Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Ango 2011 - Day 4

  • Morning Zazen ~45min with Roky, Engyo and Morelos on G+
  • No problems today for vegan diet, although plans for dinner were somewhat squashed because the fake chicken patties had egg whites.  Instead I made pasta with red sauce & garlic bread.
  • Shobo Study
    • Started on Power of the Robe (Very happy about this fascicle!)
      • Love how Dogen shows the lineage of the teachings and expresses such reverence for it.  
      • I also love how there is a clear honesty on what is and isn't proper transmission.
      • Finally, the explanation of which sizes for which purposes are pretty neat.  I wonder how and when the rakusu came into place.  Was it just a convenience instead of doing a full size 5 panel?  Will have to ask Taigu.
  • Attended my first Alexander Technique session
    • Was absolutely revolutionary and quite honestly shocking.
    • I have always experienced a 'crick' in the middle of my back after about 15-20 minutes of sitting. 
    • Additionally, I notice in my hip joints a dull ache and requires periodic movement, even if just slightly.
    • Tonight however was phenomenal.  Using the methods I learned today I was still experiencing this discomfort, however I chalk it up to lack of experience with AT.  I was able to re-focus and direct my command back to lengthening my spine and removing the discomfort.  
    • My only concern was how to practice shikantaza when I have to continually inhibit and direct my mind back into a place that provides this wonderful posture?  Probably another question for Taigu.
    • Then again, maybe this comes naturally over time and the "pause" I have to have to do this will become shorter and shorter and not interfere with shikantaza. 
    • I also tried the technique with my shakuhachi playing and had a very hard go of it.  So much is going on with the shaku that I couldn't properly "not do" the bad things that affect my bad posture.  Again, maybe just inexperience.
    • Go back next week again for another hour session and greatly looking forward to it.  In the mean time, I will practice awareness and practice the semi-supine technique that helps build the necessary awareness.
  • Shakuhachi Practice
    • I practiced off and on throughout the day.  Only really played Kyorei but focused once again on just trying to hit the notes in the kan register and hold them without the warbling and cut offs.  So, so hard.
  • Bought a beautiful statue of Avalokitesvara today.
    • Avalokitesvara is the Bodhisattva of compassion and she holds a willow branch and jar.  The willow branch is used to help ease suffering and the jar contains the dew of compassion.
    • It is for a Butsudan my wife and I are working on in our bedroom.  Actually its an old computer cabinet we no longer use and so the bottom portion will be dedicated to this purposes.  In this way, I can sit the 4 hour monthly zazenkai without interruption from the kiddos.
  • Evening Zazen ~30 min with Shinko & Angie on G+ although technically Angie was sitting beside me.  She said next time she'll sit somewhere else so that she can join on G+! :D

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