How do I go deeper into Zen practice?

mddrill
Posts: 22
Joined: Thu Aug 28, 2014 4:27 am

Re: How do I go deeper into Zen practice?

Post by mddrill » Sun Jan 21, 2018 2:01 am

KeithA wrote:
Sun Jan 14, 2018 10:11 pm
"I want to go deeper..." is a big hindrance. To steal a friend's words: practice ane see what happens.

My 2 cents, spend or discard, as you please.

_/|\_

Keith
A hindrance to what? If there's nothing to gain, then there's nothing to hinder.

User avatar
KeithA
Posts: 158
Joined: Tue May 24, 2011 11:02 pm

Re: How do I go deeper into Zen practice?

Post by KeithA » Sun Jan 21, 2018 2:38 am

mddrill wrote:
Sun Jan 21, 2018 2:01 am
KeithA wrote:
Sun Jan 14, 2018 10:11 pm
"I want to go deeper..." is a big hindrance. To steal a friend's words: practice ane see what happens.

My 2 cents, spend or discard, as you please.

_/|\_

Keith
A hindrance to what? If there's nothing to gain, then there's nothing to hinder.
That's exactly what your teacher told you. Our job is to attain "nothing to hinder".

The Heart Sutra says "no attainment, with nothing to attain". In one sense, that's literally true. Originally, there is no thing or event called "attainment". The teaching is don't attach to the idea of attainment. It doesn't mean just throw the words away. We can use words or be used by them. When I become attached to my ideas and opinions, I am being used by words.

Since we are in the Zen forum, I can say this: originally, there are no levels. You aren't at some superficial level and you need to go to some deeper level. That's simply not a teaching you will get from any Zen teacher. A teacher in my tradition calls it "upside-down thinking". So, the idea of "going deeper" is hindrance.

In the Korean tradition, we engage in the question: "What am I?" or something similar. My own question is "What is mind?" This is deep inquiry into the very nature of our existence. In a sense, due to being more active, it is the Yang to Yin that is Soto. Different strokes, and all. So, it's possible you haven't found the Sangha for you yet. Or it's possible that you have, you just need to loosen up the grip on the reins, and let the practice take over for a while.

Whatever ideas we have about where we think we are going with our practice, it isn't that. Just practice and see what happens.

_/|\_

Keith

mddrill
Posts: 22
Joined: Thu Aug 28, 2014 4:27 am

Re: How do I go deeper into Zen practice?

Post by mddrill » Sun Jan 21, 2018 8:11 am

KeithA wrote:
Sun Jan 21, 2018 2:38 am
mddrill wrote:
Sun Jan 21, 2018 2:01 am
KeithA wrote:
Sun Jan 14, 2018 10:11 pm
"I want to go deeper..." is a big hindrance. To steal a friend's words: practice ane see what happens.

My 2 cents, spend or discard, as you please.

_/|\_

Keith
A hindrance to what? If there's nothing to gain, then there's nothing to hinder.
That's exactly what your teacher told you. Our job is to attain "nothing to hinder".

The Heart Sutra says "no attainment, with nothing to attain". In one sense, that's literally true. Originally, there is no thing or event called "attainment". The teaching is don't attach to the idea of attainment. It doesn't mean just throw the words away. We can use words or be used by them. When I become attached to my ideas and opinions, I am being used by words.

Since we are in the Zen forum, I can say this: originally, there are no levels. You aren't at some superficial level and you need to go to some deeper level. That's simply not a teaching you will get from any Zen teacher. A teacher in my tradition calls it "upside-down thinking". So, the idea of "going deeper" is hindrance.

In the Korean tradition, we engage in the question: "What am I?" or something similar. My own question is "What is mind?" This is deep inquiry into the very nature of our existence. In a sense, due to being more active, it is the Yang to Yin that is Soto. Different strokes, and all. So, it's possible you haven't found the Sangha for you yet. Or it's possible that you have, you just need to loosen up the grip on the reins, and let the practice take over for a while.

