I have a sesshin coming up in a few weeks.  This time I will be 
starting on a Wednesday.  (here they recommend you sort of work your 
way up to a full week).

Last year I did a Friday through Sunday and it was the second hardest 
thing I've ever done in my life!  I remember it was hot.  I kept 
thinking how much easier it would be if it wasn't so hot, then I 
remember thinking what an idiot I was for thinking such a thing.  I 
don't think I ever did get around to not-thinking.

They teach there that when the pain or discomfort begins to really 
distract your from your practice, then you make that "discomfort" to 
be the object of your practice.  So you focus on the pain, and 
you "become the pain."  As wierd as it sounds, it works, because if 
you ARE pain you can't be IN pain.  

When I was sitting there swetting like crazy, and my knees were 
aching, I was more concentrated than I'd ever been.  Damn near 
knocked the attention deficit disorder right out of me!

I've been more regular about sitting and I even sit cross-legged 
while watching movies (at home) or reading.  I started doing it just 
to prepare my legs but found that it made it easier to concentrate.  
Even with movies... Now I'm not going "wait wait.. why did Pantaloni 
whack his brother Ravioli again?  Why are those people kissing? I  
thought they hated each other..."

When I lie in bed and read books I fall asleep.  So it's best to sit 
up cross legged I've found.  When I'm ready to go to bed I lie down 
and read.

And so you don't think that all this pain stuff is macho talk, I will 
say that in sesshin you can sit in a chair if you want.  I just find 
that cross-legged is best, so I am trying to acclimate myself to it.  
I've been doing this pretty solidly for about a year now and my legs 
work fine.  The longest I've sat on my own is four hours.

If you've done sesshin or sesshins, what have you done to prepare for 
it?  I probably will curb my reading, and TV watching, and up my 
sitting.  

I haven't been listening to the radio or music much, but that's 
becuase my CD player got stolen out of my car.  The Bodhisattvas who 
broke into my car deemed it necessary that I spend my 90 minute 
commute to work in silence.  

-DaveK



















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