Treeleaf Zen

Treeleaf Zen

All Things Change!

It is a fundamental Buddhist teaching that “All Things Change” …

Some of those changes can be in ways we want, some in ways we surely do not want.

But Buddhists learn to be ‘Masters of Change’  … going with the flow of it all …


(remember: recording ends soon after the beginning bells;
a sitting time of 20 to 35 minutes is recommended)

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posted January 22, 2009 at 12:25 pm

I am only just learning about Buddhism and I so enjoy this online teaching. It’s easy and it’s hard.
I was thinking about your teacher crying and wondering why that would be suprising? Wouldn’t that be just an expression of a feeling of sorrow that passed through him? Because if we shouldn’t cry, then we shouldn’t laugh, right? Because laughing is just an expression of a feeling of mirth as it passes through. I guess I’m a little confused about what might be perceived to be wrong with this. I know you said you realized that crying was okay. But, why did you think for a moment that it wasn’t? If we didn’t want to stop the sorrow and crying or laughter and amusement, then we would be clinging. Is that right? But the expression of those feelings would be okay? For how long? When does something become clinging?

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posted January 22, 2009 at 11:40 pm

Hi Sherri,
Many interpretations of traditional Buddhism (I do not say ‘wrong’ or ‘right’ interpretations … just ‘varied’ interpretations) say that the emotions should be extinguished in our Practice. Or that a Buddha would experience constant joy and tranquility with never a drop of sadness.
Our Zen teachings tend to be more down to earth (even as we leave the earth behind … both at once, not two). So, there is encountered in Zen Practice peace and stillness even in the tears and smiles.
Gassho, Jundo

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posted January 24, 2009 at 1:13 pm

Thank you so much for your answer.
Extinguishing emotions is difficult. Maybe some day it will be easier. Right now it is enough to feel them, acknowledge them, and let them go.
If I feel happy, I smile and move on. If I feel sad, I cry and let the sorrow go. If I feel angry, I write, “I’m mad.” on a piece of paper and then toss it in the trash can and the anger with it. Okay, it actually goes in the recycle bin, but the image of it going into the trashcan and the anger going with it is the one I cultivate. Don’t want to recycle anger! :)
Do I understand, however, that any acknoledgement of an emotion, fleeting or lingering, is clinging? Is that the thought? You feel the emotion, but don’t express it? Right?
As I said, I’m learning. And I thank you for taking the time to help. I only have books here in Waco and online readings. The nearest teachers are in Austin, 2 hours south, or Dallas, 2 hours north. And,because life gets so busy, it is hard to travel 2 hours to and 2 hours from a place very regularly — even irregularly. So, you can imagine what a joy it was to find Treeleaf right here in my home! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

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posted January 24, 2009 at 1:32 pm

Hi Sherri,
In our way, we feel emotions … happy said, up down, all the emotions of life. But I might say that we are not prisoners too them, do not let them carry us too far away or go to extremes (if we can help it). We also see through them in some ways, as if life were just a bit of theatre … comedy and tragedy, but not quite as real as we feel it to be.
I hope that helps.
Gassho, Jundo

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posted January 29, 2009 at 5:45 am

Thank you for your site and this video. I have been listening to it several times since it’s release and it brings me some peace.
Also, as a non English native speaker, I find it very easy to understand you.
I have been interested in Buddhism for a couple of years now but chaotic schedules, exhaustion and (yes) laziness haven’t allowed me to focus seriously enough. I still do try to apply with some of the principles I have gained.

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