Whatever ideas we have about where we think we are going with our practice, it isn't that. Just practice and see what happens.

_/|\_

Keith
So then there is something to attain. But why would I want to attain that?

User avatar
fuki
Posts: 210
Joined: Thu Nov 09, 2017 3:51 pm
Location: Netherlands

Re: How do I go deeper into Zen practice?

Post by fuki » Sun Jan 21, 2018 10:53 pm

A lot of members gave you good suggestions but your replies show you're not taking it seriously and just playing games with words. Anyone questioning how to go deeper and wondering why there are no fruits from practise is clearly not practising properly. A practisioner only cares about the effort and not the fruits or results, so perhaps question yourself how to practise properly instead of wondering about the effects of practise.

What matters is sincerity, earnestness and perseverance seeing what is unneccesary in your life which one keeps maintaining is an important first step instead of believing some change in tradition or addition will bring a mature practise about. So ask the right questions that guide you to your real nature instead of wondering what to do, for that you must realize what you must stop doing first.
meldpunt seksueel misbruik in boeddhistische gemeenschappen nederland.
https://meldpuntbg.nl/

User avatar
KeithA
Posts: 158
Joined: Tue May 24, 2011 11:02 pm

Re: How do I go deeper into Zen practice?

Post by KeithA » Sun Jan 21, 2018 11:29 pm

mddrill wrote:
Sun Jan 21, 2018 8:11 am
KeithA wrote:
Sun Jan 21, 2018 2:38 am
mddrill wrote:
Sun Jan 21, 2018 2:01 am


A hindrance to what? If there's nothing to gain, then there's nothing to hinder.
That's exactly what your teacher told you. Our job is to attain "nothing to hinder".

The Heart Sutra says "no attainment, with nothing to attain". In one sense, that's literally true. Originally, there is no thing or event called "attainment". The teaching is don't attach to the idea of attainment. It doesn't mean just throw the words away. We can use words or be used by them. When I become attached to my ideas and opinions, I am being used by words.

Since we are in the Zen forum, I can say this: originally, there are no levels. You aren't at some superficial level and you need to go to some deeper level. That's simply not a teaching you will get from any Zen teacher. A teacher in my tradition calls it "upside-down thinking". So, the idea of "going deeper" is hindrance.

In the Korean tradition, we engage in the question: "What am I?" or something similar. My own question is "What is mind?" This is deep inquiry into the very nature of our existence. In a sense, due to being more active, it is the Yang to Yin that is Soto. Different strokes, and all. So, it's possible you haven't found the Sangha for you yet. Or it's possible that you have, you just need to loosen up the grip on the reins, and let the practice take over for a while.

Whatever ideas we have about where we think we are going with our practice, it isn't that. Just practice and see what happens.

_/|\_

Keith
So then there is something to attain. But why would I want to attain that?
As long as I don't aim,
I won't miss.
With the catalpa bow,
I shoot an arrow
Toward the open sky.
-Zen Master Ryokan, Trans. Sensei Kazuaki Tanahashi
_/|\_

User avatar
KeithA
Posts: 158
Joined: Tue May 24, 2011 11:02 pm

Re: How do I go deeper into Zen practice?

Post by KeithA » Sun Jan 21, 2018 11:30 pm

mddrill wrote:
Sun Jan 21, 2018 8:11 am
KeithA wrote:
Sun Jan 21, 2018 2:38 am


That's exactly what your teacher told you. Our job is to attain "nothing to hinder".

The Heart Sutra says "no attainment, with nothing to attain". In one sense, that's literally true. Originally, there is no thing or event called "attainment". The teaching is don't attach to the idea of attainment. It doesn't mean just throw the words away. We can use words or be used by them. When I become attached to my ideas and opinions, I am being used by words.

Since we are in the Zen forum, I can say this: originally, there are no levels. You aren't at some superficial level and you need to go to some deeper level. That's simply not a teaching you will get from any Zen teacher. A teacher in my tradition calls it "upside-down thinking". So, the idea of "going deeper" is hindrance.

