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Thread: Shikantaza as Metta Practice | Metta Practice as Shikantaza

  1. #1

    Shikantaza as Metta Practice | Metta Practice as Shikantaza

    Hello all,

    I have been away for quite some time but hope to participate in this year's jukai. I have been meditating in my absence and have come upon the idea that one way of seeing our complete acceptance of the moment by moment awareness as each new phenomenon arises, persists and passes away is to view it almost as a form of metta practice in its more passive, receptive form. Ajahn Achalo ( a bhikkhu in the Thai Forest Theravada tradition) holds that before we can begin to radiate metta effectively we need to have this kind of loving-acceptance as a foundation. As I sat in shikantaza today it came upon me that holding experience gently and with a mind/heart of love and concern may be exactly what he is talking about. Thoughts? Am I wrong to make the connection?

    Gassho,

    Mike
    To avoid all evil, to cultivate good, and to cleanse one's mind this is the teaching of the Buddhas.
    -Dhp. 183
    My Practice Blog

  2. #2
    Hi (waiting for plane back to Japan)

    Yes, I feel that Compassion and Loving Kindness naturaly arise in and are nurtured by Shikantaza.

    But do not think about it, or much of anything, during Zazen.

    Gassho J
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  3. #3
    Rev. Jundo,

    Thanks for that!

    Gassho,

    Mike
    To avoid all evil, to cultivate good, and to cleanse one's mind this is the teaching of the Buddhas.
    -Dhp. 183
    My Practice Blog

  4. #4
    Treeleaf Unsui/Engineer Kyonin's Avatar
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    Hi Mike,

    Almost all my zazen sessions begin with me sending or feeling metta for someone. After a couple of minutes I simply let the idea float away.

    I have found that daily metta makes one a lot more attuned to the Four Noble Truths.

    Gassho,

    Kyonin
    Shuso and Ango leader for September 2014.

    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

  5. #5
    Thanks Kyonin! I honestly do not know where I would be without metta.

    Gassho,

    Mike
    To avoid all evil, to cultivate good, and to cleanse one's mind this is the teaching of the Buddhas.
    -Dhp. 183
    My Practice Blog

  6. #6
    Thank you for asking and answering.

    Until now, I had set my timer into two sections (second one normally for kinhin), to add metta practice after zazen.
    So, I sometimes do a dedication of zazen when thinking of someone really in need.
    Then I do shikantaza.
    Then I add the metta practice as described elsewhere.
    I've got the impression that naming people (good friends in need, but also people I find difficult) is really helpful.
    I end with including all beings, which leaves me with the bird singing outside my window again, or the neighbour shouting at his kid.
    Those are often the best times of zazen.

    Gassho,
    Danny

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