24.8.09

A VOID

A void, not the void, although I am sure they are closely related.
But I have had a sinking suspicion that there is a big void in my practice
lately.

I know when I look deeply at it there are a lot of things I have allowed to
drop off.

For example I have not made time to play the flute very often and I don't do
all of the gathas that I used to. But I don't think that is it.

The demon I thought I had subdued a while back that prompted the last name
change of this blog seems to be out an about, frolicking in the field of my
life and relationships. Snapping at anyone who happens by. Casting
judgments on every thing. Creating arguments and distractions.

Three steps forward two steps back or so the song goes, lately it has felt
more like two steps forward three steps back.

Taking a look at some old stuff offered by Kosho Uchiyama Roshi in the last
formal talk he gave at Antaiji, on February 23, 1975.

1 Study and practice the Buddha-dharma only for the sake of the
Buddha-dharma, not for the sake of human emotions and worldly ideas.
2 Zazen is the most venerable and only true teacher.
3 Zazen must work concretely in our daily lives as the two practices (vow
and repentance), the three minds (magnanimous mind, parental mind, and
joyful mind), and as the realization of the saying, "Gaining is delusion,
losing is enlightenment."
4 Live by vow and root it deeply.
5 Realizing that development and backsliding are your responsibility alone,
endeavor to practice and develop.
6 Sit silently for ten years, then for ten more years, and then for another
ten years.
7 Cooperate with one another and aim to create a place where sincere
practitioners can practice without trouble.

I went off course right from the start.
Time to try again.

8 comments:

NellaLou said...

"1 Study and practice the Buddha-dharma only for the sake of the
Buddha-dharma, not for the sake of human emotions and worldly ideas. "

When I struggle with this one I say "What is to be gained?" The gaining ideas have diverted my practice the most.

"6 Sit silently for ten years, then for ten more years, and then for another ten years. "

Lather, rinse, repeat.

Kirk Fisher said...

Thank you for this post. I think every sincerity has its moment of reinvestment, re-realization, and even remorse.

What I picked up on is the humility of picking up your practice and starting again from the everpresent beginning. Like walking up scree, or sitting zazen.

Gassho,

Kirk

Lauren said...

Yes. Good. You see where you are. You see a need for course correction. You know what next step you want/need to take. This is *it* I think for ten years, then ten years, then ten years again and so on.

Thanks for sharing your insight and experience that there is no place to stop.

Barry said...

Thank you for posting Uchiyama Roshi's "old stuff," Jordan.

I especially connect with #6 - having just come through a period of sitting even more silently. And more to come, of course....

MyoChi said...

We all need these reminders..it is so easy to get lost in the frenzy of life, with a million committments. I landed myself in a lot of trouble a few years by putting way too many demands on my body and mind. The incident helped me slow down a bit. I still see the demon raising its head every now and then and telling me that I am not doing enough. I guess it is my constant companion. Thanks for posting the old sayings, really needed to see those.

I hope you get to play flute more often.

Carol said...

Jordan,
I think you're experiencing "normal". For a while your life was pretty predictable. Then some unexpected things happened and now you need to re-adjust to a new "normal". It happens over and over to all of us. It's called change--and change is the only constant we can count on in life.

Love You!--Mom

oxeye said...

Hi Jordan, What you are feeling is just part of the practice wouldn't you say? not lasting.. Shikantaza is nothing if not the practice of doubt. If there is nothing to be gained in it then there is nothing of value to lose. Losing expectations is part of the plan. Any feelings of dissatisfaction are typical and valuable. If we keep things simple, it is hard to be mistaken. My apologies if I am stating the obvious or being stupid, but am just thinking out loud, mostly to myself after reading your good post. take care..

Jordan said...

Thank you all for your kind words.

Thanks for looking!