Re: Buddha's teachings for laypeople
- From: "Julian" <Julianlzb87@xxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Wed, 19 Sep 2007 11:14:19 +0100
"Bonobo" <me@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote in message news:1190193855.925262.135160@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
On Sep 18, 5:23 pm, Zen_Jan <jhodg...@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:Hi, I'm new to this group but would like to weigh in on the
applicability of Buddhist teaching to laypeople. I speak from eight
years of monastic experience in a Japanese monastery, and now thirteen
It's true that Buddha concentrated his teachings to those who followed
what we now think of as a monastic life, though even that form has
changed drastically from his time. But non-attachment doesn't mean
pulling out of activity, removing oneself from society, etc. True non-
attachment comes when we become one with whatever it is we're doing,
when subject and object vanish and it's just the doing. Most of us
have had glimpses of this, whether or not we've done Buddhist
practice. You're digging in the garden, or dancing, or painting, or
working on a computer porgramming problem, or even engaged in an
absorbing conversation, and you lose track of time/space and "startle"
back into yourself. Who was doing that activity?
For me it was wonderful to have the time and space and nurturing
environment of a monastery to go deeply into practice, sitting,
investigating who I am with the guidance of a Zen master. AND now that
I'm married, I see relationship also as a tremendous opportunity to
explore all the same aspects of practice. Those of us in the monastery
were still ordinary people with ordinary hang-ups, delusions,
neuroses, etc. We didn't check those at the monastic gate, but we were
all commited to look with attention and compassion into where all of
that comes from.
After doing some koan study and having the opportunity to sit
exhaustively in silent sesshins and on my own, and often "selfishly"
pursuing enlightment, I can now see that it is possible to pursue
intense investigation within the confines of a "normal" everyday life.
One practice that I've discovered since my monastic days is Focusing,
which I feel leads to a greater capacity to stay with what has been
called the Luminous Edge, that shimmering place of unknowing that is
so full of potentiality and can be scary to stay with. Jack Kornfield,
of the Insight Meditation strand, says, "Focusing is a beautiful and
meditative approach to psychotherapy and personal growth. It offers a
deep parallel to the practice of mindfulness in a carefully developed
and sensitive way." It isn't the same as Buddhist practice but
contributes to it greatly, in a synchronistic way.
That's enough for now. Pardon my jumping in.
Excellent book (Used copies from less than $2) especially good for
getting in touch with non-verbal aspects of the psyche... I think Tang
should invest in this book... ;-)
What a rip off!
For that much money one could chat to Jan for a minute!
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