What's all this nonsense about sitting still?

What's all this nonsense about sitting still?

Postby Verbanderbog » Wed Mar 06, 2013 11:18 am

Why do people struggle so with enlightenment? Once you understand it intellectually you can have it. All this wishy-washy business about sitting still and discipline, is it just an alternate route? Is it just a way to crack the ego's defenses? :shrug: To quote Alan Watts, "If you have a thin shell and your mask is easily dispatched with he simply uses what we might call an easy method. He says, 'ha-ha, listen Shiva, come off, it ha, don’t pretend you’re this guy here. I know who you are.' And the guy sort-of twinkles a bit and says um, 'Well, I guess you’re right'." Why is it never that simple with most people?
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Re: What's all this nonsense about sitting still?

Postby oushi » Wed Mar 06, 2013 11:39 am

Because it depends on a persons karma. Some karma even makes people think they can even have "it". :smile:
Zen is not about believing in ideas, quite opposite. So, if you have it all figured out, you have to work hard to get ride of it. as it is about not having anything.
Last edited by oushi on Wed Mar 06, 2013 11:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What's all this nonsense about sitting still?

Postby Verbanderbog » Wed Mar 06, 2013 11:43 am

oushi wrote:Because it depends on a persons karma. Some karma even makes people think they can even have "it". :smile:

"have" perhaps was the wrong word. I simply mean to say intellectual understanding seems enough to make it "click" as it were.
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Re: What's all this nonsense about sitting still?

Postby oushi » Wed Mar 06, 2013 11:48 am

Verbanderbog wrote:
oushi wrote:Because it depends on a persons karma. Some karma even makes people think they can even have "it". :smile:

"have" perhaps was the wrong word. I simply mean to say intellectual understanding seems enough to make it "click" as it were

It may, but intellectual understanding makes a lot of different things "click". Minds capabilities are far beyond commons people imagination, so you cannot know what you "have". And this unknowing is what your looking for.
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Re: What's all this nonsense about sitting still?

Postby Verbanderbog » Wed Mar 06, 2013 11:49 am

oushi wrote:Because it depends on a persons karma. Some karma even makes people think they can even have "it". :smile:
Zen is not about believing in ideas, quite opposite. So, if you have it all figured out, you have to work hard to get ride of it. as it is about not having anything.

I don't have it figured out. There is nothing to figure out.
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Re: What's all this nonsense about sitting still?

Postby oushi » Wed Mar 06, 2013 11:51 am

Verbanderbog wrote:
oushi wrote:Because it depends on a persons karma. Some karma even makes people think they can even have "it". :smile:
Zen is not about believing in ideas, quite opposite. So, if you have it all figured out, you have to work hard to get ride of it. as it is about not having anything.

I don't have it figured out. There is nothing to figure out.

So, what do you understand intellectually ?
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Re: What's all this nonsense about sitting still?

Postby Verbanderbog » Wed Mar 06, 2013 11:52 am

oushi wrote:
Verbanderbog wrote:
oushi wrote:Because it depends on a persons karma. Some karma even makes people think they can even have "it". :smile:
Zen is not about believing in ideas, quite opposite. So, if you have it all figured out, you have to work hard to get ride of it. as it is about not having anything.

I don't have it figured out. There is nothing to figure out.

So, what do you understand intellectually ?

I understand intellectually that words suck at discussing this topic.
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Re: What's all this nonsense about sitting still?

Postby oushi » Wed Mar 06, 2013 11:54 am

Verbanderbog wrote:I understand intellectually that words suck at discussing this topic.

Why?
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Re: What's all this nonsense about sitting still?

Postby Verbanderbog » Wed Mar 06, 2013 11:59 am

oushi wrote:
Verbanderbog wrote:I understand intellectually that words suck at discussing this topic.

Why?

Because language can't emulate the feeling you have when you see a bird in flight.
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Re: What's all this nonsense about sitting still?

Postby seeker242 » Wed Mar 06, 2013 11:59 am

Verbanderbog wrote:Why do people struggle so with enlightenment? Once you understand it intellectually you can have it.


Is there a zen master that said you can have it just by understanding it intellectually?
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Re: What's all this nonsense about sitting still?

Postby Astus » Wed Mar 06, 2013 12:02 pm

Sitting still is only a small part of the Buddhist path. It is like a test environment where you have the opportunity to investigate how things are, where you have a short break from the everyday events to spend time with your study.

As for gaining insight from learning, it can work fine, if you have the right teachings and the correct motivation. Based on the words found in the books and heard from the teachers one can confirm it in personal experience. That's why the process is described as: listening, contemplating and realising. You hear/read about it, you understand it, and then check it in real life. This third part is what meditation is mostly used for at the beginning, to develop mental calmness and precision.
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

"Neither cultivation nor seated meditation — this is the pure Chan of Tathagata."
(Mazu Daoyi, X1321p3b23; tr. Jinhua Jia)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T2076p461b24-26)
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Re: What's all this nonsense about sitting still?

Postby Verbanderbog » Wed Mar 06, 2013 12:05 pm

Astus wrote:Sitting still is only a small part of the Buddhist path. It is like a test environment where you have the opportunity to investigate how things are, where you have a short break from the everyday events to spend time with your study.

