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Thread: A Few Shikantaza Misunderstandings

  1. #1

    A Few Shikantaza Misunderstandings

    Hi,

    In my view, the following are some common misunderstandings regarding Shikantaza. Or, better said, different baseball teachers may teach somewhat different ways to throw the ball. This is as I see it and emphasize here ...

    I - "Just Sitting" is only to sit in the "Full Lotus Position" and no other position:

    Japanese culture can be a bit rigid and incessant on the one "right" way to do any action, be it to pour a cup of tea (this is a cultural aspect of the traditional arts) or crossing the street, and about pushing oneself to conform to that 'One Way or the Highway' ... called a 'Kata' (if anyone has martial arts experience). Such teachers may tend to emphasize that the one and only way to sit Zazen is in the "Lotus Position". Here is a little description of "Kata" (I cannot verify the source of the following, but I can verify the conclusion from 20 years living in Japan):

    .... an immovable set of rules that govern what is and what is not accepted as acceptable behavior or thinking in japan ... In reality, there are many “Ways” to do most things in Japan, although each group will have a tendency to claim that its pattern is “the Way.” As a medical researcher who has participated in procedures and experiments at many dozens of Japanese hospitals, universities and the like, I know that no two groups ever will follow exactly the same patterns. Each, however, will have a tendency to explain that its way is “the Way,” usually because the most senior person in the group will have come to that conclusion after having learned it to be the thinking of some other person ... that the senior person respects. (Also, one must be very careful in suggesting that a competing group might have a better way which contradicts the opinion of a senior member of group). Every group in every culture does this, but what is unusual in Japan is the inflexible, almost mechanical way the system operates. The emphasis on proper “Kata” (Boye de Menthe has a wonderful, hard to find little book on this) in Japanese society is reminiscent of any conservative, tradition based culture, though unique in the way is has developed to permit a functioning, industrial society.
    On the other hand, as with Oryoki eating (a wonderful example of "Kata"), there is a beauty in the fixed form that one literally can lose ones' 'self' in. So, "Kata" is also a very very good thing, don't misunderstand me on that point. Conforming to "classic" form has very many beneficial aspects. I am a big big fan of Oryoki and other Kata practices, and I teach them. In fact, Dogen seems to have only talked about the Lotus Position (no seiza benches for him in the 13th century), and my own teacher, Nishijima says that folks should sit in the Lotus Position (and he is not too open to alternatives ... he rightly says that some folks reject the Lotus position and such before really giving it a try). Uchiyama Roshi has said some things in his book that place him more or less in that category.

    But when this is carried too far, the "Lotus Position" itself can come to be thought of as having some "magic power", or fetishized as working some miraculous psycho-physiological effect on the body to lead to "Satori". But that is not the meaning, I believe, of "sitting in the Lotus Position is enlightenment itself".

    It is, rather, "sitting in the Lotus Position as a 'pure' act, the one and only act in the universe at that moment'. The Lotus Position itself is not the point. It is "doing one pure act in one moment". (Although, truly, the Lotus Position does have many advantages in allowing us to forget the body, and balance the body, leading to balance in mind ... chair sitting, for example, is just not as good in that way)

    Well, in the fat thighed, bad back West, many folks just cannot manage the Lotus Position. So, the emphasis has changed slightly: As opposed to "sitting in the Lotus Position as a 'pure' act, the one and only act in the universe at that moment' ... it has changed to 'sitting as a pure act, the one and only act in the universe at that moment'. In other words, "sitting in a chair is enlightenment itself' is true too if approached with that attitude. Do "chair sitting" as a Kata!

    By the way, while Dogen and others emphasized that sitting Zazen is "enlightenment itself", they also taught that everything is "Zazen" if approached that way. Dogen sometimes said that Zazen is only sitting (not walking, running, standing or lying down), but he also said that Zazen is walking, running, standing or lying down (that guy knew how to talk out of both sides of his mouth!) So, I teach that perspective too here at Treeleaf.

    2- The point of "Shikantaza" is "Not Thinking".

