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Thread: WHAT's OFTEN MISSING in SHIKANTAZA EXPLANATIONS ....

  1. #51
    Well Jishin, I believe both God does not exist, god does exist. Or, is it God is both or just where does the Buddha fit into all
    Of this? Answer. Who knows? The Power of the Infinite question. Do you exist?
    Tai Shi
    sat / lah
    I help
    The men I sponsor every day.
    Gassho


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    Lay member, loving kindness; just a guy, Calm Poet, Ubasoku.

  2. #52
    Thank you for pushing this up.

    Tom, I like the Nietzsche quote in this context and enjoy finding pointers to Shikantaza in philosophers' works.

    To me, it feels like the ultimate truth, they are searching for, resides beyond words and thoughts, beyond concepts of "happiness, good, redeemed, justified, and affirmed" and their counterparts, in a 'simple' practice to be directly experienced.
    Recently, I thought that the answer to Goethe's Faust, pondering about the symbol of the Macrocosm in his book, would be Shikantaza, replacing the search with total arrival, too:

    How each to the Whole its selfhood gives,
    One in another works and lives!
    How Heavenly forces fall and rise,
    Golden vessels pass each other by!
    Blessings from their wings disperse:
    They penetrate from Heaven to Earth,
    Sounding a harmony through the Universe!
    Such a picture! Ah, alas! Merely a picture!
    How then can I grasp you endless Nature?
    Where are your breasts that pour out Life entire,
    To which the Earth and Heavens cling so,
    Where withered hearts would drink? You flow
    You nourish, yet I languish so, in vain desire.

    Gassho,
    Kotei sat/lah today.

    義道 冴庭 / Gidō Kotei.
    Being a novice priest doesn't mean that my writing about the Dharma is more substantial than yours. Actually, it might well be the other way round.

  3. #53
    This is amazingly clear writing. Thank you so much for this. This needs a wider audience.

  4. #54
    Thank you Jundo. That was beautiful. I finally get it (a bit more than before I hope) I was also thought zazen as just sit and breathe but somehow felt that it can't be so, it is not enough. So I looked in Rinzai tradition. Their explanation of tanden, much longer out breaths, etc seemed more practical. And the dedication of Rinzai masters made the Soto way appear lazy to me. I read about one elderly master who after having an accident wasn't able to sit in full lotus any more, so he broke his leg and died in lotus position. All I ever did was some yoga hip openings and still can only sit in Seiza position. From tomorrow I'll sit with a whole different attitude.
    Gassho
    Sat today

  5. #55
    Quote Originally Posted by Ania View Post
    ... Their explanation of tanden, much longer out breaths, etc seemed more practical. And the dedication of Rinzai masters made the Soto way appear lazy to me. I read about one elderly master who after having an accident wasn't able to sit in full lotus any more, so he broke his leg and died in lotus position. ...
    Hi Ania,

    That kind of breath strategy go the other way, and turn Shikantaza into a tool, a method to attain some goal such as a certain highly concentrated energy. Master Dogen's instructions were to just breathe naturally ... deep from the diaphragm and not high up in the chest, as is just healthful to do ... but otherwise just at its own pace, letting short breaths be short, and long breaths be long.

    And there is no need to break one's leg usually, for one can be in the "Lotus Posture" in the mind, when the mind is accepting and in equanimity, even if in a sick bed lying down.

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  6. #56
    Member Getchi's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Between Sea and Sky, Australia.
    To simply "be",
    with no sense of becoming,
    erases the idea of "being".

    Happily, I "just Sit".



    Gassho,
    Geoff.
    LaH
    SatToday.
    Nothing to do? Why not Sit?

  7. #57
    I don't know where or when I heard this but,
    "No need to Zazen. Must do Zazen!"

  8. #58
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2020
    Location
    Country Victoria, Australia
    Thank you for the clarity of this lesson. As a relative newcomer to Zen practice I have been somewhat confused by the various and numerous explanations of Zazen.
    I feel I now have An answer, maybe not The answer but a clear direction
    Gassho
    Max
    Aust.

  9. #59
    Quote Originally Posted by Ania View Post
    Thank you Jundo. That was beautiful. I finally get it (a bit more than before I hope) I was also thought zazen as just sit and breathe but somehow felt that it can't be so, it is not enough. So I looked in Rinzai tradition. Their explanation of tanden, much longer out breaths, etc seemed more practical. And the dedication of Rinzai masters made the Soto way appear lazy to me. I read about one elderly master who after having an accident wasn't able to sit in full lotus any more, so he broke his leg and died in lotus position. All I ever did was some yoga hip openings and still can only sit in Seiza position. From tomorrow I'll sit with a whole different attitude.
    Gassho
    Sat today
    Longer out breaths have a scientific explanation. When you breathe out more than you breathe in, it triggers the parasympathetic nervous system which is responsible for calming down the body. I teach it to people who suffer from anxiety and depression.

    However, in Shikantaza, I just breathe like Jundo said.

    Gassho,
    Sat today,
    Guish.

