Thursday, November 23, 2006

Only Zazen does it for me...

The posture of Zazen, I guess, is how it is because it is the position in which it is easiest to be in a balanced state. Zazen isn't done in the "washing dishes" posture or the "lying down" posture. But then, what I've concluded anyway, I should try and focus on what I am doing and find a balanced state in whatever I am doing.
But isn't this impossible? The posture of Zazen is quite an unnatural position - I wouldn't ever find myself in that position if not for Zazen - and seems to, for whatever reasons, bring the mind into a balanced state. A state which can't really be found at any other time or in any other posture (I'm not saying Zen is the only way, but I mean that within Zen the posture seems to be the only way).
So because I feel that it is only during Zazen that my mind becomes balanced, I'm kind of playing a waiting game - something will happen in your Zazen that will unlock special powers (although it sounds dumb, I do still think that) for your daily life so just wait, keep doing your Zazen, try and remain aware during the day and something will happen. I don't feel that I can have a balanced mind with the mind I have right now. I suppose that's my point : Without some great 'unlocking' I can't see how I can remain balanced as I am during I'm waiting for something, which I'm pretty sure isn't a very wise thing to do.
Anyone have any ideas on this? Can anyone decipher the question within my post :-) ?


At November 23, 2006, Blogger MikeDoe said...

" I don't feel that I can have a balanced mind with the mind I have right now."

How many minds do you want? Or do you just want to part-ex this one for another one?

If you are establishing some sort of balance in Zazen then it will seep through into your daily life.

If in Zazen you are establishing 'balance' by 'forcing' your mind into a particular state then that might be an issue.

Rember that Zazen is 'just' a case of sitting with the mind that you have and the body that you have. Balance will establish itself over time.

At November 25, 2006, Blogger Anatman said...

It is sort of (but not completely) like trying to maintain the restful state of sleeping when not asleep. You probably don't really want to be sleeping in your daily life, but sleeping every night will make you rested, and ready to live life during the day.

You will surely learn lessons from Zazen that will apply to your daily life, and like Mike Doe said, a sense of balance will probably "seep through" into your daily life as well.

For me, meditation has not necessarily opened my eyes to what IS, but it has helped me to recognize what is NOT, and to notice the source of pain, suffering, anxiety, and stress.

A sense of balance during daily life is not just a physical phenomenon, but is mental as well. Notice your thinking and response to stimuli during zazen as opposed to during daily life. This does carry over, if you pay attention and make an effort.

At November 26, 2006, Blogger PA said...

mikedoe:I hear you! And yeah, I do want to part-ex the mind I have for another :-) Patience is a virtue indeed.
anatman: I suppose that's my point: my thinking and response to stimuli during my Zazen is different from during the day, because of my posture and the fact that all I am doing is 'just' sitting and watching. It seems almost impossible to do the same during the day.
But hey, if it were easy, it just wouldn't feel right, I suppose :-)

At November 26, 2006, Blogger MikeDoe said...

" It seems almost impossible to do the same during the day"

It's hard initially. Zazen is the easiest thing that you can do (compared with some other things).

When I started to do Vipassana (Zazen whilst doing things) I could only do it for a second or two at a time. It takes practice.

Just stick with Zazen since that is what you are doing. Most things take care of themselves when you stop chasing them.

If you try and part-ex your mind for another you will always end up with something less pleasant. Much safer to just get used to the mind you have!

At November 28, 2006, Blogger PA said...

mikedoe:I didn't realize that was what Vipassana was. Maybe I've been looking at Zazen slightly wrong - I've been thinking that I should be 'doing' zazen all the time, but maybe it's more a case of doing it, then forgetting about it. Which is kind of what I've been doing recently...

At November 29, 2006, Blogger MikeDoe said...

Yes. That's the really hard thing about Zazen. It is JUST sitting and whilst this sitting is going on allow everything else to arise.

At November 30, 2006, Blogger Justin said...

I think it's a good idea to bring the zazen mind into other activities as well - but without forcing yourself. No one, by effort of will, can keep their mind empty of concepts all the time. If there is a breakthrough at all, maybe its just that 'ordinary mind is Buddha mind' that is, even your most conceptualised, confused or emotionally attached moments are the wakefulness of the universe.

At December 02, 2006, Blogger PA said...

That's nice Justin, thanks.
Thanks all, I feel the normal meaning of the word!


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