Waste of precious time...?

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Justmeagain
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Waste of precious time...?

Post by Justmeagain » Tue Apr 04, 2017 8:20 am

Hi All,

Imagine being in a concert hall. The conductor taps his batton on the stand everyone goes quiet and...........and............

........................

Well thats sort of where I am in my practice and its troubling me!

It feels lazy and counter=productive. It feels like I am quite literally just sitting there, on my arse, staring at the floor.

Maybe a few doors down there is another Buddhist busying away with Highest Yoga Tantra practices, still another using Anapanasati and yet another Vipassana.

But here am I gawping at the floor like a dopey dog.

How do I get around this feeling of wasting precious time?

_/|\_

Anonymous X
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Re: Waste of precious time...?

Post by Anonymous X » Tue Apr 04, 2017 8:42 am

Justmeagain wrote:Hi All,

Imagine being in a concert hall. The conductor taps his batton on the stand everyone goes quiet and...........and............

........................

Well thats sort of where I am in my practice and its troubling me!

It feels lazy and counter=productive. It feels like I am quite literally just sitting there, on my arse, staring at the floor.

Maybe a few doors down there is another Buddhist busying away with Highest Yoga Tantra practices, still another using Anapanasati and yet another Vipassana.

But here am I gawping at the floor like a dopey dog.

How do I get around this feeling of wasting precious time?

_/|\_
You are posting this in the Soto thread of this forum. If you have been instructed at a Zen centre, what were the instructions they gave you for sitting? Surely, someone started you off. Or, have you picked up a Soto practice of just sitting from reading. There is more to it than just sitting on your arse. You have to engage with the practice. It is not a passive exercise. You'll have to tell us how you've come to this 'impasse for anyone to make intelligent suggestions. :shrug:

diamind
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Re: Waste of precious time...?

Post by diamind » Tue Apr 04, 2017 10:40 am

"Think about death and impermanence for a time. Once you are certain that you are going to die, you will no longer find it hard to put aside harmful actions nor difficult to do what is right" Geshe Potowa

Essentially this is the only thing that gets my ass on the cushion, well this and the principle of cause and effect otherwise I be in Thailand banging hookers.

At least you carry a feeling of wasting your time, that in itself is a very virtuous state of mind, IMHO, so rejoice. Next step is to find something to inspire you.
My advice would be to simply pray to the guru. "bless me with inspiration" etc... If you don't have one then pray to Lord Buddha so that you can find one.
All the best

Sarva Mangalam

p.s This prayer is a gem! http://www.kcc.org/study/prayers-and-so ... -guru-afar

Coldian
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Re: Waste of precious time...?

Post by Coldian » Tue Apr 04, 2017 11:25 am

Well, I'm from a different school, but a general reminder to keep on striving towards spiritual advancement:
Letters of Patriarch Yin Kuang wrote:You should always ponder this truth: “It is difficult to be reborn as a human being, it is difficult to learn of the Buddha Dharma, it is difficult to encounter the Pure Land method. I am fortunate today to have been reborn as a human being and am in the favorable position of having learned about the Pure Land method. How dare I waste this limited lifespan on evanescent form, fragrance, fame and
fortune? How can I resign myself to an empty life and useless death, wallowing along the Six Paths – with no end in sight?”

You should paste the word “death” on your forehead, so that when you meet with various circumstances unworthy of attachment, you will immediately recognize them as boiling cauldrons and firepits that can only harm you. In this way, you will not be like a moth, freely choosing to fly into the flame and burning to death.
Well, we don't have anything else to do in this world that solves the problem of 'I can't take anything of this world with me when I die'

Justmeagain
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Re: Waste of precious time...?

Post by Justmeagain » Tue Apr 04, 2017 11:36 am

diamind wrote:"Think about death and impermanence for a time. Once you are certain that you are going to die, you will no longer find it hard to put aside harmful actions nor difficult to do what is right" Geshe Potowa

Essentially this is the only thing that gets my ass on the cushion, well this and the principle of cause and effect otherwise I be in Thailand banging hookers.

