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  Shoun became a teacher of Soto Zen. When he was still a student his father passed away, leaving him to care for his old mother. Whenever Shoun went to a meditation hall he always took his mother with him. Since she accompanied him, when... continue...

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→→→→ vertical line TOPIC: NEW PRACTICER
vertical line Posted on May.16.2007 @ 06:57AM EDT by gyro16
I have just discovered Zen, and I want to stay with it. but, whenever I try zaezen, I either can't do it for long enough or nothing happens!  Please help!
Go to Latest Reply   Reply to this Topic   Email gyro16
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Reply from Woodsman
May.16.2007
12:05PM EDT 
Email Woodsman
vertical line If you want a name for it, it's Mara.
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 71017
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Reply from boymonk
May.16.2007
12:53PM EDT 
vertical line Meditation is a skill, be patient. I've been meditating for years and I still suck at it.
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 71018
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Reply from Woodsman
May.16.2007
01:00PM EDT 
Email Woodsman
vertical line Quote: "Meditation is a skill, be patient. I've been meditating for years and I still suck at it."
.........

Writing you "suck" at it, is Mara, too.
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 71020
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Reply from Lynnoh
May.16.2007
01:17PM EDT 
Email Lynnoh
vertical line Mara? did you find this in a book?
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 71021
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Reply from kelvintan
May.16.2007
01:26PM EDT 
Email kelvintan
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Give Yourself Room Observe 16 the breath (Anapana Sati)

Mindfully he breathes in,

Mindfully he breathes out

You need training in this aspect of mindfulness

of the breathe

Slow and steady win the race.

With Metta

vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 71024
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Reply from Lynnoh
May.16.2007
01:32PM EDT 
Email Lynnoh
vertical line Quote: "

Give Yourself Room Observe 16 the breath (Anapana Sati)

Mindfully he breathes in,

Mindfully he breathes out

You need training in this aspect of mindfulness

of the breathe

Slow and steady win the race.

With Metta

"
.........

"
.........

what race?

vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 71026
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Reply from Lynnoh
May.16.2007
01:35PM EDT 
Email Lynnoh
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Quote: "Mara? did you find this in a book?"
.........

is Mara color?

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Reply from boymonk
May.16.2007
01:38PM EDT 
vertical line How can you tell what is Mara?
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 71028
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Reply from kelvintan
May.16.2007
02:19PM EDT 
Email kelvintan
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PATIENCE IS THE RACE

WITH METTA

vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 71029
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Reply from Woodsman
May.16.2007
02:29PM EDT 
Email Woodsman
vertical line Quote: "How can you tell what is Mara?"
.........

Who are you kidding? Hold that thought! There.
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 71030
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Reply from Woodsman
May.16.2007
02:31PM EDT 
Email Woodsman
vertical line Quote: "Mara? did you find this in a book?"
.........

Nope, at least not totally. I mean, I was written down, and I did read about it. But more to the point, it is Mara in thought and act that we are asleep to.
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 71031
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Reply from boymonk
May.16.2007
03:21PM EDT 
vertical line Holding Mara? hehe
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 71032
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Reply from whatzen
May.16.2007
03:26PM EDT 
Email whatzen
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"I have just discovered Zen, and I want to stay with it. but, whenever I try zaezen, I either can't do it for long enough or nothing happens!  Please help!"

"Meditation is a skill, be patient. I've been meditating for years and I still suck at it."

Perhaps you will awaken to mara.

vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 71033
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Reply from whatzen
May.16.2007
03:28PM EDT 
Email whatzen
vertical line Being silly of course.
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 71034
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Reply from Woodsman
May.16.2007
03:36PM EDT 
Email Woodsman
vertical line Quote: "Holding Mara? hehe"
.........

Dropping it. Awww...
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 71035
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Reply from kelvintan
May.16.2007
03:44PM EDT 
Email kelvintan
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Quote: "How can you tell what is Mara?"
.........

