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Thread: Zazen vs Shikantaza

  1. #1

    Zazen vs Shikantaza

    Good morning my friends

    I have been reading the many comments on Zazen and Shikantaza. I've also been reading the attachments and links on the main Soto page.

    My understanding is that Zazen seems goal oriented, ie: breathing, koan, etc., where Shikantaza is just sitting, letting all thoughts drop away, like grasping water.

    Can you clarify or point to a way of undetstanding this better?

    My answer is to sit.


  2. #2
    Hi Frank,

    Zazen means "Seated Zen". There are two main forms, "Koan Instrospection" (such as pouring oneself into a Koan or phrase from a Koan such as "MU!") and "Just Sitting" Shikantaza. The former is most commonly undertaken by Rinzai Zen (and mixed Rinzai-Soto) Lineages, and the latter by Soto folks. At Treeleaf, we sit Shikantaza Zazen.

    Neither form is truly goal oriented nor goalless, or better said, both are both and beyond. The Rinzai folks sit seeking Kensho intently, yet with nothing to attain. The Soto folks sit dropping all goals, and thus realize Kensho (Seeing the Nature).

    Here are some readings for folks new to all this, although they paint with too broad strokes.

    Special reading - once born twice born zen (part not 1)

    Special reading - once born twice born zen (part not 2)

    Special reading - eight types of enlightenment

    Those readings and more on Shikantaza can be found here ...

    After you have a look, let me know if any questions. In the meantime ... keep sitting, and find out Shikantaza for oneself.

    Gassho, Jundo

    Last edited by Jundo; 12-17-2015 at 07:53 PM.

  3. #3
    Thank Jundo! Perfect !

  4. #4
    Thank you, Jundo. These readings are really informative and helpful in understanding.

    Sat Today.

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