...as I understand it is to let go of goals and experience acceptance of all passing conditions. Striving for kensho and special experiences, and striving to change or improve the self, seem to be the antitheses of a shikantaza-based practice.
I can understand this philosophically and experientially, yet something also feels "wrong" about it to me. I find myself wondering, "What would a world in which people did not strive to change things for the better be like?" I find the practice of shikantaza extremely valuable, yet as a religiously minded person, I find I have to go somewhere outside of this school for other spiritual resources, as it is an entirely un-inspiring religion when it comes to social change and visions for a better world.
The one thing this school really seems to offer--the possibility of living a more peaceful life--leaves me a bit cold, and almost seems immoral to me at times; I think, "Shouldn't people feel driven to change their lives and change the world for the better? Shouldn't people not be at peace with the current state of the world? Shouldn't people plugged into Truth see that there's something wrong with this world and feel driven to work for a better, more just world?" Wouldn't a true person want to do more than just passively "desist from evil," but also want to actively realize Good? And in our modern world, couldn't we say that a life of quiet acceptance of "everyday life" is a form of evil, that in its passivity allows the world's evils to go on unchallenged? We cannot say any more that a person ceases from actively accomplishing evil by simply being a nice person who does not actively seek to harm others; given that most of us buy products or enjoy benefits from enterprises that are harmful and destructive, it seems our very existence is a sort of evil if we do not take up the call to do something more than just get by...
In 1967, the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., said, "Now, I've chosen to preach about the war in Vietnam because I agree with Dante, that the hottest places in hell are reserved for those who in a period of moral crisis maintain their neutrality. There comes a time when silence becomes betrayal."
What do you all think?