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Thread: Zazen Is Not Necessary ... Thus It is Necessary To Sit ...

  1. #1

    Zazen Is Not Necessary ... Thus It is Necessary To Sit ...

    Hi,

    Some folks ask me if sitting Zazen for a certain time is necessary. In fact, it is not necessary in the least, nor a matter of time ... thus it is necessary to sit for a time!

    We sit beyond all time, and it is not necessary to sit at all ... thus we sit each day facing the wall for a certain time. Please don't think that it is not necessary to sit Zazen if physically able, even though it is not necessary to sit at all (Yes, this is a Koan). There is no "long or short" to Zazen, and we should sit putting aside all thoughts of measuring time ... but usually it is necessary to sit for some minutes of time to taste this "no long or short" that is timeless and beyond necessity.

    Thus, Zazen is not a matter of time, so we sit for a certain time each day putting aside all thought of time.

    In Shikantaza, we sit radically as this Original Buddha, nothing to attain, nothing in need of doing. The Sitting of Zazen itself is Total Fruition, no other act to do, no other place to be or where one can be. Thus, one attains Total Fruition that is "not attaining," Buddha sitting Buddha, and our inner desires and Dukkha based on "I need to do" are finished and done with as one realizes that aspect of life "never in need of doing." There is nothing about this world or ourselves or this moment that is in need of fixing from the start. Then, getting up from the cushion, we return to a world of things to do, places to go, problems in desperate need of repair ... but with this "no thing to do, no place to go, nothing in need of fixing" felt in the bones. In this way of living life, we learn to do without doing, go without going, fix what cannot be fixed. We learn to birth without birthing, die without dying!

    All of life is Zazen, walking sitting standing running or standing on one's head. Yet, I sit on the cushion each day for the stillness of silent sitting lets me better know this fact. (Up is down too, nor is there place ti fall, so no problem to stand on one's head, but less chance to topple over in the Lotus or Burmese!). Zazen is found everywhere, on and off the cushion and right in the city streets and daily life, yet it is sometimes hard to know so. While there is stillness in moving, it is sometimes hard to know while always moving moving, running chasing in this hectic life. So, I sit still then get up and move. In doing so, moving running chasing is just stillness. This hectic life is silence itself.

    Thus, Zazen is not a matter of time, so we sit a certain time each day.

    Gassho, J

    SatTodayLAH
    Last edited by Jundo; 03-19-2018 at 07:21 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  2. #2
    If we do not fan ourselves, how will we know that air is everywhere?

    With a bow,
    Chishou.
    Sat.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Ask not what the Sangha can do for you, but what you can do for your Sangha.

  3. #3


    Gassho,
    Washin
    sat & lah

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Chishou View Post
    If we do not fan ourselves, how will we know that air is everywhere?

    With a bow,
    Chishou.
    Sat.
    Yep.

    From the Genjo Koan

    Mayu, Zen master Baoche, was fanning himself. A monk approached and said, “Master, the nature of wind is permanent and there is no place it does not reach. Why, then, do you fan yourself?”
    “Although you understand that the nature of the wind is permanent,” Mayu replied, “you do not understand the meaning of its reaching everywhere.”
    “What is the meaning of its reaching everywhere?” asked the monk again. Mayu just kept fanning himself. The monk bowed deeply.
    The actualization of the buddha-dharma, the vital path of its correct transmission, is like this. If you say that you do not need to fan yourself because the nature of wind is permanent and you can have wind without fanning, you will understand neither permanence nor the nature of wind. The nature of wind is permanent. Because of that, the wind of the buddha's house brings forth the gold of the earth and makes fragrant the cream of the long river.
    Gassho, J

    SatTodayLAH
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  5. #5


    If nothing else--the lifetime of practice is here.

    Gassho,
    Jakuden
    SatToday/LAH
    清 道 寂田
    SEIDO JAKUDEN
    I am a novice priest. Any resemblance my posts may have to actual teachings about the Dharma, living or dead, is purely coincidental (and just my attempt to be helpful).

  6. #6
    I don't pretend to understand Shobogenzo Uji ("Being Time"), nor do I like to dissect Zazen in terms of concepts. But in this case, I like the way that physicists refer to "spacetime" (rather than space and time), because they are the same thing (neither having existed before the Big Bang and both being measured in terms of Light Years). Similarly, for me, I've always found that with regard to Zazen, Being and Time are the same thing. Everything merges into one with no thoughts of controlling anything from either a physical or a temporal perspective.

    Gassho,

    Juki (the wayward one with only occasional internet service)

    Sat Today
    "First you have to give up." Tyler Durden

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    All of life is Zazen, walking sitting standing running or standing on one's head. Yet, I sit on the cushion each day for the stillness of silent sitting lets me better know this fact. (Up is down too, nor is there place ti fall, so no problem to stand on one's head, but less chance to topple over in the Lotus or Burmese!). Zazen is found everywhere, on and off the cushion and right in the city streets and daily life, yet it is sometimes hard to know so. While there is stillness in moving, it is sometimes hard to know while always moving moving, running chasing in this hectic life. So, I sit still then get up and move. In doing so, moving running chasing is just stillness. This hectic life is silence itself.
    Yes, yes, yes ... thank you Jundo. =)

    I spoke with Jundo during Dokusan the other day about a career move that I just made that did not work out, actually it went sideways and was quite uncomfortable and not what I have expected. Yet during that time I was ok with it, sat with it, and found stillness within it while it was happening, unfolding, even though I was taking action to make change, to make it better.

