February 26, 2009

The Big Sit, Day 4

We had a good sit in the Tricycle office today. (I was seeing city patterns in the carpet.) Here's what's new on the Big Sit site:

The Weekly Discussion topic on the Precepts is generating some heat, but the teachers haven't weighed in yet. (Two of them, Josho Pat Phelan of the Chapel Hill Zen Center and Elihu Genmyo Smith of the Prairie Zen Center, contributed dharma talks, which you can read on the Discussion page. And there is Robert Aitken Roshi's groundbreaking article on the precepts here.) Participants are discussing giving up alcohol for the duration of the 90 days (and it's also Lent now, isn't it?) and the first precept (non-killing) vis a vis eating meat.

In the coming days we're going to be posting more material for "beginners" -- and aren't we all really beginners? -- dealing with things like the history of Zen, basic sitting techniques, and why the Big Sit is 90 days long. (It started with the monsoon season retreat in the summer. See ango on Wikipedia.)

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mary's picture

I appreciate your work on the Big Sit, also. I am beginning to get a sense of the community that is out there and that I am a part of. Thanks very much.

Jeff's picture

One practice in the post-meditation is to not chatter and talk about the meditation experience because one tends to build up all sorts of concepts about the experience and expectations for the next sit which undermines a very simple thing, very simple - sitting still, watching your mind and your breath. I would suggest that discussing sitting still for 20 minutes a day be saved until the 90 day period is over and until then sit, study, listen to dharma talks and leave it at that. Practitioners from cultures where Buddhism is mature see sitting or bowing as just part of their daily life and not some mystical journey. I'm trying to make a positive suggestion here to not make a big deal of it and just do it and be with it.

stephanie's picture

Thanks for all the great work you are doing at this site--it is amazing how much I am learning and experiencing. I really appreciate all that you do!