Ally: I had attached to my religion belief but was not aware at all
——– Sharing on the 2-day retreat (2R5) from June 14th to 15th, 2014
I was nervous to come to the 2-day retreat. I was afraid I could not sit for one-hour-long sitting session due to lack of practice in the past two months. After arriving on Friday night, we practiced for two sessions. I found I was able to complete it easily, and that was a relief. But teacher Jeremy said “no matter you feel easy or painful, you should just focus on that you don’t know, but you want to know.” I heard that but didn’t put it into practice. I still dwelled on whether I could sit or not.
In the first session on Saturday morning, still I found sitting was easy to me, haha. But when I had this thought crossed my mind, I had no idea that I would be completely occupied by drowsiness in the following sessions of the whole day. I tried so hard to doubt between half awake, but my doubt was so short that I almost fell into drowsiness immediately. I was like falling in a karma of doubting for a bit, getting drowsy, and doubting for a little bit and drowsy again. In the afternoon, teacher Linda asked me about my practice, I answered I fell asleep all the time. She told me that my “mind effort” was insufficient, and I had too many “blank moments” during my practice sessions. That was so right! My practice was like asking the question, running away from the question for a very long time, and then falling asleep! She suggested me to doubt on the surgery I was going to have. She said “Just doubt on the thing you worry so much. How is it possible that you cannot doubt on it?” I took it immediately, and it worked. I did not know whether because I was over-taking, or I was so focus on my doubt, I found I was not that worry as before! Then I came back to my method, just doubt simply! I learned that I should adjust my practice method according to my conditions, rather than apply it “deadly” and stupidly. After being drowsy for a whole day, I thought I had had enough sleep. But I found I was so tired at night and slept so tight. When I woke up in the next morning, I started my doubt immediately.
On the second day, Sunday, teacher Jeremy asked us doubt directly without using any sentence, “You had no way out, so you just face it! “ I tried to apply the method and found indeed that I could doubt without sentence. Although I practiced in this way before, this time I could doubt without sentence for a longer time. I was so focused, like watching at (my doubt) so intensively that my eyeballs would pop out from my eye sockets! My doubt continued and lasted without any break. I found that I was grabbing on the method so in the next session I adjusted my mindset to become easier and not-grabbing, but doubted on one word “None.” I focused more on my doubt so I would grab less. The doubt in my mind was the doubt itself. I just did not know the answer. At that moment, there was only one thing in my mind, my doubt.
I appreciated to the cause and effect that make me attend this special 2-day retreat. It was amazing that I found I knew myself a little bit in the two-day retreat although I slept for a whole day. I had learned from Venerable Shengyen that Zen practice is about self-knowing, self-growing, and self-absorbing, and I used to think what he said was so right yet not really practiced in my life. This retreat was the first time I found I knew some about myself. I had attached to my religion belief, my body-and-mind sensation, my feelings, and my own imagination so deeply, but I was not aware at all. Through this intensive training, I saw my attachment, and this is me, myself, and this is “I” who need to practice Zen continuously. **** check more Students’ Sharing ****