Treeleaf Founder and Priest
A Non-Self Fulfilling Prophesy
Your thinking my description is something hard and out of reach is what makes it hard and out of reach, I think. It is, in fact, an "experience" that anybody can learn to taste any time ... Maybe you are thinking about this wrong.
Originally Posted by CharlesC
I sometimes compare what we do to those trick Chinese finger cuffs. Remember those?
You pull and you pull, thinking you must escape or obtain something ... and the cuffs just tighten. However, completely give up, relax, stop trying ... and you slip right out. Well, the way to relax and be still is not to try to "relax and be still" ... but to do nothing, relax and be still. Let it be, let it go ...
I am not talking about some mind blowing, angels sang and the heavens opened Kensho (though that might happen sometimes). I am talking about an ATTITUDE toward Zazen that makes or breaks Zazen.
Please understand what I am about to say fully:
If you simply sit with the attitude that your Zazen in that moment is "perfectly whole, just complete unto itself, without borders and duration, not long or short, nothing to add or take away, containing all moments and no moments in "this one moment" ... then IT IS! IT IS because you learn to treat and taste it as so. Your learning how to treat it as so, makes it so. If you can learn to sit there feeling about Zazen, and all of life, that "there is not one thing to add or take away" ... then, guess what: there is not one thing to add or take away precisely because you feel that way. Each moment is perfectly whole when you can see each moment as perfectly whole. Time stops when you stop thinking about time. Each instant of time is perfect when you think it perfect.
Strange, huh? But you are in the driver's seat.
It is a kind of self-fulfilling prophesy (or, in our case, a "non self"-fulfilling prophesy).
I often compare our Practice to tightrope walking too ...
... also seemingly impossible, until you learn how to do it. And a lot of that also involves relaxing, not trying, and just doing it (or so I have heard )
I do not think that "piercing Dukkha, attaining non-self, tasting non-attachment" is much trickier than that. Over time, ya just kinda relax into that (in our Soto way).
I sometimes say that Zazen (Shikantaza style) is sat because it is one-pointed pointlessness. Yes, even though we seek no 'benefits' from that, and know that there is nothing to attain ... that does not mean that learning though-and-through to seek no benefit ... is not a GREAT BENEFIT, and that reaching to-the-marrow nothing to attain is not a GREAT ATTAINMENT! :shock:
What truly makes Shikantaza as Shikantaza is that no special state is being sought, no wild satori, no enlightenment apart from just what is. There is no goal, nothing to obtain ...
... with the proviso, of course, that truly achieving to-the-marrow non-achievement, and obtaining the goal of radical goallessnes is a world shaking achievement and attainment! :shock:
We are not seeking a particular state of awareness of awareness ... Of course, sometimes such states will come, sometimes they will not come. We just move on, seeking nothing by not seeking ... thus finding everything.
You see ... it is the little "self" that needs, feels "lack", needs to "get" somewhere other than where it is, cannot be still. "Just Sit" Zazen without seeking to find ... and the "self" is put out of a job, body-mind dropped away.
And, you know, every so often, the heavens do open and the angels sing too!