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Thread: The shift...

  1. #1

    The shift...

    Hello everyone.

    When you sit, at that moment when you stop all physical movements and become quiet, are you aware that you're doing zazen? Do you think..."there, that's it" - or is there no difference in the content of mind before, during and after sitting?

    _/|\_

    Tony...

  2. #2
    Senior Member Nindo's Avatar
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    How do you stop all physical movement? Are you still breathing in zazen? Is your heart still beating?
    Gassho,
    Nindo

  3. #3
    I didn't of course mean absolutely all physical movement including being dead due to not breathing...so yes your heart should hopefully still beat....

    Sent from my SM-N9005 using Tapatalk

  4. #4
    Zazen is "It" whether one thinks "that's it" or not.

    Yet, if you think that one HAS TO feel "that's it" for it to be "it", then it is not "it". But if one sits right through and beyond "that's it" or "not it" ... THAT'S IT ... and we may sometimes even know so. But known or not ... IT is ALWAYS IT! To just sIT is IT.

    Sometimes Zazen is quiet & still and sometimes not. However, Zazen is ALWAYS the Silence and Stillness that encompasses both silence and noise, stillness and motion. Sometimes the noise and motion hide the Silence and Stillness, and make them hard to perceive. No matter, because the Silence and Stillness are ALWAYS so whether known or not. Nice to know silence and stillness ... but better to witness the Silence and Stillness (Big S) that are not dependent on silence and stillness, their perception or not.

    There is a great difference in the content of mind before, during and after ... because the mind, and all phenomena, are always changing.

    There is the GREAT MIND that full transcends yet manifests as "before, during or after" and all change. But this GREAT MIND is not dependent on whether it is perceived or not. If you think one must perceive GREAT MIND for GREAT MIND to be GREAT MIND ... that ain't so great. If one sits beyond and right through all need to perceive or not perceive GREAT MIND ... and all judgments of great and not so great too ... such is GREAT MIND! And sitting in such way works GREAT CHANGES on the content of the mind.

    It ain't rocket science.

    Gassho, J
    Last edited by Jundo; 05-15-2014 at 03:48 PM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  5. #5
    Thanks Jundo. I guess I am still utterly unable to move past what I see as contradicting stances of no agenda or method and an undeniable 'goal' (enlightenment) and the physical process of moving onto the cushion to do something - as if there is no method then why sit at all?

    I have not been static since starting the 'Mechanics of Enlightenment' thread. Just no further to even the slightest understanding of Dogen or Shikantaza.

    With respect...

    Tony...

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  6. #6
    ...I do get the Ch'an expositions. Master Sheng Yen and his 'Method of no Method' floats my boat. But the Soto explanation still seems to be like that elusive bar of soap in the bath........!

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  7. #7
    Senior Member Myosha's Avatar
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    Hello,

    Be the water???


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

  8. #8
    Hi Tony,

    It is really very simple.

    Radically dropping to the marrow all goal and method and need to attain ... and sitting with the attitude that sitting alone is all goals and needs in all time and space fulfilled ... is the method for attaining the goal which is only attained in such way, aka "Enlightenment" (because "Enlightenment" is the Total Fulfillment present from the get go ... with nothing lacking or in need of adding or taking away ... thus not something to be "attained").

    We very diligently move to the cushion to "do something", namely, to "do" this "nothing in need of doing but sitting", just sitting as "nothing more in need of doing, never was and never will be in the whole of Reality, sitting itself as Buddha sitting". Is that "doing" or "not doing"? It is rather "doing-not-doing"!!

    It ain't rocket science.

    Gassho, J
    Last edited by Jundo; 05-16-2014 at 04:25 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by dharmasponge View Post
    But the Soto explanation still seems to be like that elusive bar of soap in the bath........!

    Sent from my SM-N9005 using Tapatalk
    This bar of soap is Buddha whether one grabs hold of it or not. But grab tightly and squeeze too hard ... it tends to slip away. Relax gently, and the soap is in hand!

    You see, there is nothing in need of cleaning and scrubbing ... all pristine from the first. And yet, one better scrub scrub scrub because, oh, this life can be messy!

    There is no contradiction; This "Buddha Soap" scrubs and washes clean that which could never be dirty from the start! Though there is never a place for dust to alight, wash wash wash. The very act of washing is Buddha washing Buddha.



    Gassho, J
    Last edited by Jundo; 05-15-2014 at 03:49 PM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  10. #10
    Senior Member Clark's Avatar
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    Hi Tony

    I am just a newbie, though I have been sitting for about a year consistently now. I think I know what you are wondering, and I think you might be making this too difficult for yourself.

