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Thread: The point of Shikantaza-based Zen practice...

  1. #51

    Re: The point of Shikantaza-based Zen practice...

    Quote Originally Posted by Skye
    "Buji-zen" very interesting. I found this post from alt.zen in 1995 (ooh ancient history!)

    [
    I definitely agree that "acknowledgment" may be a less misleading term than "acceptance" but may not go far enough. Sometimes the acknowledgment of reality as-it-is is blown off as trivial or an intellectual exercise, but it needs to be deeper than that.

    -Skye
    Hi Skye,

    Regarding the definition of "buji zen", I have run across another definition so I think maybe the definition per ZCLA in the 1970's may be peculiar to that time and place. But I have found that particular definition handy.

    And thank you for the wonderful quote.

    I am hoping you can expand on "it needs to be deeper than that" (and just so I am clear, can you specify what "it" refers to?)

    thanks,
    rowan

  2. #52

    Re: The point of Shikantaza-based Zen practice...

    Hi Guys,

    Usually, the term "Buji Zen" is not used these days in a positive sense. Here is a typical sampling ...

    Buji Zen - False zen practice. Those who rationalize "since Buddha-Nature is intrinsically with us, there is no need to practice Zazen", neglecting all the effort needed to overthrow delusion.

    http://www.maximumbliss.com/zen%20dictionary.asp

    [Jundo Note]

    The first kind of sickness is sometimes called buji Zen. Buji means “nothing matters;” an “everything-is-OK” kind of Zen. The second sickness is the belief or attitude that we need to practice in order to attain enlightenment as some kind of fancy experience, after which everything becomes OK — that we have no problems at all after such an enlightened experience. This is the belief that, at a point, we become so-called enlightened persons.

    These are two basic sicknesses in Zen practice, according to Dogen.


    http://www.sanshinji.org/Sp04.shtml
    So, we have to work very diligently to sit every day, and strive with great effort, all to realize that there is nothing to attain ... It is the way of effortless effort. We must aim carefully for the goalless goal!

    Being the "Buddha" all along, and having not a thing about you that is in need of change ... that does not mean you don't have some work to do to realize truly that you are the Buddha without need of change. To realize that you are never, from the outset, in need of change is a VERY BIG CHANGE! There is absolutely nothing about you and the universe (not two) to add or take away, and tasting that there is "nothing to add" is an important addition!

    And how do you realize that non-realization?

    By Just sitting to-the-marrow, radically dropping all goals, judgments, attempts to get somewhere or to achieve some realization. That gets you somewhere, and a revolutionary realization!

    Get how that goes? :shock:

    Only then might one perhaps know "Buji" in its positive meaning ... such as here [from Eido Shimano Roshi, phrased with a bit of RInzai spice] ...


    I would like to mention that the most important teaching of Master Rinzai is buji. This term appears more than twenty times in The Book of Rinzai, but there is no English word that reflects exactly what buji expresses.

    Bu means no or negation. Ji is event, matter, action, phenomenon, affair, or thing. Literally, buji means to negate all ji. What does that mean? Life is ji. Getting old is ji. Sickness is ji. Passing away is also ji. In fact, from morning to night, we are ji itself. We have a tendency to think that by doing various practices (ji), we can reach a point where delusions disappear and there is nothing further to seek. This view is a deception. How could reality be altered by practice? Yet you may ask, if buji implies doing nothing, then why do we have to practice? Isn’t “doing nothing,” in the usual passive sense of the phrase, enough? At the same time, isn’t our very being one of ji? And isn’t our very being the source of all our problems and suffering? Can we negate or transcend our own limited being?

    When we completely realize the true nature of the universe, what seems to be ji is in fact none other than buji. There is nothing to do, no matter how hard we try. From a slightly different perspective, the closest English word to buji is “now” or “as-it-is.” Right now, can you improve now-ness or as-it-is-ness? The answer is obviously no. At this very moment, can you or your circumstances be otherwise? When you understand that this present moment is all there is, you have no choice but to come to a radical acceptance. And it is this radical acceptance that is none other than true peace and composure. Buji means to be one with suchness, the unconditional nature of “let it be,” with nothing wanting, nothing superfluous.

    ...

    [But] I must mention one caution: in the Zen tradition, we often hear expressions such as “suchness” and “accept things as they are.” While these statements are true, they may be a bit misleading. There is an unspoken, underlying truth that things are changing moment by moment. Accepting suchness does not mean that no effort is necessary on your part. A spinning top appears to be stationary, despite being in motion. It is precisely this motion that keeps the top suspended upright. In much the same way, the man of buji is the busiest man, as he needs to change himself and improve himself moment by moment. This is the significance of our practice.
    Now, it is time to get to work.

    Gassho, Jundo

    PS- Yesterday's discussion of effortlessly combing our childrens' hair ... an excellent moment of Buji!

    PPS - This is very important topic. I think I will make it the subject of my talk on the "Sit-a-Long" tonight.

  3. #53

    Re: The point of Shikantaza-based Zen practice...

    [But] I must mention one caution: in the Zen tradition, we often hear expressions such as “suchness” and “accept things as they are.” While these statements are true, they may be a bit misleading. There is an unspoken, underlying truth that things are changing moment by moment. Accepting suchness does not mean that no effort is necessary on your part. A spinning top appears to be stationary, despite being in motion. It is precisely this motion that keeps the top suspended upright. In much the same way, the man of buji is the busiest man, as he needs to change himself and improve himself moment by moment. This is the significance of our practice.
    Note: If intellectualized a certain way, for ego "everything is perfect as it is", can become a justification for bad habits, craving, greed and complacency.

    Gassho

  4. #54
    disastermouse
    Guest

    Re: The point of Shikantaza-based Zen practice...

    I strongly believe in the value of dialogue and debate, and in the simple power of presenting a different point of view, a different vision of how things can be, which people can then take or leave.
    People have been exposed to these grand ideas for millenia and they have been ignoring them for nearly as long. The views have been presented and should continue to be expressed, but as soon as you get pissed, depressed, or upset that people aren't listening - you're saying 'no' to the way the world is.

    Zen is a religion of last resort. People only resort to Zen after they begin to see that attempts to create a 'better' situation don't vanquish suffering.

    Opposition validates the value-structure upon which the behavior you oppose relies.

    "What at this very moment is missing?" - Lin Chi

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