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August 08, 2018

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In regards to your article about Zen training, here are some war stories:

Ten years or so ago, I used to get into bar brawls almost every weekend. I'd take pills and drink and go into fiery rages, unleashing Mara in all directions. During one such rage, I was being held down by 3 police officers. I was spitting at them and calling them sons of whores, while my mother tried do get them off me, crying out please let my son go, with tears running down her face. One time, a girl I was fooling around with got hit by a guy she had refused that night, and so I of course jumped him, throwing him around and beating him. Later, he came back with a hammer, hitting me in the head six times, with full force. I didn't even go down. When the ambulance came, I wouldn't even let them cut up my Hugo Boss sweater, LOL (which I of course had stolen from a high-end shop). Later, I yelled at the surgeon in the E.R. for being a pu*sy, since he was being too careful while stitching my head up. Also, in this same time-period, I always had at least a kilogram of hashish stored at the house, since I was selling alot of drugs at the time.

However, burning through most of that rage, I ended up in a deep hole of despair and depression, accompanied by obesity and various other health-related issues like type 2 diabetes and hypertension. At this point, I was on 6 different medications, 3 of them being heart-related. Hitting the utmost bottom, I submitted to Avalokitesvara, with heavy tears of regret and desperation, crying out for compassion and pleading for salvation.

Now, what does this logorrhoea about my person have anything to do with Zen training? Well, this is the mountain of defilements and suffering most of us are faced with at the very instant we decide that we want to study Zen and practice the Way. When I first decided that I would commit to meditation and overcome all the fear I had in regards to my own mind, I was of course immediately met with said fear, and that fear was indeed crippling! I would face all of my various negative karmic conditions when looking within, and I would just crumble and give up. I wouldn't dare do meditation for weeks at a time, in fear of dealing with that fear again, LOL. Eventually, I just said f*ck it, and told myself that if I should die during meditation then that would be a blessing, so why worry about it at all.

At that time, I couldn't even sit without using the couch for cushioning, since I had problems with my back. I eventually moved on to sitting against a wall. After a while of that non-sense, I read somewhere that Hui Hai (I think?) scolded his students for using back-support during meditation, saying that it is a disease. The day after reading that admonishment, I commited to doing 3 x 60 min sessions one after another without leaning against anything. And I of course found an immense ocean of strenght, which I wasn't aware of prior to this. Since that day, I haven't leaned against a single thing of support ever, and my back has healed.

Then again a few years later, I read how Shakyamuni, while still a young Bodhisattva, after having first decided to practice the Way, leap-frogged innumerable kalpas and achieved Buddhahood in 7 days, and thus beating Maitreya to the punch, even though Maitreya started his practice 42 kalpas before the young Bodhisattva. The young Bodhisattva gathered a ferocious determination and subdued infinite maras while doing standing meditation on one leg, while making the anjali mudra. The day after reading this, I went down to the meditation hall (I was on a retreat at the time), and bowed to the Buddhas, stood myself firmly before the Buddha statue and commited to trying out a 60 min session standing. When the gong rang I bursted out in laughter, since I never realized it would be so easy!

The next session I did standing as well, but added another 30 mins, making it 1.5 hours. And mind you, while the young Bodhisattva chose to stand on 1 leg, I actually only have 1 leg, due to losing the right one in a war accident, which to me is hilarious LOL. And even though the knee on the leg I have left is a bit of a mess; who cares? After all, the young Bodhisattva didn't care either. These days, I mostly just do standing meditation. There is much more energy available this way, and torpor and drowsiness is almost non-existent. A good part of the time you're not actually aware of the fact that you're standing.

So, yeah. This is the longest post on here ever, I think. Do I get a prize? LOL. But really, the thing is, none of the experiences we might have had up untill now, and none of the things we deem as obstacles, not a single one of them matter much at all. None of them are able to obscure Pure Mind and none of them are able to keep us from winning the Light of Mahayana. Just because it seems like these things are in our way, that doesn't make it so! The only useful thing about these so-called defilements and hardships is the fact that all of them can be used as fuel for igniting a roaring fire of zeal and determination, and thus extinguishing countless kalpas of ignorance. I am now free of all the medication I was on, as all of my medical issues have cleared up on their own. And this is despite several doctors telling me that I would have to live with these chronic diseases for the rest of my life.

F*ck that.

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