    When I sit of course I KNOW I am sitting, just like I KNOW it's raining outside, but I don't think about the rain. When I sit, if I find myself thinking "is this it?" "how is my sitting?" "is this sitting better than yesterday?" "am I sitting like Taigu taught?" "I don't want to sit" "this is a good sit" "this is a bad sit" "how long will I have to sit" "I better get enlightened after all this sitting" "is this the proper technique to sit?" "F@#$ this sitting crap" I just DROP it. Drop everything. Sit. This constant buzzing in your mind analysis is exactly what you are trying to STOP. Just sit and let EVERY thought drop to just THIS.

    Perhaps when you study and learn, talking , reading, about zazen, this is the time for evaluation, but when you sit, take what you know, or even what you think you know-don't know and just SIT.. lol

    Jundo you must have a Buddha picture for ten thousand occasions .

    Gassho
    C

  11. #11
    I think what Jundo says is similar to what Okumura or Uchiyama say in "Opening the hand of thought". Don't use any object, yet keep coming back to just sitting, waking up from distracted thought and drowsiness.

    http://www.sanshinji.org/pdf/zazen_instructions.pdf

    Jundo adds "to sit with the attitude of nothing in need of change, no where to go". These instructions are from the basic principles of zen/zazen, that you are NOT doing zazen to add something that you lack now; you already are enlightened. You are not in search of for future goal. Zazen is basically a useless, pointless activity that you are still doing.

    I have been confused by this kind of instruction (the one Jundo adds) since I joined the forum (past 1 yr 3 months). In my view just knowing/understanding that there is no where to go and nothing in need of change is enough. Trying to maintain that "do nothing" attitude during zazen when we are infact doing something (keep coming back) I feel is confusing.

    Now I see other people getting confused too so just wanted to make my point.

    Infact as Clark or someone pointed earlier, "letting be" more accurately represents zazen than "letting go". The latter has "pushing away" kind of feel to it while the earlier is more like "just sit, being okay with thoughts, not purposefully thinking something during zazen".

    Gassho,
    Sam

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by shikantazen View Post
    Jundo adds "to sit with the attitude of nothing in need of change, no where to go". These instructions are from the basic principles of zen/zazen, that you are NOT doing zazen to add something that you lack now; you already are enlightened. You are not in search of for future goal. Zazen is basically a useless, pointless activity that you are still doing.
    Yes, but ...

    There is "nothing that we lack and nothing to change about us from the start" ... yet realizing that fact is a TREMENDOUS change and addition! Yes, we are "Buddha all along", but it is hard to get that in our thick skulls!

    Also, our saying that there is "nothing that we lack and nothing to change about us from the start" DOES NOT MEAN that there is "nothing that we lack and nothing to change about us from the start". Because, unless we do such things as Practice diligently and dump some of that "greed, anger and ignorance" it is darn hard to realize that ""nothing that we lack and nothing to change about us from the start"! Yes, we are "Buddha all along", but that don't mean nothing until we start acting like it!

    Also, saying that Zazen is "useless and pointless" misses the mark if it means that we just sit like bumps on a log, twiddling our thumbs and killing time because, gosh, Zazen is "useless and pointless". Rather, one must sit feeling in the guts that Zazen is the Use of All Uses, the Whole Kit-&-Caboodle, the Point that holds all time and space in its Singularity! Only then is Zazen truly "Useless" and "Pointless" (because what is the use when all is already attained, what is the point when nothing escapes the point?)

    And what's more ... we are not "doing nothing" when we sit Zazen. We are "doing everything" when we sit Zazen, and thus there is nothing more lacking or in need of doing. It is only "doing nothing" in the sense that there is nothing in need of doing because Zazen is Emptiness and Everythingness Doing and Done!

    Not rocket science.

    Gassho, J
    Last edited by Jundo; 05-15-2014 at 04:42 PM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  13. #13
    So all the commentaries, all the suttas all pointing in the wrong direction? No need for Jhana, Vipassana, Satipattana because all we need to do is merely sit and accept things just as they are?

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  14. #14
    Senior Member Clark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    Yes, but ...

    There is "nothing that we lack and nothing to change about us from the start" ... yet realizing that fact is a TREMENDOUS change and addition! Yes, we are "Buddha all along", but it is hard to get that in our thick skulls!

