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Thread: No need to do zazen, therefore must do zazen

  1. #1

    No need to do zazen, therefore must do zazen

    Lately I have been thinking quite a bit about why we practice. Is it because we want to find balance, calm our minds, get closer to who we really are, get enlightened? Aren't these all ways to replace a dwlusion with another? If we are all Buddhas already, then why do we go through the pain of sitting every day...to gain what? Nothing! Yet the question remains....for me at least. I just read a small article that tried to provide an answer to this question:
    http://www.prairiezen.org/Readings/t..._do_zazen.html
    I am sure this topic has been discussed before, but I would appreciate if you could share you views on this important aspect of practice.

    Gassho, A

  2. #2
    just 2 c: Its just as you say, no need to sit, so we sit. Not sitting to get enlightened, but sitting because we are buddha. No intellectual thing, practice unfolds itself through us, sitting is sitting sitting. Or just sitting. I could go on stirring the pot of words, but better not
    Gassho
    Myoku

  3. #3
    It does sound paradoxical but, in my experience, thinking about this doesn't help me greatly. Others may feel differently. I sit Zazen to sit Zazen. For some time now I have recognised that my only part in the whole process is to practice. The rest will take care of itself. Why practice? What else would I do?

    If pressed for an answer, though, I would say that the waves of daily life can preoccupy my mind, Zazen is a way of remembering that I am actually the ocean rather than the waves.

    Gassho
    Andy

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Andrea1974 View Post
    If we are all Buddhas already, then why do we go through the pain of sitting every day...to gain what? Nothing! Yet the question remains....for me at least.

    Gassho, A
    "Mayu, Zen master Baoche, was fanning himself. A monk approached and said, ôMaster, the nature of wind is permanent and there is no place it does not reach. Why, then, do you fan yourself?ö
    ôAlthough you understand that the nature of the wind is permanent,ö Mayu replied, ôyou do not understand the meaning of its reaching everywhere.ö
    ôWhat is the meaning of its reaching everywhere?ö asked the monk again. Mayu just kept fanning himself. The monk bowed deeply.
    The actualization of the buddha-dharma, the vital path of its correct transmission, is like this. If you say that you do not need to fan yourself because the nature of wind is permanent and you can have wind without fanning, you will understand neither permanence nor the nature of wind. The nature of wind is permanent. Because of that, the wind of the buddha's house brings forth the gold of the earth and makes fragrant the cream of the long river." - Genjokoan

    Gassho, John


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    Last edited by Jishin; 05-18-2013 at 02:48 PM.
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  5. #5
    So many good answers!

    When we sit we are the whole universe just being itself without any clinging/attaching/judging.
    We practice zazen to just be. No doing, but pure being.
    Nothing to add, no purpose, the most honest thing to do: just sit in order to sit. The whole self being the whole self.

    Gassho,

    Timo
    no thing needs to be added

  6. #6
    Senior Member Nengyo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LimoLama View Post
    So many good answers!

    When we sit we are the whole universe just being itself without any clinging/attaching/judging.
    We practice zazen to just be. No doing, but pure being.
    Nothing to add, no purpose, the most honest thing to do: just sit in order to sit. The whole self being the whole self.

    Gassho,

    Timo
    Perfect
    Try not to be a jerk-- one of the Buddhas

  7. #7
    Lovely. A message I wish all the world realized. I am glad that some here seem to.

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrea1974 View Post
    ... get closer to who we really are, get enlightened? ...
    We cannot get closer to what we already are ... and the more and more we realize so, the closer we get!


    Quote Originally Posted by Karasu View Post
    I would say that the waves of daily life can preoccupy my mind, Zazen is a way of remembering that I am actually the ocean rather than the waves.
    Yes, we can drown in the up and down waves. However, never forget that the waves are just the ocean all along, and an ocean without waves would be a pretty lifeless place.

    Gassho, J
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  8. #8
    I don't think sitting needs to be painful. If your posture is painful try another posture or use a chair for all or part of your sitting. On the other hand I don't. Go to a doctor for every little ache or pain. Wjhen dogen said the joy and ease of just sitting he wasn't kidding. Imho

  9. #9
    Senior Member Heion's Avatar
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    One of the messages I liked in a talk by Jundo is that each moment of sitting and practicing is enlightenment.

