zen daily life

zen daily life

Postby omnifriend » Sun Mar 25, 2012 6:31 pm

i understand sitting practice and walking, but do we practice all day long? what does one do with ones mind all day long?
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Re: zen daily life

Postby Astus » Sun Mar 25, 2012 7:23 pm

Zhiyi, the actual founder of the Tiantai School, taught meditation in the form of Four Samadhis (in brief, in more details) that consists of sitting, walking, sitting and walking, neither sitting nor walking. The fourth of this means practice without restrains, practising in all circumstances. Zen is very much like this fourth samadhi, while other methods - not just sitting and walking meditation, but sutra recitation, prostrations, confession, etc. - are preliminaries, gradual and even unnecessary (or rather optional).

What does Zen practice mean? It is simply abiding nowhere, not grasping concepts and emotions, but also not rejecting them. It is working and functioning without attachment, so it is the prajnaparamita of every bodhisattva. It is the manifestation of buddha-mind, the true nature of this very mind reading now, without being hooked up on ideas of self and other. Zen is no different from life itself, it simply drops all illusions about what life should and should not be.
"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)

“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; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
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Re: zen daily life

Postby Jikan » Mon Mar 26, 2012 3:19 pm

omnifriend wrote:i understand sitting practice and walking, but do we practice all day long? what does one do with ones mind all day long?


Astus has given some very good advice.

Where to go from there? Find a capable teacher, find a practice group, and you'll get more specifics.
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Re: zen daily life

Postby Yessu » Tue Mar 27, 2012 7:58 pm

"but do we practice all day long? what does one do with ones mind all day long?"

Your mind functions on a kind of auto pilot, operating according to your genetics, experiences and habits with some conscious input from time to time.

Each day it encounters some fresh problem or obstacles. Like a calculator performing a math problem the inputs of the situation will be sent through the brain's mechanism to produce an 'answer' in the form of the signals your mind outputs, namely thoughts, sensations, speech, actions etc.

The great feature of your mind is it has a function where it can look back at itself and adjust its programming to meet evolving conditions.

As you go through your daily activities you can identify some area of your mind's operation that you would like to change and simply think about and contemplate it until you get some result.

For instance: I was always very opinionated and ready to argue and debate everything, after a while I wanted to change so I made up a little game. I would listen to radio programs like Christian broadcasting or Rush Limbaugh that normally I would strongly disagree with and try to keep myself calm and just listen in an open and neutral way. At first I had to shut off the radio after a few minutes, but later I got better, and I would challenge myself to see things from the other persons perspective, contemplate what things in their life led to their views, and find some similarities between us on so on. It was something simple, and I could do it during work so it was convenient.

The positive benefit of my practice was that I was calmer, more patient, more loving, and could enjoy a better relationship with my friends and family, and not let views I didn't like cause me to become angry.

There are a lot of practices like this. Small things that piss you off, or scare you, or frustrate you happen all the time, you can find a way to use any of them to practice all day. The idea is to train your mind so that those things no longer affect you in a negative way and then you can enjoy the benefit of being happiness and wisdom :-)
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Re: zen daily life

Postby ground » Tue Mar 27, 2012 8:27 pm

omnifriend wrote: what does one do with ones mind all day long?

Make sure consciousness does not arise and if it does let it go.
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Re: zen daily life

Postby White Lotus » Wed Mar 28, 2012 3:05 pm

mind does what it has always done... concentrate, daydream, wander, perhaps practice some mindfulness. just as it always has. this is enlightened mind. as Astus says, apparently completely normal and yet... able to see the true nature of things in this ordinariness.

letting go even of the dharma eye, if that were possible and just not abiding in anything. letting your mind be free. non attachment. just letting go of all attainments... if that is possible.

best wishes, Tom.
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Re: zen daily life

Postby seeker242 » Tue Apr 03, 2012 2:52 pm

omnifriend wrote:i understand sitting practice and walking, but do we practice all day long? what does one do with ones mind all day long?