    Also, our saying that there is "nothing that we lack and nothing to change about us from the start" DOES NOT MEAN that there is "nothing that we lack and nothing to change about us from the start". Because, unless we do such things as Practice diligently and dump some of that "greed, anger and ignorance" it is darn hard to realize that ""nothing that we lack and nothing to change about us from the start"! Yes, we are "Buddha all along", but that don't mean nothing until we start acting like it!

    Also, saying that Zazen is "useless and pointless" misses the mark if it means that we just sit like bumps on a log, twiddling our thumbs and killing time because, gosh, Zazen is "useless and pointless". Rather, one must sit feeling in the guts that Zazen is the Use of All Uses, the Whole Kit-&-Caboodle, the Point that holds all time and space in its Singularity! Only then is Zazen truly "Useless" and "Pointless" (because what is the use when all is already attained, what is the point when nothing escapes the point?)

    And what's more ... we are not "doing nothing" when we sit Zazen. We are "doing everything" when we sit Zazen, and thus there is nothing more lacking or in need of doing. It is only "doing nothing" in the sense that there is nothing in need of doing because Zazen is Emptiness and Everythingness Doing and Done!

    Not rocket science.

    Gassho, J
    Been mulling this one over. So if I may paraphrase what I think you are saying is that we are not just sitting doing nothing, nor are we just sitting. We are !!JUST SITTING!! ?

    Gassho
    C

  15. #15
    Hi Tony,

    Take a look at the link Taigu provided today. It's called "Zazen is not Shuzen" and speaks to this, at least to some degree.

    Also, from my little experience: vipassana is accepting things as they are, except in maybe a more controlled technique. In Vipassana, you don't label thoughts and feelings in order to be rid of them but to know them, see them clearly for what they are. Same with zazen, but without the need of labels. Just my personal experience and could be wrong. I don't think any of what you mentioned are wrong, just different.

    Gassho
    Shōmon

  16. #16
    Don't make thoughts about sitting. Just sit. Then with a clear eye do what's in front of you. :-)

    Gassho, Jishin
    治 Ji (Healing)
    心​ Shin (Heart-Mind)

  17. #17
    Senior Member Nameless's Avatar
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    When I find myself thinking, "Wow, this is awesome!" or, "it's like being everything and nothing," while sitting, whatever is being experienced is immediately interrupted by the examination of it. By examining with a discriminating mind, I take myself out of the flow. That's not quite true of course, since there is no out of the flow or in the flow lol. It's like if I think, "I haven't thought of the past this whole time," I am actually thinking of the past while pondering that lol. Usually "I" just let it be like a house with two windows open, letting the breeze blow through. Sometimes the breeze is turbulent, other times it isn't even noticeable, either way can't cling to it or push it away; a beneficial mindset to allow both on and off the zafu since, of course, zazen is timeless.

    Gassho, Foolish John

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by dharmasponge View Post
    So all the commentaries, all the suttas all pointing in the wrong direction? No need for Jhana, Vipassana, Satipattana because all we need to do is merely sit and accept things just as they are?

    Sent from my SM-N9005 using Tapatalk
    Hah, well, the Zen and other "Great Vehicle/Mahayana" Buddhists for 1 or 2000 years have been talking about the place of so-called "Lesser Vehicle/Hinayana" practices (no longer a PC term, by the way). The most typical conclusion is that the Buddha preached in different ways to different folks with different levels of understanding or needs ... all "expedient means" ... much as a physician prescribes different medicines to different patients. Personally, I read a middle-length Sutta each morning and find little contradiction, although differences in approach and expression.

    Something interesting about Jhana is that Shikantaza is very much resonant of the so-called "Fourth Jhana" (the one the Buddha recommended as the ultimate path in this world) as described in the old Suttas. I have written about this before.

    A book that should be mentioned is the recent "The Experience of Samadhi" by Richard Shankman, a survey of historical and modern Theravadan interpretations of Samadhi and Jhana. What is particularly interesting in reading the book is the extent of disagreement and widely varied interpretations from teacher to teacher, Sri Lankan vs. Burmese vs. Thai vs. Westerners, Lineage to Lineage even in that neck of the Buddhist world. Here is a Buddhistgeeks interview the author gave ... and as he discusses, there is little agreement, either currently or in centuries past, among the South Asian traditions either about "what the Buddha taught", or at least, how to interpret "what the Buddha taught" on the subject of Jhana. In the book, he interviews about two dozen teachers in South Asian traditions, and gets about two dozen, often very dissimilar interpretations.