    All through the history of Buddhism, and many Eastern religions, has been the emphasis by some on attaining states in which thought and perhaps all consciousness are extinguished in various ways. There are forms of meditation that do reach such states. We may even, at times, experience this in our "Shikanataza" meditation. However, I believe that Dogen's meaning of "think not thinking = non-thinking" is much more subtle than this, much more practical. Dogen wrote this in his Fukanzazengi ...


    "...Once you have adjusted your posture, take a breath and exhale fully, rock your body right and left, and settle into steady, immovable sitting. Think of not thinking. Not thinking: What kind of thinking is that? Letting thoughts go (Nonthinking). This is the essential art of zazen. "
    I describe "nonthnking" in another way too, for example, as having "thoughts, goals, likes and dislikes" on one channel ... while simultaneously dropping "thoughts, goals, likes and dislikes" on another channel, not two. It is not about always being in a state of deep Samadhi in which thoughts (and even consciousness) vanish. There is no evidence in Dogen's writings that he meant such states or that, if such a state were sometimes tasted (which we do taste), we should remain there. (I know some drugs you can inject in your veins that will get you "there" faster than Zazen!). Nor is this practice about being in a coma or a deep deep sleep. Rather, it is about being alive and awake!

    Some teachers of Shikanataza, often coming from a Rinzai influence, believe that Dogen meant that we should use Zazen to attain deep states of "not thinking" as the ultimate goal of practice. I don't think so (pun intended), and I see no evidence that he meant that. Or that the Buddha meant that, for that matter.

    3- "Shikantaza" should be a strenuous effort, sweat pouring from your brow as if your "hair were on fire."


    Again, I usually hear this from some lineages heavily impacted by a hard "Rinzai' approach (usually connected to the "Harada-Yasutani" school, which includes the Diamond Sangha, "Three Pillars of Zen" Kapleau Roshi, the early Maezumi Roshi/White Plum lineage, Sanbokyodan and others.). Push push push to "Break through".

    In fact, I believe that Dogen's way and meaning was much more subtle. I sometimes say that the Rinzai folks like to punch a hole through the wall separating "self" and "other" by using dynamite, while Dogen was like the air itself ... gently filling all the cracks in the bricks, both this side and the other, and even the bricks themselves until all is just as whole and clear as the air. Oh, there may be days to push ourselves hard ... times to just relax and go with the flow ... but, in all cases, just be the flowing.

    6- Something like "Shikantaza" is only for advanced practitioners.

    That was not Dogen's teaching. He recommended Shikantaza as a universal practice for everyone, and it is.

    5- "Shikantaza" is a breathing practice.

    Buddhism does have some forms of meditation that emphasize ways of breathing to bring about certain mental states. Also, in Soto Zen, we do teach counting the breaths and such as a way to settle the mind for beginners or at times when the mind may be unusually turbulent and disturbed. But I see no sign that Dogen meant counting the breath, or awareness of the breath as the heart of Shikantaza. In fact, he said quite the opposite, and just said to let the breath take its natural rhythm.

    More on "just breathing" here ...

    http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showt...nners-%2811%29

    Gassho, J
    Last edited by Jundo; 01-30-2017 at 01:52 AM.

  2. #2

    Re: A Few Shikantaza Misunderstandings

    Thank you for that Jundo!!


    Many Bows

    Seiryu

  3. #3
    Treeleaf Unsui Shokai's Avatar
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    Re: A Few Shikantaza Misunderstandings

    Jundo;
    Thank you for the analogy

    As a baseball coach I'm not as concerned with how you throw a ball as I am with how you field it. As in life, can you be yourself as you mingle with others?

  4. #4
    In my beginning practice, I'm struggling mightily with a racing mind and obtrusive, banal thoughts. And the second I manage to separate myself from them, even momentarily, my head is abuzz with thoughts like "Look, I'm doing it this time! Aren't I doing well? I wonder how long I can keep doing this..." so that, of course, I'm no longer doing it at all! It's as though "I" am doing everything to oppose "my"efforts. Yesterday, in an effort to give myselfsomething better to do, I repeated the mantra from the end of the Heart Sutra, and then watched my breathing; which worked a little (until the thoughts "this seems to be working. I wonder if I'm doing it right" started to well up). So, my question is, can I continue to use a mantra and/or breathing concentration, or am I thereby no longer "doing Shikantaza"? Or should I just not care about the thoughts. How do I detach myself from them, without adopting a superior stance, that only sets up another persona within myself to comment on the less proficient persona?