As for gaining insight from learning, it can work fine, if you have the right teachings and the correct motivation. Based on the words found in the books and heard from the teachers one can confirm it in personal experience. That's why the process is described as: listening, contemplating and realising. You hear/read about it, you understand it, and then check it in real life. This third part is what meditation is mostly used for at the beginning, to develop mental calmness and precision.

This is what I was curious about. Thank you. To everyone else, I'm sorry if I wasn't very clear with my words it's 6 in the morning here and I haven't slept yet.
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Re: What's all this nonsense about sitting still?

Postby oushi » Wed Mar 06, 2013 12:06 pm

Verbanderbog wrote:
oushi wrote:
Verbanderbog wrote:I understand intellectually that words suck at discussing this topic.

Why?

Because language can't emulate the feeling you have when you see a bird in flight.

Are there people that thinks it can? I'm still wondering how do you understand it intellectually. You are unable to find a way do emulate emotions with intellect. Do you call it understanding?
This is what I was curious about. Thank you. To everyone else, I'm sorry if I wasn't very clear with my words it's 6 in the morning here and I haven't slept yet.

No problem. A great Zen master said, "When tired, I go to sleep". That is Zen. :smile:

seeker242 wrote:
Verbanderbog wrote:Why do people struggle so with enlightenment? Once you understand it intellectually you can have it.


Is there a zen master that said you can have it just by understanding it intellectually?

Bodhidharma, the founder of Zen
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Re: What's all this nonsense about sitting still?

Postby seeker242 » Wed Mar 06, 2013 12:10 pm

oushi wrote:
seeker242 wrote:
Verbanderbog wrote:Why do people struggle so with enlightenment? Once you understand it intellectually you can have it.


Is there a zen master that said you can have it just by understanding it intellectually?

Bodhidharma, the founder of Zen


Do you know where he said this? I would like to go read it in context, etc. :)
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Re: What's all this nonsense about sitting still?

Postby oushi » Wed Mar 06, 2013 12:15 pm

Outline of Practice
Many roads lead to the Path, but basically there are only two: reason and practice. To enter by reason means to realize the essence through instruction and to believe that all living things share the same true nature, which isn’t apparent because it’s shrouded by sensation and delusion. Those who turn from delusion back to reality, who meditate on walls,’ the absence of self and other, the oneness of mortal and sage, and who remain unmoved even by scriptures are in complete and unspoken agreement with reason. Without moving, without effort, they enter, we say, by reason.
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Re: What's all this nonsense about sitting still?

Postby Astus » Wed Mar 06, 2013 12:21 pm

oushi wrote:Outline of Practice
Many roads lead to the Path, but basically there are only two: reason and practice.


Note that "reason" is not rational mind but what is nowadays translated as principle (理). See the Chung Tai translation.
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

"Neither cultivation nor seated meditation — this is the pure Chan of Tathagata."
(Mazu Daoyi, X1321p3b23; tr. Jinhua Jia)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T2076p461b24-26)
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Re: What's all this nonsense about sitting still?

Postby oushi » Wed Mar 06, 2013 12:29 pm

Bodhidharma wrote:If one can relinquish the false and turn to the true, fix the mind in “wall meditation”, understand that there are neither self nor others, that mortals and saints are equal and one—abiding this way without wavering, clinging not even to the scriptures, then one is implicitly in accord with the Principle.

You can call it principle, but still it is "understanding" as we can see above. I see "reason" more fitting here. We can say that understanding the principles of the doctrine is done through reason.
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Re: What's all this nonsense about sitting still?

Postby Dan74 » Wed Mar 06, 2013 1:34 pm

Verbanderbog wrote:Why do people struggle so with enlightenment? Once you understand it intellectually you can have it. All this wishy-washy business about sitting still and discipline, is it just an alternate route? Is it just a way to crack the ego's defenses? :shrug: To quote Alan Watts, "If you have a thin shell and your mask is easily dispatched with he simply uses what we might call an easy method. He says, 'ha-ha, listen Shiva, come off, it ha, don’t pretend you’re this guy here. I know who you are.' And the guy sort-of twinkles a bit and says um, 'Well, I guess you’re right'." Why is it never that simple with most people?


Well, seems like it wasn't so easy with Watts either for all his intellectual brilliance. He died prematurely, an alcoholic and a compulsive womaniser.

Funnily enough I had a very similar idea after reading Watts. I thought I basically had it all sussed out but for some reason went on a 3-day retreat with a hard-core Zen teacher.

It's very unsettling when the house of cards comes tumbling down, but even more of a pain to keep living in it.
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Re: What's all this nonsense about sitting still?

Postby Astus » Wed Mar 06, 2013 1:39 pm

I think the measure of success on the path is the decrease of suffering, desire, anger, jealousy, and the rest of the unwholesome qualities in one's life. Sitting through days without moving, that's a different programme and usually a test of willpower ("I can do it!").
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

"Neither cultivation nor seated meditation — this is the pure Chan of Tathagata."
(Mazu Daoyi, X1321p3b23; tr. Jinhua Jia)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T2076p461b24-26)
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Re: What's all this nonsense about sitting still?

Postby oushi » Wed Mar 06, 2013 1:42 pm

Dan74 wrote:Well, seems like it wasn't so easy with Watts either for all his intellectual brilliance. He died prematurely, an alcoholic and a compulsive womaniser.

If I may ask, what does that have to do with enlightenment? Awakened ones stay always sober, restrain from having sex, and live long... or what?
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