    We continue our discussion with insight meditation teacher and author, Richard Shankman. In this episode we continue to dissect the different kinds of samadhi and their respective fruits--what in the Theravada tradition are called jhana (or "meditative absorption"). According to Shankman there are two ways of approaching the attainment of jhana, one as was taught in the original canonical texts of the Theravada, the Pali Suttas, and the other from the later commentaries on the Buddha's teachings, the Vishudimagga. As a result we get two different forms of jhana--one called Sutta jhana and the other called Vishudimagga jhana. ...

    http://personallifemedia.com/guests/...chard-shankman
    Richard Shankman's book makes one very interesting point that, perhaps, can be interpreted to mean that practices such as Shikantaza and the like actually cut right to the summit of Jhana practice. You see, it might perhaps be argued (from some interpretations presented in the book) that Shikantaza practice is very close to what is referred to as the "Fourth Jhana in the Suttas" ... as opposed to the highly concentrated, hyper-absorbed Visuddhimagga commentary version. The Fourth Jhana in the Pali Suttas was considered the 'summit' of Jhana practice (as the higher Jhana, No. 5 to 8, were not encouraged as a kind of 'dead end') and appears to manifest (quoting the sutta descriptions in the book) "an abandoning of pleasure, pain, attractions/aversions, a dropping of both joy and grief", a dropping away of both rapture and bliss states, resulting in a "purity of mindfulness" and "equanimity". Combine this with the fact that, more than a "one pointed mind absorbed into a particular object", there is a "unification of mind" (described as a broader awareness around the object of meditation ... whereby the "mind itself becomes collected and unmoving, but not the objects of awareness, as mindfulness becomes lucid, effortless and unbroken" (See, for examples. pages 82-83 here))

    http://books.google.co.jp/books?id=l...page&q&f=false

    A bit of the discussion of the highest (in Buddhist Practice) "Fourth Jhana", and its emphasis on equanimity while present amid circumstances (and a dropping of bliss states), can be found on page 49.

    This is very close to a description of Shikantaza, for example, as dropping all aversions and attractions, finding unification of mind, collected and unmoving, effortless and unbroken, in/as/through/not removed from the life, circumstances, complexities which surround us and are us, sitting still with what is just as it is.
    Likewise, most Zen folks will say that Zazen practice manifests and brings to life BOTH traditional wings of the Buddhist bird of Samantha and Vipassana ...

    Buddhist Practice is usually described as flying upon the twin wings of Samatha (calming thoughts and emotions, illuminating and dropping body-mind) and awareness and understanding of Vipassana (insight and awareness primarily into the nature and workings of 'self' and mental functions). That is true in Zen practice no less than most other forms of Buddhist practice.

    In a nutshell, Vipassana might be described as insights and awareness, based on Buddhist psychology, as to how the mind works and plays it games. It is an understanding of the Skandhas (form, sensation, perception, mental formation, consciousness ... those words always sung in the Heart Sutra), how our thoughts and emotional reactions arise, how we label and divide the world. We should also understand the Buddha's ideas about how suffering arises within us, which is intimately tied to all that.

    However, unlike some schools of Buddhism, in Shikantaza we do not pursue any particular practices --during-- Zazen itself in order to cultivate such vipassana insight ... and much insight naturally arises from Zazen as "Zazen does its thing". Perhaps we might say that, just in "just sitting" Shikantaza ... dropping thoughts of this and that, thus quieting the mind's "mind games" ... we develop a natural sensitivity and understanding of the mind's "mind games" (much like one first comes to really appreciate what "urban noise" is when one first drives out of the city to the middle of the desert or some other truly quiet place).

    Off the cushion too, we can learn to bring Shikantaza out into the world, learning to release thoughts and emotions which arise without being trapped by them.

    And, apart from "on the Zafu" sitting times, it is also good to develop some insight and insight into the "mind's games", and come to identify the workings of the Skandhas and such within us day to day.

    For example, if you feel an angry or jealous thought arising within you during your day, it is very helpful to identify that as a "bit of temporary mind theatre" and "just the self judging and conflicting with another perceived self". That gives us some distance from the passing emotion, and we no longer see the emotion as quite as inevitable and "true" as we might have before.

    For example, in the case of anger ... We need to develop a sensitivity to how anger arises within us, the triggers which tend to set it off, the first feeling of it starting to arise and the cycle it follows until vanishing. We need to catch ourself more and develop the ability to say, "I am feeling the emotion of anger now, but it is only the mind created theater which is present in this moment ... it need not be so." We need to see it as a story the self writes for itself, "catch it" and thus not be "sucked in" and fooled as much. (Most people who feel anger do not realize it is just a mind created bit of theater which can be replaced by something else ... it is not the way things "have to be". E.g., most people think, when they become upset, that they have "reason to be upset, and it is true and justified", not an optional response to the circumstances). That realization and understanding of how our inner theater works is a step to developing the ability to "rewrite and change the story" at will.