    I've always thought of myself as a pretty calm, rational person -- I never suspected my interior life was so chaotic!

    Robert.

  5. #5
    Thank you Jundo ... being an Aikidoka we do not use katas in our technics, but do with the jo and bokken. I know for myself those katas have done great things for my technic and have allowed me to find my center (hara), which in Aikido, is very important.

    Gassho,
    Michael

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by RobertG View Post
    In my beginning practice, I'm struggling mightily with a racing mind and obtrusive, banal thoughts. And the second I manage to separate myself from them, even momentarily, my head is abuzz with thoughts like "Look, I'm doing it this time! Aren't I doing well? I wonder how long I can keep doing this..." so that, of course, I'm no longer doing it at all! It's as though "I" am doing everything to oppose "my"efforts. Yesterday, in an effort to give myselfsomething better to do, I repeated the mantra from the end of the Heart Sutra, and then watched my breathing; which worked a little (until the thoughts "this seems to be working. I wonder if I'm doing it right" started to well up). So, my question is, can I continue to use a mantra and/or breathing concentration, or am I thereby no longer "doing Shikantaza"? Or should I just not care about the thoughts. How do I detach myself from them, without adopting a superior stance, that only sets up another persona within myself to comment on the less proficient persona?

    I've always thought of myself as a pretty calm, rational person -- I never suspected my interior life was so chaotic!

    Robert.
    Hi Robert,

    Shikantanza is a bit like ... and not much harder than ... learning to ride a bicycle. Seems hard before ya find the balance and just ride, but even a kid can do so!

    Although a wonderful practice, following or counting the breath (a mantra too, I suppose) is a wonderful practice ... but we encourage those around here as "training wheels on the bike" before settling into the open, spacious awareness ... focused on everything and nothing in particular ... letting thoughts come and go without getting caught up in them ... of Shikantaza.

    should I just not care about the thoughts. How do I detach myself from them, without adopting a superior stance

    Let thoughts come and go without latching on to them, finding the quiet space in between. If finding oneself caught in a train of thought, daydreaming or the like ... NO PROBLEM! Just let the train go, return to the quiet space. Repeat endlessly as needed. No need to detach, no need to latch on.

    And drop all judgments of superior or inferior. Just sit.

    Have you had a chance to sit with our Beginner's (We're All Always Beginners) talks yet?

    http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/forum...-FOR-NEW-FOLKS

    Gassho, Jundo
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

    #SAT TODAY!

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    Hi Robert,

    Shikantanza is a bit like ... and not much harder than ... learning to ride a bicycle. Seems hard before ya find the balance and just ride, but even a kid can do so!

    Although a wonderful practice, following or counting the breath (a mantra too, I suppose) is a wonderful practice ... but we encourage those around here as "training wheels on the bike" before settling into the open, spacious awareness ... focused on everything and nothing in particular ... letting thoughts come and go without getting caught up in them ... of Shikantaza.

    should I just not care about the thoughts. How do I detach myself from them, without adopting a superior stance

    Let thoughts come and go without latching on to them, finding the quiet space in between. If finding oneself caught in a train of thought, daydreaming or the like ... NO PROBLEM! Just let the train go, return to the quiet space. Repeat endlessly as needed. No need to detach, no need to latch on.

    And drop all judgments of superior or inferior. Just sit.

    Have you had a chance to sit with our Beginner's (We're All Always Beginners) talks yet?

    http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/forum...-FOR-NEW-FOLKS

    Gassho, Jundo
    Yes, I'm working my way through them, one a day, and finding them all greatly useful. I'm also going to go through the intro talks on buddhism etc.

    Thanks for the advice. Will try to keep this attitude (without constantly observing mentally that I'm keeping this attitude). I'm encouraged to hear that it's more of a mental (spiritual?) habit than a technique to learn.

    Namo Amida butsu! Robert.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by RobertG View Post

    Namo Amida butsu! Robert.
    If you are coming from a Chinese Chan group (and I comment without knowing your particular teachers), there is a chance that they may have emphasized sitting more to attain some concentrated state of Samadhi removed from thought, or chanting of a Mantra to attain some sensation of peacefulness or "one with Buddha" or the like. These are all lovely practices.