In the Korean tradition, we engage in the question: "What am I?" or something similar. My own question is "What is mind?" This is deep inquiry into the very nature of our existence. In a sense, due to being more active, it is the Yang to Yin that is Soto. Different strokes, and all. So, it's possible you haven't found the Sangha for you yet. Or it's possible that you have, you just need to loosen up the grip on the reins, and let the practice take over for a while.

Whatever ideas we have about where we think we are going with our practice, it isn't that. Just practice and see what happens.

_/|\_

Keith
So then there is something to attain. But why would I want to attain that?
As long as I don't aim,
I won't miss.
With the catalpa bow,
I shoot an arrow
Toward the open sky.

-Zen Master Ryokan, Trans. Sensei Kazuaki Tanahashi

_/|\_

User avatar
fuki
Posts: 210
Joined: Thu Nov 09, 2017 3:51 pm
Location: Netherlands

Re: How do I go deeper into Zen practice?

Post by fuki » Mon Jan 22, 2018 12:04 am

Keith wrote:
As long as I don't aim,
I won't miss.
With the catalpa bow,
I shoot an arrow
Toward the open sky.

-Zen Master Ryokan, Trans. Sensei Kazuaki Tanahashi

_/|\_
I practise darts about a hour per day, if you either say I aim or do not aim you receive 30 blows :jumping:
meldpunt seksueel misbruik in boeddhistische gemeenschappen nederland.
https://meldpuntbg.nl/

User avatar
KeithA
Posts: 158
Joined: Tue May 24, 2011 11:02 pm

Re: How do I go deeper into Zen practice?

Post by KeithA » Mon Jan 22, 2018 12:53 am

fuki wrote:
Mon Jan 22, 2018 12:04 am
Keith wrote:
As long as I don't aim,
I won't miss.
With the catalpa bow,
I shoot an arrow
Toward the open sky.

-Zen Master Ryokan, Trans. Sensei Kazuaki Tanahashi

_/|\_
I practise darts about a hour per day, if you either say I aim or do not aim you receive 30 blows :jumping:
Image

User avatar
seeker242
Posts: 1342
Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2012 2:50 pm
Location: South Florida, USA

Re: How do I go deeper into Zen practice?

Post by seeker242 » Mon Jan 22, 2018 12:37 pm

mddrill wrote:
Sun Jan 21, 2018 2:01 am
KeithA wrote:
Sun Jan 14, 2018 10:11 pm
"I want to go deeper..." is a big hindrance. To steal a friend's words: practice ane see what happens.

My 2 cents, spend or discard, as you please.

_/|\_

Keith
A hindrance to what? If there's nothing to gain, then there's nothing to hinder.
There can be when "what there is to gain" is actually losing something, namely ignorance. Losing something doesn't mean you gain anything, but there can be a hindrance to losing it.

:smile:
One should not kill any living being, nor cause it to be killed, nor should one incite any other to kill. Do never injure any being, whether strong or weak, in this entire universe!

mddrill
Posts: 22
Joined: Thu Aug 28, 2014 4:27 am

Re: How do I go deeper into Zen practice?

Post by mddrill » Wed Jan 24, 2018 6:33 am

fuki wrote:
Sun Jan 21, 2018 10:53 pm
A lot of members gave you good suggestions but your replies show you're not taking it seriously and just playing games with words. Anyone questioning how to go deeper and wondering why there are no fruits from practise is clearly not practising properly. A practisioner only cares about the effort and not the fruits or results, so perhaps question yourself how to practise properly instead of wondering about the effects of practise.