    So, yes, "samatha/vipassana" are both important.
    Gassho, J
    Last edited by Jundo; 05-16-2014 at 04:31 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Nameless View Post
    When I find myself thinking, "Wow, this is awesome!" or, "it's like being everything and nothing," while sitting, whatever is being experienced is immediately interrupted by the examination of it. By examining with a discriminating mind, I take myself out of the flow. That's not quite true of course, since there is no out of the flow or in the flow lol. It's like if I think, "I haven't thought of the past this whole time," I am actually thinking of the past while pondering that lol. Usually "I" just let it be like a house with two windows open, letting the breeze blow through. Sometimes the breeze is turbulent, other times it isn't even noticeable, either way can't cling to it or push it away; a beneficial mindset to allow both on and off the zafu since, of course, zazen is timeless.

    Gassho, Foolish John
    When we sit and think "Wow, this is awesome", this sitting-life is Awesome. And when we sit and don't think ""Wow, this is awesome", this sitting-life is still Awesome.

    However, it is best for us to just sit without thinking ""Wow, this is awesome", or getting caught in any other trains of thought, because doing so may blind us to the realization of this "Awesome".

    Ultimately, however, in Shikantaza there is a certain Awesome Illumination, a Silence (Big "S"), that shines right through and right as both thoughts or the absence of thoughts ... what we call "thinking not thinking". It is a Silence that is heard in silence (small "s"), it is a Silence that is heard as life's greatest noise. Nonetheless, in Shikantaza, one usually sits dropping the noise of thoughts until one can "tune into" this Silence that is not a matter of silence or noise.

    In fact, even this "Big A" Awesome of "Big E" Enlightenment is not a matter of human judgments of "awesome" or "ordinary", sacred vs. mundane, enlightenment vs. delusion. It is the Awesome Illumination which shines behind/between/beyond/right as all of that. Nonetheless, one must generally live with a head free of delusion in order to realize so ... thus we sit Shikantaza, dropping our thoughts and judgments.

    The great Koan Introsprection Zazen Teacher Koun Yamada of the Sanbokyodan wrote ...

    Shedding delusion and enlightenment, transcending sacred and profane.
    We are talking here about transcending the world of dualistic opposition. The world of everyday common sense is always the world of dualistic opposition in terms of subject and object, self and other, delusion and enlightenment, holy and ordinary, right and wrong, good and bad, long and short. These are all products of dualistic opposition. But to the background to those pairs (although “background” is perhaps not the best term), there is the world of emptiness. Although they are in opposition to each other, they are at the same time one. To give an example, imagine painting a picture on a canvas. You apply different colors to the pure white canvas. We do not readily realize that the canvas is white. Rather than the white, it is the world of color or form that we clearly see. We do not see “the world of white.” I would like to bring you all to a direct experience of that world of white, not just as a concept. To say “shedding delusion and enlightenment” does not mean that they are not there. Precisely where there is delusion and enlightenment there is nothing. In the oft-cited Heart Sutra this is expressed in the lines: “Form is emptiness, emptiness is form.”

    The same goes for transcending sacred and profane. “Sacred” here can be understood as all the Buddhas and patriarchs, in particular the Buddhas, of which there are very many. These are usually considered to be quite separate entities from us. We make a clear division between such saints or sages and ordinary people. We feel that there is a clearly defined difference between such holy ones and ordinary people. But when we view things from the basis of “the world of white,” so to speak, they are the same. This is also found in the Hotsuganmon that we just recited together prior to this teisho:

    Before enlightenment ancient buddhas were the same as us.
    After enlightenment we will be exactly as those ancient ones

    http://www.sanbo-zen.org/shoyoroku_21.pdf
    All I might add is that our ultimate purpose is not simply to realize a white, blank canvas. A painting which is a white, blank canvas is not really a painting, just lifeless wood and cloth filled with possibility. Life is all the creation and colors of the canvas we paint, which we come to realize was inseparable from the canvas all along. If we stripped off all the paints simply to remain with an empty (small "e") canvas, we would destroy the painting. On the other hand, if we get lost in the illusions, emotions and complexity of the painted images, we do not realize what it truly is ... Emptyness (Big E) that is beyond and right through "full" or "empty" ... the White which, like white light through a prism, shines as all the colors. The painting is the canvas is the painting ... the Light contains and is white, black, blue, red, green, yellow and all the rest ...