    Shikantaza, though, is more centered on encountering the Peace and Stillness right in/amid/behind/as the stuff and noise of the world ... so we tend to look at those other practices as directed toward removing one from here and this ordinary world. Thus, we sit with our eyes open so as not to shut out the world, and we allow thoughts to come and go ... although not getting caught up in the thoughts, and tasting the Peace and Stillness right in/amid/behind/as the thoughts too. This is our definition of "Zen Samadhi" ... neither falling into the traps of the world, nor pushing the world away, but experiencing this messy world with the light of a Buddha's eyes.

    The Pure Land is right here, there, in the beautiful and in the ugly of this life, inside you and out when found as such.

    Namo Amida Butsu! Jundo
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

    #SAT TODAY!

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    The Pure Land is right here, there, in the beautiful and in the ugly of this life, inside you and out when found as such.

    Namo Amida Butsu! Jundo
    One of my favorite haikus, Issa's death poem, frozen in an empty warehouse in midwinter:

    Code:
    There are thanks to be given:
        This snow on the bedquilt --
            It too is from heaven.

  10. #10
    Thank you Jundo for describing this in such careful words.

    I describe "nonthnking" in another way too, for example, as having "thoughts, goals, likes and dislikes" on one channel ... while simultaneously dropping "thoughts, goals, likes and dislikes" on another channel, not two.
    I just wanted to quickly check with you if the last bit ... 'on another channel, not two' was intentionally written that way?

    Gassho,
    Santosh.

  11. #11
    Thank you for this teaching, Jundo.

    Gassho,

    Kyonin
    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

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by ecoist View Post
    Thank you Jundo ... being an Aikidoka we do not use katas in our technics, but do with the jo and bokken. I know for myself those katas have done great things for my technic and have allowed me to find my center (hara), which in Aikido, is very important.
    Yes! Kata helped me find hara and has left a lot of learning in my life. In Nishio Aikido we have them for jo and bokken, but also for learning some elbow defenses.

    At any rate, kata not only teaches us procedures to do certain things, but teaches us discipline and persistence. And those are great values for sitting.

    Gassho,

    Kyonin
    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

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by santosh View Post

    I just wanted to quickly check with you if the last bit ... 'on another channel, not two' was intentionally written that way?

    Gassho,
    Santosh.
    Yes, that "not two" is "Zenspeak", developed over the centuries to leap beyond and through dualities where words can mislead.

    Saying that "A and B" (like "Santosh" and "Jundo") are "not two" means that they are two things, but not two things, not even one thing. Like binary code in which the Zeros and the Ones, are Zerone, are Onezer, are much more than that ... even not "are" or "are not".

    Don't ask me, Santosh. Indian and Chinese programmers came up with the code a few thousand years ago.

    Gassho, J
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

    #SAT TODAY!

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    Yes, that "not two" is "Zenspeak", developed over the centuries to leap beyond and through dualities where words can mislead.

    Saying that "A and B" (like "Santosh" and "Jundo") are "not two" means that they are two things, but not two things, not even one thing. Like binary code in which the Zeros and the Ones, are Zerone, are Onezer, are much more than that ... even not "are" or "are not".

    Don't ask me, Santosh. Indian and Chinese programmers came up with the code a few thousand years ago.

    Gassho, J
    When sitting I did observe more than one channel and goes something as follows:

    ... thought passing through ...
    (interrupt)
    ... don't interfere ...
    (interrupt)

    ... and so on. There is this back and forth.

    Thank you for this teaching! Will sit and observe.

    Gassho,
    Santosh.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by santosh View Post
    When sitting I did observe more than one channel and goes something as follows:

    ... thought passing through ...
    (interrupt)
    ... don't interfere ...
    (interrupt)

    ... and so on. There is this back and forth.

    Thank you for this teaching! Will sit and observe.

    Gassho,
    Santosh.
    Don't even try so hard.

    Thoughts come ... just don't grab them.

    If tangled in trains of thought ... just return to the space between thoughts.

    Repeat, repeat. Take it easy, no stress.

    As simple as riding a bicycle.

