Staring at walls

Discuss your personal experience with the Dharma here. How has it enriched your life? What challenges does it present?

Staring at walls

Postby Greg_the_poet » Sat Jul 21, 2012 8:29 pm

I'm a soto zen practitioner, and for a couple of years I've struggled with the staring at a wall kind of meditation. For a while I felt like I was totally wasting my time. All it felt like was that I was literally staring at a wall while at the same time being in a lot of pain. I concluded that Soto Zen must be for masochists and that I should seek another path.
I've persisted though, and I have to say the past few times I've gone to the Dojo I've started seeking beyond the wall, so to speak. I'm not saying I've gained some great insight, but I've slowly been able to see that the wall has nothing to do with it, if anything it's just a mirror of my mind. The wall has started getting blurry and I've been finding myself in very relaxing places (Not the point of zen I know, but it's happened).
I'm aware I shouldn't attach to any experience, and should carry on doing zazen for it's own sake, but it is SLIGHTLY easier, knowing that I feel I'm doing something a bit more enjoyable.
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Re: Staring at walls

Postby dharmagoat » Sat Jul 21, 2012 11:32 pm

I do the same practice, but it never occurred to me that it involved staring at a wall. In my experience it is about allowing the gaze to rest on a plain or randomly textured surface while observing the stillness of the mind. The discomfort from sitting, if approached a certain way, can actually consolidate the practice. It is still pain, but the kind of pain that promotes stillness rather than disturbance.

I am pleased to hear that you feel you are making progress. If it gets too easy, you can always do more of it.
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