Sunday, July 15, 2012

Returning to the Source

Now that the 'Ferocious Practice' has come to a close, my experiment with a non-formal and non-traditional practice is at an end.   While practice without the formal shape and trappings of traditional meditative practice was beneficial in some ways, i.e., the 'bare bones' practice made possible by stripping away all of the 'bells & whistles' and leaving me alone with only my mind to observe... I think that it was in equal parts, perhaps, a misguided exercise in arrogance/hubris. 

As it turns out, I cannot improve upon the traditional practice, though it was helpful to me to learn this firsthand (as I tend to learn most things... sometimes to shocking effect!).

I therefore return to my traditional, formal practice.


( no surprises there, I am sure.. lol )

Saturday, June 30, 2012

As this 1000 Day 'Ferocious Effort' practice draws to a close, I look back upon a long period of time in which my practice has matured and deepened, but during which I also recognize mistakes and false attempts in my practice.

As the practice deepened, I found that I had less and less to say about the process... and felt my focus turn more and more toward the actual practice... the actual moment.

It seemed to me that in the 'speaking about' of the practice... I tore the universe in two.... and in the actual mindful practice itself... I dissolved into the practice.

Much has changed. Much remains the same.

Although our sitting group continues to practice regularly, and despite the fact that the monastics ( of which I am one.. ) will likely be teaching/leading a Buddhist Studies Group at a local state university in the fall... I am realizing that my practice tends more towards an eremetic (i.e., hermetic) practice and that I seem to benefit from solitude and solo contemplative practice.

Comings and comings... goings and goings... not a single thing beneath the sky remains unchanged... and this, too, will likely pass and change with time...

As for me... I shall continue with my practice... here at the center... in stillness... sitting like a tiger pouncing.

Yours in the Dharma,

Bu-Gohn Unsui

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Ordinary Zen

Over the course of this practice, my Zen has gone through several changes, mutations, and transformations... to arrive, more or less, back at the beginning.. but very different than it was at the outset of this practice.

Zen on the cushion, without Zen in day to day, ordinary, mundane life is utterly useless.

It is only when we take our 'cushion-Zen' or 'Zabuton-Zen' and bring it into our ordinary day to day living that it matures and grows and becomes 'life' rather then 'zen'.

It is the dissolving of the boundary... the removal of subject/object that realizes the practice and brings it to life.

We have a pure experience.. hungry.. tired... happy.. pain.. cold.. what have you... it is alive, and real... but, right on the tail of that, we have a thought about the experience... we 'think' about it in a stream of words.... and in so doing, tear the universe in two.

Remove the words... and what do you have?

There are no boundaries... and a bird does not leave a trail when it flies from one tree to another.

The 'I' that I consider when contemplating myself is no more than a story that I have concocted using words... it is what I have convinced myself to believe...

But... at the end of the day... it is only a stream of words.

Remove the words.. and what is left?