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Thread: How to sit, written this July.

  1. #1

    How to sit, written this July.

    Inspired by the teaching of Dogen, the wonderful stuff of my own original teacher, Mike Chodo Cross, by the great prose of Koun Franz, the teaching of Jundo and plenty of guys who all along did put into words how to sit, I made an attempt at putting it in a nutshell. Here it is. I hope this will really help.

    Gassho

    Taigu



    Sit.

    The gate of ease and joy is found everywhere, it is truly the gate-less gate as you are it and not separated from Buddhas of the three times. Here, mundane and sacred have no more relevance. Here, radiance springs out of forms and space. Meeting the true person within this is our great task and joy. The self fulfillment Samadhi. The Samadhi in which one receives and uses the self. Truly know yourself. Forget yourself. Let all Dharmas, let the myriad things come forth, illuminate and reflect.

    Please, sit.

    In this, Do not choose a place. Sit anywhere. Sit everywhere. In cities, trains, streets, whatever you'll see around you, true mountains can be found. Wear the Okesa , the patched robe made of the body of all things, the true kesa covers everything , this robe is not your robe or just plain fabric, it is but the robe of sitting, the skin, flesh bones and marrow of all Tathagatas.




    As you sit in loose clothing and kesa on the cushion in lotus, half lotus, burmese or on a bench or a chair, and if you cannot, lie down legs slightly apart folded knees pointing to the ceiling; abdomen relaxed, hips open, shoulders forgotten, involvements cast aside, the weight of your body given to the ground through the sitting bones and knees, your spine sway from left to right and right to left and gradually come to the vertical point without leaning forward or backward. Effortlessly risen up, lower back naturally curved, your head gently sits at the top of your spine, tongue touching the roof of your mouth, jaws relaxed, teeth touching, neck free, the gaze down not fixing anything, not out of focus, just as if watching distant mountains. Your hands in the universal mudra placed below the navel, left hand on top of the right hand or right hand on top of the left, palms up, thumbs delicately touching each other without any pressure. Your hands should be soft and as they touch your lower abdomen. To rest your mind in the mudra means to let the mudra do you, form you, forget you. No special attention is given to the breath, breathe in and out naturally, neither pushing nor forcing. Light and going up, body- mind unfolds in space, space blooms in body- mind. Once the mudra with body-mind manifested, from dust to star, the whole reality is enlightened.

    The secret of the Buddha-mind seal is open, just here and now before your very eyes. Don't do anything, be beyond fabrication. Drop all agendas, ideas of being somebody else or achieving something. In this, traveller, path and destination are neither one nor two. As you sit, cultivate the will to go up yet don't do it. In not doing, the natural response to gravity takes place. An inch of doing, and earth and blue sky are set apart, a fraction of making, and you have already left home. Just be caught by the still state. Simply be at home in the homeless state .


    No traces to be found, as wild ducks flying off the river, snow falling on snow. This has no particular flavor, the music no specific sound, riding the ox and blowing an empty flute, all things at rest and yet so alive.Fish swims, birds fly, and in doing so, their return to the original and normal conditions.Ploughing clouds, crossing the expanse of the sky, be at ease. Things and thoughts playfully manifest and dissolve. Don't worry. The dynamic transient body of reality is but the very body of all Buddhas . Don't be attached to this or that. No need to linger in the realm of pair of opposites. No need to pick up and choose. Easy, easy going and doing.


    Don't sit Buddha, just allow Buddha to sit you. Like the roundness and fullness of the moon, your original face appears naturally, spontaneously, automatically, free and uncontrived. It is not for you to see, it is for you to be.

    In there, endless delusions will appear and disappear. Dreams and shadows will arise, let them come and go. Even these thoughts are the very stuff the original ground is made of. In the mountain state, how could the big sky obstruct clouds roaming and drifting? How could a cloud hide the vast blue body? Blue sky or clouds, same origin. Just be awake to the scenery of the body- mind and as you drift away, just come back, here and now. And come back again. You may put your mind in the palm of your left hand, be aware of the vertical spine, being awake to sounds without following them; ultimately there is nothing to do and nobody to do anything. Let not knowing manifest.