    Kind regards,
    Alex

  10. #10
    Senior Member Seizan's Avatar
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    Alex,

    You might enjoy reading Mind of Clover, the book we studied for Jukai. It's a bit of a guide to "real life Zen." I just re-read the section on anger, which I thought of when you mentioned "...to get enlightened?" The writer brings up the views on enlightenment in the traditional Soto teachings. It might be interesting to research Yasutani Roshi's views on enlightenment. It's something I mean to look up, and then re-read Jundo's views, and then possibly discuss with Taigu. It all gets a bit paradoxical, from zazen to enlightenment to being a Buddha, but maybe figuring out there is nothing to figure out is the path! I always think of Jundo's comments on his Big Questions/Reincarnation post: do what you are supposed to do, be a good person and sit and chug along, and the rest will work it outself it! That's paraphrasing and probably over simplifying, but I'm on break and on limited time I will edit this later with his real quote.

    In deep Gassho
    Seizan

  11. #11
    Senior Member YuimaSLC's Avatar
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    No need to do zazen, therefore must do zazen

    Perhaps we can get Jundo, Taigu or one of our priests to relate the story of Dogen, the Tendai Shu and one of his significant motivations for going to China to search for meaning to
    a question that looks very much like Andrea's.

    Gassho

    Richard
    Last edited by YuimaSLC; 05-18-2013 at 08:41 PM. Reason: grammatical correction

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Seizan View Post
    Alex,

    You might enjoy reading Mind of Clover, the book we studied for Jukai. It's a bit of a guide to "real life Zen." I just re-read the section on anger, which I thought of when you mentioned "...to get enlightened?" The writer brings up the views on enlightenment in the traditional Soto teachings. It might be interesting to research Yasutani Roshi's views on enlightenment.
    Hi Seizen,

    Yasutani Roshi is one of the focuses of the book "Once Born Twice Born Zen" in our "How to read Zen books Series".

    Part 1
    http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showt...N-%28Part-1%29

    Part 2
    http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showt...twice-born-zen

    A famous article about Yautani Roshi is by Prof. Robert Sharf ...

    The Sanb˘ky˘dan (Three Treasures Association) is a contemporary Zen movement that was founded by Yasutani Hakuun (1885-1973) in 1954. The style of Zen propagated by Sanb˘ky˘dan teachers, noteworthy for its single-minded emphasis on the experience of kensh˘, diverges markedly from more traditional models found in S˘t˘, Rinzai, or Oobaku training halls. ... [I]n 1954 Yasutani Hakuun (1885-1973), the Zen priest whose teachings are featured in The Three Pillars of Zen, severed his formal ties to the S˘t˘ school in order to establish an independent Zen organization called the Sanb˘ky˘dan, or "Three Treasures Association." The influence exerted by this contemporary lay reform movement on American Zen is out of proportion to its relatively marginal status in Japan: modern Rinzai and S˘t˘ monks are generally unaware of, or indifferent to, the polemical attacks that Yasutani and his followers direct against the Zen priesthood. Orthodox priests are similarly unmoved by claims to the effect that the Sanb˘ky˘dan alone preserves the authentic teachings of Zen. ...

    The only acceptable "solution" to the mu k˘an in the Sanb˘ky˘dan is a credible report of a kensh˘ experience, and beginning students are subject to intense pressure during sesshin -- including the generous application of the "warning stick" (ky˘saku or keisaku) -- in order to expedite this experience. The unrelenting emphasis on kensh˘ and the vigorous tactics used to bring it about constitute the single most distinctive (and controversial) feature of the Sanb˘ky˘dan method. Eido Shimano, recalling Yasutani's first sesshin in Hawaii in 1962, writes:

    The night before sesshin started, Yasutani Roshi said to the participants, "To experience kensho is crucial, but we are so lazy. Therefore, during sesshin we have to set up a special atmosphere so that all participants can go straight ahead toward the goal. First, absolute silence should be observed. Second, you must not look around. Third, forget about the usual courtesies and etiquette" . . . He also told the participants, and later told me privately as well, of the need for frequent use of the keisaku. That five-day sesshin was as hysterical as it was historical. It ended with what Yasutani Roshi considered five kensh˘ experiences.
    (Nyogen et al. 1976, pp. 184-85)[28]

