Quote Originally Posted by unofficialsamurai
Talking about Awakening in general is something that kinda puts us in a catch 22. In this practice of shikantaza one moment of sitting is one moment of Buddha, so by sitting we do not need to seek awakening. But, the reason why a lot of us started practice is to seek that awakening. But to seek awakening is just another desire, and desires block our path. To not seek, we are not going to find anything because how can we find something without putting in the effort? So where do we stand?

I see the whole awakening concept as a musician learning to play an instrument. Someone who starts to play the violin will, of course, not be so good in the beginning. But after hours of practice we make the shift between beginner and ‘Ok’ but when does that sift happen? Is there a moment when all of a sudden you go from beginner to ‘Ok’? No, instead it is more like a flow, we flow into the ‘Ok’ state without much awareness of it happening, but there is the awareness of us getting better at it. And then we reach the point when we can play a really difficult concerto, and we are thrilled, but just like before there is not a moment when we go from not being able to play to being able to play. Again it is a flowing from one state to another. But when we reached that state we want to go tell everyone, and let them hear us play. (Kensho) But in reality our concerto is still not that great. But as we continue to practice we get better at it, until we are no longer playing notes but are living the notes, understanding why each one has to be played. Then we reached the point where it becomes second nature to play, and it becomes no big deal. We understand more of the nature of music but it no longer becomes a big deal to us. (Great awakening)


And it's ALL our Symphony, ALL the music ... even the sometime missed notes and broken strings that even a Maestro may suffer (in fact, part of being a "virtuoso" is knowing how to handle a broken string mid-concert).

Only the Buddhas play Golden Harps with never a flat note. Of course, a fellow playing/sitting 30 years will hit less bad notes than the beginner who just picks up the instrument (whether violin, Zafu, all of life) for the first time. Until we cut that "Best Of Buddha at the Budokan" CD, we just have to do as we can in these ever changing, ever new live performances.

How does one get to Carnegie Hall? PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE

Now, get on that Zafu and PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE!

Gassho, J (music teacher)

PS - I put this on another thread today, but it fits here too ...

This is part of the Koan of Practice. There is no enlightenment beyond Shikantaza, which is itself perfect enlightenment. Nothing more to attain, no place more to get to. Zazen is Buddha all along. However, that attainment of radical non-attainment, to the marrow, will revolutionize one's living of this life-world-self! Buddha will be realized in this life, and we will rise from the Zafu and seek to live a bit more like Buddha, in a bit more "enlightened way". Along the way, there are times and places where ALL TIME AND SPACE drop away, times when one feels like one is just wasting boring time ... yet ALL is sacred, all the arriving in every step, all just Buddha (boring moments are just 'Boring Buddha'). What is more, after unceasing, diligent effort of a lifetime ... countless lifetimes ... we will all become Golden Buddhas. ALL TRUE. ... ... This is the Koan of Practice. Master all these Truths AT ONCE!