Author Topic: why zen  (Read 4014 times)

Offline VincentRJ

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Re: why zen
« Reply #30 on: November 26, 2018, 10:12:32 pm »
If one is already leading a sedentary lifestyle, I would not recommend any further sitting for the purpose of meditation. However, spending the time, or part of the time that one usually spends  watching TV, or some other sitting activity, on meditation practices instead, is likely to be an improvement, but doesn't address the health problems of too much sitting.

This is why I'm attracted to the Santi Asoke communities' emphasis on concentration and mindfulness whilst working, or walking, or during any activity during the day, rather than sitting down for long periods with eyes closed, essentially doing nothing.

Earlier research has shown that if sitting is interrupted with a few minutes of walking about every half hour there is no ill effect. That is how zen meditation is conducted (with eyes open also). Sitting in a good posture is also recommended (see my first post on this thread).

Of course. Often people at work, such as bank clerks, are advised to stand up whilst using the computer. The issue is, if you are already sitting too much, then sitting even more, in order to meditate, might not be good advice. That was my point.

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Sorry you still don't see any value in meditation. It's what powers real mindfulness.

I meditate frequently throughout the day, whilst sitting, standing, walking, and doing simple chores. I'm also approaching 80 (actually 76) but fortunately have no trouble with my joints, and I'm in excellent health, most probably because I make an effort to take care of my health with regular exercise and a healthy diet.

I enjoy the peace of nature on my acreage property, meditating mostly whilst standing, sometimes whilst surrounded by wallabies. Okay?  :wink1:

Offline zafrogzen

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Re: why zen
« Reply #31 on: November 26, 2018, 10:40:26 pm »
I was referring to formal sitting meditation practice (interspersed with walking meditation to avoid the ill effects of too much sitting).

I also do what you describe. It's not the same.

« Last Edit: November 26, 2018, 10:56:34 pm by zafrogzen »
My first formal meditation training was with Shunryu Suzuki in the 60's and later with Kobun, Robert Aitken and many other teachers (mainly zen). However, I've spent the most time practicing on my own, which is all I do now. I'm living in a rather isolated area so I miss connecting with other practitioners. Despite my interest in zen I've made an effort to remain secular. You can visit my website at http://www.frogzen.com

Offline Dairy Lama

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Re: why zen
« Reply #32 on: November 27, 2018, 04:06:13 am »
I was referring to formal sitting meditation practice (interspersed with walking meditation to avoid the ill effects of too much sitting).

I usually associate "meditation" with formal sitting practice, and "mindfulness" with practice off the cushion.
"My religion is very simple - my religion is ice-cream"

Offline VincentRJ

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Re: why zen
« Reply #33 on: November 27, 2018, 06:06:34 am »
Sounds like cultural baggage.  :wink1:

Offline Chaz

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Re: why zen
« Reply #34 on: November 27, 2018, 06:58:32 am »
Sorry you still don't see any value in meditation. It's what powers real mindfulness.

Quite so.

You can't be mindful when doing the dishes or some other activity until you learn just plain, old mindfulness.  You do that on the cushion.  That's where it all starts.  You begin to the breath and progress from there.  You learn to tame the mind, so you can get past the noise, and just wash the dishes.

One of the things that has always appealed to me with Zen is the practice activities that grow out of simple meditation - walking meditation, calligraphy, flower arranging, archery, even eating.  It's not sitting around doing nothing.

Even in Tibetan traditions, meditation is far from passive pursuit.  The Tibetan word for meditation is "gom", translated, it mean "become familiar with".  This is not doing nothing.  Teachers in the Kagyu  lineage teach "analytical meditation"  again, this is not some sort passive navel-gazing.  You're actually doing something. 

One of my meditation teachers once told us that people, sometimes, purposely avoid meditation.  He speculated that this was because meditation, done correctly, is actually not very easy.  Reading is a lot easier -  to take the path of least resistance -  and because there is no/little meditation included in their path, they fail in understanding the teachings.

 


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