    While Yasutani's successors are considerably more reserved in their use of the ky˘saku, the emphasis on kensh˘ has not diminished, prompting one student of Yamada to refer to the San'un Zend˘ as a "kensh˘ machine" (Levine 1992, p. 72).

    http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showt...bokyodan+sharf

    Most of his students, like Aitken Roshi, are a gentler reflection of Yasutani Roshi approach. Oh well, there are no "northern and southern ancestors", yet different paths north and south. Some prefer the high road to "no where to go", some prefer the low road to "no where to go". Our Nishijima Roshi was also a similar "reformer of Soto shu", a Japanese man of the same attitude and generation as Yasutani, likewise a mosquito on the hind quarters of Soto shu in Japan, but a "Shikantaza" fundamentalist perhaps.

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard View Post
    Perhaps we can get Jundo, Taigu or one of our priests to relate the story of Dogen, the Tendai Shu and one of his significant motivations for going to China to search for meaning to
    a question that looks very much like Andrea's.

    Gassho

    Richard
    Well, the story goes that Dogen, who was originally a monk in the Tendai School of Buddhism, was so puzzled in his youth by the traditional Tendai Buddhist teaching that we are all "originally Buddha from the get go" that Dogen wondered why, then, the need to Practice. He went to China in search of an answer to that question.

    The answer he found is what we discuss here all the time: Although we are already "Buddha", one needs both to realize that fact (understand it in one's bones) and to realize that fact (make it real through our practice, bring it to life by how we behave. If one is Buddha, one best act like it! ) Saying "I am Buddha" is not enough if one is then going to go out and be filled with greed, anger, jealousy, division and all the rest.

    In fact, both "Kensho or bust" folk and "Shikantaza Just Sitting" folk are all about realizing that one is "Just Buddha All Along", and then, getting up from the Zafu and hopefully making such real.

    Gassho, Jundo
    Last edited by Jundo; 05-19-2013 at 01:53 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  13. #13
    Treeleaf Unsui/Engineer Kyonin's Avatar
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    I don't know why I sit. I just do. Feels natural. A part of me. Like breathing.

    Gassho,

    Kyonin
    Please remember I am only a priest in training. I could be wrong in everything I say. Slap me if needed.

    The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one. Mr. Spock

  14. #14
    Thanks for all your answers!
    Gassho, A

  15. #15
    Perhaps we don't "choose" Zazen at all. Perhaps we are simply fortunate enough that causes and conditions (that great ocean-tide of Karma) sweep us onto our cushions again and again...

    Thinking of this fills me with gratitude for all of those ancestors (both Dharmic and genetic) that have brought each of us to this ground. It fills me with gratitude for all of those people and beings living right here now; for time and for space, for everything that supports and sustains this practice, this life.

    Gassho,

    Arnold

  16. #16
    ^agree! well put. i didn't necessarly choose this. and ive tried to choose other things. for some reason im here and not at a thai forest monastery or working with a lama somewhere or even in an ashram. those aren't bad things, but (and as an American i can choose whatever path, because theyre all avaialable-more or less) maybe my causes and conditions led me here and to zazen, which is a great thing, if anything good could be said for my past actions! (ie its led me here, while many to early graves). definantly puts gratitude for practice into some perspective. gassho, justin

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Kyonin View Post
    I don't know why I sit. I just do. Feels natural. A part of me. Like breathing.

    Gassho,

    Kyonin
    Nicely said brother ... I feel the same way ... it just resonates from the marrow of my bones.

    Gassho
    Shingen
    倫道 真現

    As a trainee priest, please take any commentary by me on matters of the Dharma with a pinch of salt.

  18. #18

    No need to do zazen, therefore must do zazen

    Quote Originally Posted by Kyonin View Post
    I don't know why I sit. I just do. Feels natural. A part of me. Like breathing.

    Gassho,

    Kyonin
    Me too! :-)

    Gassho, John


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    Last edited by Jishin; 05-20-2013 at 10:46 AM.
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    心​ Shin (Heart-Mind)

  19. #19
    When I heard of shikantaza meditation, I confused it with shiitake mushroom. Now I realise that we have to practice in the dark with our own BS.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Matt's Avatar
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    Thanks for posting, Andrea. I really enjoyed the article, as well as the discussion here.

    One of my struggles is practicing with no 'gaining mind.' I find that this gaining thing comes up unconsciously for me. For example, I am interested in taking the precepts. However, I often find myself thinking that if I do so, then I will finally be a 'real' zen student.

