Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Is there more to zen than sitting?

The word zen means sitting. But what is sitting? Paying attention. As one pays attention they see suffering, among themselves and others... and they feel compassion for those suffering, so they have to deal with that. If one sat once a day and thought that was all there was to it, then they'd be missing the big part... the part of sitting while they are doing the rest of their life. Being present when one is with others. Being present when one is with oneself.

Zen people like to answer questions yes and no. Since "the past no longer is" and "the future has not yet come" all we have is the present. And when we sit we are there, in the present. And we learn from that laboratory to be present in more stimulated environments (though actually nothing is more stimulating than quiet because we can hear a pin drop and feel a fleeting thought touch our heart.

I'm sure I could write the rest of my life about this, without lifting my fingers from the keyboard... and I don't think I really know anything about it. I guess my best answer for now, since I have to still make a drawing and pack bags for a trip tomorrow is this: yes, there is more... and the more is everything else... and no, sitting is really, in the broadest sense, everything that we do and are. When we are awake, we are sitting... in the sense that sitting means awake, noticing, feeling, touching, accepting.


Melanie said...

Kim, your blog posts are short and deep. You often articulate things I think and feel, murky as it is in my mind. And there is always art to appreciate with each post. Thank you for doing this.

Kim Mosley said...

Thanks! To be honest all this stuff is very murky in my mind too... especially until I start writing. I think that's why people write. Otherwise their thoughts are rubble. The magic is how we find out what we are thinking when we write.

Anonymous said...

Hi Kim,

Ok, I asked the question, "is there more to Zen than sitting?". I only asked it because I really wanted to know.

When you go to Church, you know there is more, There is the great promise that you will spend eternity in heaven with all of your dead kinfolks, or if you put plenty of money in the offering plate, God will make good things happen for you. Not to mention all the friends you make, and the songs you can sing.

Anyway, I don't care about all that stuff, or I would just go to Church.

I have quietened my mind, for long periods of times on almost a daily basis. Really, to the point where I was worried that I might bring harm to myself from too much meditation, which I still think might can happen. I like meditation, and what it makes me feel. Is it true that through different types of meditation, your brain does different things? Is the brain set up to do only one thing when a person meditates? I can't say, but for me the only difference I have found in meditation is the quiet kind and the guided kind. But through both, my brain feels the same sensation. I really should check them all out, before I can really say, so I won't say anymore about it.

I just wanted to know if Zen is about nothing? Since there is no good or no bad, no future, no past, then is there so much nothing, that there is no need for Zen? I like sitting, and if Zen is just sitting in the present moment, and nothing more, than sitting is fine with me.

Dorthy Greenfield

Who's in the world?

Xiushan said, "What can you do about the world?" Dizang said, "What do you call the world?"