…Until recently I have been practicing in the Sakya Tibetan lineage. But for some reason, and for many years (ever since reading Zen and motorcycle maintenance in the early 80’s) I have felt a strong pull toward
Soto Zen. Unfortunately, there are no teachers of that school close by. About a month ago, I woke up one morning with an urge to try to follow this path anyway.
And so off I set.
Thanks for pointing me to your reflections on sitting. All best wishes for your efforts Ian.
There may be some East Asian Soto teachers coming into Australia however they tend to come at the practice in a particular way (with East Asian cultural background) which for some can be confusing.
As time goes on I realise just how fortunate I was to stumble upon Soto Zen being passed on by a Westerner. We’ve dropped the chopsticks etc. level of the cultural background yet retained the all important bowing, and all that comes with that. (Yep, this is a religion.) We’ve also left the external discipline to one side and gone more towards relying on people to discipline themselves. That’s internally, and with compassion. Works for the most part.
Anyway, I just wanted to send you a note of encouragement here Ian. Perhaps you will find some like minded people to sit with, which can be encouraging. Or not. If there is any way I could help, practically or advice wise don’t hesitate to ask. BTW you might find your dog becoming interested in what you are doing and join you. They tend to fall asleep eventually yet the snoring can keep one awake, which is a plus!
Hum, just a thought. Is it OK to publish part of your email to me and my reply and link to your post? I think what you have written, the process of getting to the cushion and what happens next, is helpful for people just getting started. You have experience of sitting, obviously, the process of getting to sit is common to us all. And I’ll have to think about the ‘dot’ you mention. I’d say what I know is an ever expanding ‘dot’, along with the usual undertow of mental flux.
There is more to say about the dot. I’ve not the intention to talk against what Ian writes, more to expand my thinking, in writing, on the dot!