    Gassho, J
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

    #SAT TODAY!

  16. #16
    The interaction of thought and awareness is some dance. I can very easily get caught in a thought and before I know it (a half breathe later) built an entire castle of mental image, emotion and tension. Finding an awareness that each part of the body, mind and universe has during all of this is a challenge.

    Gassho for the teaching.

    Charlie

  17. #17
    Hi Charlie!

    Quote Originally Posted by charst46 View Post
    The interaction of thought and awareness is some dance.
    Yes, I agree, a process, a flow, a dance. Sometimes very still, but still flowing, dancing.

    I can very easily get caught in a thought and before I know it (a half breathe later) built an entire castle of mental image, emotion and tension.
    That's great!
    Some people are tense all the time and never let themselves get caught in a thought. You are also very easily liberated from thought right?

    Finding an awareness that each part of the body, mind and universe has during all of this is a challenge.
    Realizing that the challenge is an illusion is a challenge!
    As Jundo said, stop trying so much.
    The awareness that includes body-mind and the universe is always there. But it's not always obvious. We refuse to let go of the castle of mental image. Becoming mindful of this awareness is a matter of practice. Practice IS enlightenment. As soon as you practice whole-heartedly, in a way, you are as enlightened as you will ever be!

    Gassho,
    Pontus
    Last edited by Omoi Otoshi; 12-23-2012 at 08:13 AM.
    In a spring outside time, flowers bloom on a withered tree;
    you ride a jade elephant backwards, chasing the winged dragon-deer;
    now as you hide far beyond innumerable peaks--
    the white moon, a cool breeze, the dawn of a fortunate day

  18. #18
    I'm new to meditation and if I focus on the breath it is quite intoxicating! I feel very calm and peaceful and then I get sleepy. Just my observation of meditating and focusing on the breath.

    Gassho,

    Anneliese
    Sat Today

  19. #19
    Member Seishin-Do's Avatar
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    I'd like to thank Anneliese for making the above post and as a result bringing this thread to my attention. I found Jundo's explanation of what is and what is not Shikantaza very informative and extremely interesting.

    Jundo - I think this now gives me some insight into your comment regarding TPZ in your reply to my registration. Back when I found Zen, as an extension from my interest in Bushido, whilst learning / teaching Wado-Ryu, Muchin-Do and Kobujutsu, I epitomized the snorting/wheezing Zafu Dragon, as my only guide had been TPZ and Sekida's Zen Training both Renzai influenced. Now I've read Suzuki's ZMBM again, I realize how different the two approaches are. My sitting may have helped quieten the Monkey Mind I suffered as a result of work butit never got beyond that and I saw zazen as almost another workout, whilst I exhaled below the horizon (?).

    In the last few short weeks of just sitting and allowing the breath to just be what it is and allowing the clouds to just float on by (easier said than done), I am now beginning to slowly experience an inner clam that I have been seeking for so long. Yes it was there all along but hidden by my perspective. But I now feel I can carry this with me throughout the day (most of the time). I am learning to let things go and not get wound up by unimportant things or actions. Its taken 60 years to get here, where I've been all the time but I feel my journey has truly started, step by small step.

    Many thanks for all the guidance and support available here at Treeleaf.

    Gassho

    Toby
    Sat Yesterday - soon to sit today

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    Shikantaza, though, is more centered on encountering the Peace and Stillness right in/amid/behind/as the stuff and noise of the world ... so we tend to look at those other practices as directed toward removing one from here and this ordinary world. Thus, we sit with our eyes open so as not to shut out the world, and we allow thoughts to come and go ... although not getting caught up in the thoughts, and tasting the Peace and Stillness right in/amid/behind/as the thoughts too. This is our definition of "Zen Samadhi" ... neither falling into the traps of the world, nor pushing the world away, but experiencing this messy world with the light of a Buddha's eyes.

    The Pure Land is right here, there, in the beautiful and in the ugly of this life, inside you and out when found as such.

    Namo Amida Butsu! Jundo
    This was me this morning ...... literally sitting right in the middle of a major mess, being the mess, surrounded by the mess, letting the mess flow out of me, not fighting the mess, and all around me, but also the mess subsided after a while and the peace came through also.