Bound by all fetters, human and divine

O Death, Mara is the owner of this body

Yielding oneself to all of life's afflictions

Mara  caused all suffering and illnesses

Over in Desire Heaven,  Mara still rules

Noble ones knows Mara's wickedness

Kill the Buddha if you see one on the road

With Metta

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Reply from boymonk
May.16.2007
04:00PM EDT 
vertical line How about... drop Buddha and... SEE Mara go!?
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Reply from Woodsman
May.16.2007
04:09PM EDT 
Email Woodsman
vertical line Quote: "How about... drop Buddha and... SEE Mara go!?"
.........

Go where? Don't answer that! It's a Buddha in the road! Just don't take your eyes off him!
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 71038
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Reply from Davidseon
May.16.2007
05:52PM EDT 
Email Davidseon
vertical line Mara is mind.  Buddha is mind.  Just ignore thoughts whilst meditating and eventually  there is no wrong or right.
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 71039
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Reply from Woodsman
May.16.2007
11:17PM EDT 
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vertical line Forget Mara's names, and sit, without the critique, without the guilt, without without.
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Reply from Pendragon
May.17.2007
01:37AM EDT 
Email Pendragon
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Zazen ... The First Taste of Zen
An interview with Ekai Korematsu by Gary Youston, August 2001

Gary: 'Ill begin with the most obvious question: What is zazen?
Ekai: Zazen literally means you sit down and quiet your mind. Literally, seated meditation. But when we talk about zazen in Dogen Zenjis way or the Soto Schools way the emphasis is upon posture. Its not just sitting and spending time wondering or whatever, but sitting in a very healthy posture. This means the back should be straight and the breathing should be healthy. If we miss these points, sitting like this (hand bent), tilted, then it goes away from the zazen school. But generally speaking zazen is seated meditation.

Gary: So why is there an emphasis upon a straight spine?
Ekai: Again, if we dont focus the spine or centre of ourselves then things do not come together. They can be all over and you cant position yourself. If you want to position yourself you have to make sure that the alignment is there, in the centre. Then you have an anchor point. But without that, if you are tilted off centre, it doesnt work, as sustaining an effort is difficult and doesnt come naturally. At the beginning when we learn to sit in zazen there is a lot of adjustment, effort or work correction to the right posture taking place. Your feeling about how you are sitting doesnt necessarily correspond with the way you are sitting. You may feel awkward to sit straight. But it is a matter of course. If you do this once, twice, three times, four times then slowly you begin to feel this feels right.

Gary: I remember when I first started, you talked about just sitting and then you would talk about making an effort. These seemed like opposites to me
Ekai: [laughter] The truth is in how you reconcile what seem to be contradictions. When the gap becomes reconciled, resolved, then you see the practice clearly. Before that there is always contradiction and conflict. So, simply speaking, when we say practice there is an effort, or a slight effort involved. Without effort there is no practice.

Gary: So what is the effort aimed towards?
Ekai: Effort is to point out the very basic, important thing. The important thing is to settle in the right posture and get ready for the body and mind to be able to make an effort. Its all connected. If you want to do zazen practice you have to learn to let go, to set aside a little bit. If you dont make a deliberate effort, bringing all the stuff from your world into the sitting then theres no practice. You are just carrying on the same thing, mundane effort, everyday effort

Gary: You just happen to be sitting differently!
Ekai: Yes! Yes!! [laughter]. You dont need to be sitting like that. You could be listening to music or something. A slight effort is important. Right effort. So to make this effort we have to rely on some thinking level. It doesnt come naturally without paying attention. In zazen we need some instruction. That is the purpose of orientation. It is a kind of general map of the practice, so that you know which direction is the proper direction. If you dont have that and you miss some point, then the further you go the more you deviate. If you have a general kind of idea and this is reinforced by your experience, then it becomes clearer.
[MORE AVAILABLE ON LINE.]
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Reply from El_Cid
May.17.2007
01:34PM EDT 
vertical line Perhaps enlightenment isn't waiting for you on your zabuton. Try walking meditation/mindfulness. You might find your first taste of enlightenment happens at a 7-11 ;)
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Reply from Lynnoh
May.17.2007
05:26PM EDT 
Email Lynnoh
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Quote: "Quote: "Mara? did you find this in a book?"
.........