    This sitting is without object or intention. Just the clear, non judgmental, panoramic attention to what arises here and now. Don't be attached to your thoughts of understanding or not understanding, of being right or wrong, break free from the realm of desires and intentions , be still, be the full body of reflection without judging self or others. To sit like this is to live and thoroughly experience the great question, to fully pierce it and penetrate it.

    Don t think that shikantaza is only realized and met on the cushion. As you get up, take this with you, go empty handed, living to the full, day in day out, the wonderful ordinary.Dream within a dream, wake up. This life-death is worth living.Here and now, absolute and relative dance and collapse-bloom in each other. Time flies and you have never been so close to the Treasury of the True Dharma Eye.

    Be it.

    Sit.
    Last edited by Taigu; 07-18-2013 at 10:16 PM.
    Taigu, teacher at Treeleaf Sangha, was born in 1964, started Zazen early and received Shukke Tokudo in 1983 at age 18 from Rev. Mokusho Zeisler of the Deshimaru Lineage. Received Dharma Transmission from Chodo Cross in 2002. Now resides in Osaka, Japan.

  2. #2
    Thank you Teacher

    Gassho

    David

  3. #3
    Thank you, Taigu.

    Gassho
    Andy

  4. #4
    Oooohhh, dear Taigu .

    Here, without sound
    it resonates like thunder.
    The bell has been struck.

    Deep bows,

    Enkyo

  5. #5
    Senior Member KellyRok's Avatar
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    Thank you Taigu. Beautiful words!

    _/\_
    Kelly/Jinmei

  6. #6
    Treeleaf Unsui Daido's Avatar
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    You were right.

    Gassho,

    Daido


  7. #7
    Treeleaf Unsui rculver's Avatar
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    Don't sit Buddha, just allow Buddha to sit you. Like the roundness and fullness of the moon, your original face appears naturally, spontaneously, automatically, free and uncontrived. It is not for you to see, it is for you to be.
    Gassho
    As a priest in training, please take everything I say with a pinch of salt

    Meido Shugen
    明道 修眼

  8. #8
    Hello,

    thank you for this Taigu.

    It's all been said now, maybe we should all go home and take Zumba classes instead

    Gassho,

    Hans Chudo Mongen
    Chudo Mongen, Ordained Novice Priest-in-Training

  9. #9
    Wonderful wonderful Taigu, thank you!

    Gassho
    Shingen
    真 眼

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

  10. #10
    Senior Member Myosha's Avatar
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    Thank you.


    Gassho,
    Edward
    Practice with humility, respect all beings, avoid attachments, give rise to praj˝a from your own awareness, put an end to delusions - Hui-neng

  11. #11



    Willow

  12. #12
    Treeleaf Unsui Myozan Kodo's Avatar
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    Tongue lies useless in the mouth. Eyes widen at the true Dharma. These words will be passed from student to student ...
    Gassho
    Myozan
    Myozan Kodo
    Ordained Soto Zen Priest in Training
    Dublin, Ireland

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

  13. #13
    Senior Member Oheso's Avatar
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    and thence from teacher to student.

    gassho, student to teacher,

    -Robert
    only saps buy vowels

  14. #14
    Senior Member Daisho's Avatar
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    Right on...thank you Taigu!
    Gassho,

    Daisho


    (Jack K.)

  15. #15
    Senior Member Nameless's Avatar
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    Wow, beautiful and inspiring. Thank you so much Taigu.

    Gassho, John

  16. #16
    Senior Member Heisoku's Avatar
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    Thank you Taigu for these words. Nine bows.
    Heisoku
    平 息

  17. #17
    What to say...thank you..

    Dokan

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I747 using Tapatalk 4 Beta
    We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are.
    ~Ana´s Nin

  18. #18
    So much here seems an echo of things read before, and your words make the old things new again, which of course means your words make these old things, never dead, live again for us, in us, as us.

    Thank you for sharing this beautiful thing with us.

    Gassho
    Shōmon

  19. #19
    A very deep bow. Thank you Taigu.

