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Thread: SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: THOUGHTS and EMOTIONS are GOOD ZAZEN too!

  1. #1

    SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: THOUGHTS and EMOTIONS are GOOD ZAZEN too!

    I am going to say something that might be missed or not emphasized enough in many explanations of Shikantaza Zazen. (I apologize to any teachers who do in fact say this).

    In Shikantaza, trains of thought and stormy emotions might come. and we are told to release the thoughts, become untangled, returning to the posture or breath or 'open awareness,' the stillness and silence free of thoughts. Then, when more thoughts come, we just repeat. That is correct.

    HOWEVER, many Zen sitters then think that the point is just to be in that "still and silent" good place as the objective (and longer and longer too, until maybe somewhere down the road even all the time, off the cushion and on). I don't believe so. Rather, the real power and process of Shikantaza requires the thoughts and emotions, and their release, in cycle after cycle until we come to know that the thoughts and emotions (and all the chaos of this life) AND the stillness and silence (and light of Illumination which shines through all the chaos) are not two. True Stillness is present both when the head is quiet and when it is noisy, just as the Sun is always shining in the sky whether it is a perfectly clear day or a cloudy and stormy day (and we can perceive the Sunlight to shine even at the heart of the dark cloud).

    Thus, the point of Shikantaza is truly to experience that which is present and transcends both thoughts and emotions AND their absence, a Wisdom which is present when thoughts and emotions are gone AND even within thinking and life. This is a realization which occurs in the repeating, flowing cycle of thoughts and emotions coming then going into silence, coming then going into silence ...

    Of course, that does not mean that we should indulge and wallow in always being tangled in thoughts and emotions all the time in Zazen either. No, and we release the entanglements back to the breath or posture or open awareness 10,000 times and 10,000 times again and again. Nor do I mean that times of abiding, deep and profound Samadhi are to be avoided. No, far from it too ... they are part of the journey as well. But the Real Teacher is the movement of the mind back and through all these changes ... finding the True Light and Stillness which shines through and as all the changes of the mind and life.

    I would not wish to live as anything but a human being who sometimes is happy and sometimes sheds a tear when sadness comes, who appreciates beauty but also sees the sometime ugliness in this world and wishes to deal with it rather than avoid. In fact, I could not live as a human being without human emotions and thoughts. Nonetheless, I also want to know that Flowing Wholeness, Stillness and Light which shines through and as all happy and sad days, thoughts of problems and joys, both ugliness and ordinary worldly pleasures.

    And as we sit so, letting thought and emotions appear and release, appear and release ... we sit with a profound Trust in our bones that Zazen is always right. Storming Zazen is good Zazen, and quiet Zazen is good Zazen because Zazen ... and all to a Buddha's Eye ... is that which is Good beyond and right within all ordinary worldly storms and quiet, birth and death, beauty and ugliness, joy and grief and all the rest.

    So, let thoughts come, let them go, let them drift from mind ... let thoughts come, let them go, let them drift from mind ...

    If you would like to hear more thoughts about this (some which I thought up --during-- part of sitting Zazen today before letting them go and returning to quiet sitting ), here is a little talk.



    Gassho, J

    STLah
    Last edited by Jundo; 01-12-2019 at 06:10 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  2. #2
    Member Koki's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Parma Ohio (just outside Cleveland)
    Jundo!
    I just watched the UTUBE. Thank you for this teaching.

    I like to consider myself the calm in the middle of the storms in life. But you sometimes do have to pass through the turbulence, to get to that center.

    I began my journey on January 17, 1970..walking into my first dojo. We sat zazen at every class. Of course, many thoughts then.

    In 1974, while sitting zazen in my room at the age of 16, I had my first glimpse of what I thought was enlightenment. I was at peace, and although life has thrown both happiness and turbulence my way, I can still find my way back to my center, back to the center of the whirlwind of life.

    I am fortunate to have found this path so early, but even though I may stumble my way through at times...i can always find my way back to my center.

    This month is very special for me, because not only do I finally formally accept Jukai, but I celebrate 49 years on this path...which began at a little dojo, on a side street of Cleveland Ohio.