Nope, at least not totally. I mean, I was written down, and I did read about it. But more to the point, it is Mara in thought and act that we are asleep to.
"
.........

then Mara must be worry...for in day I do not worry...but I'm awakened to it at night

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Reply from Lynnoh
May.17.2007
05:26PM EDT 
Email Lynnoh
vertical line Quote: "

PATIENCE IS THE RACE

WITH METTA

"
.........

"
.........

this makes no sense

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Reply from Lynnoh
May.17.2007
05:31PM EDT 
Email Lynnoh
vertical line and does anyone know what the bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz  is? four?..five? times... everything changes ohhhhhh
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 71046
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Reply from Lynnoh
May.17.2007
05:43PM EDT 
Email Lynnoh
vertical line I just read "Mara is the embodiement of the death of spiritual life"..... oh and just this morning I wrote a letter to a friend and for the first tiem spoke of a spiritual life...as being beyond religion and maybe even life itself....
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Reply from Lynnoh
May.17.2007
05:45PM EDT 
Email Lynnoh
vertical line why do you guys speak this way?
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 71048
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Reply from Lynnoh
May.17.2007
06:02PM EDT 
Email Lynnoh
vertical line ohhhhhhhhh, just read the full article.......Now I don't know what to think
vertical line Quote & Reply   Post Reply 71049
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Reply from Lynnoh
May.17.2007
06:03PM EDT 
Email Lynnoh
vertical line good day
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Reply from Woodsman
May.17.2007
06:39PM EDT 
Email Woodsman
vertical line May we all have a good night.
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Reply from kelvintan
May.17.2007
08:28PM EDT 
Email kelvintan
vertical line Quote: "Quote: "

PATIENCE IS THE RACE

WITH METTA

"
.........

"
.........

this makes no sense

"
.........

"
.........

Learning You Need Not Offer Help one has to experience it

Just apply wisdom and common sense

Have A Nice Day

With Metta

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Reply from gyro16
May.18.2007
04:34AM EDT 
Email gyro16
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Thank you all. That has helped me quite a lot. I'll take in your advice and try it out.

PS: What's all this ' with Metta'?

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Reply from ______
May.18.2007
07:30AM EDT 
vertical line the wind cries mary dust in the wind wild is the wind candle in the wind blowin in the wind prairie wind wind it up they call the wind mariah the rain's tess & the fire's joe how do you solve a problem like maria?
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Reply from kelvintan
May.18.2007
07:52AM EDT 
Email kelvintan
vertical line Quote: "

Thank you all. That has helped me quite a lot. I'll take in your advice and try it out.

PS: What's all this ' with Metta'?

"
.........

"
.........

Giving You. Radiating.Offering 16

With Metta means with Loving -Kindness

With Metta

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Reply from kelvintan
May.18.2007
07:58AM EDT 
Email kelvintan
vertical line Quote: "

Thank you all. That has helped me quite a lot. I'll take in your advice and try it out.

PS: What's all this ' with Metta'?

"
.........

"
.........

Giving You.Radiating Offering 16

With Metta means With Loving-Kindness

Sharing this merit with you

With Metta

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Reply from kelvintan
May.18.2007
08:05AM EDT 
Email kelvintan
vertical line Quote: "

Thank you all. That has helped me quite a lot. I'll take in your advice and try it out.

PS: What's all this ' with Metta'?

"
.........

"
.........

Giving You. Radiating Offering 16

With Metta means With loving-Kindness

Sharing of Merits

With Metta

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Reply from Lynnoh
May.18.2007
11:38AM EDT 
Email Lynnoh
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Quote: "the wind cries mary dust in the wind wild is the wind candle in the wind blowin in the wind prairie wind wind it up they call the wind mariah the rain's tess & the fire's joe how do you solve a problem like maria? "
.........

there is a song about Maria

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Reply from Lynnoh
May.18.2007
11:39AM EDT 
Email Lynnoh
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Quote: "May we all have a good night. "
.........

all

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Reply from Lynnoh
May.18.2007
11:40AM EDT 
Email Lynnoh
vertical line Quote: "Quote: "Quote: "

PATIENCE IS THE RACE

WITH METTA

"
.........

"
.........

this makes no sense

"
.........

"
.........

Learning You Need Not Offer Help one has to experience it

Just apply wisdom and common sense

Have A Nice Day

With Metta

"
.........