    How easily I forget these things. The impermanence, the transience of it all. Remembering that it is all ok, as it is, and that it all passes. Thank you.

    Gassho
    Kim
    sat today
    You do not get to choose the crises that transform you.

  21. #21
    Thank you Jundo for your words of guidance and encouregment. Its true its easy to think of the Full lotus posture as Major League Zazen, something to aim for and maybe someday accomplish. Shure took me a long time to realise there is a big difference between painting a perfect Zen picture on the outside and following the Way in our harts and minds. Sitting while doing dishes, scrubbing the floors or folding clothes for the sake of the job in itself or chore at hand. Nothing exotic, esotheric or sexy to see when "sitting" peeling potatoes. At the same time a most important and meningfull act. Shure wish I could manage the perfect posture though, maybe someday I will break my own leg to force it into position
    Again thank you for once again patiantly and lovingly clarefying this important point.

    Gassho

    MyoHo

    sat today
    stich by stich....

  22. #22
    I concur with the person earlier. I feel as though focus on the breath just leads me to be more sleepy (if I don't get enough sleep) and I keep nodding on the zafu. It could be a tool on the belt but it may have it's place in practice and not used for every situation?

    Chelsea
    Sat2day

    Sent from my LGLS675 using Tapatalk

  23. #23
    Thanks Jundo,

    Gassho,
    Enjaku
    Sat
    援若

  24. #24
    Thank you Jundo. I appreciated the clarifications. The dynamite analogy was particularly helpful to me.

    Gassho,
    Seido
    SatToday
    The strength and beneficence of the soft and yielding.
    Water achieves clarity through stillness.

  25. #25
    I began to sit about four year before joining Treeleaf Sangha, for me it is a Sangha, and I sense those around me, so when I began, there was only me sitting in an easy chair counting breath, and then I began to feel out to Facebook possibilities and an older man Dave told me of two ways I could go. One, practice, always one on one with his teacher via Skype; Two, Treeleaf with a teacher and a body of people. At that time I had only heard the name Sangha, but as I began to read, and to look around, well first I was very, very ill, not once but three times, in the space of 10 months coming close to death three times, well when this happens to a person their life changes. I began to see myself as being responsible and having responsibilities, well my life changed, and I had dropped about 60 lbs. and then another 30. I had gone from 260 lbs. to about 170, and my body showed it, well, I began sitting in the easy chair counting one to four then one to ten, and if I did not make it to ten just to start from one. So I looked into Treeleaf, and really I don't know how it happened, I became a member of Treeleaf, and to this day I don't know how I uploaded my picture, and one of the priests said, yes we have it, and then I relaxed into real membership with the name Elgwyn, my middle name, and a start date, and I began to practice sitting in a more straight back chair, and for longer times without counting, and then came Jukai and the Rakusu, and the ceremony, with deep appreciation, via computer, I stood there in sport coat an tie, nice slacks, dress shoes, and I had a Dharma Name Tai Shi, Calm Poetry, reflecting what my whole life was about. Then I sat longer, by myself, and maybe I could not bend my knees, and then my back and my neck, and horrible pain. Today I practice often with others, and I find the Heart Sutra, all my reading and the verse of atonement, and the robe verse--all this means so much to me, but that's really not the point, the point is to sit, just sit. Ten, fifteen, twenty, thirty, forty-five minutes are meaningless. It is to breath, for me find the posture in a chair, my skeleton is shot, and it does not work anymore, so I do not count, I find my breath, and I sit with a Priest, and he chants The Heart Sutra, early in the morning, sometime late, and Robe Verse the beautiful Robe of liberation, my Rakusu which someone made a gift to me from the Sangha my dim green Rakusu with beautiful calligraphy of my Sangha, and my Dharma name, and this teaching, and when I take it from the bag my beautiful silver wife stitched for me, the black, lined with silver and white satin, all of life is a gift, my robe is the Rakusu AND I always know where it is, and I sit with all these gifts, and the the point is just to sit, yes just sit. Shinkantaza. Each morning a young beginning, in my 60 s.

    Tai Shi
    std
    Gassho
    Last edited by Tai Shi; 01-31-2017 at 04:14 PM.
    The end is to know the beginning for the first time, and to know the beginning is to know the end.

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