As Requested

Please forgive the unoriginal post...

Everything read or heard is just a provisional teaching. Especially if it is coming from some unreliable source like me.
That said there are a lot of great provisional teachings out there.
I am grateful for the efforts Master Dogen and the folks who translated his works into English.

There is other great stuff out there, but when I need inspiration for my practice Dogen always does it for me.

Someone asked me "Do you know how to discover what true self is?"

I don't remember my answer. But it was likely something coy like:

"what is the true self?"

Thats kind of a lame answer now that I think about it. And I suppose I could have directed them to a chapter or a few of the Shobogenzo and told them "Look here!" But I don't know if that is really in the proper spirit of things either.

So, and this is likely not original at all either, My recommended instructions for discovering the true self are as follows:

Familiarise your body/mind with The Rules for Sitting Zen, then just allow everything that is not your true self to drop off.

This may take some time, and your results may differ.

All the best,


Al said...

Bad ass post.

真行  said...

Just reading this made me a step closer to my 'true self'. Thanks!

- Gisela

Curator said...

I enjoyed the post, although I hope the rules arent truly quite as strict as they sound while reading them, as I am physically incapable of sitting full or half lotus because of my knee, but im sure that doesnt really matter right?

SlowZen said...

Read your comment this morning just prior to going to work. When I plugged my iphone into the car, it randomly started playing Samhain~"All hell"

Pretty bad ass.

Persevere brightly!

After I read your comment I recalled a couple of stories.

One was of one of the Zen Patriarchs who had a lame leg which he could not bend. Prior to his death he ordered his decibels to break his leg so that he would be able to sit in full lotus.

They did, he died.

Another is one I read from some of the anecdotes of a guy who used to practice with Shunryu Suzuki, who after being in a motorcycle accident, could not get into any kind of sitting position at all, he was in so much pain that all he could do was just lay there.

He spoke to Suzuki Sensei about it and asked what he should do... Suuki said, just lay down.

He then questioned it asking "Is that ok?"

Suzuki responded: "What else can you do?"

I think that how each and every person sits is going to be different from person to person.

I had flexibility problems when I first attempted sitting full lotus, and I still mostly sit in half lotus because I have gotten pretty lazy about doing my stretching exercises. But if you have a physical disability that prevents you from bending your knee, don't go snapping your leg just to sit full lotus. On the other hand, don't let a little laziness or discomfort keep you from doing it either.

some good stretches that I used to do linked here..."

All the best,

Curator said...

thanks, yeah, its a physical disability that makes me unable to bend it much without severe pain as the cartilage is severely damaged, I cant even sit half lotus for long, but I think I may have found a solution involving various extra pillows and a brace that may allow me to sit half lotus at least... I shall be experimenting with this tomorrow morning,lol.. thanks for the stretching link... (i will never be dedicated enough to break my leg though...lol)

SlowZen said...

Ah, looks like your headed in the right direction.
All the best!

Thanks for looking!