    Nonetheless ... though the painting is always Enlghtenment itself, always Buddha ... when we paint the canvas of our life and world, let us do our best to make a beautiful picture free of ugliness, more enlightened and less filled with delusion. In Practice-Enlightenment, our very act of painting our life ... in this moment, with this stroke of the brush and this ... makes the painting in each moment.

    Not rocket science.

    Gassho, J
    Last edited by Jundo; 05-16-2014 at 04:37 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  20. #20
    Senior Member Tiwala's Avatar
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    Hi, everyone.

    I found this article very helpful for analytical minds. It's from Daiho's dharma brother, I think.

    I hope some other people's complicated minds can be helped to really just sit down!

    http://www.zbtc.org/downloads/kongo-practice.html
    Gassho
    Ben

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by Tiwala View Post
    Hi, everyone.

    I found this article very helpful for analytical minds. It's from Daiho's dharma brother, I think.

    I hope some other people's complicated minds can be helped to really just sit down!

    http://www.zbtc.org/downloads/kongo-practice.html
    I actually found the talk so so, and a little too focused on "cutting the thinking process" rather than illuminating and "seeing through" the thinking process (thinking-non-thinking ... paint and canvas, not two ... thus not being a prisoner of thoughts even while thinking) ... it is really a bit of both, "cutting" thoughts of excess greed, anger, division, and "seeing through" all our thoughts ... but I did like this part:

    I was reading a biography about a Hsing I master, and he made a statement that in my mind expresses the essence of Dogen's practice of enlightenment. The Hsing I master's one-liner is this: "Instead of trying to achieve it, pretend you already have it. This will help your mind." This is the idea: when you sit in zazen you are not awaiting enlightenment or awaiting satori. If you carry the idea of enlightenment in your mind, you are a million miles away. One inch equals a million miles out there somewhere, and inevitably you will be off track. You must come to a final conclusion. Resolve all paradoxes in your mind and sit with absolute faith in the efficacy of zazen. It is very difficult to understand, but this encapsulates the statement that enlightenment and practice are one. This is how you sit in zazen. Instead of trying to achieve something, act as though you already have it. So now you are practicing enlightenment. Get it?
    Gassho, J
    Last edited by Jundo; 05-16-2014 at 07:12 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  22. #22
    I sat this morning and just shut up (my mind). It was a little like riding a bicycle with no hands :-)

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  23. #23
    Senior Member Nameless's Avatar
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    Thank you Jundo. That's Awesome.

    Gassho, John

  24. #24
    Whether my mind if quiet and sleepy or load and busy, I just sit! =)

    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.

  25. #25
    Senior Member Nengyo's Avatar
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    if you think that one HAS TO feel "that's it" for it to be "it", then it is not "it". But if one sits right through and beyond "that's it" or "not it" ... THAT'S IT ... and we may sometimes even know so. But known or not ... IT is ALWAYS IT! To just sIT is IT.
    Last night while sitting I started getting a weird feeling. Thought to myself,"man this feels great. This is IT" Then I realized that my eyes were closed and I was slowly falling asleep. It wasn't it. It wasn't not it, but it definitely wasn't it. Wait that was it.... nope missed it. Shoot, back to just sitting.

    Gassho from the sleepy time sitter
    Try not to be a jerk-- one of the Buddhas

  26. #26
    Senior Member Sekishi's Avatar
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    Great thread everyone. I've really been enjoying it. I have no wisdom to offer, but thought I'd share a little personal anecdote.

    I find that a round of sitting is filled with hundreds (probably thousands) of moments of letting go. I have my personal favorite obsessions (anxiety about sickness, family, and money), but we all have our own different favorites I suspect. What a relief to see them (hopefully before following them for too long) and let go. Away they go, at least for a few seconds, and then they (or their relations) are back and around and around it goes.

    Sometimes that open awareness remains for a little longer, and then this fella I call "The Storyteller" or "The Minstrel" will often appear and begin spinning a story about "what a great experience" I am having on the cushion and even starts helping me compose a post for Treeleaf all about it (I wish I were joking). But then I catch him and return to open awareness, but milliseconds later he re-appears, spinning a new tale about how I was having a great experience until The Storyteller appeared and started spinning a story about it... And on and on.

    What a beautiful mess we are with our fancy central nervous systems, and what a precious jewel this practice is.

    Every moment of open awareness is a treasure. Every stray thought released is practice. Every appearance of The Storyteller is both our delusion and how we move in the world as human beings.