What matters is sincerity, earnestness and perseverance seeing what is unneccesary in your life which one keeps maintaining is an important first step instead of believing some change in tradition or addition will bring a mature practise about. So ask the right questions that guide you to your real nature instead of wondering what to do, for that you must realize what you must stop doing first.
I actually was taking this seriously when I asked this question, but you're right that about halfway through I gave up on Zen started playing word games. Maybe there is something profound that you guys realize but I don't, but I'm not really interested in it anymore.

boda
Posts: 1930
Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2014 8:40 pm

Re: How do I go deeper into Zen practice?

Post by boda » Wed Jan 24, 2018 8:59 pm

seeker242 wrote:
Mon Jan 22, 2018 12:37 pm
mddrill wrote:
Sun Jan 21, 2018 2:01 am
KeithA wrote:
Sun Jan 14, 2018 10:11 pm
"I want to go deeper..." is a big hindrance. To steal a friend's words: practice ane see what happens.

My 2 cents, spend or discard, as you please.

_/|\_

Keith
A hindrance to what? If there's nothing to gain, then there's nothing to hinder.
There can be when "what there is to gain" is actually losing something, namely ignorance. Losing something doesn't mean you gain anything, but there can be a hindrance to losing it.

:smile:
To lose ignorance is to gain wisdom, silly goose. Wanting to go deeper may or may not be a hindrance to gaining wisdom. Fact is, you don't know.

User avatar
Grigoris
Global Moderator
Posts: 18212
Joined: Fri May 14, 2010 9:27 pm
Location: Greece

Re: How do I go deeper into Zen practice?

Post by Grigoris » Wed Jan 24, 2018 10:45 pm

boda wrote:
Wed Jan 24, 2018 8:59 pm
seeker242 wrote:
Mon Jan 22, 2018 12:37 pm
mddrill wrote:
Sun Jan 21, 2018 2:01 am


A hindrance to what? If there's nothing to gain, then there's nothing to hinder.
There can be when "what there is to gain" is actually losing something, namely ignorance. Losing something doesn't mean you gain anything, but there can be a hindrance to losing it.

:smile:
To lose ignorance is to gain wisdom, silly goose. Wanting to go deeper may or may not be a hindrance to gaining wisdom. Fact is, you don't know.
I think you will find that the wisdom was always there. Tathagatagarbha and all that...
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

User avatar
fuki
Posts: 210
Joined: Thu Nov 09, 2017 3:51 pm
Location: Netherlands

Re: How do I go deeper into Zen practice?

Post by fuki » Thu Jan 25, 2018 2:28 am

Grigoris wrote:
Wed Jan 24, 2018 10:45 pm
I think you will find that the wisdom was always there. Tathagatagarbha and all that...
Prajna is a dharma which means it arises dependendly (on causes and conditions), so its not always "there"
meldpunt seksueel misbruik in boeddhistische gemeenschappen nederland.
https://meldpuntbg.nl/

User avatar
fuki
Posts: 210
Joined: Thu Nov 09, 2017 3:51 pm
Location: Netherlands

Re: How do I go deeper into Zen practice?

Post by fuki » Thu Jan 25, 2018 2:30 am

mddrill wrote:
Wed Jan 24, 2018 6:33 am
but I'm not really interested in it anymore.
Congrats on your enlightenment! :D
meldpunt seksueel misbruik in boeddhistische gemeenschappen nederland.
https://meldpuntbg.nl/

User avatar
Grigoris
Global Moderator
Posts: 18212
Joined: Fri May 14, 2010 9:27 pm
Location: Greece

Re: How do I go deeper into Zen practice?

Post by Grigoris » Thu Jan 25, 2018 9:43 am

fuki wrote:
Thu Jan 25, 2018 2:28 am
Grigoris wrote:
Wed Jan 24, 2018 10:45 pm
I think you will find that the wisdom was always there. Tathagatagarbha and all that...
Prajna is a dharma which means it arises dependendly (on causes and conditions), so its not always "there"
Boda said that when one loses ignorance they gain wisdom.

You are saying that wisdom is something that is developed/gained.

