yet it does not at all." There is a time for long and a time for short, but do not forget that the reason is ultimately beyond and right through "long vs. short" all measure and "time".

I can't get this across to folks enough: Sitting is not a matter of counting time, not a matter of time at all. One must sit beyond time ... in just this moment, and this moment and this ...

Teachers who say one must sit certain minutes to get the "physical effect" of Zazen are not wrong, but they tend to be too instrumental about the Practice. They miss the forest for the trees if they are too rigid in such measurements.

Whether sitting long or short, sit beyond time. "Sit", as well, on the cushion and off (folks also don't take seriously enough how life "off the cushion" is still 'an endless chances' for "Zazen" ... and that "Zazen" is also walking, standing and everyplace, and is not only sitting on a cushion facing the wall! I am reading right now a book that many of the "Greats" of the Tang and Song Dynasties, and folks like Bankei in Japan, may have actually felt that Zazen "off the cushion" was as or more vital than sitting.They emphasized the wider life of "Zazen" in its widest meaning in all of daily life). One fellow posted at Treeleaf today that he crushed his foot last year, has been in and out of surgery and stuck in bed in traction, out of a job and worried about the future. He said all this "keeps him from Zazen" and "getting on the cushion". I wrote him:

Zazen is NOT just sitting on a cushion or bench, looking at a wall. I am reading right now a book that many of the "Greats" of the Tang and Song Dynasties, and folks like Bankei and even Dogen in Japan, may have actually felt that Zazen "off the cushion" was as or more vital than sitting.They emphasized the wider life of "Zazen" in its widest meaning in all of daily life. Stuck in bed with your throbbing foot in the air, worried about disability, angry at fate, a little fearful for the future and feeling the general sometimes "suckiness" of it all ...

... if right then and there one can manage to leave aside the judgments and comparisons of "sickness vs. health", thoughts of past and future and what would be "better" or "should be" ... if right there, with you throbbing leg in the air one can manage a little equanimity and allowing even for a few minutes ... then do you know what to call that? WONDERFUL POWERFUL Zazen! And it is not a matter whether the feet are crossed in the full lotus or hanging from a sling.


That being said, sometimes if able we get on the cushion or bench and face the wall, sitting short (a few seconds, a minute, 15 minutes, 30 minutes or more) or sitting long (hours, days, weeks or a lifetime or more) ... all to realize this fact of "beyond time" and "everyplace."

So, do not think of "long vs. short" even when sitting long, and even when sitting short. (A Koan)

Gassho, J
SatToday
------

A talk on this from a few years ago, maybe somebody will learn something from my mistakes:

SIT-A-LONG with Jundo: Why Zen Folks FAIL!! (5) - Watching The Clock Rackin Up Points
http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showthre ... -Up-Points

So many Zen students think that the longer they sit the better. They believe 10 years surpasses 10 months or 10 days, which must be better than 10 hours, which is better than 10 minutes or seconds. They treat Zazen like a taxi meter or points to rack up, the more they sit the closer they are to the goal. They equate more and more sitting with going deeper and deeper, or becoming more and more peaceful, or more and more "Buddha-like", or more and more "enlightened".

However, Zazen only truly hits the mark when all measure of time and score, goals and attainment are dropped away. Only then does a moment of sitting contain all time, only then does one realize the destination ever present. Zazen is thus very unlike many forms of meditation (not to mention very unlike our usual clock watching, tally counting, comparing and measuring, goal oriented attitude toward the rest of our busy lives) in which deeper and deeper attainments, and greater and greater achievements, add up with time.
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Re: ZAZEN is NOT A MATTER OF TIME

Postby partofit22 on Wed Apr 12, 2017 7:09 pm

Thank you-
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Re: ZAZEN is NOT A MATTER OF TIME

Postby desert_woodworker on Thu Apr 13, 2017 2:41 pm

Time and tide wait for gnomon (said this sundial-designer).

A NEW YORK TIMES writer penned a book Thanks For Being Late, showing a potentially new attitude toward time in the current Machine Age.

And I note a wrist-watch selling which has only coarse divisions of hours upon its dial, and no nerve-wracking second-hand, nor even a minutes-hand (a 24-hour dial, at that); image attached.

"Later" :Namaste: ,

--Joe

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Re: ZAZEN is NOT A MATTER OF TIME

Postby organizational on Thu Apr 13, 2017 3:47 pm

My cousin is at the hospital now.My aunt's son.His name is Ugur.His hearth rhythm is slow.Please do your prays for him...
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Re: ZAZEN is NOT A MATTER OF TIME

Postby jundo on Thu Apr 13, 2017 4:40 pm

organizational wrote:My cousin is at the hospital now.My aunt's son.His name is Ugur.His hearth rhythm is slow.Please do your prays for him...