    Sent from my PAR-LX1M using Tapatalk
    Has been known as Guish since 2017 on the forum here.

  10. #60
    Quote Originally Posted by Guish View Post
    Longer out breaths have a scientific explanation. When you breathe out more than you breathe in, it triggers the parasympathetic nervous system which is responsible for calming down the body. I teach it to people who suffer from anxiety and depression.

    However, in Shikantaza, I just breathe like Jundo said.

    Gassho,
    Sat today,
    Guish.

    Sent from my PAR-LX1M using Tapatalk
    Guish,

    Thank you for this information.

    Gassho2, meian st lh

    Sent from my SM-G975U using Tapatalk
    優婆塞 | Ubasoku (Excellence-Grandmotherly Heart-Foundation)
    迷安 | Meian (Wandering at Rest)

  11. #61
    Quote Originally Posted by Guish View Post
    Longer out breaths have a scientific explanation. When you breathe out more than you breathe in, it triggers the parasympathetic nervous system which is responsible for calming down the body. I teach it to people who suffer from anxiety and depression.

    However, in Shikantaza, I just breathe like Jundo said.

    Gassho,
    Sat today,
    Guish.
    There do seem to be some serious medical studies that support this, and a few Zen teachers recommend it. So, I would not say not to do so. It is fine if it is helpful.

    https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/b...ur-vagus-nerve

    HOWEVER, whether doing so or not, it is vital to drop idea of engaging in some technique or trick to attain something. It is vital to drop all need for goals.

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  12. #62
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    There do seem to be some serious medical studies that support this, and a few Zen teachers recommend it. So, I would not say not to do so. It is fine if it is helpful.

    https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/b...ur-vagus-nerve

    HOWEVER, whether doing so or not, it is vital to drop idea of engaging in some technique or trick to attain something. It is vital to drop all need for goals.

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    Hi Jundo,

    Indeed, it changes the brain waves when you consciously breathe out more than you breathe in. Hence, after 10 minutes, one reaches a state of no thought which some may call bliss.

    However, this is not the point of Shikantaza. Coming back to the link you posted on the 10th precept, we are not trying to attain anything when we sit.

    Gassho,
    Sat today,
    Guish.



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    Has been known as Guish since 2017 on the forum here.

  13. #63
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  14. #64
    I love how insightful writing on Zen tends (for me) to be like standing between two mirrors, gradually and minutely aligning them to bring the line of one's faces into a straight line, knowing that one can never reach that magical point... writing, thinking, talking about zazen is a worthy effort toward describing something that cannot be described down to the finest final point. This read was well worth the time, and enlightening in just the right measure, thank you

    Kodo Tobiishi sat today
    Gassho
    It occurs to me that my attachment to this body is entirely arbitrary. All the evidence is subjective.

  15. #65
    Thank you for this teaching. This is really something I found very helpful to me. Especially "...sitting itself is a complete and sacred act, the one and only action that need be done in the whole universe in that instant of sitting." It helps me very much with my zazen. Thank you. SatToday.

  16. #66
    Thank you for this teaching, Jundo.

    There are so many jewels to be discovered in these forums, this is the precious one I have discovered today.

    Ghassho
    SatToday
    -Kelly

  17. #67
    Quote Originally Posted by Suuko View Post
    Hi Jundo,

    Indeed, it changes the brain waves when you consciously breathe out more than you breathe in. Hence, after 10 minutes, one reaches a state of no thought which some may call bliss.

    However, this is not the point of Shikantaza. Coming back to the link you posted on the 10th precept, we are not trying to attain anything when we sit.

    Gassho,
    Sat today,
    Guish.



    Sent from my PAR-LX1M using Tapatalk
    This is very interesting indeed. The fact that science is really starting to understand this now is exciting. This effect you mention about relaxation is true if you are breathing naturally. Thus breathing in pushes the belly out and breathing out pushes the belly toward the spine. The exhalation then is pushing against the spine and stimulating the vagal pathway which then stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system and thus relaxes you. Taoists practices and some yogic practices also do reverse breathing and thus the inhalation is what pushes against the spine, but this is typically done for a specific purpose. This can lead to an abundance of yang energy which you want for internal practices, martial arts, and some types of yoga, but not preferable in sitting meditation. Taoists and Traditional Chinese Medicine says that it is best to have the inhalation (yin) and exhalation (yang) be equal. This is the natural balance of things. This is natural breath which the Chinese call shun huxi.

    I only share this to state that using the breath in a certain way is designed to achieve something and can be good if you are using it for that purpose. In Shikantaza, as Jundo points out, we just breathe naturally without trying to achieve anything. Kind of like the wisdom of doing nothing in particular is the natural expression of the Buddha. It may be great to use the breath in a particular way for a particular outcome. But, with Shikantaza not having any gaining ideal at its essence, we are just let things be as they naturally are.

    Gassho,

    Wondo

    Sat Today
    Last edited by Wondo; 05-11-2022 at 11:05 PM.

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