I am saying that wisdom is an inherent quality that shines through when ignorance is banished (it is neither gained nor developed).
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

User avatar
Dan74
Founding Member
Posts: 2490
Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2012 3:59 pm
Location: Lyss, Switzerland

Re: How do I go deeper into Zen practice?

Post by Dan74 » Thu Jan 25, 2018 10:48 am

I sometimes experience a strange disconnect when reading an online conversation about Zen. I guess it's like any rare intangible - find a conversation about love and there will be dozens of people imagining all sorts of things, one or two who may have had a little glimpse of what it's about and an honest confused soul wondering what-the-hell.

For me, Zen practice was something very hands-on and not really about 'nothing to attain'. For starters, we go throughout our day, attaining getting dressed, attaining feeling full after making breakfast and eating it, attaining that caffeine rush, etc etc.. Before any talk of non-attainment, looking into these basic activities may be needed, no?

How we do these tasks, what is really going on, attending carefully and realising that most of the time we have no idea - this kind of ignorance can be helpful to attain. The known unknowns. Who is really the master of this bunch of synapses, bones and tissue?

But fundamentally, Zen practice is done with a teacher. When I met my teacher, I could sense that there was a wisdom and presence there I had never encountered before and I was drawn to that. I guess we all have our predispositions, something we are looking for. Zen, like anything, comes in all sorts of packages and flavours, some may only have the label "Zen" on them, but be a cheap counterfeit, others may look like nothing, but... and maybe the best for the OP is a good church - who knows!

User avatar
fuki
Posts: 210
Joined: Thu Nov 09, 2017 3:51 pm
Location: Netherlands

Re: How do I go deeper into Zen practice?

Post by fuki » Thu Jan 25, 2018 3:46 pm

Grigoris wrote:
Thu Jan 25, 2018 9:43 am
fuki wrote:
Thu Jan 25, 2018 2:28 am
Grigoris wrote:
Wed Jan 24, 2018 10:45 pm
I think you will find that the wisdom was always there. Tathagatagarbha and all that...
Prajna is a dharma which means it arises dependendly (on causes and conditions), so its not always "there"
Boda said that when one loses ignorance they gain wisdom.

You are saying that wisdom is something that is developed/gained.

I am saying that wisdom is an inherent quality that shines through when ignorance is banished (it is neither gained nor developed).
I agree wisdom is a part of our intrinsic nature, but it arises due to conditions meaning it's a function which ofcourse spontaneous reacts to conditions, I'm not saying it's gained (since like any dharma it's void of self-nature or own being) but it arises and is cultivated, for instance in whom wisdom arises that one can see dependend origination and experience emptiness that comes from (the practise) developing prajna.

Ofcourse true prajna is beyond description and we might be saying the same things, I just fell over the word "there" perhaps I'm nitpicking, sorry.
meldpunt seksueel misbruik in boeddhistische gemeenschappen nederland.
https://meldpuntbg.nl/

User avatar
Lindama
Posts: 676
Joined: Tue Sep 18, 2012 4:26 pm
Location: Forestville, CA usa

Re: How do I go deeper into Zen practice?

Post by Lindama » Thu Jan 25, 2018 4:48 pm

yes, wisdom is inherent. It needs no cultivation tho it may appear so. Wisdom, like all dharmas, arises naturally like boxes and lids.

As I hear it, the highest teaching in zen is.... "make a response".

The teaching is upside-down: to go deeper, make a response (ofc, this is not about will)
Not last night,
not this morning,
melon flowers bloomed.
~ Bassho

Matylda
Posts: 658
Joined: Mon May 14, 2012 3:32 pm

Re: How do I go deeper into Zen practice?

Post by Matylda » Thu Jan 25, 2018 5:29 pm

mddrill wrote:
Sun Jan 14, 2018 12:58 am
Hello. I've been practicing Zazen for about 3-4 years now. I try to sit for 30 minutes twice a day (but a lot of times it's more like once). I go to a local (Soto) Zen center on and off, but I've mostly just been practicing on my own from what I read in books.

