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I'm being silly of course. I've visited a Chinese Buddhist monastery a few times. Chinese, 'chan' , their word for Zen. The monastery ' Buddha mind monastery' in OKC, is ran by a few nuns. They are of such a sweet and gentle nature, I can't imagine any of them hitting anyone with a stick. It's a beautiful place. You get the feeling of being in a near magical realm when you go in.
well no, I use to have a zen temple 7 or 8 years ago they moved now so i cant go, but most people sat on the floor. They kept a chair for me and they saw me slumping or bending forward I had a teacher owner there who would come up to me and and pull my shoulders back and tell me to sit up but it wasnt a stick its not required.
If I could put every inner thought through loudspeakers throughout the tranquillity and beauty of sesshin........*grin*
The Rochester Zen Center that's fairly nearby to me still uses the Kyosaku.
It's largely common in Rinzai and Soto traditions.
I think the purpose, as I see it, aside from corrective action, is a direct way to signify the first noble truth, for which the pain and sensations from sitting become quickly redirected once the tap of the wisdom stick on the shoulder is felt and first presents itself.
It's not that pain and all associated attachments are limited to sitting and posture, through one's contentions that such can be eliminated outright using any comfortable manner. It just cannot as pain and tactile sensations will still be present, no matter what posture one uses in any protractive setting. The gist here as far as posture goes is avoidance , that attachment that comes from adversion or that desire to seek out alternatives that simply are not there.
Even in light light of facing the first nobel truth, there is that contention by which people can still "get there" otherwise, using alternate methods that are not pescribed, yet whom otherwise are capable of attempting the more difficult configurations. Seeking something alternatively elusive like bliss and tranquility.
I think the reason why alternative options remain acceptable for those that genuinly cannot sit due to health, size, or whatever is because the issue of pain and discomfort is already magnified enough from a practice standpoint and of course not hurting oneself needlessly from a health standpoint.
For those that are capable, or can be, proper posture actually becomes ideal as this has been a position that has been tested and refined over thousands of years.
If people just want to cheat themselves....a good teacher would give a few wacks time to time, or maybe just simply let things be as they are.....
Zen Buddhism tends to traverse those routes. "0)
I think that's an importaint aspect through the practice of Zazen.I actually get the part about redirecting from the pain. In my karate classes we meditate before training by sitting on our knees with the tops of our feet flat on the tile floor. Obviously this is not the most comfortable position. The point is to train your mind to focus despite the discomfort.
Try to locate a copy of a book entitled " The Three Pillars of Zen" by the late Philip Kapleau Roshi. It contains great teachings....they have a wooden device called a seizan bench...mine I hade from a piece of 2" x 6", and followed the simple instructions....it is set at 15 degrees, which puts one in the correct form to so zazen or shikantaza...gives you a seat that supports you...you can make a thin pillow to go on it! Philip Kapleau Three Pillars of Zen | Dōgen | KōanI went and visited a new Zen group I hadn't been too. I was very brave. Zen sittings quite often include sitting on the floor and no chairs. I weigh 308 pounds. Ive lost from 341 originally. I called ahead of time they said they had chairs. But I wasn't sure theyd be big enough for me and I was scared to go down there.
I was scared Id show up and the chairs wouldn't be big enough and thered be no place to sit. they would've called 911 for me yikes! No but the metal chairs were hard enough and sturdy enough so I was proud of myself.
However the question is, should Zen centers and groups do more to take in big people like add chairs that will hold big folks?
Aside from Buddhism for dummies, that was among the first titles I purchased when I first became interested.Try to locate a copy of a book entitled " The Three Pillars of Zen" by the late Philip Kapleau Roshi. It contains great teachings....they have a wooden device called a seizan bench...mine I hade from a piece of 2" x 6", and followed the simple instructions....it is set at 15 degrees, which puts one in the correct form to so zazen or shikantaza...gives you a seat that supports you...you can make a thin pillow to go on it! Philip Kapleau Three Pillars of Zen | Dōgen | Kōan