Meido Roshi on how we move and some thoughts on procrastination

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Dan74
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Meido Roshi on how we move and some thoughts on procrastination

Post by Dan74 »

There's an excellent video I saw a little while back from Meido Roshi that is potentially of use to people of all traditions and indeed outside Buddhism as well (sorry it's free access but I'm not sure how to embed a vid from patreon page - if a Mod knows, please edit).

https://www.patreon.com/posts/how-we-move-in-42890537

Briefly, he speaks about moving in a way, so that one is intentionally, with one's entire body and being, entering the next moment, the space, rather than hanging back, reluctant, distracted or dissociated (but please watch it, my "summary" surely doesn't do it justice). The movement and the person are one, fully committed and engaged with the way one moves.

I got thinking of how this reluctant, distracted or dissociated attitude informs the way I live. Nowhere is it more clear, perhaps, than in procrastinating, which is such a hard beast for many of us to conquer.

The reason, it seems to me, is that when the attitude of hanging back, reluctant to engage, permeates our habits, then procrastination is sure to follow.

So we learn to embody this commitment to what we do, first in very simple and less challenging things, like how we move through the day. Then we build it up to instances when some reluctance or even laziness arises, and then finally when those incessant internal quibbling voices make doing the tasks we hate the most (but still need to carry out) all but impossible start clamouring for attention, we can bring the resolve that's built up from less challenging moments to bear and finally put them to rest. Plunge into it, rather than keep dipping the toe in and then running back out again. Procrastination is painful and a huge waste of time. But it seems to me that this approach is the right one to conquering it and more importantly, learn to be 100% behind what one actually commits to doing.

Well... maybe a bit too ambitious, but it has helped me through a huge pile of marking on the weekend.
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FiveSkandhas
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Re: Meido Roshi on how we move and some thoughts on procrastination

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He is a Rinzai teacher and they are very dynamic, physical even when sitting; they gave all kinds of little body and movement tricks.

Rinzai is a fantastic path that takes a lot of effort...you gotta sweat blood, take those whacks with the staff, get down on the mat and wrestle with it all...they speak of a molten ball of hot iron you can neither spit out or swallow, you really need to feel it in your narrow and earn that kensho...I like Rinzai quite a bit.
"One should cultivate contemplation in one’s foibles. The foibles are like fish, and contemplation is like fishing hooks. If there are no fish, then the fishing hooks have no use. The bigger the fish is, the better the result we will get. As long as the fishing hooks keep at it, all foibles will eventually be contained and controlled at will." -Zhiyi
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Dan74
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Re: Meido Roshi on how we move and some thoughts on procrastination

Post by Dan74 »

FiveSkandhas wrote: Wed Nov 18, 2020 7:35 am He is a Rinzai teacher and they are very dynamic, physical even when sitting; they gave all kinds of little body and movement tricks.

Rinzai is a fantastic path that takes a lot of effort...you gotta sweat blood, take those whacks with the staff, get down on the mat and wrestle with it all...they speak of a molten ball of hot iron you can neither spit out or swallow, you really need to feel it in your narrow and earn that kensho...I like Rinzai quite a bit.
I think you dramatise it a bit, FiveSkandhas, but do you think this is only applicable to Rinzai folks? I didn't think so at all.

If we observe how different people move and go through their day, we can learn a lot about habits of successful people.
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Re: Meido Roshi on how we move and some thoughts on procrastination

Post by FiveSkandhas »

Dan74 wrote: Wed Nov 18, 2020 7:50 am
FiveSkandhas wrote: Wed Nov 18, 2020 7:35 am He is a Rinzai teacher and they are very dynamic, physical even when sitting; they gave all kinds of little body and movement tricks.

Rinzai is a fantastic path that takes a lot of effort...you gotta sweat blood, take those whacks with the staff, get down on the mat and wrestle with it all...they speak of a molten ball of hot iron you can neither spit out or swallow, you really need to feel it in your narrow and earn that kensho...I like Rinzai quite a bit.
I think you dramatise it a bit, FiveSkandhas, but do you think this is only applicable to Rinzai folks? I didn't think so at all.

If we observe how different people move and go through their day, we can learn a lot about habits of successful people.
I do dramatize it a bit but a lot of Rinzai writing is very dramatic, and a lot of its techniques are physical and dynamic.

