Bill speaks from his heart and experience.  I am yet from another school with over 50,000 thousand practitioners.  I would recommend the same as Bill.


Bill Smart wrote:

I practice by myself also, but that is by circumstance and certainly
not by choice.

PRACTICING alone is fraught with snares and pitfalls, most of which
are virtually undetectable without guidance, or at least group

TRYING TO PRACTICE alone is, in my not-so-humble opinion, practically

Unless you have had a good begining and some solid experience with
zazen, I would discourage you from TRYING to practice alone. The
best thing would be to find a sangha or sitting group in your area
that has a qualified teacher. If there are none in your area I'd
encourage you to plan a trip to somewhere that does, and spend a week
or so with a good teacher to get you started. After that you should
keep in close contact with the teacher to help you work through any
difficulties or distractions you encounter.

I don't know how good an e-sangha would be for a beginner. It might
be okay. I have never participated in one so I just don't know. I
did check out the website of the Lotus Meditation Center in Seward,
NB, and in spite of my predispostion to skepticism based on their
previous postings, was very pleased at the content. I hope your
e-experience there will be beneficial to you; but do consider finding
a local sangha, or even going to Seward, to get a good start to your
journey. A good start is very important because you're going to be
traveling for a
long, long time - forever, in fact.

Bon voyage...Bill!

--- In [EMAIL PROTECTED], daniel sherwood <desherwood7@...>
> Thanks for the advice. I'm trying to practice Zen myself.
> ----- Original Message ----
> From: Bill Smart <[EMAIL PROTECTED]..>
> Sent: Monday, November 12, 2007 5:06:17 AM
> Subject: [Zen] Re: beginning again
> --- In [EMAIL PROTECTED], "cid830" <summitjags@ ...> wrote:
> >
> > what are the precepts?
> >
> cid830,
> Knowledge of Buddhist Precepts, Refuges, etc..., are not a pre-
> for practicing zen. In fact in most cases they are, as is all
> knowledge, a hindrance.
> The only thing necessary to practice zen, if that is your interest,
> to sit - meaning do zazen. Pacticing zazen clears your mind of all
> intellectual and emotional clutter, including concepts such as
> precepts, refuges, right:wrong, I:you, beginner:sensei, etc...
> Forget about all the other things you have read or been taught.
> sit. That's enough. Anything else is too much...Bill!
> __________________________________________________
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