    So, how to do so without this gaining mind.

    Again, thanks for your post.

    Gassho,
    Matt J

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by Matt View Post
    For example, I am interested in taking the precepts. However, I often find myself thinking that if I do so, then I will finally be a 'real' zen student.

    So, how to do so without this gaining mind.
    Just another thing to drop...




    One day a young Buddhist on his journey home came to the banks of a wide river. Staring hopelessly at the great obstacle in front of him, he pondered for hours on just how to cross such a wide barrier. Just as he was about to give up his pursuit to continue his journey he saw a great teacher on the other side of the river. The young Buddhist yells over to the teacher, “Oh wise one, can you tell me how to get to the other side of this river”?
    The teacher ponders for a moment looks up and down the river and yells back, “My son, you are on the other side”.





    Gassho,

    Timo
    no thing needs to be added

  22. #22
    Thank you Timo.

    A traditional Buddhist image is that one wishes to cross the river or ocean on a raft of Practice to get from this shore of "ignorance" to the other shore of "enlightenment".

    But Master Dogen has a rather interesting view on such. He pointed out that this side of the water, the middle of the water and the other shore are all the water, Buddha ... that the whole voyage of beginning middle and end is arriving at Buddha ... and that one never should put down the raft of Practice even when reaching the other shore!

    Dogen wrote ...

    The principle of zazen in other schools is to wait for enlightenment. For example, to practice is like crossing over a great ocean on a raft, thinking that having crossed the ocean one should discard the raft. The zazen of Buddha-ancestors is not like this, but is simply Buddha’s practice. We could say that the situation of Buddha’s house is the one in which the essence, practice, and expounding are one and the same. (Eihei Koroku, vol. 8:11)

    Taigen Dan Leighton puts it this way ...

    I think we easily tend to think that this practice eventually may be something like, if I wait long enough, I'll be enlightened. If I put enough hours into sitting on this cushion, or enough lifetimes, some day, somewhere, when you least expect it, there it will be, the big Enlightenment.

    So he says: "The principle of zazen in other schools is to wait for enlightenment."

    In many branches of Buddhism you may hear about practicing and eventually reaching enlightenment. But here Dogen criticizes that. He says, for example, some people practice like having crossed over a great ocean on a raft, thinking that upon crossing the ocean one should discard the raft. That's very sensible, right? Maybe some of you have heard this simile of the raft, that once we reach the other shore we don't need the raft any more. But actually Dogen says to please carry the raft with you, as you trudge up into the mountains.

    The zazen of our Buddha ancestors is not like waiting for enlightenment, but is simply Buddha's practice.

    So this practice we do is not practice to get something, some so-called enlightenment somewhere else, in some other time, in some other state of mind. This is not practice to get higher, or reach some other state of consciousness or being. This is actually the practice of our enlightenment and realization right now. And enlightenment and realization, naturally, leads to practice. There is no enlightenment that is not actually put into practice. Then it would just be some idea of enlightenment; it wouldn't be the actual enlightenment. So each of you is practicing your realization right now. Each of you is realizing your practice right now. This is simply Buddha's practice.

    http://www.ancientdragon.org/dharma/...ion_expression
    Rev. Kenshu Sugawara writes ...

    [I]n Fukanzazengi Zen Master Dogen points out the example of Shakyamuni Buddha who sat upright zazen for six years, although he was wise enough to know the Buddha Dharma at birth. He also mentions Bodhidharma, who sat facing a wall for nine years after coming to China though he had already attained the mind-seal. Dogen stresses that Buddha-ancestors do not practice zazen as a means to an end.

    Therefore, as is said in Gakudo Yojinshu, “Realization lies in practice.” Enlightenment is clearly manifested in the Buddha-ancestors’ zazen. In the same vein, in Bendowa Zen Master Dogen wrote, “To suppose that practice and realization are not one is a view of those outside the way. In Buddha Dharma they are inseparable.” He states that when instructing beginners we must teach them not to expect realization outside of practice. Practice is the immediate, original realization. The practice of beginner’s mind is itself the entire original realization. ...

    In other schools zazen is a means to gain enlightenment. Like a raft, it is no longer useful when the goal is achieved. Some people boast about their experiences of great enlightenment and kensho. If their zazen practice regresses because of such an experience, that experience is nothing but a delusion that becomes a hindrance to the continuation of practice.