    Gassho,
    Sekishi

    髭 Sekishi / Eric

  27. #27
    Member Nandi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    Sometimes Zazen is quiet & still and sometimes not. However, Zazen is ALWAYS the Silence and Stillness that encompasses both silence and noise, stillness and motion. Sometimes the noise and motion hide the Silence and Stillness, and make them hard to perceive. No matter, because the Silence and Stillness are ALWAYS so whether known or not. Nice to know silence and stillness ... but better to witness the Silence and Stillness (Big S) that are not dependent on silence and stillness, their perception or not.

    Gassho, J


  28. #28
    Dear Jundo,

    I'm still wiping the tears of laughter from my eyes! You are so right. It is not rocket science!

    Gassho

    Vincent
    For a moment, nothing happened. Then, after a second or so, nothing continued to happen.

  29. #29
    Senior Member Joyo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jishin View Post
    Don't make thoughts about sitting. Just sit. Then with a clear eye do what's in front of you. :-)

    Gassho, Jishin
    That's awesome advice.

    Gassho,
    Joyo

  30. #30
    Senior Member Joyo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sekishi View Post
    Great thread everyone. I've really been enjoying it. I have no wisdom to offer, but thought I'd share a little personal anecdote.

    I find that a round of sitting is filled with hundreds (probably thousands) of moments of letting go. I have my personal favorite obsessions (anxiety about sickness, family, and money), but we all have our own different favorites I suspect. What a relief to see them (hopefully before following them for too long) and let go. Away they go, at least for a few seconds, and then they (or their relations) are back and around and around it goes.

    Sometimes that open awareness remains for a little longer, and then this fella I call "The Storyteller" or "The Minstrel" will often appear and begin spinning a story about "what a great experience" I am having on the cushion and even starts helping me compose a post for Treeleaf all about it (I wish I were joking). But then I catch him and return to open awareness, but milliseconds later he re-appears, spinning a new tale about how I was having a great experience until The Storyteller appeared and started spinning a story about it... And on and on.

    What a beautiful mess we are with our fancy central nervous systems, and what a precious jewel this practice is.

    Every moment of open awareness is a treasure. Every stray thought released is practice. Every appearance of The Storyteller is both our delusion and how we move in the world as human beings.

    Gassho,
    Sekishi
    Sekishi, thank you for this post and for your honesty. You are not the only one, my "storyteller" reappears all the time, spinning stories and Treeleaf posts, fb statues etc. etc. Your thoughts here are just wonderful!!

    Gassho,
    Joyo

  31. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by Sekishi View Post
    Great thread everyone. I've really been enjoying it. I have no wisdom to offer, but thought I'd share a little personal anecdote.

    I find that a round of sitting is filled with hundreds (probably thousands) of moments of letting go. I have my personal favorite obsessions (anxiety about sickness, family, and money), but we all have our own different favorites I suspect. What a relief to see them (hopefully before following them for too long) and let go. Away they go, at least for a few seconds, and then they (or their relations) are back and around and around it goes.

    Sometimes that open awareness remains for a little longer, and then this fella I call "The Storyteller" or "The Minstrel" will often appear and begin spinning a story about "what a great experience" I am having on the cushion and even starts helping me compose a post for Treeleaf all about it (I wish I were joking). But then I catch him and return to open awareness, but milliseconds later he re-appears, spinning a new tale about how I was having a great experience until The Storyteller appeared and started spinning a story about it... And on and on.

    What a beautiful mess we are with our fancy central nervous systems, and what a precious jewel this practice is.

    Every moment of open awareness is a treasure. Every stray thought released is practice. Every appearance of The Storyteller is both our delusion and how we move in the world as human beings.

    Gassho,
    Sekishi
    This is lovely, yes, "a round of sitting is filled with hundreds (probably thousands) of moments of letting go."

    Yes, "Sometimes that open awareness remains for a little longer, and then this fella I call "The Storyteller" or "The Minstrel" will often appear ... But then I catch him and return to open awareness".

    May I note one more Joy ... that we also come to realize that the Clear Wisdom of Open Awareness is the Clear Wisdom of Open Awareness, but also that "The Storyteller" and Clear Wisdom were never two. However, then the stories we tell ourselves about this life, world and ourselves change very much, as if the Light of Clear Wisdom were shining right through the Heart of this "Storyteller", casting him in a very different light.

    This is the old Teaching of Master Ching-yuan:

    First mountains are mountains.
    Then mountains are not mountains.
    Then mountains are mountains again.


    First, one is lost in the "Storyteller", telling stories of desire, greed, aversions and dissatisfactions, birth and death and all the rest ... the whole mess of life.