    In the past this experience would have created a lot of mental theatre, worry, and stress. I can only contribute this stillness, this acceptance, this wholeness and completeness to these uncomfortable situations to my practice of zazen. Zazen has taught me that not all that I smell, taste, touch, hear, or see is this actual life. That I must first just be with life, to experience in its wholeness, to embrace it as best as I can ... from there I have a better understanding of this life is sharing with me. =)

    Gassho
    Shingen

    Sat/LAH
    RINDO SHINGEN
    倫道 真現

  8. #8
    We sit with time, with no-time and beyond time.

    Thank you for this teaching, Jundo.

    Gassho,

    Kyonin
    Sat/LAH
    Hondō Kyōnin
    奔道 協忍

  9. #9


    Doshin
    St

  10. #10
    Let me cut to the chase on this one for some folks who might be scratching their heads at the Koany way Zen folks sometimes express things ...

    By one way of looking at ourself and the world, we are already and have been all along Buddha, and nothing is lacking or flawed even in the guise of this sometimes lacking, sometimes flawed life. There is also an aspect which is timeless. The self and this world and Buddha are not apart. Thus, Zazen is not necessary, nor a matter of time, because we are already so, just this, just here, just now.

    However, it is necessary to sit for a time to realize this "timeless, already and have been all along Buddha, nothing is lacking or flawed even in the guise of this sometimes lacking, sometimes flawed life."

    Then, with this "timeless, already and have been all along Buddha, nothing is lacking or flawed even in the guise of this sometimes lacking, sometimes flawed life" now known in the bones, we get up from the cushion and get back to this often very much lacking and flawed life where Buddha seems well hidden, where our self and the world seem apart and in friction, and see how all fit together in our living. We try to fix the flaws in the world and in ourself that we can. Timeless amid passing time, flawless yet flawed, Buddha yet not, apart yet never apart. All of that is Zazen too, on an off the cushion, but it is best to sit each day to realize so.

    Buddhas, even when they are already "Buddhas," keep sitting anyway in Master Dogen's vision, because the sitting is itself the manifestation of Buddhaness. Kind of like saying that a dancer just has gotta dance to manifest dancerness!

    Thus, Zazen is not necessary and not a matter of time ... so we need to sit each day for a time to realize so.

    Gassho, J

    SatTodayLAH
    Last edited by Jundo; 03-20-2018 at 03:03 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  11. #11
    Thank you Jundo.

    Gassho Kyotai
    AST

    Sent from my SM-G950W using Tapatalk
    I am a student at Treeleaf. Please take what I say with a grain of salt. Gassho

  12. #12
    Eishuu
    Guest
    Thank you Jundo

    Gassho
    Eishuu
    ST/LAH

  13. #13


    Gassho, Shinshi

    SaT-LaH

  14. #14
    Member Hoseki's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    St. John's Newfoundland, Canada.
    Gassho

    Hoseki
    Sattoday

  15. #15
    Member Getchi's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Between Sea and Sky, Australia.
    Thank you jundo

    The more I hear about visualisations and heaven realms,the more I see brick and tiles,cats and oxen.

    Pushing towards enlightenment, I was wrong. Luckily you offered me a seat, and trees sprout buddha dharma.



    The more I sit, the less I need to talk. I can't than you enough



    Gassho,
    Geoff.

    SatToday
    LaH.
    Nothing to do? Why not Sit?

  16. #16
    Member Seishin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    La Croix-Avranchin, Basse Normandie, France


    Seishin

    Sei - Meticulous
    Shin - Heart



    Sat Today / lah

  17. #17
    So True Jundo,
    I need to SIT every day to wake up to my life; things become muddled when I don't.
    I'm so grateful for this practice
    Gassho,
    Jyúkatsu
    sattoday
    柔 Jyū flexible
    活 Katsu energetic

  18. #18
    thank you Jundo.
    once again it reminded me to strive to what i need do achieve while just accepting things as they are.
    it is good to have small reminders like that.

    Gassho, D (truly thankful).
    I gained nothing at all from supreme enlightenment, and for that very reason it is called supreme enlightenment
    - the Buddha

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Dojin View Post
    thank you Jundo.
    once again it reminded me to strive to what i need do achieve while just accepting things as they are.
    it is good to have small reminders like that.

    Gassho, D (truly thankful).
    Hi Dojin,

    Hope that you, your family and guitar are all well.

    Shalom.

    Gassho, Jundo

    SatTodayLAH
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  20. #20
    Thank you, Jundo

    One of the things I find myself constantly conflicting over is that I'm not able to spend enough time with each sitting to gain significant experience. I can see that my intention and action is what matters in dedicated practice, not minutes on a watchface.

    Gassho,
    Alexander

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