Sorry if these links have been posted before but the first one has a wonderful spread of quotes about our practice.
Of course it is all here too!
Thank you Heisoku. =)
Great links! I only skimmed them but have saved for later reading.
Many thanks, Heisoku.
Thanks Heisoku - that's a comprehensive list :)
Not sure I can relate to all of them - Yasutani sounds a bit military and Ken Wilber seems a little out of place, but interesting
to think upon.
I wonder how it would be if we were called upon to write an account of shikantaza - not sure I could manage it with any validity - think my mind
is closer to Sheng Yen's negative comment on thoughts idling (:() than Okumura's positive comment on 'thinking of not thinking being like a car engine idling'
Haven't read the longer piece yet but looks good,
Thank you, Heisoku. A very interesting collection of resources.
Maybe the comment by Rev. Kenshu Sugawara that "Zen Master Nyojo (Dogen's Teacher) rejected practices other than zazen, from incense-burning to reading sutras" is a bit misunderstood. It has been shown by historians (and by anyone simply opening the pages of writings like the Shobogenzo) that Nyojo and Dogen did other activities besides Zazen, including sometimes chanting this or that, lighting incense, reading sutras, bowing, plus all the daily activities of life from cooking breakfast to going to the bath or toilet (the Prof. Foulk essay at 75 here).
That was Dogen's daily life, just as ours might be getting the kids off to school or getting work done at the office.
So, a better way to understand Shikantaza as the "be all and end all" is something like saying that, when we sit Zazen there is only Zazen ... the Alpha&Omega, the only action that need be done, the only place in need of being in that moment.
But rising from the cushion, there are things to do from reading some Sutra or PDF, to cooking, to getting the kids to school, to bowing, to working on a report in the office, to taking a bath or going to the toilet. Dogen made clear that each of those was also sacred in its moment when encountered as such ... the Alpha&Omega, the only action that need be done, the only place in need of being in that moment. Each of those is also "Zazen" in its boundless meaning. We sit on the cushion each day to help us realize so.
As mentioned, some of the folks quoted come from their own perspectives. Sheng-yen is a wonderful Chinese Chan Teacher whose views on "Silent Illumination/Shikantaza" seemed to change over time, but who sometimes emphasizes the attainment of deep Samadhi states as the point of it all.
Yasutani Roshi was an advocate of the hard push to a Big Burstin' Kensho via Koan Centered Zazen, and tended to present Shikantaza in such way and secondary to that. Yes, as Willow says, he could be quite intense in his descriptions of Shikantaza in which you "sweat even in the winter" ...
Like anything, even something as simple as cooking spaghetti, that are always varied opinions on how to salt the pot. :)
Thank for these interesting links, Heisoku.
Thank for the comments
Willow and Jundo.