    Then, ... the Light of Wholeness, Flowing, free of lack and friction and beginnings and endings ... Pure and Clean ...

    Then ... The Story is seen in and as this ShiningLight, not two. There is human dissatisfactions here and there (we are human, after all, and will be all our lives), but somehow shining through the Big "S" Satisfaction. There is birth and death, yet what begins or ends? The whole mess becomes the WHOLE WONDROUS CATASTROPHE.

    This we Sit Shikantaza, thus we Live Shikantaza.

    Gassho, J
    Last edited by Jundo; 06-19-2014 at 03:24 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  32. #32
    Blue Mountain White Clouds Hermitage Priest Taigu's Avatar
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    Great way to put it , Bro.

    Gassho

    Taigu
    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.

  33. #33
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    This is the old Teaching of Master Ching-yuan:

    First mountains are mountains.
    Then mountains are not mountains.
    Then mountains are mountains again.
    Ohhh, I like this Jundo, thank you. =)

    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.

  34. #34
    Blue Mountain White Clouds Hermitage Priest Taigu's Avatar
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    If I may, liking is not enough, dear Shingen, it is not even catching the shadow of the Ox tail. You have to cross physically these mountains and rivers, dive and loose yourself in their old paths and bends, to swallow them all and spit them at once. To let them become you and allow your self to vanish in them.

    The good old pointing of the teaching of the five ranks.

    Get out of here! Get out! Not through the door, not through the window, not through the screen, GET OUT!!!
    Only when you fully, unconditionally get out, get this body-mind out, and get out of the getting out itself, only then...

    Gassho

    Taigu
    Last edited by Taigu; 06-19-2014 at 06:02 AM.
    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.

  35. #35
    Yes please Taigu ...

    I will admit that at times the beauty of the words is captured through my eyes or my ears and not truly embraced in it's wholeness. I feel/agree the journey comes from walking the path up the mountain; getting lost on the path up the mountain; getting found on the path up the mountain ... and not solely experiencing it from the pages of a book.

    Thank you for your guidance and patience Taigu.

    Gassho
    Shingen

    Quote Originally Posted by Taigu View Post
    If I may, liking is not enough, dear Shingen, it is not even catching the shadow of the Ox tail. You have to cross physically these mountains and rivers, dive and loose yourself in their old paths and bends, to swallow them all and spit them at once. To let them become you and allow your self to vanish in them.

    The good old pointing of the teaching of the five ranks.

    Get out of here! Get out! Not through the door, not through the window, not through the screen, GET OUT!!!
    Only when you fully, unconditionally get out, get this body-mind out, and get out of the getting out itself, only then...

    Gassho

    Taigu
    倫道 真現

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

  36. #36
    Blue Mountain White Clouds Hermitage Priest Taigu's Avatar
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    Here and now, dear Shingen, and yes beauty can or cannot be a trap. When you utter the words observe where they arise from.

    Gassho,

    Taigu
    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.

  37. #37
    Quote Originally Posted by Taigu View Post
    Here and now, dear Shingen, and yes beauty can or cannot be a trap. When you utter the words observe where they arise from.

    Gassho,

    Taigu
    Thank you again Taigu for your warm guidance. =)

    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.

  38. #38
    Senior Member Sekishi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    May I note one more Joy ... that we also come to realize that the Clear Wisdom of Open Awareness is the Clear Wisdom of Open Awareness, but also that "The Storyteller" and Clear Wisdom were never two. However, then the stories we tell ourselves about this life, world and ourselves change very much, as if the Light of Clear Wisdom were shining right through the Heart of this "Storyteller", casting him in a very different light.
    All I can say today is that I love the old scoundrel, chameleon skills and all.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    Then ... The Story is seen in and as this ShiningLight, not two. There is human dissatisfactions here and there (we are human, after all, and will be all our lives), but somehow shining through the Big "S" Satisfaction. There is birth and death, yet what begins or ends? The whole mess becomes the WHOLE WONDROUS CATASTROPHE.

    This we Sit Shikantaza, thus we Live Shikantaza.
    Thank you for this Jundo. Sometimes this truth is shining and obvious, sometimes not.

    When wrapped in a human body, the nature of a human being:
    visions, sounds, smells, tastes, feelings, and thought.
    When wrapped in an oak tree, the nature of an oak:
    Earth, sun, water, and wind.
    In this moment, aware of awareness.
    In this moment, all forms everywhere.
    How could they be separated?

    Thank you all for this discussion and teaching.

    Deep bows,
    Sekishi

    髭 Sekishi / Eric

  39. #39
    Thank you all,



    Willow

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