> [Bill!] Why does this attitude of other people make you sad? If what you
> say is true then your very life is providing them with an example of a
> content human being. You can do no more unless they specifically ask you
> for guidance.
Because they can not understand I am (usually) content. How is one an
effective example to others when others can not see? I suppose I am an
example should they want to see.
I tried to have a relationship. But monks didn't really do that, did they?
After all these relationships I've had over the course of my life, I think
I've finally learned that for me to have a relationship with someone, they
really need to occupy the same mind as I do.
> [Bill!] You correctly see that 'gifts' that are given with an expectation
> of reward - like a thanks, are not truly gifts. They are pre-payments or
> bribes. You cannot save them from being miserable. You can only save
> yourself, and by doing can set an example for them. If they are interested
> in your example they'll ask. Otherwise there's not much you can do.
That is an excellent way to put the issue of "gifts".
[Bill!] You can teach by coddling and nurturing or teach with 'tough love'.
> Zen is mostly known for the 'tough love' approach (leaving a prospective
> student to sit at the entrance to the zen master's cave for a year before
> he/she has shown sufficient mettle to be accepted as a student), but some
> historical zen master's have used the more touchy-feely approach. In this
> era most zen masters/teachers have a more soft approach - at least in the
I don't believe I have much coddling and nurturing in me to teach with. It
simply does not come naturally except for the random instance of no-thought
compassion. Someone who expects coddling learns best from not having it.
> So I ask: How do you interact with the people in this world?
> [Bill!] That would depend on what role you want to play for them, or if
> want to play a role at all. If you want to play the role of teacher to
> I'd advise you to develop teaching skills that cover the entire spectrum of
> 'tough love' to 'grandmotherly nurturing'. Then you adapt YOURSELF and
> teaching style to the particular student. If you're not interested in
> a teacher then it really doesn't matter how you interact with others as
> as it is genuine - no role - you are not better off for your happiness and
> they are not worse off for their materialism. You are just you and they
> just them. I've often said zen is the ultimate WYSIWYG (a computer term
> 'what you see is what you get'. Just be Lana. That's more than enough.
If I were to choose to be a teacher, I would not choose the people in
question as students.
> If 'just being Lana' causes YOU discomfort (as you've described above) I'd
> suggest you continue to re-examine your situation to try to determine WHY
> this discomfort exists. I can't tell you WHY it exists for you, but I can
> tell you the discomfort is created within you, not forced upon you by
It exists because I am connected to everyone on the mental plane yet there
is no one on the physical plane for me to truly relate to. The people I
interact with on the physical plane are lost, they do not wish to learn. I
guess this is one of the few worldly desires I have left - to be physically
close to another person.
> Of course I do this with zen practice - mostly zazen - but as you've
> out at the beginning of your post this is not absolutely necessary.
I realized tonight that I have indeed been practicing forms of meditation
all my life, yet I never considered them such until I gained the experience
When I was really young, I could not fall asleep fast. It would sometimes
take me hours to settle, which didn't work well with my extremely high sleep
requirement at the time (10-12 hours). I realized the culprit was thought
and started a bedtime "journal". The thoughts would fall away from my mind
as my hand conveyed them on paper - I no longer analyzed, I simply recorded.
I did this for many years until I no longer needed the pen and paper to
quiet my mind.
For a long time after that I achieved a quiet mind by reading fiction (still
do, from time to time). I don't know if there is something particular in
how I read, but I simply "observe" what goes on in the book, I don't think
about it. Errant thoughts that pop up while reading I sit back for a moment
to let them pass then continue on.
I have always had a high requirement for nature. To see trees, grass,
mountains - my mind naturally harmonizes with them and I find I am too
caught up in observation to think even when I want to. When I was really
young, I used to lean against a tree trunk and visualize it anchoring me, my
spirit flowing down it's roots and feeling the cool dirt - I no longer need
that focus to empty my mind in the presence of nature.
Over the last year or so, I have found I can have that no-mind even when
working. I trust my mind, having practiced my profession for so many years
and resultantly my job is very intuitive (I simply know what is wrong with a
computer). I walk around most of the day in no-mind, fixing broken
computers and setting up new ones.
And in the last few months I have discovered I can have no-mind while doing
chores too. That is a beautiful thing.
So while I don't sit zazen regularly, I certainly spend a large portion of
my time in the above forms of moving meditation. And perhaps that explains
why I've been stuck with this discomfort recently - I tried to have a
relationship with people who didn't realize the importance of these everyday
tasks to me. I tried to appease them, but in doing so I was thinking, and
in giving up some of my above mentioned "meditation" time, I set myself
worse off for it. Thank you for opening the path to my understanding on
> Welcome to the Zen Forum!
Thank you, Bill.