18 September 2011

Slacking on Sitting AKA: Zero Zazen

I'm living in a bit of self-deprecation just because. I know it's silly. I know it, yet I persevere. I have slacked in sitting over the past week or two. I have a hard time following the standard accepted week now that I'm working shift work with 4.5 days off in a row. I work 2 day shifts, off for 24 hours, and then work 2 night shifts. This rotation will be as it is until the end of time as I know it. I follow my weeks in this pattern. So, it might be more like 10 days. There may have only been about three days in there where I did not sit at all in a 24 hour period.
I miss it.
I avoid it.
I dread it.
I fantasize about what it could be like with a physically present teacher.
I long to experience sitting with a group of people.
I can't do that here in Whitehorse.
I choose to not set this up here in Whitehorse.
I reminisce about historical times I sat.
There is no past.
There is no future.
I am making the choice to not sit Zazen, so instead to sit in avoidance. Awesome. "What are you doing that for?" you might ask. I propose this excuse (copied and pasted from Brad Warner's blog):
"As Shunryu Suzuki said in 1962:
"If you want to meditate you must have (the) instruction of (the) right teacher, especially when you want to meditate at home. It will take at least six months before you get your own right posture. Everyone has their own right posture but without instructions you cannot find it. For it to be your true posture, there must be (the) spirit which is called (the) Essence of Mind. Without spirit it cannot be your own. So we say, 'When you become yourself then Zen becomes Zen.'"''

So what am I left to do? Do I just continue to sit and then see what happens? I am pretty certain I'm excuse making. I am working full-time. I'm taking two university courses and the time dedicated to these courses is about what I was spending on thinking about Buddhism, sitting, and reading about it put together. I'm still working out with weights every other day and running when I can and walking when the running's not working. I guess I'm running out of time to do some things. I guess I'm using the time I have to excuse make. Really...ten minutes of sitting only takes 10 minutes. I suppose another excuse might be this:
I am not reading the Buddhist literature as I was before my courses started. Taking that time to read from various teachers (Brad, Shunryu, various others in "the book of mu", etc...) was really integral. I would contemplate what would resonate most with me from those books during that sitting time. I can't really tell you what I think of when I sit at home now...you know when I do sit. 

Last words: I'm going to take the time if I really want to continue this practice. If I choose to not take the time to sit (even just 15 minutes twice a day) I choose to not take the time. There are no excuses. There are no reasons to not sit. I have to own my choices.

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