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November 22, 2011


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Mike Haitch

You sit in order to find out why you sit. What is being dened that you must spend so much time looking for it? What are you actually doing when you sit? What belief requires you to spend so much time in front of a wall - one without a TV?

If you can know the answer in your bones the koan and your sitting/not sitting question will take care of itself. Words and questions are the detours. Your question is the core, Answer it with a cushion.


Is sitting just the least distracting way to be practicing?

As you pointed out, it really just a part; half a cup of doing whatever practice is, and half a cup of non-doing the daily things that cause suffering.

A spoonfull of yeast in a bowl full of flour makes a big difference once you let it sit.

Judy Roitman

I said it before and I'll say it again: the question isn't why, but for whom? Love, Judy


Re-reading my comment, it's pretty scatter brained... now there's a good reason to sit!

To clarify my original thought, I think the sitting matters if it makes a positive difference in the time your not sitting.


Meditation is like dipping your hand into a cold rushing mountain spring and drinking deeply. For a moment, we are transported out of time and are deeply replenished.


The relative and absolute come to mind: In the absolute, no reason. In the relative, many reasons. So, relatively speaking, it seems we must attain "no reason-no attainment with nothing to attain."

That said, it's like eating. When we eat, we don't think we'll eat to support cellular respiration or some other unconsidered function. We eat to support our lives which we live for each other. Often we don't even think about it. When we are hungry, we "just do it." That is our correct function - as the teacher says. Or, as Suzuki-roshi says, "The practice of being a Buddha."

But, what do I know? :)


an intriguing conversation, one which interests me. When I read the story of Nanyue it made me think that in the best spirit we sit without a goal (though being human that is not always the case). We simply sit because we are drawn to, something calls to us, something about it says, yes this is the thing to do.

Perhaps in meditation we are a kind of explorer? Perhaps we are normally so busy doing that we crave the simple act of just being? Perhaps it brings something to us we can find in no other way?

David Clark

I like zendotstudio's idea of being a kind of explorer. While many others have already made the journey, it is a journey that one can only make for themselves. It is of limited use to read or listen to others accounts, in fact it would be a great error to only take someone else's word for it.


Instead of a kind of explorers, what about kind explorers?

K Grey

Do? We "do" what we always do, while dividing the self-story into "meditation" and "other".

It may appear that we "do" less, or "do" some specific thing different from other experiencing when meditating. From this perspective we may begin to see that the apparent doing is purely a matter of mind assigning labels to what arises, and that proceeds choicelessly, or via "non-doing".

Hopefully, that is not an "answer" - as meditation has no purpose beyond meditation itself, despite any apparent fringe benefits one may experience (and there are many). It is complete however it manifests.

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