People often ask me about "right" Zazen and "wrong" Zazen. They want to know if their Practice is doing alright, and whether there is some "litmus test" ...
Well, there is no simple answer ... but I have found that the following 'rule of thumb' might help one know if their Practice is moving in the right direction:
Of course, a key to our way is the dropping of all thought of "right and wrong" ...
There is no way to do Zazen "wrong"
... even when you are doing it completely "wrong"
. However, that does not mean that there's not a wrong and right
way to it! (Sound like a Koan)
Thus, allowing things to just be the way they are, no judging, not resisting, being with the flow, allowing 'happy' days to be happy and 'sad' days to be sad, all while dropping all idea of 'happy' and 'sad', whether really enjoying or really not enjoying ... fully dropping away any and all thought of doing Zazen 'right' or doing it 'wrong' ... THIS IS DOING IT RIGHT. And when you are doing it right, it will usually feel like you are doing it right, for there is no resistance, and a great sense of balance.
Fighting things, wishing things were some other way than how they are, judging, resisting, going against the grain and the flow, wishing 'sad' days were happy or 'happy' days were happier ... filled with a sense of self bumping up against all the other 'selfs', with a mind held by thoughts of doing Zazen 'right' or doing it 'wrong' ... THIS IS DOING ZAZEN WRONG. And when you are doing it wrong, it will usually feel like you are doing it wrong, for there is resistance, and a sense of imbalance.
But as well, even at those times when Zazen feels 'wrong
', when there is resistance or imbalance ... it is still 'right
', still 'Zazen', still just what it is. IT CANNOT BE WRONG
. This last point is vital to understanding. It's all a pretty good 'litmus test' too.
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