    Gassho.
    Neika / Ian Adams

    寧 Nei - Peaceful/Courteous
    火 Ka - Fire

    Look for Buddha outside your own mind, and Buddha becomes the devil. --Dogen

  20. #20
    Thanks Taigu. This is poetic and beautiful. More like Dogen. I find the below practical instructions very useful. May be we should make this thread a sticky and/or move it to the beginners shikantaza set of threads?

    Quote Originally Posted by Taigu View Post

    Don't do anything, be beyond fabrication. Drop all agendas, ideas of being somebody else or achieving something. In this, traveller, path and destination are neither one nor two. As you sit, cultivate the will to go up yet don't do it. In not doing, the natural response to gravity takes place. An inch of doing, and earth and blue sky are set apart, a fraction of making, and you have already left home.

    Just be awake to the scenery of the body- mind and as you drift away, just come back, here and now. And come back again. You may put your mind in the palm of your left hand, be aware of the vertical spine, being awake to sounds without following them; ultimately there is nothing to do and nobody to do anything. Let not knowing manifest.

    This sitting is without object or intention. Just the clear, non judgmental, panoramic attention to what arises here and now. Don't be attached to your thoughts of understanding or not understanding, of being right or wrong
    , break free from the realm of desires and intentions , be still, be the full body of reflection without judging self or others. To sit like this is to live and thoroughly experience the great question, to fully pierce it and penetrate it.

  21. #21
    Thank you Taigu

    Gassho
    Joe

  22. #22
    Senior Member Koshin's Avatar
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    Thank you teacher

    Gassho
    ______________________________
    Kōshin / Leo



    P.S. Yup, I know, my English sucks

  23. #23
    "Don't sit Buddha, just allow Buddha to sit you. "

    Thank you for this teaching, Taigu.

    Gassho.

  24. #24
    Senior Member Nindo's Avatar
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    It is not for you to see, it is for you to be.


    Thank you and deep bows.

  25. #25
    I'm glad that you included lying down if you can't sit. Have heard that before but first time seeing it in writing.

  26. #26
    It is not for you to see, it is for you to be.
    Love that line.

    Gassho,

    Risho

  27. #27

  28. #28
    Senior Member Genshin's Avatar
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    Thank you Taigu.

    Deep bows,
    Matt

  29. #29
    Nothing to say but a heartfelt "Thank you".
    Gassho
    Seisou
    Seisou - Noble/Vital Grass (or just Jeff)

  30. #30
    Instructive yet still full of mystery. Very well said!

  31. #31
    Treeleaf Unsui Shokai's Avatar
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    Lovely, thank you Taigu

    gassho,
    gassho, Shokai, still learning the way and knowing nothing
    仁道 生開 - Jindo Shokai "Open to life in a benevolent way"
    Just another itinerant monk; go somewhere else to listen to someone who really knows.

  32. #32
    Senior Member Shujin's Avatar
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    Thank you, teacher.

    Gassho.

  33. #33
    I just read this for the third time ... truly breathtaking. Wondrous.

    Taigu, can we include this with some of your other great writings?

    http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/forum...Words-by-Taigu

    Nine Bows, J
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  34. #34
    Thank you, Jundo. Please, go ahead.
    I don t think my writings are great, they are just attempts to clarify stuff, and also in this particular case, to write about lying down shikantaza for the first time.

    Gassho

    T.

  35. #35
    By the way, I am eargerly waiting for that book ...

    A book you would write.

    It could help so many people. Don't you think or... Not think?

    Gassho

    T.
    Last edited by Taigu; 07-25-2013 at 03:38 AM.

  36. #36
    Treeleaf Unsui/Engineer Kyonin's Avatar
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    I have been sitting to this wonderful text all week.

    And it's a beacon in the dark.

    Thank you.

    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

  37. #37
    Senior Member YuimaSLC's Avatar
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    A subtle and wondrous dharma.

    I am deeply grateful.

    In gassho

    Richard

  38. #38
    This is mi first time in treeleaf, thank you and I hope to learn more things like this. And and sitting, especially sitting.

    Gassho,

    Jukuroo

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