"Practice is a 24/7 activity" ~Zen Master :)

One's mind does whatever ones body is doing, just like sitting and walking meditation. If your body is sitting there breathing, your mind is sitting there breathing. If your body is walking around the dharma room, your mind is walking around the dharma room. So if you are grocery shopping, your mind is grocery shopping. If you are driving a car, your mind is driving a car. If you are typing on a computer, your mind is typing on a computer. If you are taking a shower, your mind is taking a shower. Teachers call it keeping a "just now mind" because anything other than just now, is just a mental fabrication.
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Re: zen daily life

Postby Wesley1982 » Sun Apr 08, 2012 7:36 pm

I do spiritual reading, meditate in prayer corner, communicate on the Internet, walk around the house etc.
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Re: zen daily life

Postby Huifeng » Mon Apr 09, 2012 8:31 am

omnifriend wrote:i understand sitting practice and walking, but do we practice all day long? what does one do with ones mind all day long?


Same thing you do with your mind when sitting and walking, if you really do understand what that is all about ...

~~ Huifeng
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Re: zen daily life

Postby BuddhaSoup » Mon Apr 09, 2012 12:52 pm

Each day, minute by minute, is an opportunity for practice.

For example, we can apply mindfulness to our daily life, and allow a mindful, meditative approach to influence every interaction.

Thich Naht Hanh has described something like a "red light" meditation. We usually react badly to traffic, and having to stop for a red light while in traffic. Instead of being frustrated, he suggests using the 3-4 minutes at the red light as an opportunity for a meditation, a car zazen, a chance to practice mindfulness in the marketplace.

The idea is that zazen is not limited to the zendo or the home altar, but a meditation we incorporate into every life, minute to minute.

The above is what I have learned from others. I try to practice this, and yes, it is a practice, not a perfection. The idea is to be mindful, and practice, and see where you go from there.
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Re: zen daily life

Postby catmoon » Tue Apr 10, 2012 6:41 am

Huifeng wrote:
omnifriend wrote:i understand sitting practice and walking, but do we practice all day long? what does one do with ones mind all day long?


Same thing you do with your mind when sitting and walking, if you really do understand what that is all about ...

~~ Huifeng



I don't understand. Sometimes I hear that I should be sitting and walking with awareness, other times I hear that I should be sitting and walking in the ordinary way.
Sergeant Schultz knew everything there was to know.
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Re: zen daily life

Postby DarwidHalim » Tue Apr 10, 2012 7:47 am

There is actually no difference between sitting meditation and washing a plate.

In sitting meditation, we are experiencing directly the selflessness appearances. Washing a plate is also the same thing.

As long as there is no reification of self in whatever we do, there is no difference between these two.

Although outside sitting meditation, we are using concept day and night, if we can experiencing those labels do not reify the self instead proving in a very confincing way there is no self, you actually cannot differentiate between meditation and post-meditation.
I am not here nor there.
I am not right nor wrong.
I do not exist neither non-exist.
I am not I nor non-I.
I am not in samsara nor nirvana.
To All Buddhas, I bow down for the teaching of emptiness. Thank You!
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Re: zen daily life

Postby Megha » Tue Apr 10, 2012 3:19 pm

omnifriend wrote:i understand sitting practice and walking, but do we practice all day long? what does one do with ones mind all day long?

Whatever you do, as long as it is withing the precepts, give yourself to it wholeheartedly, gratefully. In daily life practice (shugyo) keep giving yourself up to whatever is being done. You no longer need to think, or to watch it, or describe it being done - it is the doing in the body that is the thing. Don't manipulate, rather respond to the environment. The inherent wisdom is already there to respond pefectly in all circumstances, but you have to re-learn how to hand yourself over to it. In a way it is a bit like swimming. Unless you learn to trust the water to bear your weight, you can't float. Certainly never swim. And the whole of zen training gradually build this trust - or faith - up, until ... well you will see :smile:
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Re: zen daily life

Postby seeker242 » Wed Apr 11, 2012 3:06 am

catmoon wrote:
Huifeng wrote:
omnifriend wrote:i understand sitting practice and walking, but do we practice all day long? what does one do with ones mind all day long?