Sitting Zazen, and all Metta to him and your family.

Gassho, Jundo
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Re: ZAZEN is NOT A MATTER OF TIME

Postby organizational on Thu Apr 13, 2017 5:36 pm

Metta to you

_/\_
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Re: ZAZEN is NOT A MATTER OF TIME

Postby Gregory Wonderwheel on Thu Apr 13, 2017 6:29 pm

Yes, the Zen of the One Vehicle Lineage brought to China by Bodhidharma does not subscribe to the 3 Vehicle view of the Bodhisattva Vehicle's necessity of 3 kalpas of practice. I have always taken the position that since we, or at least most of us, don't know how long we have been practicing, at any moment that last moment may have been only one moment short of 3 kalpas of practice, so this moment is it. And I agree that practice is everywhere we are intimately engaged in any of the 4 postures of sitting, standing, walking, or lying down.

_/|\_
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Why you do not understand is because the three carts were provisional for former times, and because the One Vehicle is true for the present time. ~ Zen Master 6th Ancestor Huineng
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Re: ZAZEN is NOT A MATTER OF TIME

Postby jundo on Fri Apr 14, 2017 2:32 am

Gregory Wonderwheel wrote:Yes, the Zen of the One Vehicle Lineage brought to China by Bodhidharma does not subscribe to the 3 Vehicle view of the Bodhisattva Vehicle's necessity of 3 kalpas of practice. I have always taken the position that since we, or at least most of us, don't know how long we have been practicing, at any moment that last moment may have been only one moment short of 3 kalpas of practice, so this moment is it. And I agree that practice is everywhere we are intimately engaged in any of the 4 postures of sitting, standing, walking, or lying down.

_/|\_
Gregory


:Namaste:
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Re: ZAZEN is NOT A MATTER OF TIME

Postby lobster on Fri Apr 14, 2017 5:24 am

@Joe

... really like the slowwatch, might get a second hand one that preferably does not work ...

My empty wrist will have to do for now ... :heya:
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Re: ZAZEN is NOT A MATTER OF TIME

Postby desert_woodworker on Fri Apr 14, 2017 2:14 pm

Jundo,

Pleased to meet.

Jundo, et al.,

jundo wrote:I often hear that Zen requires long Sesshin retreats, long sits, long efforts to scratch the surface. I do not feel so. Perhaps we might say "it does, yet it does not at all."

This is a nice example of the honesty and depth usually present in Zen Buddhist utterances.

In Samsara, most or almost any utterance also tends to imply its opposite since in Samsara things are relative. But Jundo here is even more out-front, and ices the cake of that implication by saying explicitly about the subject above, "it does, yet it does not at all", which is the view from the Absolute. Very nice.

jundo wrote:I can't get this across to folks enough: Sitting is not a matter of counting time, not a matter of time at all. One must sit beyond time ... in just this moment, and this moment and this ...

Good. Here's another opportunity to appreciate an example of the relativity of words, meanings, and values, in Zen Buddhist utterances and in tradition.

It's helpful to say time is not the most important in proper practice. Yet... recall and note the reverence and respect given to Bodhidharma for his forbearance and thoroughness in practice before he left for the East to cross the sea on a reed to bring Ch'an to China. The phrase recorded by history is "Nine years facing the wall". Nine years is a lot of "time"! Our task is to appreciate this fact too, even in the context of a phrase that asserts, "sitting is ...not a matter of time at all".

Regardless, with this relativity in mind, let's as a gathered forum keep talking with each other, and discussing. That's what a forum is "for". Let's keep in mind the relativity of all assertions, and avoid the dangers and incivilities of cherry-picking quotations from Buddhist literature or folklore that would serve to make a "cut-and-dried case" for any argument, no matter how fully-baked, half-baked, or iced the cake may seem when put on the sales counter before our pointy noses.

As such, there's no cut-and-dried case. But there's encouragement, through skillful and expedient means, informed by the arising of true Wisdom, and motivated by true Compassion.

--Joe
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Re: ZAZEN is NOT A MATTER OF TIME

Postby desert_woodworker on Fri Apr 28, 2017 3:41 pm

Time on my hands, but no "watch" on my wrist;
Time on my mind, but no mill for the grist.

--Joe

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Re: ZAZEN is NOT A MATTER OF TIME

Postby organizational on Mon May 01, 2017 10:38 am

May Zazen fall your's share.

reset

Thank you.
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