"
.........

...this too was written in the letter to my friend.....

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Reply from Lynnoh
May.18.2007
11:48AM EDT 
Email Lynnoh
vertical line Quote: "

Quote: "May we all have a good night. "
.........

all

"
.........

"
.........

sometimes I know not what I do in the slumber hours... but I know I'm not always welcome.... and sometimes rude... but who should the appology go to?

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Reply from kelvintan
May.18.2007
01:05PM EDT 
Email kelvintan
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Quote: "why do you guys speak this way?"
.........

Learning Yet Not Normal Often Helps

one see the other person's  views

As I take people's  thumb print I had this realisation:

Each thumb print about an inch. There are  6 billion

 people in this world; yet none of them have the

same print. That is the beauty of it.

Diversity. It is our own differences that makes us unique

With Metta To All

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Reply from kelvintan
May.18.2007
01:21PM EDT 
Email kelvintan
vertical line Quote: "Quote: "

Quote: "May we all have a good night. "
.........

all

"
.........

"
.........

sometimes I know not what I do in the slumber hours... but I know I'm not always welcome.... and sometimes rude... but who should the appology go to?

"
.........

"
.........

You should apologise to the person

you are rude to. Just say I'm "Sorry".

If that person does not forgive you

than you must forgive that person

for not forgiving you. You will feel

very much better at the end of it

With Metta

Peace be with you

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Reply from Woodsman
May.18.2007
03:15PM EDT 
Email Woodsman
vertical line Zzzzz  zzzz  zzzzennnn
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Reply from -----0
May.18.2007
03:33PM EDT 
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Quote: "or nothing happens. "
.........

that's it

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Reply from Woodsman
May.18.2007
04:00PM EDT 
Email Woodsman
vertical line Congratulations, it's a ...it.
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Reply from Woodsman
May.19.2007
04:33AM EDT 
Email Woodsman
vertical line It said                                       clouds of space
nothing                                     between me
to them,                                    in the garden
only pointed                              I came
to what was                                   to
uncomfortably                               recognize
missing, which                                 abandonment
was unfortunate in them.                 fearlessly
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Reply from En Shin
May.19.2007
11:50PM EDT 
Email En Shin
vertical line In case the original poster, gyro16 is still listening, I'd like to offer these thoughts directly to this person.

The fact that you are trying zazen means something is happening.  To sit quietly and stare directly into one's own inner face even for a few moments is more than many people ever attempt, and can be transformative.  

Don't expect fireworks.  Don't expect sublime metaphysical states.  They might happen, but they are not the point.  The point is to look at yourself.  Familiarize yourself with yourself.  Come to know your mental architecture and furniture and baggage.  And eventually you will ask yourself, just what the hell am I, anyway?  The answer will surprise you.

When you sit on the cushion, just be there.  100% there.  100% of the time.  The rest will come to you, the meditation itself will guide you.  What is Zen about?  Attention.  Attention.  And more attention.

Peace,

En Shin
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Reply from En Shin
May.20.2007
12:02AM EDT 
Email En Shin
vertical line I would also guide the original questioner to the current threads entitled Embers and The Buddha's Words, both of which touch directly on this question.  Buddhism is not a set of teachings to be believed, but a set of prescriptions to be put into practice.  This is the essence of the Eightfold Path, the endeavor to act with mindfulness and compassion in all things.  It is through mindfulness of our behavior that we come to see what we wish to change, and begin to change it.

Peace,

En Shin
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Reply from En Shin
May.20.2007
01:36AM EDT 
Email En Shin
vertical line Sorry, put the last one on the wrong thread!
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Reply from Woodsman
May.20.2007
06:15PM EDT 
Email Woodsman
vertical line The mind sits, in everything.
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Reply from boymonk
May.21.2007
01:55AM EDT 
vertical line Can someone help me move a couch?
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Reply from Lynnoh
May.21.2007
11:40AM EDT 
Email Lynnoh
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Quote: "Sorry, put the last one on the wrong thread! "
.........

how interesting..........

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Reply from Lynnoh
May.21.2007
11:40AM EDT 
Email Lynnoh
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Quote: "Can someone help me move a couch?"
.........

:) does that help?