    I still keep in touch with my Sensei by phone, and thank them often for changing my life.

    Thank you for the reminder of this teaching, Jundo. It makes my heart smile, and I share this teaching with whoever I can.

    Gassho...Gassho...Gassho.

    Frank (Kunzang)
    Satoday

    Sent from my VS995 using Tapatalk

  3. #3
    Thank you Jundo

    It has been a very rough few months for myself and this is a great reminder.

    Gassho,
    John
    SatToday

  4. #4
    Thank you for this teaching Jundo, it was the first thing I encountered today and couldn't have come at a better time.
    Gassho
    Meitou
    satwithyoualltodaylah
    命 Mei - life
    島 Tou - island

  5. #5
    Thank you, Jundo. I really needed this teaching this morning.

    Gassho,
    Joyo
    sat today/lah

  6. #6
    A lovely and timely teaching as always Jundo, thank you. =)

    Gassho
    Shingen

    Sat/LAH
    RINDO SHINGEN
    倫道 真現

  7. #7


    Gassho,
    Washin
    st&lah
    Wa (和) Harmony
    Shin (心) Heart-Mind

  8. #8
    Teenagers -AAAHHHHhhh.

    Love the Houdini reference.

    Deep Bows Jundo this was really good. After watching this it hit me that the more I learn here the less I know. I used to think I knew a lot of stuff, but I now I think what I know is less than a drop in the ocean. It makes me wonder if, when I reach the end of my path, I will realize that I know nothing at all.

    Gassho, Shinshi

    SaT-LaH
    Last edited by Shinshi; 01-12-2019 at 05:11 PM.

  9. #9
    Jundo,
    Thank you for reassuring me that I do not have to be perfect in zazen all the time. I often see thoughts as being little tools of learning. As they come and go it is hard to explain but I eventually see them as being illusions,...nothing, but at the same time something. Something of value not to be shunned but something to learn from. I don't know if I'm on the right track but this is a common pattern.

    Gassho,
    ST/LAH
    James

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Shinshi View Post
    Teenagers -AAAHHHHhhh.

    Love the Houdini reference.

    Deep Bows Jundo this was really good. After watching this it hit me that the more I learn here the less I know. I used to think I knew a lot of stuff, but I now I think what I know is less than a drop in the ocean. It makes me wonder if, when I reach the end of my path, I will realize that I know nothing at all.

    Gassho, Shinshi

    SaT-LaH
    No, you will never come to reach the end of the path, because it is ever reached and always where one walks.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  11. #11
    Treeleaf Unsui / Engineer Sekishi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Virginia, USA
    This sit-a-long is available on the podcast now as well: https://treeleaf.podbean.com/e/janua...ood-zazen-too/

    Gassho,
    Sekishi
    #sat #lah
    sekishi
    石志

    As a novice priest-in-training, this is simply an expression of my opinion. Please take it with a grain of salt.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    No, you will never come to reach the end of the path, because it is ever reached and always where one walks.


    Gassho, Shinshi

    SaT-LaH

  13. #13
    Thank you Jundo, I could stand to hear this daily :-p

    Gassho
    Jakuden
    SatToday/LAH




    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    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).

  14. #14

    Tairin
    Sat today and lah

  15. #15
    Thank you for your teaching Jundo!

    Gassho,

    Junkyo

    SAT

    Sent from my SM-G955W using Tapatalk

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

    Gassho,

    Kyonin
    Sat/LAH
    Hondō Kyōnin
    奔道 協忍

  17. #17
    Thank you, Jundo.
    Maybe this is one of the reasons, why Shikantaza has such a transforming power off the cushion, too.
    Gassho,
    Kotei sat/lah today,
    古庭 KoTei / Ralf

  18. #18
    Thanks Jundo, love to read your posts.

    Gassho

    Sat today

  19. #19
    Wonderful teaching, something I have to keep learning over and over.

    Gassho,

    Shoka
    sattoday
    香道 笑花
    Kodo Shoka

    Please don't take anything I say as anything more than just a normal person's thoughts on the topic. I'm just stumbling through life trying to be helpful, but really don't know much.

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