31.7.07

Suffering



I seem to be getting sick more often. Pushing the body too hard maybe.
Last night I had stuff coming out of both ends. It was not pretty.

I could not do Zazen, so I did some bedzen and practiced the meditation of following the breath.

My consideration drifted to suffering. I wonder if being sick is necessarily suffering. I do not think so now. When I was doing the breath meditation I was not suffering at all. I was still most definitely sick, I was just breathing. Had I wanted to do anything but just lay there and breath, than I think I would have been suffering.

I know I often drift back to the Noble Eightfold Path and Four Noble truths in this blog. Maybe this hearkens to by roots as a fundamentalist I do not know for sure.

Some folks do not appear to be interested in what I think is the most important teaching. Weather Buddhism is a personality cult or not I still value that first sermon most. Buddhism is not about enlightenment. It never has been. The people chasing after it will never find anything but delusion within delusion. That is not to say that there is no enlightenment. But it is never something to seek. The "truth" is that there is only enlightened action. We preform that action throughout our delusion. We refine it through our actions. We may even be lucky enough to wake up to our own delusion. That enlightenment people are seeking is just taking a walk down that Noble eightfold path. Realizing your suffering for what it is, attachment to your desire for things to be different than they are. This is a practice of letting go... Or at least that is how I feel at this moment.

May you be well and happy.
Jordan

11 comments:

oxeye said...

jordan - hope you are not down too long with the illness.. I'm thinking you are probably right in keeping things fundamental. The eightfold Path and Four Noble truths and zazen are good for most situations. Even the most seasoned practitioners stumble when facing their ambition and jealousies without keeping the basics in mind.

Jordan & The Tortoise said...

Thanks Oxeye, I think I am about 60% better. at least my internal plumbing seems to be back on an ordinary evacuation schedule.

Whatever it is I have passed it on tho my wife so now I am home watching the kids.

I hope that other sickness passes too.

MikeDoe said...

BedZen is good! I don't sleep as much as I used to but at night if I am not sleeping I just lie in bed. Not trying to sleep, not sleeping. Just being. It is still restful.

I don't think Sickness has to be suffering. I've been through a bout of it myself recently. It's fine. Just let yourself be sick. It's only generates suffering if you try to deny the sickness, to fight or do things that the sickness prevents.

But that anyway is the source of most suffering - trying to be what you are not, wishing that life is other than it is.

Take the hint. Rest. Be Well.

Mike Cross said...

Whether or not the Buddha's teaching is about enlightenment may not be so cut and dried as you insist. Of course to chase after enlightenment in a grasping selfish way is off the middle way. But the kind of negation you imply may also be off the middle way.

What is hindering us, what is causing us suffering, generally tends to be further back in us, deeper in us, than we are aware of. I have become more acutely aware of that over recent days.

In you it doubtless does have something to do, as you indicate here, with fundamentalist roots -- a literalist tendency, a tendency to want things spelled out in black and white with no reading between the lines. Going along with that there seems to be a certain expectation of adherence to forms of behaviour you deem to be appropriate -- politeness, et cetera. But the Buddha's truth is never quite what we expect.

I hope you didn't take my response to your last comment on my blog the wrong way, but I suspect you probably did. I was expecting you to come back with another question, but Oxeye got in first. Not for the first time, my expectation missed the target. Anyway, even if I appear confrontational, I am on your side.

Take care,

Mike

MikeDoe said...

Mike C:
"I hope you didn't take my response to your last comment on my blog the wrong way"

Perhaps he didn't take it in the way that you thought you would but that is hardly the wrong way.

My reaction was different to his but I thought that your response to his question missed the mark.

You did not appear confrontational, you were confrontational.

There are only two options to such a response - to walk away or to deck you.

If you want to teach and clearly you do then first you should perhaps try to do no harm and think more about potential students and less about yourself.

You have great potential as a teacher but that is many years from now. For now you spend a lot of time behaving like an asshole. I think you must practice. ;-)

Jordan & The Tortoise said...

Mikedoe, Thank you for your first comments, I think we are saying the same thing. In your second set of comments though…

I used to fight a lot when I was younger. Not something I am proud of just a fact. If I would fight someone win or loose no matter what it almost always led to another fight. However, if after kicking but or having my but kicked, after the fight I was able to honestly and respectfully shake hands with my opponent, I would have a good friend.

Mike Cross,
Thank you for your comments.
Not a total negation. But I am fairly certain it is in the action (or action of non action.) I think there may be exceptions to every rule and likely rules for every exception.
I am not a professional writer so I wonder sometimes if I am expressing things correctly, and some things I have in me are really hard to express at all. I keep trying. I keep sitting.

I took your comments on your blog as telling me to take a piss. [that’s an English expression right?]

Take care,
Jordan

MikeDoe said...

J&T:

"Piss Off": An Angry sort of go away and don't bother me little man who is not worth any respect.

"Taking the Piss": A style of mockery of someone who is not worth the effort of a real insult.

"You are taking the Piss": An angry response by someone who feels he is being insulted and be-littled.

"Pissed": Drunk.

"Pissed Off": Really annoyed.

Yamakoa said...

Hello Jordan,
I wish to ask you a question that I have personally struggled with. How does one keep true to the Dharma and save all sentient beings and lead the life of a soldier. I have not been able to successfully navigate this terrain. Your insight if any would be appreciated.
PS congrats on your PT scores they look pretty good
If you are interested, there is a new movement and philosophy in physical culture that translates very well for soldier, policemen, fire fighters, MMA fighters, etc.... You can look them up at crossfit.com. I personally have had and I am currently having great success with their methodology.
Gracias

Jordan & The Tortoise said...

Mikedoe, Thanks, so taking the piss or saying piss off, still rude. is it considered profanity or vulgarity? My father (an educated man) once said he did not mind my profanity (I did not always value "Love words" and " Kind Speech") because I was not vulgar.

Yamakoa,

You asked, "How does one keep true to the Dharma and save all sentient beings and lead the life of a soldier."

I see no difference in the two.

I have posted some stuff about this before here: Link

And in a way both this and my last blog have been a journal about just that.

Thank you for the link I will take a look.

Take care,
Jordan

Jordan & The Tortoise said...

Just for clarity, my contribution in the above link is in the comments section not the original post.

Jordan

MikeDoe said...

", so taking the piss or saying piss off, still rude. is it considered profanity or vulgarity?"

It depends. It can be a warning. It is certainly rude. Perhaps vulgar. It can also be funny or ironic.

What any words mean depends on who says them and who hears them and who they both are at that moment in time.

Generally "Piss off" is considered offensive.

Thanks for looking!