Sunday, March 29, 2009

"Okay Buckwheat"

Actually I don't think buckwheat is okay. I've been sitting on a Buckwheat Zafu for a year plus. I felt the non-resilience of buckwheat was responsible for my left leg consistently falling asleep. Not that the sleeping was that bad, but it was a distraction I get drawn to too much. Perhaps if I were a more centered sitter it would not be an issue, but I chose to try and alleviate it.

There will always be distractions in sitting. That is what the practice is about, in many ways. Noticing the distractions, learning how to let the distraction (the 'dissatisfaction') just be. To notice it but do nothing about it. We all must chose which distractions we address. It is possible to do zazen next to a highway, on a battle field, or while a surgeon drills open your skull, but not all of us could do zazen well in those conditions.

The one distraction that I think we must all tolerate for a minimum level of practice is the distraction of boredom. Some of my sitting is in the moment. Most of it is a struggle with how boring the whole thing is.

So, I emptied the buckwheat from my zafu. By the way a 1 gallon zafu appears to hold 12 gallons of buckwheat. I don't know how that works. There must be some sort of cosmic Dr. Who Tardis effect going on.

I took a bunch of kapok (cotton like plant fiber) from my zabuton and stuffed it in my zafu shell, and stuffed, and stuffed. I thought I would refill my zabuton with the buckwheat, but there was enough kapok left to give me a usable but think zabuton.

Based on one sit, the kapok is better. I think it will compress over time and I may have to rob by zabuton to empty, but we will see.


Uku said...

I haven't never used buckwheat, I've always used only kapok, but I've heard that some thinks buckwheat is better? And some thinks opposite, that's the way it goes as usual.

I agree, there's always all kind of distractions in sitting and I just find that lovely! Sitting is not so boring all the time when you have something to struggle with.

Take care, Dharmabro. Thank you!

Lauren said...

Yes, the distractions keep away boredom, but I also love those moments when I realize non-thinking and find myself just sitting. But it seems like the moment I notice, I start considering the situation and the non-thinking stops (i.e. thinking roles in).