    Zen Master Dogen says that the zazen of the Buddha-ancestors is Buddha’s practice. It is a very simple and plain practice of just continuing to sit, letting go of our views. Such zazen embodies the “situation of Buddha’s house” in which the essence (foundation/enlightenment), expounding (explaining the Dharma) and practice are one and the same. Therefore, there is no need to seek the Buddha outside zazen. Zazen is not a practice that produces a Buddha-ancestor but an action causing the Buddha-ancestors to live as Buddha-ancestors. The Buddha-ancestors are beings who have already clarified all kinds of enlightenment and psychological states. They have nothing more to gain, nothing more to realize. When zazen is valued as a practice performed by those Buddha-ancestors, the content of that zazen is called “nothing to attain nothing to enlighten” (Shobogenzo Zuimonki , book 6).

    When there is nothing to be gained, nothing to be realized, sitting zazen is “body-mind dropping off (shinjin datsuraku).” Body-mind dropping off is not a wonderful psychological state to be gained as a result of sitting zazen. Rather, zazen itself is nothing but “body-mind dropping off.” It is to escape all kinds of clinging. When we sit zazen, our body-mind naturally drops off and the true Dharma manifests.
    http://global.sotozen-net.or.jp/eng/...ey_terms01.pdf
    Gassho, J
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  23. #23
    Hi Jundo,

    Thanks a lot for sharing this - I've always loved the metaphor of the raft!

    AFAIK even for Rinzai people practice actually never stops.
    And for us Soto folks with our "practice-enlightenment" this holds true all the more, I guess.

    For me personally, there is an additional layer to the raft metaphor:
    It is not about leaving/dropping practice, but about dropping our ideas about it and about the Buddha.
    We have to transcend the Buddha and all our concepts.
    Don't think of becoming the Buddha, but forget the Buddha (i.e. our ideas about him) in order to be the Buddha (who we are anyway). Just be beingness.
    Don't think about Zen, don't think about Buddhism, but drop everything - don't be someone, not even a Zen Buddhist, but just be the whole self being itself.
    (I am sorry, I have difficulties expressing this without sounding a bit clumsy.)

    That's my personal additional interpretation I draw from the raft story (besides the "enlightenment interpretation").

    Gassho,

    Timo
    no thing needs to be added

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by LimoLama View Post
    Hi Jundo,

    Thanks a lot for sharing this - I've always loved the metaphor of the raft!

    AFAIK even for Rinzai people practice actually never stops.
    And for us Soto folks with our "practice-enlightenment" this holds true all the more, I guess.

    For me personally, there is an additional layer to the raft metaphor:
    It is not about leaving/dropping practice, but about dropping our ideas about it and about the Buddha.
    We have to transcend the Buddha and all our concepts.
    Don't think of becoming the Buddha, but forget the Buddha (i.e. our ideas about him) in order to be the Buddha (who we are anyway). Just be beingness.
    Don't think about Zen, don't think about Buddhism, but drop everything - don't be someone, not even a Zen Buddhist, but just be the whole self being itself.
    (I am sorry, I have difficulties expressing this without sounding a bit clumsy.)

    That's my personal additional interpretation I draw from the raft story (besides the "enlightenment interpretation").

    Gassho,

    Timo
    Lovely.

    Gassho, J
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  25. #25
    Treeleaf Unsui Shokai's Avatar
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    I Goolgled "Shinjin datsuraku" and i got Chodo Cross's simply instructive blog; http://fukan-zazengi.blogspot.ca/200...mind-drop.html

    gassho, Shokai
    Last edited by Shokai; 05-21-2013 at 10:51 AM.
    gassho, Shokai, still learning the way and knowing nothing
    仁道 生開 - Jindo Shokai "Open to life in a benevolent way"
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  26. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by LimoLama View Post
    For me personally, there is an additional layer to the raft metaphor:
    It is not about leaving/dropping practice, but about dropping our ideas about it and about the Buddha.
    We have to transcend the Buddha and all our concepts.
    Don't think of becoming the Buddha, but forget the Buddha (i.e. our ideas about him) in order to be the Buddha (who we are anyway). Just be beingness.
    Don't think about Zen, don't think about Buddhism, but drop everything - don't be someone, not even a Zen Buddhist, but just be the whole self being itself.
    (I am sorry, I have difficulties expressing this without sounding a bit clumsy.)

