Adyashanti is a very famous spiritual teacher from San Francisco who awakened through Zen practice. He doesn't teach in the traditional Zen style but what he calls as "true meditation" is essentially shikantaza practice. I'm describing the practice here, mostly in his words so that it will help clarify our shikantaza practice.
Here are some useful snippets from his "True Meditation" book that I found useful for my practice; Hope you too will find this useful. It feels to me what he teaches is true shikantaza, but I would like to hear your views on this.
Ending the War with the Mind:
"If you try to win the war with your mind, you'll be at war forever". He describes his Zen practice and how initially his meditation was a struggle, like a war with his mind, with lot of control and will involved. As he felt it is not working out, he describes how he investigated in his experience what truly letting go of control meant. "I started to meditate in a different way. I let go of the idea of what meditation was supposed to be. So I would sit down and let my experience simply be, in a very deep way. I started to let go of trying to control my experience. That became the beginning of discovering for myself what True Meditation is. From that point on, that shift - moving from trying to perfect a technique or discipline to actually letting go of technique and discipline - started to inform the way I engage in meditation"
An Attitude of Innocence:
"The problem lies in the attitude with which we engage meditation. If our attitude is an attitude of control and manipulation - if we take the approach that we are going to master a discipline - then the attitude gets in the way. It's actually the mind or the ego that's meditating. Real meditation is not about mastering a technique; it's about letting go of control. The awakened state of being, the enlightened state of being, can also be called the natural state of being. How can control and manipulation possibly lead us to our natural state?"
Relinquishing Control and Manipulation:
For a human being to let go of control is an immense thing. It sounds easy to say, "Just let go of control." But for most human beings our entire psychological structure is made up almost entirely of control. To ask a mind or ego to let go of control is then a revolutionary idea. "What if I let go of control," the mind says, "and nothing happens?". What if I sit down to meditate, letting everything be as it is and nothing happens? This is usually why we grab on to some technique or to some discipline, because the mind is afraid that if it lets go of control, nothing will happen. What I am suggesting in True Meditation is that we actually see, that we look at meditation as a way to investigate. True Meditation isn't really a new technique so much as it is a way of investigating for yourself - in your own body, in your own mind, upon the authority of your own experience - what happens when you relinquish control and allow your experience to be exactly as it is without trying to change it. So it's not that we just let everything be as it is as a goal, as an endpoint. If you make it a goal, you miss the point. The point isn't simply to allow everything to be as it is; that's just the base, the underlying attitude. From that underlying attitude, lots of things become possible. That's the space in which we are gifted with what we need to see"
Moving Beyond the Meditator:
"As contradictory as it may sound, the art of meditation is to let go of the meditator. So the meditator is that part of you, that aspect, which would be trying. The meditator in you would be trying to still your mind, follow your breath, or trying to attain a certain state. The meditator is that part of you that’s trying to make something happen. The meditator is that part of you that may have heard about or learned about meditation and how to do it and what it’s supposed to be. And so the first movement of true meditation is to begin to let go of the meditator. Let go of the one who’s making effort, of the one who’s trying to change or the one who’s trying to meditate well. Reconnect with your being. Reconnect with your body. We’re simply allowing everything to be as it is. Not trying to change anything.
As you begin to let go of the meditator, to let go of effort, your mind may feel a little disoriented, because there is nothing for the meditator to do. When the meditator is not struggling, not trying to do it right, not trying to attain, this opens up the experience of allowing everything to be as it is."
"Meditating in an effortless way is not the same thing as being lazy. One of the profound instructions my teacher used to give when I talk to her about my meditation is this. "Is it Vivid? Is it alive?. This is a very good instruction. If we are simply making no effort in a way that's lazy, then our meditation gets dreamy and foggy. Effortless doesn't mean being lazy or falling into sleep; effortless means just enough effort to be vivid, present, to be here, to be now. To be bright. Too much effort and we get too tight; too little effort and we get dreamy. We each need to find out for ourselves what this means."
Our Natural Tendency Is to Awaken:
"We are biologically and psychologically wired to move toward awakening. When we let go of the control, the nature of our being is to awaken. It is natural for the mind to wander a bit initially when you let go of control. It's like keeping your dog on a leash; when you take the leash off, the tendency of the dog is to run. Your dog may run away from you quickly but if you hang out for a while, eventually it will decide to come back to you. In a similar way, when you let go of control, even though the mind might be a bit noisy for a while, eventually its tendency will be to return to a state of harmony"
Awareness is Dynamic:
"Allowing everything to be as it is doesn't generate a static state. Awareness may go to your foot, to pain, or to tension. It may go to a sense of joy. It may hear a bird outside and might spontaneously listen to the bird, then it may become global and take in everything all at once. Awareness may suddenly become curious about silence itself and enter into silence. Allowing everything to be as it is actually generates a much more dynamic inner environment than the words suggest. You have to discover within yourself what this actually means. By letting go, we allow awareness to do what it wants to do. It goes where it needs to go. We realize that awareness has an intelligence in and of itself. The invitation for you as a meditator is to become very engaged with where awareness wants to go, with what it wants to experience. You are engaged; you're right with it. You are willing to go where awareness wants to go"
Live in the Same way you Meditate:
He suggests to take the practice to life and allow everything as is, in our daily life. "You can be driving in your car and have the practice of allowing the traffic to be as it is. You can have the practice of letting yourself feel as you feel. Or the next time you meet your friend or lover, you can investigate the experience of allowing them to be as they are completely. What it is like to allow yourself to be as you are completely? When we really come out of resistance to experience, in that inner attitude of non-grasping, in those moments of surrender we discover something very potent and powerful. That is the space in which wisdom arises, in which "Ahas" arise. It is the space in which we can be informed by the wholeness of consciousness, not just by a little speck of consciousness in our mind."