Totally not blowing Zen is totally blowing Zen

I have been neglecting my Shakuhachi for a while. I played a bit after a funeral two weeks ago but other than that I seemed to have fallen into that winter Shakuhachi lull that seems to happen every year that I usually don't break out of until spring.

Today I made an exception, may be I am just inspired by the book I am reading called Blowing Zen by Ray Brooks.

At any rate I managed to do get in a few moments of RoBuki before I was attacked by the wife and kids wanting to know "What to do today?"

During those precious moments I was so very aware of how important just blowing Ro is. I also saw why ZaZen is so much easier for me than Robuki. There are soooooooooooo many things going on in RoBuki that require both attention and non-attention at the same time that today I found myself kind of just blown away by the observation. For example if I am thinking of my neck my back tenses up, If I am thinking of my pitch my pitch is to low. I noticed my unhelpful habits like using the fingertips instead of the finger pads etc, etc. RELAX! Just be Ro!!!

All of this and so much more from just ten minuets of Ro. What an important practice. I wonder if I will do that again?


Uku said...

Important post. RELAX! What a great reminder, thanks Jordan!

Barry said...

I want YOUR Zen practice!


Anonymous said...

It sounds like you are ready to move Zazen into Ro-Zen and step things up a gear.

Are you ready for the frustration?

SlowZen said...

Thanks, glad you appreciated the post.


Be careful what you wish for...


I've done it before, it just comes and goes.

As to frustration? I think that comes with end gaining. This is a case where you do the practice just to do the practice. Frustration may come up, and that is a sign that I am trying to get somewhere, and that means I have t take a step back and remember it is just blowing Ro.

Or at least that is where I am right now. In a moment it may be different.

Thank you all for your comments.

Mike Cross said...

Who are you telling to relax?

Bone head.

Beware the devil that is relaxation!

All the best,


SlowZen said...

Mike C,
I understand relax may have a different context for different people. The way it was intended was as in Breath, relax, aim, squeeze, shoot. Or in other words: Don't be a spaz.

Keeping on,

Anonymous said...

Just blow Ro everyday. Don't think about it too much Jordan. Just blow that dang flute. Like zazen, if you do it everyday, it will be good, yes, quite good.

SlowZen said...

Not good, not bad, just Ro.

Thanks Erin.

Mike Cross said...

I know exactly how you intended it, Jordan!

It's all very well telling people, or telling ourselves "Don't be a spaz."

But what if I am a spaz?

And that is my point -- at the deepest level, practically every one of us is spaz.

Why do you write "dose" isntead of "does" and myriad other spelling mistakes? Because, although you might make a good job, as a US marine, of hiding it, you too are undoubtedly a spaz.

A spaz, as I use the term, means a person whose vestibular reflexes are imperfectly integrated.

In order to help such a person, the Buddha used skillful means, indirect means.

"Don't be a spaz" is a direct instruction. It is not an anti-dote to end-gaining; it expresses an idea which is at the very root of end-gaining.

End-gaining is reacting unconsciously to an idea. And "Relax. Don't be a spaz" is just the kind of idea that people react unconsciously to.

Here endeth this morning's sermon. Hope it gives you something to think about!

Keep on keeping on,

Keeping on keeping on,


Mike Cross said...

P.S. I don't necessarily agree with Erin's exhortation just mindlessly to do "Zazen."

What Erin says might originate in a kind of one-sided Japanese perversion of the original teaching of Gautama Buddha.

As a follower of Master Dogen I endeavor to understand where he was coming from. Recently I don't pay too much attention to the views of his latter-day Zen interpreters -- none of whom, in my view, has truly understood where he was coming from.

Here endeth today's sermon, Part II.

SlowZen said...

Wow Mike,
Thank you for the direct instruction.

Keeping on,

Mike Cross said...

Thank you, Jordan, for being big enough to see the directness (=end-gaining) of a fellow secret spaz just for what it is.

Struggling on,


SlowZen said...

Your welcome Mike.
I have been reading a bunch of old Buddhist stories; the Jataka tales and the like (in a book titled Kindness by Conover/Wahl) to my children at bedtime. I see allot of both direct and indirect methods being used. What fascinates me is how sometimes the direct teaching has an indirect effect and the indirect teachings have a direct effect.

Great stuff and the kids love it!

Mike Cross said...

Not "your welcome" but "you're welcome."

You bone-head!

When it comes to spelling, why don't you stop being such a spaz?

Yours in the spirit of never giving up (on fellow spastics everywhere)


SlowZen said...

That's funny Mike, give me some time to work on dose and does alright!

Jordan (who is laughing at his own spasticness right now.)

Mike Cross said...

Whereas I could cry, because the spaz inside me can't let it go but has to insist.... SPASTICITY!

Thanks for looking!