ZaZen Report 98662

Last night Hannah joined me once again for sitting. She stated to me that she wanted to be a “Zen Master.” Although I smiled at this inside I noted a sense of revulsion. I told her she would have to do a lot of sitting to do that. I suppose I have been conditioned to be pretty untrustworthy of that title. I also know that it is not a language that I use on a regular basis so I thought about that for a bit than I got an Ah Ha! When I recalled that some of the bedtime stories I have read to her come from books like Zen Flesh Zen Bones where they talk about Zen Masters. Ok. I can live with that. I suppose if she had said she wanted to be a master zafu crusher I would not have felt the revulsion. Considering this some more, she did teach her little sister (the princess of chaos) how to sit, and that was an effort I failed at. Further more It was her efforts in sitting and not mine that seems to have gotten her mother to drag herself out of bed at 0 dark O’ clock to sit with us on occasion. So maybe Zen Master is accurate. So from here on out I may refer to Hannah as Zen Master Hannah (ZMH).

At some point during last nights sitting The PoC came into the area to yell at ZMH “HANNAH, YOU GOT TO CHANGE YOUR PANTS, YOU’RE KUSAI!” (kusai=stinky) ZMH addressed the PoC “We’re doing ZaZen Now, after.”

After ZaZen I read the first chapter of “A Pebble For Your Pocket” by TNH to anyone who would listen before going to bed.

In the morning ZMH and her mother joined me for the first sitting then breakfast. ZMH was not sure if she wanted to do another sitting but she would do lap sitting instead so I was her zafu for the next half hour. Bell, warm up the car, grab some tea for the road, Ajahn Bram again on the podcast, I like his talks. I think the family fever and virus has finally affected me as I feel a little week this morning. Should get my inspection results in a bit to see how I did.


Anonymous said...

What's with the InterCapitalization of ZaZen? It looks RidiCulous and it's not how we write JaPanese. In fact, why the hell would you CapiTalize ZaZen at all? It's not a ProPer Noun.

SlowZen said...

It is a habit I picked up from a good friend after being educated about the origins of the term.

I would recommend researching the entomology of the word for your own erudition.

Thanks for your comments!

SlowZen said...

For what it is worth though, I have been getting it wrong. Henceforth I will type it out ZAZEN.

SlowZen said...

or may be even Sitting-zen, or sitting-dhyana.

SlowZen said...

Thank you again for your attention in this matter.

Barry said...

Okay, now that the important matter of capitalization is worked out...

All Hannah needs to do in order to become a Zen master:
- Lose her current generous, child mind
- Struggle through 20 or 30 years of however-you-spell-it
- Then recover her generous, child mind

Growing up is such a drag. Grownups have to worry about making things correct. Children just do it, moment to moment.

Uku said...

Jordan, hope you are feeling better! Flue can be nasty but they can also teach us a lot. After all, when you're sick, you're sick. :)

Thank you for sharing your family life!

Take care, Dharmabro

Anonymous said...


Zazen is a bastardisation of the japanese and Zen is an abreviation of Zenna which is a transliteration of Cha'na in Chinese which is itself a transliteration of the Sanskrit of dhyana.

So "Za Zen" would be more accurate than zazen but "sitting-dhyana" is the most accurate of all since dhyana was never translated into chinese or japanaes but was just transliterated.

I think I need to go and lie down now!

Yamakoa said...

Jordan and Mike H may be unto something.
Sitting dhyana. Very precise.
I have come to view the word ZaZen to mean more than just sitting on your arse. Reading the text of the ancients, I get a feeling that ZaZen is used in more ways than just the act of sitting meditation. One has to look in what context the word is use. Similar to the word "Dharma."

LOL! For a tradition that is supposedly outside words, "zen players" sure seem to get caught up in them. The irony.

Good luck with the continued daily sittings with your sangha.


Anonymous said...


I blame Mike Cross originally. But he's not the only one. I recently read John Daido Loori give the same expansion.

Carol said...

Hi Jordan,

I am so sorry you guys have been sick! But I just love your descriptions of what's happening in your household! And the nicknames for the girls! Do you remember the White Tornado!

Hope everyone is feeling much better today. Have the girls gotten anything in the mail recently?

Weather here has been beautiful. Second cutting of the grass yesterday. New baby chick--actually one hatched theother day but it didn't make it.

All is well here. Hope your next post is about recovery!

SlowZen said...

Hi all, thanks for all of your comments. This mornings sitting was the first in 36 hours as I pretty much stayed in bed. When I let my self get sick I really go all the way. I am still feeling a bit wobbly so I am just trying to take things slowly. meanwhile I am letting the wife be sick since she took care of me while I was shivering and shaking in the rack.

Thanks all for your comments and well wishes.

Mike Cross said...

Hi Jordan

The first line of Saundarananda 16.40 is
yo vyaadhito vyaadhim avaiti samyag
"He who fully appreciates his illness,
as the illness it is..."
avaiti samyag could be translated "correctly understands," or "truly sees," but I am leaning towards "fully appreciates," and your post gives me an extra push in that direciton.

All the best,


SlowZen said...

Thanks Mike, but I am compelled to admit that this mornings robuki practice told me than I am not quite done fully appreciating my illness. Instead of making my flute buzz I made my head buzz.

Still spinning

Thanks for looking!