I would like to go deeper into Buddhism, but I don't really know how. Whenever I try to talk to the teacher at the Zen center about this, she just tells me that there's nowhere to go and nothing to accomplish. Which I guess is true, but what's the point of practice then? There has to be something to gain out of this or she would just stay home. I'm considering trying other forms of Buddhism because of this. I tried Tibetan, but it seems to be mostly chanting and not a lot of meditation. Theravada sounds interesting, but I thought I would ask the Zen practitioners of this site for advice before giving up on Zen :D

What should I do if I want to go deeper into my Buddhist practice, but don't really know how to go about it or even I'm looking for? I've heard something about taking refuge and vows, would that be a good place to start?
You really have to look for a zen teacher who would address your genuine needs. To say there is nothing to gain etc. is good if directed to very mature practitioner, one who has arrived at this level in fact. Yes I am aware that there are teachers who would oppose and say one has to be aware of this right from the beginning. But I would respond to this, that such approach sentences good willing people to blind corner.. so does it work at all? Answer is not simple.. As far as I know, it did work indeed but only in a group of people who spent 8 hours daily in shikan taza under strict supervision of very experienced teacher.. o sense the meaning of no gain, one has to keep mind under strict influence of long hours of daily zazen, as I said 8 h daily... Then discriminating mind is somehow subdued.. in this case sesshins which are done once or twice a month go form 5 to 7 full days and daily schedule is very strict, includes 60 minutes zazen and kinhin and spreads from 2 am to 10 pm or midnight.. then it makes sense...

Otherwise I would prefer wisdom path of moment to moment practice in zazen and daily activity.. but again one needs a teacher, a master.. in such case one probably is pointed to satori as a crucial key to all practice, and there is a definitely stage of gain before arriving at the stage of no gain.

If this does not come skillfully as a pointer and instruction indeed one may stay home and do nothing.

So our deeper step in zen practice depends at such moment not only on our effort but onthe real zen teacher, in some cases or most cases entirely on the teacher... only extremely talented disciples will need less guidance.

User avatar
seeker242
Posts: 1342
Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2012 2:50 pm
Location: South Florida, USA

Re: How do I go deeper into Zen practice?

Post by seeker242 » Thu Jan 25, 2018 8:09 pm

boda wrote:
Wed Jan 24, 2018 8:59 pm
seeker242 wrote:
Mon Jan 22, 2018 12:37 pm
mddrill wrote:
Sun Jan 21, 2018 2:01 am


A hindrance to what? If there's nothing to gain, then there's nothing to hinder.
There can be when "what there is to gain" is actually losing something, namely ignorance. Losing something doesn't mean you gain anything, but there can be a hindrance to losing it.

:smile:
To lose ignorance is to gain wisdom, silly goose.
I think that depends on your manner of speaking. :smile: For example, the Heart Sutra: "No attainment with nothing to attain".

Reminds me of this excerpt from The Way of Korean Zen by Kusan Sunim.
"When deluded people look inside themselves, they will find there are things to be cultivated and to be gained. Therefore, they make a great effort to practice. But as soon as they have completed what they set out to do, they realize that there was nothing really to have been done. Thus, the true Dharma involves non-doing. All things that are done will finally cease. Thus the Dharma of doing is the false Dharma. But everything that you do- which, in reality, is non-doing- constitutes eternal truth. Such actions will not cease even though you attempt to be finished with them. This is the truth of the unborn and undestroyed.

Therefore, all the Buddhas of the three times, all the patriarchs, the bodhisattvas, and the spiritual advisors of the present age have expounded and are expounding the Dharma that is no Dharma. If someone claims that something was said, this would be mistaken.

In this world all people look for the Dharma of doing, that is, for some thing. But the true Dharma is to look for the Dharma of non-doing. This is truly extraordinary."
One should not kill any living being, nor cause it to be killed, nor should one incite any other to kill. Do never injure any being, whether strong or weak, in this entire universe!

Post Reply

Return to “Zen”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 26 guests