Same thing you do with your mind when sitting and walking, if you really do understand what that is all about ...

~~ Huifeng



I don't understand. Sometimes I hear that I should be sitting and walking with awareness, other times I hear that I should be sitting and walking in the ordinary way.


Is the "ordinary way" without awareness? It seems to me that if you are walking down the street without awareness, you are liable to get hit by a car or something.
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Re: zen daily life

Postby catmoon » Wed Apr 11, 2012 8:02 am

Sorry, I was unclear.

I was speaking of the difference between walking down the street, with the mind a million miles away, and walking down the street with the awareness of what one is doing.
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Re: zen daily life

Postby Astus » Wed Apr 11, 2012 9:44 am

Taking the "awareness of the present" as the meaning of Zen is a common mistake. The present is no more relevant than the past or the future. What one should realise and keep is the buddha-mind, the mind without grasping, without self. This is no different from what is called the wisdom of selflessness and emptiness.
"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)

“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; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
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Re: zen daily life

Postby LastLegend » Wed Apr 11, 2012 3:37 pm

Meditation is to be awake and you meditate through concentration. If you listen to Dharma talk without being distracted, you are meditating as far as I know.
NAMO AMITABHA
NAM MO A DI DA PHAT (VIETNAMESE)
NAMO AMITUOFO (CHINESE)
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Re: zen daily life

Postby seeker242 » Thu Apr 12, 2012 10:43 pm

Astus wrote:Taking the "awareness of the present" as the meaning of Zen is a common mistake. The present is no more relevant than the past or the future. What one should realise and keep is the buddha-mind, the mind without grasping, without self. This is no different from what is called the wisdom of selflessness and emptiness.



What exactly is the "buddha mind"? Does "Buddha mind" have a need to go trudging through past and projecting into the future? Why does the mind go trudging into the past and projecting into the future to begin with? Is it not grasping that causes that very activity to begin with? Why would a mind with no grasping need to conjure up the past or make some ideas about the future?

catmoon wrote:Sorry, I was unclear.

I was speaking of the difference between walking down the street, with the mind a million miles away, and walking down the street with the awareness of what one is doing.


It seems to me that if you are walking down the street and your mind is a million miles away, that itself is what makes you liable to get hit by a car! The Zen Masters in my school say you should practice keeping a "just now mind" moment to moment to moment. Which means when you are walking down the street, your mind is not a million miles away but right there with you. When you are walking, just walk, when you are eating, just eat, when you are showering, just shower and that's it. No past, no future but just walking. That is what the Zen Masters in my school teach as to how you should practice.
Last edited by seeker242 on Thu Apr 12, 2012 11:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: zen daily life

Postby Wesley1982 » Thu Apr 12, 2012 11:01 pm

omnifriend wrote:i understand sitting practice and walking, but do we practice all day long? what does one do with ones mind all day long?


Zen, from a Christian POV is essentially the study of the self - study of the mind and examination of self/mind/heart. (the whole person)
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Re: zen daily life

Postby Astus » Thu Apr 12, 2012 11:43 pm

seeker242 wrote:What exactly is the "buddha mind"? Does "Buddha mind" have a need to go trudging through past and projecting into the future? Why does the mind go trudging into the past and projecting into the future to begin with? Is it not grasping that causes that very activity to begin with? Why would a mind with no grasping need to conjure up the past or make some ideas about the future?


Buddha-mind is the fundamental knowing awareness that is empty of all substances but full of all functions. Thoughts about past, present and future things are all workings of normal thinking, otherwise one cannot either eat or shit, not to mention more complex deeds. What makes the difference between freedom and bondage is whether there is attachment to reified views about self and objects or not.
"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)

“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; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
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