As Hakuin Eikaku put it in the 1700s:

"Meditation in action is endlessly more important than meditation in stillness.Should you desire the great tranquility, prepare to sweat white beads.

What is this true meditation? It is to make everything: coughing, swallowing, waving the arms, motion, stillness, words, action, the evil and the good, prosperity and shame, gain and loss, right and wrong, into one single koan.

Once a person is able to achieve true singlemindedness in his practice and smash apart the old nest... into which he has settled... Wisdom immediately appears... and the all-discerning Fivefold Eye opens wide.

I encourage all you superior seekers in the secret depths to devote yourselves to penetrating and clarifying the self, as earnestly as you would put out a fire on the top of your head."


Dramatic stuff, no?

To answer your question, I don't think it is applicable to Rinzai alone, but different schools have different "flavors" and what your post describes strikes me as very Rinzai. In a good way. Based on your description I guessed that was the Roshi's sect before googling.
"One should cultivate contemplation in one’s foibles. The foibles are like fish, and contemplation is like fishing hooks. If there are no fish, then the fishing hooks have no use. The bigger the fish is, the better the result we will get. As long as the fishing hooks keep at it, all foibles will eventually be contained and controlled at will." -Zhiyi
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Dan74
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Re: Meido Roshi on how we move and some thoughts on procrastination

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It's a great quote, thank you for the reminder! :D

To me, he is urging us to dedicate ourselves 100%. This doesn't necessarily mean it has to be dramatic, with extreme conditions, beatings etc. Maybe for some this is what 100% dedication means and it is exactly what is necessary, I don't know. For others, it can be quieter work.

And perhaps for most of us, it takes some time, before one is ready to make that kind of a commitment.

But we've gone :offtopic: Have you watched the video yet?
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Re: Meido Roshi on how we move and some thoughts on procrastination

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I am bandwidth-challenged at the moment but it's on my list. Thanks again for posting it.
"One should cultivate contemplation in one’s foibles. The foibles are like fish, and contemplation is like fishing hooks. If there are no fish, then the fishing hooks have no use. The bigger the fish is, the better the result we will get. As long as the fishing hooks keep at it, all foibles will eventually be contained and controlled at will." -Zhiyi
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Re: Meido Roshi on how we move and some thoughts on procrastination

Post by tkp67 »

Thank you Dan.

I agree that the observation and application can be applied without prejudice. Meido does a wonderful (and interesting) job explaining.
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Re: Meido Roshi on how we move and some thoughts on procrastination

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Dan74 wrote: Wed Nov 18, 2020 8:31 am It's a great quote, thank you for the reminder! :D

To me, he is urging us to dedicate ourselves 100%. This doesn't necessarily mean it has to be dramatic, with extreme conditions, beatings etc. Maybe for some this is what 100% dedication means and it is exactly what is necessary, I don't know. For others, it can be quieter work.

And perhaps for most of us, it takes some time, before one is ready to make that kind of a commitment.

But we've gone :offtopic: Have you watched the video yet?
Getting hit with the stick isn’t “beatings”, it’s a training. At least, it shouldn’t be.
"...if you think about how many hours, months and years of your life you've spent looking at things, being fascinated by things that have now passed away, then how wonderful to spend even five minutes looking into the nature of your own mind."

-James Low
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Dan74
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Re: Meido Roshi on how we move and some thoughts on procrastination

Post by Dan74 »

Johnny Dangerous wrote: Wed Nov 18, 2020 6:53 pm
Dan74 wrote: Wed Nov 18, 2020 8:31 am It's a great quote, thank you for the reminder! :D

To me, he is urging us to dedicate ourselves 100%. This doesn't necessarily mean it has to be dramatic, with extreme conditions, beatings etc. Maybe for some this is what 100% dedication means and it is exactly what is necessary, I don't know. For others, it can be quieter work.

And perhaps for most of us, it takes some time, before one is ready to make that kind of a commitment.

But we've gone :offtopic: Have you watched the video yet?
Getting hit with the stick isn’t “beatings”, it’s a training. At least, it shouldn’t be.
Just for the record, at Meido Roshi's sesshins, people get "hit with a stick" if they request it. It is not punitive, nor is it painful, if done correctly. But it can help with stiff muscles and concentration.
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