At least you carry a feeling of wasting your time, that in itself is a very virtuous state of mind, IMHO, so rejoice. Next step is to find something to inspire you.
My advice would be to simply pray to the guru. "bless me with inspiration" etc... If you don't have one then pray to Lord Buddha so that you can find one.
All the best

Sarva Mangalam

p.s This prayer is a gem! http://www.kcc.org/study/prayers-and-so ... -guru-afar
Thanks, very Tibetan! Which is of course absolutely fine but I practice Soto Zen

Miroku
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Re: Waste of precious time...?

Post by Miroku » Tue Apr 04, 2017 12:03 pm

Maybe try to find a teacher if you don't have one and ask him question about the practice, or use the feeling that you are just wasting your time to deepen your meditation (bring it on the path).
However once you are on the cussion and you meditate to the best of your ability, with the intention to help sentient beings, it will never be a waste of time.
Also don't forget to dedicate.
But hey atleast you have a feeling of wasting your time. Most of us are still happily distracted, thinking that everything but practice is important. :D
Child, if you are not hypocritical and out of control, that is conduct.
~ Padampa Sangye

You say such clever things to people, but you do not apply them to yourself.
The faults within you are the ones to be exposed.
~ Padampa Sangye

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Astus
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Re: Waste of precious time...?

Post by Astus » Tue Apr 04, 2017 12:36 pm

Justmeagain wrote:It feels like I am quite literally just sitting there, on my arse, staring at the floor.
What else should be there? That's why it's called just sitting.
How do I get around this feeling of wasting precious time?
That is the desire to attain something. But there is nothing to attain.
1 Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

2 If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

3 Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

4 With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.


1 Huangbo, T2012Ap381c1 2 Nirvana Sutra, T374p521b3; tr. Yamamoto 3 Mazu, X1321p3b23; tr. J. Jia 4 Yongjia, T2014p395c14; tr. from "The Sword of Wisdom"

Justmeagain
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Re: Waste of precious time...?

Post by Justmeagain » Tue Apr 04, 2017 12:47 pm

Astus wrote:
Justmeagain wrote:It feels like I am quite literally just sitting there, on my arse, staring at the floor.
What else should be there? That's why it's called just sitting.
How do I get around this feeling of wasting precious time?
That is the desire to attain something. But there is nothing to attain.
Oh....might as well chuck the towel in then. I mean, why bother and what on earth am I doing leaving that warm bed and woman to sit on a cushion if there's no rationale for it???


....maybe? :quoteunquote:
Last edited by Justmeagain on Tue Apr 04, 2017 1:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

diamind
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Re: Waste of precious time...?

Post by diamind » Tue Apr 04, 2017 12:50 pm

Justmeagain wrote:
diamind wrote:"Think about death and impermanence for a time. Once you are certain that you are going to die, you will no longer find it hard to put aside harmful actions nor difficult to do what is right" Geshe Potowa

Essentially this is the only thing that gets my ass on the cushion, well this and the principle of cause and effect otherwise I be in Thailand banging hookers.

At least you carry a feeling of wasting your time, that in itself is a very virtuous state of mind, IMHO, so rejoice. Next step is to find something to inspire you.
My advice would be to simply pray to the guru. "bless me with inspiration" etc... If you don't have one then pray to Lord Buddha so that you can find one.
All the best

Sarva Mangalam

p.s This prayer is a gem! http://www.kcc.org/study/prayers-and-songs/calling-guru-afar
Thanks, very Tibetan! Which is of course absolutely fine but I practice Soto Zen
woops. Sorry I just noticed where you posted. Anyway you have an infinite number of possibilities. Buddha didn't only teach sitting meditation. Maybe mix it up 5 mintues sitting meditation, 5 minutes walking meditation. Or recite some sutras, "Recollecting the Noble Three Jewels" is a great one to start with, being short and sweet.
You could also read the life story of Buddha or the life story and collected works of Dogen Zenji.

all the best

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Astus
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Re: Waste of precious time...?