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Reply from boymonk
May.21.2007
01:49PM EDT 
vertical line A little more to the right, thanks. :)
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Reply from Woodsman
May.21.2007
02:17PM EDT 
Email Woodsman
vertical line I'm the only one interested in my garden, it calls me from long ago, along with the woods.
                                                                             T
                                                                             H
                                                                              I
                                                                             S

                                                                              I
                                                                             S

                                                                              I
                                                                             T
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Reply from Woodsman
May.21.2007
02:18PM EDT 
Email Woodsman
vertical line More to the left!
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Reply from Lynnoh
May.22.2007
01:34PM EDT 
Email Lynnoh
vertical line whoa what a light !
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Reply from Lynnoh
May.22.2007
01:35PM EDT 
Email Lynnoh
vertical line feels good too  :)
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Reply from Lynnoh
May.22.2007
01:42PM EDT 
Email Lynnoh
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Quote: "I'm the only one interested in my garden, it calls me from long ago, along with the woods.
                                                                             T
                                                                             H
                                                                              I
                                                                             S

                                                                              I
                                                                             S

                                                                              I
                                                                             T
"
.........

there is something very....... foreheady about this

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Reply from Lynnoh
May.22.2007
08:24PM EDT 
Email Lynnoh
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Boymonk ? couch...moving

moving..couch (with feet).......  ? OH! bright light, pin size

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Reply from Lynnoh
May.22.2007
08:25PM EDT 
Email Lynnoh
vertical line hmmmm 
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Reply from Lynnoh
May.22.2007
08:28PM EDT 
Email Lynnoh
vertical line I'm sorry but I don't seem to know what this all means.......
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Reply from Lynnoh
May.22.2007
08:36PM EDT 
Email Lynnoh
vertical line Quote: "

Quote: "the wind cries mary dust in the wind wild is the wind candle in the wind blowin in the wind prairie wind wind it up they call the wind mariah the rain's tess & the fire's joe how do you solve a problem like maria? "
.........

there is a song about Maria

"
.........

"
.........

"all the beautiful sounds of the world...in one word...Maria" (song from Westside Story)

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Reply from ZenMatters
May.28.2007
08:48PM EDT 
Email ZenMatters
vertical line If you think that you must think while meditating... you are wrong.  To meditae you must let go of you thinking self.  Some focus on a point in the room in front of them for a time and then relax the mind and let go of the point.  You may chant to get to your meditative frame of mind or empty mind.  You must not forget to breath propperly, and to relax.  Repeat Nam Yo Ho Renge Keyo in the lotus or semi lotus position, or Om on the same positions.  Calm down and slow your tempid mind.  You may find it easier to chant quietly, or at a mild tone.  You might want to turn off the world in your mind, and any out side noise.  Try burning insence or heating scented oil.  You will find that it takes little effort to atain peaceful meditative states of conciousness, and you can get a lot out of it in one day.  You will want to arive at a deep level of awareness, but not loose sight of your world around you to the point of sleep. Be concious of your return to focus, and seek out a propper meditative teacher as soon as you can.  You can go it alone, but there may be pitfalls.  I would suggest you contact a temple or a dogo where they teach meditation.  You must do what they say if you enlist their help.  You are not to go off half ready and deal with deeper meditation alone.  This is going to become obvios as you become more aware as a mature practitioner.
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Reply from Lionel
May.29.2007
06:25AM EDT 
Email Lionel
vertical line I would suggest best is to take up a proper meditation retreat around your area with guidance. The proper first step procedure or method is very important or else it would difficult to adjust back the correct or proper approach & attitude at later stage. Take care & all the best blessing in the journey!
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Reply from ______
May.29.2007
07:13AM EDT 
vertical line Passenger liner
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Reply from Lynnoh
May.29.2007
12:18PM EDT 
Email Lynnoh
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meditated on this   I

                                   I

                                   I

                                   I

                                   I

just this morning

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Reply from Lynnoh
May.29.2007
12:24PM EDT 
Email Lynnoh
vertical line hahaha...... whos moved the top one! hahahaha
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Reply from Lynnoh
May.29.2007
12:24PM EDT 
Email Lynnoh
vertical line bright light pin point
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