2.5.12

WIND CHIMES

One of the neighbors has put up some wind chimes.  The offensive devices may have been there a while, and it may have just been the spring rain that caused the infernal devices to sound off during this morning's sitting, I don't know for sure.  It is my sincere wish that the neighbor forget about them during the next typhoon and they trouble my silence no more.

It is rare I get a chance to sit with minimal noise.  Usually someone is making their own noises in some part of the house, be it a TV, computer, or other tomfoolery.  The morning is my precious silent time….  Ruined by that diabolical wind chime.


The Surangama Sutra says that when tormented by sounds to give your attention to the faculty of hearing.  Not to let the attention go out to the sound itself, but instead the actual function of your eardrum vibrating and whatever it is that collects that sensation.  

That is a lot easier said than done, and I get lots of practice at it.  

Other practices and teacher have said "Just sit with it."  I am not so good with that though. 
That ole demon wants to attack, and it is best to keep him busy doing something productive or he might start plotting to vandalize other peoples property.  Just saying.

I still like a lot of bits of the Surangama Sutra, although I am pretty sure the translation is largely unreliable.   In following Mining Aśvaghoṣa's Gold: BUDDHACARITA 1.2: Like Mother Earth: MINING AŚVAGHOṢA'S GOLD I begin to wonder if there is a translation from Tibetan since it seems so much more reliable than the Chinese, and there are no known Sanskrit originals extant.

Anyone?

15 comments:

Tallis Grayson said...

Hi Jordan, yes I feel bad about giving our wind chimes away. I wonder who's suffering with them now. Another problem noise for me is snoring. I spent months trying to fall asleep listening to my wife snore in bed next to me. I thought it would be a great meditation practice. I failed miserably. So how did/do I get to sleep? Earplugs. Maybe I'll take up the 'trying to fall asleep while listening to snoring practice' again one day. Not ready for it yet though - surely this is the great test, anyone who can fall asleep listening to snoring must be enlightened. 

Jordan said...

Hi Tallis, thanks for your comments.

I would not recommend paying attention to the snoring, but rather pay attention to that which hears the snoring. Think of it like getting inside a Zen Koan, What is is that is hearing this snoring. You might not get to sleep, but maybe you will get woken up!

Tallis Grayson said...

I’m imagining different scenarios while trying to fall asleep, radios blasting, people poking you with pins, jack hammers, various circus performers performing on your bed, chainsaws cutting you up into little pieces, ah! a pro-wrestler shaking you vigorously then throwing you around the room, yeah I can’t see any of those things being a real problem compared to listening to snoring – I’ve been married 8 years now, and I’ve pretty much learned to tune it out but still resort to earplugs from time to time. Anyway, thank you Jordan for the advice, it sounds like very good advice, I’ll try that . . . next thing, can you help me out with my proneness to exaggeration? (Best not to take anything I say too seriously, although I do enjoy reading your blog, and that’s no joke. Tallis)

Robin said...

I actually like sitting with wind chimes. 'Course I imagine it makes a difference what kind they are. But the fact that it's the wind that makes them sound is comforting for me. I guess everybody has their helpful sounds and their annoying sounds.

Now, if you want difficult sitting, try doing it next to a motocross track. In fact I just uploaded an article about it last week: Perfection of Wisdom. (http://rustyring.blogspot.com/2012/04/perfection-of-wisdom.html) . That's hard. And by hard, I mean impossible.

Robin

Rusty Ring: Reflections of an Old-Timey Hermit

Jordan said...

Hey Tallis, For exaggeration I recommend studying the Mahayana sutras. You will magically come to realize that you haven't got anything on those storytellers, and redouble your efforts.

Jordan said...

Hey Robin, if they are racing around the track for morning Zazen qt 0430, than I'll put up with it.

It turns out that the wind chinls were only reacting to the heavy rains we were having the other morning, and did not sour off this morning at all, but I still found stuff to be aversive too… There is a reason it is called asuradharma after all.

Anonymous said...

Buddhists understand every sound, every noise, as a sound which they themselves make. Wind chimes should not be in my yard you think. When you think that way, that is wishing things were not the way they are. When we think of things in that way, it is because we need more practice. When you are not disturbed by the wind chimes, the wind chimes will come right into your heart, and you will be the wind chimes. When you practice Zazen more, you accept things as they are, as a part of yourself.

Jordan said...

Anonymous, oh please do tell me more about what "buddhists" understand you pretentious do-gooder charlatan.

Anonymous said...

Those were the words of Shunryu Suzuki talking about sitting with bird noise. I merely replaced 'blue jay' with wind chimes and left it unattributed because of that change..

I'm a little surprised at your name calling tho. It is almost like you were addressing the hated "pretentious do-gooder charlatan" you see in the mirror.

Jordan said...

I know that guy well. You, not so much.

Tallis Grayson said...

Buddhists understand every sound, every experience, as something which they themselves create. Chainsaws should not be cutting me to pieces! When you think that way, that is wishing things were not the way they are. When we think of things in that way, it is because we need more practice. When you are not disturbed by the chainsaws, the chainsaws will come right into your heart, and you will be the chainsaws. When you practice Zazen more, you accept things as they are, as dismembered parts of yourself. [sorry ... my point is – in making such claims where does one draw the line between chainsaws and windchimes/birdsong?]

Jordan said...

Buddhists don't understand very much at all. They are a group of ignoramuses just like any other group of ignoramuses. Most of them don't even practice and if they do their practice is usually corrupted with some kind of end gaining desires like the ones that are indicated in the statement you made here( If I practice more, everything will be rainbows and unicorns!) It does not matter if you have practiced 3 days or 30 years, there is going to be aversion and clinging. Just like I don't like the smell of my own farts and body odors, even thought I created them, they come from me, as does my bad breath and plaque on my teeth. I don't like any of those things yet they are distinctively not separate from me just as the sounds of the wind chimes. This has nothing to do withe weather someone has practiced Zazen more or not. To throw Dogen in there Even thug we love them, flowers fall, even though we hate them, weeds flourish. I would go further, Weeds flourish because we hate them, and flowers fall because we love them.

Tallis Grayson said...

Jordan, I agree with you 100%! I'm not sure if you were addressing me or anonymous in your comment above. Obviously if chainsaws are cutting you to pieces you should have a great aversion to that! That was my point - to make that quote sound absurd by replacing the words 'wind chimes' or 'birdsong' with 'chainsaws cutting you to pieces.' To say more practice will end aversion to any and all forms of pain is absurd. Anyway, tough room! There is no disagreement between you Jordan and me, as far as I know. I have read your blog for years and find you very insightful. Cheers, Tallis.

Jordan said...

Hey Tallis, I was addressing the anonymous.

Thanks!

Pigasus said...

Ugh, why does anonymous have to be anonymous but tie his anonymity to our beloved founder? Shogaku-Shunryu- Daiosho stood on his own two feet, I suggest you do the same.

Thanks for looking!