Post by Astus » Tue Apr 04, 2017 3:34 pm

Justmeagain wrote:why bother and what on earth am I doing leaving that warm bed and woman to sit on a cushion if there's no rationale for it???
It is following one's ideas about gain and loss that generates suffering. Shikantaza is the practice of enlightenment, that is, freedom from gain and loss.
1 Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

2 If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

3 Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

4 With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.


1 Huangbo, T2012Ap381c1 2 Nirvana Sutra, T374p521b3; tr. Yamamoto 3 Mazu, X1321p3b23; tr. J. Jia 4 Yongjia, T2014p395c14; tr. from "The Sword of Wisdom"

passel
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Re: Waste of precious time...?

Post by passel » Sun Apr 09, 2017 7:04 am

Just get curious about your experience. Like a niggling, at the back of your mind and under your skin. You don't need to pick up a koan necessarily but your doubts about zazen are right on target. As long as you doubt you'll be learning and don't neglect that woman and warm bed. That's zazen too. Also, enjoying your breath is not a crime.
"I have made a heap of all that I have met"- Svetonious

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Vasana
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Re: Waste of precious time...?

Post by Vasana » Sun Apr 09, 2017 9:06 am

I don't know anything about Soto Zen, but it sounds like you need to encounter higher quality explanations if it feels like a waste of time .

Living a busy life style and trying to do the least busy thing doesn't always happen at the flip of a switch.

Also consider experimenting with other types of meditation instruction from other traditions if you're open to it. It might also inform your Soto practice.
"The changing cycle of joy and sorrow, like the changing seasons –
As a time of suffering will surely come around to me,
May I truly practice the sublime teachings."
- Dudjom Rinpoche

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Wayfarer
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Re: Waste of precious time...?

Post by Wayfarer » Sun Apr 09, 2017 10:51 am

You're experiencing the hindrance of doubt. That is all. Stick with it, but don't expect anything from it, and meanwhile deal with all the pressing things that are no doubt demanding attention.

:namaste:
In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities; in the expert's mind there are few ~ Suzuki-roshi

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Rick
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Re: Waste of precious time...?

Post by Rick » Sun Apr 09, 2017 2:57 pm

Wayfarer wrote:Stick with it, but don't expect anything from it ...
This is solid advice imo for any Buddhist (or similar) practice. And how ironic is that?! We pretty much all come to this spiritual search thing desperate for answers, relief, solid ground, surcease of suffering. I.e. with HUGE expectations! And then, the further along the path you get, the more you see -- and more importantly, FEEL -- that there's something about the expectation itself that thwarts the process. No wonder it takes such a long time to get it, to come home.
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily ...

Matylda
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Re: Waste of precious time...?

Post by Matylda » Sun Apr 09, 2017 7:33 pm

Justmeagain wrote:Hi All,

Imagine being in a concert hall. The conductor taps his batton on the stand everyone goes quiet and...........and............

........................

Well thats sort of where I am in my practice and its troubling me!

It feels lazy and counter=productive. It feels like I am quite literally just sitting there, on my arse, staring at the floor.

Maybe a few doors down there is another Buddhist busying away with Highest Yoga Tantra practices, still another using Anapanasati and yet another Vipassana.

But here am I gawping at the floor like a dopey dog.

How do I get around this feeling of wasting precious time?

_/|\_
It is point in practice when one needs wise advice, and particular instructions. By the way, it is not very unusual to have this feelings, but they belong basically to sort of makyo experience, feeling of driftting into nowhere, or nothing really happnes mood. It is nothing special. But still one needs a teacher at that point,

Justmeagain
Posts: 89
Joined: Thu Feb 25, 2016 10:12 pm

Re: Waste of precious time...?

Post by Justmeagain » Mon Apr 10, 2017 11:11 am

Meeting teacher at the weekend...

Thanks for your help everyone!

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