    That's my personal additional interpretation I draw from the raft story (besides the "enlightenment interpretation").

    Gassho,

    Timo
    I might drop in ... this forgetting and seeing through "Buddha" and "Buddhism" is a Gateless Gate to encountering impermanence, emptiness, non-self, True Self, the cure for Dukkha, Original Face, Buddha. It is, in fact, the way back to Buddha and Buddhism. Otherwise, it is simple nihilism ... a definite "no no" in the Buddhist world.

    One drops Buddha to find Buddha, drops all concepts of "emptiness" to truly dance the dance of emptiness, etc.

    Gassho, J

    PS - I might advice to drop "Buddhist" and "Catholic" too!
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  27. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    I might drop in ... this forgetting and seeing through "Buddha" and "Buddhism" is a Gateless Gate to encountering impermanence, emptiness, non-self, True Self, the cure for Dukkha, Original Face, Buddha. It is, in fact, the way back to Buddha and Buddhism. Otherwise, it is simple nihilism ... a definite "no no" in the Buddhist world.

    One drops Buddha to find Buddha, drops all concepts of "emptiness" to truly dance the dance of emptiness, etc.
    Full ack! Of course I did not mean it in a nihilistic way...

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    PS - I might advice to drop "Buddhist" and "Catholic" too!

    Nooooooo, not again, I guess this will haunt me for the rest of my life!
    Don't worry, for me it was never "Buddhist/Catholic", but "Buddhism/Catholicism". For those who don't know what we are talking about - just drop your desire to know as well!

    Gassho,

    Timo
    no thing needs to be added

  28. #28
    Senior Member Matt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    ...one never should put down the raft of Practice even when reaching the other shore!
    So much good stuff here, but I particularly like that. ...So, I will not look to my raft as a means to an end. Thank you Jundo and Timo.

    Gassho,
    Matt J

  29. #29
    Yes, this shore is Buddha, the other shore is Buddha, drowning is Buddha, floating is Buddha, crossing is Buddha, the raft is Buddha, the mountains and marketplace are Buddha, you are Buddha.

    No need to think about "Buddha" because what isn't Buddha?

    I wish you good sailing and a bon voyage! Try not to tip over.

    Gassho, J
    Last edited by Jundo; 05-22-2013 at 04:48 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  30. #30
    Need to think about Buddha before know that everything is Buddha and then no need to think about Buddha and then Bon Voyage! :-)


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  31. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by John C. View Post
    Need to think about Buddha before know that everything is Buddha and then no need to think about Buddha and then Bon Voyage! :-)


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    I think that's about it!
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  32. #32
    Zazen holds everything, but it is also part of a larger, deeply profound religious practice.
    Gassho,
    Kaishin

  33. #33
    Great stuff!
    Practice does not start and end with Zazen...life is neverending practice. In that sense I find it easier to understand that "there is no need to practice...therefore we must practice".

    Gassho, A

  34. #34
    Love the ocean metaphor.

    Gassho,

    Simon

  35. #35
    Quote Originally Posted by Karasu View Post
    It does sound paradoxical but, in my experience, thinking about this doesn't help me greatly. Others may feel differently. I sit Zazen to sit Zazen. For some time now I have recognised that my only part in the whole process is to practice. The rest will take care of itself. Why practice? What else would I do?

    If pressed for an answer, though, I would say that the waves of daily life can preoccupy my mind, Zazen is a way of remembering that I am actually the ocean rather than the waves.

    Gassho
    Andy
    That's a wonderful response Karasu. The concept of being , or seeing I already am, the ocean rather than the waves is one I'll hold in my head today. Deep bows.

    Gassho,
    Mc.

  36. #36
    Senior Member YuimaSLC's Avatar
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    111
    There is real value in daily recitation of verse like "Sandokai" and "Fukanzazengi" for the very reason of this discussion thread.

    "The Way is originally perfect and all-prevading. How could it be contingent on practice and realization? The true vehicle is self-sufficient. What need is there for special effort? Indeed, the whole body is free from dust. Who could believe in a means to brush it clean? It is never apart from this very place, what is the use of traveling around to practice? And yet, if there is a hairsbreadth deviation, it is like the gap between heaven and earth."



    gassho

    Richard

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