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Old 01-16-2009, 09:11 AM   #1
""Frances Bacon""
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Anonymous User
A Zazen question and some worries

I am starting to sit Zazen as part of my aikido practice. I have an oportunity to attend a Zen weekend retreat in 2009.

I want to attend the retreat, but I am worried about something. I am worried that I will not be able to sit still for large periods of time. I am sure that anyone who sits for hours at a retreat has a hard time staying still, but I have a specific problem. I am not sure if my specififc problem makes a difference or not.

I have Tourette Syndrome.

This means that I have semi-involuntary muscle and vocal movements. I can control them, but for limited periods of time It is confusing to explain, so here is a link for people who want more details.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tourette_syndrome

I do not have a severe case. In most situations, people cannot tell that there is a problem. During training it is not noticable.

But I am worried about the Tourette's may affect me at the retreat. One, I am very new to sitting. Two, I do not know what to expect at the retreat. Three, I will be sitting for long periods of time. Four, I am not sure that I should bring it up to members of my dojo or people who are running the retreat.

Probably I think the best thing would be to talk to my sensei and sempai to ask for information. I have not discussed my Tourette's with anyone at the dojo and am not sure that I want to at this time. I know that the members of my dojo are great and understanding people. That is not the issue. I do not think that I could speak to any of them face-to-face about it without tearing up, and this embarrases me. It is a very emotional issue for me and I sometimes have a hard time talking about it. (I could probably send an e-mail.)

The older I get, the less severe the Tourette's is. It is not a secret, but it is not something I mention a lot. I do not mention it in work settings and no one at my job notices it. I am still very emotional about my history with the disease.

So, I wanted to post something here first to see if anyone can help. I am looking for:

Information on what to expect at the zen retreat
How (maybe) not being able to sit still for long periods of time will influence the zen retreat
If I should bring this up with members of my dojo or the people at the retraet
The best way to bring this up with members of my dojo
Other forums or resources that might be better for this question
Any other suggestions that you feel might be helpful

I am trying to sit daily and increase the time I sit each day so I can have more experiense sitting for longer periods of time before the retreat. I think this will help.

Thanks.
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